The Pity Party in the Pity Palace

The pity party in the pity palace
at four o’clock, ordained by Giacometti,
a pent-up rabble reeking royal malice,
testosterone and testy spermaceti,

descends upon the chambers of the kingdom
and not at 4 a.m., but 4 p.m. or
—the knelling of the bells of hell will ring dumb—
as he himself would say so, c’est à seize heures.

No Caesar could withstand the Disneylanding
upon the ramparts by the hordes jejune who
far from emaciation cinch their banding
together with their all too common boo-hoo.

Dames, grand and gross, with so-called gentle manners
and smarmy gentlemen with battle plans sift
through Hellgate, past the sun-soaked summer tanners
and find that even here— Minnie Mouse is miffed.


In ancient times, first century,
the second pope was known to be
said Linus in Church history
and Letter, Second Timothy.

Succeeding Peter as the pope
but not a martyr, one would hope,
as sources tend to find the trope
uncertain in its sense and scope.

The Peanuts show another case
of Linus taking second place
to Charlie Brown without disgrace
in our collective database.

So, blanket = pallium + pelt?
A deep dark blue of wool, not felt,
security as band or belt
with pollex planted plain and svelte.

Apollo’s sons both share the name
of Linus, prince, but not the same
as that musician of great fame,
for which confusion who could blame?

And Linus backwards is Sunil,
blest epithet of Krishna, real
as any avatar could feel,
not second but blue black, ideal.

Let’s not forget that scientist,
who in the White House did the twist
just after protesting the gist
of Vietnam outside. Resist!

His charm and charming mastery
and claims about ascorbate (see
ascorbic acid, i. e. C),
prove second just to A or B.

John J. Trause, the Director of Oradell Public Library, is the author of Why Sing? (Sensitive Skin Press, 2017), a book of traditional and experimental poems; Picture This: For Your Eyes and Ears (Dos Madres Press, 2016), a book of poems on art, film, and photography; Exercises in High Treason (great weather for MEDIA, 2016), a book of fictive translations, found poems, and manipulated texts; Eye Candy for Andy (13 Most Beautiful… Poems for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, Finishing Line Press, 2013); Inside Out, Upside Down, and Round and Round (Nirala Publications, 2012); Seriously Serial (Poets Wear Prada, 2007; rev. ed. 2014); and Latter-Day Litany (Éditions élastiques, 1996), the latter staged Off Broadway. Marymark Press has published his visual poetry and art as broadsides and sheets. He is the subject of a 30-on-30-in-30 essay on The Operating System, written by Don Zirilli, and an author of an essay on Baroness Elsa at the same site, both in April 2016. He is a founder of the William Carlos Williams Poetry Cooperative in Rutherford, N. J., and the former host and curator of its monthly reading series.