- The Money System
There’s no inherent value in
the money system.—To begin,
one president’s much like the next
and murder is its own pretext.
Wander all day unaware
of what you want, or even care
to want at all, but don’t complain
the world away—or back again.
Her make-up makes up money, makes
up all and everything, it takes
her time lines and tear tracks away
each and every Money Day.
Old men young, so young men then
pretend to live their lives again.
Banker Crookshanks thinks to be
a myth of youthful potency!
- Political Science
To shock the world the neo-libs
slicked with blood their lobster bibs.
Freedom’s one thing, so is law,
but money—well, some like it raw.
- Community Policing
I need a heart to have and hold.
Do you possess a heart of gold?
I said that to a cop today.
He said, Stay clear, you—step away.
- Inside Track
Take the avaricious train:
what you venture, that you’ll gain.
Sleep in some hotel somewhere—
anywhere—it’s better there.
- Hazel Wand
Aengus found but little out
when he went off to catch a trout.
Little, though, was everything:
a sun, a moon, a song—to sing.
Iago says put money in
thy purse, good friend, and think no sin
is it that with your money you’ll
dispatch some earnest, heart-struck fool.
The view from there, the view from here,
would shock to silence Shaky-speare:
legions of the walking dead
and nothing pentametric said.
I have to say, a fresh croissant
is only what I think I want.
What other deep down I desire
is to consume this place with fire.
Victims will decline to dust
having said, In God We Trust.
C.O.D.—Return to Sender.
Cost is all in legal tender.
- The Gift
You’ve got it now. You mean it—now!
You’ve wanted it no matter how:
a world that knows its own downfall
and all things else—well, not at all.
- Ars Poetica
Nothing much remains to say,
but you’ll say it anyway:
find a trope how to, forsooth,
insinuate a dirty truth.
About the Poet
Terence Culleton has published several collections of formally crafted narrative and lyric poems, including A Communion of Saints (2011) and Eternal Life (2015), both with Anaphora Literary Press. His most recent book, A Tree and Gone, just out this past spring through Future Cycle Press, is a collection of fifty-four formal English sonnets, many of which have appeared in journals and anthologies and/or been short-listed in sonnet contests. A multiple Pushcart nominee, Mr. Culleton has had several pieces featured on NPR, as well as various TV programs, and he reads widely throughout the Philadelphia and New York areas.