Syntax

An idea needs a noun and an adjective
to cling to as it grows. So we say, “red rose.”
Or, “stiff drink.” Or “fascist state.”

We push it with a verb and name an actor
to do the pushing, as in, “He plucked a red rose
and, after a stiff drink, raised his eyes and put his hope

into the fascist state.” Or, “With his placement of a red rose
on the coffin, he closed his eyes and pledged
to never give up fighting the fascist state

and swore off stiff drink until
the fight was won.” An idea longs for
its noun and adjective in order to be born.

Verbs move willy-nilly, dragging
their adverbs with them, mighty prepositions clinging
to all the words, drawing things together

in spite of their tiny stature. People think
they make words do their bidding.
Ideas? Ideas run the people. Ideas make it all happen:

red rose on a white flag;
white rose lying muddy in red street;
near-fascist state casting about for a leader;

big gun full of leaden ideas;
steel jackets on wanton mannequins;
skinjob soldiers eating honey from open corpses.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “Syntax

  • Eileen

    Powerful…….the way you play with words…..sneaky combinations……slipping into our minds……building to a shock……that hits us in the gut….
    I suffer from poet envy. 🙂

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