Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: trash

Finest Efforts

Finest Efforts

His finest efforts didn’t sell.
That’s why he started writing trash.
He strove for an artistic spell.
His finest efforts didn’t sell.
The rabbit hole led straight to Hell.
The forest of his dreams was ash.
His finest efforts didn’t sell.
That’s why he started writing trash.

–Tom Riley

Dishonest Etchings of a Tart

Dishonest Etchings of a Tart


Give me a break, you sow!  That isn’t art.

You vomit forth your halfwit fantasies

Of rape, of rape, of rape, and, if you please,

Of rape.  It’s all just pigshit from the start,

Less honest than the etchings of a tart.

And then you fall on too-well-padded knees

To add your pseudo-Christian pieties.

Only your begging wells up from the heart.

I know that some dishonest art is great,

Of course.  The genius Horace shaped fine lies

That yet endure, although the Roman State

Is gone the way of post-triumphant sighs.

With Horace you won’t share that brilliant fate.

Your verses are as shapeless as your thighs.


–Tom Riley


(In beggar mode, the Pezzulo refers benefactors to her “works of art.”)

Amicitia Nostra

Amicitia Nostra



I found our friendship lying by the road,

Dumped with a lot of other worthless crap:

An empty jug, a lame Pindaric ode,

A highly-inefficient cockroach trap,

And too much else to list.  The world’s sad lap

Is piled with junk discarded.  What I found

Was of this nature – and I am not sap

Enough to mourn mere garbage on the ground.

I left our friendship rotting in that mound.

What’s that you say?  You want to rescue it?

You will not need the aid of hunting hound.

You will not even have to search a bit.

You can get to it quick, with time to spare.

You know right where it is.  You dumped it there.




–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