Poem of the week: The Prefect Boy

A new work by Maurice Riordan

Maurice Riordan

Maurice Riordan

 

Now I’d a cell to call my own – a chair and desk,
a rad whereto I flung my hurling gear
after the three-hour scrum in rain and mire –
I bought a bunch of Penguin Modern Classics
and ranged them on the ledge, as I warm to the task
of becoming, in this my sixteenth year,
Rimbaud redivivus – a whitéd sepulchre
whose deliquescent brain’s a Kafkaesque
conundrum to the Dean when he raids the dorm
to find one oh so fallen into pallid ennui
with book in hand – and not consoling, say, the auburn
French maid still on her knees, in tears, in the ball-alley.
Sacerdotal, I’m holding aloft my Franny and Zooey.
A nod, he’s gone. Then back to check it isn’t porn.

Today’s poem is from Maurice Riordan’s new collection, The Shoulder Tap (Faber & Faber)