Post-Modern Sketches

(The painting for the post is “Retroactive II” by Robert Rauschenberg)

Poetry has sometimes been a medium for social critique, as all art forms have. My poems are no exception, and some comment on the world we live in.

One of the poems in my book, The Wind and the Shadows, is called “Post-Modern Sketches.” I attempted to write this poem using mostly words derived by combing two words. My aim was to evoke three meanings in each word: the meanings of each combined word plus a third meaning created by the combination of the words.

For example, the first word in the poem is “Empyrrhic.” This is a combination of “empiric” and “pyrrhic.” “Empiric” refers to knowledge limited to sense observation. “Pyrrhic” refers to a victory that is so costly it wasn’t worth winning. “Empyrrhic” acknowledges the victory of empiric knowledge in our society but questions whether this victory was worthwhile because of the losses we incurred.

The title “Post-Modern Sketches” references post-modernism, a movement which continues to impact culture. In post-modernism, meaning is often created through eclectic combinations; the word combinations I use are a nod to this. I call them sketches because they are just impressions or roughed out portraits of today’s world.

I will own that these are among the densest and most difficult of my poems to read. While writing them, I often felt like I was having a mental melt down! Still, I hope a few people out there will find them interesting and worth noodling on.


Empyrrhic victory 
left us fall-owing
jejuneiversity profets of
who vassalate between
lieght and night
as the whirled 
in the solar wind.


grant wishescape:
where marionetworks dangle 
and scavenjournalists

on dys-play 
for denihilists.


apeerance pressure
on the splinternet
by the torch and pitchforked tongues
of so-shall mediaccusers
whose tyranknee-jerk reac-shuns
make demockracy their
free speechless

Published by mrteague

Teague McKamey lives in Washington state with his wife and two children. Teague’s poetry has appeared in several journals and in self-published books. He blogs at and In all areas of life, Teague desires that Christ may be magnified in his body (Php. 1:20).

4 thoughts on “Post-Modern Sketches

  1. Like I told your daughter when she was two or three, it is fun to play with words. When finished, clean them off and put them back on the shelf to use again sometime.


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