INTERVAL FOUR: Short Forms

Rosoe The Riveter. American WW2 poster. poster

Max Gutmann: Pink Slip

Blinkery-pinkery
Rosie the Riveter,
Icon of Double-u
Double-u Two,

Thrived on the job despite
Phallocentricity,
Then got the boot when the
Fighting was through.

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Robin Helweg-Larsen: Headlock

She got him at once in a headlock –
They tussled, but it was a deadlock:
One thought it was nice,
One was frigid as ice . . .
Ah, such are the wonders of wedlock!

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Glo Curl: Early Start

I took out life assurance as a fresher.
Young reps descended on the student halls
In trendy suits, exerting gentle pressure
To take out life assurance as a fresher
(The one who sold to me had come from Cheshire)
It proved to be one of my better calls
To take out life assurance as a fresher
Do reps today descend on student halls?

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Alex Steelsmith: Polyphaggia

(In 2008, Eric “Steakbellie” Livingston set a world
record by consuming 1.4 kg of haggis in eight minutes.)

Haggildy-piggildy,
Steakbellie Livingston
isn’t a human, we
have to deduce;

no merely anthropoid
gastrointestinal
tract could endure so much
offal abuse.

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L. A. Mereoie: Full And Foul

“ . . . I put my foot into a great heap of turds,
by which I found that Mr Turner’s house of
office is full and comes into my cellar . . .”

(Samuel Pepys: Diary for 20 October 1660)

Towns today smell a little bit sweeter
Than the London of Pepys, with a foetor
Due to privies and closets
With excessive deposits
Of that troublesome product, excreta.

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Cheryl Caesar: Lament

Poor Gregor Samsa!
My Mac is slowly dying;
apple in its back.

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Alex Steelsmith: Made in the Shade

Piggledy-riggledy
Saudi Arabia,
bastion of billionaire
barons of oil,

basks in a lifestyle that
photovoltaically
harvesting sunlight would
totally spoil.

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Jerome Betts: The Jewelled Johansson

The wandering ghost of Vermeer
Once haunted Delft’s Filmhuis to jeer
And react with wry mirth
When he saw Colin Firth
But admire Scarlett's pearl-studded ear.

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Max Gutmann

Dr. Samuel Mudd
Saw his reputation collapse with a thud
After treating John Wilkes Booth; it so declined,
His name became–well, never mind.

Old monochrome photograph of Dr Samue Mudd