Tag Archives: materialism

Captains of Industry and Finance

An “Underworld” scene from *The New House of Fame* (by Paul “Whitberg” Burgess)

His type is one we all too often find:
The sort to spoil a parrot or a pair
But sleep without a hint of troubled mind
When other parrots soaring through the air
Are casualties to orders, which he’s signed,
To strip the creatures’ leafy homes ‘til bare.
He’s one to lavish love upon the boar
Who’s mascot for his ham and bacon store.

He’s not—to use a popular cliché—
The type to beat a dog or harm a fly,
But, though his gentle hands aren’t apt to slay,
They’ll cause a distant swarm to starve or die
If it begins to slow or block his way
To owning all the Planet’s land and sky
[…resources which preserve his mental health
By showing how he bests the rest in wealth.]

To state the case with greater clarity:
His noble breed is one which often awes
The world with acts of private charity
Despite supporting policies and laws
That nurture social class disparity
As ill effects are nurtured by a cause
(…Or causal web of threads that intersect—
Since there’s no simple chain of cause/effect].

Before we ventured further down the hall,
I asked him, “What’s the fellow’s bloody name?”
At first, he changed the theme to Adam’s fall
To prove that ignorance should cause no shame
But soon confessed: “In sooth, I don’t recall.
Precision’s never been my fav’rite game.
My speeches are a peaceful compromise
Between the warring clans of Truth and Lies.

A bard ensures a story never starves
By seeing that it’s generously fed
With meaty bits the skillful teller carves
From flocks of sheep inside his head.
In winter, he’ll bedeck a tale in scarves
He knits from wool those mental sheep have shed.”
His speech, though crammed with sheep ‘til nearly full,
Contained, as well, a hefty share of bull.

“…and when the frost of Father Winter’s gone”
…I cut him short and said, “You have abused
My ears enough. It’s time for moving on.”
Despite my words, I often was amused
By madness that his addled brain would spawn.
He seemed a clever clown or sage confused.
His wit, at times, was straight as jets in flight,
But, other times, it was a flailing kite.



[Some amenities in the House of Fame] [A new stanza from “Part II” of The New House of Fame by Paul Burgess]
If Fame becomes the house you call your home,
You’ll have the goods that make the Muses sing:
Garages full of cars with rims of chrome
And limbs adorned with shiny, sacred bling
[To best the richest priests in holy Rome.
Perhaps the Pope will even kiss your ring…]
You might decide to own exotic pets
Like tigers, kangaroos, or marmosets.
If tired of whitish teeth inside your jaws,
Have braces made from rare, expensive ores—.
For work by one’s cosmetic dentist awes
As much as that of normal Nature bores.
The House’s newest set of tacit laws
Proclaims that teeth must shine like cans of Coors
And ev’ry gaze into your looking glass
Remind you of your economic class.
When products please you at a shop,
You’ll say, “I’ll take at least a thousand more!”
A star enamored of a vendor’s crop
Might soon decide to buy the chain or store.
The cash will flow and never slow or stop–
Your luxuries will fill a nation’s shore!
Much time and thinking will be wisely burned
On finding ways to spend the wealth you’ve earned.

If you enjoy these stanza, please read the larger, ever-growing poem of which it is a part:


A Pimp in the Garden*

2 tasteless limericks and a tasteless quatrain about pimps
[By Pimpin’ Paul Burgess…at the lowest point of his artistic career;)]

A Pimp in the Garden [parts I and II]
“Part I”
I have heard that a pimp is a man
who will water the plants when he can.
He is fond of the ‘hose’,
and it’s said by his bros
that of gardens he’s quite a big fan.

“Part II” [aka the ruh-ruh-remix]
Said a pimp, “Why would anyone think
that a person wants ‘hose’ that won’t kink?
Now, exchange these, my bros,
for some kinkier ‘hose'”
[He]then departed from Gardening Inc.

“A Pimp and a Bee—A Fable on the Value of Obsessive Consumerism”
A pimp once came across a bee
Prepared to start a stinging spree.
The pimp, alas, it could not sting—
For blinding was his shiny bling.

*The politically correct version would not work with the meter:

*”A vendor of adult pleasure is a human being
who will water the plants when he or she can.
He or she is fond of the water-spraying device (“hose”, which is homophonous with a derogatory term that vendors of adult pleasure and artists of spoken ‘music’ enjoy using in reference to women)

[Blame my wife for the terrible “Pimp” limericks…I was watering her plants when the terrible pun on “hoes”/”hose” begged me to write a limerick in which it was featured…]

“Disease: a Villanelle” by Paul Burgess

This is the first villanelle I have attempted since 2006–the year in which I began an 8 year break from writing poetry. I am not sure if it is any good, but I am certain that it is a villanelle:)

Although his thoughts would make a person freeze,
He often rants about the Justice scales.
…he’s not alone in having this disease.

He’s known to translate “smoke” as “foggy breeze”—
To choose the proper phrase he rarely fails,
Although his thoughts could make a person freeze.

A flashing dollar sign is all he sees
When shown his admen’s stylish faerie tales
He’s not alone in having this disease.

His corporation gives to charities
A nominal percentage of its sales,
Although his thoughts could make a person freeze.

The people whose support’s obtained with ease
By one who speaks of Christ, the Cross, and nails
Are not alone in having this disease.

Though spending Sundays praying on his knees,
His acts would land some poorer men in jails.
This gloomy thought could make a person freeze:
He’s not alone in having this disease.