Ross Cogan – William Mervyn


And, anyway, just recently that voice
has, shall we say, started to sound much more
like William Mervyn. Not, strangely, the later
Gas and Gaiters one, with his smug halo
of clerical hair. No, this is more the Chief
Inspector Rose era Mervyn: vain, neat
patrician, theatrical, the RADA vowels
swilling around his mouth. And if a voice
could look, it looks downwards, its eyebrows arched,
its tone mildly exasperated, but not
unkind because, well, what could you expect?
And it says “one couldn’t claim that this was exactly
an elegant solution, but it may
……….And so, I am inclined to be
heartened. The door creaks open, not on the wood-
lined room in which the Super harbours his port,
nor anywhere, in fact, we were not born
to, us with our flat vowels and flatter feet,
but on a vista where, with luck, we might
sometimes put one over on the cads
and villains; where we will not be elegant,
no, never that, but where we might suffice.

‘William Mervyn’ by Ross Cogan was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2021) judged by Paul McDonald.

Ross Cogan

Ross has written three collections, most recently Bragr, published by Seren in 2018. He has a Ph.D. in Philosophy, was a director of the Cheltenham Poetry Festival until 2019, and works as a freelance writer. A Gregory Award winner, he has won the Exeter, Frogmore, Cannon and Staple Prizes, and been placed in others, including the Troubadour, Poetry London, Cardiff International and Sentinel Literary Quarterly competitions. His poetry has appeared in The Guardian, Poetry London, PN Review, New Welsh Review and Rialto.

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