Sestina Stalker by David Spicer

On the computer, chomping a celery stalk
almost to the minute six long days ago,
I stumbled on a site devoted to sestinas,
found a chat room, discussed pros and cons
of the form with a faceless body of black letters
who wanted nothing but to write and praise

that medieval verse from Provence. I prayed
this person wasn’t a weirdo who’d stalk
someone that answered her rambling letters
by changing subjects to hip-hop or go-go
dancing’s popularity among convicts.
Trouble brewed when she called herself Sestina:

I think it’d be awesome if you went by Sestina,
too. Believe me, Buster, if you don’t, pray
that I don’t sic a pen pal on you, a big ex-con
who calls himself Jack in the Beanstalk
and will make you want to give suicide a go
after he barrages you with calls and letters.

If I want, he’ll brand you with those letters–
yes, you guessed it, my boy, S E S T I N A–
on your forehead so deep you’ll have to go
to a plastic surgeon or a priest you can pray
to in confession, or you can chew on a stalk.
I tried to bluff, bragged my brother could con

the frown off anybody she knew, even ex-con
Jack, but she laughed so hard onscreen that letters
bounced harder than lonely men stalking
themselves so they’ll flee women named Sestina
who hunt for sad sack poets they can prey
upon, sad sack poets too dense to play Go.

I’m still in the dire situation I was six days ago:
the psycho who brags of the poets she’s conned
into loving a poem she claims is worthy of praise
threatens to e-mail on random days, expects a letter
a week or a love poem to her every night, a sestina,
and only then will she think about others to stalk.

So, I’ll give it a go: with black wit I’ll write letters.
I’ll con my brother into writing sestinas for Sestina.
I hope she’ll find other prey she can love and stalk.

David Spicer

David Spicer has had poems accepted by or published in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Reed Magazine, Circle Show, Slim Volume, Yellow Mama, Jersey Devil Press, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., The Kitchen Poet, and elsewhere. He is the author of one full-length collection and four chapbooks, is the former editor of raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books, and lives in Memphis, Tennessee.


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