Sam Smith – Mock Sonnets

Mock Sonnet XI

Another novel/play of middle class manners
has our heroine, distantly married with distant
children, but a husband doting obsessive,
and she in a quandary over a pre-marital
lover’s return to the domestic scene;
the pre-marital lover now married to hubby’s
new female boss (of chambers, where else?),
and she a voracious seducer of keen-to-please
young interns. Alone in her kitchen our heroine
answers phone to pre-marital lover who
confesses how deeply (shallow characters
always claim deep) unhappy he is and
how he regrets leaving her for the sake
of a career ‘not now worth a candle…’


Mock Sonnet XIX

An egg needs a hen to lay it as
speech, on occasion, needs to be
weighted with action, with deeds.
But do I need a preface to tell me
how I should read a book, a poem?
And does any author really need to go
before a live audience, their mouths agape
and gurning, all eager to have their buttons
pressed? Does any performer, let alone
an author, need (no matter how bad/good
the performance) the introductory ritual applause
and obligatory encore? When the solitary
and silent reading of a poem can be like
must-be-quiet sex, self-consciously intense.


Mock Sonnet XXII

Leonard Cohen wrote, ‘Poet is a verdict
not an occupation.’ And pretentiousness
is that something that is intended to
impress, but has the opposite effect:
bar-room boaster telling nightly of his
busy sex-life, not a girl in sight;
raconteur inflating every experience beyond
credibility; and grown men in classrooms
and in court deepening their voices to make
all that they say sound sophisticated and/or
profound; plus poets and players on small stages
singing their own praises, being sure to hoot
and applaud when they too are sitting back
among those few making up the audience.

Sam Smith is editor of The Journal magazine and publisher of Original Plus books. Author of several novels and collections of poetry, he presently lives in Blaengarw, South Wales. https://samsmithbooks.weebly.com/the-journal.html