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.”

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.