Shirley is a So-and-So

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Dennis N O'Brien

Shirley is a So-and-So

Post by Dennis N O'Brien » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:51 pm

With all the usual apologies to the usual people

Shirley is a So-and-So

I had sent my favourite ditty to an expert in the city
For I wanted his opinion and I asked him to be frank,
And an answer came by email, turns out “he’s” really a female,
And she said her name was Shirley, and she said my poem stank.

Yes her comments they were biting, said that I should give up writing,
Take up knitting or macramé and destroy my old laptop,
For my writing was simplistic, terrible, anachronistic,
And if such rubbish was published would be sure to be a flop.

For my work was quite appalling, I should seek another calling,
And she said if I persisted to at least discard the rhyme,
For free verse was what was needed, this had all good poets heeded,
For they knew that formal poetry was now a major crime.

And she said she may report me, if she did then they’d deport me,
For the politicians didn’t like purveyors of such verse,
(Formal poetry they’d banned it - free verse, none could understand it,
And the public never read it for it just kept getting worse).

And she finally concluded, I was mad, quite self deluded,
And she said I should seek help for I was clearly quite insane,
So I sent her back an email, and despite her being female,
It was colourful, explicit, and in some ways quite profane.

I’ve a vision of her staring, as her nostrils wide are flaring,
From the window of her office at the faces in the street,
And beyond the traffic winding as her teeth are slowly grinding
And with luck her corset’s binding as she sits there on her seat.

And that night I see her dining, to her friends Shirley is whining
Of this reprobate who sends her verse fit only for the trash,
And she tells the arty farty - her beloved literati,
That were she to have her way such bards would surely feel the lash.

But you know, I pity Shirley, down there in the hurly burly
Of the city where she has to ride the never ending trains,
If I had to swap with Shirley, then one day I’d get up early,
Take a gun, go for a nice long walk, and then blow out my brains.

© Dennis N. O'Brien, 2012

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Maureen K Clifford
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Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast

Re: Shirley is a So-and-So

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:46 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: You are a clever possum - very good, much enjoyed and still ROTFLMAO
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -

I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

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Dave Smith
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Location: Collie W A

Re: Shirley is a So-and-So

Post by Dave Smith » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:11 pm

Good poem Dennis,

Would I be correct in thinking you have been known to read a bit of Lawson?

TTFN 8-)
I Keep Trying

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Stephen Whiteside
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Re: Shirley is a So-and-So

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:01 pm

Well, you wouldn't be the first poet to blow their brains out, Dennis!

Is this Lawson or Paterson...or both? Sounds like good therapy, whatever it is...and a great poem.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer

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Stephen Whiteside
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Re: Shirley is a So-and-So

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:06 pm

A further thought. This reminds me very much of my early days sending rhyming verse to literary editors in the late 70s/early 80s. I got a nice little collection of rejection slips, some more polite than others. If anything, I think attitudes have softened a little since then. It took me quite a while to find the publishing market for rhyming verse, because it scarcely exists. Then again, perhaps we shouldn't be so surprised. Rhyming verse is written to be read aloud. It is not at its best on the printed page, and it would probably be fair to say the tradition predates universal literacy.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer


Re: Shirley is a So-and-So

Post by Heather » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:01 pm

Very amusing and very clever Dennis. Much enjoyed.

Heather :)

Dennis N O'Brien

Re: Shirley is a So-and-So

Post by Dennis N O'Brien » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:18 am

Thanks Maureen, Dave, Stephen and Heather - pleased you like it.
Yes, Paterson and a little bit of Lawson.

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