Graduate Student's Revenge (Corrections in Red)

A Gothic Horror Poem about the Grad-Advisor Relationship, and Publishing

Posted Jun 27, 2017

Warning: The following poem was inspired by “psychobilly” music and by murder ballads.  The Cramps were probably the first psychobilly band and their songs are described by Pandora as “conjuring a fiendish witches' brew of primal rockabilly, grease-stained '60s garage rock, vintage monster movies ... and the detritus and effluvia of 50 years of American pop culture.”  The queen of the murder ballad was Izzy Cox (see, e.g., Satan’s Will), who wrote songs about, among other things, women with murder in the hearts and blood on their knives. 

If you are not comfortable with the likes of zombies, horror, and blood, please do not read any further.

wikimedia commons, Lizzy Borden
Source: wikimedia commons, Lizzy Borden

My co-author is “Elizabeth Borden,” a well-chosen pseudonym (if you do not know why, look her up).  She chose a pseudonym because she, understandably, did not want this poem to appear in Google searches for her name.  I, however, have no comparable fears.

This is a humorous gothic horror poem (we use that description loosely…) about the graduate/advisor relatiohship and about publishing.  For the record, we have a great relationship, which is probably the only way we could have written this.

Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Graduate Student’s Revenge (Corrections in Red)


Graduate Student’s Revenge (Corrections in Red)

    by  “Elizabeth Borden” and Lee Jussim

“The ink is in black, the corrections in red.”

"Please, no more revisions!!" I pled.

“It's for your own good," my advisor said.

"For my own good? You've torn it to shreds!"

But I hacked at the paper and put it to bed.

And then I wondered, with gathering dread

if now it was worse--if the paper was dead.

"Revenge" suddenly popped into my head.

So at a dark hour when he'd long been in bed,

On to my advisor's home I fled.

As he lay there peacefully resting his head,

I hacked at my advisor, and as he bled, 

"It's for your own good," I happily said.

"As you once told me, corrections in red."

I then shot him ten times in the head 

until I was sure he was utterly dead.

I then severed his head

and, out of his house, I quickly sped.

To the piranhas, I fed his head,

Which was so big, I was worried they'd be overfed. 

But they did not eat it, exclaiming "We are revolted and in dread!" 

"This tastes like methodological terrorism," they said.

"Give us a real psychologist instead."

What is the only thing still left unsaid?

It is the fate of the manuscript once covered in red.

I sent it to a journal of high academic cred

which, after hearing about my advisor, accepted it, unread.

Wikimedia Commons, by Andre-Philippe
Source: Wikimedia Commons, by Andre-Philippe

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