Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Short and Round

Short and Round

Has anybody noticed that he’s short
And round, this NATO hero of the hour
To whom our global leaders all pay court?
Has anybody noticed that he’s short—
And, in his t-shirt, of the sweaty sort,
This seamy guy who over all must tower?
Has anybody noticed that he’s short
And round, this NATO hero of the hour?

–Tom Riley

Very Funny

Very Funny

The comedian, miserable cuss,
Rules the land of Ukraine now – and thus
There arises a rumor:
He’s a guy we must humor.
If he laughs, then the joke is on us.

–Tom Riley

Positive Negativity

Positive Negativity

Sure, he prayed
to dark gods – but always
in lighthearted tones.

–Tom Riley

Very Interested

Very Interested

What are our U.S. interests over there
In Eastern Europe? Fucking New York Post
Can’t say. To be explicit they don’t care.
Easier to be haunted by the Ghost
Of Cold Wars Past – and then in vain to boast
About the might our tranny military
Will wield at moments when it’s needed most.
The quintessential hero is a fairy
Here in the West. Are evil Chechens hairy?
Has Putin lost his ever-lovin’ mind?
Of Russians every blabbermouth is wary.
Our interests over there are undefined—
But, like a dominatrix, still insistent.
What matter now if Eastern Europe’s distant?

–Tom Riley

Reformed Cannibal Falls Off the Wagon

Reformed Cannibal Falls Off the Wagon

I was a
vegetarian all day, miss. Then
I met you!

–Tom Riley

Accidental Visionary

The Accidental Visionary

I polish my technique. It’s all I got.
Any profundity is accidental.
Am I a Blake, a Milton? I am not.
I polish my technique. It’s all I got.
I don’t reach for the stars. Well, not a lot.
I’m neither stoical nor sentimental.
I polish my technique. It’s all I got.
Any profundity is accidental.

–Tom Riley

Unbridled Vanity

Unbridled Vanity

I flatter your unbridled vanity.
I’m helping you advance, I’m sure, to Hell.
Your ears hear, but your heart declines to see
I flatter. Your unbridled vanity
Insists that every smiling word from me
Is justified. I do not wish you well.
I flatter your unbridled vanity.
I’m helping you advance, I’m sure, to Hell.

–Tom Riley

Latest War

Latest War

The latest war for Yankee righteousness?
The Yankees won’t admit that they are losing.
Am I critiquing past crusaders? Yes.
The latest war for Yankee righteousness
Shows that the whole damn arc has been a mess
Worthy of deep critique and fierce accusing.
The latest war for Yankee righteousness:
The Yankees won’t admit that they are losing.

–Tom Riley

Trivial Point

A Trivial Point

You made your pencil’s point, sir, too damn sharp.
You should have known the fucking thing would break.
Though it is not my custom so to carp,
You made your pencil’s point, sir, too damn sharp.
In pencil heaven now it strums a harp
Of sheer futility. For goodness’ sake,
You made your pencil’s point, sir, too damn sharp!
You should have known the fucking thing would break.

–Tom Riley

False Indeed

False Indeed

It may be false, indeed, what I declare—
But nonetheless I can’t be called a liar.
Expecting facts from me is far from fair.
It may be false indeed, what I declare
With unrestrained conviction. On the air
It may ring loud and never quite expire.
It may be false indeed, what I declare.
But, nonetheless, I can’t be called a liar.

–Tom Riley