Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: writing

In Caelo Regnat

In Caelo Regnat

 

What reigns in Heaven can’t be written down.
No text can bind that all-pervasive fire.
For what’s above some feel a fierce desire—
But composition, lad, makes you a clown
Wearing an idiotic parchment crown.
If you would hear the Gods’ transcendent choir,
From literary efforts please retire!
In alphabetic oceans cease to drown!
Cease to indulge your yen for definition:
What can be put in writing shouldn’t be
If actual enlightenment’s your mission.
Don’t dare encumber immortality!
Be wordless in your pertinent contrition!
Sign here, lad, if at long last you agree!

 

–Tom Riley

Reject

Reject

 

Becky’s novel – rejected? The light
Of our age kept unfairly from sight?
Publishers she critiques.
They’re a bunch of vile freaks
For perceiving that Becky can’t write!

 

–Tom Riley

 

 

 

 

 

Talent Scout

Talent Scout

 

Blockhead claims a clear talent for writing.
Inner eye must be stuck with poor lighting.
Sure, he scribbles, word-giddy.
But a sentence that’s witty?
As of now, there has not been one sighting.

 

–Tom Riley

 

The Dunciad: Alexander Pope, Carl Japikse, Nancy Maxwell ...

Dubious Procedure

Dubious Procedure

 
When in doubt, I write verses. Indeed,
I write verses that no one will read.
Earth’s foundations may shake
As this gesture I make.
This I know. Nonetheless, I proceed.

 
–Tom Riley

Stylist

The Stylist

 
In beautiful prose,
we admit, you expressed your
empty, ugly heart.

 
–Tom Riley

A Lot of Ifs

A Lot of Ifs

A lady told me that Mark Shea can write.
Oh, sure he can, I thought. If sentences
As loose as flab, as dense as foggy night,
As trivial as any online quiz
Are signs of writing skill; if vagueness is
The soul of wit; if prejudice is king;
If sheer blab is what makes the writing biz;
If ostriches, not songbirds, truly sing;
If spittle dropped at random packs the sting
Of satire from the hand of Juvenal;
If leaves the Sibyl hoards turn red in spring;
If Housman’s cherry tree blooms white in fall;
If shameless begging reaches lofty height—
Why, then, assuredly, Mark Shea can write!

–Tom Riley

Fluffy

Fluffy

 
“My rule is: just get rid of the fluff!
You’re in love with your own words? Get tough—
And trim nine-tenths away!
That’s what I like to say!”
But the fluff is my very best stuff.

 
–Tom Riley

Writer’s Life

The Writer’s Life

 

“You’ve achieved a position of note
With your scribbling? It just gets my goat!
You write hideously!
How can such success be?”
“Well, there’s one thing I did right: I wrote.”

 

—Tom Riley

Arch and Labor

Arch and Labor

 

 

You’re smoothing out your lines? I know it’s rough.
They arch and labor so, like twisted spines.
Plus, you can never get them lithe enough.
You’re smoothing out your lines? I know it’s rough.
Smack ’em upside their heads, they lose their stuff.
Let ’em grow free and they’re no longer lines.
You’re smoothing out your lines. I know: it’s rough.
They arch and labor so, like twisted spines.

 

 

–Tom Riley

Blankness

Blankness

 

 

“Why aren’t you writing speedily?”
“The blankness, sir, is fighting back.
To being filled it won’t agree.”
“Why aren’t you writing speedily?
You’re famed for your fecundity.
Experience you do not lack.
Why aren’t you writing speedily?”
“The blankness, sir, is fighting back….”

 

 

–Tom Riley