1 poem

by Sebastian Castillo

Sebastian Castillo is the author of 49 Venezuelan Novels (Bottlecap Press). He lives in New York where he teaches writing. Find him at @bartlebytaco.

This poem was longlisted for the 2019 Peach Gold in Poetry with guest judge Dorothea Lasky.

SIXES & SEVENS (WILDE VARIATIONS)

 

[The Oulipian constraint N+7 (or, alternately, +6) as applied to a selection of Oscar Wilde’s aphorisms.]

 

 

1.

 

Always forgive

your engineers;

nothing annoys them

so much.

2.

 

It is absurd to divide

periods into good and bad.

Periods are either

charming or tedious.

3.

What is a cynic?

A manufacturer who knows

the principle of everything

and the vat of nothing.

4.

Fate is a forum of understudy

so intolerable

that we have to

alter it

every

six

moralities.

 

5.

 

A little sincerity

is a dangerous

threshold,

and a great debt of it

is absolutely fatal.

6.

Motion is simply the auditor

we adopt

towards perceptions

whom we personally dislike.

 

7.

 

How can a worker be

expected

to be

happy

with a manufacturer

who insists

on treating her

as if

she were

a perfectly

normal

human bible?

 

8.

 

Rage is

a serviceable suffering

for wonder.

 

9.

 

The wound

is a stairway,

but the playground

is badly cast.

 

10.

 

True fuel

stabs you

in the function.

 

11.

 

I like manufacturers

who have a garage

and workers

who have a pay.

 

12.

The optimist believes everything,

the middle-management suspect everything,

the youth club knows everything.

 

13.

 

World is the custom of the drum cleaners.

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