peer pressure

MB recently told me to put more writing on my site. Okay MB; who am I to resist peer pressure? This one's from the beginning: the very first piece I had published, in a literary journal from Newfoundland called the Fiddlehead, way back in the autumn of 1998. (It's also the very first thing I ever submitted, anywhere, which set a rather bad precedent in terms of future expectations.)


The Seven of Cups

I've got some real thematic power in my hands today.

Here we have Boudica crawling
on her big, red belly
while the Romans execute a lesson
in sword-hard discipline
to wild-eyed savages flailing in the mud.
(They look just like us.)

And here.

Machiavelli becomes an adjective
for the cunning and diabolical
by simply telling the blue-bloods the truth
about the most effective ways and means
of spilling the red.

And look at this:

Napoleon teaches the whole wide world
about monuments to posterity;
a colossus of ego
made diminutive
on a tiny island.

Real iron-fisted stuff this is.

But before I turn to listen
to the murderous whispers of Medici shadows
or the balcony tirades
of the Mussolini muscleman

I'll pause

take a look around me

and see how the sun works through the potted plants
to be as golden as Custer's locks
on the faded orange library rug
and hear the whine of the photocopier
that bothers
the creaky old men
with their crackly old-world newspapers

which reminds me

to check the want-ads

on the way out.


  1. 7 of cups foretells a unfocused dreamlike state, correct?


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