Peccadilloes; or, The School of No Sestina

Peccadilloes; or, The School of No Sestina

In the School of No, every word
sounds a peccadillo,
every class closes a cage,
every cage captures a rule,
every rule regards no
with gusto.

No bites yes with gusto
behind a fence of words.
No, no, no
that’s the rule
in the land of cages.

Explained John Cage,
what cage you’re in, escape with gusto.
Well, that was anyway John Cage’s rule.
Silence was for the rule his word,
though he broke records of silence with every chance peccadillo
he got in the School of No.

No No knows
a Yes one day came selling out of a cage
from a food cart stuffed with gusto,
apples falling and rotting for a code was worded:
no Nos can know – the candy apple red rule –

a committee of Nos ruled.
So life is slow in the School of No,
for a world wrapped in rules needs no words,
and all the world’s a cage
where the only gusto
blows in from the occasional peccadillo

by some picaroon poet acting alone,
against tide and rule,
all hopped up on some street grade gusto,
but soon runs into a posse of nos,
and is put back in the cage
without a word.

So with a bit of tempered gusto we suggest this peccadillo:
every word should break a rule
to escape a School of No cage.