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Letting Go

A short, original poem not at all inspired by personal experience or waking from a terrible dream about precisely what frightens all writers.


Thank you for seeing us at such short notice.

We shan’t take much of your valuable time.

You’ve made a really great impression here,

You have already mastered the art of rhyme.


With regret, however, we must inform you

That we don’t think we make a good fit.

We have recognised all your contributions

And appreciate your unique form of wit.


You haven’t written a word in three weeks.

We understand that you have to research.

People-watching isn’t writing though,

And for every trough there must be peaks.

We like to think we’re a broad church,

But, for you, it is now time to go.


This must come as a bit of a shock to you,

This impromptu meeting in the afternoon

With myself and Martin from HR.

Perhaps this was something you fell in to.

Perhaps it all happened much too soon.

Perhaps we pushed you a little too far.


Your career choice, to be a writer, was,

I’m sure you will come to realise,

Not the right choice. Not the best idea.

We don’t think it suits your personality,

Your commitment could be questioned.


You need inspiration and ideas, dedication and drive,

An encyclopaedic wealth of worldly experience,

Not to mention a very, very, very big vocabulary,

Contacts and networks, men in high places, seed money to invest,

Bright shiny things, which can't be disclosed, and marketing nous

And that’s just about enough to survive.

Aloof yet focused, available but mysterious,

Serious and silly, we know this all sounds highly contrary

Because striking this balance establishes you above the rest.

But don’t contemplate affording a house.


I’m sure you’ll find somewhere else

Where you can make a fresh start

But with us, see, we need, umm,

Someone else.


You need to sign an NDA

And a non-compete clause.


Just here. And here.


We need to take back your fountain pen, photo ID card,

Your ink blotter, thesaurus, comedy ruff and quill.

You can leave behind the cardboard box of clumsy clichés,

Perfectly formed worlds, and unfinished protagonists.

Those towering stacks of half-empty notebooks too.

Please don’t make separation quite this hard,

We still have many positions to fill.

We’ll dock the overdue books from your final month’s pay.

You could use a long rest; this might be the catalyst.

Of course, you're not welcome at the Christmas do.


Have you considered teaching or travel?

A profession that offers less pressure,

A career, a role, that’s much less hassle.

We wish you well on your next endeavours.

There must be another job that pays.

So long as you don’t try prose or plays.

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