Guillotine By David Stephenson


Of course you’ve heard of me.  I’m the French guy
who engineered an elegant machine
to shorten enemies of the regime
repeatably, no mess, no fuss, goodbye.

It beats a hand axe, sword, or butcher’s knife
and has endured, iconic and unchanged,
and made a common noun of my last name.
What have you accomplished with your life?

David Stephenson is a retired engineer and formalist poet from Detroit. His poems have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in Blue Unicorn, Avatar Review, Tar River Poetry, Plainsongs, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. His second collection, Wall of Sound, was published by Kelsay Books in October. He is also the editor of Pulsebeat Poetry Journal (

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