Poet for Our Times
I write the headlines for a Daily Paper.
It’s just a knack one’s born with all-right-Squire.
You don’t have to be an educator,
just bang the words down like they’re screaming Fire!
CECIL-KEAYS ROW SHOCK TELLS EYETIE WAITER.
ENGLAND FAN CALLS WHINGEING FROG A LIAR.
Cheers. Thing is, you got to grab attention
with just one phrase as punters rush on by.
I’ve made mistakes too numerous to mention,
so now we print the buggers inches high.
TOP MP PANTIE ROMP INCREASES TENSION.
RENT BOY: ROCK STAR PAID ME WELL TO LIE.
I like to think that I’m a sort of poet
for our times. My shout. Know what I mean?
I’ve got a special talent and I show it
in punchy haikus featuring the Queen.
DIPLOMAT IN BED WITH SERBO-CROAT.
EASTENDERS’ BONKING SHOCK IS WELL-OBSCENE.
Of course, these days, there’s not the sense of panic
you got a few years back. What with the box
et cet. I wish I’d been around when the Titanic
sank. To headline that, mate, would’ve been the tops.
SEE PAGE 3 TODAY GENTS THEY’RE GIGANTIC.
KINNOCK-BASHER MAGGIE PULLS THE STOPS.
And, yes, I have a dream – make that a scotch, ta –
that kids will know my headlines off by heart.
IMMIGRANTS FLOOD IN CLAIMS HEATHROW WATCHER.
GREEN PARTY WOMAN IS A NIGHTCLUB TART.
The poems of the decade… Stuff ’em! Gotcha!
The instant tits and bottom line of art.
Carol Ann Duffy
The Other Country