1.24.2012

The Sneer

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
That sneer, you can see it everywhere
A proper rhyme is not required
For proper rhymes it is not wired
Though the reader laughs, perhaps
Out loud? Rarely enough for us
To wonder if it is really wondrous
Or if it isn't just mockery
When everything is free, supposedly
Or at least already paid for
Nothing has any value at all
Which might be beautiful
But instead of a criteria of worth
Which might befit a thing of earth
Not measured of credit counts
Worse, what is worst amounts
To insincerity, call it mere flippancy
And you aren't half wrong, friend
For the joke is its desired end
Not a punchline, but the sneering
Of a million judging eyes all peering
To wait, to stop, for the other shoe to drop
To see all, the spectacle, but in case
Someone thinks us crude, off base
It's all in fun, so therefore everyone
Laugh silently with us! And soon appear
To carry with the rest, that shibboleth,
The sneer.

That sneer, close cousin to the leer
In private thought is proof of wit
But we may say, be done with it;
For those whose eyes see its current rise
In their favor now, find cause to vaunt
Find reason for their cause to flaunt
Because vainglory is the mob's laws
As vanity is for the elite
May find the tide turn in a beat
And what is called 'self evidency'
Will suddenly be quite oddly hard to see
What sort of requests can be made of sophists
That their speeches might be constrained
To be made just truth-contained?
None, and for twisting all truth is but one
Of its arts, whether the truth be simple fact
Or flowing from an unseen cataract
For what is quickly misunderstood
Is at times the wisdom most pure and good
The art of shortly saying is well paying
But few do it well who do it
And much of the use of it
Is simply to say more flippant things a day
The madness is quite too much to hear
For it is never spoken, lest its spell be broken,
The sneer.

The sneer it may be said and finished here,
Is to invent what is really just a clever fence
A personal criteria of valid evidence
A protection against the harsh events
That occur when one states with sincerity
What one holds as 'the things that be'
Over and against a mob of men
White masked clowns more than gentlemen
So that the next who speaks strong and sincere
May safely, finally be put to rest there
And that mask doff that will at last not come off
Finally truly to have your anonymity,
And no longer be 'strange' or 'queer',
But become, with everyone,
A sneer.

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