Those who write of the art of poetry
                   teach us that if we would write what may be worth
                   the reading, we ought always, before we begin, to
                   form a regular plan and design of our piece.

                                                    — Ben Franklin


To be separate, anonymous, silent,
yet not without real power or pride, say
the tact and driven mindset of software
giants, ex-hackers bailed out by the F.B.I.

Troubleshooters, key specialists
flown in to exact purpose yet no
further ado, then flown back home again.
One of the sought-after, needed, few.


Bound by boundlessness, appalled
by applause, overreaching
in despair—The poet at home
in a prose nation. He weathers his vast,
unforgiven country like a storm.


By jolt, by dint of play, Rex Eternity
can milk every almanac list, render moot
our daily reinvention of the sky.
Many may act. More cry out. Unnerving Time


exists for our misuse. In it: loved lover
and icy stream are lost. View
the damage done in Limit’s civic name.

_ The poem is an anagram of the four numbered sections
of Benjamin Franklin’s “ Plan for Future Conduct,” Labaree et al., eds.,
The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 40 vols. New Haven: Yale UP, 1959.

Mike Smith | Mudlark No. 30
Contents | Poe