Skip to content →

Vandal Poem of the Day is on hiatus for the summer.
Check back in September for all new poems from BOA Editions LTD.
Thanks to Copper Canyon for all the wonderful poems this year!

Commencement Address

I love you for shattering.

Someone has to. Just as someone

has to announce inadvertently

the end of grief or spring’s

splurge even as the bureaucrat’s

spittoon overflows. Someone has to come out

the other end of the labyrinth

saying, What’s the big deal?

Someone has to spend all day staring

at the data from outer space

or separating the receipts

or changing the sheets in sour room after room.

I like it when the end of the toilet paper

is folded into a point.

I like napkins folded into swans

because I like wiping my mouth on swans.

Matriculates, come back from the dance floor

to sip at the lachrymal glands of chaos,

a god could be forgiven

for eating you, you’ve been such angels

just not very good ones.

You’ve put your tongue

into the peanut canister

of your best friend’s girlfriend’s mom.

You’ve taken a brown bag lunch

on which was writ a name not your own.

All night it snows a blue snow

like the crystallized confessions

you’ve wrung from phantoms

even though it’s you wearing the filched necklace,

your rages splitting the concrete like dandelions.

All that destruction from a ball of fluff!

There’s nothing left but hope.

from Fall HigherFind it in the library

Copyright © 2011 Dean Young
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Leave a Comment

Read More Poems!

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.