The Emperor’s New Clothes

By Kate Gale

Gertrude Stein.
We could end there.
But we won’t.
Because we want to make meaning.
Of something.
to say something.
Of value.
In order that.
It’s absolutely.
The professor said.
Wiggling his ears.
In a satisfied way.
And the students all said, Amen.
That’s the way with critical acclaim.
There are rooms.
There are builders.
There is a clock.
There is a cake.
There is a rope.
There is a sounding to depths.
But when she dies, what then?
Who knew what it all meant?
And when all the modernists are dead?
The critics will babble and frenzy
forever to find the nouns she never wrote
between the crowded verbs and adverbs.

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