Friday, 22 July 2016

Sonnet frenzy - and Sonnet 21

Having written the first half of Odour Issues by February, I abruptly left off in order to get stuck into a welter of short stories. Having written eight or ten stories, probably by the beginning of May, I took up anew with the Montpeliad, which had been languishing for a couple of years as the 40 line introduction to a Papist (Pope - giddy?) satire of the follies of Montpelier in Bristol, where I have lived for over a decade. The Montpeliad being completed, very swiftly published in Bristol 247, and daubed as previously described on the walls of Meat/Liquor, I have now embarked on a sonnet frenzy. The thinking here is that Shakespeare wrote - correct me if I'm wrong - 154 sonnets, so I can write 155 of the bastards. Anyway, I've written 21 so far, in a variety of Petrarchan and Shakespearean rhyme scheme, although none so far in the Spenserian style. My latest effort is a sort of experimental reverse Petrarchan, insofar as the sestet precedes the octet.

Sonnet 21
Has Earth to show anything more uncouth?
Dulled to a greyness now, the underpants
cling limply to his calamari cleft:
their seventh week as barnacle to youth,
a scowling spitting verminous pissant
of all the social niceties bereft.
Fair maiden, pharmaceutically fatigued
carps like a slave in his triumphant ear;
joins, renegade, the world against him leagued.
Where is the valium of yesteryear?
Not to be had at 6am, for sure.
Watch from your window as the forms recede.
A brief crescendo. Someone slams a door.
You lie upon your bed and try to read.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

I Join the Ranks of Bristol's Graffitirati.

I recently spent an entire week writing utter filth on the walls of the disabled toilet in Stokes Croft Bar MeatLiquor. The Montpeliad, all 620 lines of it, is now up in glorious monochrome Sharpie, and I have tendonitis of the inside elbow.*

I'll get myself back down there in the next day or two and take some pictures. For now, I thought I would take the opportunity to thank Chris and his team for being so very nice about the weirdo in the khazi.

*19.10.16 I saw the doctor about this a few weeks ago, and she diagnosed bicep tendonitis. It's not really getting any better as yet, sad to say.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

An amusing juxtaposition in yesterday's Guardian

In the echo chamber that is modern leftism, it is of course perfectly normal for the bourse of a newly failed state to be entering a bull market:-

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Sonnet 14

Sonnet 14 has as its target a certain particularly coarse kind of rage which seems lately to have overtaken political discourse on the left of the spectrum. I'm thinking particularly of
(i) the anti-semitism controversy which Livingstone & Galloway and more recently Corbyn have got caught up in;
and, perhaps more immediately of
(ii) the reaction of many Remainers to the Brexit vote, and the bullying and coercive tones adopted by Remainers, which - and here's my theory - drove Leavers underground. This explanation accounts quite well for the surprising nature of the result; call this the 'quiet leaver' explanation.
Anyway, without further ado, here's the work in question.

Sonnet 14
Your face inflamed with that bottomless rage,
that fashionable nihilism quite bereft
of moderation or respect for age:
the ranting coarseness of the modern left.
There’s more decorum in the ape-house yet
than iv’ry towers in defence of Mao.
Fly to your eco-conference by jet,
and do not ask the little people how
your cosmopolitan outlook’s at odds
with their quotidian reality:
the shop-workers, the carriers of hods;
to you, of course, utmost banality,
something to rant about in Stokes Croft bars
while buying the coke and ordering the cars.

Sonnet 14 has a Shakespearean rhyme scheme:- abab cdcd efef gg. Regarding the volta, I would hesitate to say that it's in its traditional place at line 9. In fact, I wouldn't go so far as to say that there is one, although there are a couple of shifts in tone. So ... not entirely orthodox in every way, but at least it's in iambic pentameter and has one of the orthodox rhyme schemes.

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 ...