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« On Kenneth Koch, "Dr. Fun" [by Melanie Rehak] | Main | Three Poems (by Mitch Sisskind) »

October 21, 2021


I for one have never met someone with mental illness reminiscing of Napoleon nor in awe of him, nor a looney bin do they stay. They stay in a hospital worrying about bills, their dog home alone, their drug addiction, their victimization and so on. There is no wild mania or rambling madness anymore after they’re forcibly tranquilized. Love this piece on Napoleon, but the anti-romantic view of the mentally ill crazy about him in particular perpetuates myths that are far more suffered & suffering in truth.

The only time i ever think of Napoleon
Is when i see them in patisseries
Otherwise referred to as pastry shops
With fluff and oozing cream
A few standing next to each other
Just as in military order
They're hard to resist
And so i get to eat one
Why make life complicated
Napoleon himself would be proud
Having a baked good named in his honor
Viva La France
Viva Napoleon Bonaparte

Thanks for your terrific verse comment, Joel.

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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