Below is Sonnet #7, called When Machiavelli Calls. It is a fitting addition to this series on The Space Between Us. It highlights the tension of dealing with the self-serving individual, and of trying to keep from becoming the self-serving individual ourselves.
Sonnet #7 - when Machiavelli calls
When Machiavelli calls his name he jumps
The animal compulsion drives his lust
for power. Brings the lowering of trust
from those he sought to love, but only trumps
The sad, the lonely lost receive the crust
DeSade is smiling up. His tortured thoughts
became both bread of Hell, and poisoned pot
when love of self became the social must
I rose to slay these enemies, I fought
against their ways, their thoughts – prevailing winds
of culture’s latent apathies and sins
but everywhere I turned I now was caught
In every face attacked, provoked, betrayed
My enemies a mirror – I was they
So much poetry today lacks traditional rhyming patterns, or rhyming at all. It’s as though end rhymes have become uncool. They are reserved for kids, and people who write children’s books like Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. Well, except for the fact that we spend more money on hip-hop and pop music than we do on poetry – unless it’s Dr. Seuss.
The rhyming pattern is abba bccb cddc ee. As you can see the rhyme in lines 2-3 in one quatrain become the rhyme of 1 and 4 in the following quatrain. This is a poetic way to say that the thing, which is at the heart of my existence, becomes the very thing that frames my life.
One might think that I wrote this after the 2016 Presidential election, with the reference "trumps", but alas, no. This preceded the election by a couple years.
The ongoing use of enjambment (a sentence traveling past the end of a verse) expresses the way selfishness drives through our thoughts and seems to somehow travel across everything we do.
Here the volta (the turn of thought) is delayed until the last line, when the enemy is shown to be myself as much as any outward antagonist.