"Local University Poet on November Ballot," The Morris Herald, 11/16/96
Nicholas Ripatrazone


Green blazer dulled gray
in the black and white photo, he
addressed the council audience,
his hands outstretched.


I wonder what they mean by poet.
Does he craft acrostics
for children,
pen sestinas of longing
for his wife?


What if poets were the acknowledged legislators of the world?
Voted in by majority,
they would read the preface to Lyrical Ballads
before debating zoning laws;
balance the school budget
in iambic pentameter,
with an alexandrine
they hope the taxpayers would miss.