Future Anterior Retrospection
(From The Triumph of Strife: an homage to Dante Alighieri and Percy Shelley)

Prospective retrospective prospecting,
Or finding in the future what we’re told
Today about some undiscovered thing:

Semantic jumping claim to get a hold
Of all the wealth that fortune tellers dig
Means robbery by rhetoric so bold

That no one needs a gun to do the gig
Just mesmerize the present with a noise
That doesn't cost a thing or care a fig

To carry off the larceny with poise
He travels to tomorrow then looks back
On yesterday -- today -- with all his ploys

He says he will have won the war on crack
And will have foiled the terrorist attack

He will have done it all, he says we'll know,
In decades hence when we will all be dead
He says because of secret coding, though,

We have to pay him now for future bread
The cost of which he can't precisely tell
Because the recipe he hasn't read

Although it seems he does know how to sell
Refrigerators to the Eskimos
No lack of inventory can dispel

Those visionary "wins" of which he crows
The twerp stud Texas hamster testifies
While spitting in our face to wipe his nose

That GAWD's own orders now he amplifies:
Believe in him and not your lying eyes!

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2006-2010