(Writing wretched verse so you don’t have to since 1995)
The Math of Betrayal
The math of betrayal my friends will never line up
We curse bankers on account of ancient swindles
detest the blameless sweaters lovers once wore
begrudge our own children their fleeing footspeed
Math imposes order on a universe of faulty pledges
But the math of betrayal friends undoes such claims
In every heart the geometry of self-ruin crushes trust
the differential from hope to hope collapses
Long ago I had a brother I held as dear as any lover
he still calls needing in some way to add himself to me
a simple operation: one plus one equals perfect silence
Sorry. I’m going to need a moment to collect myself. I sometimes forget how deep I am. And then I read this poem and I remember. And then I write another poem and the whole cycle starts again.
What really bums me out about this one is the way in which it actually begins to be about something important, something that matters, namely the turbulent love I feel toward my brothers and the way this love has crippled my capacity to love other people. But I didn’t want to get into all that, not really. Way too much disclosure, too much mess.
God, how I hate metaphor! It’s the karaoke of literary devices. Do I even need to explain what I mean?
It just makes me tired.
Will you guys just do me a favor? Just this one. If you find yourself writing a poem or an essay or a story or a novel, and you find yourself using a metaphor, comparing one thing to another thing in the hopes of impressing your poor reader, will you just stop and imagine I’m standing right behind you, in my Bad Poet beret, cheering wildly.
The differential from hope to hope collapses.
Yeah, it does.
As for the differential from Shirley Shultz and bad poetry, that’s a growth stock. Ms. Shultz is from Toganga Canyon, CA, where she tends to flirtatiously frail animals with her Jah stick.
His Shepherding Love
It twas a newly clustered morning-glory glen
A precariously borne good-natured friend.
Tiny the humming helibirds to hover above
With nothing wanton nor amazingly odd, til
Sanctimoniously doth day alarmingly aspire
To breathe an acute demonically fed desire.
Borne by flirtatiously frail shoeless feet
Blushingly discriminate yet wisely discreet
Motivated to tip-toe about haplessly astray
Wild yet putatively of the master’s display.
Askance for tossing commonsense aside
Alas be best to stand anchored with pride.
If twas my hungry soul I wouldst fare feat
It’d be toward Jah I’d my very heart’s beat.
For taking flight aye toward heavenly shore
To aye see ajar my home’s hope filled door.
Blessed be angelic sons of stealthy throng
Recruiting red-feathered warbler to sing along
Whilst crowds of snow-white cooing dove,
A fitting memorial of His shepherding love.
Rumpus original art by Jason Novak.
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