TEXT poetry

B N Oakman

No Exemption


Obscurity is a happy place; I'm quite well known there.


I'm the arbiter of equivalence

see me
if you want exemptions
for passes at other universities

behold a young man
alert eager
the kind of student I like
the kind any teacher likes

can he tell me
who convened creative writing
at his old university?

he ignites with enthusiasm

that guy was the best
a fantastic lecturer
I loved going to his classes

he's sure I must know him too
certain I'd admire his work

I ask the great man's name

my applicant writhes
on the plastic chair
smites his brow
navigates through a storm of memories

he says he can't remember

but he was bloody good
god he was good
best teacher I ever had

few get to listen to their epitaphs

memorable nonentities



B N Oakman writes poetry and short fiction which has appeared in, or been accepted for: Island, Acumen (UK), Antipodes (USA), Overland, Southerly, Eureka Street, Social Alternatives, LiNQ, Westerly, The Australian, The Age, The Canberra Times, Famous Reporter, Going Down Swinging, TEXT, Blue Giraffe, Tirra Lirra, The Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Imago, Australian Short Stories, Northern Perspective, The Mozzie, and in various anthologies and texts. An academic economist, he lives in Central Victoria and has taught in universities in Australia and England. <brubarb@aapt.net.au>


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Vol 12 No 2 October 2008
Editors: Nigel Krauth & Jen Webb