Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: authors

Man of Letters

Man of Letters

 

An illiterate loser named Shea
Made a garish and fleeting display
Of rhetorical shit.
The crowd hailed it as wit:
“He’s the Chesterton, folks, of our day!”

 

—Tom Riley

Textbook Case

Textbook Case

 

 

In the book, brainless comments are made.
Dried-up authoress should have got laid
And not written at all—
For her talent was small.
Book exists. There’s no cure, I’m afraid.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Winter Is Coming Ain’t Coming

Winter Is Coming Ain’t Coming

 

 

Wizard of Westeros,
George R. R. Martin is
Giving the voters a
Real dirty look.

Authors should not be so
Pseudo-censorious.
Shut your face, fatso, and
Finish your book!

 

 

–Tom Riley

 

 

(George R. R. Martin decries election of “President Pussygrabber.”)

Mr. Interesting

Mr. Interesting

 

 

(for Ben Hatke)

 

 

It isn’t just his fiery respiration.
It isn’t just his skill at archery.
It isn’t just his wild self-cultivation.
It’s more than anything your eyes could see
on videos. Conventionality
just cannot get its chains around this guy.
When he shows up, all boredom has to flee.
He bounds ahead. He almost seems to fly.
If you profess to understand, you lie.
His sense of fun’s beyond all comprehension.
If you are wise, you will not even try
to fit him into any clear convention.
Interesting? More than anybody here.
(I don’t know if Dos Equis is his beer.)

 

 

–Tom Riley

 

 

(Artist and author Ben Hatke is more interesting than most.)

Mr. Mears

Mr. Mears

 

 

“He wrote an outline of a novel in motel rooms before they hit Central Falls, Rhode Island.”

 

 

After he staked the vampire king, he got
right to work — for the next book on his mind
wailed to be bodied forth. No, he was not
lazy, that guy, nor much toward rest inclined.
His solemn duty there was self-assigned.
He could have given weary flesh a pass.
Instead, he got his sad self realigned
as fast as possible — and moved his ass.
When we’ve exhausted all religious sass
and found the limits of transcendent white,
though sneering critics rule your efforts crass,
still you will fill the unforgiving night,
Benjamin Mears, with fierce illumination
and show the dark that work is our salvation.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Not Spock

Not Spock

 

 

(in memoriam Leonard Nimoy, d. 27 February 2015)

 

 

Yeah, yeah. I know. I read I Am Not Spock.
I read your artsy books of free verse, too.
I know that Vulcan never had a lock
on the identity we know as you.
You had so many busy things to do–
and did them, which I think is pretty rare.
Achievements? You had more than just a few.
I understand. I’m thoroughly aware.
But back to that old series I repair
like many in my geeky generation
whenever I require a breath of air
untainted by insistent complication.
There I appreciate your greatest work:
saving the universe with Captain Kirk.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Still Champion

Still Champion

 

 

(in memoriam Charlie Rice, d. 25 February 2015)

 

 

When everyone was all for compromise–
which meant, of course, the easiest surrender–
he saw the truth with never-flinching eyes
and stood as life’s unwearying defender.
In that ring, he was more than mere contender.
He sent opponents to the canvas fast.
His energies were vast — and, cheerful spender,
He labored hard, yet managed still to last.
And is his advocacy in the past?
Of course not. From the realm where Beatrice
gazed down on troubled Dante, unharassed
by all our vain distractions, he will miss
no opportunity to intervene.
Dread ought to fill the pro-abortion scene.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Man Down

Man Down

 

 

 

 

 

My author means to do me in.

Indeed, I’ve heard it’s imminent,

The deadly game I cannot win,

The irreversible event.

Hey, bring it on!  My soul’s content

To face the music, high and clear.

Dear author, please: do not relent.

My readiness is quite sincere.

My fictive life, though, I’ll sell dear.

Grant that I fight the way I should.

Grant that my enemies learn fear

Before I leave the neighborhood.

And, when you place the period,

Grant that my friends avenge my blood.

 

 

 

 

–Tom Riley

Same Book

The Same Book

 

 

 

“What you have written, never write again!”

He disobeyed this excellent advice—

And wrote the same book seven, eight, nine, ten,

And more times, sold each variation twice,

And lived high on the takings.  “It’s so nice,”

He said, “to do without imagination!

Churn the same product out – and add some spice.

That is the path to proper compensation.

My readers know no point of satiation.

They like the crap I write to be the same

As all my other crap – and innovation

Offends them.  So I simply play the game

That they prescribe with every book they buy.

Give it all up for art, you ask?  Not I!”

 

 

 

–Tom Riley