Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sasha Say


Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring,
if you like.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.

-- Carol Ann Duffy

I like Carol Anne Duffy, and the onion is obviously metaphor material as my cut fingers and inebriated lachrymose tear ducts will testify.

Sasha thinks otherwise. Her arguments, although not unassailable, do have an urgent pithiness which is hard to ignore. I for one would be proud to write a poem titled "My Love is Made of Ostrich Meat". Building "Andrew Motion's fun bus" sounds a bit like hard work, but I'd give it a try if there was some Meccano handy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


..................Lead on small mollusc.

I don't think I've ever met anyone interesting called Brian. It's the sort of name you expect a librarian or a minor civil servant to have. Most Brians will have garden sheds, wear bicycle clips, and regard grey socks worn with sandals as a rather fetching combination. I suppose one could just about imagine a Brian being a kiddie fiddler or a voyeur, but I very much doubt if they would have sufficient imagination to indulge in either unwholesome activity.

The only remotely charismatic Brian that I have ever encountered is Brian the Snail off The Magic Roundabout, and he was a bit dim witted.

Fortunately for Brians everywhere there may be a glimmer of hope. I was intrigued to learn that eccentric avant garde glam rock star and conceptual artist Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno is "terribly attracted to women with ocular damage"*. What he means by this I'm not sure; perhaps he likes them to be cross eyed, or have a coquettish squint.

As I see it this is the perfect opportunity for the ladies who read this blog to grab their very own English rock star firmly by the goolies. I'm sure the prospect of joining him as he performs with his male voice choir in his London studio, or conducts interesting horticultural experiments in the grounds of his Elizabethan manor house, will be too much to resist. All that will be required is a glass eye and a wink and Brian will be theirs.

* Incidentally, he also claims that “the bottom is the large brain”. Whatever that means.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Homo Superior

I am sure that I am not alone in my disgust at the vile and degrading accusations levelled by MJ at the Barnsley based (but Jock ginger by origin) blogger Piggy.

What MJ fails to appreciate is that Piggy is a Tomorrow Person, a Homo Superior who deigns to grace us saps with the sagacity of his wisdom. Piggy is a sensitive type, much given to extemporaneous versification on the gritty streets of a rough northern town. He isn't known as the 'Bard 'o' Barnsley' for nothing I can tell you. Not only that, he feeds poor starving orphans and is a stout defender of the rights of elderly folk.

I suppose we should really feel sorry for MJ. She can't help the fact that she is an uncouth coonskin hat wearing backwoods Canuck whose idea of an evenings entertainment is pelting harmless racoons with empty beer cans. A vocabulary limited to the word 'eh' interspersed with grunts and simian gestures is also not to be envied. Perhaps this is why her posts contain more pictures of a vulgar and puerile nature than words.

Well, I'm glad to get that off my chest. It's about time poor Piggy had some defenders.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thtop Taking the Pith.

I recently purchased some sweatshirts from Orvis on-line and have been very impressed by their quality. Subsequently I have been bombarded with the Orvis catalogue, and now have a keen appreciation of the appropriate attire for gents who intend to venture into the depths of the steamy jungle and scrape leeches off their todgers.

Orvis amuse me as their target market appears to be fat Americans who suffer from Ernest Hemingway complexes. It's all Zambesi twill this and bush ranger that, with due nods given to the vital nature of hard wearing materials and a profusion of pockets in jungle jackets. Then there is the extortionate price of their clothing. I am particularly taken with their Over the Channel Shearling Parka which is an absolute snip at a mere £990.00 (ex P&P).

I think Herge Smith should stock up on Orvis garments and accoutrements in preparation for his journey to the mystical lands of the east. He might need several tea chests to accommodate his chattels, but I'm sure he won't regret it.

You just don't know what might come in useful when you're groping with a stoker off the coast of Kuala Lumpar.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sulu in Gay Love Shocker

One by one the icons of my youth are proving themselves unworthy of my worship. Pete Townshend gets nicked for viewing child porn, Paul Weller announces that he sends his kids to Public school because he doesn't "want them coming home talking like fucking Ali G", and as for the preening Morrissey - the less said the better.

I don't know where it will all end; now Sulu, ice cool and unflappable helmsman on the Starship Enterprise, turns out to be a woofter. This is deeply shocking, but now I come to think about it Star Trek was always full of homo erotic undertones. From all that wrestling in tight polyester jumpers to Spocks archly raised eyebrow there were always undercurrents. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the lovely Uhuru turned out to be a lezzer, or McCoy was a cross dresser in the privacy of his own cabin. As for the Klingons, they were always suspiciously butch and spoke in what was clearly homosexual code.

All in all Star Trek was less an allegory for 'truth, justice, and the American way' than an excuse for gay cruising in the nether regions of the universe.

My illusions have been cruelly shattered. I'll never be able to think about wormholes in the same way.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"What hurt you into poetry"?

I think my first inklings of the poetic occured when I lifted a stone and an earwig scurried blindly towards safety, his dark sanctuary violated in an uncouth and violent fashion. That and the sea anemone at the bottom of a rock pool, inhaling and exhaling rythmically.

I like poetry because it can interrogate the everyday; see the significance in a callous, question a glib gesture, take pleasure in a well baked loaf. It is a function of intelligence, but is also rooted in an ache below the left nipple and always pays due heed to the musicality of which the tongue on the roof of the mouth is capable.

It is a useless thing and, as such, necessary.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Here Comes Norman

Most of my relatives are slightly mental, but they have the good sense to realise that their time is best spent working, playing golf, or drinking beer. Activities of a more adventurous or esoteric nature are liable to send them completely hatstand doolally, a fact testified to by my Aunt Lorna's spell under medical sedation following an ill advised infatuation with spirit mediums.

Unfortunately Uncle Norman has completely lost it this time. As a retired police detective with a fat pension and a megaquids house anyone would think he should be as happy as a sand boy. Not our Norman; oh no. He has decided that it is his duty to divest himself of the proceeds from the sale of his humungous camper van in order to improve the lot of dirt poor Africans. Most people would give the money to charities, who would then spend it on sensible things like white Landrovers, conferences in swish African hotels (where the Africans call them bwana), and prostitutes. Not Norman. He has decided to build a village a primary school himself, employing only the villagers themselves.

This is a noble thing to do and, sour faced cynic that I am, I can't bring myself to deride what is undoubtedly a fine and selfless altruistic act. Unfortunately I can't help thinking that in ten years time the school will have holes in the roof and there will be chickens roosting on the dirt floors.

That's the African way. Sixty years of giving haven't achieved much.