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My teacher asks for the theme,
But I don’t know how to answer
I know and I know that
A theme is or is not one word,
A common thing, a binding spell
A theme is or is not an instruction,
Told by the character’s actions,
Shown in carefully crafted consequences.
A theme is or is not a quality,
Something which defines a character,
Which determines the course of the story
It is or is not more than one sentence.
It is or is not subjective to the reader.
It is or is not, so I don’t know the answer.

But I could tell you about the Little Chinese Seamstress
About blind obsession,
About jealousy, about wonder
Would that be enough? Would that be enough?
I could tell you about how reading is so personal,
Its effect on one
Can not be understood by another
Would that be enough? Would that be enough?
Or how skill is developed by tragic experience
How learning comes from failing to learn
Would that be enough? Would that be enough?
Or if I told you that the quality of a book
is only as good as its final passage,
If I told you that
a story shouldn’t be told until its last word,
Bound by something so profound,
The book must be reread, reanalyzed
Delving into the intricate mind of the author,
With full control over life and reality,
With the power to make one word thousands,
A detail into a novel,
Anything into anything without writing it down,
Because if you can understand what the author was thinking,
Then the author was not thinking at all
Would that be enough?
Could knowing be enough?

If you asked an author
To name to you one of their themes,
Do you think they’d know the answer?
Do you think they’d care what you mean?

Is it more valuable to the student
To understand or to define?
Is it more telling of the mind
To describe an impact,
Or to save time?
Sh Apr 16
I could write ballads of love
Fake as the silicone fillings of the next word,
Beautiful as glistening eyes that never met

But if I forget the words by morning,
Sentences never put to paper, forgotten and forlorn

Would I even care?
Most likely not
Utahi Kamu Apr 14
Ladies and Gentlemen and dear Children,
How does a fool **** himself:

Oh he eats the heads of its own men
And his own mouth with an amen
Utahi Kamu Apr 10
Inside the nation exposed to painfluencers,
having original anything is
aristocratic.
Come Down
by Michael R. Burch

for Harold Bloom

Come down, O, come down
from your high mountain tower.
How coldly the wind blows,
how late this chill hour ...

and I cannot wait
for a meteor shower
to show you the time
must be now, or not ever.

Come down, O, come down
from the high mountain heather
now brittle and brown
as fierce northern gales sever.

Come down, or your heart
will grow cold as the weather
when winter devours
and spring returns never.

NOTE: I dedicated this poem to Harold Bloom after reading his introduction to the Best American Poetry anthology he edited. Bloom seemed intent on claiming poetry as the province of the uber-reader (i.e., himself), but I remember reading poems by Blake, Burns, cummings, Dickinson, Frost, Housman, Eliot, Pound, Shakespeare, Whitman, Yeats, et al, and grokking them as a boy, without any “advanced” instruction from anyone. Keywords/Tags: Harold Bloom, literary, critic, criticism, elitist, elitism, ivory, tower, heights, mountain, winter, cold, frigid



Rant: The Elite
by Michael R. Burch

When I heard Harold Bloom unsurprisingly say:
Poetry is necessarily difficult. It is our elitist art ...
I felt a small suspicious thrill. After all, sweetheart,
isn’t this who we are? Aren’t we obviously better,
and certainly fairer and taller, than they are?

Though once I found Ezra Pound
perhaps a smidgen too profound,
perhaps a bit over-fond of Benito
and the advantages of fascism
to be taken ad finem, like high tea
with a pure white spot of intellectualism
and an artificial sweetener, calorie-free.

I know! I know! Politics has nothing to do with art
And it tempts us so to be elite, to stand apart ...
but somehow the word just doesn’t ring true,
echoing effetely away—the distance from me to you.

Of course, politics has nothing to do with art,
but sometimes art has everything to do with becoming elite,
with climbing the cultural ladder, with being able to meet
someone more Exalted than you, who can demonstrate how to ****
so that everyone below claims one’s odor is sweet.
You had to be there! We were falling apart
with gratitude! We saw him! We wept at his feet!
Though someone will always be far, far above you, clouding your air,
gazing down at you with a look of wondering despair.
An Obscenity Trial
by Michael R. Burch

The defendant was a poet held in many iron restraints
against whom several critics cited numerous complaints.
They accused him of trying to reach the "common crowd,"
and they said his poems incited recitals far too loud.

The prosecutor alleged himself most artful (and best-dressed);
it seems he’d never lost a case, nor really once been pressed.
He was known far and wide for intensely hating clarity;
twelve dilettantes at once declared the defendant another fatality.

The judge was an intellectual well-known for his great mind,
though not for being merciful, honest, sane or kind.
Clerics called him the "Hanging Judge" and the critics were his kin.
Bystanders said, "They'll crucify him!" The public was not let in.

The prosecutor began his case by spitting in the poet's face,
knowing the trial would be a farce.
"It is obscene," he screamed, "to expose the naked heart!"
The recorder (bewildered Society), well aware of his notoriety,
greeted this statement with applause.
"This man is no poet. Just look—his Hallmark shows it.
Why, see, he utilizes rhyme, symmetry and grammar! He speaks without a stammer!
His sense of rhythm is too fine!
He does not use recondite words or conjure ancient Latin verbs.
This man is an imposter!
I ask that his sentence be . . . the almost perceptible indignity
of removal from the Post-Modernistic roster!"
The jury left, in tears of joy, literally sequestered.
The defendant sighed in mild despair, "Might I not answer to my peers?"
But how His Honor giggled then,
seeing no poets were let in.

Later, the clashing symbols of their pronouncements drove him mad
and he admitted both rhyme and reason were bad.

Published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea and Poetry Life & Times
Carlo C Gomez Feb 13
There's a thin line
between simple
fashion faux pas
and the sin of visibility

She'd rather go commando
than be found out
hark! 'tis her own sisters
who will roast her alive
Marco Feb 12
Layers and layers and layers
of people, cars, buildings
the Big Apple
one giant parfait
loved by the rich
too expensive for the poor
a little for a lot
and the waiter smiles
fake and shallow
as he hands them the dessert
without them knowing he spat into it
and sprinkled it with the dust
of his bombed apartment on 64th
which lies in the past of another
bank
another office
another yoga oasis
another Apple parfait
for the rich
Diksha Prashar Dec 2019
I have more failures up my sleeves then success,
I have more criticism thrown than praises said,
What a mess?
Welcome to the journey of finding oneslef.
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