Viper

A fine university is where you reign,
decorating the halls with your fresh young beauty,
dispensing greetings as you progress to your room,
accepting the plaudits you feel you deserve.
Alive, invigorating, bursting with good will,
A two-faced specimen
at home in a sea of snakes.

Chief Snake joins you for coffee.
Your closeness to the Dean
is known as solid,
convenient for those who would spread
their own events horizon,
as, it is whispered,
you enjoy with him your own horizon.

A paper that’s not quite there
but manageable if he puts his slant on it.
The approach is rapier sharp, of course.
Machiavelli is taught
at this centre of learning.

There are games to be played,
oppositions to be thwarted,
scores to be settled,
as gentle folk, you understand.
Over coffee, lashings of sweetener,
ladles
of intellectual
sabotage.

Dr X looked ravishing at cocktails last night.
Pity about her post-grads.
Lucy’s coming on well,
can’t say much for Damien.

Preliminary papers are due.

Understood. I’d like to read Damien’s work.
Don’t know the male students much. At all really.
Dr X is a bit
too academic, pseudo-academic maybe?

Not one of the girls.

Yes Damien. I’ll read his paper. Keep standards high,
Dr X in check.

Pretty young thing,
big smile for the chief,
simper for the Dean,
disappointment for Dr X,
career destruction for Damien.

Pretty young thing,
meeting the Dean for supper,
late.

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