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This poem is taken from PN Review 169, Volume 32 Number 5, May - June 2006.

The Newstead Fandango Gregory Woods
'If a writer should be quite consistent
How could he possibly show things existent?' (Don Juan)

1. Oxen of the Sun

Vile insect, dear reader - whichever you prefer - the writer
Salutes your willingness to waste your time, an eager martyr
Upon the altar of my Muse, by reading me when greater

If not more thrilling penmen can be found in any gutter.
(How touching the false modesty of genius!) The later
It gets, the more inclined you are to idle, and the fatter

You grow, the more you need a voice like mine. While readers loiter,
I spring across their vision with the sleekness of a cheetah,
Providing them with heroes, while that paragon von Goethe

Is churning out potboilers like The Sorrows of Young Werther,
That sissified sub-Sisyphus who thinks of nothing better
Than hauling his emotions up a slope - obsessive rotter! -

Before releasing them again, and ditto, ditto, ditto...
As an impassioned suitor he's as flaccid as he's neuter.

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