Metonymy Gone Wild

By Martin H. Levinson

 

Beneath the rule of men entirely great

The pen is mightier than the sword.

—From the play Richelieu;

                        Or the Conspiracy

by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

 

Cardinal Richelieu fictitiously said the pen is

mightier than the sword which makes me

wonder if that noble cleric ever received a

 

serious wound from a blade that punctured his

skin and caused profuse pain as the object of

his disaffection sliced through muscles, organs

 

and epithelial tissue giving great distress to a

royal corpus that will someday enter heaven

if it does good works though countless clergy

 

say works are useless for getting into heaven and

atheists say there is no heaven, which means if

they are right that the Cardinal will simply decay

 

over time once he perishes from his stab wound if

that laceration is a lethal one and not just an injury

that will spurt blood all over his eminence’s

 

handsome red ecclesiastical robes and throb like

a mouthful of infected rotting teeth for droves of

dolorous days and numerous nightmarish nights

 

and lead him to cry out at the top of his

First Minister’s lungs I was wrong!

To get one’s point across the sword,

 

which can cut you to the quick

and leave you dead or real sick, is

far superior to any writing instrument.

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