The Crown of Wuhan

by Daniel Kemper

“Hast thou forgot me then?” says she of dreams,
A Goddess arm’d Out of thy head I sprung
Come see the way your princess-queen redeems
your works. Do I not know my own? Among
those who created me, do I not wear
the dragon’s crown upon a central lie?
I cannot be denied, repressed, ignored.
They lead the path for me; and everywhere
all who I meet shall say before they die
‘Was she not sent through Wuhan by The Lord?'”


Alluded to excerpt from Paradise Lost by John Milton Bk 2 lines 746-920

To whom thus the Portress of Hell-gate replied:—
“Hast thou forgot me, [emphasis added] then; and do I seem
Now in thine eyes so foul?—once deemed so fair
In Heaven, when at the assembly, and in sight
Of all the Seraphim with thee combined 750
In bold conspiracy against Heaven’s King,
All on a sudden miserable pain
Surprised thee, dim thine eyes, and dizzy swum
In darkness, while thy head flames thick and fast
Threw forth, till on the left side opening wide,
Likest to thee in shape and count’nance bright,
Then shining Heav’nly fair, a Goddess arm’d
Out of thy head I sprung [emphasis added]; amazement seis’d
All th’ Host of Heav’n back they recoild affraid
At first, and call’d me Sin, and for a Sign [ 760 ]
Portentous held me; but familiar grown,
I pleas’d, and with attractive graces won
The most averse, thee chiefly, who full oft
Thy self in me thy perfect image viewing
Becam’st enamour’d, and such joy thou took’st [ 765 ]
With me in secret, that my womb conceiv’d
A growing burden. Mean while Warr arose,
And fields were fought in Heav’n; wherein remaind

Daniel Kemper is a systems engineer living in California.



New Rochelle—a Haiku

by Joe Tessitore

It’s the beginning.
Church is locked for my own good—
evil is winning.



A Recently Discovered Sibylline Fragment

by Evan Mantyk

A plague, an Eastern bird of prey
______in fury flies,
While from night’s glittering array,
______The starlight dies.




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93 Responses

  1. Joseph S. Salemi

    This Wuhan virus scare is being exploited by the left, in order to create a mindless, world-wide panic and hysteria. The two universities where I teach (NYU and CUNY) have cancelled all in-person classes for the rest of the semester. This is a flagrantly insane move, made by stupid, politically correct administrators.

    It’s all so obvious one wants to laugh. The Wall Street lemmings have taken the bait, hook line and sinker, and are self-generating a major market crash. This is exactly what the left wants, as a way to “blame Trump” for everything, and to elect Joe Biden, a geriatric dementia case who can easily be manipulated.

    This Wuhan virus is no different from any other type of seasonal flu, which kills a few thousand people every year. But our lying Mainstream Media has deliberately stoked terror in the population.

    Does anyone recognize how our nation is being manipulated by the Deep State, and by the cultural Marxist elite that holds the rest of us in contempt?

    • Joe Tessitore

      In a nation of 330 million people, 40 of us have died – a microscopic .00012%.

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Joe, on every point.

      • Joe Tessitore

        For an excellent perspective on this, take a look at George Carlin “On Germs” on You Tube – as funny and as timely as it gets!

      • Mike Bryant

        Of the app. 40 who have died, 26 were in one senior assisted living center.

    • Mike Bryant

      Mr. Salemi, you are absolutely right. I believe that it is astounding that this virus is not being addressed as a flu. Just another example of the way the scaremongers abuse and skew language to their purposes. Perhaps we here at SCP can do our own part by referring to it as WUHAN FLU or Chinese Flu or even Covid Flu.
      We could start by changing the title of this post. Why should we follow the lead of the propagandists?

    • C.B. Anderson

      I DO recognize that, Joseph. My wife went grocery shopping this evening after work, and the market was in a frenzy: long lines at the cash register; many shelves empty, and the butchers saying that they would probably run out of chicken by Saturday. My alma mater in Connecticut has canceled in-person classes. I’m not a big conspiracy theorist, but it strikes me that China would not hesitate to sacrifice a few thousands of its citizenry to cause terror in the west, for they know they will be aided and abetted by the leftists who control most of our educational and media institutions. My best hope is that the fear (whether rational or irrational) will create conditions that might help to curb the spread of the virus. Even though my age places me in a high-risk category, I intend to go about my business as usual, at least until martial law is imposed. I am glad, however, that I don’t have any need to use the NYC Transit System.

    • Mike Bryant

      Joseph, I believe that Monty has it exactly right. This really is all about good and evil. Many of those who have been manipulated by the evil believe they are on the side of righteousness. And therein lies the problem.

      • Monty

        Yeah, he teaches ignorance. As you say, it’s “not something to be shared”, and that tenet applies to any country. But America’s not ‘any country’: when your average American ‘shares his ignorance’ with his compatriots, he feels he’s doing his duty: doing his little bit for his country. And he is, ‘coz those with whom he shares his ignorance wouldn’t want or expect to hear anything else. They know of nothing else.

        I often feel for that tiny minority in America who try to share reality. They obviously exist (and perhaps you’re one of them), but how futile their endeavours must be; and how quickly they must get shouted-down every time by the majority.

        Don’t be surprised, Ja, if you get some ignorant responses to your observation from the majority; and don’t be affronted. Take their remarks as I always do . . as affirmation that it’s only a small, fortunate minority who share reality. Let their words bolster your pride and gratitude for being in the esteemed minority.

        I hope to see more of your ‘breaths of fresh air’ on these pages.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        I teach Latin, Greek, Ancient Comedy, Roman Satire, Classical Epic, Ancient Tragedy, English and American Literature, Etymology, Poetic Meter, an Introduction to Western Civilization — and for twenty-five years I taught English Composition and Prose Style. I have taught in four universities and several small colleges.

        You say that I “teach ignorance”?

        Monty, you’re a flaming jackass and a piece of human garbage. I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know. You’re also a self-confessed marijuana addict who travels to Nepal every year to go on a drug-binge, and an admitted ignoramus on many subjects (literature, art, history, politics, grammar, etc.)

        Let me give the readers at SCP a direct quote from you. It’s something you wrote on February 4, 2020, on one of the discussion threads here:

        “I shudder to think how completely different my life would’ve been if I’d been intelligent.”

        Perhaps that should be carved on your tombstone.

      • Monty

        Just as I fancied, Ja, one has responded to your astute observation, the ‘one’ being he who was always the most likely to respond.. PB (more later). There may yet be some similar comments to you from two others, ‘coz PB’s got a couple of puppets who frequent these pages: Bry and Tess. They could equally be labelled as parrots, given that they do nothing but imitate PB; thus, given that PB asked: “Who the hell are you?”.. expect one of his parrots to make a follow-up comment in the nature of: “Yeah, who is this Ja man?”

        I’m sure you’re as aware as I am that PB’s demand of: “Who the hell are you” deserves no answer. And you may’ve immediately inferred from the wording of his question that he wants a keyboard-fight with you. That’s exactly what he’s looking for. Let me tell you why . . . The PB stands for ‘Persistently Bullied’. He was persistently bullied at school: the other kids made his life a misery. He was obviously angry about it, but couldn’t (wouldn’t dare) vent his anger on the other kids, thus he carried that anger into his adult life. It festered.. and festered.. and then one day someone invented the internet! This was pure manna for PB: it meant he could now get his revenge on society from the safety of sitting behind a keyboard; with all the bravery of being out of range.

        As such, he swiftly assumed the position at SCP of chief keyboard-warrior, which has subsequently become his main raison d’être outside of his professional life. He searches earnestly and desperately for keyboard fights wherever he can find them; each time releasing a little bit more of that anger. He’s now become so mechanically predictable, everybody here can tell when he’s gonna look for a ‘fight’. When you made your comment above, the whole of the readership at SCP (even including his two parrots) would’ve known immediately that PB would be the first to respond.. and respond tersely.

        So, take no notice, Ja: he’s just looking for a keyboard fight with you. He wants to use you to release a bit more of his anger. And with you in particular, he’s even more keen for a ‘fight’, ‘coz he doesn’t know you; hence he senses the chance of a bit of fresh-meat to tackle. Don’t give him what he wants . . to ignore him is to torture him.

        But if you DID choose to answer his question of: “Who the hell are you?” . . then you could perhaps tell him everything he needs to know, which is: “My name is Ja: I’m a human-being: I live on earth: I made a comment in a thread at SCP”.

        I’m sure you gathered from his very first comment in this thread that PB is as ignorant as it’s possible to be for a citizen of the western-world; his head’s so deeply buried in the sand, he constantly disturbs turtle-eggs. But worse, he attempts to teach his ignorance to others. We don’t care what he supposedly teaches in his professional life (although I’m sure most here can guess what his pupils say about him behind his back): and we all know that he’s an accomplished writer, a born poet, and maybe the most learned man that I’ve ever shared a page with . . but in all other aspects of his life he’s twisted, demented and puerile, and he tries to teach and preach ignorance, hatred and racism. Most here at SCP have their own minds, hence they’re out of his reach. And most sense that he’s a deeply-troubled, flawed individual, and they just leave him to his own devices, with most choosing to simply make no comment. But there are a handful here who’ve allowed themselves to be influenced by his words. That’s not testament to his teaching-capabilities; that’s testament to his acolytes having no mind of their own: no thoughts their own; no views their own; no imagination their own . . they were always looking for someone to think and speak for them (which is exactly how flump got the gig as prezzzz). That’s why their (non)-comments here are always practically word-for-word copies of PB’s. It’s a given.

        See? That’s all he amounts to, Ja. You were perceptive enough to gather that just from one comment of his; can you imagine how it is for the rest of us who’ve seen hundreds of his comments? Ignore him, and feel free to make further sensible comments to these pages.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        “I shudder to think how completely different my life would’ve been if I’d been intelligent.”

        –Monty Phillips, marijuana addict

      • Monty

        Well, I’ve long sensed that you hold a mild fascination with me (in that curious way that one can sometimes become fascinated with an adversary who they just can’t seem to beat, no matter how hard they try. They throw everything they’ve got at them, even resorting to the most desperate of measures, and the adversary just comes back with a simple but highly-effective response; which leaves them thinking: “I just can’t beat him: he’s got a valid, effective answer for everything I throw at him. How does he do it?”) . . but I didn’t realise that your fascination extended to keeping a dossier on me! I’m mildly flattered to learn of my significance to you after noticing that you extracted my above quote from some six weeks ago; dutifully and correctly dated. The only surprise is that you never stated the actual time-of-day that I posted it; maybe you should refer again to your dossier.

        As for the quote itself: of course the average yank would never be able to derive any sense from it, that’s to be expected. But even though you yourself can’t understand it, it still seems to’ve rattled your cage somewhat. It seems a shame that you’ve got no idea about a quote which nonetheless seems to’ve taken your fancy . . so allow me to break it down for you and others into Layman terms:

        “Anyone can have common sense, provided they have no imagination”.. Wilde.

        It’s generally accepted that most of us possess either common sense or imagination: not both. We’re only given one or the other. The majority are given common sense, and rightly so. They make up the whole workforce which keeps a country’s big-wheel turning. They generally had, at least, a normal education in which they were content to be educated; after which came work, wife, kids, and eventually retirement. BUT.. they don’t generally have any affinities or capabilities with things pertaining to any of the arts, or with simple aesthetics. And their thoughts and beliefs are generally the collective ones of those held by that same majority. Put another way, they don’t usually go against the grain of their given national ideology.

        The minority are given imagination, which affords them such things as the aforementioned affinity with the arts, aesthetics, etc; as well as individual thinking which differs, sometimes vastly, from the collective norm. It also affords them the confidence to go against the grain, to think and act differently, to lead alternative existences, etc: and imagination generally breeds curiosity, which compels them to pursue alternative interests, to travel, etc. With the minority, it’s often the case that they weren’t really suited to school: weren’t really capable of absorbing their given education, hence didn’t really give it the necessary attention, hence leaving school with no qualifications. BUT.. it’s often the case that those fortunate enough to be in the minority are, to varying degrees, lacking in common sense or intelligence.

        I’m firmly in the minority. I didn’t choose it: one doesn’t choose it: one either is or isn’t.. from birth. Any of my friends worldwide will tell you, without hesitation, that I’m (in)famously lacking in the most basic of common sense, let alone intelligence. I get so confused over the most stupid things (like reading basic instructions on how to assemble an item, etc), and I’ve got a complete fear of technology and all things technical. I’m still a novice with the internet, and phones still scare me. I’ve got no basic intelligence at all. In so many ways.. I’m really stupid. BUT.. I was blessed from birth with an affinity with the written-word: I shunned an education: I was fortunate to have never had a dad, which afforded a less-disciplined upbringing; I’ve always lived a varied and alternative existence; never had a job till I was 37 (“Hard work is simply a refuge for people who’ve got nothing better to do.”: Wilde.); I’ve played the drums for 30-odd years (worldwide); I’ve got a pure and profound relationship with poetry (reading tons of it, and writing the odd one) and the natural-world; and I’ve always (and will always) travelled extensively.

        I may’ve sounded a bit boastful above, but I felt it was right to show exactly how my life’s been, so you can now compare the alternative:
        Imagine if I’d been born into a normal, functional family, with a dad: and had some sort of basic intelligence. I accepted the state-education – even enjoyed it – and gained some qualifications. I left school at 16, done a 5-year apprenticeship with some electrical firm: and stayed with the same firm till retirement at 65. Imagine that: 40-odd years of working 5-6 days a week: watching telly at night: and washing the car on a Sunday, or trimming the hedge, or any such menial, routine task. The exact same routine EVERY WEEK.. for 40 years.. AGGHHH!! And to think that if I’d possessed any sort of intelligence, that could so easily have been my life. And now, at 57, I would’ve been still going through that same weekly routine, just seeing out the years till my pension. UGHH! You may state the obvious: “But you would’ve had a wife and kids”.. but I weren’t really cut out for domesticity. I’ve got a 32 year-old daughter in England (who I still see 4-5 times a year), and me and her mum split-up when she was 4, mainly due to my basic lack of responsibility with fatherhood.

        See? That’s why I “shudder to think” how my life might’ve been if I’d possessed any intelligence. It may sound pretentious, but some people are born free: they were always gonna be free one way or the other: a bit different, a bit alternative . . and I thank my lucky stars that I was one of ‘em.

        Who needs intelligence? Who wants intelligence? Charles Bukowski (who, apart from the ‘beat poets’, was one of only three American poets who’ve had worthwhile things to say in their poetry: the other two being Dot Parker and Frank Stanford) once said: “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence”. Or what about this one from Schopenhauer: “The more unintelligent a man is, the less mysterious existence seems to him”. Or, my firm favourite from A. Mackie, ‘coz it describes my life to a tee: “I didn’t get to be this smart without being stupid.” (‘smart’ in Britain meaning ‘sharp’.. ‘astute’).

        p.s. This missive contains 8 paragraphs. If you’ve got any more old quotes of mine in your Monty Dossier, and you choose to randomly put them on this page.. for no apparent reason.. giving no explanation why to other readers.. then I shall again have to employ several paragraphs giving an explanation to anyone who might be reading. You’re a defeated man; repeat, repeat, repeat, that’s all you do now. You’ve got nothing more to say but the same old words.. as regards me and you, you’re finished.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        So you admit that you are not intelligent, that you’re happy to be stupid, that you have minimal schooling, that you are a failure as a father and a husband, that you can’t hold a steady job, that you are a marijuana addict, and that you’ve been beating drums for the last thirty years.

        Wow. What a loser.

      • Monty

        1/ I proudly admitted 6 weeks ago that I was unintelligent: it’s you who’s spookily retrieved the quote from your Monty dossier. It’s old news now: change the record, you sap.

        2/ I’ve changed your whole outlook on life. Before my last missive, you never had any idea how being stupid could give one a distinct advantage in life when it came to self-contentedness. But now you’re thinking to yourself “Well, I’m highly intelligent, and I’ve never been able to attain self-contentedness; and this other chap’s stupid, but content.” That’s got you thinking, ain’t it.

        3/ You’ve known for two years that I had “minimal” schooling, and it still hurts you that someone so uneducated can beat you off the page with words.

        4/ For one to be a failure as a husband, one has to be married. I never mentioned marriage; she was the mother of my daughter. We split amicably – to’ve stayed together for the sake of our daughter when things weren’t working would’ve been the REAL “failure”. The mother – who a few years later married a quality chap with whom she’s still blissfully in love – remains to this day one of my best friends. Ten years ago, me and my daughter – before she herself got married and subsequently had two kids – walked together for 22 days around the Annapurna Circuit, one of the historic Himalayan trails in Nepal. Our relationship – as much as it’ll cripple you to hear it – is as pure as the driven snow. What a lucky man I am.

        5/ Who said I “couldn’t hold down a steady job”? You did. I didn’t, They’re your lies. Now, if you’d’ve said that I DIDN’T WANT to hold down a job, you’d’ve been closer to the mark; but the exact truth is.. I couldn’t afford to have a job. We had a few schemes going in Blighty for 20 years, slightly on the wrong side of the law, and it afforded us a lifestyle that ‘working’ could never do. And once one becomes accustomed to a certain lifestyle.. well, one’s never gonna stop and get a ‘steady’ job which pays peanuts in comparison, are they? But nothing lasts forever. By the end of the 90’s and modernisation, Britain was changing, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain our little scheme. So, I got out while the going was good. A cuppla close chums had moved to the South of France the year before, so I went down to stay with them for a few weeks: decided I wanted to live there: and started a tiny English Taxi company (my first ‘steady’ job at the age of 37): and I’m still there to this day.

        6/ You personally would or could never know, not even if you wrenched your head out of the sand, but it’s been known – and clinically proven – for decades that ganga is not physically addictive (I believe it’s the only known drug which isn’t). Hence I have to again deflate you by stating that one can’t become an “addict”. But I will readily admit that I wouldn’t contemplate living my life without it; it plays such an integral role in my whole existence that I gave up alcohol 7-8 years ago.

        7/ Nobody would or could write the words: “So, you’ve been beating the drums for 30 years . . what a loser” without doing so out of pure jealousy. It doesn’t make any sense otherwise. No one, simply no one, would call someone a “loser” for playing the drums. I’m in your head: I know how you think. So when I see something like that, I don’t think: “Why does he think I’m a loser ‘coz I play the drums” . . instead, I immediately think: “There’s yet another trait of mine to which he simply can’t relate; so he’s just thrown in one of his normal lies to try and deflect it, to try turning something undeniably positive into something negative”. Phew! It’s incredible how your sickness can put you in a position where one half of your head is writing: “You play the drums, you loser” . . but the other half, at the same time, is thinking: “Why am I writing this; it must be pretty cool to play the drums”. Proper screwed-up!

        See? I told you in my last missive.. you’re finished with me. Give up. You’ve got nothing else to say. You’ve just thrown seven accusations at me, and I’ve responded with seven simple, factual answers . . and your accusations have again fallen flat on their face. That’s the difference, see.. I don’t have to tell lies or inaccuracies. I just tell you things as they are in my life. And that’s what really hurts you, ain’t it? You hate my life: you utterly despise my life. It twists you up inside. So you throw all you’ve got at me, with all your hatred, and I just sit here calmly and collectively picking your lies of one by one, giving a simple answer or explanation, exposing your lies to other readers . . and your words just fall down.. which exasperates you, and that’s when you start repeating yourself, going over old ground. It’s like clockwork, it’s so predictable: and you make it so obvious to all other readers. Look at the latest one: dragging up a quote from six weeks ago. Do you not care how other readers will see that? Have you got no personal pride? Stop embarrassing yourself. Give up the ghost. You can’t beat me: I’m too sophisticated for you. I’m too calm for you. I’m too sharp for you. Give in!

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Once again…


        What a bore this jackass is.

      • Monty

        Jackass? Let me think . . where’ve I heard that before?

    • Monty

      Strong winds in the Himalayas in the last couple of days, which’ve blown in some snippets of news from other shores. Not just any old news, but high-quality stuff: each snippet being filled with its own delicious irony.

      Delicious Irony 1:
      Some Yankee basketball player decided to show how dismissive he was of Corona at a recent press-conference . . by deliberately and demonstratively touching every reporter’s microphone, as if to say: “Virus? What virus? Look at me: I don’t believe the hype, I’m too cool for that.”

      Within days, he’d tested positive! Which left one wondering if he’d also infected any of the said reporters.

      Delicious Irony 2:
      Some Yankee politician decided to wear a full-sized gas mask into Parliament one day. “Virus? What virus? Look at me. Don’t believe the hype,”

      Within days, he’d tested positive!

      Potential Irony:
      The very first person to post a comment in this thread made such claims as: “This (Corona) virus is no different than any other type of seasonal flu” . . “Deliberately stoked by our lying Mainstream Media” . . “It’s being exploited by the left to create mindless panic” . . The social-distancing at my university is “a flagrantly insane move, made by stupid administrators.”

      One can’t help wondering if a similar irony may transpire!

      Delicious Irony 3:
      The previous Yankee president created a pandemic task-force, a team ready and equipped to deal with deadly viruses.
      The present incumbent – a year into his tenure – disbanded that task-force!

      Delicious Irony 4:
      Even in the face of Corona, Uncle Sam’s piggy-bank must still be fed. Thus, face-masks in money-mad America – which normally cost less than 2 dollars each – have soared to five times that price; with different states having to compete and outbid each other.

      Truly breathtaking!

      Delicious Irony 5:
      In a time of need, Americans have looked to their president . . and realised they haven’t got one! Instead, they’ve got some useless, gormless oaf who’s just hampering those who’re REALLY getting things done with this pandemic; whose ego prevents him from caring about anything more than keeping his job; and who dismissed Corona as a democrat’s hoax!

      As has been said before, Flump will do more harm to America than any foreign power could do.

      • Mike Bryant

        Monty (A comment on ‘Lullaby’ by Kim Cherub)
        October 29, 2018
        Forgive me, Kim: I’ve only just noticed the comment which ya left under ‘Writer’s Clock’.
        I must confess that it was originally written (2 years ago) with no regard to meter; and only the slightest regard to syllabic-equality. Having since then become affiliated with SCP (thus learning about meter), I’ve been able to see clearly that it wouldn’t take a lot of tweaking to make it metrically equal. But, there ya go . . we live and learn. (So, Monty wrote ‘Writer’s Clock’ around 2016)

        Monty (A comment on The Divine Significance of the Coronavirus: Three Poems on the Wuhan Flu)
        March 27, 2020
        Bullied and the Brize will be thrilled to learn that it’s only ‘coz of Writer’s Clock that I’m here at SCP! It was just a spontaneous little ditty that I wrote and completed in about a thousand seconds – 25 years ago!
        (So, Monty wrote ‘Writer’s Clock’ around 1995)

        Delicious Irony 6:
        Everything Monty Med says should be taken with a pinch of salt.

      • Monty

        A simple typo, folks. The ‘2 years ago’ should obviously have read ‘20 years ago’.. plus the two years since the comment: 22 years ago. Not quite 25, but close enough.

        But the typo has also “served a purpose”: it’s shown everyone how besotted the puppet-pest is with me; carrying out painstaking detective work while everyone else is getting on with their lives. Could he be any more obsessed: sifting through other contributors’ poems from two years ago in order to find a typo? That’s spooky. That’s disturbing. He should be watched.

        It’s now apparent that he must take an age to read my individual comments. Imagine how slowly he must have to read in order to try spotting any misplaced apostrophe, or an “it’s” which should be an “its”.. and with all my paragraphs as well! Imagine how frustrated he must feel after spending 20 minutes sifting laboriously through 9 paragraphs . . and finding not ONE error of any kind. Every time! One wonders how much hair he’s got left.

        Watch out, folks: he could be sifting through a poem of yours soon . .

      • Mike Bryant

        A scientific study demonstrates that in all vertebrates, the hindbrain exhibits no mentation.  I have since come to learn (on this comments page of SCP) that in one vertebrate mentation takes place exclusively in the hindbrain, completely bypassing the forebrain. The vertebrate in question exhibits a severe defect whereby an open neural tube from the hindbrain connects directly to the anus resulting in acute logorrhea.

      • Monty

        Ah, see how the puppet has learnt the art of total deflection from his puppet-master. His master’s famous for it on these pages when he’s backed into a corner: he deflects the matter in hand, resulting in pure irrelevances. And now the puppet’s tuition is bearing fruit . . with the most irrelevant of irrelevances.

      • Monty

        Ah, see how the puppet stays true to his masters’ mantras: Monteee put the ‘ass’ in ‘jackass’.

      • Monty

        See? Can we assume that even his other half is now quietly thinking to herself: “Why has my man resorted to posting such nonsensical irrelevances? Has he got nothing else to say?” Of course, her legal-status precludes her actually telling him to his face; not to mention the threat to the general harmony in the house.

      • Monty

        Not only has the puppet-pest been beaten into mere repetition – just as his master has for many months now – but he’s also more than willing to display his loss in full view of the public – just like his master.

        One wonders if he’ll ever know what it’s like to have his own views, and to say his own things. Maybe one day . .

        In the meantime, watch his reply to this as further evidence of his submission.

  2. Sally Cook

    My exhibit, due to open today, was cancelled just a few hours before the event.
    Having ruined the entire .collaborative effort between several departments, the opening, cancelled by NY State’s Governor, wiped out months of preparation.
    That being said, I have talked to no one who does not agree with you…… yet panic buying has begun here.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Sally, I am deeply sorry about the cancellation. This is a horrible injustice. I know that the planning and arrangements for that exhibit were in the works for many months. I know that some of your most important paintings were to be shown, and that a vast labor of love went into both preparations and restoration work.

      God damn this scumbag Andrew Cuomo! He’s a worse piece of garbage than his father Mario!

    • C.B. Anderson


      Andrew Cuomo is a di*k. Insert “c” or “n” as you like. I, too, am sorry for the inconvenience visited upon you; life offers only so many opportunities, and it’s a shame when even one is wasted by forces and events out of our control.
      In my own life (I’ll spare you the details), just as one cloud has lifted, another one descends. Carry on, dear Sally.

  3. Sally Cook

    This was, I think, the beginning of a new way of looking at the arts-or perhaps I should say an old way? Some of my poetry was to be read by others, interspersed with some Dickinson, up against a few students. A four part chorale composed for the occasion would have been sung at the end of the reading; the words from my work.It would have been a breath of fresh air in academia. I practiced for hours . so that I might give a good reading.
    Now that’s all in the past, having never begun. They are good people and I know they will do something, but the impetus is .gone. Thanks, Gov — remind me not to vote for you.

    • Leo Zoutewelle

      I am very sorry that this mess hit you so personally so hard, Sally. Don’t let it slow you down though!
      Leo Z

      • Joe Tessitore

        I’m sorry to hear of your cancellation, Sally – a terrible blow!

  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    I’m sorry to hear of all the hysteria, cancellations, panic buying etc. Every last toilet roll has been snatched from the shelves in my town in Texas. I thought this might bring a smile to a sorry state of affairs:


    There’s a mega-virus threat
    and I simply have to get
    that holy grail of joy – I want an acre
    of the strong yet so-soft stuff
    but damn, there’s not enough;
    I cannot find one roll of toilet paper.

    Walmart’s shelves are bare
    and I’m tearing out my hair;
    I was primed to buy a basket-bulging glut.
    When it comes to fevered chills
    from the bug that bites or kills
    the only thing that matters is my butt!

  5. David Watt

    Sally, it’s a shame your exhibit was cancelled after so much hard work and time spent. I hope you can a more positive result in the not too distant future.

    In regard to panic buying, we have had toilet paper fights in the news, and bare shelves in the supermarket. Who would have thought that toilet paper could become a hot topic of daily conversation? I guess we could always resort to gum leaves.

  6. James Sale

    Sorry to learn of this Sally – it’s huge disappointment. My wife, the artist Linda E Sale, and I have an exhibition scheduled for June of this year, and are now wondering whether it will happen. But the difference is, we won’t have put in all the pre-work as you have. I get exactly how much that costs you.

    On another note: I like these poems. The Crown of Wuhan is ambitious and powerful; Joe’s work is succinct and witty, and I like the fact that he eschews the ‘rules’ – foreign might I say – of haiku by getting his to rhyme! Great. And Evan’s piece flies: I like the use of the second line dimeter, instead of the more normal trimeter, which creates a powerful, slightly clipped effect, which reflects the sudden devastation it depicts. All very good poetry.

  7. Monty

    Regarding your Haiku, Joe: I can allay your fear that “evil is winning”. The tale below will show that for the last 50-odd years, it’s been neither winning or losing . . just being!

    There was a time about a half a century ago
    When Good and Evil both put forth an individual stake
    To be the undisputed ruler of the globe. As such
    A duel was hastily arranged; a one-off fight to show
    Who’d be the ruler true. The victor’d then be free to take
    The title: he alone would keep mankind within his clutch.

    The contest thus began. ‘Twas full and fierce; an hour went by . .
    Until there came a point where neither had more fight to give.
    They stumbled to their feet with a reluctant shake of hands,
    And both agreed to settle for an honourable tie.
    They swore they’d never fight again, instead they’d simply live
    As equals: free to spread their influence across all lands.

    And since that day they’ve never sought to modify that plan . .
    They’re both content with half a share of dominion over man.

      • Joe Tessitore

        I’m not sure what your footnote is referring to.

        I don’t believe for a moment that evil has won or that it will win – it doesn’t have a prayer, pun intended.

        I must now deal with the fact that I am remarkably naive. I used to think that we were decent and reasonable. The Corona Virus has proven me wrong. As Dr. Salemi details above, we are more than happy to descend into panic and insanity, to suspend our freedoms, and to sacrifice more than a trillion dollars (and counting) of our wealth – all for the hatred of one man.

        And perhaps the most remarkable aspect of all of this is that we are willing to elect a demented old man whose administration, during the Swine Flu pandemic, waited six months and allowed a thousand of us to die before it declared a state of emergency. Seventeen thousand of us would eventually die from Swine Flu during the Obama/Biden administration.

        I don’t know where you are at the moment, Monty, but would love to know if things are as crazy there as they are here.

  8. Joseph Charles MacKenzie

    The Roman Martyrology records one Saint Corona who is venerated in Austria and Bavaria as a patron saint against epidemics.

    Saint Corona was martyred during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus in the year 165 A.D. in Damascus for comforting another martyr, St. Victor.

    St. Victor, a Roman soldier of Italian ancestry, was stationed in Damascus. He was tortured for refusing to renounce his Catholic faith. Among many other horrendous tortures, his eyes were gouged out before being beheaded.

    While Saint Victor was being tortured, the sixteen-year-old Saint Corona comforted and prayed for him. Because of this, she was arrested and interrogated by the Romans and found to be a Christian. Saint Corona was tied between to two bent palm trees and torn apart as the trunks were released. Her relics were transferred to Aachen around 1000 A.D. by Emperor Otto III.

    Saint Corona’s feast day, along with that of Saint Victor, is May 14th.

    Sancta Corona, ora pro nobis! In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

    • Joe Tessitore

      How incredibly interesting is this, that Saint Corona is the patron saint against epidemics.
      I read early on that the virus got it’s name from the crown-like (i.e. “coronal”) structures that encircle it.

    • Margaret Coats

      There is a valuable current project honoring Saint Corona at
      Scroll down to click on the Saint Corona Project button and see an image of the virgin martyr holding her attributes, two palm trees.

  9. Monty

    Well, I’m a tad puzzled now, Joe. You said in your Haiku: “evil is winning”: but in your comment: “I don’t believe evil has won or will win”.

    Regardless, my response was influenced by your claim (fear?) that “evil is winning”. I just used the sonnet as a roundabout way of saying that neither Good nor Evil are “winning”.. and neither of them WILL ever win! I was just playing with my own imagination . . so I invented a duel from about 50 years ago, which was subsequently tied. After which, both parties agreed to a 50-50 split to hold equal dominion over Man; and they also agreed that neither will ever prevail over the other. The agreement stands till the end of time.

    Of course the ‘duel’ part was just imaginary jest ( just to render my thoughts into a story, to give the sonnet a body), but the other parts of it – the ‘equal share’, and the ‘till the end of time’ – are my firm and unshakable beliefs. Nothing can and will ever change, because:

    a/ The equal share..
    This speaks for itself these days, at least in the developed-world. From waking till sleeping, we see Good and Evil equally the whole day long, at the simple turn of a head. We look left, we see Good . . we turn our head to the right, we instantly see Evil. We see this headline (woman dedicated 20 years of her life to saving an endangered species), Good . . we turn our head to that headline (terrorist bombing in shopping-mall – 40 dead), Evil. We hear this story, Good: we turn to that story: Evil . . . D’you see what I’m saying, Joe? Everywhere we look, left and right, we see Good and Evil. They’re both with us equally.. all day.. every day! They both pervade our whole existence.

    b/ Till the end of time..
    You’ll notice I referred to the duel in the sonnet as taking place about 50 years ago. I used the ‘50 years ago’ loosely, as that being around the time when today’s Evils first seemed to start playing a part in life, at least in the developed-world. It was around this time that 1/ Capitalism first started to become greedy and ruthless.. 2/ Acts of terrorism started to be perpetrated world-wide against the public.. 3/ The start of some of the global religious wars which are still ongoing.. 4/ The slow realisation that – due to money and greed – America may never change its gun-laws (and now look!).. 5/ Fanatical despots starting to rule over third-world countries . . and there eventually came a point where the Evil we were witnessing was equalling the Good. That point was reached long-ago; and that’s how it’ll be ‘till the end of time’. How do I know this? Well, consider this, Joe: In the time it’s taken me to compose this missive, a baby boy’s just been born somewhere on the globe, whose parents/guardians will brainwash him for the next two decades; and when that boy’s 20 years old, he’s gonna be quite content to walk into a large public gathering with a bomb in his rucksack; and he’ll do so willingly. He’s gonna think he’s doing good.. doing his duty. And what’s more, those who brainwashed him will believe that they also did good.. did THEIR duty. And that’s in 20 years time! They’re being born now: every day. And in the next twenty years, still more will be born: hence more bombers in 40 years time. See? It can never end (that’s why I inserted the ‘agreement’ into the sonnet: that that Good and Evil are both content to have a half-share ‘till the end of time’. And that’s just one single example (terrorism) of all the evils we see today. Think of all the other examples which are also here till eternity! See? You may call me a pessimist, and you can call me it all day long: and I’ll tell you all day long that I’m a realist.

    I’m in Nepal, Joe, seeing as you asked: and so far there’s only one – ONE – person infected out of 28 million. But nobody’s expecting it to stay that way. I’m more concerned about being potentially quarantined when I get back to France next month! Whilst on this subject, I must say that I was both amused and sickened to notice – from other comments above – how you lot over there are still using this virus to espouse your own personal political squabbles. It’s a given that one of the commenters (the usual suspect) can and will never know any better . . but to see how readily others of you fell into line with his sickness – it’s fascinating in a way. It seems that if America suffered a fatal nuclear attack, you’d all still be saying with your dying breaths: “It’s the left-wing’s fault; it’s the right-wing’s fault; it’s the previous president’s fault; it’s Wall Street’s fault; it’s the Media’s fault; it’s a conspiracy”. If, during this current situation, America can’t momentarily forget its absurd and crippling divisions . . well, there’s no words to describe the mess it’s in.

    My footnote ‘*Man for man’ was to indicate that the very last word of the sonnet should’ve contained a capital M.

    • Joe Tessitore

      You’re right about ideology, Monty – it’s pure poison, and we are a country divided against itself.
      I’ve been writing about it for a long time and I do believe that we will not long stand.
      It may or may not be in my lifetime, but we do seem to be drawing ever closer to the edge.
      This current situation with the virus has convinced me that the left will stop at nothing to destroy us; I thought (and hoped) that they had reached their limit with impeachment, but I was very clearly wrong.

      You do have to look at the entire picture. It’s easy to say that both sides are responsible, but that’s just not the case. The left has been trying to bring Trump down now for more than three years and they will stop at nothing.
      As far as the virus is concerned, statistics are statistics and they speak for themselves, ideologies notwithstanding.

      I used “winning” in the sense of the immediate battle swirling around the Corona Virus. Evil is indeed winning, and for numbers that are statistically insignificant. One one hundred thousandth of one percent of us has died from it, and you’d think that we were stacking the bodies in the streets like cordwood – all the result of the efforts of the American left.

      No one, by the way, convinced me of this. I began looking up statistics for myself very early on. You are FAR more likely to to die from being hit by lightening here in the States than you are from the Corona Virus.

      • Monty

        Phew.. talk about insularity! It’s staggering to observe the sheer defiance of most Americans to see beyond their own shores. Judging by your words, Joe, it seems like you’ve convinced yourself that in my little story above, the Good and Evil is referring to the ‘left and right’ in America . . it isn’t! There’s no mention of left and right: no mention of politics: no mention of America: no mention of any single thing, body, or country: and no mention of Corona! If you read it again, it’s simply a fictional story about Good and Evil having a fight one day, the winner of which would be the “undisputed ruler of the GLOBE” . . and would “keep MANKIND within his clutch”. The fight was subsequently tied, so they both agreed to share the spoils, an equal “share of dominion over MAN”. See? Three key words: globe, mankind and Man: purposely inserted into the poem to inform the reader that the poem was unequivocally referring to the whole human species the world over. I purposely wrote it that way simply because that’s exactly how things are; good and evil rule equally the world over, and will do till the end of time. And yet both of your responses since I wrote it show that you immediately married the poem to the left and right in America. See? You’re so wrapped-up in this left and right thing, it prevented you from seeing that it was a global poem, about two global entities.. good and evil.

        This Corona thing’s also global, a global threat to every human. It doesn’t recognise what passport we hold: it doesn’t recognise how much we have in our bank-account: it doesn’t recognise our date-of-birth: and it certainly doesn’t recognise left and right. And yet, astonishingly, you say above: “This current situation with the virus has convinced me that the left will stop at nothing to destroy us”. Blimey! It’s tragic for me to hear those words, Joe: tragic to realise how some Americans can allow their whole existence – even in the face of a serious pandemic- to be pervaded and dominated by filthy politics. And as for the percentage you quoted of Americans that’ve so far died from Corona; America’s got one of the largest populations on the planet, thus percentages will always seem comparatively low; but if you can somehow raise your periscope for a quick glance beyond your shores, you’ll notice that the percentages are naturally higher in countries with far smaller populations: Italy.. 55 million people.. 30,000 Corona cases. See? This is the danger of insularity: it prevents people from seeing the bigger picture . . the real picture.

        Judging by your comments on these pages in the last 3 years, you seem to be a decent, humble, happily-married person; but judging by your comments in this thread, you seem to’ve allowed yourself to become tortured by all the shit that you see and hear all around you, every day. But there IS a way out! For a start, you’ve gotta stop worshipping that Flump who’s supposed to be running your country. With him in particular (as opposed to previous presidents) it’s not a case of what side he’s on – left or right – that’s irrelevant. With him, and everything he represents as an individual person.. he’s your enemy: and he’s the enemy of two-thirds of the population, whether they’re left or right. And you’ve also gotta stop being guided by the words of the other commenter above whom you refer to as a doctor. Your reference is correct: he is indeed a doctor, who prescribes hatred and venom to anything which is not right-wing or catholic. He’s a lot more tortured than you; and for him there’s NO way out. But there IS a way out for you, Joe. It might sound far-fetched, and it’d obviously entail a MAJOR life-change, but if you could just start thinking to yourself:

        “Right, I’ve had enough. I’m gonna wash my hands with all this politics shit. Me and my wife are decent people, and we’re gonna live out the rest of our lives together as contentedly as we can. We can’t let this shit screw us up any more. From now on, we’re not gonna care which corrupt government’s in power at any given time – left or right. They’re literally all as bad as each other: self-serving, patronising, distrustful and uncaring. We’re gonna stop watching the news: stop reading the papers: stop getting into conversations with others about politics (friends will soon understand if we don’t wanna talk about such things): and stop looking at such stuff on the internet. We’re no longer gonna be labelled as left or right, and we’re no longer gonna refer to ourselves as left or right. Instead, we’re gonna simply refer to ourselves as exactly what we are: two human-beings who’re content with each other’s company. And we’re just gonna carry on pursuing our own interests and hobbies, etc . . and render ourselves immune to all that’s going on around us”.

        I told you it’d sound far-fetched, didn’t I: and I said it’d involve a major life-change . . but it can be done, Joe. It’s a big thing, massive . . but it can be done. I said once before on these pages: the way I see it, self-contentedness is the ultimate human achievement. Many people think we should aim for ‘happiness’, but that word’s too ambiguous to be taken seriously. If you asked ten people their definition of happiness, you’d get ten different answers. But contentedness only means one thing . . content! And it’s something we should all strive for: to be content with our lives. And if politics is making you discontent, Joe, then you’ve gotta make a decision. Stay with it . . or go.

      • Mike Bryant

        Joe, I agree with Monte. We should ignore evil. Let it take our freedoms. Let it take our countries. Let it take our property. Let it reshape the world. Let it remove all those who disagree. Monte is right. Don’t fight. Just close your mind, your ears, your eyes and especially your mouth. Why stand up against the inevitable?

  10. Lannie David Brockstein

    To the reader at SCP: It is completely normal for humans to panic during a pandemic.

    What matters the most, is panicking in a way that is productive, rather than counter-productive, such as by stocking up on 40 days worth of groceries and supplies, rather than on 40 weeks of toilet paper.

    It is a natural function of the human body to have involuntarily shat its pants if scared beyond belief, as dropping that extra weight makes it easier to run faster—that is the same reason as to why geese usually drop a load immediately prior to their taking flight.

    As for those who blame the media for having caused a widespread panic, why should we hold the media to a higher standard, when its reporters are as human (and thus as panic-prone during a pandemic) as everybody else?

    It is not as though many contributors to SCP have themselves refrained from having posted comments that are laced with the fearmongering of conspiracy theories and other fake news nonsense.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      To the reader at SCP: It is completely normal for Lannie Brockstein to come here and make utterly asinine statements. Now he’s defending mass panic, hysteria, and the Chicken-Little syndrome.

  11. A.B. Brown

    I enjoyed these three pieces very much. From the Miltonic to the terse—a testament to how the worst disasters (and faux-disasters) can contribute to making art and beauty shine more in the world.
    I currently live in the rural Midwest and so experience a different demographic than most of you cosmopolitan New Yorkers, and we haven’t yet had a single case where I am. That has not prevented everybody in my small town from panicking and ransacking Walmart and Dollar General, the only two stores in town.
    In the mental health organization where I work things are totally crazy. We are in the process of switching to telehealth over a screen rather than seeing clients face to face, which will result in nobody getting the help they need. While nearly all of my clients think this whole thing is stupid, they have nevertheless given into ‘panic-by-proxy,’ and have started stocking up on items simply because everybody else is.
    Lacking the herd instinct, I myself have done absolutely nothing to prepare for this situation, and have exactly three rolls of toilet paper in my house. I am hoping to stretch each square as long as I can.
    As I live in one of the poorest places in America where methamphetamine use is the REAL pandemic, it is likely that when the flu does come here, everyone will get it all at once due to the heavy saturation of drug users in the town.

    One silver lining in this is that, if we are all quarantined soon, there will be plenty of time to write more poetry!

  12. Joe Tessitore

    Dear Monty,

    I raise my periscope from the remote and insular island of Manhattan and read that in Nepal, a nation of 28 million people, there is one case of Corona Virus, for a fraction of one percent that is so small as to defy being put into words.
    I know that if and when a second case is discovered, the press will report that the virus has surged by 100% in Nepal.
    I scan further and read that of the more than one billion of us who populate the globe, one hundred thousand of us currently have the virus, for a fraction of one one hundredth of one percent.
    I read further and discover that 80 thousand of us have already recovered on their own, and wonder about the necessity of sacrificing a third of the world’s economy and myriad civil liberties – I wonder how many people will die as a result of this economic disaster? I wonder if we will ever recover our freedoms?
    I scan to Italy, which has turned a blind eye to the sweatshops that underpin its fashion industry, and to the abysmal living conditions of those who work in them. Small wonder that they are struggling more than most with the dreaded pandemic.
    I check my sonar and hear that an MIT professor has declared that we will soon have to face the fact that this is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated.

    And I read that from your enlightened position of “just being”, you’ve determined that there’s no way out for perhaps our most accomplished poet.

    No politics; no ideology; just facts, all of which lead me to suggest that you get another hobby.

    Mike Bryant has really nailed it – time for us to stick our heads up our collective asses and socially distance to the max.

    • Monty

      It’s my own fault, Joe: I should’ve known better. I can now see how pathetic it was of me to try telling a yank that it’s possible to live without politics and “ideologies”. I don’t make a habit out of suggesting life-changes to people, but in your penultimate missive you sounded so desperate and worn-down with life, I couldn’t resist suggesting a possible way for you to free your mind; but you’ve now made it perfectly clear that you’re willing to remain in a state of discontent for the rest of your days.

      The other commenter to whom I referred is indeed one of the most accomplished poets at SCP, and certainly the most learned man to contribute to these pages, but he’s already been sentenced to a lifetime of discontent.. without parole: that’s why there’s “no way out”. I never realised that you’d also been given the same sentence.. also without parole. Oh well . .

  13. Joseph S. Salemi

    It’s utterly amazing. In one of his long posts here, Monty makes a big thing about how we shouldn’t be political, and we shouldn’t be riven by ideology, and in practically the next breath he launches a savagely political attack on President Trump.

    Nepal and Kathmandu are the cannabis capitals of Asia, jammed with aging Western hippies and pot-heads. I can see why the guy goes there regularly every year.

    Go ahead now, Monty. We’re all prepared for the eighteen lengthy paragraphs of your reply, punctuated by “See?” every third sentence.

    • Joe Tessitore

      I wonder how he’d stand up under his own scrutiny, or how well he’d tolerate being painted by his own broad brush?

      • Mike Bryant

        I find it unfathomable that he frequents a site that stands for speaking out against the evil done to Falun Gong practitioners.
        If you want to know his ‘creed’ simply read the lyrics of “Imagine”. He imagines the Falun Gong could become content and just get along. He imagines they could say, just as he advised you, Joe: “Right, I’ve had enough. I’m gonna wash my hands of all this Falun Gong sh*t. Me and my kind are decent people, and we’re gonna live out the rest of our lives together as contentedly as we can. We can’t let this sh*t screw us up any more…”
        Imagine… yes, imagine where we would all be if we just imagined…

    • Monty

      See? You’ve done it again. How many times have I told you about reading comments thoroughly before responding to them? And yet, you’ve interpreted my words in the exact opposite way they were intended? You’re so willing to embarrass yourself in public.

      You say I “politically attacked” flump: I didn’t.. I “attacked” him. How could I launch a political attack on someone when I’m the epitome of unpolitical? I wouldn’t dare. Read my words again (but thoroughly this time) and you’ll see that I made it quite clear I wasn’t talking about flump as a president, but as a person. Read: “With him in particular (as opposed to previous presidents) it’s not a case of whether he’s left or right: that’s irrelevant. With him, it’s about everything he represents as an individual person”. D’you get it now? That’s not a political attack, it’s a personal attack! You lied to the readership again. Political attacks happen to all other presidents, past and future. If they’re left, they’ll be politically attacked from the right, and vice versa. That’s how it’s always been, and always will be. But with this one, that’s all outta the window. With him, it’s got absolutely nothing to do with politics: it’s about him as a person.

      It can be safely said that even some of those who voted him in have since realised that he’s a vile, xenophobic racist; an immature, impudent oaf who just happened to be born in circumstances which guaranteed – the moment the midwife smacked his arse – that he’d be a millionaire from birth to death. And that’s only him as a person; what about his suitability to do his job? Well, until recently, I wouldn’t have been in a position to comment upon that, but a few months ago in a café in India, some Canadian chap had a video-compilation on his phone, maybe 30 minutes of individual clips exposing flump for the thick, gormless buffoon that he really is. And the Canadian somehow managed to transfer it from his phone to a TV screen in the café, hence 20-30 people were able to watch it. That’s when I first learnt how hopelessly incapable flump was of basic speech and simple reading. In speech, he can’t string two sentences together without getting his words mixed-up. And when he tries to read from text, it’s comical: he just can’t read the most basic of words, and when he stumbles, he ends up just skipping that word, and jumps straight on to the next one! (Incidentally, the video showed a newspaper-clipping: ‘flump threatens to sue his old school if they ever release copies of his school-reports’. Why would one do that? Well, we all know why, don’t we. Even his most staunchest supporters would have to agree that those reports must be not just bad, but extraordinarily bad) And there were other clips of him being exposed for not knowing basic capital cities of either foreign countries or US states. And yet more clips of other world leaders, diplomats, etc, taking the mickey out of him, saying after meeting him that he hasn’t got a clue, and that they were embarrassed FOR him. See? He’s not fit to hold ANY job of responsibility, let alone the ultimate one. He simply got the job because of three reasons, none of which involve politics:

      1/ He once reached a point in life where he realised that he had nothing else to spend his money on. He thought: ‘I’ve got my jets, I’ve got my boats, my big houses, property everywhere, and I ain’t getting any younger; what else can I spend my money on? I know.. I’ll buy the presidency. I can easily afford it: and what better trip could there be for my ego?

      2/ He’s a celebrity . . in a country which inexplicably worships and idolises celebrity. He knew that the celebrity-vote alone might get him over the line. Like so many other sick things, it could only ever have happened in America.

      3/ Being the person he is, the moment he applied for the job, he would’ve instantly appealed to (what I estimated above to be) a third of voters. That third consists of a/ The rich and upwards.. b/ Racists and xenophobes. To the other two-thirds – the working-class and below: left or right – he’s the enemy. He looks down upon you with disdain. He’ll divide you, which’ll render American life even more intolerable than it is now. He poses a bigger threat to America than any foreign country does! That’s why the rest of the world are hoping he gets another 5 years in the job: America might just implode.

      Another of your lies: it can be seen that everything I said in my last missive was directed only to Joe (forget governments, forget politics, stop watching the news, etc), and yet you say: “Monty makes a big thing about how WE shouldn’t be political, and WE shouldn’t be . .” as though I was referring to all Americans, when it can be clearly seen that those suggestions were only directed to Joe. He sounded really desperate, so I simply offered him (AND ONLY HIM) a few suggestions. So where did you get the “we” from, liar. I would never normally even consider telling a yank to free himself from the scourge of politics, or left and right.. how futile. It’d be like suggesting to an Indian man that he stops eating curry!

      See? You can’t get away with these things with me: you know that by now. Throwing in things like “we” to totally distort my words.. I’m too sharp for that. There are plenty of others here with whom you DO get away with it. I see it all the time, how you twist and distort other commenters words if they dare to disagree with you: and they either don’t notice it, or they do but choose not to say anything. It’s easy for you to do: your an accomplished writer, which enables you to cleverly play with other people’s words to make them sound differently . . . but I’m an accomplished writer also (See’s? or no See’s?), hence I notice such things. So keep your lies for those with whom you can get away with it: don’t waste them on me, ‘coz you’ll always get caught with your pants down.

      Finally, let me leave you with a most delicious example of American insularity:
      “Nepal and Kathmandu are the herb capitals of Asia” . . as though they were two different places. Kathmandu is the CAPITAL of Nepal, you lunatic. What an idiotic thing to say: no wonder you’re a flumpist! That’s akin to saying: ‘England and London are the crime capitals of europe’. See how silly you looked trying to jump on the herb bandwagon? An insular yank trying to include geography in an attempted joke? It could only ever backfire on you. If there’s one race on this planet who should never enter into affairs of geography, it’s you lot over there: where only a minority are capable of spelling the word ‘passport’.

      p.s. This missive contains 9 paragraphs.

  14. Joe Tessitore

    Talk about xenophobia and painting with a broad brush!
    Sounds like you haven’t gotten over loosing the Revolution, Monty!

    • Monty

      When we hear the term “a citizen of the world”, it’s mostly used just as a figure of speech. But there are some, such as me, for whom it’s a true description of what they really are. I’ve visited more than forty countries on our globe; and I don’t mean a two-week holiday in the sun: staying in the tourist-district and eating McDonalds. With many of those forty, I/we have stayed for 6-8-10 weeks, avoiding tourist areas, avoiding capital cities.. which enables one to REALLY get to know a country . . and in many cases making lifelong friends. I don’t say this boastfully (although I am proud of myself): I say it in the sense that now you’ve read these words . . can you pause for a moment and ask yourself: “How could I attribute the word ‘xenophobic’ to Monty? How could I even put the words ‘xenophobia’ and ‘monty’ in the same sentence?” You may then ask yourself: “Given that I’m a true xenophobe, and I live in by far the most xenophobic nation on earth . . how could I ever accuse ANYONE of being xenophobic, let alone someone such as Monty?”

      Think about that, and you may well come-up with the right answer to your questions, which is: “In my desperate attempt to just say something, ANYTHING, derogatory against Monty, I never stopped to consider what I was actually saying . . and now I’ve made myself look rather foolish in public”.

      Before assuming that I haven’t got over “loosing the Revolution”: and before declaring which Revolution you’re referring to . . would you kindly explain to anyone reading this how someone can ‘loose’ a Revolution?

      These are the final words from me to you: there’ll be no more after this. Like I said recently to your co-puppet Bryant, I’ve got no time for those who don’t have anything to say themselves, but instead just jump on the nearest bandwagon and copy or reinforce someone else’s words. I’m better than that. I ain’t saying I’m perfect, not by a long shot, but I’m better than that. I don’t mind having a debate . . but not with parrots!

      Hence, this is a glorious opportunity to throw the kitchen-sink at me without fear of a reply. Go on, call me what you want: xenophobic, racist, bigoted, prejudiced, narrow-minded, not well-travelled, a revolution-looser . . throw it all in with impunity!

      • Joe Tessitore

        The chapter on ‘Maintaining Equilibrium’ from “The Serenity of Just Being “.

      • Mike Bryant

        Poor man has built his life around a song. Imagine that! What a loser, I mean “looser”.

  15. Joseph S. Salemi

    This guy Monty says he’s not xenophobic, and yet he makes a slew of vicious anti-American comments in almost every post he puts up.

    I guess we Americans don’t count, and are therefore fair game for abuse.

    By the way, be prepared for the oncoming multi-paragraph rant of self-justification and denial, punctuated by “See?” in every third paragraph.

    • Co-puppet Bryant

      I am now Monte’s co-puppet. I’m a puppet of American culture, he a sock puppet of a dead Beatle.

    • Monty

      Collins Dictionary
      Fear or hatred of foreigners
      and foreign things.
      (no mention of individual countries)

      See? Yet another inaccuracy . . you beaten man.

    • Parrot Bryant

      Monte’s right. Collins Dictionary also does NOT say anything about criminal, burnt-out hippies, so I guess we’re all good! 🙂

  16. Joseph S. Salemi

    This whole charade is so typical of Monty Phillips. He writes something, you point out its basic idiocy, and he immediately claims that you have misread him or misunderstood him, or else he comes up with some off-the-wall explanation as to why’s he’s technically right.

    Now he wants to redefine “xenophobia” so that the word never can be used in reference to any specific nation at all, but only be understood as an abstraction. In other words, if you are a British ex-pat living in France and you make vicious comments about America and Americans, that isn’t “xenophobia.” Or if you are an Irishman who hates the English and you make viciously anti-English remarks, that isn’t “xenophobia.”

    He is so clueless he can’t understand the dictionaries define words abstractly, but the words are used in specific contexts. This is what happens when one is not properly educated.

    Can anyone even begin to plumb the depth’s of this pot-head’s stupidity?

    • Monty

      Jackass: uneducated: pot-head: you’re a beaten man. You’ve been beaten into mere repetition. A 10 year-old could look at all you’ve wrote in the last few months, and say: ‘This fella says exactly the same words every time: not just sometimes, but literally every time: the exact same words’. For an accomplished writer to be reduced to such drudgery . . that indicates only one thing: you’ve got no more to say. You attempted combat with a vastly superior human: and you came unstuck. Now you’ve been reduced to cowering in a corner with your pants down; shitting out the same old words which serve no purpose other than making your parrot-bryant come in his knickers.

      You may wish to ask yourself how you’ve managed to become a such a figure of ridicule at SCP: you’ll find the answer in your own words.

      Cower, cower . . beaten man.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Monty, believe me…

        You’re describing yourself. If you were educated, you’d know that what you are going through is psychological projection.

      • Monty

        An intelligent, learned man of letters . . publicly beaten into a state of repetition by a stupid, uneducated, jackass pot-head.
        What an unusual script; could there be a film in the offing?

      • Monty

        . . and don’t say “Monty, believe me..”.
        How can you have the audacity to ask anyone else to believe you when you don’t even believe yourself anymore? I’ve broke you . .

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        I’m all about poetry, especially classical poetry, and joined this site because of that. I also appreciate free speech and the chance to express a viewpoint creatively. Yet, in doing so, I have been insulted and put down on two counts – where I live (America) and my outlook concerning global/political issues (see “How Dare You, Santa! How Dare You!”). I’ve tried to engage, explain and empathize, and finally decided to overlook these long-winded lectures in the interest of the bigger picture, but, I can no longer overlook the continued onslaught of accusations and put downs by the very person who criticized me just because I didn’t have the same viewpoint as him.

        That person is Monty Phillips – the man who offers little in the way of poetry and everything in the way of myopic critiques.

        I am tired of Monty speaking as if he knows the hearts and minds of every SCP participant. He doesn’t. If some SCP participants have like-minded opinions, they are NEITHER “puppets” NOR “parrots” – they might just hold the same view.

        If this judgmental person could afford as much energy to creating poetry as he does to his scathing putdowns of others’ efforts, he might be a star on this site. I look forward to seeing MORE poetry from Monty. ❤️

      • Monty

        See above for one poem of mine; see the winner of the 2018 rhyming-riddle contest for another; and see a third on these pages in 2-3 weeks time (I’m still working on it). And yet more would’ve been submitted here long before now; but many competitions in the UK state that any entries must not’ve been previously published elsewhere. Hence my severe lack of submissions at SCP.

      • Monty

        . . . and you refer to my “scathing put-downS of otherS’ effortS, all in the plural; hence you’re referring to more than just the ‘Santa’ piece. Would you care to cite one or two other “efforts” to exemplify your claim?

      • Mike Bryant

        “It is not in our human nature to imagine that we are wrong.”
        —Kathryn Schulz

      • Monty

        Well, it’s been a few days now, Susan. After your claim that I’ve committed “scathing put-downs of others’ efforts” – meaning other people’s poems as well as your ‘Santa’ piece – I invited you to cite an example(s) of these “other people’s poems”. Given that no example(s) has been given in the intervening days, can I now assume that you were, in fact, referring only to your ‘Santa’ piece? In which case, might you wish to ask Mr Mantyk to change the wording in your last missive from “scathing put-downs of others’ efforts” to ‘a scathing put-down of another’s effort’ (‘Santa’)? And given that I’ve made no comments on any of your submissions since ‘Santa’, I’m puzzled by what you refer to as my “continued onslaught of accusations and put-downs” against you.

        If you can’t tell me, then allow me to tell you the last time I made a negative comment on someone’s poem other than your ‘Santa’. I confess to not being entirely sure – so please tell me if I’m wrong – but the last poem on which I can remember being fairly critical was ‘Shaman of the Waves’ by Theresa Rodriguez: and that must’ve been at least two months ago! And although it could, without doubt, be considered a “put-down”, it certainly wasn’t “scathing”. I and another commenter simply agreed between us that the poem was severely lacking in basic clarity of diction – and I wasn’t shy in saying so. Previous to that, I certainly HAVE made scathing attacks on a few poems in the last few years (look no further than ‘Seabirds’ by David Paul Behrens for an example), but they’re few and far between. It can be seen that, in general, I only ever comment on about a third of the stuff I read on these pages – poems I feel to be really good/exceptional.. and ones I feel to be really badly written. Anything in between (e.g. a well-written poem but on a subject I don’t care for – landscape, religion, politics) I simply delete without comment.. and move on to the next one (that’s why I haven’t commented on many of your previous poems: not because it wasn’t good poetry, but because many seem to have political leanings). And yet your words above would suggest to an onlooker that my sole purpose of being affiliated with SCP is to attack other people’s efforts willy-nilly. It may just be coincidence that you haven’t seen too many poems that I’ve praised on these pages, but I can assure you that I do give praise when I feel compelled to, and I do so unreservedly (I refer you to two recent pieces: ‘If Milton Were Alive Today’ by Andrew Brown and ‘On A Bereavement’ by Peter Hartley . . and even one from yesterday by David Watt about ‘Sausages’).

        If I may stick with ‘Santa’ for a paragraph more: I didn’t attack the poem! If you remember, a couple of days after my initial comment on it – once I’d calmed down a bit – I admitted to you that, as a poem, ‘Santa’ was good – and it was, as is all your poetry. You’re a natural, and you write it effortlessly – everyone at SCP can see that. What I actually attacked was the message I felt it conveyed, not the poem itself. Which I had every right to do if that was how I felt. Many will say that one function of poetry is to provoke thought – which I’m sure you’ll agree with. But it shouldn’t be the author’s concern whether their poem provokes agreeable thought or disagreeable thought – only thought. And as such, ‘Santa’ undeniably fulfilled its duty. That alone should satisfy you as the author.

        When I sometimes display contempt for America on these pages, it’s against Americans as a Race, not any individual person (except one, an extreme case). It’s against the (majority) collective ideology and the system of existence. You obviously feel that I’ve got no right to do so, and yet you’ve got no qualms with the historically-constant and obsessive attacks on the Chinese from some on these pages. It sometimes seems that SCP exists as much to denigrate the Chinese as it does to promote serious poetry. So, are you saying: ‘We, as Americans, can denigrate the Chinese, but no one must denigrate us.’? You can’t have it both ways. I promise you faithfully, Susan, that no one detests more than me what the Chinese government does to some of its citizens, and I’ve long been vehemently opposed to the annexation of Tibet; but many other countries are, at this very moment, perpetrating similar iniquities on its own people . . none more so than Saudi Arabia and Yemen, both of whose human-rights record is equally as bad as China’s! But no one at SCP denigrates those two countries. Why? Because America counts them as friends, that’s why. Why does it count them as friends? Because they’ve got the Oil, that’s why. See? That’s hypocrisy in its purest form . . purest. Thus, when I denigrate America as a Race for my own reasons, for what I see as its divisiveness: its worship of money and celebrity: its racism: its religiosity: its pure xenophobia . . it’s no different than Americans denigrating China for THEIR own reasons. The only difference is . . I do so without hypocrisy! And I’ve done so for most of my adult life: not just since joining SCP.

        Finally, in defence of what you call my “continued onslaught of accusations and put-downs” thrown around on these pages (to which I admit) . . it can be seen that they’re generally directed at only one person – and we both know who. It’s a long and ongoing feud (before you joined SCP) which, unfortunately, has to be played out in public (which, in itself, goes against my beliefs). He doesn’t know me: it just seems to be that he can’t quite accept that someone such as myself – whose every different aspect of life (upbringing, outlook, reasons for existing, etc) is the polar opposite to every different aspect of his – could have the temerity to be affiliated with the same poetry society as himself. Anyway, I’m not trying to drag you into it, I just wanna tell you (and any other member who’s interested) that there came a point late last year when I’d had enough of the ‘feud’, and tried to end it. He was becoming increasingly repetitive and predictable, and I thought: “I don’t want any more of this. It’s no longer a healthy debate if he’s just gonna keep repeating the same old things against me ‘coz he’s got nothing else to say. I’m bored now.” Rightly or wrongly, I felt (and still feel) that I’d won our little feud anyway, just on account of him having resorted to constant repetition, and so . .

        . . I offered him a truce. I gave him the option of agreeing that we “no longer post any comments directly to each other at SCP”, and in our comments to others, “we don’t mention each other by name”. It was a simple but effective solution (if you wish, you can see the offer for yourself, and in full: just find Julian D Woodruff’s poem ‘Smith on Pollock’, from around crimbo time; under which is a comment of mine, beginning with: “Can we leave Pete out of this?”. All is explained in that comment). I tried to make him see that the feud wasn’t just about me and him, but that it was unfair for others to have their poems hijacked by us feuding in the comment-section, with our “insults” dominating the page. And I tried to make him see that it’s nearly always him who reignites the feud: he waits till I comment upon another person’s poem, then he attacks my comment: “What d’you know, you stupid, jackass, uneducated pothead” (the exact same words for a year now: and he writes “yawn” at my comments.. phew!).

        Anyway, I waited 4-5 days for him to accept the truce: no answer. I then repeated the offer: finally, he gave his answer.. NO! It was then I realised that the only possible reason he could decline such a humane offer was because he NEEDS the feuds, he LIVES for the feuds, to release some of his anger . . and as such, there’d be no end to it. So, out of desperation, I appealed directly to Mr Mantyk, to ask him if it was somehow possible to physically prevent two members from making comments to each other . . I didn’t get a reply.

        And that was that. So when you refer to my “continued accusations and put-downs” on these pages, you now know that it’s not of my choosing; and you now know that I tried earnestly to put a stop to such actions. Once he refused the offer, and once I realised that Mr Mantyk wouldn’t/couldn’t intervene, I felt really hopeless, as in: Here’s a situation that I don’t wanna be in any more, but he’s gonna perpetuate it forever, and we’re an ocean apart from sorting it out like men. So, I resigned myself to: “Right, I’m left with no choice now: the gloves are off. I’m gonna have to keep giving it to him even more severely in the hope that he’ll eventually accept the truce”. Or that other members – sick of seeing our feud dominate the page – will implore him to accept. So, when you see future “insults, accusations, put-downs” . . you now know why.

        If I may draw an analogy as to how inane the whole thing is . . . me, you, and every other regular reader of these pages are aware that he’s inexplicably obsessed with the brand of cigarettes that I choose to smoke. So, Susan, let’s pretend for a moment that you really enjoy drinking wine, and that it’s an important part of your life. Can you imagine how you’d feel if, every time you made a comment here, some lunatic replied with: “You stupid wine-drinker: you jackass alcoholic”. See? How would you feel about an important and treasured part of your private life being repeated and exaggerated on these pages every other day, by some puerile idiot who’s never even met you?

        Well, that’s how it is for me: and being one who’ll always defend myself, you may see many more “accusations and put-downs” on these pages. I hope not, but it looks like that’s gonna be the case, unless some other action is taken: e.g. The readership badgering him to accept the truce, or even the readership having a vote on whether he should or shouldn’t accept the truce. Surely no one else but him wants to see the feud continue (unless some readers get-off on the soap aspect of it). There must be a way between us, the readership, to put an end to this intrusive farce.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        A Ticked-Off Triolet

        Our paths shall part and so they must;
        I have no room for grouse and gripe.
        When things discussed evoke disgust,
        Our paths shall part and so they must.
        When fingers point, one loses trust.
        I hate the hype of whine and snipe.
        Our paths shall part and so they must;
        I have no room for grouse and gripe.

      • Mike Bryant

        Are you talking about Monty Med, the Ganja Head?

      • Mike Bryant

        He is an amazing poet here on SCP. To read his fine work, ‘Writer’s Clock’, just search, “Monty Med”. You are difficult to impress when it comes to classical poetry, I think this will do it for You. You will thank me…

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        I’m speechless… and that’s the way it’s gonna stay.

      • Monty

        Purpose Served 1:

        Only the first part of my last missive was actually directed at the person who was named in it, and her ‘Santa’ poem. For the rest of it (from the Saudi Arabia part onwards) she was merely a vehicle I used to convey my words to any other member (if any) who happened to be reading them. I wanted the readership to be aware that I’d previously tried earnestly to offer a solution to end the ‘feud’ – chiefly because my adversary had no more to say, and had been forced into mere repetition, mere monotony, which I’m above; and also because I felt that it was unfair on other contributors to have their own pages hijacked by certain others seeking an outlet, any outlet, with which to vent their own vendetta – and that my offer had been rebuffed. If no one else happened to read my missive, it doesn’t matter; it’s now on record for future reference, that’s good enough for me. If at any time in the future an innocent contributor complains: “Would you two stop using my poem to conduct your own feud in the comment-section” . . I can simply refer them to the missive and say: “Look, there’s the proof that I once offered to preclude such occurrences: there’s the proof that the other party refused the offer: there’s the proof that the continuance of the feud seems to be with the blessing of the powers-that-be at SCP” . . in which case I’ll be exonerated, and I can simply tell the other person: “See, I’m not guilty. You’ll have to direct your complaint solely to the other party; he’s the one who NEEDS the feud to continue. He’s the one whose social-life will suffer if the feud ends.” As such, my above missive has served, or will serve, its purpose.

        Purpose Served 2:

        Bullied and the Brize will be thrilled to learn that it’s only ‘coz of Writer’s Clock that I’m here at SCP! It was just a spontaneous little ditty that I wrote and completed in about a thousand seconds – 25 years ago! When I first discovered SCP three years ago, I spent a few weeks browsing through its output, and then purely out of curiosity (given that I’d never before sent a poem to anywhere except competitions) I submitted the shortest poem I’d ever wrote, and thought no more of it. I was astounded to learn, a few days later, that it’d been accepted to be put on the page. As short and as insignificant as Writer’s Clock is, it remains to be the only reason I became affiliated with SCP. As such, it’s served its purpose.

        Purpose Served 3:

        It’s now apparent that Writer’s Clock has now served another purpose: it’s revealed that Bullied and the Brize (the one bullied at school and the two Bry’s) are all in agreement that my hastily-concocted poem elsewhere on this page (which purports that Good and Evil share equally their dominion over Man) is a decent effort; the three of them have made that quite clear because . . . if they deemed it to be anything less than decent, then why would one of their number be desperately trying to procure other readers to ridicule another poem, Writer’s Clock – which has to be searched for on another page – when they already had a poem on this very page to attack with impunity: to tear large holes out of: to dismiss out of hand: to lampoon: to ridicule? See? Imagine some of the comments they would’ve wrote to each other under the poem if they thought it was anything less than decent. And, best of all, imagine how the puppet-pest would be if Good and Evil was a poor poem; he’d be poised and ready for any new poems posted by others in the coming days, so he could leave their author the following comment: “Hello.. I really liked your poem. I thought it was really funny. By the way, if you enter ‘Three Corona Poems’ into the search-bar, then scroll down into the comments, and eventually you’ll find an abomination of a poem, a badly-written, foggy piece written by some poetaster. You must see it. And you must send me a return comment agreeing how bad it is. Then we can exchange comments in the future to agree what a poetaster that other chap is.” And what’s more, he would send that same comment to an author with whom he’s never before corresponded! Or an author who’s submitting a poem for the very first time! And when he didn’t get a reply, it still wouldn’t occur to him that the author just thought: “Well, what a freak this chap must be. He’s obviously got a big chip on his shoulder.” And if anyone doubts whether someone would stoop to such inhumane depths . . he’s already done it! He done it yesterday on David Watt’s poem ‘Billy Butler’. See for yourselves, folks. Some humans really can get that sick.

        Thus, in Bullied and the Brize’s attempts to alert other readers to Writer’s Clock, they’ve been intentionally silent over Good and Evil; and their silence is deafening, ‘coz it’s unwittingly revealed their glowing endorsement of Good and Evil as a poem. Their silence is golden.

        Purpose served . .

  17. Joe Tessitore

    How startling it is to have another refer to himself as a vastly superior human!
    It shocks me right back into the reality of the season, that I am ashes and dust.

  18. Monty

    To clear up any potential misinterpretation of my words, I should emphasise that in regard to being a human . . I consider myself “vastly superior” to only one other human at SCP . . no others.

    • Joe Tessitore

      And for me, that would be enough to seek the grace of the Confessional.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        After the ten-paragraph mega-whine that Monty has just posted, he doesn’t need the confessional. He needs a psychiatrist’s couch.

  19. Mike Bryant

    To no one in particular:
    There were no comments on the triolet above. I believe that was because of the sheer brilliance of it. I had a similar reaction to another poem above about Good & Evil, by one Monty Med. It impressed me so much that I was, frankly, speechless. I found another of his amazing creations called Writer’s Clock and have been promoting it on various other posts. I am astounded that anyone could misinterpret my intentions.

  20. Joe Tessitore

    Interred in the ice
    of an avalanche of word –
    a pearl of great price.


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