Verse now slain by latest dogma,
down the cobbled street come mourners
trundling Verse’s coffin forward,
charging all to note the corpus,
garroted for disregarding
Freud, ethnicity and gender.
Other members of the group,
ferreting their major talent,
hang about the open casket,
matching states of putrefaction
to contemporaneous corpses,
finding that which seems synchronic.
Now come naked souls with banners
upside down or blank or saying,
“Meaning now is twaddle; long live
Me,” then bustling on to flatter
naked colleagues on their clothing.
After them there now appear
screaming youths in tattered jeans,
spittle spraying loud invective,
castigating Verse’s slayers
And the universe in general,
gross obscenities their forte.
But as always, toddling onward,
come the elders, robed and mitered,
mortar boards askew and moldy,
bearing bones on velvet cushions.
These now joined by new supporters
driving hearses freshly painted
gaudy colors — reds and yellows,
strewing blossoms as they goosestep
down the street behind the coffin.
Next come strolling sturdy peasants,
not quite sure who’s being buried,
unaware who’s lost or won,
chanting as they have forever
Hallmark rhymes and ancient saws
Closing out the long procession
walks a lonely book peruser,
unconcerned with codes or coffins,
smiling over what he’s reading —
something fervid from a bosom,
something weighty from a cortex —
prizing it like flame from matches,
fading flame in freezing wastelands