A Writer’s Dilemma

Synged by the waning moon, hot, bruised, and Welty,
Her condition was Kipling at first.
Until her friend insisted, “Sitwell or stand up!
Don’t be a laggard, or worse, a Stoppard.”
And gave her a spank on the Heine.

Talking to a Doctorow psychology,
She knew she could either Dolittle or do lots.
She was neither a Pope nor a pastor,
Nor a Miller nor a Skinner,
But a true Central ‘Parker.’
Watching the Grass grow,
She became a jogger seeking truth,
Fording streams Atwood and meadow.
She didn’t Vonnegut. She wanted to stay trim.

She tried to Chekov her options.
She wasn’t a Coward. She was an Ovid Lerner
Seeking a Moore Thoreau understanding,
An overaCheever, who rarely got bad Marx.
Neither Poe nor Rich, neither god nor goddess,
She was still not a Lesser being,

But a Kingsolver of unspeakable mysteries.

Yet Wharton on the world to change,
She was also nervous and Updike.
To Shepard her Grand Design,
She was still Fielding demons of denial.
She’d read how to stop them in their tracks:
“Bellow! Shakespeare! And cry Woolf!”
But even with this, her fears would Nabakov.

So she tried a Swifter reply.
“You Auden do that. Put a Locke on it.
“Don’t sink to a new Nadar, or it’s all Capote.”

With that, her strength returned, and she was full of Pepys.
She stood beside home Plato with a new sphere of understanding,

Pounding the ball to hit a Homer,
While her adversaries fouled out with Beattie eyes.

Her Latina friend, who was also a Hardy soul,
Clapped her hands and told her that she looked Jung—
She could still bring home the Bacon.
“Zola!” she said with a Sterne countenance,

And then she wished them both “Eternal Paz!”

The Gallery of Misplaced Enthusiasms

There is little that’s sure
On this frail, frail planet—
And little that’s certain
Or carved into granite…
There’s death and there’s sufferings,
Love’s unjustly spurned spasms,
But little that’s sadder
Than misplaced enthusiasms.

Imagine a museum
Unpretentious, not pompous
That welcomes old strollers
And toddlers who rompous,
With no science, no art,
Nor the history of nations,
But touching, true scenes
Of misplaced celebrations.

Imagine, for once, just that moment of truth,
When the man whom you voted for’s proven uncouth,
Or the hope that you might bring the hoola hoop back,
Or your closet still full of those dresses called “sack,”
Or the dinosaurs thinking — “God loves the Jurassic,”
Or the VP who knew that the Edsel was classic.

Imagine that day when dawn’s thrilling and rosy
When you feel – “this is it – life has changed towards the cozy!”
Then your car stops in snow for no reason that’s clear
And a passer-by views you with caution and fear,
Or another drives by with a wink and a sneer:
Just when you say – “This day I’m reborn,”
You thought you had heaven but you’re holding a thorn.

So a Gallery of Misplaced Enthusiasms teaches
What’s liable to snap when a heart overreaches:
When investors in dot-bombs were wealthy then broke,
When the soda pop world drank too deep of New Coke,
When we thought that our past was more angels than chimps,
When we thought that the future of travel was blimps,
When Germany marched so the world would be Prussia,
And Napoleon banked that East France would be Russia.

And here’s how our gallery might quickly be found,
Though it may haunt in dreams it stands firm on the ground
For those who pursue it, you’ll see – it appears
Near another quite well known by would-be King Lears
That’s shattered so many timid careers
And winnowed the peevish from rugged pioneers —
It’s known as the “Hall of Gratuitous Fears.”

Bitter Mountain

We‘re camped on Bitter Mountain,
Where bitter are the views.
Bitter is the coffee
And bitter is the news.
There’s lots of things to deal with
But little you would choose.
And when we seek creative sparks
We find a bitter Muse.

Tyrannosaurus-Rump (in office)

We know T-Rex from its tiny claws
Its hungry mouth, and its toothy jaws.
But how can we assess T-Rump?
Long after his first full-year stump
His Twitter rants still flinch and jump.

A creature walking o’er the earth
In privilege stretching back to birth
That claims ascendance overall
And loves to brag and boast and brawl.
It feeds on minor predators,
(Ignoring its own creditors).

T-Rump is seeking to consume
What’s going on in the newsroom,
Spitting out what’s false as true—
Describing red in shades of blue.
And then, when it’s about to lose,
Decrying facts as just ‘fake news.’

It likes to crouch and prance and pose
While speaking in a broken prose
And often wrinkling up its nose
At anything that might oppose
Or even worse, that might expose,
Its streak of show-and-tell sideshows.

“It’s gonna be huge,” it likes to say,
“It’s gonna be fantastic.”
It speaks within its own clichés
While dancing the bombastic.

To immigrant and refugee
T-Rump’s message draws a pause—
“Stay out, if you’re not like me,
My ego is my only cause.”
And to the children lost from home,
It spits out bluster froth and foam,
To self-protect its own genome.

Then, when it shuffles to arrange
Another D.C. staffing change
With frequencies no longer strange
It claims there’s nothing to suspect
And blames it all on crass neglect
Along with rampant disrespect.

Yet worse—through actions unsubliminal,
Its ‘friends’ too often turn out ‘criminal.’
But most unseemly and uncouth
Is T-rump’s warp of age and youth.
Something that has to be checked,
Something we have to reject.
In a cloak supreme with prejudice
That threatens civil precedence,
It feeds the all-wrong, alt-right sect,
And politically what’s ‘incorrect.’
We call it the “T-Rump Effect.”

Alas when sizing up T-Rump
We hit a show-and-tell speed bump
That’s not about its topmost clump
Or its eternal facial frump.

And so we’ve learned to our dismay
To ignore polls and to obey
The clarion call to thwart doomsday
And march together for our say,
Our voice, no more in disarray
But unified in thought, convey
Amidst a zoo of beast and prey,
Without bear paws or camel’s hump,
A poet’s way to dump T-Rump.