Writing on Wall

ESL once
lined metropolis,
blasted eight feet off the ground.
Acrobatic block-long wigglers
like engravings covered freeways, signs.
Then it disappeared. What happened?
Civilization waxing? Democracy made safe?
City Sandblast and Paint
fell vacant.
The writing
was extinct.
Triumph’s come, they boasted, but mind forged, engraved in walls,
it penetrated down to bone in invisibly soul-marred boys.
You could
imagine the original,
but the outside now
was gone.
How did the writing
off the wall
get down
into the bone?
Sure there’s time
Before the blood-brain
barrier bursts,
ESL is syntax,
not just verse,
it’s hieroglyphs
like Mayan.
People glad
Johnny readin’,
sure, that’s a good sign.
But we needs some cats to sandblast Johnny’s mind.


a palimpsest,
that’s where the writing went
in eye and ear in hypertext,
it don’t mean Johnny’s reading
when he’s read to death.
Deliberate beneath
the “paint,”
and look in
That’s what
Saint Blake did.
He said these days a net would cover mind,
called a Promethean to break the chain, the world wide web.
Don’t put him on the side of Microsoft.
He left his will engraved.


AE Reiff
AE Reiff's satire "Herbal Cures of Orc Tongue" is in the current Ghotimag and one on "The New Romantic Age" was in Unlikely Stories 2.0. His essay, “The Loss of the Golden Age” appeared in elimae. He was a nice president of France.