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poetry Never Again

For California poet David Alpaugh, despite the promises of peace or justice, the violence of war lives on.

Never Again

By David Alpaugh 



If you’re old enough to have watched Shoah;

maybe even clips of The Nuremberg Trials;

shared Elie Wiesel’s Night; woke to Celan’s

black milk of daylight; wept over The Diary

of a Young Girl; then, like me, you promised

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Never again! In Aleppo “White Helmets” search

the rubble for moving arms, legs, fingers. Paris,

London, Brussels, San Bernardino. Our century’s

“rough beast” has no den. Re-read Anne’s Diary.

Still okay to cry. But not to repeat that lie: Never


David Alpaugh has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area long enough to be included in the Heyday Press anthology California Poetry from the Gold Rush to the Present and to have been a finalist for Poet Laureate of California. His first collection, Counterpoint, won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize from Story Line Press, and his essays on “Po-Biz” in Poets & Writers, Rattle, and Chronicle of Higher Education have been widely discussed online. His new book, Spooky Action at a Distance, collects 79 of his “Double-Title” poems, a form he invented “to give the sonnet a run for relevance “in the quantum world we now inhabit.” He teaches poetry for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at their Cal State East Bay Campus.