I often hear people say they don’t function well before the first coffee of the day. I don’t drink coffee, but I’ve just discovered, far too late in life, that if I dabble in doggerel when I first sit down at my desk in the morning, I can tackle whatever else is on the agenda in much better spirits and possibly with more of my mind on deck. The last couple of mornings I’ve been playing with telling a story, provisionally called ‘The Apology’, in ottava rima. I’ll probably keep going with this, but since I’ve been falling behind in my blogging, here’s what I’ve got so far:
I sing of Alan perched behind his mike
who speaks for those who listen by the phone
and feel they’re powerless, know what they don’t like
and come to him with hope that he’ll atone
for what they’ve suffered, stopper up the dyke
of what assails them, be their megaphone.
Oh, he obliges, takes their bitter cries
and amplifies truths, misperceptions, lies.
Pink with righteous anger he declaims
that those in power mostly get it wrong
(except of course his friends and those whose names
he’s paid to praise, but that’s a different song).
He fearlessly attacks, he mauls, he maims,
wreaks bloody vengeance for his listening throng.
I speak, of course, in violent metaphor.
He’s not a man to wade in literal gore.
He helps the sick, and pleads the poor man’s case,
has thirty godsons, backs a worthy cause
or two, and then stirs up his talkback base
to hate not policies but people, pause
for news and ads (that’s dollars he must chase)
then on to Greens and Gillard, clenching jaws,
women who destroy the joint. He goes:
‘Jew-liar’, ‘climate science is on the nose’ …
He urges louts to take Cronulla back
from vermin who infest its virgin sands
but when the flag-draped rioters attack
with baseball bats, he’s quick to wash his hands.
‘The PM should be dropped at sea!’ – a crack
he gleefully repeats. Thank God no bands
of bagmen do his bidding. Then one night
he goes too far and lands up in the shite.