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Much of the Same

by Mickey 

Posted: 19 October 2017
Word Count: 103

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Not That Old Line?
There goes the
Euclid on the block.
Don’t let him
proposition you
to sit in the Square
on his hypotenuse.
His geometry
might be plane
but his angle
is far from
The New Flatford Policeman
“Hey Wayne, you’re a Constable now”
Yo-Yo Man
I am the yo-yo man
like the elevators of
the Empire State
      higher than the sky
      lower than Hell
where I’ll be tomorrow
I can never tell
Walk the Dog
with me but keep my
string wound tight
because tomorrow
there will be
a new fad
on the

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Comments by other Members

James Graham at 20:47 on 20 October 2017  Report this post
‘Much of the Same’…! The least inviting title for a collection of poems, even a collection of three poems, I’ve ever come across! You need something more enticing. The last lot, ‘A Few More’, should have been ‘Five Bagatelles’. These should be ‘Three Diversions’, or better still French or Italian, ‘Divertissements’ or ‘Divertimenti’.wink

I've sussed the Flatford one but need time to get my head round the other two!


James Graham at 20:06 on 21 October 2017  Report this post
Neat mathematical wordplay in the first divertimento. Euclid = new kid, of course. The poem is clearly a warning to wives and daughters not to let themselves be chatted up by this guy and persuaded to sit on his hypotenuse. If they do, then something about him will soon form an acute (‘far from obtuse’) angle. If I say anything more explicit that this, someone may click ‘Report this post’.

By the way, I believe you’re historically correct too. At school we were taught Pythagoras, but it seems Euclid was the one who bequeathed this gem of knowledge to the world. Without it the world would surely have been a poorer place. (I know the theorem pretty well because when I was misbehaving in the Maths class – not infrequently – our teacher would say something like ‘Graham, have you something important to say or are you just nattering on as usual?’ ‘No, Sir.’ Then he would say, ‘Pythagoras’. Meaning write the theorem out as a punishment.)

‘Not That Old Line?’ is one of the cleverest innuendos I’ve ever come across. I’m still working on ‘Yo-Yo Man’.


James Graham at 20:15 on 22 October 2017  Report this post
‘Yo-Yo Man’ – Well, Mike, maybe your brain and mine function in different ways, but some of these little poems have bamboozled me. Yo-Yo Man led me eventually to the man known (mainly in America) by that name – Tom Smothers. From what I’ve read about him I wouldn’t mind seeing his act. I also like the fact that he was politically active in all the right ways. Of course, he didn’t actually go up and down but did some funny stuff using a yo-yo as a prop. I wondered if one of his performances had been ‘Walk the Dog’ but can’t find anything with that title. Maybe it was in his repertoire, because it’s a yo-yo trick.

I’d better check with you before saying any more. Is it about Tom Smothers? Or maybe not about him so much as using him as a starter and then taking it in another direction?


Mickey at 21:40 on 22 October 2017  Report this post
Hi James
Thank you so much for your detailed analysis of three ridiculously simple pieces based on the Liverpool beat poets.  As I said before, you really do give me far more credit than these bits deserve as they were just knocked out quickly as part of a bunch of poems I wrote over last weekend.
I was originally going to call ‘The New Flatford Policeman’ by the alternative title ‘Willy Lott on his Mate’s New Job’ but thought the final choice a bit snappier.  Obviously, it’s about Constable’s Hay Wain.
‘Not That Old Line?” is a based on the idea of being ‘propositioned’ by Euclid (the new kid on the block) as a word-play on his ‘Proposition 47’ from his ‘Elements’ (regarding what has since been referred to as Pythagoras’ Theorem).  He is remembered for his work on plane geometry, but my reference to his ‘angle’ meant that his ‘intention’ was anything but dull (although your interpretation is equally valid!)  The title is intended to reinforce the idea of being 'chatted up' but with a geometric double meaning for the word 'line'
‘Yo-Yo Man’ is about a guy with bi-polar depression.  He’s up and down like a yo-yo, and his asking his partner to ‘walk the dog’ with him is an allusion to both the yo-yo trick and the ‘black dog’ of depression.  He’s asking her to stick with him and to help him to keep the yo-yo string of his condition under control, because tomorrow is an unknown.

There is nothing deeper than that intended - I think our brains probably do work differently! laugh  

James Graham at 20:18 on 25 October 2017  Report this post
There is nothing deeper than that intended

Well, whatever you say, Mike, I think ‘Yo-Yo Man’ is quite deep! Bipolar disorder, the Black Dog and yo-yo tricks, all coming together in one short poem – it’s a little tour de force! It’s certainly more than just a play on words.

Thanks for your explanation of the Euclid one, and for saying that my sexy one (which I quite like) is valid too.

Any more?


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