A Fog of Blurbs
Their plumage is a sheen of words whose meanings are the same—
ubiquitous, too often heard, obnoxious birds, but tame,
their mewling call is pecks of praise without one speck of blame.
The truth goes out the window when the blurbs fly into town:
a mist of joyous tidings, thought essential to renown,
their beaks grow long and longer and are uniformly brown.
Though not as sneaky as the Snark or deadly as the Snub,
this antisocial pest, infesting every clique and club,
will lurk on the perimeter, fixated on the hub.
Its darkling brows are dour, its sour wit is arch.
Its morals are elastic, while its shirts are stuffed with starch;
its hunting cry is dry enough to cause a pond to parch.
The Snide, a spineless predator related to the Sneer,
will stalk its prey from either side, but pounces from the rear,
though if confronted face to face, it tends to disappear.
Ed Shacklee is a public defender who represents young people in the District of Columbia. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Angle, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Light Quarterly, The Loch Raven Review, and Tilt-a-Whirl, among other places. He is working on a bestiary.