ha! the blog of my enemy is failing.

4What better way to introduce you to Overland Overloaded blogger Karen Andrews than with her poem gloating (hypothetically, she assures me) over the failure of an enemy’s blog. The poem was first published on her parenting blogsite and nods to Clive James’ “The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered” and to the literary jealousy lurking in us all.  

The Blog of My Enemy is Failing

The blog of my enemy is failing
and I celebrate.
Gone is the fizz and dapper swagger
of awards won and rankings claimed.
Your Fitzgeraldean party is over.
What good is precocious verve,
or the generosity of ‘linky-loving’ be
when even the trolls,
sniffing the wounds, have left you alone
for gamer prey, for other bombs,
the Gigli’s of Moveable Type,
whose writers’ no amount of self-promotion could surpass
their own self-interest.

My enemy’s blog, its clean lines and symmetry,
now reposes uncomfortably in the reflective rays of Perez’s pink.
His undeniable precocity
is to be found among
‘Project 365 of cow udders’.
His bravery, declared by others when first known himself,
his devotion to community,
is there amongst “Celebrating Monkfish
They can’t help being ugly”.
And (oh, yes) his talent,
his talent no amount of photoshopping
could ever hope to boost is now
a nice match to @Fake_Seth_Godin
who promises,
“You (only wish you) can be as successful as me.”

Now, soon my own blog could fail,
though not to the catastrophic extent
the failure of my enemy’s blog has managed to achieve,
since in my blog’s particular case it will be due
to an alexa glitch, or borked Technorati – –
merely a temporary error.
The quality is irrefutable.
But in case such an anomaly were to occur
and spoil my mirth, it will be countered nicely
by the documentation of this occasion.
Open the box and pass me a cigar!
For the blog of my enemy is failing
and I am dancing.


Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian author and slam poet of Afro- Caribbean descent. Her short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the 2015 ABIA Award for Best Literary Fiction and the 2015 Indie Award for Best Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her memoir, The Hate Race, her poetry collection Carrying the World, and her first children’s book, The Patchwork Bike, will be published by Hachette in late 2016.

More by Maxine Beneba Clarke ›

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  1. Dunno, I reckon this parody poem only works if you remember that the original poem by Clive James was itself a parody of biblical revenge verse, such as you would find in the psalms.

    Okay, pedantic criticism done for the day. I’ll go back to my hymn books and psalmodies now.

  2. I didn’t know anything about the original and the poem still worked for me. I guess it depends on who is defining ‘works’ (what does that mean?) I loved it. It made me laugh and like all the best trouble-making poems, it’s impossible to tell if it’s a mirror or a window.

  3. Really? That’s interesting Karen. I thought the joke would still be widely appreciated.

    Actually it’s probably time for me to be pedantic about my own blog comment because I ended up typing the reverse of what I meant – ie, this sentence:

    ‘Dunno, I reckon this parody poem only works if you remember that the original poem by Clive James was itself a parody of biblical revenge verse’

    I meant to say that the poem only works if you’re *not* aware of what James’ original poem was parodying. (I think so because a parody of a previous parody quickly becomes a self-referential exercise, not interesting or amusing outside of a narrow sphere of reference.)

    Anyway. Foot. Mouth. etc.

    I hereby throw my previous blog comments open to parodies in the form of limericks, haiku, or pre-Biblical epic verse.

  4. 1)
    A parody of an old parody
    Was blogged, to general hilarity.
    But TimT commented,
    And said he dissented
    From the widespread acclaim of this parody.

    Now matters get really pedantic.
    And TimT got nervous and frantic:
    He posted again
    Risking disdain,
    Disputing his comment’s semantics.

  5. Didn’t Laurie Duggan (or perhaps it was someone else) also write a poem called “‘The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered’ Has Been Remaindered” …?

    Call me old-fashioned, but I think that’s a brilliant parody, as is Karen’s poem, naturally.

    D 😉

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