The Cleverest Man in the Room

If, as you say, you are the cleverest man in the room,
which, I’ll agree, is an impression you certainly work hard to convey,
why do you not see that I am crumbling,
dissembling and feigning for all I am worth?
Why do you agree so readily with the nonsense that comes out of my mouth?
Including, in case you missed it, my answer to your “How are you?”
Actually, it’s no surprise if it did pass you by,
you’ve only ever asked it this once,
and you were onto business before I ran out of lies.

I’m not sure you really can be so smart,
even with the Tefal head and the pocket full of biros,
because I’ve got away with the breakdown so easily,
in front of your very eyes.
Diminishing and becoming so very small.
But maybe it has always been a question of scale?
With a mind as big as yours,
and with so very many pens, nearly all of them red,
What kind of challenge am I to the rubric in your mind?
The rubric that is your mind.
And saves you – smug much? Smug always – from what besets the likes of me.

Mike Hickman (@MikeHicWriter) is a writer from York, England. He has written for Off the Rock Productions (stage and audio), including 2018’s “Not So Funny Now” about Groucho Marx and Erin Fleming. He has recently been published in EllipsisZine, Dwelling Literary, Bandit Fiction, Nymphs, Flash Fiction Magazine, Brown Bag, and Safe and Sound Press. His co-written, completed six-part BBC radio sit com remains unproduced but available to interested producers!

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