Alison Pelegrin • Katrina Scribendi

Oh, look—a gawker with some bullshit poems
about the hurricane. Just what we need,
our drama in real life reworked to be PC.
Yakefied and chicken fried. Happy to oblige.
Let me guess—you came down for Mardi Gras
once and since Katrina you feel bad for us.
If not that, it had to be the Sugar Bowl,
plastic-cuffed by the can’t-piss-in-public-patrol.
You call the poems authentic in a heartfelt way,
but your rhyme on breathing in the stench of attic dead
is all pretend. Never happened outside your head.
Child’s play poems. Imposters. Illegitimates.
I have an idea—let’s put them to the test.
Awake, arise at once all you FEMA trailer desperados
and behold this book of grave robber poems.
It does the work for you, tells you how you hacked
through shingles with a blunted axe.
Lady, I think we all agree—no better offering
to the red state south than you celestial poems.
What’s that? I know. Ingrate—c’est moi! I should rejoice
that there exists a scribbling mob above the Mason Dixon
moved to kick their voices my direction.
Rubber-neckers, reckless and clever,
picking through my trash. You better never
let me catch you. The endless nerve,
a crown of sonnets promising ‘This too shall pass.’
I got one for you: Buzz off. Blow it out your ass.

Alison Pelegrin is the author of Big Muddy River of Stars (University of Akron Press, 2007), as well as The Zydeco Tablets (Word Press, 2002), and three prize-winning chapbooks, the most recent of which is Squeezers. The recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Louisiana Division of the Arts, her poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, and Southern Review.