• DUPLICITY, from George Elliott Clarke’s Gold

    in Excerpts/Poetry by

    DUPLICITY, excerpted from George Elliott Clarke’s Gold

    Two-faced poet? That’s me.* “Guilty”—as framed.
    My double visage suits my double tongue—
    Spieling out twice-told tales in spliced duets—
    Paper-and-ink, print-on-a-screen—unless
    I redouble lies by dubbing aloud.
    Let’s say my art’s “Romantic,” so I sport
    A rosy halo—like printers’ devils,
    And blaze all night, steeped in rosé or blush
    (Bed) sheets.… Or say I’m extra “noir,” extra
    “Polar,” my face pairing disappeared heart—
    AWOL, paroled, sentenced no more to Love.…
    Or say my background’s orange—a hint of sun:
    It gilds “Apollo”; suns appalling Guilt.
    This triptych of twin selves tells I’m split—
    North, South, East, West, Hyde-and-Jekyll; thus, each
    Ensemble dissembles—in resembling me.


    * Cf. portraits by Marco Cera, Guy D. Andrea, et al., unveiled in April
    2014 at the Art Gallery of Ontario (courtesy of a class in portraiture
    taught by Aleks Bartosik).

  • George Elliott Clarke is a Canadian poet and playwright currently serving as the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada. Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, Elliott Clarke grew up nearby the African-Canadian Loyalist community of Three Mile Plains.

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