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This poem is taken from PN Review 232, Volume 43 Number 2, November - December 2016.

Biographia Literaria David Wheatley
Being a straight man gave Alfie plenty
of issues to work through in his poems.
The first praise Bethany got meant
that bit more coming from me. Only
at the launch did Cathal notice his name
had been misspelled on the cover.
It’s not a competition, Declan told
Eveline. You’ve won your first competition,
Eveline congratulated Declan.
This next poem’s for my enormous cock
of an ex-husband, Freya would announce
to nervous giggles. Everyone loved George
and now he’s remembered only for that one line.
Thinking of slipping into the river
Harry – typical Harry – still purchased
a parking permit. Ian proved
an enthusiastic reviewer of his peers.
Prize-win by prize-win, the world
finished Jack off. Two book dedications
have just been informed Kate and Leo
are no longer together. On balance,
Mo’s fling with his editor worked out
just fine. Niamh recently published
her keenly-awaited seventh collection,
perhaps her finest to date. Freezing at
the microphone, Oliver walked offstage
and never came back. Not another
honorary degree, groaned Phyllis.
I reject the heteronormative, gendered
lyric, said Queenie to great acclaim.
You wouldn’t believe how feminist I am,
said Richard. Slowly Sarah got used
to being the only non-white face in the room.
Your student days at Trinity were important
to you, weren’t they, interviewers would ask
Tara. These days, I find, all I care about
is the quality of light on the kitchen wall,
said Una. I can still change, said Victor.
I have someone who handles all that
for me, said Will. We tried to help
Xander but in the end there was nothing
we could do. Yolanda still pops up
on my feed now and then. Zoe died young.

This poem is taken from PN Review 232, Volume 43 Number 2, November - December 2016.



Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this poem to editor@pnreview.co.uk
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