14 June 2009 Main Posts by royal request Jeff Sparrow The new poet laureate Carol Duffy has published her first poem since landing the new gig. One might wonder why she accepted the job, given that it implicates her in the undemocratic and increasingly bizarre institution of royalty, and has widely been seen as the ruination of the previous poets who took it on. Plus it gets paid in sherry, of all things (does anyone actually drink sherry?). Anyway, props to her for incorporating the word ‘piss’ into an official royal poem, which appears below. POLITICS How it makes of your face a stone that aches to weep, of your heart a fist, clenched or thumping, sweating blood, of your tongue an iron latch with no door. How it makes of your right hand a gauntlet, a glove-puppet of the left, of your laugh a dry leaf blowing in the wind, of your desert island discs hiss hiss hiss, makes of the words on your lips dice that can throw no six. How it takes the breath away, the piss, makes of your kiss a dropped pound coin, makes of your promises latin, gibberish, feedback, static, of your hair a wig, of your gait a plankwalk. How it says this – politics – to your education education education; shouts this – Politics! – to your health and wealth; how it roars, to your conscience moral compass truth, POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS. Jeff Sparrow Jeff Sparrow is a Walkley Award-winning writer, broadcaster and former editor of Overland. More by Jeff Sparrow Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 24 February 202317 March 2023 Main Posts Final Results of the 2022 Judith Wright Poetry Prize Editorial Team Overland, the judges and the Malcolm Robertson Foundation are thrilled to announce the final results of the 2022 Judith Wright Poetry Prize. First published in Overland Issue 228 24 February 202317 March 2023 Main Posts Final Results of the 2022 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize Editorial Team Overland, the judges and the Malcolm Robertson Foundation are thrilled to announce the final results of the 2022 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize.