Obituary – a Poem by H. McFaddean Spume


No one knows why,

But his shits were huge.

They disappeared around the bend,

And left a perky brown iceberg above the water line.

Hotels dreaded his residence,

All too often, his huge turds

Blocked their entire system.

Plumbers adored him.

As a nose-picker, he was second to none;

A skill he was happy to share

On buses and trains, in lifts, in libraries,  and once, memorably,

At a dinner seated next to Dame Ninette de Valois.

DNA testing has revealed

His snot smeared on countless sofas,

Dried like runnels of brown candle wax.

He was a god to steam cleaners.

As a masturbator, his output was prodigious.

His students regarded the endless fiddling

With his generative organs

During lectures and seminars

As largely endearing,

Although, at the moment of crisis,

He was given to shouting his own name aloud.

Kleenex shares have dropped seventy points

Since the sad announcement of his death.

It is very seldom that Spume is moved these days to write a poem, but he e-mailed today to tell me that whilst dropping the kids off at the pool this morning, he was so impressed by the magnitude of his Thora, that it occured to him that this was the kind of personal detail that biographers might sadly overlook, and that this omission might make an ideal subject for a little vers libre.  As ever, I am happy to publish anything by that great and good man.

11 Responses

  1. Ian Marchant says:

    Spume has written to say that he is deeply touched that so many people have been engaged by his modest efforts. He always saw himself as a Movement poet, and at long last it looks as though he is being recognised as such.

  2. I was once beckoned over to the customers’ WCs in my shop by a customer. I’ll call him Mike, because that’s his name.
    ‘Look at this!’ he said to me, and dragged me into the gents, where, in the pan lay a beast of a turd, the end of which contained two undigested raisins (perhaps – I didn’t dig them out to check), giving the turd the appearance of a semi-slumbering sea serpent, coiled up and ready to strike the next unsuspecting arse which found itself loitering above the pedestal.
    ‘You want to get out in the shop and find out who did that’, advised Mike. ‘When I was in maintenance at the Artex factory, someone left a crap like that in the pan, and I questioned all of them until young Will admitted it was his. I told him he was sick. I had to break it up with a broom handle before it would flush.’
    Mike found it quite hard to accept that such an approach might not be my best approach to maintaining good customer relations in the shop. I discreetly carried two 2 gallon buckets of hot soapy water into the latrines and eased the beast around the bend with zero physical contact.

  3. Ian Marchant says:

    Spume has, on occassion, been forced to take work in factories, and not always as poet-in-residence! Perhaps ‘The Phantom Shitter’ was he.

  4. Curmudgeon says:

    In a previous job about twenty years ago, there was a character we called “the phantom shitter” who left massive, unflushable stools the length and circumference of Martin Johnson’s forearm in the traps around the factory. We never found out who he was. Obviously not an isolated phenomenon!

  5. The James Kennedy says:

    What an absolutley brilliant poem. Perfect for a Wednesday morning. Will Spume be interested at making any live appearances soon? Let me know what he has to say, i’m sure we will be most accommodating. Does he have any dietary requirements?

    Well done in your new post btw. Shame I took the Fiction module last year!

  6. Grime says:

    Ah, toilet functions and vital bodily fluids. The stuff of true poetry, romance and adventure.

  7. Ian Marchant says:

    Spume owes everyone who ever spent an evening in The Cheshire Cheese fifty quid.

  8. Monique says:

    Omigod, Spume lives.
    the little shit,
    he owes my fifty quid.

  9. Diane Hinson says:

    The muse comes in mysterious forms. hilarious…thanks for posting this Ian.

  10. markswill says:

    So reassuring to discover that the muse has not left him, or indeed you, darling one.

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