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In Seminar Room B13
An academic tough
Is bullying a poem
Until it spills its stuff.

Tell us, you slag, about gender,
Admit you’re dodgy on race.
You pretend that you’re about daffodils?
Don’t give us that innocent face.

Son, we’ll squeeze your metaphors
Until the misogyny squeaks,
We’ll pound your signifiers
Till the latent meaning leaks.

When we give you a truncheon job,
And the deconstruction treatment.
You’re going to admit, you bastard,
What those iambic feet meant.

They’re filthy with tradition;
They tell a story.
You’re comprehensible, you bitch,
You’re a crypto-Tory.

But after this macho afternoon
The man goes home to nurse
A pale and poorly creature,
His own attempt at verse.

His work, “numismatic Multiple%
Stained = Paradigm”
Repels any easy reading
As much as it shies from orthodox patterns of repeated cadences.

Disrup/ted are its phras(es);
Its lines don’t flow, but chafe.
It has no graspable meaning,
And above all, it’s safe.

You can’t accuse its attitudes
For none are on display.
You can’t call it Orientalist,
Because it has nothing to say.

So is this where it’s all tending?
Will the whole great line diminish
To a thin self-conscious ending,
And a sub-Prynnish finish?

George Simmers

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