A Penitence

Though this cannot be said

(I write it instead)

I lied. I wept in my beer,

having played the part of wise man and seer,

plying my trade as spokesman

of the people, a kind of politico, an ombudsman,

who in the best of times would compile

speeches on nonsensical subjects with style,

pass the word on taxes, executions, fairs,

when to plant, or permit the mating of mares.

I was, in short, a kind of intellectual whore,

who sold good words, where that’s all there was in store;

who, like a sailor, had always shone,

when winds so strong and straight would float a stone.