Volume 16:1, Winter 2015
It is no small lack that I cannot curse,
Which is not to suggest I cannot cuss:
Grumbling choice words to give edge to a fuss,
Grousing in terms voluble or terse
These I can do. True malediction is worse.
More than giving voice to the ire in us,
It calls down power to crown it. No mere muss
Would it make: it would ruin or coerce.
As when the Nazarene blighted a tree
That had offended him, furys release
In curse turns what it turns on inside out.
Meekness may inherit; it is not free,
Mumbling at what it does not hope to cease.
A curse takes certainty. Myself, I doubt.
James Toupin is a retired government lawyer (former general counsel of the US Patent and Trademark Office) who has lived for thirty-five years in DC. He began publishing his poems in 2009; about forty-five have appeared in journals, garnering a couple of Pushcart nominations. Most recently, his work appeared in District Lines, North Dakota Quarterly, Blast Furnace and Ardor Literary Journal. Toupin is also a published translator of Selected Letters of Alexis de Tocqueville on Politics and Society and a writer on legal topics. He is currently working on a third edition of a book on conduct issues in patent cases.