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In equal balance justly weighed

Slouching toward Democracy

Where have all the wise men gone?

By Populist Demand

When urban and rural voters went separate ways

(Noli me tangere)

A poem

Fred Wah

First the hot and dry
Crossed up middle
By right cell strips
Down to craving, gravel
Elbows on the wing
Brushed with taste
This damp phant’sy
Lured by the sentence
Left or between
Noli me tangere
Voilà! quite contrary

Fred Wah has published many books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, from Lardeau (Island Press, 1965) to his latest poetry collection, is a door (Talonbooks, 2009). Waiting for Saskatchewan (Turnstone Books, 1985) received the 1986 Governor General’s Award and Diamond Grill (NeWest, 1995) won the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Fiction in 1996. The False Laws of Narrative (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2009) has been edited for the Laurier Poetry Series by Louis Cabri. Fred was the LRC’s poetry editor from 2003 to 2005.

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