Apparently it's against the law not to be woke, and you can now be arrested for posting the Pride Flag rearranged as a Swastika, so that's what I'm doing. I'm Spartacus!
Thursday, 30 June 2022
It is not unfair to describe the author of Gulliver's Travels as the Derek 'n' Clive
of his day. Below is the opening of my pastiche of Swift's scatological masterpiece
The Lady's Dressing Room.
The Modern Lady's Dressing Room.
Two days’ and nights’ relentless screaming,
Her piercing voice, her constant scheming;
The diva from their bedroom issues,
In search of wet wipe toilet tissues.
Johnny to vodka bottle glued,
Is now with foul portent imbued.
His senses reel in disarray
From devil’s dandruff berm on tray.
His bloodshot orbs take in the mess
She made in her contrived distress, 10
Whereof to aid the Reader’s gist,
There follows now a partial list.
First is the smashed up China plate,
The frisbee she aimed at his pate;
Now trampled into grit pyrites,
Ground Dresden with IKEA unites,
Baroque with hipster equal made
By the stilettos of the jade.
Ask not of Plato what there is.
Of foodstuffs smeared on surfaces: 20
The curdled oat milk dallies here
In sticky pond of Belgian beer,
Mixed with the vegan canine cuts
For her hair-trigger yap dog mutts,
Kale bonbon, flavoured as black rat
To satiate her high-strung cat,
Floats in a greasy oozing sea
Of vinaigrette and sesame.
From bottles slither at their ease
Fluids published as Japanese: 30
The ginger soy which ere annointed
That puffa fish which disappointed.
Great bulbs of garlic, squashed, congeal
Slain by the lance of Amber’s heel.
Hard by the suppurating quince
Not wiped away this six month since,
Stale marmalades and rancid jams
Miscegenate with rotting clams.
Behold the double Belfast sink
Whence emanates that foetid stink 40
Of mouldy pans in oily slick
Anointed with something like sick.
Here bluebottles obscenely buzz
Over the penicillin fuzz.
One thinks to see a crocodile
Twixt pot and ladle glide with guile,
Negotiate the arachnids,
And nose beneath the unscrewed lids.
Next on Depp’s aching eyes impose,
And eke assail his tender nose, 50
Pandora’s Box, laystall of sin:
The contents of the pedal bin.
Peel’s mausoleum, yoghurt’s tomb,
Graveyard, bacteria’s orgy room,
Here feast the loutish hordes of flies
On nameless skidmark as it dries.
The multitudes of maggots writhe
As nymphs in loathsome puddles blithe.
Monday, 23 May 2022
The following sonnet, from my Odes, Epigrams, & Further Sonnets, was written a few years ago. It's a straightforwardly Shakespearean sonnet: the iambic pentameter is fairly strict throughout, and the rhyme scheme observes the Shakespearean abab cdcd efef gg format, although it has to be conceded that one or two of the 'rhymes' take a certain amount of liberty with the concept of rhyme - thinking in particular of "pot pourri/Furies".
Although the mood is Autumnal, nevertheless I think it answers to the catastrophism of present times.
Reflections upon an Indian Summer
Were I acidic like Dryden or Pope,
I’d dip my feather in my stinkpot’s bile
and fish out defamation, hangman’s rope,
lewdness, deceit, profanity and guile.
For this autumnal balm’s but seasoning,
Pandora’s snowflake snuff-box pot pourri,
essence de con en poudre; stuff fools fling
on rancid lamb. Come winter, the Furies
will dog the path across the waste, the pound
collapse, and legions of the destitute
follow the piper into the cursed ground.
This Autumn, though, it still looks pretty cute.
Season of fleeting calm, of phony war,
of warning signs we tactfully ignore.
Wednesday, 18 May 2022
Proforma Declaration for Use in Initial Dealings with Businesses, Schools, Universities, Charities, and Officialdom.
It’s got to the stage at which, during my initial dealings with any business, governmental or quasi-governmental agency, school, university, charity, or any other organisation, I always preface discussions between us with the following declaration:-
I have zero tolerance for wokeness. Black Lives Matter is a racist hate group. A man is the producer and emitter of small motile gametes whereas a woman is the producer and carrier of large immotile gametes, and women's needs for female-only spaces trump the trans demand for equal treatment. I do not tolerate having my language policed, and any attempt to introduce woke agenda into our discussion will result in its immediate termination and the immediate termination of any business between us.
Saturday, 14 May 2022
Several years ago I wrote a full-length parody of the Mayor of Casterbridge. Pretty Poli relates the tragic history of Hawksmoor Perroquet, a ketamine-addicted African Grey parrot and a newcomer to Bristol. Hawksmoor sells his wife gormless budgerigar Arabella Melopsittica and their egg to a passing ornithologist, before swearing off his substance of choice. In his newfound state of sobriety his motivation returns, and he embarks on an ascent of the greasy pole of human endeavour as an architect of the hipster bars patronised by Bristol's jeunesse doree. His success brings him to the attention of a provincial merchant banker, the depressive pervert Sir Hearty Luncheon, who installs him as his puppet Mayor of Bristol. And then his wife rematerialises with their presumed chick, the hybrid Isolde Acridotheres, precipitating his downfall.
Pretty Poli has been rotting on Kindle for several years, selling a few copies here and there. I think it deserves better than this, and am planning to produce a softback edition. To this end I will need a front cover. And this is where the putative parrotist comes in. If there is somebody in or near Bristol who owns a largish reasonably docile parrot and would like to earn £50 for an hour or so of their time, here is what I propose.
We meet at a location of your choosing. I will be wearing a suit, and you are to photograph me holding your parrot, much as if I were Sir Hearty and your parrot were Hawksmoor Perroquet. Although it would be ideal if your parrot was an actual African Grey, I'm not too fussy about this, and you can use my phone to take the photos. When you have taken a decent quantity of photos, I give you 50 quid, and will also throw in a coffee or two or a pint or whatever. N.B. I own the copyright on the photos. That's about it.
If interested in this project please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, 18 April 2022
Ever since completing my 155 sonnet cycle five years ago, and in between writing Helix Folt and more recently The Wokeiad, I've been accumulating a further fairly random collection of verse under the heading of "Odes, Epigrams, and Further Sonnets". I was scrolling through this collection this morning, and it struck me that the following number was appropriate to the season:-
Upon a Winter Strop & a Coupling
This season, verse reduced to canting list,
res cogitans rootless, ephemeral,
all focussed definition’s vaguest gist,
grey tone, and utterly decemberal.
Astonishing, the corner being but turned,
how this cobwebbing, close and fretful mist,
through which no sun excoriating burned,
is swift dispelled by solstice flip or twist.
Nox noxious was, therefore say “fiat lux!”
Speak now renewal’s truth, in wan cliché,
how animal awakes and, squealing, fucks,
yet afterwards is sad tho’ woman’s gay.
When mantis with her praise his head devours
his cadaver’s in spasm for some hours.
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