A sort-of-review of Marie Marshall’s T.S.Eliot Prize nominated ‘I am not a fish’

You’ll never believe me…I was waiting to Skype God. You can imagine the anxiety! I mean…the Almighty, the Alpha & the Omega, Tetragrammaton—YHWH. It was buffering his end, ringing out. There was a lot of eeking & blare. The postman dropped his delivery. I was gripped on what God was going to look like. I suspected a primate for some reason. Nothing ichthyic I thought, nor feline, leonine or arachnid. I was going primate. Still buffering I opened my mail. It was Marie Marshall’s T.S. Eliot Prize nominated I am not a Fish. I forgot all about my natter with God—what had he to do with me, now?

This book is unlike anything. A mellifluous mash of hilarious, playful poems, evading the reader whilst prodding with long boney digits of joy. There is alchemy between word & imagination, infused with hallucinatory & hypnotic substance, which sounds painful, but actually manifests in unparalleled, rib-tickling humour & a spectrum of idiosyncratic oddities.

There is something off-the-cuff in their childish, almost athletic inventiveness, the cardiovascular characters totally out of their minds & extremely entertaining; poems utterly impossible to anticipate, twisting & turning like a fish out of water.  

If you were to take a bowler hat, write lines from Wind in the Willows, The Rig Veda, Aesop’s Fables, a collection of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry, a book of puns & dirty jokes founded by Gershon Legman, put the Moebius Strip lines of poetry in the hat, shake that hat, then take those lines & knit them, then you might begin to rustle up poems as inimitably brilliant as the poems in this collection.

The world can be fanatically dull when it comes to being superficial. & yet superficiality, when done right can drag you out of the safety in numbers, the bludgeoning quotidian.

But I don’t want to suggest this assault on the senses isn’t a serious one. This is a test for the reader. There are pitfalls: don’t fall into the trap of thinking no work needs doing on our side. These are poems to startle us. Shock & awe. Perhaps these fabrications are allegory, coping mechanism, the elenctic tug of war to tease out who we really are & why that is wrong, right or of no consequence. Don’t assume the counterintuitive cannot stun you into yourself more than the deliberate, hand held safe precepts of the bloody obvious.

We open with the book’s protagonist, a Mr Coelacanth
 

under a broad hat
and the pseudonym of Lazarus Jackson

Mr Coelacanth is hiding something. He hides in his character, & we are then correct to be cautious, as the poet may be hiding behind something too. Metaphor is after all a form of deliberate, systematic evasion of the thing itself, giving it a fresh label to throw the reader off the scent of the thing itself (the bloody obvious) & see it from a rearranged perspective, for the sake of dramatic effect. There is little reality, not much safe, chartered ground for us to move on here; we are dropped from the sky into somewhere totally unfamiliar & it is exhilarating.

Under his mohair suit and wing-tip brogues is, we suppose, a fish, but he’ll deny it out his lamellar skin. Plain as the nose on your face what he is, especially after he ‘refuses the breaded haddock’ which blows his cover.

His denial is what affirms these poems. They know what they are & Marie knows what they are to be: an exercise upon us to work the weft of our mind to seek out the false flags, false floors, doors, the tricks, the tromp l’oeil, allusions & language play. But the trick is that these poems can be anything you like. You can take them at face value, or read into them what you wish.

The tongue is continuously in the cheek. In Mr Coelacanth’s Nightmare, which is a recurring one

he is before a committee of hungry cats
who ask him the question: Are you now,
or have you ever been, a fish?
 
Never, he replies,
trying not to speak in bubbles,
trying hard not to let words
like gill and dorsal enter his mind.

‘Bubbles’ puns wonderfully on speech bubbles, inviting us to fill in any gaps with our own influence on the poem. I think that is what I love about the nonsensical in these poems: you could write them, like fan fiction, taking the characters on your own bizarre divagations through this surreal, comedy dimension of Marie’s devising.

In Old man-of-the-woods we get a taste of just what it might be like to write one of Marie’s poems. ‘Yesterday I tried to write a poem’ the old man tells us. Unable to find the tools to write he forgets ‘the words’. Happens to the best of us. But then: POW!

‘I would like to zip out my orange jumpsuit
and run, shrieking, through the trees,
my arms waving above my head;
I want to jump (goat-style) the fallen logs,
mate
(with enthusiasm)
make little old-man-of-the-woodses.
I would really like to climb to the forest-tops,
contemplate the sunset until my eyes ache,
my head is giddy,
my heart is full of
wonder.
Wow!’
 

There’s that energy, that’s a poem in the throes of parturition; it is a temptation, zapping ampoules through the characters that they might breathe like a cast of Franken-monsters & transmute into the poet, the reader; encouraging us to think & read creatively through their very existence.  

You feel wholly in the mode of myth. Called to cluster round the lambency of this dimension by the dung-chen, the iridescent bismuth; in this dimension where a monkey sent to death is reborn in a forest-heaven of a sort to live out infinity with an old-man-of-the-wood; where a rat called Beatrice recites the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, who is the Wolf; where the Lamb of Tartary is crucified & the last voice he hears is Mr Coelacanth saying “I am not a fish”.

I can’t really do justice to how much happens in this fecund ‘blueberry universe’ full of gypsy jazz, & daedal motifs rehashed in fresh contexts. I can only hope to articulate how pleasurable it was to read & to amplify the joy of being lost in Marie’s imagination & to encourage you to get a copy & indulge yourself in the ornate language & play.

If this piques your interest you can read Marie’s poetry @ https://kvennarad.wordpress.com/ where you can also find links to buy Marie’s books.

The Brext Land

ITV’s Good Morning Britain’s backdrop-countdown to Brexit is a dramatic reminder of what is to come. However, until March 29th we are all of us just speculating, guided by a homunculi Tiresias that lives in ours and others’ ears, themselves just speculating off of the fragments of other speculators spoon fed 24hour news straight out the xth dimensional Brext Land (the land of after), where we can assume the sperm count of 18-40 year old men plummets, birds migrate to cold climes, the Earth’s magnetic field flips on a regular basis, the sun rises in the west and chaos is order, black holes open from our arse holes, rewriting histories, the code of visible, tangible, palpable reality all a sneeze away, and sneezing its way into our cozily accustomed, but ultimately accosted, reality. I have seen some trying to pinch the air, as if they might pry open the façade of reality and get under it to see if everything is running smoothly; some have a hunch that The Brext Land is in this xth dimension, a fingernail-peel away. Visas and viscera, EU and Union Jack flags litter the streets in the post-Megiddo, post-Arthurian Brext Land, straight out of a confused Michael Connelly parody of T.S.Eliot’s The Waste Land.   

It looks as if April may be set to be “the cruelest month” after all, the snow to help us forget forecast, but Piers Morgan keeps berating everyone with an opinion in Brext Land, other than Nigel Farage, the Fisher King, dangling his rod into the rat infested Thames to fish out potential lads who’ll buy his condoms;— we should take solace that if by some fluke, the putty-ugly-incels do copulate, they’ll not circumfuse their tainted seed, thus fathering mutant waifs with extreme right wing leanings.

Piers is clearly Madame Sosostris, reckoning the fate of the Phoenician sailor Phlebas, who is everyone working pay check to pay check, or on Universal Credit; sinking in or with the economy, depends which angle you look at it; the pedestrian streets of Britain, turned somehow to quicksand. The difference between Piers and Sosostris, is that Piers is a bit retarded (even if he is playing the party of the grumpy old man in the moon), a worn-out know-it-all who has been imbibed with too much power by people who still believe bullying has-beens are what people want to see after waking from nightmares, in which traffic congestion, on the M6, both south and north bound, mounts due to the automated tariff booths of Dover overheating, going haywire and murdering lorry drivers by beating them over the head with their barriers, leaping to the price of bread inflating physically and chlorinated chickens clucking instructive, motivational messages while they (the dreamer) is trapped on a giant treadmill, scoffing their faces with tepid, Canderel® sweetened porridge before their morning ablutions to scrub out the stain of their Leave vote. But no, Piers must be there, counting down, holding everyone (but Nigel Farage) to account, folding his arms to hold his rib cage in place, because his blood pressure is so high he fears his heart leaping our his chest. But nothing to fear, he’s stocked a garage full of ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin, Calcium blockers and Thiazide diuretics, so he can carry on full plum-faced-throttle till well into June. A patriot, a prick.

I picture T.S. Eliot, bowler-hatted, bowdlerized in real-time due to the invective of his assessment of the Brexit debacle, doing his own parody of himself, for the Daily Mail, ironically, or not so much—pretty sure he’d be a Times or Daily Mail subscriber. As our politicians increasingly prove they are not amply qualified, they more and more resemble the asexual Tiresias, not the ailing monarch they’d prefer to be (especially the besieged Maybot, inorganic, put together with nuts, bolts and jam from one of Boris Johnson’s sandwiches, in a bank vault in the Internet, which is about to be ransacked) so entangled in the health of their nation, the land turns to squalor and fetid, dies. There is a child asking why all politicians look like a bread pudding, which someone with abnormally large hands has left handprints in.

But this isn’t what I see. Everyone is checking their Fitbit to tally up 10,000 steps a day. The news is reporting that we should be eating 4 grams of red meat a day. People are walking. I walk round the woodland daily and see multitudes pacing through pine woods, jogging, nattering, being pulled by great hounds; sniffing and snorting (the people, not the hounds) and I join them, trying to sniff out the bull-crap loitering in the high pressure from the Atlantic.

What Eliot would realize in his parody is that the leader is only a talking point, someone to point and blame, but who only indirectly affects the well-being of the nation. Nobody really gives a toss about them. They are insignificant, incidental to Netflix, pints of craft ale, rhubarb gin and tonic, weekly haircuts, a sense of self-importance, potpourri farts and the under-whelming realizations that everything will probably be ok; no Tiresias (the job everyone really wants) warning us of fear in handfuls of dust; only the media heaping up broken images, the Bradford millionaire realizes he is poor in London, and probably has flu. And this is how it should be, right? No one caring really, everyone drunk in one of Tim Martin’s pubs, eating fish n’ chips till the oceans are empty. Rule Brittania, marmalade and jam, na na nananananana naaaa naaaaaaaaaaaaaa nanaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!

And we shall have a game of chess, except the Knight confuses us, and though we have a queen, why can’t the king move about more? We’d probably be better off if it was all chess, at least only clever people, people who are patient play chess.

John Bercow’s voice is hoarse from taking lunch orders and from smoke inhalation because the friction between everyone in Parliament has set his ermine aflame. He’s been fannying about trying to get so and so (the constituency MP from Acrington) to stop harassing the DUP and from making inappropriate jokes about vicars and the androgyny of their kind so as to seem less intimidating to the man on the street, who by the way just wants to eat his avocado toast and read The New Statesman aloud to his colleagues so they’ll throw pennies at him violently. A Labour backbencher hectoringly shouted down the Theology of his speech by appealing to the Existential Crisis of our times: “4grams of red meat a day!?”

I hear birds in Brext Land, but only hardy birds, with bovine biceps for wings, making them heavier, but also, strong enough to spark out stork-like Jacob-Rees Mogg, who isn’t worried about Brexit as he’ll deliver babies with his Stork Jet and comes to this realization when he’s doing a spot of Sunday gardening, where everything he grows, he grows to death. He laughs a sinister laugh, rubbing his claws together.

We may not see the sun much in Brext Land but we trust it is there, the weather man is the voice of thunder—“DA!” And we know “Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata” are enviable, are solutions for stabilizing a salvation, are secret words that will bring sunlight and rain. We have to speak them and believe when we say them, and pronounce them correctly, else, well, how can the gods of Brext Land know what we want and make our ailing leaders salubrious again?  I am getting the custard pies ready, never know when they’ll be handy.

“Our Lords thou pluckest me, O Lords thou pluckest me out, me!” Says every single person in Britain at once, leading to an earthquake of sighs.

The Royal Wedding— a satirical short story

The Royal Wedding

In another dimension where fairness & justice is 5% above our own dimension’s…

Harry complains he doesn’t look good in red, it’s his hair. Moreover, why does he have to wear William’s same Irish Guard’s Mounted Officer’s uniform, he looks like a proper twat, why couldn’t he just go to Saville Row, buy some trad-swallowtails? The powder blue sash makes him look like a Miss(-placed) Universe contestant. William is 5 centimeters taller than Harry, so the uniform is too long in the arms & legs & makes it look like he has man-breasts, which is an abuse of the reality of his rower’s physique. William tells him to stop being a whingey tosser. Grandmother is cutting corners, gone stingy in her crepuscular years & is unhappy (& probably jealous) he is marrying a movie star who snogged Russel Brand (who Queen Lizzie thinks is well fit).

William got a call saying MI5 got a tip that a group of men from the Windrush generation (now homeless, jobless & hungry for revenge) are planning on kidnapping the bride & replacing the princess-to-be with their own Windrush beauty who, veiled, would surprise the moody prince, (already peeved with his baggy Mounted uniform) with a wet kiss on the smacker. Too cartoonish to be probable, Harry screeches, off with their heads anyway, he thinks he’s well funny, but he ain’t. He’s just another royal wanker.

William’s hired a clapped-out 2 door, mint coloured Ford Cortina to drive Harry & his manacled bride to the church. It’s got mother-of-pearl interior, & a CD player so he can listen to hip hop on the way to church— it’s well flash, says William to try to cheer his brother; the whole things been done up to the bolllox by a top pro off TV.

Harry thinks tit for tat, but William reminds him that Queen Lizzie needs her golden chariots pulled by half score of stallions &… the jealousy, nothing to be done of the jealousy or her tight as fuck fist. It isn’t William’s fault he got a better wedding than his loser brother. Cuz I look like dad probably, he explains.

Harry blubbers, he has a snotty nose. Wishes he had a proper job now. Wishes so many things. Wishes his brother would just shave his head. Wishes his dad wasn’t an enormous twat. Wishes he had a bigger thingy. Wishes he could come out…as an atheist. Wishes he could wear a toga whenever he want to. Wishes he was naked on the front page of GQ with his middle finger up. Wishes…wishes…Wishes his family was better.

At least he’ll finally get laid on his honeymoon.
Yes! He pumps his fist into the air. Think about the week in Benidorm with his young wife, ***, all-inclusive hotel, 15 minute walk from the beach, lots of Jägermeister, hot-tub Jägermeister, no one to tell him he shouldn’t smoke Churchill cigars like a boss, English Breakfast every morning, milky tea & hand-jobs, O he does love hand-jobs. & he’ll get to touch her boobs, her fleshy puddings he calls them. He’s only imagined up to now, but he’ll get to touch. He ejaculates prematurely.

Makes a note to self: ask dad for Viagra. No. Better yet, just steal it, he knows where it is hidden anyway, top drawer, under the signed photo of Muammar Gaddafi, Dad’s favorite dictator, cuz he never ‘ad WMDs really, he was a pretty nice guy, made the best Waldorf salad dad ever had, made his own mayonnaise & had a walnut grove.
Dad said, him & Muammar would go out into the groves wearing Evel Knieval style crash helmets (provided by Muammar) & run as fast as they could (making Spitfire noises by vibrating their lips), head first into the walnut trees, & with baskets open-side up, well Sellotaped to their backs, collected the walnuts that rained down from their thuds. After frolics & snafu, lots of hugging, Muammar would have his bodyguards count them. Whoever won would get to pick a DVD from Muammar’s collection to watch after dinner.

In the crèche Prince Louis & George are picking each other’s nose & feeding it to their dog Lego Buster. They’ve got hold of an old copy of Penthouse (probably Camila’s, a hand-me-down from Prince Andrew) & are drawing devil beards on all the models & bullseyes round their mammaries. Lego Buster smells like dead feet blocking up a Midland toilet & has no teeth, as Queen Lizzie has an irrational fear of points.
They are being encouraged by Prince Albert, who is wearing a silk kimono (probably Queen Lizzie’s), on which he has glued (with wood adhesive), homemade epaulettes, the heads of 100 old toothbrushes, sawn off & attached to the shoulders of the kimono—I am sure Queen Lizzie was infuriated on discovering this, in fact she was & made him sleep in the kennels for a fortnight. He smokes a Korean pipe for staged-effect, does unexpected Great-Grandad farts which startle the 2 little boys & sound oddly like he is sighing & snoring at the same time.

Camila is listening to Stalin’s speeches on her iPod & gesticulating like a cross between Thatcher & somebody trying to shoo away a hungry wolf—rapt in Stalin’s didacticism she repeats to herself I am mad, bad & dangerous to know.

Charles is polishing his feet, trying to brush up on his Latin by reading Paracelsus & playing with a children’s chemistry set trying to transmute plastic into the Lapis Philosophorum & just causing a dreadful, stinking mess.

Meg’s electronic tag has an eight digit code & Wikileaks just got wind of it. It’s all over the Internet. Someone is scoundrel enough to go key it in. But where is Meg? In the Tower? In a dungeon? Mustn’t reveal this intrepid soul’s identity, they will have Meg free & back making shit films in the time it takes to say gimme a visa. They’re satellite-on-it. They’ll emancipate the poor darling from the evil royals.

Turns out the Secret Service have her in the back of an unmarked car. Our secret hero, cape-less, cap-less & O so brave— did I mention that? Smashes the window with a pillowed elbow, keys in the code from memory—no traces. Meg crawls through the broken window, gashes her secondhand dress & scatters with our secret hero, twists her ankle, but no problem, she yogas it back into road worthiness. No one saw a thing.

Wedding time. Where’s the bride? Harry in his baggy, brother-borrowed Irish Guard’s Mounted Officer’s uniform is getting nervous, biting the nails of his feet, took his boots off, more comfy. Queen Lizzie is losing her shit, sipping from a hip flask full of Horlicks & rum, for balance.

The tabloids have their cameras aimed at Harry’s berry blushed face, waiting for the 1st tear to rock n’ roll out his puffing eyes, he’s holding them boyo-tears back.

2 hours… 3… 4…5… Sounds of snoring. Merkel has read half of War & Peace. Macron is making daisy chains while Internet banking. Tony Blair & Boris Johnson, shirtless, arm wrestle & argue about Brexit & the possibility of South American trade agreements. Michael Gove is sticking decals on the pews, which state how Climate Change is Really here! Theresa May is regurgitating eggs benedict to feed the sparrowlings nesting in her hair & reading a book on politics 101. Jeremy Corbyn keeps telling everyone he can’t believe he even got an invitation. George Clooney is hitting on the brides maids. Elton John keeps combing his toupee & playing an imaginary piano. Ed Sheeran is trying not to cry in solidarity with his fellow ginger brother-in-hair-tone & wondering if he’ll ever get a girlfriend.
A group of homeless folk can be heard giggling outside & chanting, wedding cake & beer.

The vicar’s spiritual itch shows. He takes selfies with the altar boys. He’s over-eager to show-boat his marrying talents for ITV.

The secret service have all handed in their notice, shamefaced & now drinking cheeky Vimtos in a pub across the road—we had a good spell, they tell themselves. One drinks cyanide but somehow is unscathed, probably due to surviving that abortion his mom had.

Kate Middleton is trying to stop her son’s from setting the vicars alb on fire with cooking matches. Albert is reading Alesiter Crowley’s Book of Lies to confused teenagers, with Shine on you Crazy Diamond full volume crackling out his iPhone 4, stopping his reading when the line shiiiiinnnee on youuu craaaaazy diiiiamond comes round, altering it to his own Shinnnnneee on ya craaaaayyyyzzzeeeee baaasssstaaarrrddd— trying to inspire a revolution of consciousness among the teens, who just look mixed up & ashamed when Beelzebub doesn’t appear.

All the world leaders are choreographing a mass walkout to a decent Chinese buffet round the corner, they are getting hungry & fidgety & someone already ate all the tulips & lilies, or stole them as souvenirs— the Spice Girls look suspicious, an orange powder smothered round their acapella gobs.

The crowd snickers so the royal family can hear. Harry is blinded by camera flash as his first tear rock n’ rolls. Then he blubbers. Then he breaks down thumping his fist on the baptismal font. Screaming at 10 decibels, why God! why me! O take this beating heart of mine & fit it in a Ford Capri.

His sobbing is broadcast on big screens for all of London to see, nationalists sob into their Union Jack capes, flags, hats, whatever. But it can’t soak up the uncontrollable typhoon of sadness. People cry so much it causes tsunami waters, whole demographics washed away in the tide of their own salty death-wash. Millions dead. Millions & millions.
Should of stayed at home. Should have fed the homeless. Shouldn’t give a shit.

Wikileaks tipped off the homeless & the innocent. They made an ark out of inner tubes, rubber boats, match sticks, pigeon bones & little Union Jack flags all plugged up with chewed-up tobacco & magpie blood. Been making it for months. They sail off to new pastures. Pockets full of seeds & salmon sandwiches.

William pats Harry on the back & says don’t worry sport, we’ll get you another one, how about we put your dating profile back up on OK Cupid when we get home? I’ll let you use the Internet for an hour, alright, there, there. I’ll make you some cup-a-soup, your favourite, cream of chicken.

Meanwhile Meg is on the phone to Lucas Arts, or Disney (or whatever, what does she care) about a part in the next Star Wars film while drinking Guinness from the can.

The tabloids on Sunday: HARRY’S FARCIKLE BIG DAY IS A WASH OUT!

Marie Marshall (3 Poems)

Very glad that my 1st act as Underfoot’s new guest editor, is to publish a handful of Marie Marshall’s poems (no relation).
Put succinctly, Marie Marshall is the bee’s knees, legitimately one of the finest poets i have discovered during my forage of the Internet, finest poet FULL STOP. Never a word wasted nor misused, never a thought wanting, always impossible to anticipate, & at times full of humour; Marie is my kind of poet. Enjoy.

To read more of Marie’s work go here, spend the afternoon, put a pot of coffee on, set a plate of biscuits, maybe, a mix of Garibaldi & Custard Creams.

 

marie marshall

Underfoot Poetry

104

The river’s in constant re-set mode,
sighting by its hand against the banks
what’s up and what’s down. It has
the tattoo of the sky in its eye. Two
girls, leaning against the wall, ignore
it, choosing instead to contemplate
:
hills and the warmth of each other’s
shoulder, but each has plashed puddles
that have (since) closed up, that eye
winking out. The river’s voice is
understated, catch some in a bucket
and it’s abated. Call by to see brother
:
Perch in his green-and-silver suit, to
maintain a plastic pot for washing
your brushes, to extract and filter.
Renew! The sun turns you to molten
copper. The river’s dare is born of
hills and ephemeral daymare tails.


from Potty Poetry
(a handful of poems printed on cards and left in the toilets at Burning Man 2016)

1.
We met right here,
but this is no sleazy…

View original post 1,219 more words

Some things to know about Charlie

While i am here & before i exhaust you with today’s Charlie poem, i want to say that Tim Miller at Underfoot poetry has asked me to be a guest editor, so i am scouting poets. If you’d like 6 poems published, send me 8 to danielpaulmarshall85@gmail.com along with a bio, & a paragraph explaining your poetic philosophy, what poetry means to me, your process or all three; i am interested in transparency, i like the mysticism of form(ing) & function(ing) taken out the equation & rather have it filled with something about poetry. So this probably isn’t for those poets who think that poetry is a wholly inspired task. i don’t deny some of it is, but what is this mystery to you, rather than just the acceptance of what comes.
Let’s see what we can do. Hope to hear from you soon.

Some things to know about Charlie

Breath like a Goidel munching onions & sheep testicles.
More out of place than a Pict at a make-up counter.
Farts like a tiger after a gazelle supper.
As sincere as an empty stomach.
Not as ugly as Dot Cotton but uglier than Deidre Barlow.
Not interested in religion but it’s interested in him.
Looks as if he’s been cudgeled with a duck’s foot
& battery acid leaking from his arsehole time to time
& from his ear’oles if he ain’t ‘ad Weetabix ‘n rum;
“best get that looked at by the dentist lad”
—a beautiful incongruity of Charlie’s life.
He’d change his diet if the stove worked & his neurons had legs.
He wants a woman who smells of Osmanthus Fragrans
but don’t know what it smells like: never smelt it;
it isn’t native to the British Isles.
When he thinks (or thereabouts) he looks like a dog with itchy teeth
trying to gnaw its leg off, to satisfy the itch.
An orphan who cries his dead mother to sleep.
He reads to himself but only in his dreams: he cannot read.
His jokes flat as a witch’s tit,
as funny as the instructions to Ikea, flat pack furniture.
His love & kindness deep as a Beijing sinkhole.
He is Godly God’s purest object of creation.

Body-hairomancy

A grim poem from the Charlie Malurkey cohort of capers & general peculiarities.
In short, Charlie reads prophecies in the pubic hair that arranges on his bathroom floor, taking it to be a message from Godly God. Sorry, so sorry.

Body-Hairomancy

Last night he bothering the audience
with messages him got from Godly God,
It told me to: “put the toilet seat back down
& wash your hands with lathered soap you filthy git!”
I always done I promise, smell my hand.
It Godly God who needing soap to clean his cakehole out;
& Oojoo ogling porn, calling it “research of humanity”,
them ignominiosum, & beings, creators of all stuffs.
Them One in wise and bountiful eternalness
(not like Iamblichus was postulate, they’m crude)
scribble encouraged messages with body hairs
that splay in strange & uniform
shape on El Charlie’s bathroom floor
—them Greeks had hieromancy telling them
the messages of Godly God
& Charlie, he got body-hairomancy as he’s guidance text
—the most utilitarian use of human waste.
I thinkt the hand were put the bog door down, right…
the squiggles maket the hands & lather, right I thinkt…
the smiley face that belt up for the laughs of plentysome, correct.
Laughs came but doubtful angled for
to cheer El Charlie as the letter C.

Flicking through the channels with Pa

i understand people may not understand, perfectly, the language used, it is written using the intonations of my home town of Cannock, back in England, which has a peculiar idiom. It is English, but somewhat truncated, due to a mix of lunacy & bad genes. But there is melody there & i thought it might be an interesting exercise for readers to make of it what they will from the context & sound.

Flicking through the channels with Pa

(A night much like any other, bored & skint a son sits with his remote-control-hogging father who flicks through the channels like a slow motion metronome, never able to make a decision, never watching anything but menu bars, for hours at a time. There’s never anything on.)

Son: “If you don’t just put something on I am going to make you eat that remote | starting with the batteries.”
Pa: “Pick summ’t theeennnnnn!”
Son: “I told ya | anyfin’—there The Secret Life of Animals.”
Pa: “Wot d’ya wonna know ‘bout that toss for?”
Son: “I fink the more cogent question Pa | is why wouldn’t I wanna know their secrets?”
Pa: “Well seems a load o’old bollox to me | pick summat else.”
Son: “Y’am jus’ gonna do that for everyfin’ in’t ya? There Christian Sermons by Alf Person: for Enduring any Hardship.”
Pa: “Now y’m teckin the piss ay ya— the God Channel? Sod that.”
Son: “O | ow’z about the BFG film? That’s you that iz.”
Pa: “O ay yow the comedian: Big Fat Git is that it? I’m gonna look like fuckin’ Jupiter for me hols in Summer.”
Son: “D’ya mean Phill Jupitus? Y’say that ev’ry year & seem to jus’ be gerrin’ fatter. Anyway. What guz thru yer ‘ead? You tellin’ me ya dow know why y’am the BFG?”
Pa: “It has t’be summat ‘bout bein’ fat?”
Son: “Y’really dow know?”
Pa: “The anticipation is murder | tell me y’sarky git!”
Son: “Think y’can hack the jip?”
Pa: “Just spit it out!”
Son: (Smirking) “Botched Facial Gland.” (Son instantly drops to the floor clutching his stomach in a fit of laughter & Pa spits out the beer he just sipped (which the Son cunningly waited for him to drink) & also jets out a loud gurgle of laughter that would wake the Minotaur.)
Pa: “(Recovering himself) “Y’am a funny fucker sumtimez in’t ya?”
Son: “I av me moments.”

Austerity of furniture…

Been reading Rolfe Humphries’ translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria, which is an excellent translation. He sticks to the hexameters, often employing the anapaest & using internal assonance, which makes for a pleasant music. i have broke with that in places, letting the line run to heptameters or longer, making it a sort of Blakean love poem to onanism.

Austerity of furniture | a host mahogany & pine.
A writer | poet | thinker | scientist in tweed you most admire
—one of the sorts you find on university curriculums | in text books |
their name is … … they lived between the years of … & …
Caricatured by shitty doodlers | to make them infant-friendly
belittling summaries by them that merely get the gist.
Picture them studying in lamp flood | papier-mâché of text |
technology of the literate— inhospitable weather at the door
carping moods blustery | in sails of skin: lonely | the book
they read lost to thought: the pale face of someone glued in their skull.
New Criticism misprisions all their weather as the mood of them.
They take Ovid’s Ars Amatoria from the shelf as if unbuttoning a dress
& take a dram of port to fill their cheeks a shade | warm their chest
slice out a sickled chunk of apple—“look at the sky tonight.”
He thumbs the waist band of his trousers | taps his belt buckle.
Finds the lewdest passage & reads aloud | blushes
& stirs | the buckle comes undone as if uncoupled by another’s hands |
his trousers shimmied below his buttocks | the shriveled ball
of skin looks like the animus coiled | cupped in the soil of the palm |
the filthiest passage coming | known by heart | underlined
in best ink—the ball of skin | animates— “the soul of lust”
a ghost filling a sheet for visual stimulus. His bones rattle skin.
His soul becomes the prison of his body. He lays out tissue like
“the time she rolled out that rug from Marrakech” | on his desk |
his arm & palm | tug & friction. He reads one line overranover againanagain |
louder n’ louder— performs with his right | left clamping the desk.
A climax-growly-groan | exhausted pant & expiate bow |
sinner & shamed— narcissist-adulterer: human & lonely.
A strongly worded letter sent him cleans his mess. “That’s better.”

Charlie gets Godly God’s memories

The all mighty curator of the universe & tinkerer of Charlie’s Broca’s Area, zaps our hapless hero with memories of his own, from when he took human form during the Influenza of 1918, when a 100 million or so died & Godly God, despite the chaos & tragedy, danced with a dying Spanish woman in Seville.

Charlie gets Godly God’s memories

“O bugger, decibels be off with ya!
clinging my skin with achinesses long;
I’m face is wrinkled like waves of sound that belt the sure & only 28!”
—those sirens blurting pitches under Charlie’s tenement,
unnatural in their screech & squark, stir them memory-me-jigs
of the great curator of the universe & his shenanigans
—“who is them memories of? Not mine, i not got none
them gone off elseplace without my say so. Appear in bits & bobs…”
: I tap danced with the plumpest gal, a tapas bar
in Seville while the influenza tore
the world apart, nowt I could do, free will
n’ all y’see… That girl reminded me
of silky moons that warp & pull the tides;
dark craters in her cheeks, blue countenance
—soon short of breath. I was reminded of
the 1st goddesses that I made from soil
& saw dust, glued with phlegm & lust— they looked
like podgy figurines that hunters kept
for company, for shufties in the dark,
blushed cheeks, the monkey-smacking urge compelled
& calmed— (pale ribbons tied around her wrists.)
An episode on National Geographic
made Oojoo cry— (that bird sure belt her hips);
I don’t know how she did it with that flu.

So sayeth Godly God pentametering in Charlie’s brain
with ungodly idiom— putting the Id back into idiom.
Charlie could see Godly God, similar,
but dressed in clean clothes, “like in them Hitchcock films
i watch in the window of the tele shop…”
: seeing the world through men’s eye,
arse’ol’d, on his strong of manipulation
— nostalgic & a smidgen with forlorn.
i bet forever makes you scared of death…

The Wipeosaurus Rex

Charlie’s back, well, sort of. All these poems are old. i always have a fuss before i post them, but the bulk is done. Feeling in a Charlie mood so here you go.
In this poem, Charlie, strapped for cash, takes a job as a man in a dinosaur suit, to sell paper towels.

The Wipeosaurus Rex

O Charlie, am’s hit the bost leg bottom
needing of spongles tiremuchly bad
: the rent to pay, his measly shopping bill.
& so’s to trouble his trouble him’s
became a damson jigging dinosaur
promoting papery towels to the morn-mascaraed moms
without nuffin’ much else to be done but shop
(ignominy, a word beyond, y’know…
—acute vocab for he’s feel).
Outside Tesco Express
— he is the Wipeosaurus-Rex.

Of late him took it fond
a puffin’ on the cigarettes No1s, when breaking from stuff.
A young boy green of eye (like Smarties)
—whom in the park afore him saw,
approached him sat behind the wheelie bins
& said: you do not need to go through this…
walking away hunched sad beyond
allowance of his years for Charlie Wiposaurus-Rex.
& thinking Charlie the understand to get it less sad & knowledge…
He was late back for working
n’ can’t find his job.