Holding with shaking hands a letter from some Official – high up he says in the Ministry, I note that I am invited to Birmingham, There pedagogues to address for a decent fee. 'We like to meet,' he goes on, 'men eminent In the field of letters each year,' and that's well put, Though I find his words not wholly relevant To this red-eyed fellow whose mouth tastes rank as soot. No doubt what he's thinking of is poetry When 'Thomas Blackburn' he writes, and not the fuss A life makes when it has no symmetry, Though the term 'a poet' being mainly posthumous, Since I'm no stiff, is inappropriate. What I can confirm is the struggle that never lets up Between the horses of Plato beneath my yoke, One after Light, and for Hell not giving a rap, The other only keen on infernal smoke. And poems...? From time to time they commemorate Some particularly dirty battle between these two; I put the letter down – what's the right note? 'Dear Sir,' I type, 'how nice to speak to you!'