Birthdays, Tax Days & Baring the Bones: National Poetry Month, Day 15

Most people in the U.S. think of 15 April as Tax Day, a rather stressful day that ends at midnight with a line of cars inching their way to public mailboxes to deposit their taxes. What a drain, taxes. “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death & taxes,” Ben Franklin said. “”Death, taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them,” Margaret Mitchell said. 

What do poets have to say about taxes? Well, Laura Kasischke said: “But the days were
blinding, as
always, in April. All
that white paper.”  & these 5 other poets had somethings to say, too, about taxes and poetry. Remember, too, that great book of poems by Sally Van Doren, Sex at Noon Taxes? Here’s the titular poem:

Sex At Noon Taxes

From the ghost town’s
fencepost, my lariat ropes
your palindromic peak
and hauls it to our bedroom,
where the timbers arch to hold off
the mountain’s hooves — no
avalanche turns snowfall into
uncorraled horseshoes.
The steeds bear us upslope.
We reach the muddy cleft
between Maroon Bells
and Crested Butte, gnawing
on caribou and warmed
liver of once noble elk.


What would Uncle Sam Say?


 Last night I watched a documentary about the Scientologists & while many things struck me, taxes stood out. Taxes. Billions of dollars in taxes they owed to the IRS. I can’t think about taxes without thinking about the pure scammy scumminess of paying taxes. So I tend to not think about taxes. I think about my sister who knows how to live a full life. Today, she’s having a low-key birthday, spending quality time with her daughter and ordering dinner in.

Tonight, I’m celebrating her birthday and National Poetry Month with Amy Catanzano & Jenny Boully, who are giving readings from their fabulous books. I can forget it’s tax day and instead that remember my sister is getting closer and closer to the big 4-5, which means I’m getting closer to the big 4-5, oie.


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