Two Pintle poems by Rory Waterman


    Re: Application

FAO Dr Bob Pintle
Senior Lecturer in Professional Creativity, Peterborough University
and also dedicated to Dr Andrew Taylor, who did not inspire the poem


Dear Robert,
                      The Board regrets to inform
several colleagues, including you,
that your recent sabbatical applications
will not go forward, after review.

The panel felt that ‘Write some poems
I haven’t yet written, so it’s absurd
to say much else’ lacked requisite rigour.
We do ask for ‘No more than 2000 words’

but suitable answers require something close.
We advise you attend our ‘Winning Support for
Sabbaticals Workshop’, when places are open.
There are none at present. We’ll advertise more

when we secure funding. To raise an objection,
write to your Sub-Dean of Sub-Research. State
your grounds for appeal, in accordance with Guideline
11 6 2 (Staff Handbook, page 8).

Ensure your 4* REF Output Agreement
and book contract are both attached to the email,
with endorsements from two Student Reps and your Mentor,
and a piece of your heart. Should your first appeal fail,

we invite fresh applications each year,
though from March 2020, all will be screened
for written support from Lead Industry Partners
linked to our Strategy Goals. We are keen

to support your research. We value team players
and wish you every success going forward.
Lastly, I’m pleased, on a personal note,
to congratulate you on your Teaching Award

(Bronze). Our Faculty Press Team will take
your photo: the Board has selected you for
our new poster ad, so congratulations!
              Dr Jim Jones,



    Re: Re: Application

FAO Dr Jim Jones
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities), Peterborough University
and also dedicated to Dr Andrew Taylor, who did not inspire the poem


Hi Jim, Bob pecks, then deletes. Dear Jim, Oh YES!
I’ll write with that! Those sabbaticals: who got them?
And have those colleagues had thirteen precious years
on what you term ‘the front line’? Anyway, Cheers!
When I find time, I’ll thank you in a poem,
and place it in the fucking TLS.

I see you proclaim in your email signature line
you’re ‘often abroad and send out-of-hours emails,
but rarely expect instant replies to them.’
Well, Jim, tonight I marked till 10pm:
Rhetoric essays. I’d give your email a Fail,
you shite-backfilled and heaving cliché-mine.

On a personal note, how are the kids, you knob?
See much of them? Does Nanny wipe their arses?
And what are the call girls like out in Guangdong?
He sighs. Holds backspace till all his work is gone.
The cursor blinks along with his catharsis,
and he stabs Dear Jim, That’s excellent! Thanks. Bob.


      You can read another of Rory’s poems – ‘Alfreton Town 0, Brackley Town 1’ – on Wild Court here.
Rory Waterman

About Rory Waterman

Rory Waterman's collections are 'Tonight the Summer's Over' (Carcanet, 2013; a PBS Recommendation, shortlisted for a Heaney Award), and 'Sarajevo Roses' (Carcanet, 2017; shortlisted for the 2019 Ledbury Forte Prize). His third, 'Sweet Nothings', was published by Carcanet in May 2020. His other books include 'Poets of the Second World War' (Northcote House, 2016). He is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature at Nottingham Trent University, writes criticism for several publications, and co-edits the pamphlet press New Walk Editions.