Inflammatory Writ

lyrics as sung on The Milk-Eyed Mender

Oh, where is your inflammatory writ?
Your text that would incite a light, "Be lit"?
Our music deserving devotion unswerving —
Cry "Do I deserve her?" with unflagging fervor.
(Well, no we do not, if we cannot get over it)

But what's it mean
when suddenly we're spent?
Tell me true!
Ambition came and reared its head, and went
far from you!
Even mollusks have weddings,
though solemn and leaden
but you dirge for the dead,
and take no jam on your bread —
just a supper of salt and a waltz
through your empty bed.

And all at once it came to me,
and I wrote him hunched 'till four-thirty
But that vestal light,
it burns out with the night
in spite of all the time that we spend on it:
on one bedraggled ghost of a sonnet!
While outside, the wild boars root
without bending a bough underfoot —
O it breaks my heart; I don't know how they do't.
So don't ask me!

And as for my inflammatory writ?
Well, I wrote it and I was not inflamed one bit.
Advice from the master derailed that disaster;
He said "Hand that pen over to me, poetaster!"
While across the great plains,
keening lovely & awful,
ululate the lost Great American Novels —
An unlawful lot, left to stutter and freeze, floodlit.
(But at least they didn't run,
to their undying credit.)

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