Rob Stuart


Shall I Compare Thee to a Toilet Roll?

For Martha

Shall I compare thee to a toilet roll?
When telling of your skin I’ve pondered oft
A simile to properly extol
How beautifully white it is, and soft;
Fresh-fallen snow? The plumage of a swan?
The last too oily far, the first too cold.
I turn to that which buffs my sit-upon;
Its likenesses to you are manifold,
For like a reel of bumwad you’re about
The perfect width and goodly in your length;
As tender as I’ve said you are without
You have an inner core to give you strength;
I wrap you round me like the Andrex pup
And dearly hope I never use you up.


Artist Clerihews

Francis Bacon
Wasn’t easily shaken;
When he disturbed a burglar one night, instead
Of calling the police he took him to bed.

Lucian Freud
Thought color was something to avoid
And just went to town
With brown.

Joseph Beuys
Made art that no one really enjoys.
Who ever said, “Ooh, look at that
Exquisite block of rancid fat!”?

Jasper Johns
Cast two beer cans in bronze.
“Now get them to sell!” he
Challenged Leo Castelli.


The Hunting of the Snark (Alternative Ending)
After Lewis Carroll

“It’s a Snark!” was the sound that first came to their ears,
And seemed almost too good to be true.
The announcement was greeted with clapping and cheers
From the weary, demoralized crew.

“Are you sure?” cried the Bellman, “it’s awfully dark,
And they’re hard to distinguish by day.
Bear in mind that a Boojum looks just like a Snark,
But can make a man vanish away!”

“Never fear,” called the Baker, “I’m sure that I’m right,
For the smell’s quite distinctive, you see;
An amalgam of buttons and Turkish delight
With a hint of the South China Sea.”

As the Baker expounded upon his belief
He emerged with the prize he’d acquired,
And the company let out a sigh of relief,
For the Snark was a Snark, it transpired.

Rob Stuart is a college lecturer, filmmaker and writer from the UK. He has scripted a number of award-winning short films and contributed both traditional and visual poetry to a wide range of magazines and webzines including Eye to the Telescope, Ink Sweat and Tears, Light, Lighten Up Online, Magma, New Statesman, The Oldie, and The Spectator.