In the latest issue:

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

The Home Life of Inspector Maigret

John Lanchester

Story: ‘Have a Seat in the Big Black Chair’

Diane Williams

The Last Whale

Colin Burrow

In Beijing

Long Ling

Princess Margaret and Lady Anne

Rosemary Hill

At the Movies: ‘Arkansas’

Michael Wood

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

At Home

Jane Miller

The Ottoman Conundrum

Helen Pfeifer

Poem: ‘Muntjac’

Blake Morrison

Piketty’s Revolution

Geoff Mann

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

At Auckland Castle: Francisco de Zurbarán

Nicola Jennings

Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice

Close
Close

after the Latin of George Buchanan (1506-82)

Diogio de Murca, Head and King,
Rector of Coimbra University,
We all admire the way you’ve got ahead,
But your Sub-King Co-ordinator of
Commercialisation, your Head of Advanced, Enhanced
Entrepeneurship, that wee
Master Beleago, MBA
(Monster of Bestial Accumulation)
Whose ugly hooves tramp on our heads
Is so pigheadedly convinced
That he has wholly Mastered Being Ahead
Of us, your mere human resources, he
Goes and sells off everything: sells goats,
Sells pigs, sells cattle, killing
Whole herds so he can sell and sell;
Birds of the air, fish of the sea –
He sells the lot: your pears and nuts,
Plums, peppers, reconditioned cucumbers
Grown in your labs, your onions, garlic,
Capers and corianders sprouting
In students’ grassy gardens – all for sale.
Dead magpies marketed as pheasants’ breasts,
Goats’ meat as mutton, broken bones jammed in your mince.
Lord Rector, Head of Coimbra’s School,
Show us a better way to get ahead
Than that Belial-bellied Beleago,
Our no-brain, blackballed Baal of the Unbelles Lettres
Of Marketing, our Mall-mad Manager,
For what he says he possesses he doesn’t possess,
What he says he professes he can’t profess,
Iago-Beleago, Shylock of Market Stalls,
Server-up of venison sludged from pigs’ balls,
Thrice winner of the Nobeleago Prize
For out-Cretaning Cretans with his Courses in Creative Lies,
Cretinous silly-git syllogist, philosobutcher, Zeno of Lard,
Exhibitionist, inquisitionist, circumcisionist,
Throatslitter, nestshitter, brainquitter, inkspitter, Grand
Inquisitor’s Portuguese Libyajewish Supergrass who grassed
Me up, got me arrested, tested, tortured, chucked
In prison, that Magog of goats and groats,
That Papal brown-noser, that Sniffer-out-of-Heretics-in-his-own-Sandals,
That academic Vandal, I want to hear him caught and locked and trapped
In his own echoing ‘Sell! sell! sell! sell! sell! sell!’
Forever, so I can sing
Your praises, Lord Rector, and pray
With a loud shout, a whoop, a from-the-heart ‘Wey-hey-hey!’ –
Baal-Iago, Beleago, BYE BYE!

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