Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Ian Fletcher


No ordinary English professor
he sprinkled his conversation
and copious literary criticism
with trendy scientific terms
as if to imply he could grasp
the mysteries of the cosmos
as easily as those of poetry.

He talked of the singularity
of the Romantic imagination
the relativity of all values
with words not mere words
but signifiers of signifieds
a semiotic system of variables
in an infinite maze of meanings.

How this doyen would dazzle
generations of undergraduates
adding layers of complexity
to the most abstruse of poems
which contained such secrets
that he alone could unlock
scorning the interpretations
of their inferior intellects.

Yet in his terminal illness
this fearsome campus guru
could find no moorings
no roots in common life
to help him cope with death
so in his final bedridden days
he sought out the absolute
seeking last-minute salvation
from a God he had spurned.

Now some years since he made
that quantum leap all must do
his books on
remain out of print, unread,
with he himself forgotten
sucked into that black hole
from which none return.


Born and raised in Cardiff, Wales, Ian has an MA in English from Oxford University. He lives in Taiwan with his wife, two daughters and cat. He teaches English in a high school. He has had poems and short stories published in Tuck Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, Literary Yard, 1947 A LiteraryJournal, Spillwords Press, Dead Snakes, Your One Phone Call, The Drabble, Schlock! Webzine,, Anotherealm, Under the Bed, A Story In 100 Words, Poems and Poetry, Friday Flash Fiction, and in various anthologies.


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