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Callaloo 25.2 (2002) 438

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from A Gram of &s

Terrance Hayes

The poems are based on the daily word game found in the puzzle section of many syndicated newspapers. I end each line with one of the eleven words derived from the title word, while abiding by the other rules of the game: 1. Words must be derived from four or more letters. 2. Words that acquire four letters by the addition of "s," such as "bats" or "dies" are not used. 3. Only one form of a verb is used.

Because sooner or later it will all go sour,
the two of you whipped by the sport
of high-ball & boogie, that Don't stop
til you get enough rhythm reduced to a spot
on the tongue. Love or anger might sprout
from her throat & worse than the waters of Port
Hangover will be your need to tour
her face for some sort
of Oh-never-mind-last-night's-spur-
of-the-moment-sex expression. Drunk or not, Boy, let the spurt
of cold water pour-
ing from her bathroom spigot, slap you awake like a strap.


Terrance Hayes is author of Masculine Musk and Hip Logic, the latter of which is a 2001 National Poetry Series selection, to be published in 2002.He has won both the Whiting Writers Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.



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