I once shone a torchlight on the floor
and made the cat scramble about the house,
trying to pin it down with his sharp claws

as if it was another scrawny mouse.
At least he was wise enough to give in
unlike the blinkered hordes of our species

who never seem to get bored of chasing
a tiny fickle spotlight, I guess fame
requires as many hearts as Aztec sunshine—

our state religion, our zero sum game.



The Christmas ad campaign for Marks and Sparks
has got shot of the condescending mugs
of Peter Kay, Twiggy and Mylene Klass

and offers us a twinkly little plug
for X Factor, all wide eyed beams of hope
from contestants on their first corporate gig

to sell the same old tinsel covered rope
while singing, “When you wish upon a star,
your dreams come true.”  But here the slippery slope

comes into play: for each week as one more
is booted off they also lose their place
on the advert, which could be, to be fair,

a masterwork of irony, seeing as
all but one of these bright things will fail
in doing what the cheerful lyric says—

reminding me of that same Disney tale,
how at the end all of Pinocchio’s wishes
have come true so that we can forget all

the other kids that got turned into asses.


The bright and boisterous talent show supplies
the Sunday worship for the populace
who know that these are the true Songs of Praise

as we, the faithful, get to choose the face
that will beam back from poster boards and buses
before it ends in failure and disgrace.

The Archbishops will wrongly blame their losses
on secularism’s multi pronged attack.
If faith has been the opiate of the masses

then fame marks when we’ve moved on up to crack.

Canto IX

Your Mum serves as a constant, steady source
of amusement for your easy to please Dad.
Her comedic moments run the entire course

from satire to slapstick, like when the bad
singers of ex factor draw her ire—
So loud that even in Sussex she’ll be heard—

“Put her cake face away, ya stupid whore!”
And when the aging antipodean,
Shows a bit more botox than before,

“Look! She’s got a stuck face like Pac Man!”
The one that tickled me most has to be
when she cried “He just looks like Matt Damon!”

About Matt Damon. And boy is she clumsy—
her screams and crashes only rivalled by
a bumper triple bill of Tom and Jerry.

So here’s Hallmark part, I cannot lie,
I was a Grade A dick before we met.
She made me want to be a better guy.

Not only is she beautiful and smart,
she accepts my sometimes stormy temperament
and patiently endures my sleeping farts.

So though your inner calm may take a dent
during the the many challenges to come,
Know this: just take it as a compliment

when some schoolyard dictator shouts Yer Mum!

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