Cantata, By Brian37 (AKA Brian James Rational Poet on FB/META and @brianrrs37 and Twitter)

I take my feet
Off the ottoman
Walk out into
The summer afternoon

The sun permeates
The sparce clouds
Dominating them
Like Manchuria and Ethiopia

This heliocentric dictator
Oblivious to my itinerary
Seeks to optimize
My perspiration

A concert of code
Pretentious vernacular
To merely describe
My constitutional

Remis I would be
If not to over conflate
The simple statement
“It’s fucking hot outside”

Caviar words
Of Oxford level
Are accessible
To the layman

There is no code
That cannot be broken
Nothing fancy at all
About life.

This poem is basically a description of how my parents, but especially my mom, would use fancy sounding words with me like “Cantata” or “ottoman”, and also in my youth when I already felt broken and dumb. She was one of those strict parents who would tell you “look it up in the dictionary” or “encyclopedia” and it frustrated me. Her sink or swim attitude and getting upset with me when I asked for help discouraged me growing up. I was already A.D.D. and L.D. So I struggled through HS and even college.

But finally older and wiser and the all forgiving google search has shattered that fear for me. Now if I want to know where “Manchuria” is, takes just a couple of seconds. If I want to know where Kwajalein is, same thing. My mom used to call a foot stool/rest an “ottoman” and I didn’t hear that word until I was 18 I think.

I don’t remember when I wrote this poem, but it must have been when my mother was still alive. When she wanted to go to a church concert she would not call it a concert but a “cantata”.

Looking back at it now it reminds me of Blair from the Facts Of Life who said “We don’t go to dances, we go to cotillions”.

Point is, to anyone reading this who might feel intimidated by words they see in daily life anywhere, don’t be. Google it, and even if you are a bad speller like me, way more often than not, it will give you suggestions and you can find a layperson’s definition of that “fancy” sounding word.


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