Poetry by Claudia Grinnell

We Really Can't

Talk about it in any authentic kind of way. There's at least one
Way, let's leave it at that.  Plain and simple.  Let's say,
The sun's setting.  I don't like to brag or anything, but that's pretty
Spectacular this sunset.  What I mean to say is, we're looking
Straight at it, a tropical island shimmers on the horizon I tell you:

Would you look at that. And you do. And I ask you this: Have you ever
Seen a more spectacular sunset? Of course you haven't,
Neither have I. What's left is an infinite splitting of hairs,
Well--one hair: it's our own ass we're covering.  We're the species
With the best legal mind in all of creation.  You have

The right to remain silent unless we compel you. In either case,
You'll probably get run over by a drunken driver in Ecuador,
Still running. I told you vests were coming back
And the next war would be over water. Listen, listen--
This time you have an opportunity, same as last time.

Claudia Grinnell

Born and raised in Germany, Claudia Grinnell now lives in Louisiana, where she teaches at the University of Louisiana, Monroe. She is the author of Conditions Horizontal (Missing Consonant Press, 2001), and her poems have appeared in such journals as Exquisite Corpse, New Orleans Review, Mudlark, and Minnesota Review. In 2000, Ms. Grinnell was the recipient of the Southern Women Writers Emerging Poets Award. More of her work can be found at www.ulm.edu/~grinnell/cc.htm