Pride has always been my favourite sin. That would have been much to the chagrin of the Knox Presbyterian minister who was my grandfather, but then again presumably so would have been my having had a favourite sin at all. In any case, I'm not even going to apologize for having published my own poem in the Kilmer Surgam, much less putting it online now. It was damn funny and you laughed your heads off at it. Plus Marcus Folch, one of our judges at this past contest, introduced me in December to a Classics graduate student by pointing out that damn could I ever write a bad poem. And so I can.

“Philosophy Contemp’rary”

Or, “The Catalogue of Shits”

for Roland Theodore Smith III—

by Gavin McGown, CC’13

I’m the luckiest lad on the planet, you know,

Since I’m leaving the bar with a new boy in tow.

He’s a philosophy major! I managed to peek—

And some parts are the length of the First Critique.

And I think—as this twink starts to take me about—

Aristotle and I have to fight this fight out

For he says there’s one ultimate goal that you find

But tonight there are two ends that I have in mind.

[But, you see, there’s a problem: I aspire t’write poetry

And not to divine a concept’s circuitry.

But surely by now has not philosophy

Given up its polemics ‘gainst poets? We’ll see.]

When we get to my place and walk in the Adoorno

We talk: a pure mix of New Yorker and porno.

“But sovereignty—deconstruction—Obama”—

Yeah, just like that, baby. Talk dirty to Mama.

But really quite fast something starts to go wrong

And the Muse begins singing quite different a song

It was fine in the bar—and when we were walking—

But I want to fuck, and this boy won’t stop talking.

A gross fear of mine—on the damnedest occasion,

Have I seduced one of a postmodern persuasion?

Does he think that ‘desire’s a function of Law?’

But, surely, e’en then, sex just isn’t bourgeois.

But he keeps muttering to me about Sartre and Lacan

While I’m trying to head for the enjambment

Yes, his speech is so fine, but his lips are so chewy—

And it’s just on my John I’d like him to get Dewey.

And then—worst of all—he manages to thwart

My analytics of a posterior sort:

“It’s not about you—your ass drives me mental;

It’s just that my interests tend more cunt-inental.

“If I did it for you, then I’d do it for all!”

I bit on the pillow and choked on my gall.

You’d have thought that the gin would have managed to kill

Inhibitions—but, nude, he’s a Kantian still!

“Bullshit!” I swear. While I hope I’m not nosy,

The delay’s just philosophers’ bias ‘gainst poesy.

And like Platonists when, contra poets, they battle,

The twink won’t give in, so now I start to prattle:

“I can see that of bawdy relations you’re skeptical

Preferring to chat in ways pure dialectical.

And I do eschew the Symbolic; poetical

Works are my job. Now, let’s get exegetical.

“I promise you now I’m no bullish Aiacides

Nor Athens’ demise, that slut Alcibiades.

Plato says, twixt our fields, there must be a dyad; he’s

Wrong; if you like, we can make a hendiadys!

"And if you’re inventive and feel like chiasmus

As did, I am told, both Baudelaire and Erasmus

Let me use my skills, find some friends who will lay

Beside us, A-B-B-C-D-C-B-B-A!

“Metonymically speaking, I beg you allow me

To of you ask your hand (no, wait, shit, that’s synecdoche)—

Your bed then—or, come now, you big Morgenbesser,

If the bed’s too passé, there’s always the dresser!

"But do you deliberate still on the praxis?

Oh, babe, let me show you a fine ataraxis

And lay us both down in our joy’s parataxis

With one on his knees and then one on his backses!

"I’ll be servant, your queen, and your beast—metaphorically—

If you’ll only start binding me up—categorically!

Let’s change places: I’ll be Logico-Philosophicus

While you get philological down my esophagus—

"Or where’er. This proof of compatibilism

Is that, betwixt us, true, there need be no schism

While I scream aloud hordes of neologisms

And call out the flood of your sweet syllogisms

"Right to their conclusion—oh, what blissful poiesis

When you’ve made me your goal of considered prohairesis

And acted to me on the good of my guise

(Babe, ain’t nothing look bad when it’s between those thighs).

"And when we’ve gone at it, and you’ve got your rooster on

Turn around, and then we’ll be proteron hysteron!

But for my submission I insist that you bend

Just a bit, and, like Solon, I’ll 'look to the end.'

"So help me end the war: you, my erastês,

Eromenos, me, for the rest of our days,

Unite Philo and Poesy who’ve been locked in a fray

For so many millenia—so, what do you say?”

The circumlocuter stared at me dumbfounded

As if he were a mortar I’d just pestle-pounded;

Then went back to the door and turned the (John) Locke

And turned back to me, and got out his—

And how’d it turn out?

Well, I wake up in the morning feeling like Socratidion

Here actually should have listened to his … epipsychidion;

Next time I’ll find a good philosopher to waste my pity on;

Bright side: unlike Symposium, least I was no small kiddy-on.

The Philolexian Society
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