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[This poem won The Formalist's 2000 Howard

Nemerov Award.  It also won the New England

Poetry Club's 1998 Boyle/Farber Award for

formal verse. – Editor] 



Note From Echo


Narcissus, I no longer haunt the canyons

and the crypts.  I thrive and multiply;

uncounted daughters are my new companions.


We are the voicemail's ponderous reply

to the computers making random calls.

We are the Muzak in the empty malls,

the laughtrack on the reruns late at night,

the distant siren's chilling lullaby,

the steady chirp of things that simplify

their scheduled lives.  You know I could recite

more, but you never cared for my recitals.


I do not miss you, do not need you here—

I can repeat the words of your disciples

telling lovers what they need to hear.


A.M. Juster



© 2000; originally printed in The Formalist.

Reprinted by permission of the author.

Background by
Purple Woods

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