Ozymandias 2

A poem for Monday

A drawing of the pharaoh Ramses, or Ozymandias
The Atlantic

I met a traveller from an antique land,
who said: “Give me 40 million dollars.

I’m resurrecting my imploded multimedia empire.
And this time I’m calling it Shattered Visage Media.
Or no, wait—Trunkless Legs of Stone News Network.”

“Listen,” I answered him. “Don’t you think
that by naming your company after Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias,’
a poem about hubris, transience, et cetera,
you’re sort of—I dunno—asking for it?”

“Dolt,” he said. “You don’t understand branding.
Nothing means anything these days.
It’s all about influence and disruption.
So what you want is words
that have that special leftover whiff of meaning
but really mean nothing at all.”

“Got it,” I said.
“That’s actually pretty funny.”
He left me then. And in the sand across the city line
all the ghosts shook their chains like money.