Craig Kurtz has vexed aesthetic circles since the 1981 release of The Philosophic Collage. Recent work appears in Dalhousie Review,The Madras Mag Anthology of Contemporary Writing, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Sheepshead Review, and Tower Poetry; many others would just as soon string him up. He resides at Twin Oaks Intentional Community.
The Sorrows of Satire
Tragedy has its panache
but I like my plays to have laughs;
thus I prefer my love stories
to end fitly, like comedies;
but these affairs have clods and sots
between heroes to fill their plots;
there’s Lazarillo, you’ll recall,
enjoyed no love, ‘tho loved by all;
and ‘tis true, please don’t forget,
the pit did cosset odd Lapet;
there was applause for Sir Cully
but inverse to his bombastry;
then, there’s grand Lord Foppington,
adored for the way he was shunned; 1
and ‘tho Touchstone received a maid
he was a jester, I’m afraid;
these characters get the best bits
but the best dames are off-limits.
1. Buffoons from popular comedies of the era; respectively, Beamount and Fletcher’s The Woman-Hater, Thomas Middleton’s The Nice Valour, George Etherege’s The Comical Revenge, and John Vanbrugh’s The Relapse.
The Limits of Wit
I’d count the ways that I love thee
if only I could put infinity
into numbers, or into little jars
the contents, shining, of the stars.
I’d sing the ways that I love thee
if there were more notes to set free
than merely twelve, attached to the strings
of instruments I’d have grow wings.
I’d write the ways that I love thee
if only phraseology
could but express all I’ve inside
of love to possibly confide.
I’d count the ways that I love thee,
but who counts sempiternity?
So let this moment be the one
time I’m content my wit’s undone.