But is it True? Modern Mayhem & More

A collection by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall (Rated G)

You are a Solitaire

A generation cannot choose to be lost
Even though many might give up on life
Sulk in self-pity in a crowded space
As if no one ever suffered before

But trust yourself to make a stronger choice
Refuse to be defined except by you
Consider the teachings of the wise, not the loud
And build your life by the standards you set

For after all, you are not a generation –
You are your own creative, industrious self

Put Down the Rosary and Step Away from It
“Police interrupted a Catholic mass in Australia…” (msn.com)

Police have bravely raided a church in Perth
Some old folks at prayer on a Thursday night
Acting on a serpent’s tip (for what that’s worth)
Thus giving the wicked a righteous fright

Advance, Australia, thou land of the free!
Where prayerful insolence will be suppressed
And by the way, how much was the Judas-fee?
(Thirty Woolworth’s gift cards?)
We would want a snake to have only the best

One doubts this was only about some masks
What other reasons might there be? one asks

New Year’s Eve 2021

Oh, TV guy, we most clearly observed
That in your speech you swiveled and swerved
But in the dawn’s clear light you’re now unnerved
An apology, yes, that’s well deserved
But please don’t tell us you were overserved

Generation Whatever

“I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered.
My life is my own.”
-Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner

Be not defined by dates and stereotypes
The endless clutter of cliches and cant
Generating generic generations
Of worthless weasel words of wanton waste

WHO are you?
Who ARE you?
Who are YOU?

That’s usually no one’s concern but yours
(The cop writing you a ticket gets to ask)

Thanks to Patty M at patty m – Hello Poetry for lending me the consonant “W.” 🙂

My Songs Are Off Spotify

I’m going to take my songs off Spotify
Not that I know what Spotify might be
Or that I have any songs to take away
Only that it seems to be a thing these days

I want to be censured by Republicans
Not that Republicans know what they might be
Or that they ever notice me at all
Only that it seems to be a thing these days

I want to think today and pray for you –
Now those are exactly the things to do!

But is it True?
“How was it possible for even gifted and intelligent people to be deceived?”
-Yevtushenko, A Precocious Autobiography, p. 74


Proletariat bourgeoisie egotistical
Calculation labor capital revolutionary
Theory freedom of speech people’s army
Specter of Metternich capitalist hyenas


Visual aesthetic frank discussion
Defund decolonize decommission
Assumptions unpack the conversation
Re-imagine emerging non-profits


The Good, the True, the Beautiful

Decolonize Unpacking Actualization

Let’s unpack the cliches and hyperbole
The nuclear option and we’ve got this
What we know now we have our options frontline
Off the table Armageddon option

Privileged out of an abundance of caution
Like an actual warzone actually
Or forging a road, a path, a plan
(Says he who never saw a blacksmith’s forge)

Decolonize decolonization
And actuate actualization

(By blazing a trail that unlocks the future)

On the Unlocking of Words

Their leader answered him, Beowulf unlocking
Words from deep in his breast: “We are Geats…”

-Beowulf to the Danish Coast Watcher

In bold and sturdy four-beat lines
Beowulf keeps his knowledge clear
With kennings well-crafted and careful caesurae
And never needing to raise his voice

But thus the Grendel-voice responds:

“Woo woo that’s just my person opinion that’s what I’m talking about follow your passion learn to code no offense, but wtf oh my God oh my God woo woo hey hey ho ho something-something has got to go woo woo only dead fish go with the flow tear it down shut it down burn it down woo woo lock her up there is no I in team woo woo not my president it’s not rocket science it is what it is woo woo say it loud say it clear this is what something looks like woo woo is there an app for that woo woo that’s what I’m saying woo woo I have issues woo woo nobody understands me woo woo…”

But you – be brave like Beowulf, and boldly dare
To unlock your words with creativity and care

Okay, So It’s the End of the World
“What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this?”
“There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter.”
-P. G. Wodehouse

Okay, so what if this is the end of our world
Windblown sands where Ozymandias once ruled
Or dying like Charn in The Magician’s Nephew
Pale and sere under a fading red sun

Let us not meet it pajama’d on a couch
Videogaming upon a telescreen
And suddenly marveling that the power has failed
As a moving hand writes across the skies

If the world is going to end today
Let us dress properly for the occasion

Remembering Rod McKuen

But of course some are vituperative – they aren’t him
The young still read his books, discreetly now
Because he isn’t cool in this unhappy time
The old still read his books – he saved their youth

But of course some are vituperative – they aren’t you
The young will read your books someday and know
That you have captured on paper their lives
And they will give their hearts freely to you

I hear that you are thinking of giving up poetry
You shouldn’t, you know – because while it is true
That you have a gift, you should always remember
That you are a gift, and the young need you

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