The Apology, part 2

Continuing my exercise in versification (click here for Part 1):

Guest speaker at a Young Libs’ dinner bash
he called on them to rally round their leader
because the enemy, ‘this woman’, could still smash
their hopes at next election. So he kneed her
hard, ‘She lies, she lies!’ He grew more rash
and said her old man died of shame. But, reader,
one diner was recording every word:
that phrase went public. Hornets’ nests were stirred:

a Murdoch headline, no deniability,
a facebook regiment of joint destroyers,
a dot org that’s fed up with his scurrility,
a Twitter tag a weapon to deploy as
sharp as knives: Vulnerability,
thy name is Jones. He can’t enjoy his
private vitriol put out to air.
He knows he must apologise – fair’s fair!

And so it goes. He mounts the podium.
‘Some days,’ he says, ‘you must man up and say
you got it wrong. I’ll face your odium.
I shouldn’t have repeated it, OK?
I loved my dad and’ (take a pinch of sodium
with chloride now) ‘I didn’t mean – no way –
to dilute a daughter’s grief, not even hers.
You should eat crow while hot. The gorge stirs:

‘It should not have been repeated. I, through you,
apologise: it was said, it’s unacceptable.’
[So hard to say! He could have said, ‘Screw you!
I made a nasty joke and some contemptible
muckraker made it public. Tell true, you
pious mob, who hasn’t been susceptible
to such a thing? I said he died of shame.
I’m not the first, but I cop all the blame.’]

To be continued as time and the need to do socially useful things allows.

8 responses to “The Apology, part 2

  1. Turnbull is begging to be included, for the headline “Jones gets a taste of his own medicine.” That’s a problem for the poet. What rhymes with medicine, or sandwich?


  2. Or silver, or destroyer, or facebook? Life is so hard.


  3. Sitting here in Fort Greene in Brooklyn listening to The Debate (Barack & Mitt) on New York Public Radio the other night – thinking: yes, reasoned, measured, deep and intelligent – Barack; intrusive, rudely interruptive, outrageously contradictive of what elsewhere has been recently reported – Mitt! Yet the next morning Mitt lauded as the winner – incisive, strong! Not my take at all. Up the street nearby a Nigerian fashion man Mashood – here from Lagos 20 years – we bargained over the cost of a Barack supporters’ T-shirt! Politics. And at the same time I am following your witty take on the shenanigans of the same order – but in Australia! When teaching in Japan during the days of GWB/JWH I used to say to my students when they asked that laughter at the hubris of such people was our power! And so we laughed. And so I laugh at the images and the power in your verses!


  4. That is just what I needed. Good stuff


  5. Love the line “A facebook regiment of joint destroyers,” and the rest. Good one Jonathan.


  6. Will Ashby slip ‘er rocks on next?


  7. Thanks again, guys. I’m shocked at how events are just rushing ahead and making this little project look like a historical document – for now, though, I’m sticking to the apology. Someone ought to enshrine Julia Gillard’s speech yesterday, though I’m not sure it needs any alteration at all.


  8. Will: I wouldn’t dare go near the Slipper/Ashby correspondence. I don’t have the muscle.


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