Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Damage Control

Damage Control

 

Dear Editor:

Your writer is a peach.
Her story was as good as it could be.
But writers can be difficult to teach.
She erred a little when she quoted me.
The quote was accurate? Well, I agree—
But quoting me in that way was misleading.
I’ve stumbled into water, as you see,
And now the vicious little fish are feeding.

Here in these lines I alter that proceeding
And clearly say I didn’t mean to mean
What I then meant to say. Truth can be fleeting—
And, for my own part, I find truth obscene.

I lay a new heart open for inspection.
I hope you will accept this wise correction.

 

—Tom Riley

Empty Talk

Empty Talk

 

The noise, sir, of your empty talk
Is irritating me in full.
We walk the path we have to walk.
The noise, sir, of your empty talk
Booms on my path and makes me balk.
I can’t endure the lame and dull.
The noise, sir, of your empty talk
Is irritating me in full.

 

—Tom Riley

Less-Than-Final Solution

The Less-Than-Final Solution

 

Final answers, you fiercely contend,
Are the bomb, though they briefly offend.
Your conviction is strong,
but you’ve got it all wrong.
The strange truth is that things never end.

 

—Tom Riley

Like Chanticleer

Like Chanticleer

 

I crowed like Chanticleer: “Your bitch got beat!”
That was the night Trump kicked Frau Klinton’s ass.
Isn’t that why we find these moments sweet?
The foes that we have hungered to harass
Face clear humiliation. It’s first class,
The thrill that their discomfiture supplies.
It isn’t just a glory: it’s a gas!
You could have seen it, that night, in my eyes.
Now Ossoff, with a neck one-half the size
Of Justin Bieber’s wrist, awash in money
From Hollywood, slinks off and duly cries
His feeble cries. You must admit it’s funny.
To Democrats, entitled and effete,
I crow like Chanticleer: your bitch got beat!

 

—Tom Riley

 

 

(Media darling Jon Ossoff goes down in defeat.)

Marketable

Marketable

 

“Your ignorance is marketable, sir?”
“Oh, yes! The less I know, the more I sell!
Customer arrogance I proudly stir!”
“Your ignorance is marketable, sir—
And fans regard you as a minister
Of deeper truths. Oh, what a tale to tell!
Your ignorance is marketable, sir!”
Oh, yes: the less I know, the more I sell!”

 

—Tom Riley

Inglorious Milton

Inglorious Milton

 

“I’ll proceed with my comments astute.
My conclusions are hard to refute.
You will fold before me.
Why not cede victory?”
I’m afraid that we’ve had you on mute.

 

—Tom Riley

Fugit Spiritus

Fugit Spiritus

 

“It is offended.”

—Marcellus, Act I, Scene 1.

 

The Ghost fled when the rooster sang out.
Dark is liberty, since dark is doubt.
At dawn, liberty ended.
Hamlet’s dad was offended.
Being hurt is what ghosts are about.

 

—Tom Riley

Writers United

Writers United

 

Stephen King? J.K. Rowling? They’re great!
Plus, as friends, they unite against hate.
King is blocked from Trump’s tweets?
Rowling sends him those treats!
(Neither one wants America great.)

 

—Tom Riley

 

(J.K. Rowling comes to Stephen King’s rescue.)

Penetration

Penetration

 

“I’ve penetrated all the mysteries!”
He told us. We replied: “How penetrating!”
“Yes, I’ve advanced the narrative with ease!
I’ve penetrated all the mysteries!
But other critics sure are hard to please:
They’re contradicting, cursing, and negating!
I’ve penetrated all the mysteries,”
He told us. We replied: “How penetrating!”

 

—Tom Riley

Degrading Association

Degrading Association

 

Listen. Kamala Harris, it’s true,
Was named after a harlot — as you
In Siddhartha can find.
Kamala shouldn’t mind—
But, in my view, the harlot should sue.

 

—Tom Riley