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POETRY / I Shot the Poet / José del Valle


Night descends like a greasy sack
pulled down over the head of the poet.

The gun goes off as his rhymes never could,
the head drops limp like the killing 

pageant of his metaphors. The smoke in the air
is like nothing at all whatsoever. 

I shot the poet. But don’t bother crying.
You yourself have died a thousand deaths --

anesthetized, stupefied – in case you haven’t noticed.
Poetry is dead. I read it in The New Yorker.

Nearly catching my death of cold. 
What happened, Walt Whitman? An epoch 

that sprang from your very dungarees is ending.
The moon takes the news like a bullet.

José del Valle is a Cuban-born writer working on a sonnet chapbook. His poems and stories have appeared or will appear in Gravel, Crab Creek Review, Barnstorm, Frontier Poetry, Carve, The Saranac Review, The Acentos Review, The Mainichi (Japan), Contemporary Haibun Online, The Heron's Nest, the late Jane Reichhold's Lynx, and other small haiku pubs.