This week’s poem I wrote for Jon’s JVG Radio Method on 3RRR is a bit odd, the topic for today is “MAYBE”. Maybe Jon was feeling a little ambivalent this week.

Click to hear today’s poem… [audio:JVG_Poem20071111.mp3]

Jon and I chatted about language today, and the poem jumps in and has a go at some of the more notable inconsistencies of the English language and how it is used.

Ed Bates was appropriately Buddy Hollyish on slide guitar today.


A girl I was seeing suggested perhaps, that maybe we needed a rest
How maybe was maybe? Does a rest mean a nap? It took me a while to digest

She replied with impatience, “definitely maybe” I felt both confused and bereft
Told her definitely maybe’s a complete oxymoron, she kneed me in the nuts and then left

It wasn’t her fault but our language that failed, an all too recurring pattern
Like Frankenstein’s monster, patched crudely together from German, Gaelic and Latin

Do I read? have I read? is it lead? is it lead? why not hippo when speaking hypothetically?
Who put the H in rhyme? or the G In paradigm? even phonetic isn’t spelt phonetically

If enough is enough, why isn’t cough cuff? a point I’m happy to labour
I before e, except after c? ha, try telling that to your neighbour

An object can never be objective, but object is at once an objection
If right is correct, why isn’t left wrong? after all it’s the opposite direction

To make matters worse we muddy it further, by adding our own terminology
Dangling participles, double entendres, euphemisms, clich‚’s, tautology

Words often borrowed, stolen, or made up, Que sera, sera, Ce la vis
Yo bro, twistacle, nabling, ad nauseum, it all sounds like Greek to me

Take the bit between your teeth, the bull by the horns, never let go of the oars
Don’t go off half-cocked, this isn’t group sex, I just mix with the wrong metaphors

Plastic glasses? Numb feeling? Same difference? Near miss?
Appear invisible? The larger half? Somebody’s taking the piss

Even in death, I mean “asleep with the angels” you can’t always rely on a friend
Because inevitably, in their eulogy out pops “they lived their life to the end”

As the bee gee’s sang “it’s only words” and words is all we’s got
Yes can mean no, no can me maybe, and maybe mean definitely not

© Copyright 2007 Ian Bland

One comment on “Bland On Bland – Maybe

  • I heard this on my way home from visiting my parents. My father is always pulling us up on EVERYTHING we say, especially if we sneak in an “Americanism”, so to hear this immediately after visiting him almost caused me to crash the car from laughing so hard. Thank you so much for giving me such a lovely poem to stick to the man. I will be definately introducing him to your website!! Keep it up!

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