The ineffable boredom of Polonius

Hamlet had a go; stabbing him behind the arras,
which does not mean what you may think it means
if you didn’t do Shakespeare in your degree.
But he never dies, this Polonius. He pops up as
Scoutmaster, Deputy Principal, minor MP, Mayor,
spouting cliché through his immortal mouth;

To your own self be true

he tells graduating students, some of whom
have read of him being stabbed behind the arras
and have suffered quite enough already thank you.

Youth are the future of Australia, he adds,

and I’m sure there are American and Indian and
Kyrgyzstani Poloniuses, for he has bred, you know,
splitting in two in each grave; coming up each morn
at fifty-five years. They go on cruises, Polonii,
and spend their ineffable boredom in other places
dripping like middle-aged piss for

Travel broadens the mind

which, in this case, it clearly doesn’t.

Never put off until tomorrow, he exhorts.

I feel that there must be a way to kill off his breed.
And I will work and work to find a way to eliminate
every smear of Polonius from discourse public or private.

Make hay while the sun shines,

and I am forming daggers from papier-mâché
made from the most tedious editorials still written,

in real print newspapers

crapping on about the

sacrifice of previous generations

and the inevitable

need for fiscal constraint

and I will sneak up on him, like Hamlet, but less hosey,
and force a cliché dagger down his moth-eaten throat,
though I fear he will just regurgitate the dagger,

waste not want not

he will say or

Violence is the last resort of the unintelligent and never a solution

and it is, Polonius, oh yes it is,
and may you choke on your sayings
and die, smearing the arras, wall, or whatever
in horrible, tedious wisdom, like the worlds greyest
graffiti, little vombits of save and safe and think and

look before you leap

and it will be too late, and nobody, no nobody will weep

for the death of the boring uncle, with his inexplicable fetish
for hiding behind arrases, which is the only interesting thing
that the mouldy old sententious prick ever did.

And may flights of silverfish sing him to his rest.

P.S. Cottier

Now this is not a Very Nice Poem at all, but sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of a rave.

Read the works of the other Tuesday Poets around the world by pressing here. That includes New Zealand, where they are quite good at cricket.

Dangerous ground

October 28, 2011

It’s so hard to write about love without being sucked into the great swamp of cliché.  (That swamp is just near the level playing field and the field of dreams, incidentally.)  Here’s a poem that attempts to avoid the swamp.

I’ve totally given up trying to make my poems copied onto here revert to single spacing; they just like to be double spaced.  And who am I to argue with the muse of the computer?



Dangerous ground, they say; thick sands

tending towards the gluggy, or cloying

like dessert wine, just too too sweet.

Roll it round your tongue and spit!

say the many, divorced from lingering,

an evicted dog’s cold fleas, itching.

But that is not it, that is not it at all.

I realise that now, tottering past forty,

smorgasbord stashed in past’s

crumbed pantry of regret.

Hungover with experiment,

trapezed into performance,

the gourmet becomes gourmand

or abstemes self into shape.

But the shape of love is not six-packed muscle,

nor even delicate lines of balletic grace.

Love is a vegetarian at the butcher’s,

gapes of bed-socks beneath ageing dreams

and the practised caress;

an ideolect of touch and lapping

curled like a cat in memory’s ample gut.

Stretching, it rubs against the legs of so far and thus good.

Then it stalks out into future’s thin twilight, hunting for self,

in the deep dear shadows of the you and the now.

P.S. Cottier