Poem: The Right Kind of Person
If you’re the kind of chappie who believes in predestination, a Calvinist narrative
to be unspooled one frame at a time, this poem
is not for you.
If you are the kind of lassie who believes in free will, a steadfastly laissez-faire Locked fantasy
to be imagined and enlivened one moment at a time, this poem
is also probably not for you.
This poem is for the third kind of person who believes in a logically impossible hybrid – in which
the way to get through this life
with the best results
is to cozy and kowtow and obsequiously bow down to
the rich and powerful.
If it were as easy as fellating wealthy nubs, life’s winners would be as plentiful as blackberries.
There’s more to it, as the smooth operators will tell you.
The trick, you will learn, is that of the professional submissive:
The dominator silently secretly knows he is “in charge” only because his conquest allows it,
all the while strenuously behaving as though it were not so, as though the subject who kneels before the verb has no choice.
But trembling, aquiver with the frisson of power running through and over
the vibrating vessel, the glowing cathode ray tube that requires Another
to be activated fully,
the fallen lower pliant one gives the signal,
the eyebrow, the secret code
and right then all present understand what is really happening.
And that’s very comforting, isn’t it?
Machiavellian friend, you who view the world through a lens now addled and smudged
by pharmaceuticals and a darkening cloud in residence,
you understand the game better than most.
You know that to make it to wherever it is you think you’re going,
you must be
the right sort of fellow.
For most of us, figuring out that particular puzzle requires a lifetime of failure.
Talented man, broadcaster of divinity, we’re afraid that you’ve become precisely
the right sort of fellow.
And maybe you were all along.
Maybe the qualifications were lurking inside that beautiful artist suit and behind those stylish glasses. Their decorative elan
disguises their utility and distracts us from their talismanic power.
They are a ceremonial pelt
to be worn proudly as a Boy Scout chest medal.
Your eyes need the polished glass because of how you used them
as a boy
and a man. And now. Always.
Squinting at notes on a staff, where the on-top-of or just-under makes all the difference.
Now they see the truth.
Who you know and who you call your friends and
who has the ability to
add you to his collection
is what makes all the difference,
depending on if this poem is for you
none at all.