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best new poetry in form

Weeds are not supposed to grow
but by degrees
some achieve a flower, although
no one sees.

From the November Issue


The Trolls

Hear the drudges and the trolls –
Flagrant trolls!
What a world of bull and lies their zealotry unrolls!
How they blather blather blather
Out in cyberspace tonight
Where they’re worked up in a lather
While the rational would rather
Get the facts and get them right;
Sending post, post, post,
As if who could post the most
Of their tin-eared fabulation in this shallowest of shoals
By the trolls, tolls, trolls, trolls,
Trolls, trolls, trolls –
As if volume were the value of the trolls.

Hear the yellow stay-home trolls –
Verbal trolls!
What a world of cowardice a chicken-hawk unrolls!
How they boast of their deferment
And the jobs to which it led
At a time when their demur meant
That some kid without preferment
Went to risk his life instead.
Wrapped in crucifix and flag –
Real Americans would gag –
They try to cheat opponents out of going to the polls
Oh the trolls, tolls, trolls, trolls,
Trolls, trolls, trolls –
By the slimy nickel-dimey little trolls!

How they slither from their holes
Slimy trolls!
And what a gush of gross self-aggrandizing little goals
How their racist views are coded
As a struggle for states’ rights,
They’re patrolling locked and loaded
As the safety-net’s eroded
Except for wealthy whites.
How they screed across the screen
Apoplectic in their spleen
In an angry flush of selfish shit from puppet-socky souls:
From the trolls, trolls, trolls, trolls,
Trolls, trolls, trolls,
All the needy greedy grunting of the trolls.


Not much is known about Marcus Bales except he lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and his poems have not appeared in Poetry or The New Yorker.