Brooke Clark


Three Epigrams

Quid Pro No

When I reviewed your book last spring and called it a masterpiece,
it’s true I had one eye on the release
of my own book that fall, and thought you’d puff me in return.
You didn’t, and now you act shocked to learn
that I’ll be trashing your new book? You broke a sacred code
when you withheld the false praise I was owed.


After all your support, I never expected this attack.
You pushed me forward, only to better stab me in the back.

You’re Welcome

You crashed here on my couch one weekend and, in desperation,
scanned my old notebooks for some inspiration.
Now what you stole, published as yours, makes critics fawn and dote.
My cast-offs are the best things you never wrote.

Brooke Clark edits the epigrams website The Asses of Parnassus. His work has appeared in Literary ImaginationThe Rotary DialPartisanThe Globe and Mail, and elsewhere.