Tag Archives: cynicism

Ambrose Bierce

Despite the bitterness that hits the tongue
when you first taste his clever barbs of prose,
and one’s initial gumption to suppose
his wit just tiny pearls amidst some dung,

there is in Bierce an underlying faith
in humankind, despite his cynic’s guise;
it shows itself no matter how he tries
or fancies life a trifling, mundane waste.

His sorrow, I think, comes from knowing much
of the dark underbelly, which he fights
against by piercing shadows of the night
that meet the world of light at twilight’s touch.

To chronicle life’s whole palette is his aim,
beyond the lines and simple white and black;
and so, his characters are flawed, and lack
the standard heroes’ virtues. In his frame,

the villains wear the white hats, and the good
can be perverted or mislead by ruse;
great ladies, too, pass wind; the mighty lose
to freaks of chance, when you least think they should.

With Ambrose as our culture’s looking-glass,
we gain needed perspective on ourselves;
the less authors like him are on our shelves,
it’s far more likely that we are an ass.

07 MAY 2005

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Against the Cynic: a double refrain ballade

The cynic’s eye sees wreck, despair,
the order torn asunder;
and finds delight in citing where
the world has lost its wonder,

his focus on the thunder
in soft and gentle rain,
and how each stupid blunder
makes a life of loss and pain.

“There is no good found anywhere,
no qualities of number,
and further, I find no one cares
the world has lost its wonder.”

Thus the cynic speaks with thunder
his apocalypse refrain,
“‘Tis the ignorance of slumber
makes a life of loss and pain.”

Now, it can be said, to be fair,
that life is mostly umber,
and if to a dream compared,
the world has lost its wonder.

For those who think of plunder,
seeking only their own gain
the illusion they toil under
makes a life of loss and pain.

Perhaps it is no small blunder
the world has lost its wonder
Looking constant down the drain
makes a life of loss and pain.

04 APR 2004

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Post Apocalyptic Is An Oxymoron

My world is not so grim and stark,
my sea so wrought with foam and rage,
that I must seek my guidance from
the words of seers, self-proclaimed,
who paint the times with bitter strokes
and cry “Woe!” at the fate of man
while solving nothing of themselves,
who see plots behind all locked doors.

For those would dehumanize
just reinforce the status quo;
and just etch their initials
on the shackles we ignore.

It’s epater le bourgeoise?
That game has been long played
by far more clever hands than yours,
against far greater foes.

How simple – just reflect our flaws
and in a cockeyed Fiction, choose
the few that prove your primal cause;
for wolves use both the eye and nose
and courteously will not object
to your loud insult of their style.
They know your rebel stance, like theirs,
hides blood-stained claws and hungry smiles.

No nihilistic view survives
and dies a peaceful death;
it must at last devour itself
to keep its self-respect
and live up to its own reviews.
What’s on your plate tonight?

21 AUG 2003

aimed at Chuck Palahnuik

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Quoting Nihilists and Naysayers

So often, it seems when we look for things to quote, we search for those negative, capricious, self-debasing, or cynical quips that reinforce our own limited, limiting world view, words of wisdom from the “great thinkers” of the past, who may have done a lot of great thinking, but always seemed to lead such pathetic, miserable and ultimately unhappy, un-bliss-filled lives. Why is that, I wonder? Is seeing the true energy that lies behind all things so difficult, that we automatically assume the world is out to get us, and that it is filled with pointlessness and constant sorrow? Why quote something that keeps you down? Isn’t that like a slave thanking their master for the nice, shiny chains?
On Quoting Nihilists and Naysayers

Who cares what Nietchze said, or Sigmund Freud?
Is your world confined by some sage advice
from dead thinkers who lived their lives annoyed
that despite their constant effort, the spice

of life was beyond their grasp, and they could
only observe what should manifest joy?
All those long debates on evil and good,
have they sought to build up, or to destroy

the human condition? Just because your eyes
cannot see the simple beauty of life,
does not mean it is not there – just disguised,
beyond the prod of your surgical knife.

Will you swallow whole another’s myth,
Or use the eyes and ears you were born with?

03 JUL 2003

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