New Test for Narcissism

Poem by

You want to know if someone’s narcissistic?

Just ask. The narcissistic feel no shame

for what they are. I know it sounds simplistic.


You needn’t ask them devious, sophistic

questions that dissemble your true aim.

One query yields as valid a statistic.

 

Just ask. They won’t act shocked or go ballistic

or feel that it’s a trait they must disclaim.

They don’t see self-regard as egoistic

 

or culpable. It’s merely realistic.

If you had their aplomb, you’d feel the same—

so don’t be delicate and euphemistic.

 

Has anyone, however altruistic

and self-effacing, garnered lasting fame

without the slightest tinge of the hubristic?

 

Even in artwork at its most artistic,

the artist’s always peering from the frame.

You want to know if someone’s narcissistic?

Just ask. It’s simple, yes, but not simplistic.





American Arts Quarterly, Fall 2016, Volume 33, Number 4