Tuesday Poem: Media Advice To The Disgraced CEO

Don’t try to sell your story. That would only remind the public
of the millions in bonuses, the failed investments, the workers
turned out on their ear. Don’t try to sell your story,
but make sure you have a story to tell.

It’s hard to appear contrite – we know. Think of yourself
as an actor playing a part. Mention a disabled relative you’ve
(quietly, anonymously) been helping out. A cause
you’re passionate about: animal rescue, flower shows.

That first interview is crucial. Show them
you’re not a monster but a man. A monster doesn’t care – a man
makes mistakes, has made mistakes. You admit mistakes were made.
You’re only human and you got things wrong.

And as for your latest bonus: you offered to return it,
but the company said no. So what you’re going to do is,
you’re donating it instead. (Animal rescue, flower shows. A hospital?)
But for this interview, you wouldn’t have told a soul.

Remember contrition? Now you have to show it. The interview
is hard for you, and by the end you’re dabbing at your eyes.
The public will swallow any grade of bullshit
that is packaged with a redemptive tear.

Credit note: This is a new and previously unpublished poem.

Tim says: You might think that this poem is inspired by recent events, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

The Tuesday Poem: Is ready to rock.

8 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem: Media Advice To The Disgraced CEO

  1. Cynical, but, sadly true. I love a bit of social and political poetry. Poetry shouldn't restrict itself, but range freely over human endeavour.Curiously, I've just finished (if writing is ever finished) a poem a couple of days ago that I'd had sitting around as a draft for a couple of years. It's called \”To Do List for a Failed State\”, different to this poem, but springing from a similar sensibility and, dare I say it, moral outrage.Great poem, Tim. You should receive $5,000 a day for sitting home to write it, but that would show disrespect for your \”Elders\”.

  2. Thanks, Kathleen and Andrew.I appreciate your funding proposal, and I pretty much expect Creative NZ will be on the blower as soon as they swing by and read your comment!

  3. Thanks, Daniela and Keith – though I fear I'd have to employ my hypothetical army of robot poets to meet the necessary level of productivity, Keith …

  4. Although I have no idea who the particular muse was for this piece, I think I know the breed, Tim.I agree that a political poem, well done, is a wonderful thing.

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