Trifecta Defectum

Social Change
You can tongue the wound
all day long,
stitching sound bites and sassy truths
along the
bleeding, pus-profuse threshold
and yet the hemorrhaging and the pain
will always overflow.
Unless you are a surgeon
scraping away at the
necrotic flesh
and excising the
multiplying tumors
and suturing the anemic veins,
you are merely talking the patient
to death.
Change takes wars
and bloodshed
and transfusions of power,
not wagging tongues that
French-kiss the damage
in humanity with a
cannibal’s love.
Surgeons and soldiers
are the same:
they are both butchers of Man
and from their butchery
comes the cosmetic change of the world
in all of its dubious, scar-tissue progress.

A Lesson Learned While Reading T.S. Eliot
Good poetry should not be
a door slammed shut
in the face,
its interior glimpsed only through
an ivy-curtained window
while standing upon large stacks of
pretentious tomes
thick with erudite esoterica
idiosyncratically selected and
covetously curated;
no, good poetry must be
open to everyone, inviting
so long as you take the time
to tour freely
while its house spirits
crouch in corners, waiting
to be discovered along
retreaded passageways,
bodies buried beneath the floorboards,
and even a dungeon, if need be,
where tormented emotions dwell
in Gothic pretenses,
or a labyrinth of learning
that spirals vertiginously downward
below the solid foundation—
the point is
to let readers in
at the base level
without an exclusive invitation.
It is up to them how
deep they delve
and how many ghosts they rile up
from the dark, dusty depths of that
multistoried retreat.

Turn-Style
Stepping into this circle-jerk café of
literati
makes me want to take a salt shower,
and not the
bukkake kind
that little Miss Instagram is taking
as she uses the stylish turnstile
for a stripper cage,
blocking the entrance with her
social media presence.
So many others here, too, with their
generic cup of Joe-poetry
and when everyone is both barista
and customer
keeping tabs on each other is more a
tit-for-tat business obligation
than a genuine passion.
They cum and go,
laboriously yanking each other’s
percolators
only to get themselves off
for the creamer in their coffee,
because otherwise the drink is too
bitter, this wake-up call to reality too
jarring
wherein everyone is a
poet
and so no one is.
Against the wintry emptiness
of anonymity
everyone huddles inside
to keep warm, basking in
self-serving attention.
Oddly,
for being such a hot trend
it has only left me curiously
cold.

Pyramid Schemes

They sell you on being made a useful
idiot,
telling you that you may have as many
wishes granted
as you wish
if only you would enslave yourself
to their lamp.
Meanwhile your dreams come true
only in your dreams
and they charge you a profit
for Sandman’s glitter.
It is a cynical alchemy
that transmogrifies hopes into
labor, like turning the
stardust
in your head
into
ones and zeroes
for some other person’s bank account.
I used to scoff at
ponzi makeup saleswomen
who sold the overpriced makeup
which had been sold beforehand to them;
women who gathered in
sales-pitch parties
to sell the same junk to each other
and their tight circle of friends,
all hoping to become rich
and yet all so
blind
to the Chinese Whispers
hat-trick
being played on them.
Now I see my reflection in their
gaudy “compact” mirrors—
a reflection
done up with a rich lather of
egg on my face.
It is the kind of dream-baiting
that only hopeful
capitalists
born among the proletariat
can fall prey to,
whereas real
capitalists
born into pharaoh’s family
sit comfily atop the pyramid capstone
and let the rest of the us break our backs
at the bottom as we yearn so badly to
move up one rank
that we fail to see the
Tetris entrapment
we’ve fallen for.
The weight of the pyramid
presses us deeper into the sands.
To be conned by a conman
you must first
con yourself,
make-believing all you can
so you can believe that your
blog
will be a hit,
that your
ebook
will make you rich,
ignoring the fact that
the most popular blogs
are the ones that claim they can show you
how to make your blog popular,
that the best-selling ebooks
are the ones that claim they can show you
how to make your ebook a best-seller.
It is recursive absurdity
with diminishing returns for you
and exponential returns for the
pharaoh
wearing the gimmicky crown.
Sinking pyramid.
Sinking ship.
Keep rowing, oarsman,
upon the sinking galley
and hold your breath
within the submerged deck
because your head might someday be
above water.
And keep following that carrot
always out of reach;
keep reading that blog
about reaching that carrot;
keep reading that ebook
about eating that carrot,
and keep ignoring the fact
that you are being led
straight to the glue factory
by someone happily straddling a
workhorse
pulling its own foundation block.
That pharaoh needs
that block, that glue,
to build up their pyramid
and keep it together.
Rejoice, genie.
You’re making the pharaoh’s
wish
come true.