Essay

Greed

Words by P-’Dre Heresy
Illustration by Marc Burckhardt

 

Biography

P-’Dre Heresy is the pseudonym of Paul Harris, LMU professor of English. Harris teaches writing and practices a form of creative writing known as constrained writing, in which the author chooses to write within a constraint. Ideally, the choice of constraint is guided by a text’s theme; here, the choice to use only one vowel (called monovocalism) was suggested by the titular word — the long e sound of greed expresses its sense.

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Also see Exit Lighting
By Editor Joseph Wakelee-Lynch

Return to Virtue Reality

Listen to Paul Harris, professor of English, give a reading of his poem on greed.

The Greed-E Text
These E-tethered sentences self-reference
Greed’s relentless self-centeredness.
These endlessly meted E’s represent
Greed’s speech’s needless excess.
The text’s extreme repetend effect
resembles Greed’s me-me-ME reverb.
The E-stress stretches sense,
prevents metered verse;
these express Greed’s senseless essence.

Greed’s Heresy
Greed’s sect eschews the Redeemer.
Greed never lends fervent tenets
the credence they deserve.
Greed never feels deference,
never kneels when he beseeches.
Vespers bells knell when eve descends,
yet Greed never feels gentle reverence.
Greed’s never meek, never sweet.
Greed never seeks self-betterment.
Greed never feels she’s erred,
ever feels he’s the Elect’s member.
Greed egresses Eden’s temple,
decrees the serpent’s precepts,
deems greed the best creed.
Greed’s Hell-revelers yell,
“Here ends the lessen!”

Greed’s Well Never Ends
Greed ever selects the self,
yet never feels self-respect.
Greed ever defends the self,
yet never feels self-esteem.
Greed’s well’s depths never end:
she never gets checked, never reneges,
never feels replete, never feels fed.
The well’s never empty,
yet Greed never feels refreshed.
When Greed’s eyes get tested,
he sees M E M E M E M E M E.
Greed’s demented psyche
senses specters everywhere;
when he’s vehement,
even dependent sheep’re the enemy.
Greed’s the lewd pervert;
he feels wenches’re mere prey.
Yet Greed feels green envy,
gets dejected when rejected,
kvetches whenever neglected.
Greed’s ever nettled, never settled;
Greed’s wretchedness ever perseveres.

Greed Never Ends Well
Greed feeds the greedy,
fleeces the needy.
Greed’s the peerless embezzler,
the shrewd schemer,
the effervescent seller.
Ever the heckler,
Greed peddles dreck.
He tests men’s deterrence,
wheedles them defenseless.
Then, when they’re fettered,
she’ll levy endless fees,
bleed men dry.
Yet the creep never weeps.
Greed preens, swells,
tells men they’re blessed,
the Fed Reserve’s never been better!
Yet where the nest egg rested,
There’ll be empty shells left.
When the term ends,
Greed, ever the welsher, feels exempt.

Greed’s Tweets
Tweets prevent expert speech,
preempt well-reflected theses.
They let petty resentments
pepper the web, where
the dregs represent themselves freely.
Tweets extend screech-speech’s sweep;
tweeters effect, even steer the news feed.
Tweets feed Greed’s need:
when Greed tweets,
he’s the center,
she’s the legend.
When tweets get reprehended,
Greed stews, then seeks revenge.
When restless, Greed frets,
then vents spleen.
Greed sneers when she types,
yet he never spells well.
When she presses send,
Greed seeks cheers.
Tweets where men rebel
get skewered screen by screen,
then severely deleted.

The Greed Meme
Recent events tell:
Greed breeds greed.
Never rendered speechless,
Greed spews perverse gender tenets,
skews level-sensed presentments,
reverses well-tested precedents.
Greed ends pledges;
Greed never hedges,
ever presses wedges.
Greed peels the veneer,
relentlessly ferrets men’s secrets,
ferments vexed restlessness,
effects berserk recklessness.
Greed’s never well-tempered;
Greed never evens the keel,
never seems Zen,
never mends fences,
never expresses regret.
Greed’s entrenchment preempts détente.
Greed deems greed the best system.

The End Ends Well
Greed tests men’s mettle.
Perplexed, we feel we’ll
never see greed end.
Yet Greed’s seeds
never reseed; they recede
when serene men
reject Greed’s tenets,
expel Greed’s frenzy,
sweep the decks free.