The Review

Sir; I have received anonymous correspondence
The envelope of which is merely marked
“A damning indictment from a critic who was formerly an admirer of your work”
With an address in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Would Sir care for me to read it aloud?
Ahem, very good Sir.

It opens:

I went to see your play;
Nasty bang
Of self-adulation
Steamed off suffocate clamminess
Of your self-loathing.

Rotting onion stewing under armpit
Bottle that scent
And tell us what is meant
By your grandiose vision
Wherein every voice is secondary

To your own.

If you have courage –
To examine perception outside
Confines you eternal El Savador
Born to purge us all

-But you don’t.

And yes I know what your lily-livered fictitious butler will say:
Mein Gott! It’s outrageous!
The critic is an unloved bastardised newborn
Even worse! The critic is some fucking bitch!
A fetid sewer of everything inelegant in a young lady.
Perhaps Sir, you never asked to be put on a pedestal Sir
And torn down unceremoniously Sir
When you failed to live up
To our collective guidelines Sir!

Or does that only ever really happen to a woman?
Because after all, your Lordship Sir
The critic is so very much beneath you Sir
Yet simultaneously above you
And all around you Sir
That you can rest assured, I’m honoured to say Sir
That your tower of phallic perfection need never be impregnated
By any silly bit of skirt.
You keep those fastidiously erected defences – to keep out the little people
Barricading and burning on fear Sir.
All the while
Preaching love.

But we, that is to say, we, the royal we
Always the royal we –
Would have more sympathy
Were we not so acidic snarled at Sir.
When we had the misfortune
To accidentally tread
In our tossed-torn dreams
Upon your coattails

What would Sir bid me do?
Toss it in the fire with no response?
Ahem, very good Sir.




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