Hostile Platitudes


The walk-through model of the working heart

will scare you– stay away. It is most honest


to speak in truisms if you also think

in truisms, though if you dream in them,


to speak becomes dishonest once again.

Because a stranger drinking and watching you sing


will likely pity you, it is wise to request

a karaoke number full of sex


and kick. A heartsick plaint: a sorry scene.

If I’ve learned anything, I must be certain


nobody cares for folk tales. All they like

are hostile platitudes. Nobody wants


a history lesson, especially not now.

In ancient Rome, a prisoner brought to death


could be released if he met a vestal virgin

en route to execution. Had to be


by chance. The guys get hot for anyone

who shows up like she didn’t plan to come.


“Hostile Platitudes” appeared in Natalie Shapero’s book, No Object, available from Saturnalia Books. Purchase your copy today!


Natalie Shapero is the author of No Object (Saturnalia, 2013), and her poems have appeared recently in The AwlCopper NickelPinwheel, TYPO, and elsewhere. She lives in Gambier, OH, where she is a Kenyon Review Fellow. 


This week’s Wardrobe Best Dressed was selected Lyric Dunagan. Dunagan is the Development Assistant at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and a graduate of the University of Tennessee. She was awarded the Bain Swiggett Poetry Prize in 2013, and has been published in The Volta’s Evening Will Come. She is currently waiting to hear back from various MFA programs and hopes to begin graduate school in Fall 2014.


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