Ryan Collins

Ryan Collins is the author of three chapbooks, most recently *Dear Twin Falls* (H_NGM_N, 2013). His poems have appeared in *American Letters & Commentary*; *Black Clock*; *Columbia Poetry Review*; *DIAGRAM*; *Forklift, Ohio*; *Handsome*; *iO: A Journal of New American Poetry*; *PEN Poetry Series*; *Spork*; *Transom*; and many other places. He is the Executive Director of the Midwest Writing Center and an English instructor at St. Ambrose University and Scott Community College. He plays drums in The Multiple Cat and curates the SPECTRA Poetry Reading Series in Rock Island, IL, where he lives.

[Giddy should not be a word in the vocabulary]

Giddy should not be a word in the vocabulary
Of your face.  The expressions that sing terrible
Things needs always to represent terrible, as in Ivan,
As in serial murder resulting in lampshades made
Of human skin, resulting later in thrash metal lyrics.

It’s your birthday, New American.  Do what you feel,
But know that some of your countrymen have no
Feeling & no interest in being good neighbors.  More
Fences, more what’s mine & not yours.  Less We
The People, the popular vote, the circles completely
Filled in w/ #2 pencils.  More the standards,
The slippery & the jivetalkin’, the adjectives of desire
Stoking the want: piling on piles of want, the wanting
For more want, wanting for the sake of whatever.
Foresaken a word your face uses in too many sentences.