An Ode to VCU

By Tyler Lloyd

Brick by brick buildings build people by shaping the insides of character, uncharacterized from the outside by dawning thoughts in the spring and fall semesters.

Lives renew by perspectives anew; ambiguities askew as friends laugh, couples hugs, acquaintances smile, and the lonely pass in search of –

The sun bobs to weave infinite rays finding and filling the space everywhere not shaded in this mass of surface taken over by giants made of steel, glass, and concrete; surrounded by various avenues speckled by beetles of solid solitary color drifting amidst blacktops and parking lots only to stop and part for the stream of those making left; to yield and make way for the others, every one carriage containing various numbers of ants going forth and adding to this landscape as we descend this fourth floor observatory and become one with them, losing the privilege our eyes had in accosting so many, making of the glances from such high perspective but of no authenticity – separately we push forth to set the time

that is mine, and yours, to make OURS of the absolute.

This rock adrift in space. Lovers spray the procreate. Running intersections. Leaping in haste. No chase just freedom unchecked. Commiserate and choose your choice to affect others or the additional option, by yes, not choosing to play. To lose by letting one think. I can’t. He lost. She lost. We all lose in the end.


 I say no!

Break that fake self-fulfilling prophecy by trying to do more than shake ‘n bake comparisons. Don’t exasperate the gloom and doom of ignorance by simply ignoring it. Let loose and live. It is now the time to give. Show the world what’s kept great in this civilization. Go outside and greet the day with enthusiasm because anything is possible in the swirl of fresh air that meet the lungs of those who only dare to be exposed to


Engraved stone
Named buildings
Men at work
Women who flirt
Ties and bows
Caps, jackets, and scarves
Smokers blow smoke
Friends joke
Time shifts
Masses split
People collide

Fullness inside, emptiness outside, and the fear of not passing over the fear of not learning.

They say my compass gives no direction because it ain’t portable, but its eight points do more than just sit there, they tell me by being here I’m going somewhere even if I can’t take them with


The work of the student is metamorphosis; changing himself through listening to others alongside the books that look smarter on the shelf if nothing is gleaned from them. The social scientists practice a dream in applying their trade of challenging the system in a way educators of today should do daily. All the humanities work at crafting a lust for humanity, instilling empathy for children not yet born in the disgrace of forlorn corporate meat grinders; seen but never mentioned as some escape, while others care not to and grind the gears beneath their weight.

Grades squeak out averages of GPAs like stock prices on individuals, bleeding them dry to make dividends on student loans, cashing in when the student fulfills or forgets graduation. Just as not all pass the class or pay for the crass failure of time ill spent, spoiled brats come and go, leaving nothing behind, with no one remembering them but statistics left behind asking who were they? Yet, for those of us cursed to play in this exchange of craft and knowledge we hold strong before soon buckling winds of unchanging stagnation that damns projects, midterms, papers, and finals to obliteration.

The passionate from anywhere will find a crash course in love and virtue as the appraisement of humanity evolves continually, no longer reflecting on the once staged coup to free the ideas promised by hope; now got no reason to hope as the word plays the mind games of bad faith and good philosophy, regulating a future none ever happen to predict but influences in spite of


For now timelines wade in lanes not fit to travel alone, but together we happily swim down the ripples of a teacher to find new interests in their echo, bouncing back off the objective truth none sees far off in the horizon, yet most rationalizing its existence out there, somewhere.

Does it matter? Do you care? I do and don’t.

Dads spit game for sons to listen while daughters take arms to words spoken of in the before unbroken silence. Mothers take aim to desensitize their children to the jagged lives of the less fortunate saving them from the jaded reality- that we are not all going to make it. The pain and suffering of those who don’t are eclipsed by those that do, while so many wait for others to make their life happen.

Homeless and pregnant, anything helps;
Affluent and male, don’t want nothing from nobody;
Sorry dear no change, just plastic,
ATM around the way, but they only spit twenties.
No one who cares leads to one who matters, and time batters the stray hunting in the scraps of all


Lack of value springs the clink clap crap trap of sold souls recruiting new.
Broken dreams cast flames to sixty thousand dollar pieces of shred.

Learning buck. Hunting muck. Lashing the stash of bankrupt cash. Listen DUCK! Bob and weave. To smash and grab. Conform the norm of dorm room behavior – bore the door of lucid decorum, peeping in to find there little outside of yourself and how you relate to it.

The omission of my commission in this transmission serves to confuse the scolding dread of life outside of here. I don’t want to leave college and if I stay long enough maybe they’ll keep me. Yet, all the while I acknowledge the fate of the unfaithful in turning away only to be run over by the world of consumerism, insurance, healthcare, mortgages, taxation, and debt.

The institutionally established and accredited mouths of professors try to spit value into the heads of those who knew but never said how to change the world. However, now it is them who elude the blame of those just arriving to this same lame game of traditionally strict high-stake academia. The con job binary is to think that you need this or that this is all you need, while

Change recycles the old into new and corrects the tragedy of youth, which is to be