Spring/Fall 2020

Baudelaire’s Bad Poet

By Sherry Bollero

Please overlook my mud dressed diadem
sloping above my head. Plucked from the ebon glass—
         passed in the street

my dreamy daylight desires scooped up the golden sorrow
cradled and nursed until rest safely a cock-eyed crown in braids of black feathered hair—
         hail queen of wayward tokens.

I, magpie, dream in stardust, crumbs across the sky, of towers stretching arms
above the woolen firmament, chasing Sol.
         Come mirth to my nest

of gutter ribbons and rusting rings, of lyric wrapped aluminum, rattle
bone chandeliers. Let me tilt my halo another way—
         so please you

we’ll devour echoes— a funeral past due, phrases
pulled from the socket of Hel’s skull, that fatal eclipse
         brilliant angel and earthly death

pleased purveyor of hideous glamor. A vacillating rogue, a coin
flipped, mine own blood—
         worn trinkets turned new. Please me,

birth praises from your pregnant lips, let them fly and the wind talk back—
young I’ll nurture as the circle revolves around my head
         turning this way and that.

Pity old Baud, the poet who threw away this cherubim
gift, given to a devil using it in fashion,
         trying to catch the light from heaven.

Sherry Bollero

Sherry Bollero is a doctoral student in English at the University of North Dakota (UND) where she primarily teaches English composition. She is interested in adaptation studies, visual culture, comics/graphic novels, capitalistic culture, materialism, cultural capital, the Frankfurt School, and early modern English drama.

View the website of Sherry Bollero

Spring/Fall 2020