Home > Poetry > In Chambers: Local Law Enforcement Professionals
Ed Pavlic
Published: Thu Jul 1 2004
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood
In Chambers: Local Law Enforcement Professionals

hadn’t seen the like since Achille
Baquet on clarinet & that
Perkins boy      light enough to float
away & dumb enough to work
both sides of the street      don’t know how
it’s done in these parts      deputies
recall the time better than me :
found Drop A Sack & Hit ‘Em Quick

stiff as boards & tangled up tight
as frozen cats in a laundry sack
some have called it the winter swamp
routine      it’s our “All in One : Field
Sobriety Test for Yogis /
James Crow Voter Registration
Exam     a nephew at State came
up with the script: “put your nose

behind your kneecap & when you
get to infinity      kiss your
black ass goodbye & start counting
backwards”      boy’s a genius      just two
years up there      came back playing “Steal
Away” on nose-harp & jerking
his head round like it got stuck up
behind a rock in white water

Ed Pavlic has written three books of poetry: Winners Have Yet to Be Announced (University of Georgia, 2008), Labors Lost Left Unfinished (Sheep Meadow, 2006), and Paraph of Bone & Other Kinds of Blue (APR, 2001), selected by Adrienne Rich for the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. (updated 7/2010)

Back to top