John Philip Drury


Cosa Nostra

Godfather’s godfather,
Francis Ford Coppola
made each installment a
pro-family ad,

not just the Corleone
but his own sister, son,
daughter, and dad.

No Gibers, Censurers, Backbiters, Pickpockets, Highwaymen, Housebreakers, Attorneys, Bawds, Buffoons, Gamesters, Politicians, Wits, Splenetics, Tedious Talkers, Controvertists, Ravishers, Murderers, Robbers, Virtuosos*

Redriffer, refugee,
Lemuel Gulliver
wasn’t a visitor
Houyhnhnms would seek.

Horse sense would tell them his
form was the same as a
Yahoo physique.

*Source of the title: Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Part IV, “A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms,” Chapter X. An earlier version of “No Gibers…” appeared in The Poetry Dictionary (Story Press, 1995; reprinted by Writer’s Digest Books, 2006).

John Philip Drury is the author of four full-length poetry collections: Sea Level Rising (Able Muse Press, 2015), The Refugee Camp (Turning Point Books, 2011), Burning the Aspern Papers (Miami University Press, 2003), and The Disappearing Town (Miami University Press, 2000). He has also written Creating Poetry and The Poetry Dictionary, both from Writer’s Digest Books. His poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, The Antioch Review, Poetry, The Missouri Review, The American Poetry Review, The New Republic, Western Humanities Review, and The Paris Review, which awarded “Burning the Aspern Papers” the Bernard F. Conners Prize for a long poem. Several of his double dactyls will appear in Jiggery-Pokery: A Semicentennial, edited by Daniel Groves and Greg Williamson, forthcoming from Waywiser Press in 2018. He’s a Professor of English at the University of Cincinnati.