(All poetry by Bruce Dale Wise)

The Cat in the Red MAGA Hat

by Carb Deliseuwe

Eugenior Joseph took girlfriend and mom on Mother’s Day
to Cheesecake Factory, Miami, for a piece of cake.
Though he was simply having a good day, how dare he flaunt
and bring a bright red MAGA hat into the restaurant?

The staff then booed him, called him names and then proceeded to
surround his table, cracking knuckles, taunting him in view
of all the other customers, as was their want and whim.
How dare he bring a bright red MAGA hat along with him?

This was no lynch mob; these were working liberals instead,
who dished out virtue signalling with due, deserved respect;
and they cheered happily when family and friends of his
left with the man in bright red MAGA hat. That’s all there is.

Except, of course, the Twitter Cheesecake Factory account,
apologizing for the virtue signaling affront.
Two individuals were let go, they won’t soon be back
to chase the man in bright red MAGA hat; and that is that.

Carb Deliseuwe is a poet who likes sweets, like sugary French-Quarter beignets.


Iran Nude [Sic] Deal

by Delir Ecwabeus

This week, the President withdrew from the Iran nuke deal;
because he thought it wasn’t working well, he didn’t feel;
despite John Kerry’s shadow-diplomatic, strong affirms;
and speeches by Obama and his crew to save its terms.
We know that Xi Jinping and Putin would not pay to play,
nor Merkel, Macron, or Prime Minister Teresa May.

Of course, Iranian administrators are quite mad;
and they’d like to get back at the US for being bad;
so Foreign Minister spokesman Ansari threatened to
reveal all the Westerners bribed just to bring it through.
So numerous on-line reports now threaten to expose
those crony minions of the Emperor who has no clothes.

Delir Ecwabeus is a poet of Iran. He wonders at the troika between Rouhani, Putin
and Erdoğan, who don’t much like each other, and have different geo-global goals.

The Society of Classical Poets

after Yuan Xi and Jennifer Zeng

by Wu “Sacred Bee” Li

Society of Poets, we aspire to catch a glimpse
of life beyond the highest mountains, cloud-like floating blimps,
…upon eternity’s vast canvas, transient, ambient blips…

Our poetry’s, like water vapours, f…ol…lowing the Way,
sometimes so real, at other times, elusive as the day;
it vanishes before we have a chance to pause, to stay.

Sometimes it flashes in the heavens, reaching way up high,
a momentary beauty arching, shining in the eye,
like a translucent rainbow spread across the open sky,

unfolding in a dream, a mist above a sparkling lake,
that shimmering and glittering, from sleepy peace we wake,
emerging from th’ intangible, these waves of words we make,

that sudden can erupt in panoramic pagaentry,
surprising, an arising universal tapestry,
outpouring, stretching, for ten-thousand miles in majesty.

Wu “Sacred Bee” Li is a mild-mannered poet and literary critic of old-style Chinese literature. His hao is shénshèna de mifēna, 神圣的蜜蜂, “sacred bee” in English. His influences include T’ao Yüan-ming, T’ang poetry, and landscape painter/calligraphy poet Wu Li, from whom he draws his very name. He likes Chinese food, and, although he likes so many cuisines, like dim-sum dishes taken in yum-sha style, because of his nature, he particularly likes Zhejiang dishes which are not greasy, have fresh, soft flavors, and possess fine, mellow fragrances.

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The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments.


17 Responses

  1. Amy Foreman

    Bruce, you never disappoint! Really, you should have a weekly socio-political poetry column in “National Review” or “The American Thinker.” And your always-creative heteronyms only add to the entertainment value of your commentary.

    My only beef with any of them: “pageantry,” not “pagentry.” 😉

    • Wu "Sacred Bee" Li

      The typo Ms. Foreman pointed out, her only “beef”, will be addressed in the next printing of the poem “Society of Classical Poets”, if or when that may ever occur. As to her thoughtful remark about having a socio-political column, since about 75% of my poetry these days is docupoetry, Thomas Lifson, the editor at The American Thinker, points out that they stick to prose, because readers in the earlier days avoided the poetry in large numbers. And this can seen in the numbers for poetry readers, at even the venues larger than SCP. Are hundreds or mere thousands the best we can hope for? Can that be changed? And if so, how?

  2. James Sale

    The Society of Classical Poets poem is a mini-masterpiece but must never be disconnected from its footnote: Wu ‘Sacred Bee’ Li, the mild-mannered poet etc is a work of art in its own right – so very funny.

    • Wu "Sacred Bee" Li

      The poem “Society of Classical Poets” is not really a mini-masterpiece; but I do agree with Mr. Sale that the prose bios should be linked to the poems, and even be better developed. As Mr. Sale is aware, my charichords (anagrammatic heteronyms) are really only me, that is, my letters scrambled. They are usually, if not always, true of one aspect of myself, and simply indicate elements of my various interests. Although there is nothing humourous in the poem “Society of Classical Poets”, the prose bio contrast can, as in the case of Mr. Sale, seem “funny”. I think the humour there is like that Swift displayed in “Gulliver’s Travels”, where because of the distant point of view, one can sense the ironies Swift is developing, and enjoy viewing Swift’s horrible picture of humanity.

      In Japanese literature, there is a history of the comingling of prose and poetry, as in Murasaki Shikibu’s “The Tale of Genji” or Basho’s “Narrow Road to the North”. This I have not done; but I do like the idea. Who knows? And back here, in the English tradition, one reason why I admire writers, like T. S. Eliot, is he developed both poetry and prose, particularly literary criticism. By the way, that is the most any of us can do in this generation; that is, develop piecemeally [sic], poetry and/or prose.

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    The account of Eugenior Joseph and what happened to him (just for wearing a hat!) simply proves that a Nazi-like fanaticism has come very close to triumphing in America. But the source of that left-liberal Nazism is the people who voted for Hillary Clinton.

    Good work, Mr. Wise.

    • Nichael Cramer

      Well, only since you brought this up, let’s take a look.

      A man goes to a restaurant and is badly treated. The two employees who were responsible were almost immediately fired.

      The President of the United States (to limit ourselves to a couple specific example) 1] invites Al Baldasaro (a NH state legislature who has called for the execution of Hillary Clinton), and Ted Nugent (who told President Obama to “suck my machine gun”) to dinner at the White House, and 2] appoints no less than Steve Bannon to a senior position in his White House.

      So, the conclusion we are to take from this single event (in which, again, the perpetrators were immediately dismissed, as opposed to the those who were honored by the current White House) is to be taken as evidence of “left liberal Nazism”.

      Do we have that correct?

      Finally, let’s assume this were correct (it’s not, of course, but for the sake of argument let’s assume that it were), I’m not sure I understand the problem. Because, as this President has told us when describing actual Nazis –not like in this Godwinian hyperbole– that they “contain some fine people”. Right?

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Oh please. The fact that those two persons were fired is EXCEPTIONAL, and may be the only reason the incident got the slightest attention. For this one case there are thousands of others where anyone who expresses a rightist or conservative viewpoint is condemned, spat upon, fired from his position, harassed, and frequently beaten up. All by virtue-spouting left-liberals who think that they have the right to treat political opponents with contempt and abuse.

        Whether you like it or not, the President of the United States (that fact makes you wince, right?) has the same First Amendment right to freedom of speech as anyone else. You don’t like what he says? You don’t approve of his views and his appointments? Too bad, pal. You lost.

      • Nichael Cramer

        Dr Mr Salemi

        I appreciate your taking the time to prove my point for me.

        That was very thoughtful. Thank you.

  4. David Watt

    ‘The Society of Classical Poets’ poem elegantly describes the poet’s search for those elusive qualities engendered by structured verse. I agree with Mr Sale that your footnotes provide an additional layer of entertainment.

  5. Wilbur Dee Case

    Of the poems Mr. Mantyk has chosen, I probably would not have chosen these three, and I note only one editor elsewhere has selected any of these, the middle one, which, except for a few elements, leaves much to be desired, as, for example, the title and the awkward first line, though I really like the third couplet, and, in particular, the alliterative second line of it. In the second stanza, I like the opening couplet with pun and simple diction in the second lines of each stanza. However, I think Delir Ecwabeus did not pull the implied metaphor through at all; and there it is.

    Anyway, of these three poems, I believe “The Cat in the Red MAGA Hat” is the best. Although it too has flaws, it does several things that I am happy with.

    First off, it is a mini-ballad about a real person and a real event; and it has nothing whatsoever to do with Mr. Deliseuwe—except inconsequentially and peripherally. It has a bit of that snappy attitude found in Lucilius’ slovenly hexametre saturae, while at the same time reveals a look into the attitudes and morays of our time. This Mr. Salemi may have noticed, though in a way that bit Mr. Cramer. By the way, for all of his bluster and bombast, Mr. Salemi can be one of the New Millennium’s acutest critics—when he critiques.

    Second, continuing to focus on text, Carb Deliseuwe places his protagonist right at the beginning of the first line. Notice the poem doesn’t attempt to go into Mr. Joseph’s feelings, or his mind; though the imagery and events of the poem imply possible feelings. I enjoyed the consonantal and assonantal alliteration in the first couplet, including Eugenior Joseph’s name, and the poem’s mater-of-fact tone, which is one of the reasons I likewise admired Mr. Le Mont Wilson’s “Pika”.

    Third, I enjoyed the build-up of the refrain “bright red MAGA hat”, rather obviously playing off of Postmodernist poet Theodore Seuss Geisel’s “The Cat in the Hat”, thus bringing it down a notch in seriousness; though the topic itself, virtue signalling, rampant in America in 2018, is, as Mr. Salemi implies, an important issue of the day. I also like the balance of “lynch mob” and “working liberals”, along with the use of the culinary verb “dished”.

    Stylistically what I liked most were the last four syllables of lines 12 and 16, that are almost childlike in their simplicity, in an event in which adults are acting very child-like in their taunting and use of peer pressure, etc. Ironically, many poets themselves are nefarious proponents of simpleness in lyrics; I think it has its place, but should not be endemic. What would Vergil think of such an ideal? Also part of the fun of the poem is the use of repetition throughout. As Ms. Foreman has pointed out elsewhere, one can handle very serious topics with irony and humour.

    By the way, it may seem odd for me to critique Carb Deliseuwe’s anecdotal ballad; but you need not be embarrassed for me; since the reason I’ve literally been literarily analyzing writers, like Mr. Carb Deli—, is that I found there wasn’t a soul on the planet who would critique his material—even negatively. It was as if literary criticism had vanished from New Millennial America. I remember, even in Postmodernist America, practically all I personally could get was a false attack of plagiarism from Elizabeth Bishop (about the best Postmodernist American poetry had to offer) and a delusional accusation of Keatsian pretentian from Anthony Hecht (by the way, I still like the narrative charm of his “Samuel Sewall”, despite its flaws).

    I don’t know if this has any bearing on my analysis of Carb Deliseuwe, but I just finished off two waffles with whipped cream and strawberries; if it does I’m glad it did.

  6. Wu "Sacred Bee" Li

    I told Mr. Mantyk that I didn’t think the Poem “Society of Classical Poets” should be published @ SCP, mainly because, despite its cloying diction, this decapente was unpolished. Nevertheless, it caught his eye, and so it is here.

    It really was a more targeted work, pertaining to Yuan Xi, Jennifer Zeng, and Mr. Robin, that I merely wanted Mr. Mantyk to peruse. If I were to publish it again (but where else could it go, except in a history of SCP, or here?), I would remove the word “-like” and replace it with “-white”; I would add another ellipsis in following [f…ol…lo…wing]; and, as Ms. Foreman suggested, I would spell pageantry conventionally.

    The inspiration for the poem comes directly from Yuan Xi, so if Mr. Robin could do me a favour, he could let Ms. Zeng know she is more than welcome to use this poem on her blog and elsewhere, with the three corrections made, as I appreciate the work of Ms. Zeng and Mr. Robin in bringing us closer to the work of Yuan Xi.

  7. Damian Robin

    Please see 白雲詩社 White Cloud Poetry Society:
    We are very pleased and flattered to learn that The Society of Classical Poetry has published a poem entitled “The Society of Classical Poets” by Wu “Sacred Bee” Li. This poem is specially dedicated to White Cloud Poetry Society’s Yuan Xi and Jennifer Zeng, and shows its appreciation in a special way by creatively combining and rendering two of our “iconic” poems below into a brand new one!




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