Posted in Unexpected


Every quarter lab books must be presented
natural order is restored
the staff grade us.
Lecturers ridiculed
lecturers belittled
lecturers imitated
pass judgement on the judges.
Like all magistrates some are liberal
some benign
others savage.

Returned books are collected casually
artificially late
indifference must surmount apprehension
it is in the rules
to do otherwise could be mistaken for earnestness.
That would be uncool.

Downcast eyes scan furtively thumbed pages
grades can be revealed – comments never –  another rule.

In our class that rarest of species
a genuine eccentric
at the sentenced pile
pretending to be alone
he slowly recites.

“Lack …. of… rigorous … hypothesis.”

“Poor …. experimental ….. design.”

“Insufficient …. analysis …. of results.”

“Badly …. reasoned ….. conclusion.”

He makes eye contact
smiles beatifically
and ponders
“I wonder if it ever occurs to them
I might be plain bloody thick.”



Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.