the cunning hunt is on and they won’t stop until they’ve won
promised land of empty pockets; box-cocked bottle rockets
and tax cuts for the wealthy though our livelihood’s undone
left and right divided fight on large screen plasma sockets
there’s no escape the muddy traipse across the white house lawn
slinging themes of healthcare dreams and water not polluted
our well’s run dry; war’s pumping high, dark drilling’s desert dawn
speeches sold; blue collars kissed, their skeletons refuted
keep raising funds; religion guns, a puppet master’s pawn
constitutions bought and sold; campaigns run convoluted
uprising revolution occupy a battle wall
take back control a generation’s fireworks exploded
ignore the nightly circus as the mighty smitten call
overrun with blackened tea; a consciousness railroaded
Notes on the form:
This is the Sonnet version of Stress Matrix Dectet/Stress Checkerboard Stanza –
developed by Luke Prater
14 lines, 14 syllables per line – aBaB cDc DcD eF eF
where lowercase are iambic heptameter (7 beats/stresses per line), and uppercase trochaic heptameter. This yields a perfect ‘checkerboard’ of stressed and unstressed syllables (14 x 14, equalling 196 syllables).
Depending on where the Volta arrives (the ‘turn’ – resolution, or at least, change in tone, crucial aspect to a sonnet), there are 3 different stanza layouts (the rhyme-scheme stays the same).
If the turn comes after the first eight lines, as it does in Italian Sonnets, the layout is
aBa BcDcD cDe FeF.
If it comes after line ten (unique!), then it’s aBaB cDc DcD eFeF (same as English but ending on a quatrain rather than the two couplets). — the Volta in this poem arrives at line eleven.