Poe Votes


Wednesday Oct. 3rd, 1849
all liquored up
and dragged
(Crane guesses)
retching through Baltimore
polling place to polling place
to Ryan’s 4th Ward,
each time a different
dead man, with
his semblance of a life,
and each time
under another name
this same sad man
dying those deaths
a whole gang of votes:
this sorry man
jingle man
this haunting
genius of American letters
—from Apollo Helmet (1983)