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Sex Stain (Sestina)


No funk in poetry these days, no rhyme
to spare the time, to shape the world in form
or free, just prose, to watch as we die. Verse,

if I could break your back and with these words

rebuild that stanza lone, you’d feel your feet

were dancing to some dark uncommon beat


I met a poet once, said he was beat

and smoky folk wrapped round him for his rhyme

but gasoline encased his naked feet
and lunch exploded softly on his form

of non-conformist storage of the words
that scattered like the scriptures INRI verse


And in the streets you’ll find the scraps of verse
blown leftwards. While pedestrians will beat
upon the cracks and crevices where words
can’t help but fall, the vestiges of rhyme
will couple in the alleyways to form

an easement for the stress upon your feet


The tramping stamp of strictly metered feet
sings jackboot threats to liberated verse

where none may pass without the proper form.

Reactionaries shout how they will beat
the dictates of the strict and structured rhyme
and never hear proscription in their words


They are just air and scribbles, all these words
that bring the outraged masses to their feet

and where would protests be, if not for rhyme?

No “hell no, we won’t go”, such clever verse

is owed the witless who think they can beat
the world into a boxed and labelled form


They talk the loudest, those whose lips will form
two trunkless legs to tower over words

from better men. And time itself will beat
that bitter drum that knocks us from our feet

and leaves us kicking hopelessly at verse
that argues still the right and wrong of rhyme


And fractures form where once we set our feet
in clay, while words from some infectious verse

spray out the beat, in funky naked rhyme.


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