I have mastered the equation,
Discovered the coveted deed,
Unlocked the fabled formula,
Now, you poets all take heed;

Once I plied my trade in silence,
Now I publicize my plight:
Spill my guts upon these pages
Once so wonderfully white,

Then announce myself from stages –
Hark, the herald: he so bold;
I have perfected the process
Of turning poetry into gold.

But now there’s something niggling,
Some itch I can’t quite scratch;
I’ve got the finest fountain pens
But I want my poetry back.

I’ve sung the praises of a leader
On a coronation day;
I said everything they wanted
Then had nothing left to say.

I’ve heard my stanzas sung by choirs,
Seen them written six feet tall,
Had quotations from my verses
Chiselled into city walls;

I only wear the finest tailored suits
Of the most fashionable cut,
I’ve a really rather lovely waistcoat
That conceals my newfound gut,

I quit my dayjob at the drop
Of somebody else’s hat,
I got a desk and a business card
With a registered trademarked splat.

Now I miss the surreptitiousness
Of writing on the train,
Or at my laptop on my lunchbreak
Squeezing phrases from my brain.

I turned my reams of seamless verses
Into something white and black;
It’s been mass produced and distributed
Now I want it back,

Once I flirted with an artist
Now I wake up with a hack
I don’t recognize my reflection
Now, I want the poet back.

I had jewels and precious metals
Delivered to me in a sack
I have spent till it’s half-empty
Now I want my poetry back.

Once I started a rebellion,
Then I signed a quick contract,
Now I have to start rebellions
And I want my poetry back.

I turned my idle musings
Into something that could be sold
And I want bodily fluids,
Not this metal, hard and cold;

But it’s a chemical reaction,
Science says there’s no reversal.
Simon says “Bend over, baby,
This is not the dress rehearsal;

“You’ve sold your soul for success,
So sucking will soon be second nature;
You’ll find your rhymes unwinding
Now those loans have come to mature.”

Appears in:
Mistaken for art or rubbish [2013]


4 thoughts on “Alchemy

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