merman’s ode to mammon

on the good ship meritocracy
it is agreed
the fashion is shark skin suits
the rest is mere commodity
it is decreed
“fish and gut ‘em, down the shute”

wanna compete and be somebody?
i do agree
i want me a shark skin suit
don’t wanna be a nobody
i do decree
fished and gutted, stripped of fluke

gotta get me legs and make plans
hooked on cash and false kisses
anything but an anchor of conscience
tossed overboard to sleep with the fishes

on the good ship meritocracy
we all agree
gotta wear us some shark skin suits
everything’s a commodity
and market decrees
fished and gutted, eat clam soup

gotta get me legs for my plans
hooked on cash and false kisses
anything but an anchor of conscience
tossed overboard to sleep with the fishes

the whale is dead
long live the whale!
see how he vomits me up

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2008

40 thoughts on “merman’s ode to mammon

  1. Hi, Tony and Teti! Your elucidations on the “rat-race” of society (and its “negotiations!”) juxtaposed to their complete Biblical opposites make compelling commentary about life and its sometimes hard-fought struggles. Have you ever considered this for a song?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This poem reminds me of Emily Dickinson’s “I’m Nobody! Who Are You? I appreciate the visuals you used in your poem, though. Really makes your theme come to life. The imagined setting adds to the grueling message here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Charlie. I appreciate your kind words!
      At the time of writing, I had just watched a documentary by Alain de Botton called Status Anxiety. It was about how people of modern societies tend to compete in order to climb the social ladder, and how much anxiety that can cause them. Meritocracy was one aspect that was covered which is the idea that only people with merit should be allowed to advance in society (usually those high up in business who are rolling in wealth and privilege). It was a fascinating concept that I had to run with in poetry form.
      I have no idea where the merman/shark skin suit imagery came from though. Perhaps it was a natural extension of the cutthroat image of business we often hold. Fortunately it all came together quite pleasingly. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

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