Bruce Deitrick Price
Theoryland / Canto I - Poem by Bruce Deitrick Price
Clarity is the cruelest mode,
patients aetherized on the table must be code.
How then do I hide my hermeneutic rear
as I fashion a career?
How do I swell a progress, start a fad or two?
Advise the Dean, like me an eager goose?
Ambitious too, so he hates to be of use....
In the rooms the critics come and go
sneering at the status quo.
On the dry grass, in a dry wind,
students throw a frisbee, joking.
The janitor laughs, smoking.
I suspect they see,
to the other side of me.
So how do I weasel words to shapes all new
and make them mean what I say they do?
In short, how can I be profuse
but adequately abstruse?
How can I roll this campus into a ball
and have it all?
How can I be, as I promenade
about the quad,
a god! ?
I hear the mermaids singing
but I do not think they sing for me:
If you want to get to Theory
let us tell you what to do.
You got to grease your thoughts
in Stan's Fish Stew,
then hold tight to the Devil's hand
and slide into Theoryland...
The dry wind steals their song...
Maybe I'm doing this all wrong.
Doubts spring like peonies,
now I'm retching on my knees.
How does one take a teeny, tiny pensee
and call it the Truth and the Way?
Do I dare? Do I dare?
Can I sculpt upon the air?
My moods are startling and spastic.
I can hardly choose-paper or plastic?
Nooo! A bald spot in the middle of my exegesis-
could anyone sell this cheese as thesis?
It's a dark noon in Gaza as theories clash;
books are not burned but analyzed to ash.
Look homeward, angels, and weep for truth,
Theory's good enough for youth.
In the rooms the critics come and sneer:
my intertext is all veneer.
I may have sinned, my closure fated,
Who knew this jargon was two months dated?
I can hear the co-eds cringing, each to each,
I'm scuttling claws, sunk out of reach.
I know now, as I promenade
up and down the quad,
I'II never be a god...
I want so much to be
a god. A bod!
I want to hear the co-eds singing,
singing for me...
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