All Literature Is World Literature

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

“Gifted” is not a Verb
“Stop it. Just stop it.”
-Bob Newhart

A gift is given, not gifted
“Give” is the given action verb
Let not your strong usage be shifted
Just dump the fashions at the curb

Starting Over with a New Fountain Pen
“I’m not happy unless I have a pen in my hand;
It’s really that simple.”
-Anthony Horowitz

Now you are home from the stationery shop
And seated at your writing desk, alone
Alone with your thoughts in the soft lamplight
You carefully open the little box

A pen

Perfectly fitted to your artist’s hand
Somehow like a sword or a rosary
Or a wand of power awaiting your command –
For it is a magic pen that has never failed

A pen

It is your pen. It is sacred. Name it.
Pray over it. Then dare to write the truth.

Can W- Writ- Anything Without th- L-tt-r –?
Irritabl- Vow-l Syndrom-

Th-y say that -nglish is a difficult languag-
I wouldn’t know; it’s th- only on- I know
-nglish, that is, and it’s a lif–long study
But that’s okay; it k–ps m- out of the b–r joints

In -nglish w- hav- only six or so vow-ls –
A, -, I, O, U, Y, and that vagu- “ih” sound
Which m-ans that rhym- is a chall-g- in tim-
Though “How now, brown cow?” works out okay

That is, if on- wants to gr–t a cow at all
I s-ldom do, but how about you?

I Have No Words

The commentator
Says she has no words, and so
She writes a paragraph

To Always be Splitting Infinitives
“Those who neither know nor care
[about split infinitives]…are a happy folk…”
-Fowler’s Modern English Usage, 1926

I seem to always be
Splitting infinitives
And between you and me
These are definitives

We Write Our Words in Order to Give Them Away
“Only connect” -Evelyn Waugh

All literature is world literature
A culture that hugs itself to itself
And refuses to share and share alike
Consumes itself in a closed loop, and dies

A mother sings to see her baby smile
A farmer whistles as he follows the plow
A poet speaks to hear her words aloud
A seaman chants his strength against the wind

All workers in all languages create –
All literature is world literature

Th Positiv Capability of th L tt r “ ”

Littl can b writt n without an “ ”
That sur foundation of s nt nc s and lin s
Th most us ful vow l you v r did s
Th most b autiful j w l our languag min s

L t us imagin what a v rbal gap
A loss of this xc ll nt l tt r would m an
Most consonants would fall into a trap
If th b autiful “ ” w r l ft uns n

This little xp rim nt will h lp us s :
Littl can b writt n without an “ ”

(The title is a play on Keats’ concept of negative capability – or p rhaps I should say, a play on K ats’ conc pt of n gativ capability.)

William Wordsworth Receives an Email of Rejection

Dear Pronoun-of-Preference Wordsworth:

We have interrogated your poem about daffodils
And can only regret your lack of filtering
For post-colonial non-binary tropes
And gender-vulnerable intersectionality

The daffodils appear not to have been consulted
With regard for their self-affirmation
Which suggests patriarchal guilt through your
Hetero-normative stratification

We find your daffodils ruthlessly aggressive
And your masculinist constructs, yes, regressive

We wish you success elsewhere. Anywhere
Go away

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