Academic lectures delivered by a tenure-seeking English professor
Obediently conform to the assumed rules of institutional hierarchy
Not in terms of composition but in the strict sense of the necessary
Entanglements that are a certainty considering the environment
Lofty grammar, diction, the inevitable syntactical inconsistencies
A dense network of ambiguities constructed with studied disregard
Incontrovertible truth observed and correlated to seven places

Listen to the bluster in his voice, when it’s given an opening
It bursts in quite naturally even as, I admit, it’s a little unexpected
A trademarked flying disk pitched haphazardly, or “winged”
As you might say, an ubiquitous metaphor for human song
Given air, out of tune, a nursery rhyme repeated by preschoolers
Comporting themselves as if they feared no real dangers
The way tigers act, or certain whales hunted by haunted men
These are not the consequences educated owls should endure
But ravens, maybe, their croaked howls making invocation
Quite incite a fearfully critical attack on the ol’ alma mater

In monographs and published tomes staples can be found
They sometimes join the jotted odd non-essentials of the institution
Not merely the unproven legends worming through their universe  
One hears brass bells reverberating interpretations of the time
Origins dislocated by intervening period-correct carved facades of stone
A carillon, strangely youthful, brassy, ricochets off ivied walls
Intent, symphonic and focused, in spite of the ambivalence of voices
Layered in cross referenced echoes extreme beyond all isolation

We are entitled, much the same as the perception of time dying
To look away in the direction where we notice a crow flying
Because the crow, whether you know it or not, is a song bird
Very much in the spirit of reasonable, firmly held factual dissections
Replete with rigorously documented and carefully enumerated
Strangleholds on pregnant ideas bursting with spring’s ripe fevers

We watch as the clock fast forwards to the subject of valediction
A wave goodbye to the broken prose the course of summer takes
Sheathed in a muted whine and buzz of cheap reproduction
The original electrifies via the ranks of propaganda’s privilege
Earbuds given gratis to the interested, the spirited and free  

Photo by Visax on Unsplash

Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers has been an expat for roughly half his life, struggling with English-language challenges in a land where English is rarely spoken. He reinvests some his linguistic energy into Blue Owl Bohemia, a English-language bookstore that he operates in association with a non-profit cultural and teaching center of the same name where he is a founding board member. His poems have appeared in Mudfish, Bombay Gin, Otoliths and Banyan Review among other places. He has been anthologized in The Return of Král Majáles (Litteraria Pragensia).