I have abstained from the blogosphere long enough. Today marks a very significant milestone in my brief and incomplete existence. Today I break my silence to crystallise vengeance against an incompetent pair of barbarians who made my life a living hell in two short years.
There is something to be said on the datum of this lex talionis, and suffice to say it was a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. It charts the travails of five bright-eyed Junior College students, embarking on what they believed was a pilgrimage to elevated realms of Literature—and how sorely mistaken they were. Their supposed Mecca turned out in fact more akin to Dante’s Inferno, where the sole enlightenment gained was how much they had come to hate the subject.
I must stress in hindsight that any ill-feelings towards the subject were not born from its inherent intricacies. Time has remedied the sense of contempt I had, and I do still very much enjoy its study. The subjects of my distaste were two ‘professionals’ who, if I were to be so blunt, were unqualified to lecture on the noble art of Literature.
Their brand instruction catered unflinchingly to personal principles and preferences, a form of martial law that hardly edified incisive questioning and critical reasoning. To those who relied upon spoon-fed lines of argument—and sad to say they numbered considerably in our cohort—this was a perfectly agreeable arrangement for which they were spared our tutors’ wrath.
For the five ‘upstarts’ who sought to challenge readily accepted doctrines however, this fettered us to a life of scorn by them. Any attempts to infuse our work with personal opinion, no matter their merit and arrival by sound disquisition, were dismantled by a flurry of red ink. Now, we cannot claim to be experts on all issues, and our writing was admittedly unpolished as would be expected of 17 and 18 year olds. Yet instead of nurturing our independent minds and grooming it to sophistry, they cast aspersions upon our thoughts and stifled keen inquiry.
Nor were our personal appearances spared admonishment. One unfortunate classmate of us five, whose only fault was maintaining eye contact with the lecturer as would any attentive student have done, was publicly castigated in front of at least 50 students. The lecturer, one of the two odious teachers I mentioned, halted her presentation to announce to the entire hall that “[his] smile offend[ed] [her]”. Charming. In an ironic turn of events, the next day she chastised the same lecture group for attending her class with dour expressions.
It is worth mentioning how their enmity was reserved almost exclusively for the five students of class 12A202. The lecturer in the previous paragraph, who happened to be our personal tutor for the study of poetry and prose, put us through hell for tardiness. The other class that was grouped with us, however, were never at the receiving end of barbed comments when late. Once, a shared, live-editing document was erased midway during class, most likely by the hapless machinations of the tutor (Literature teachers are notoriously technology-illiterate). Although only the genius of us five thought to hit <command/control Z>, upon the miraculous emergence of the lost text, we were promptly blamed for its deletion. The ratio decidendi of this judgement was that, as ‘un-doers’ of the deed, we were by extension its original ‘doers’.
Such were the adversities we endured for two years, during which we conspired to dedicate a poem to the atrocities of our JC life, though we had little idea how or where to start. The answer to that dilemma came the day we read John Keats’ Ode to a Grecian Urn. While only loosely inspired by the contents of the poem, our planned composition now had a defining blueprint for retribution.
Execution of this dream of course, took longer than we imagined. Delayed by academic rigours, national examinations, and general parting of ways, it took three years before the poem came to form. In the end, my friend Wei-Qi (the unfortunate soul with the objectionable smile) and I resolved to see the project to fruition. In it we poured our displeasure, our insults, and even a few jibes at other inept pedagogues. And so after nights scouring the names of cheese varieties and rodent imagery, we present to you now in her crowning glory, our magnum opus: Ode to a Tyrant.
~ Ode to a Tyrant ~
by Wei-Qi & Jac
Thou still unholy rodent of evilness
Bastard spawn of angry amaranths and dairy demons
Fiendish thrice-removed cousin of Mickey,
Conspiring comrade of that roguish Jerry,
O, ye sovereign of murine deiform!
Accept thy humble students’ offering
Of crucified camembert and aged arsenick,
Of drone-written Shakespeare and Plath,
Consecrate our apostle-hood to the blackberry brethren,
Condemn the apostasy of literary limerick,
For some are born mad and some
Achieve madness, but in the presence of
Your coruscating demiurge, such
Effulgence be unhinging that all shall
Have madness thrust upon them.
In this hour of lunacy see now how
They pledge themselves evermore to the
Cheddar cause and blindly
Renounce their rights to feline fantasies,
We curtsey to thy curdled creams and
Prostrate ourselves to pasteurised prophecies.
That instant were we turn’d into Halloumi,
And thy desire to delightfully partake in devourment
E’er since pursue us.
If mozzerella be the food of mice, munch on,
O, when mine nose did smell cheese first,
Methought it purg’d the air of pestilence!
Give us this day our daily brie!
Take us floating high above clouds of feta
To see the holy land of swiss!
But in thy dreams of cultured cow-sap,
Did thou glimpse upon the world beneath
To see the Black Death take root,
Misery wrought of red ink and caustic words
Where madness stalks cross-gartered
In mouldy leg-garments of canary.
We gaze not to the heavens for salvation,
For divine mirth casts down naught but
Blank papyrus, devoid of script and spirit–
Scribe thy verses thyselves, commands thou,
Hypnotised rats spellbound by SPECS and SLIMS
Squeaking, squealing till tongue turns sore
And speech is lost in lisp;
O, have thou robbed us of unwavering words,
The sacred schtructure of language
Collapshes, smashes to absholute jirho.
Shall we compare thee to unripen’d vines?
Thou art more tannin and more toxic.
Scatter not thy seeds,
For thy wisdom be only fit for arid lands
So desperate for drink,
Acid shall suffice to quench the thirst.
Mellow thy melons!
Bovine essence ne’er fell so tart on the tongue
That water to vinegar turn’d,
And though thou hast been thous’t thrice,
Thy heart remains so bloodless
That a mouse’s tailpoint will not be clogged.
‘Tis time to tango towards temperate terrain,
Cast off the fetor of fermented feed
Seek the path through heretic hieroglyphs
Where naught is said nor done nor thought
But so annotated in arbitrary appendices.
Open thy windows!
The draught of death frightens not nearly as
The thought of throttled life
Ruled by the Rodent Queen.
Her hegemonies are vast;
Her gefemonisms yet more,
She rides to war in resplendent liveries of bacon
Her shoulders cloaked in crimson linens
Red as the blood of virgins
Untimely sacrific’d to the volcano lords
To appease their thunderous wrath.
She raises her bow, loosing
Her swift golden shaft
Penetrating flesh in torrid pain,
Till the fields are marked with bores
Of spent phalluses that no
Protege of prose be unable to identify.
To the gallows! Thoust calls, and yet
Such execution be preferable to
Drowning in ink-run red,
Or asphyxiation in blue-aged fumes;
He who is well hung need fear no phallacies
Nor impotent academics.
Overhead go the vultures in black, dissonant venues–
Bits of charred Literature notes wheeling in a blown sky.
Ours is the only voice, protesting, protesting.
I do not think the fruits of her labour will appear at all.
Large birds of prey circle, descend
Upon foul vermin beneath
No measure of salvation is to be had in
Parmesan propaganda nor younglings brainwashed –
They have fled to be archers in
Their fire has grown cold,
The frost overcometh
The blazing hearth of poison
She planted. Her bespectacled gaze meets only
The cold swimming blue of her
And as the final page turns,
As the educator looks out to the void of
Somnambulant drones in the lecture theatre,
As she hears the din of
Pens scratching on unforgiving paper, of
Heads banging and banging at intractable tomes,
The only lesson to be learned
Is that of a fruitless journey
And the ultimate joke that god has played on her.
Gefemonism: a gross misreading of a commonly used term by someone previously considered to be proficient insofar as historical academics is concerned.
Jihro: Right-click and spellcheck shalt answer.
SPECS: (abbr.) Specifications. A blueprint for poetry construction and mental destruction.
SLIMS: The result of abstaining from cheese.
Also, a quick update, I’m settling into my new room fine, and I’ve started making it more ‘homely’. Just a few more touches before I can show it here. Until then.