Martin Stannard


If you could be a poem what kind of poem would you be? The sonnet
Is such an obvious answer for a romantic that it’s inadmissible;
Perhaps the rondel would be a good choice, given one’s ability to go
Round in circles and never actually get anywhere worth going.

If you could be a day, what kind of day would you be?
A summer’s? Don’t be scared to rain or shine, and don’t be scared
To watch the idiots try and figure out what you mean, if anything.

If you could be a literary device what literary device would
You be? Personally I’d go for Personification. And now
Here’s someone at the door: Oh, it’s Idiocy. Hello, Idiocy –
I see you have your friend Incompetence with you tonight.

If you could be a shepherd what kind of shepherd would you be?
Passionate? I don’t know if you’ve noticed but passion these days is
Best kept secret. “The Dispassionate Shepherd To Some Girl He Knows.”

If you could be John Donne, which John Donne would you be?
Most people don’t understand this question but I’m assuming you
Know what I’m talking about. It’s the difference between one kind of genius
And another, and waking up on your own or next to a stranger.

If you could be a metaphysical conceit, which metaphysical conceit
Would you be? The feather and the career in banking? Yeah, me too,
Though I have a soft spot for the soft spot and the intransigent cunt.

If you could be any kind of flower lost out on the sidewalk
What kind of flower would you be? The pickpockets who work
This patch have names that are almost poetic e.g. Radiant Flower
Of the Divine Heavens. “I wonder if her feet are still playing her up.”

If you could be a poet which poet would you be? I’d be Wordsworth
Just so’s I could find out what it’s like to sit at table and have people not want
To talk to me. Also I never had a sister, and all that stuff is kind of intriguing.

If you could be a soul what kind of a soul would you be?
The concept of soul means nothing to me unless you mean Aretha Franklin
Or Stevie Wonder or Marvin Gaye. And even then I don’t understand.

If you could be one of the five senses which of the five senses would you be?
The gift of sight doesn’t necessarily mean you have the gift of see-
Ing, but here comes an ex-wife through the mists of night
And that’s why if I had to choose I would choose the sense of flight sight flight.