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.

The Patronizing Patronage Of Alfred Prufrock

I have pinpointed the precise problem
with the poetry of
TS Eliot
and it is in his lack of confidence,
which is to say, his ego, his
proportion,
for he overcompensates his
Americanness
with self-aware learning,
bastardizing natural
talent
with stilted posturing to impress,
like a painting by
da Vinci
framed in a gaudy gold neon lit
toilet
ready to ironically flush itself down.
Being a poet primarily of
English
he was an Anglophile,
as are most,
and being dissatisfied with his
Missouri roots
he lopped off his dandelion head
so the fragmentary seeds could drift
across the salty Atlantic
and settle on the isle of Albion
where he would renounce America’s
rough-spun Plebeian quilt
for a Patrician’s patronizing banner.
It was his lack of confidence
that spurred him toward his
adoptive homeland,
seeking Anglican angels
to sing him to sweet surrender,
trading a mongrel empire on the rise
for a purebred, dying one.
He was a
Hipster gigolo
fucking an old aristocratic socialite
beyond her prime,
yet still proud enough to taunt his
flaccid inferiority complex
as he withdrew from her primly preened
hedges,
all the while ejaculating profuse
apologies.
And for what?
A wasteland of would-be
conviviality
between himself and his
tea-teetotaling, modernist pubmates,
all of them condescending
and yet Eliot being so smart
as he admittedly was
being also self-aware enough
to know he was a joke to them,
a novelty from
Missouri
(Misery?)
and desperately seeking approval
due to his colonized mind.
But he was never really accepted
for going Native.
Woolf conflated him as
alien to her as an
Australian
for all the difference it made
while riding her waves of
hyper-association.
And I pity him,
truly,
for he never loved himself,
not really,
as he sought acceptance on
foreign shores
like Boudica if she had
betrayed herself
for the sake of Britannia.
He applied a stress-test
to fracture poetry to many facets
only to be fractured
himself.
Like any true-born English intellectual
he preferred the language of
French,
or the pretense of it, anyway,
but failed to be
embarrassed of his own
Britishness, too busy being embarrassed
by his Americanness.
If not for Academics
equally insecure as Eliot himself
and thus seeking a sense of worth
in a world indignant and derisive
toward their pretenses…
if not for Academics
entombed in their ivory towers
and peeking through ivy curtains
to scoff at the Plebeians down below…
If not for Academics
peddling codas and ciphers
for his esoteric babble
then Eliot would never have been
but a scornful footnote, at best,
in the annals of Poetry.
See here how I kick his
corpus
and yet it remains aloof and insular and
masturbatory and cryptic?
This is the best poetry the
modernist
could muster,
and would have been better
with his newfound silence,
or at least that is what this
simple Kentucky boy
tends to think
after having attempted once
to cut his own roots
and drift to far shores.