Saturday, 16 June 2012

Poetic Tough Love

You may think, during the course of this poem, when I become all ranty 
   and demonic,
That my agitated persona is, in fact, not an agitated persona at all, but 
   simply one which is knowingly ironic;
That behind the raging bile,
There is a charming and engaging smile;
That I don’t genuinely despise the targets of my merciless and hateful 
And really, I’m laughing with you, behind the sonic façade of this 
   furiously enraged incantation.

But you’d be wrong.

This is a poem in which I shall be genuinely complaining,
About poets who step into the public arena having studiously avoided any 
   notion of being entertaining;
Who spew forth lines which they wrongly believe are both intensely 
   important and emotionally draining,
But which are, in fact, dazzlingly inept.
We’ve all heard these poets; we’ve heard them, and we’ve wept:
Tears of frustration,
Tears of agitation,
Tears at being subjected to their symbolic masturbation;
But tears which we never cry, because we’re too polite
To stand up and say: your poetry’s shite!

For these poets, whose attempts at poetic refulgence
Begin – and end – with nauseating self-indulgence;
Whose poetry has all of the charm,
Of an essay on self-harm;
For them, with their pretentiously opaque and useless poetic 
I have written a set of performance poetry instructions,
To contemplate before the next occasion when they unwittingly bore an 
   audience into catatonic submission.
That’s right – this poem is a bit of free tuition,
From a patience-sapped poet on a do-or-die mission.

I’ve made it pretty simple for them to follow these instructions, although 
   I’m pretty sure that they won’t,
Indeed, it couldn’t be any simpler; it’s just one word: don’t.


  1. Gosh, the lion has been ruffled- hear him roar!

  2. Each of us is convinced that it's all those others you're talking about here. I know, for example, that I've certainly never been guilt of any of this. I'm equally sure that no-one has ever listened to either of us with any degree of boredom, or thought "he could have said that better".

  3. And such poets will overrun their time slots, failing to look up once at the glazed eyes before them, mistaking the eventual applause for approbation, instead of relief..............