• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 01
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First Class Mail

Stop. Don’t press Send on that email.
I know you’ve read it over and over
and tweaked the draft many times
so you hope your intentions are clear
but you know there is something about
a black typeface on a white background
that comes over as scolding and critical,
don’t you?

So pick up a Parker, dip it in Quink
and lift the little gilt lever on the side.
Suck up the ink – and it must be blue.
Remember the cursive handwriting
Mr Kelly taught you in junior school,
with all those loopy ups and downs.
Use that. Don’t go all kinetic on her,
will you?

Take your time. Copy out the text
of your email. Don’t make mistakes.
Don’t blot your copy, or reputation,
with crossings out and smudges.
Make it look as if you have thought,
deeply, and are now presenting
a gift from your very own hand,
won’t you?


First Class Mail

When it lands on her doorstep
and she opens the envelope
to read your helpful suggestions,
she’ll receive them with gratitude,
even though she would’ve bristled
on reading the exact same words
on a laptop screen, tablet or phone,
wouldn’t she?

Now, delete her email address
from your Contacts, and start
a new hardback address book.
Write her name, title, address
on a page in the alphabetised
section relating to her surname.
Don’t list her by her first name,
will you?

Make sure you have good supplies
of deckle-edge cream hand-made
paper with matching envelopes.
Never use lined pads with margins
and punched holes, nor that flimsy
airmail tissue. Always have an ample
stock of postage stamps, first class,
of course.