The Secretary-General's Lament

by Brandon Marlon (June 2016)

Epic in scope, intimate in nature,
the world's work plods forwards or backwards
depending on the council, commission, or agency.
Most days the farce gauge registers record levels
of folly in the General Disassembly and Insecurity Council,
bodies padded with the overtly villainous and opportunistic,
though at any given moment routine absurdities
are arrayed seriatim, manifested via heated logomachy,
protracted wrangling over the omissible, disputes about
which addenda to subjoin, fabricated crises, petty antics,
hot mics, accusations and recriminations, explicit threats.
Sometimes there is not one veracious word to be heard
from plumed windbags expert in dissimulation and screeds;
oftentimes trilemmas dominate proceedings, making inaction ideal.
During breaks, Communist emissaries amuse:
without a hell to fear or a heaven to hope for,
they casually espouse heresies for shock value.
On slow days you might discover a robed ambassadress
making eyes at you, although bureaucratic monotony
has been known to daze and induce hallucination.
Naturally, we are meant to engage in curule diplomacy
on the globe's behalf, yet we sporadically
deteriorate into a roomful of sloths too inert
to single out and condemn Israel for whatever.
But I take solace in knowing that our schismatic cesspit,
dysfunction's bastion, is somehow even at its worst
civilization's noblest endeavor.


Brandon Marlon is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. in Drama & English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry was awarded the Harry Hoyt Lacey Prize in Poetry (Fall 2015), and has been published in 100+ publications in Canada, U.S.A., England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Romania, Israel, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, Trinidad, & Mexico.


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