‘Recruiters know you are flawed—no one is perfect, after all—and making things up is an important part of showing a human touch’

Back in Edinburgh, Scotland’s performance poets are knocking it out the park with their Fringe shows, and BooksfromScotland would recommend catching those shows from the likes of Jenny Lindsay, Harry Josephine Giles, Kevin P Gilday, Cat Hepburn, Jen McGregor and many, many more. Another poet who should get a great audience is Ross McLeary, who has just released a new pamphlet with the marvellous Stewed Rhubarb Press. We hope you enjoy this selection of poems from his collection.


Extracts taken from Endorse Me, You Cowards!
By Ross McLeary
Published by Stewed Rhubarb Press


A Business-of-one

You are a business-of-one.

This means when you wake up you are
already on the clock.
This means when you sleep you dream
of reports and contracts and deals.
This means when you eat lunch you
are eating into your own profits.
Be careful where you stand. The floor
is made of money.

You are a business-of-one.

This means meetings are
straightforward: you know what
direction to go in.
This means coming up with ideas for
the Christmas party is easy.
This means synergy is a strange
combination of narcissism and
Be careful what you say. The walls
have ears, you know.

You are a business-of-one.

This means that profits do not have to
be shared.
This means the glory belongs to you.
This means that your confidence isn’t
Be careful what you wish for. The
market doesn’t care.

You are a business-of-one

but then
everyone is a business-of-one now
and everyone is exhausted.

You are a business-of-one

but then
all your friends are a business-of-one
and you haven’t seen them in weeks.

You are a business-of-one
and when the business fails, as all
businesses fail,
they’ll point to your failings and say
that you had no one to blame but yourself.


10 Things Recruiters Look for in Your LinkedIn Profile

1.   Make sure there is one lie on your profile. Recruiters know you are flawed—no one is perfect, after all—and making things up is an important part of showing a human touch.
2.   Make sure there is at least one visible owl in your photo.
3.   If you have employment gaps, use them to describe your most frequent daydreams.
4.   Embed within your profile a deep, monotone hum. Something from an expensive synthesiser or your dad singing the lowest note he can manage.
5.   Rock-hard abs.
6.   Evidence of a desire to be killed in combat.
7.   Put your email address in a visible place—how else are you supposed to get feedback on your poetry?
8.   Wear a watch in your photo. Be warned, though, you must make sure the time is correct at all times or Recruiters will think you’re wearing a broken watch.
9.   Good content. Recruiters want to know you can churn out the good stuff hour after hour, day after day. Neverending content from dawn til dusk and back again.
10.   A birthmark like the one on your left clavicle. The one that looks like Greenland. You can see the tip of it in your profile picture, but only if you know what to look for. The Recruiters on LinkedIn aren’t just looking for anyone. They’re looking for you, aren’t they? They are hunting you and they will find you and when they do, they will offer you a job, and that job will involve long hours and be underpaid and your boss will treat you like shit and the job market’s tough and rent is due and bills need paid and you’re exhausted, my god are you exhausted, and you cannot run forever and you’d like it to stop, even for just one minute, but maybe this time it won’t be so bad?


Making Recruiters Come to You

Have you tried drawing Recruiters with magnets?
You are the North Pole and they are the South.
Opposites charge towards each other
like a bull to a flag, a cake to a mouth.

Have you tried hosting a Recruiters Bake Sale?
Luring them with warm bread delights,
showcasing your skills in the morning
after hours of working all through the night?

Have you tried sending your CV in bulk?
Not just once or twice but more than ten times.
They will appreciate your commitment and effort;
they will find your enthusiasm well within line.

Have you tried sending your CV again?
It’s been a week and you’ve heard not one word.
They must want you, surely? Your skills are unique.
To give up just now would be quite absurd.

Have you tried sending your CV again?
Rearranging the words, adapting your skills,
making up jobs, rewriting your past,
saying what they want, and going for the kill?

Have you tried sending your CV again?
Have you tried sending your CV again?
Have you tried sending your CV again?
Have you tried sending your—
You’re trying too hard and it shows.


5 Things Your Spreadsheet Cannot Do

1.   It cannot bring her back. You input the number of days since she left. The hours. The weeks. The minutes. The years. You input the time you spent together. You write it out to a hundred decimal places. The increments and the precision do not matter. It changes nothing.
2.   It cannot bring her back. You write IF statements, craft logical formulas, define permutations and possibilities and choices. Ways it could have turned out differently. But so what? The past is an immutable black hole.
3.   It cannot bring her back. You write down everything you said. Every flirtatious word. Every compliment. Every insight. Every ambiguous statement. Every misunderstanding. Every fight. All the things you disagreed on. From this, you make charts and graphs and trend lines, try to figure out where it all went wrong. But it tells you nothing. It just hurts.
4.   It cannot bring her back. And you are not sure why you thought it would. No matter how much information you put in, there is always something missing. Something which renders the project incomplete. The volume of information is impressive but every missing detail reflects how frail, faulty and inadequate your memories are. And even if you hadn’t forgotten a thing, it would still be incomplete. The past cannot be reduced to an equation or a number. It is a wave of light stretching outwards in every direction at once. The further into the future you go, the thinner and more ungraspable the past becomes. You cannot change that. You can only accept it. You have to accept it, and then you have to move on.
5.   It cannot bring her back. You delete the arguments, fights, and misspoken words. You filter out bad memories and the day when it ended. You do all this but it does not alter that it happened, that it was not perfect.


Endorse Me, You Cowards! by Ross McLeary is published by Stewed Rhubarb Press, priced £5.99

Catch Ross McLeary’s Fringe performances at the Scottish Poetry Library on August 14 – 17 and 20 – 23

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