share


FINALLY RICH

I got a job

I got a job writing poems

oh hi I never met you before

going to write you a poem

about your anniversary

your niece’s christening

your son’s wedding

your uncle’s funeral

you provided a helpful ‘factsheet’

full of personal details

your favourite songs and anecdotes

this is my material

the tone is ‘light’

the approach is up to me

you will pay £3 a line

you will pay £5 a line

you will pay £7 a line if rhymed

but hang on

wouldn’t a real poet want to get at ‘truth’

you paid for a real poet

how can I get ‘truth’ from this ‘factsheet’

the only way to ‘truth’

is saying ‘yo, I don’t know you’

and refusing to write the poem in the poem

then I doubt you’d pay me

here’s my question

do you want to buy a poem

because you know about poetry

or because you don’t know about poetry

think I need to see you

think I need to meet you

think I need to come and stay with you for like a week

perhaps the whole thing will get out of hand

if I get involved in some ‘heavy shit’

I’ll write a screenplay about it

of course I’ll change your name

the names of my dystopian employers

charlie kaufman some bigshot director

will buy the script executive produce

and I’ll be rich I won’t write any more poems

about your uncle’s wedding

your son’s christening

your niece’s funeral

your bill: £210

happy anniversary


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

began to write poetry while at the Norwich School of Art and Design, and completed a Masters at Royal Holloway. His poems have appeared in various publications and competitions since 2005. He co-edits the anthology series Stop Sharpening Your Knives, and is currently working towards a PhD at the University of East Anglia. He was a recipient of a 2009 Eric Gregory Award. His first collection, 81 Austerities, was published by Faber in 2012. 



READ NEXT

Interview

Issue No. 17

Interview with George Saunders

Aidan Ryan

Interview

Issue No. 17

The American short story writer George Saunders has the kind of reputation that makes one hesitate before typing his...

Interview

May 2015

Interview with Catherine Lacey

Will Chancellor

Interview

May 2015

Catherine Lacey is a writer who came to New York by way of Tupelo, Mississippi. She is a New...

poetry

Issue No. 8

The Cloud of Knowing

John Ashbery

poetry

Issue No. 8

There are those who would have paid that. The amount your eyes bonded with (O spangled home) will have...

 

Get our newsletter

 

* indicates required