Paraphasia, Or Modern Poetry And Word Salad

The emperor wears no clothes,
but he is layered in words—
word to word, the weaving shows
no sense given in ten words.
Layered in motley and phrase
signifying but nothing
as he grandstands in a daze
his wardrobe nought but stuffing.
His word-robe’s a collection
of kitschy artifice sewn
without any reflection
as he struts around his throne.
And all his little vassals
praise his “beautiful” word choice,
proving those in their castles
require no meaningful voice
to rule tasteless sycophants
and such obsequious friends,
never needing fashion sense
when he decrees the new trends.
Tailors can patch together
such words that are as mismatched
as “puppy-love” and “tanned leather”,
no one scoffing at what’s patched.
But a truthful little boy
will still have his honest word,
and though it may well annoy
he must point out the absurd:
“Your words don’t mean anything,”
the boy says, “They’re just random.
Randomness never does bring
more poetry in tandem.
Rather, it’s a game of chance,
a lottery that is drawn
in service to happenstance
as you babble on and on.”
Alas, the boy’s committed
as a blind, deaf, and dumb mute,
all thinking him slow-witted
while the Fool, being astute,
(as all Fools must truly be)
commends his ruler, then smirks,
and, smirking, asks, “How came thee
unto such masterful works?”
“Whatever words come to me,”
the Emperor says, “I jot,
but give it little mind—see?
For nothing ruins like thought.”
The Fool laughs. “Aye, by my troth,
that seems with little thought seamed,”
he says, though none become wroth
at the slight he thereby schemed,
for they are clueless cattle
all chewing meaningless cud,
praising pretentious prattle
like children playing in mud.
“Jabberwocky,” the Fool notes,
“has been used by Popes and Kings,
just like weasel words, or stoats,
to tout many inane things
while meaning nothing at all
save to rule by inanity.”
The Fool tumbled down the hall,
lest they hear his sanity.
“But we also must reflect
on such poetry and how
the Dunning-Kruger effect
steals sense from every brow.”

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