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Don't Tread on Me


Every small business is a miracle

willed into this nasty world

and every business owner a hero

made perfect for one moment then gone

the way of the yeoman farmer

a terrible figure

of immaculate virtue and cred.


A miracle is to receive this miracle risen

again from scheming, eternal fires:

donít tell me that fire gives up on us

just smolders there and styles

beside the tzarís sarcophagus.


In Russia

they have permanently burning fire

pits in the public squares

to remind its citizens of the eternal struggle

though I myself donít believe in work

as a virtue. I donít strip-mine the forest

or choke the river with garbage.


I have the decency to study my privilege

with a preoccupying scrutiny

print it out every day

to hate it, which is hard work

believe me. All day all evening thinking

positions to stave off despair.


Thinking how cacophonous fire must

be as you die in it.


What is work, when all of us are

sad and done. If I can, should I not loaf

in my sunlit cube, reading Lives of the Tzars

commemorating my wife

whose indomitable will I served

and feared gladly.


ďShe gets itĒ

I would always think, as she pegged me.


She really gets it.


James Capozzi

James Capozzi
is an†Assistant Professor of English at County College of Morris in New Jersey. He is the author of several books, including 89 Screenplays for Nightmare City, Universal Description of the Known World Without End and Country Album. His poetry has been published in more than 50 literary journals, and he is currently the associate editor of the Journal of New Jersey Poets and consulting editor for The Virginia Normal. He previously taught at Binghamton University, the University of Texas at Austin, Virginia State University and Bloomfield College.