Once a comely palace
Where word Lords pranced and jiggled their wares in that someplace
ingesting mind-sounds and finding soul-curative shelter.
They crammed it to the marble rafters with ideas
shelves pregnant with rolled bibliothekai
spilling from Dewey-decimalless niches
creating a satisfying gourmands’ meal
of grand idée and philosophical meanderings
seasoned with boisterous textual argumentation.
Ptolemy nurtured it to grandeur;
Julius Caesar burned it;
Mark Anthony looted it for love,
and bedraggled pagan soldiers
blew out the lanterns returning it to darkness.
Ptolemy’s dream now a succorless meeting place,
Crammed with yeahs, uh huhs, and yo-yo!
Dressed in baggy pants-landscaped cafes,
red-nosed clowns in oversized shoes,
numbed Xbox game players reign
interminably watching racing cars and killer soldiers,
these acned teenagers ogling screens
fingers nimbly recording techno ones and zeros.
While adults mine for jobs or to escape nagging wives or unruly husbands
while Shakespeare sits dustily on shelves
languishing there waiting to be fondled by anyone, someone.
No words or ideas glide through these halls
no intellectual integument,
only a colony of fusty Martians on a deserted red planet
the cure place replaced by glossy laser shows.
Ennui is dressed in piquancy by unrefined automatons.
Lost, only a footnote.
Sy Roth is a retired school administrator and has finally found the sounds of silence and the time to think whole thoughts. This has led him to find words and the ability to shape them. He has published in Visceral Uterus, Amulet, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, Barefoot Review, Haggard and Halloo, Misfits Miscellany, Mad Swirl, Larks Fiction Magazine, Danse Macabre and The Eloquent Atheist. Recently, he won a poetry contest sponsored by Newsday.