(A poem resulting from earning PhD, and then living a few months with the consequences)


Redundancy comes not crashing, but pushing

Its weight is heavy on my mind, my spirit, my soul

I don’t believe I have a spirit or a soul

Yet these are what I sense being crushed, squeezed

Like a head-cold

My sense of superfluity surges from somewhere within

Yet is an intruder


Were you always lurking, awaiting your moment?

You did not pounce, but rather slunk

And now you threaten to drown or to suffocate

Which, I cannot tell

Your design for me is not what I desire


I am Master of a tiny universe

I am an ‘expert’

But I seem largely to fail

I fail to pass muster

Fail to see

Fail to remember

Fail to see the point

Fail to win the argument

Fail to make sense, even

Yet I achieved… what?


Who does this help, this PhD?

Not me!

I can’t get a job

But of course, I have a job

Albeit not one I want

Because I don’t know what that is

And no one appears to want me

Although we go through the motions

They go through the motions

Although ‘motions’ overstates what they are

They move with all the power and grace of tectonic plates

Deciding my fate

I have a doctorate

‘Well done, mate’


I’m an expert.

So why the hell does everything seem so bleak?

Why can’t I smile?

I need to lie down, or go for a run

Can’t I please just play drums?



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