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Steven D. Schroeder

Count the Claymores Again

Do Not Have Birds on Your Book Cover

Can It Be The Shoes


Count the Claymores Again

One, two—wait, does he mean sword or mine
Or yours? This headline says they’ve weaponized
Your newspaper, as many ways to cut you

As faces pasted in their database—
They with tall teeth. Taxation is illegal

If your 1040 form incorporates
And pleads the Fifth. Your signature in pencil
Points against our enemies, who spin

Websites hush-hushing international
Date lines and daylight savings and time travel.

Now our countdown drops from ten to when
We blur our photo ops. Don’t shoot straight up.
Oops—can we begin again at zero?



Note: I stole the title from “Somewhere Near Phu Bai” by Yusef Komunyakaa


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Do Not Have Birds on Your Book Cover

The red-tailed hawk’s claws tore
The bunny up. Big Bird perched

On Schoolhouse Rock and plucked
Bugs Bunny with his B is for beak.

The head-tailed roc duckstrum
The wordbotcher. The hack parched

On Iraq and misundevoured
The bungle.  You unhooded the hawk

And skinned the bunny, or
You hawked the bunny, ducked

And swallowed. Defeat and declaw
Tore up deduct before devour.

Murder your little birdies.



Note: I stole the title from “For Poets (& Others)” by Brandi Homan


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Can It Be the Shoes?

What’s your name? Can you explain that answer
Is worth 200 on the exam? Is dome to shave as points

Are to have to halve? If game is to ball is to throw,
Should you know for who or whom the whistle blew

The stud in student? Vertical is to wingspan
As tutor is to what good comes from committed

A foul, a felony, to an institution, or all of the above?
If the governor bets your weight in cheddar

Spread, who’s your highest-paid state employee
Daddy in Armani makes how many men

Argue about is it Army recruiting and the overdraft?
How much do you owe for the oh-fer you tossed
When the I in team lost? You need those knees?



Note: I stole the title from “Politics of the Sneaker Pimps” by Public Enemy


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Steven D. Schroeder’s first book of poems is Torched Verse Ends (BlazeVOX [books]). His poetry is available or forthcoming from New England Review, Pleiades, The Journal, The Collagist, and Verse Daily. He also edits the online poetry journal Anti-, serves as a contributing editor for River Styx, and works as a Certified Professional Résumé Writer.

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