Saturday, July 22, 2006

A roundel

Amity: a Roundel

My dear friend excels at the art of war
discreetly waged. Her insults aim to upend
my smug opinions. Endless fun for
my dear friend.

She smears one of my heroes to offend
me indirectly. Her sniping makes me sore
enough to make a sortie, quick. I bend

that missile back her way by playing mentor.
As if asked, I explain, rather than defend,
my views, ignore her sneers, and outmaneuver
my dear friend.

Some of my villanelles

Walt Disney's Crypt

Thoughts on Scientific Resurrection

If the seed of the self lies within the head,
cryonics offers hope for resurrection—
unless the self is partly ghost instead.

A brain may not suffice to raise the dead,
if subtle strands of self escape detection.
But, if the seed of self’s within the head,

those frozen brains may wake again in bed
with bodies new, minus imperfection.
If mind is more than matter, a mix instead,

then maybe cold can’t hold a single shred
of wraith in storage or hinder its defection.
Suppose the psyche’s self-existent, in steady

state, then Mr. Disney* was misled.
Can slippery psyche have a real location?
The seed of self may lie within the head,
unless the self is partly ghost instead.

*(Since writing this poem, I learned that, contrary to popular belief, Walt Disney did not have himself frozen. He was cremated and buried at Forest Lawn, the cemetery that inspired Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One.)


Perry Mason Reruns

No killer can escape his just disgrace
by letting Mason’s client take the rap.
He complicates the open-and-shut-case.

The ax of law will fall in the right place.
Subtle as serpents, Mason’s tricks will trap
the killer. No escaping his disgrace.

A client found the corpse, stumbled on the place,
fingered the murder weapon, then fled, the sap.
He complicates the open-and-shut case.

Another client lied to save her face,
and almost dropped her case in the DA’s lap.
But killers can’t escape their just disgrace.

How do emotion, motive, murder interlace?
A debt, affair, remark may cause a flap.
These complicate the open-and-shut-case.

To trap the killer the police can’t ever trace,
he’ll stretch the law until it almost snaps.
The killer might as well confess with grace,
since Mason’s complications close the case.