On the Art of the Essayist
(and the lamented lack thereof)
Often have I thought that I,
Erudite as I've always been,
Should take up pen and satisfy,
That old and recurring yen.
To essay upon this or that,
subject upon which I'd say,
scads of bold and earthy chat,
And snippets of witty repartee.
To comment on the days events,
To point to the folly of those in charge,
To challenge with clever arguments,
Has always struck me as living large.
Surely if only I took up pen,
Soon I should be well acclaimed,
As among the wisest of mortal men,
With this hubris I am inflamed.
And so tempted, I yield at last,
I gather up my facts and thence
Deliver up a withering blast
Upon the enemies of good sense.
And furious the work progress,
Through reams of paper my wit flows,
All the social ills redress,
My deadly aim is on the nose.
On and on I wield my prose,
Until at last my task is done,
I, with one final parry, close,
"My," I think, "wasn't that fun?"
Then I re-read my epic slam,
To revise, perchance to cull,
Going through the sheets, I am
Dismayed to find it trite and dull.
No, not a phrase has found its mark,
Nor any deadly wordsmith's slap,
Nothing with a lyric spark,
No, by God, it's all just crap!
So finally the traitorous page betrays,
That past all the witty wordy play,
Beyond the pleasure of turns of phrase,
I've really nothing at all to say.
-- Mark A. Clark