Monday, October 25, 2004

"Opportunistic Phony"

Pince-nez and flowing cape
Even his British accent is fake
Your best friend to your face
all smiles applauds cheers praise
To others your name arouses from him only disdain
"A scoundrel!" he'll claim
then add, "I hardly know the miscreant,"
with accent, twirling moustache, and pince-nez
as always, always in place

His opinions are, you see
determined by his company
"The best! Bravo! Yes!" this front-runner yells from the midst of the house
But should you stumble, sick or tired, your momentum slow
He's suddenly notably silent as a mouse
You're no longer even a poet to him
though you were, once
Now he relates to his betters in snobby parlors stories of telling you off!

His baroque phraseology in complexity rises impressively to the sky!
its continual theme undertone rhythmn the one word, "I"
Two-faced-- no, four
To four levels of friends he plays four styles of role
from groveling fop to artful knife in the back
I never said he didn't have talent
Self-serving, lacking character, honesty, loyalty
This is how to spot the opportunistic phony

-King Wenclas

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Karl, this poem of yours is fine. It shows confidence in itself, i.e. integrity (form) across the duration of its expression, the length and pacing (where the lines break) of eack part (the beginning the middle and the end) are reflected by the whole. It's a poem perse 'cos the firmness of its overall structure is equal to the resistance of the object of the poem:the fauning hack in the cape twirling his mustachios introed in the first coupla lines.Anything less on your part as poet would have been that bloodless tonedeaf excelsior of the Publishing Empire or just personal confessional drivel that just stains a blue dress. The rhythm as you call it is better than that: you got "breath passages" going here (W C Williams, Ginzberg, et al.). The rhymes are not necessarily heavy hande but serve to "tighten the screws."
It's also good to see you apply objective nuts and bolts criticism on very solid groung to your own piece.Also thanks for mentioning the Verbal Arts Front Series at The Medusa Lounge in the Blog.

Frank Walsh, Philly ULA member and shop-steward of the Poets' Union, Local 007.