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The Ballad of Old Sparky

Thou shalt not live within thy means

Nor on plain water and raw greens.

     If thou must choose

Between the chances, choose the odd;

Read The New Yorker, trust in God;

     And take short views.

—W. H. Auden, “Under Which Lyre: A Reactionary Tract for the Times” (1946)


Life is like a pomegranate.

Eat it out of hand you should not,

     But have no fear,

Disassembly, the usual key,

Is easily done with industry,

     And it’s right there.


For starters, ditch those mouthy ways.

Never in a month of Tuesdays

     Will you succeed

In winning the prize that you desire

Stoking the pyre with pants on fire.

     And there’s no need!


Second, why not suck it up?

Let acceptance grease your cup.

     Enjoy that sip.

Worried by the corrupt “deep state”?

Winning’s surely not that great!

     Let go your grip!


Vengeance, saith the Lord, is mine.

Human bitching ends in time

     And fades real fast.

Time to retire the cool blue suit;

That orange outfit sure is cute.

     It's sure to last!

It never is much use whining.

Hot Hand Daddy in Ossining?

     Don’t want to bore:

There’d be a movie, sure as shit,

You'd play yourself—that genius bit!

Quoth Sparky,* “Nevermore?”



*See He was a bad conductor.


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