Maureen Seaton

The Oboist

The only way we can properly forge into a
dark future is to bring along our oboes. Bring
them high. Bring them low. Vibrato beside
violas, glissando between violins. Watch out
for horns that spray spit all over the piccolos
—and those big-mouthed tubas! I could
breeze into your parlor at midnight, blow
oboe on your fire in my black tux with the trill
keys across the lapels. It’s up to you. I’m
president of the flutter-tongue society (watch
me roll my lips), plenty of wind left inside me
to double your reed, dear, treble your bass

The Revolution Passed Me By


My cable’s been out for three days and I call a man who
sounds like he’s sitting on a pole outside my window
watching me answer the phone and he says I didn’t pay my
bill. Well, yes, I did, I tell him, but he turns out to be right so
I get out my card and the numbers fly out into TV land or
man on top of the pole land. He has me now forever and he
promises my cable will work by ten. And if it doesn’t, he adds
kindly, having taken all my numbers, I can disconnect the box
from the wall and still watch my favorite show. But nothing
works, the cable, the disconnect. So I slip in an ancient
Northern Exposure, the one where Chris illuminates “Casey at
the Bat” for two warring academics. When it’s over, I fall
asleep to the blue light that lives in my TV and loves me.
Days later I realize it’s true—the revolution has passed me by.


Maureen Seaton has authored seventeen poetry collections, both solo and collaborative—most recently, Fibonacci Batman: New & Selected Poems (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2013); and, with Denise Duhamel, Caprice: Collaborations: Collected, Uncollected, and New (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). Her awards include the Iowa Poetry Prize, Lambda Literary Award, the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award, the Society of Midland Authors Award, and an NEA Fellowship. Her work has been honored in both the Pushcart Prize Anthology and Best American Poetry. Her memoir, Sex Talks to Girls, also won a Lammy. She teaches at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.