Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Sonnet 24 accepted by Zoetic Press

I'm pleased to announce that Lise Quintana and her colleagues at Zoetic Press, the publishers of the Non-Binary Review, have accepted Sonnet 24 for publication as a feature in their forthcoming Alphanumeric, focussing on the life & works of Antoine de Saint Exupéry. I'm given to understand that links to Sonnet 24 will be forthcoming. Here, meanwhile, is a link to Zoetic's main website.

The state of play with regard to my sonnet cycle is that to date the following have been published, or have publication pending:-

Sonnet 74         Commended entry Sentinel Literary Quarterly Competition March 2017
Sonnet 142       2nd Prize SLQ Competition August 2017
Sonnet 141       Published in French Review of Literature August 2017
Sonnet 24         Publication pending, Zoetic Press/Non-Binary Review/Alphanumeric

It is quite clear to me that four publications, gratifying as they have been and continue to be, are not as yet enough to justify publishing the entire 155 sonnet cycle as a collection. For this happen requires, I would think, at least another half-dozen individual publications. Accordingly, I'll carry on submitting sonnets to journals. I'm presently also getting stuck into the plotting of Helix Folt the conservative, which will turn my Bristolian trilogy - Amoeba Dick, Pretty Poli, and Odour Issues, into a tetralogy,

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Sonnet 16. Insipid, Lamentable Jeremy, Odour Issues, and Helix Folt the Conservative

Here's a Petrarchan sonnet which I wrote a good 18 months ago, but which seems a little bit more relevant than in those halcyon days before the Red Menace became quite so immanent.

Sonnet 16
Insipid, lamentable Jeremy
gird thou thy loins in shell suit of a beige
appropriate for this heroic age,
and thus accoutred smite the Pharisees.
Compassed was Sir de Montfort all about
with lounging scribes, makers of likenesses,
and gentlemen from the Daily Express,
and Watson: spectacles, disposed to shout.
Insipid, lamentable Jeremiah,
Milne’s glove puppet, who fists you as you flail.
Your praises shall be warbled by no choir,
instead your epitaph’s “utter betrayal”.
Who protest’s luxuries has long enjoyed,
is by burdens of duty soon annoyed.

I'm also delighted and relieved to be able to say that I've finished Odour Issues. I'm spending the next couple of weeks giving it a final read-through before publishing the first Kindle edition. This could probably happen within the next few days, were I not simultaneously engaged in some fairly extensive landscaping and wall rebuilding at home. I'm also looking forward to starting work on my next project, my George Eliot-parodying Rees-Mogg satire Helix Folt the Conservative.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Sonnet 74, Commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Competition November 2016

I don't know what if any embargo the people at SLQ impose on the subsequent publication of their poetry competition's winning entries. However, at least as a courtesy, I thought I'd leave a year or so before republishing my Sonnet 74, which was commended in the SLQ's November 2016 competition. The year in question being up, I think it's probably in order to go ahead with the republication of 74. It's a conventional Shakespearean sonnet - iambic pentameter, ababcdcdefefgg rhyme scheme - in the form of a parody of the opening lines of the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, and is intended as an anatomisation of nihilistic Bristolian sleaziness and pessimism, with topical references e.g. the Trump Presidency locating it as the product of Autumn last year. 

Sonnet 74
Whan that Novembre wyth hys soddynge leaves
of Yndyc Summer hys layt standde hath drownn’d,
and raynnes yternal blyte ye mowldy glebe
and clerkes skulck yn thayr cells yn studye brownne;
whan erly nyt and drearye mornyngge greyye
array ye darklyngge slummes yn damppe drabbenesse,
and laytest tydyngges fromme ye U.S.A.
extyngwyssh’d havve alle howpe and happynesse,
than longen knayves to gowe onne herowynne.
Nowwe sleezye marchaunts bearyngge Chyna Wyte,
and hypsters wyth a thyngge for Bombayye jynne
and Wyte Ace drynkers, these forsaykyngge Spryte,
converge lyk starvyngge dogges onne queynt Stowkes Crofft,

and daunce Saynt Vytus jyv wyth armes alofft.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Helix Folt: the Conservative - an idea for a novel

I live in Bristol. Political discourse in my city is dominated by the hard left. I never fail to be disgusted by this. Whenever the hard left gets control of the levers of power, the inevitable result is tyranny, terror, torture, famine, and mass murder. I simply do not understand why the hard left are excused for their wickedness which, judged in terms of body count, dwarfs that of the Nazis and fascists whom we quite rightly excoriate for their crimes against humanity.

This is why, having just finished reading George Eliot's Felix Holt: the Radical, I have conceived the idea of writing a novel about a socially awkward Tory getting caught up in an episode which is a sort of fusion of the Tesco riots of April 2011 and last year's EU Referendum.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

A Short Excerpt From Odour Issues

The Lexus, sleek and shimmering in the darkness, inched majestically along Stokes Croft. Momentarily arrested by the lucorum mutandum junctioning Ashley Road, it took its sussurant repose upon the camber opposite the steaming windows of Bar Wanque, whereupon Sir Hearty Luncheon’s gaze chanced to settle upon certain vey desolate individuals smoking angrily on the pavement.
“What a thing is a man,” he murmured, vey faintly, “Australopithecine, one supposes. Positively exuding cant. I never did bear the cant.”
“Those gentleman are officers in the Unauthorised Enema Squad, Sir Hearty,” said from in front Mr Jagtar Singh, who somewhat reluctantly kept himself au fait with such particulars.

Sir Hearty leant back upon the naugahyde plush, whence emanated in response a sigh of ineffable bliss. There ensued a silence, whilom the Harbourside David de Rothschild digested this new intelligence. Beside him, Sir Gerald Inhali masticated with studied unconcern a slim volume of post-theory.

“From time to time,” opined at length Sir Hearty, “one finds oneself prompted - put under the necessitĂ© de moeurs, even - of revising one’s initial prognoses. Indeed, upon the present occasion in particular, one finds oneself obliged to withdraw a certain epithet acknowledged to have been infelicitous. The personages upon the pavement are to be accorded their dignity, if it be perhaps, in view of a certain roughness of manner which they have about them, more properly as honest yeomen rather than as gentlemen. Nevertheless, they are most certainly not, let it be known, australopithecine.”

A further silence, the awkwardness whereof being substantially mitigated by Sir Gerald’s venting, not unhappily, a post-theoretical eructation.

“Cant successfully avoided then,” murmured at length that other garter snake Sir Ezra Tertiary-Syphilis from the bucket seat opposite.
“Quite so,” said Sir Hearty, “I never did bear cant, and would not wish myself to be the originator, howsomever inadvertently, of solecism of so egregious a variety.”
“I meant, of course, Gerry’s little burp,” said Sir Ezra rather off-handedly, “very neatly executed, I thought. Nothing escapes his mouchoir.”
“God no,” chuckled Sir Gerald whilom inwardly wincing, “although I have to confess that the theory theory theory repeated on me. Rather tough on the old oesophagus, wotwot.”
Sir Hearty Luncheon disclosed by his silence that he considered the foregoing proceeding, thus explained, adequately free of the marks of cant, and as such to be borne on his own part.

Tandem mutantes luces, the Lexus nosed forwards into Cheltenham Road. As it purred past … er … Squattocrat Heights and swept left up Cotham Hill, Sir Hearty Luncheon found that his thoughts turned from the unbearable cant of titled bohemians, and dwelt more upon the continuing indisposition of Lord Handjob, whom they were presently visiting in a vey discreet sanatorium in Westbury-on-Trym.

The entire episode had been utterly provoking. That he should have found himself being addressed - in person - by that ghastly little man from the trauma cleaning service. Quite unconscionable. What was it to him if Lord Handjob and his personal therapist chose to defecate all over the inside of the executive jet? Such matters fell quite beneath his consideration. He had made abundantly clear his susceptibilities regarding the bearing of cant.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Yahoos from Porlock make a nuisance of themselves in Starbucks

This afternoon I took myself into town for the Sunday Meet-Up at Starbucks in Wine Street. I'd been working on Odour Issues for about twenty minutes, when these four yobs decided to make their presence felt. They appeared to think that lots of shouting and swearing was the thing to do, and that it would be fun to disturb everyone else. Their ringleader appeared to be the fat twerp in the black t shirt. I thought I'd upload the video I took as I left. Maybe these morons will see themselves as other people see them, i.e. as stupid turds who don't know how to behave, an embarrassment.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

My First Foreign Language Publication

My Sonnet 141, which is my first and to date only French composition, has just been published by Barbara Dordi, to whom my thanks, in Issue 28 of the French Literary Review.

My understanding is that at present there is only a paper and no online edition, and as I doubt that Barbara would be entirely happy if I upstaged the online edition which she may be planning, I had better hold off reproducing Sonnet 141 for a few months at least. I will meanwhile leave this link to the Poetry Magazines entry for the Review.

Sonnet 24 accepted by Zoetic Press

I'm pleased to announce that Lise Quintana and her colleagues at Zoetic Press, the publishers of the Non-Binary Review, have accepted So...