In tribute to National Poetry Month, this article was written as a prose poem. Say it out loud -- skipping the tickers -- and see how it sounds to you.

The semiconductor industry seems to be feeling both wholesome and hale these days -- but not every player is living the good life.

Take, for example, MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR). And I mean take it, pretty please. Selling silicon wafers to microchip makers such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE: TSM) and Samsung is proving unprofitable, even in boom times. In spite of surging sales -- doubling from last year to $438 million -- the company lost some $0.04 per share, which is much worse than making a penny per share, as it did in 2009. Burning $132 million in free cash flow terms, MEMC is sorely in need of a turnaround.

But what masked ranger would ride in with a white-pelted stallion to rescue our badly embattled protagonist? Surely not Taiwan Semi; its orders are flying fast and furious already. Wafers for solar panels are making a profit -- but less so than a year ago, with sales roughly flatlining year over year. Bustle and buyouts and new manufacturing plants won't make a dent in results until next year at best.

I say you'd feel better investing in chip manufacturers and their designers, like Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) and Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM), Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), or in old Taiwan Semi, rather than stretching for this more forbidding stretch of the chip market. This stock is depressed, but yet for good reason -- if a turnaround lies in the cards, it has yet to show readable signs of approaching. Competition is tough from the likes of Kyocera (NYSE: KYO), Sharp, Mitsubishi -- all well-heeled and large, by all rights a blood-chilling party for minnows like MEMC to engage.

Make of this what you will, my good Fool -- MEMC is still much admired by players in CAPS, with a four-starred badge on its chest and ambition for five. Clearly, some of my readers should be quick to differ with my findings. If so, please feel free to rejoice in the presence of comments below -- that's your forum, should you choose to use it.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Taiwan Semiconductor and AMD, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. The Fool has created a covered strangle position on Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing (poetry) for investors.