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Ludibrium


                                To you I must tell all or lie.
                                       —Mary Ruefle, from "A Penny for Your Thoughts"

Meaning is the residue of attention,
the seriously frivolous syntactical tactics
of a bully in a china shop, perilous adjacency,
like bacteria spackled into our pores, in-
tegrated into our interiors, in the balmy effrontery
of identity subjected to spontaneous spotlight,
in the strident demand of the anthem
seeking the pattern of the pattern-maker,
the desperate redress of commerce making inroads
at the outlet, strangerous, certainty fetishists and
the ad-hocracy collaborating in the sense of a con-
sensual sensual consensus substituted for substance.

How can what is gone take up so much space?
Who, now, has time for obsession?
Heartfelt declarations of co-dependence regurgitated
in the adventitious dentition of sirens and gorgons
who embrace the tedious farce tamed with Ambien
in Omaha and Oaxaca, the insomniac extinct, seeking
the authenticity of the inauthentic, large enough
to hold a small thing.  Frivolously serious.
Never has a period been prouder of its failures,
its strange strategies.  I suspect more than I expect.
Can judgment lead me to the one I won't judge?
Love is clarity, not charity.

All poems are written and copyrighted by Michael C. Rush.
None may be republished or repurposed without permission.