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Don't Not Read This

The poet Mark McCain received an e-mail, which had been sent to numerous American poets, inviting him to sign a “poetition” requesting that President Barack H. Obama pardon Edward Snowden. The request took the form of a poem written by Merrill Jensen, whom Mark knew to be twenty-eight years old, a full nine years his junior. The poem-petition rhymed “Snowden” with “pardon.” And “pardon” with “Rose Garden.” And “Rose Garden” with “nation.” And “nation” with “Eden.” It rhymed—or, as Mark preferred to put it, it echoed—“Putin” and “boot in” and “Clinton” and “no disputing.” “Russia” echoed “U.S.A.”; and “U.S.A.” “Thoreau”; and “Thoreau” “hero.”

Mark forwarded the e-mail to the poet E. W. West. He wrote:

Am I crazy to find this enraging?

Within seconds Liz wrote back:

No.

They arranged to have coffee that afternoon.

Continued...