By coincidence, I wrote this poem last week, before I found out about the death of my statistics lecturer Professor Len Dalgliesh, but I would like to dedicate it to him as I know he would appreciate the irony of a psychologist disagreeing with the bell curve. Just in case you don’t know, the bell curve is the statistical normal distribution and variance is the measure of variation from the mean of the distribution. Those who vary too far from the mean are considered far from normal.

The Bell Curve

I am yet to meet a normal person,

a person who is balanced and dancing
in the middle of all bell curves,

so today I am declaring that

I’m at variance with variance,
of the flat paper variety.

Despite what the doctor says,
bell curve normality
is a statistical anomaly
that could use a restrictive diet.

Do you know what happens when bell curves
meet for a drink on Friday night?
They merge salubriously into 3d,

beer goggles aside,

spheres emerge, octopus like
with endless slender legs,


morphing into flesh and blood
human beings.

I retain the right to retract my variance
on meeting a normal person.