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Hidden No Longer

October 7, 2010

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Like a poet hidden
In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,
Till the world is wrought —Shelley, To A Skylark

Before I’m rendered incommunicado once again by the henchmen of the Illuminati, whose destruction I am committed to and whose assassins dog my every footstep, I thought I’d pay tribute to Billy Mills, ringmaster and genius loci of The Guardian’s Poster Poems blog.

He has laboured mightily and brought forth a…erm…

…not quite sure yet, but whatever it is, it permits me to say I am a published poet, allowing me to lord it over lesser creatures (novelists, journalists, neurosurgeons, astronauts and such-like riff-raff).

I intend to take full advantage of this trump card and play it at every opportunity…

Policeman: Do you know how fast you were going, Sir?

Me: No, but I am a published poet

Policeman: Well, that’s different, Sir. Doubtless you were rushing to a reading. Sorry to have troubled you, Sir.
Me: Vroom, vroom…screeeech….

So, thanks Bill. Here’s an affectionate ribbing I gave him a couple of years ago:

The Barber Of Civil Mills

Mills sly-slips into the chair
And indicates his mop of hair:
A little off the top and side
But leave my moustache nice and wide.

Si, Señor, the barber trills
Nasty weather, no?
April is the cruelest month, says Mills,
Breeding…well, you know.

Señor, you see the game last night, then?
Such brio, and the score!

Says Mills, We are the hollow men.
And contemplates the door.

Señor would like a little gel?
You know your hair is thinning?

Says Mills, while contemplating Hell,
In the end is my beginning.

Shall I part Señor’s hair behind?
Would Señor like a peach?

Says Mills, Careful of my flannel strides;
I’ve an engagement at the beach.

All done. Finito. Señor is pleased ?
Says Mills, after a pregnant pause,
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

Perhaps you’d care to write your own verse tribute?

252 Comments
  1. mishari permalink*
    October 7, 2010 7:47 AM

    …and we’re in the physical paper; The Grauniad’s G2 section–Bill’s article and the poems.

    I’m awarding myself an O.B.E. Perhaps tomorrow, I’ll give myself a knighthood…

  2. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    October 7, 2010 8:22 AM

    The book cover looks uncannily like our fridge. As I recall, Mish, Billy was artpepper’s perennial muse. I can only recall one or two dedicated to our master. Here’s one I found:

    Billy’s soldiers hit the blog
    Just like falling off a log
    Fountain fairies, garden gnomes
    The brave men of the Poster Poems

    Rhyming couplets willy-nill
    Skeletons with lines to fill
    Hunkered down within their homes
    Compose one for the Poster Poems

    Sestina and villanelle
    Limerick, epic as well
    Assonance and rhyme that roams
    Is perfect for the Poster Poems

    Odes and ruba’i, sonnets too
    Rondeau, tanka and haiku
    Verses gleaned from weighty tomes
    Recommended! Poster Poems

    Scansion, form and lyric verse
    Freestyle aspidistra. Worse,
    Wallet contents in a list
    Torrid nights that johnny missed

    Pity’s bullet to the head
    Rips the dog tags from the dead
    Scours the trench with fine-tooth combs
    For last lines written: Poster Poems

  3. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    October 7, 2010 8:25 AM

    *The Ballad of Private William Mills*

    Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
    Of ‘Private William Mills’
    That launched with Gilligan’s Island
    And those tramps in Beverly Hills

    An extra from a Huston film
    Was plucked to be a star
    For manly bearing, girth and gait
    And heroic handlebar
    (Heroic handlebar)

    Young Mills was a soldier of fortune
    Destined to walk the earth
    His way bestrewn by pretty maids
    Gay nonsense and mirth
    (Gold, incense and myrrh)

    Calamity befell the show
    And alopecia too
    Shooting the pilot was deferred
    Till Bill’s moustache regrew

    But CBS they got cold feet
    And pulled the plug instead
    They filled the slot with reruns of
    Batman and Mister Ed
    (Batman and Mister Ed)

    The shipwrecked crew avoided death
    By clinging to a log
    With Billy Mills
    The Baron too
    A billionaire and his dogg
    A moody sod
    Art Pepper and Parisa
    Here on Poster Poems blog

  4. October 7, 2010 9:18 AM

    Nice to pick a copy up on the way to work this morning, tramping across Clapham Common.

    Although if you’re in the Norfolk area I’d grab one fast as I think my mum’s swiping most of them up.

    Very happy it’s finally out there.

  5. mishari permalink*
    October 7, 2010 9:26 AM

    How did you know in advance, BaronC (you slippery bastard…I’ll bet you went to uni with Richard Lea)?

  6. October 7, 2010 9:34 AM

    Unlike MM, I read my email. Plus I’m lamplighter to a sleeper cell of moles in GU Towers.

  7. mishari permalink*
    October 7, 2010 9:44 AM

    You read your email? Curses…donner und blitzen…you gottverdammt Englishers are so diabolically clever…

  8. Reine permalink
    October 7, 2010 10:30 AM

    Will you look down on those of us unpublished from your heady heights and throw us an odd crumb? Well done again, bloody marvellous the lot of ye. x

  9. Zeph permalink
    October 7, 2010 12:43 PM

    This is the one I wrote when it looked as if Poster Poems was closing down forever:

    Billy Mills opened an online caff
    for passing poets to stop and swop
    the fruits of their brains

    The poets passed, they stopped
    they wrote, they swopped
    they recommended
    some of them didn’t know they were poets
    till they got there
    but had dropped by anyway
    The virtual espresso was biting
    and the virtual breakfast tea
    would keep a spoon vertical
    it was a good place

    Now Billy is moving on
    as all nomads and poets should
    and the online caff will stand empty
    with intercobwebs in its virtual corners
    and its cyberspatial floor covered
    with all the notes pushed under its virtual door
    saying a real Thank You

    Actually, for me it did sort of stop at that point, as time constraints, and not being quite able to get into the rhythm of the Topic of the Month thing, have meant that I haven’t been back to PP much. But I like to know it’s there, and I’ll be forever grateful to Billy Mills.

    Have I got to go out and actually buy the paper, then? La, how 20th century.

  10. freep permalink
    October 7, 2010 12:54 PM

    You can keep your OBE, mishari. Now I’m famous I’m doing what celebrities do. Just off to the Spa to rub torsoes (torsos?) with some footballers’ wives.
    Thanks, Reine.

    • HenryLloydMoon permalink
      October 7, 2010 1:46 PM

      i stood the test with mrs best
      though it was hot and steaming
      we shared olay (like danny kaye
      i’m walter mitty dreaming)
      i wiped the floor with mrs moore
      then mrs nobby stiles
      i licked the lips of mrs hunt
      she spread out on the tiles
      the hammam hummed with tits and bums
      alf ramsey had a semi
      the urgent drives of charltons’ wives
      recorded for an emmy
      i made a pass and slapped the ass
      of mrs gordon banks…
      woke up in bed and found i’d had
      another of those dreams

  11. goldgathers permalink
    October 7, 2010 1:35 PM

    Thanks to everyone for the poems, comments, smiles, etc. This is a happy day, and one I thought we’d never see for a while.

    Here’s to another couple of years of the blog.

  12. hic8ubique permalink
    October 7, 2010 1:52 PM

    Dogg Love

    Wondering
    at my own elation
    I pay respect to
    this creation
    not for the verse
    I could read online
    not quite
    for the boards, the slender spine
    but most
    for the proof
    I can hold and see
    that you really are
    all in the world with me:
    in the cruel
    separations of this 3D
    I am grateful to feel
    you are here
    with me.

  13. Zeph permalink
    October 7, 2010 2:27 PM

    Does anyone have contact details for Mrs Cynicalsteve? Might be nice to send her a copy.

  14. goldgathers permalink
    October 7, 2010 2:29 PM

    Zeph, she knows all about it, was the first to be told by me.

  15. Zeph permalink
    October 7, 2010 2:45 PM

    Of course, Billy, I should have known you would.

  16. MeltonMowbray permalink
    October 7, 2010 2:53 PM

    Thanks for all the work you’ve put in, Billy. Your introductions to the blog are always a highlight, and discovering your own work along the way has been a bonus. It was quite a shock to open the paper this morning and find the poem there. And an excellent picture of a typical evening on the IoW.

  17. goldgathers permalink
    October 7, 2010 3:58 PM

    I have to say that it’s a really good selection in the poem; should tempt a few prospective buyers.

    Thanks for the kind words, MM. You’re clearly feeling out of sorts. :-)

    Exits humming “Oh what a wonderful morning…”

  18. October 7, 2010 4:46 PM

    Many thanks Billy. I’d never really written poems before PP. Lyrics, stories, yes, but not poems. It opened a whole new world for me – and introduced me to a bad crowd I’m still trying to shake off.

  19. mishari permalink*
    October 7, 2010 5:44 PM

    Quite right, Baron. Had it not been for Bill’s encouragement (and tactful silences) I wouldn’t have had the nerve to expose myself as a versificator.

    Shake us off? Hahahahahahaha…you poor fool…hahahaha…you should live so long….

  20. hic8ubique permalink
    October 7, 2010 6:14 PM

    “it permits me to say I am a published poet, allowing me to lord it over lesser creatures (novelists, journalists, neurosurgeons, astronauts and such-like riff-raff).”

    I must take that to mean you are not in fact all of those things as well, Mishari.
    I confess to being a bit let down by this revelation.

  21. October 7, 2010 6:15 PM

    Goldgathers
    thinks that Milton blathers,
    but he’s given birth to a book of Guardian rhyme,
    which must have taken some time.

  22. Captain Ned permalink
    October 7, 2010 6:30 PM

    I dreamed I was in Sotheby’s,
    That abode of Art and Mammon,
    Where buyers buzzed like bothered bees
    As deranged as leaping salmon.

    What marvel drew this frantic horde
    From all the corners of the earth?
    By ev’ry mouth its fame was roared,
    A prize of most exalted worth.

    A giant gem-encrusted slug
    With strands of silver thickly strewn:
    As pretty as a Persian rug,
    As pleasing as a Schubert tune.

    I gawped in wonder at the sight,
    With admiration fit to burst.
    ‘Twas Billy’s moustache shining bright
    In glist’ning riches dressed by Hirst.

    ***

    Thanks Billy for your hard work. I’ve just ordered my copy. Now, on to epigrams…

  23. Reine permalink
    October 7, 2010 6:38 PM

    Showed the article to my colleagues earlier brimming with pride. They feigned moderate interest but it probably only confirmed their suspicions that I have many dodgy acquaintances.

    I am determined to get into the second volume even if I have to sleep my way in. Well, especially if I have to.

    Comhgairdeas daoibh go léir. (try pronouncing that Hic) x

  24. hic8ubique permalink
    October 7, 2010 10:59 PM

    It’s either ‘Come here Irish dog.’ or ‘Comb hair Irish Water Spaniel’.
    I’m apt to get those confused.
    ~

    The unexceptionable ones
    are best kept in acquaintance cool,
    but gather in the dodgy sorts
    as friends with whom to play the fool.
    x

  25. InvisibleJack permalink
    October 7, 2010 11:46 PM

    Congratulations, everyone.

    It was so heartening this morning, on opening an otherwise dull Guardian, to discover not only that the anthology was finally out, and not only were the Poster Poets featured in the actual print issue of the paper, but that the majority of those featured in G2 were regular inhabitants of Politely Homicidal. Bloody good!

    I do hope they bring out a second one, but I wouldn’t be so hopeful. Jack would like very much to be in a PP anthology.

    I console myself, however, that you are all in a book this side of Christmas. Bloody good!

    Jack Brae

  26. mishari permalink*
    October 7, 2010 11:54 PM

    Thanks for your generous sentiments, Jack. In fact, all of the poems that appear pre-date March 2009, so I think there’s already more than enough material for Vol 2…and why not? I mean, I’ve got nothing against Heaney and he’s done some fine work, but Jesus…does he really need the £10,000 Forward Prize? Personally, I’d give it to freep…then borrow it back and spend it on heroin…

  27. MeltonMowbray permalink
    October 8, 2010 2:34 PM

    I must say reaction has been underwhelming at Mowbray Towers. Mrs M had no comment on mine but read freep’s several times and quoted from it at dinner. I emailed my daughter to tell her there was a poem of mine in the G and she replied ‘oh. I hope it’s not embarrassing’. I won’t bother with my son since it will add to his doubts about my sexuality. A prophet is never honoured in his own country, I suppose.

  28. obooki permalink
    October 8, 2010 4:59 PM

    Really, did they have all the poems in G2? – Damn! (Or was it just selected ones – i.e. not mine?)

  29. mishari permalink*
    October 8, 2010 5:05 PM

    Nah…just a few (5, actually) and not yours…not, I hasten to add, by way of being undeserving…it’s just that ‘o’ is like, you know…at the wrong end of the alphabet. Still, you’re in the book…rejoice!

  30. October 8, 2010 5:11 PM

    There’s a slight discrepancy in the online preview version, which I’ve emailed GU about. The first poem in the index isn’t the first poem in the text itself. So I hope it’s in there somewhere.

    And, more importantly, inaccuarate indexing brings me out in crises.

  31. obooki permalink
    October 8, 2010 5:27 PM

    Yes, yes – of course it was alphabetical. How else would they have done it? You certainly wouldn’t have expected them to base their selection on quality. – Although MM’s inclusion makes me think our usernames must have been heavily loaded towards the second half of the alphabet.

  32. October 8, 2010 5:34 PM

    Alphabetical? I assume – I fervently hope – everyone underwent the same selection process as I did:

    It was late, very late. There was a foul rain whipping up the lager cans and leaves in the alleyway outside. I barely heard the door buzzer over the wind and rattling windows. I descended to the front door, withdrew the chain, unbolted the bolt and opened the deadlock. Mills was standing there. Billy Mills. Billy ‘Diceman’ Mills. As he silently opened his palm I saw the moustache comb.

    I knew what I had to do.

    I’m glad I’m in the anthology but, oh christ, I wish the dreams would stop.

  33. mishari permalink*
    October 8, 2010 5:47 PM

    “Your name ‘Mills’?”

    The rather shabbily dressed man mechanically stroked his resplendent moustachios: “Yes, that’s me…Mills…Billy Mills…why?”

    The tall, dark man holding his throat in an iron grip said: “Co-operate, Mills and everything’ll be copacetic…capice?”

    Mills scratched his bottom nervously; “Look, is this about the payments for the washing machine? Because…

    The dark man laughed. “Washing machine? Listen, sunshine…forget the alphabet…goddit?”

    Mills blinked rapidly: “Forget the alphabet? Erm…I don’ t know if I can do…”

    The iron grip tightened around his windpipe and Mills saw bright lights and sense…

    “Oh…I see what you mean…yes…quite…alphabet?…I’ve not got a problem…that is, I’ve got plenty of nothing…I mean…Heaney’s my honey…”

    The dark man said: “Shut it Mills. We’ll be in touch…”

    …to be continued.

  34. Zeph permalink
    October 8, 2010 7:06 PM

    XB, that made me laugh out loud.

    Mishari’s account, on the other hand, had a ring of truth…

  35. InvisibleJack permalink
    October 8, 2010 9:52 PM

    MM, if it’s any consolation, I read your “Union Street” over the phone to a fellow poet (she doesn’t get the Guardian) and she thought it was great.

    I would have read some of the others to her as well but then I got jealous of you all and tore the G2 supplement into tiny pieces. Then I fed all the fragments to the wild sparrows and they all died.

    What I liked about the selection they put into the paper was that they tried to cover a sweep of different approaches.

    It would be nice to think that they’ll bring out a second anthology but I’m not too sure that they will. I must say, I think that the new thread is a bit of a damp squib following as it does on Translation, which was one of the best in ages.

    In the meantime, I must get back to work on my masterpiece, Jesus Born On Moss, to have it in time for the PH Christmas Party.

    Jack Brae

    • Reine permalink
      October 9, 2010 12:30 PM

      I’m very excited about it Jack, hope you’re not teasing. I reserve claim to copyright on the title.

  36. MeltonMowbray permalink
    October 8, 2010 11:07 PM

    Thanks, Jack. Oddly enough, Mrs M mentioned the poem to an English teacher today who said she’d seen it in the paper yesterday and wondered if it was Union St in Ryde. Once she’d read the piece she was pretty sure it was.

    You were close, obooki. If you’d called yourself lobooki, or kobooki… hindsight is a wonderful thing.

  37. mishari permalink*
    October 8, 2010 11:21 PM

    Change that to ‘Jason Bourne On Mossad’ and I think you might have something, Jack. Matt Damon (AKA The Thumb With Eyes) stars as Jason Bourne who infiltrates Mossad, intent on stealing their top-secret nuclear-knish recipe (co-starring Mowbray as a nuclear-knish)…it has legs, kiddo…(sings) April in Paris, thanks to a bunch of chumps da-da-dum-dum

  38. MeltonMowbray permalink
    October 9, 2010 12:01 AM

    Looks like me. Well, parts of me.

    What are hovercards?

  39. mishari permalink*
    October 9, 2010 12:20 AM

    Hovercards. You’re so 20th century, dude…

  40. MeltonMowbray permalink
    October 9, 2010 12:28 AM

    Jesus. That big picture nearly gave me a heart attack. I would increase the smoke screen if I was you. Better still, get a mask.

  41. mishari permalink*
    October 9, 2010 1:01 AM

    …philistine.

  42. hic8ubique permalink
    October 9, 2010 3:37 AM

    You must put your Panther on the Perp Walk, M.
    I’ve read every other translation that came up, quite a few.
    They didn’t stand a chance.
    I can’t quite assess whether you surpass the original with its abrupt final line. Hmm

    Vicar, do shut up. Haven’t I told you it’s bad karma to spoil the joy of others, mine in particular.
    By the way, we’d like to see more of you than your knish.

  43. mishari permalink*
    October 9, 2010 7:38 AM

    You’re far too kind, hic. Still, as an example of how hopelessly dim I am, it hadn’t occurred to me to post The Panther over at Perp Walk…duh…but I will now. Thanks, sweetie…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 9, 2010 2:54 PM

      Perhaps just one of those times a thing is too close to see.
      Hence one of the pleasures of these threads of conversation, that is, reflecting for each other.

      I’m glad you’ve put your profile link back on the G; readers will be looking for your work, and find the others who join in here as well.

  44. pinkroom permalink
    October 9, 2010 10:52 AM

    Look at Mills! Look at Mills!

    Short and stringy
    in his USA vest,
    a man who seemed
    about two thirds legs,
    with a buzz-cut, flat top
    that had not been in fashion,
    since Mebourne in 1956;
    Billy Mills saw a gap
    and ran.

    A Green Icon
    with scribble upon it
    a man who seemed
    about one third head,
    with a huge moustache
    that had not been in fashion
    since Montreal in 1976;
    Billy Mills set up a blog
    it ran.

  45. MeltonMowbray permalink
    October 9, 2010 12:19 PM

    A nice tribute, pr. Thanks for your kind words on the Anthology thread. An interesting statement on your Hovercard. I remember Steve saying that CIF and the booksblog would be a better place if everyone had to be anonymous.

    On other Hovercards, I would be interested to know why hic had her picture taken in a hailstorm.

  46. Reine permalink
    October 9, 2010 12:37 PM

    You don’t have a hovercard I could ogle MM, do you?

  47. MeltonMowbray permalink
    October 9, 2010 12:55 PM

    A 1950s leather football kicked around for a bit and then left out in the rain for 40 years should give you a good approximation.

  48. thegravatarofzephirine permalink
    October 9, 2010 1:12 PM

    The hovercard thingy looked more promising than the mauve tile (I’m prejudiced against the colour mauve). Then it told me that both ‘zephirine’ and ‘zeph’ as usernames were already taken. Huh. And it won’t let you use capital letters, what is the world coming to?

    Anyway, I’m with pinkroom on the anonymity thing. And I’ve always meant to ask freepoland why he’s called freepoland?

  49. thegravatarofzephirine permalink
    October 9, 2010 1:19 PM

    Btw that DonGil knows how to spoil a party, doesn’t he?

  50. hic8ubique permalink
    October 9, 2010 2:41 PM

    Not such a bad PP, Jack. Does it not give you a chance to air out your rascally alter ego? Anyway it throws a bone to the doggs who were out of our depth last time.
    Your toad poem reminded me of a recent encounter which inspired this
    :

    Augury

    Exquisite toad you
    crossed my path
    miracle passage
    the dogs missed.

    Why have we stopped?
    Why have we stopped?

    How big we stared still
    til I was afraid for you.
    Am I forgiven
    myself yet the time
    I turned
    your earth
    my shovel
    blade killed you?

  51. hic8ubique permalink
    October 9, 2010 3:37 PM

    The hailstorm could be blamed on Jack, actually, MM…
    He has that green martian avatar, which gave me ideas. I was playing with ‘effects’ and thought the graphic quality of the ‘pencil’ made a better tiny image than my colourful but not strongly contrasted ‘normal’ pics.
    I hadn’t foreseen it being 5×5.
    Still, it’s more true to life than, ahem, many others’.

    I do actually very much respect the anonymous option, as I’ve said before on the Books blog. There are clearly good creative and also personal/professional reasons to maintain it. Here on PH, I’d already blown my anonymity in the interest of saying what I genuinely wished to say. That’s just my own inclination toward dropping masks in seeking un/less -inhibited expression. Granted, for some of us that same goal will be more consistent with some degree of anonymity.

    Having watched Mishari monitor this space with care, and feeling welcomed, I gradually became more relaxed. (There’s something deeply trustworthy, I feel, about a host who’s willing to be frankly beastly when it’s called for.)
    I also took it as something of a challenge that he called me an enigma.
    As I’ve told Reine, I also fancy I can get away with more mischief if I’m smiling.

  52. mishari permalink*
    October 9, 2010 3:58 PM

    Yes, indeed…my animal nature is a distinct advantage when dealing with on-line annoyances.

    One of my favourite bands of the last few years, London trio Belleruche, have just released a new album (actually, it’s not being released until Monday). They make a wonderful noise for a knob-twiddler, a guitarist and a singer. Here’s a taster:

  53. InvisibleJack permalink
    October 9, 2010 4:03 PM

    I haven’t been onto the latest PP yet today, but what I really meant by it being a damp squib (possibly very unkind too) was really as a comparison to the previous blog which gave more scope for possibilities. I quite like epigrams as it happens, it’s just that they can become a bit monotonous to write after the first few.

    Mind you, I did notice that the latest thread has brought in some new poets, which is actually a very positive development, so I think I may have been hasty in condeming the thread in the way I did. But, what’s new in poor Jack eating his own words!

    As to hovercards and grainy avatars, I have really no idea what you’re all on about, so it’s off to PP with me to find out. And, oh yes, I’m sure the dogg will go snapping a bit over there too. (At the moment he’s fast asleep in his dogg house.)

    Jack Brae

  54. InvisibleJack permalink
    October 9, 2010 4:15 PM

    Ah , meant to say: loved your Augury, Hic.

    And Mish, I was wondering why you’d never put the Panther up on Perp Walk, but simply assumed you were too busy as no updates had gone on there in a while.

    Okay, I’ll shut up and go over to PP now…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 9, 2010 6:21 PM

      Thank you, Jack. Had my day not already been made, that would make it.

  55. MeltonMowbray permalink
    October 9, 2010 11:51 PM

    Kingsley Amis (New Oxford Book Of Light Verse) was scathing about epigrams:

    ‘It may be a too-conscious desire for pithiness and memorability, a will to wit, that trips up the would-be epigrammatist.’

    That isn’t what’s tripping up the PP crew, of course. I’m not really clear about why KA dislikes them: too easy, too obvious, not funny seem to feature. This is the worst epigram of all time, according to him:

    On a Certain Count going to Italy and Leaving an Opera Score Behind Him.

    He has quitted the Countess – what can she wish more?
    She loses one husband, and gets back a score.

    It’s by Samuel Rogers. Seems quite inoffensive, though my smile could only be measured with an electron microscope.

    • mishari permalink*
      October 10, 2010 9:45 AM

      I think the problem with epigrams, MM, is that they’re fun when they arise spontaneously as witty asides and form part of a conversation. Actually sitting down to write them just feels, I dunno…a bit forced.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      October 10, 2010 12:47 PM

      That’s true. You also need a some good ideas, or at least a decent pun, and after several thousand years most of them have been done.

    • Reine permalink
      October 10, 2010 12:59 PM

      Give me a pun
      And I’ll lend you my ear
      An ear for a pun
      Is a price rather dear

  56. MeltonMowbray permalink
    October 9, 2010 11:56 PM

    It’s a bit disturbing the way those hovercards jump out at you when you run the mouse over them. One expects a smoke-wreathed Prince or hail-lashed hic to leap out and take you by the throat. Luckily I am wearing my crucifix and garlic necklace tonight.

  57. hic8ubique permalink
    October 10, 2010 12:59 AM

    ” Oh, don’t the days seem lank and long
    when all goes right and nothing goes wrong,
    and isn’t your life extremely flat
    with nothing whatever to grumble at.”

    ~~~~~~ King Gama, in Princess Ida

    Dedicated with deep-dish affectation to the Vicar moBray
    from Nearly Hail-lashed Hic

    Surely, this is what he looks like, Reine:

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      October 10, 2010 12:38 PM

      I wish I still looked as good as him. And had as many teeth.

  58. Reine permalink
    October 10, 2010 1:12 AM

    Ah MM, say it’s not so.

    I’m riding over to the vicarage in the barouche to check it out. (Bringing an overnight bag in case the weather turns).

  59. hic8ubique permalink
    October 10, 2010 1:49 AM

    I fear so, Re.

    Now, you’d have to be a bit more reckless with your person to prosper in a Jane Austen story. Travel with abandon and without provisions. Your state of extremis will drive the plot.

    • Reine permalink
      October 10, 2010 10:53 AM

      Yes, doubtless it would Hic but unlike the beautifully fresh dewy faced heroines of JA, I couldn’t bear to be seen in the morning pre-toilette. A lick of moisturiser and lip balm at the very least; I suppose I could secrete those in my corset.

  60. mishari permalink*
    October 10, 2010 9:25 AM

    Will someone explain to me why Billy’s article about the anthology (HERE) has been buried so deep as to be invisible (after 3 days) while Jordison’s Not The Booker tripe hangs around the main page like a bad smell?

    Fucking Guardian book blog editors…they just can’t disguise their contempt for poetry (how often is Carol’s Poem of The Week or Poster Poets on the front page compared to Jordison and his ilk? Q.E.D) and their witless fealty to all things ‘trendy’. Idiots.

  61. Reine permalink
    October 10, 2010 10:44 AM

    I looked for it last night and eventually had to go in through the index to find it. Telling, wasn’t it, how many people who had not known of PP expressed surprise and delight on reading the post when it appeared on Thursday? One would expect at the very least to find it chronologically in the poetry or books blog posts. I much prefer you here to your PP mug Mish.

    What is up Dongil’s ass? He is certainly not feeling the love.

  62. freep permalink
    October 10, 2010 11:17 AM

    Buried is the word, Mish. And I now (after trying to find it) find the thread has been closed. Ok, it may look all self-congratulatory, but as Reine says, there were many occasional contributors besides the regulars, and there was no reason not to put it up alongside the normal Books blog features; it looks decidedly as if it were put in a second-class hole.
    (Subject to seeing the finished article) I don’t have a problem with seeing the anthol published by Blurb. (Despite their astronomical postage rates) Sure, it exists in part to supply a ‘vanity’ market, but it seems an efficient way of publishing odd, individual and uncertain texts, from two to two thousand copies – and for sure, all publishing exists to satisfy vanities. A quick look through Blurb’s latest list reveals wedding photographs, My Baby’s First Year, How To Give Your Dogg The Love She Richly Deserves etc.

  63. mishari permalink*
    October 10, 2010 11:25 AM

    I have trouble believing that DonGil is a Spaniard. His boorishness is atypical, though consistent. Fuck ‘im.

    You’re right, though, Reine. On the fantastically rare occasions that Poster Poems gets a link on the Grauniad’s front page, loads of regular readers express surprise and delight at its existence. They hadn’t known it existed.

    What infuriates me is that PP and Poem of the Week are consistently the most viewed and heavily commented-on articles on the book blogs, yet the articles that consistently get a front-page link are Charlotte Whatsherface’s tiresome musings or Jordison’s low-brow puffery.

    The books blog editors are frankly an embarrassment.

  64. mishari permalink*
    October 10, 2010 11:28 AM

    Typical, freep. The damn article only went up 4 days ago so why are they closing comments already. Because there are no new comments? That’s because nobody can find the bloody thing. Cretins.

  65. mishari permalink*
    October 10, 2010 1:05 PM

    R.I.P. Solomon Burke

  66. hic8ubique permalink
    October 10, 2010 3:00 PM

    In ten minutes it will be 10:10am (here) on 10/10/’10.

    This message is from x10

  67. mishari permalink*
    October 10, 2010 5:59 PM

    I appreciate your spirited defence of me over on Poster Poems, hic. It was generous (on-line personas are usually reluctant to nail their colours to the mast) but there’s really no need.

    The regulars all know who’s who and what’s what. Sniping from people who were kicked off this blog for behaving like consumate pricks is water off a duck’s back.

    The distance and anonymity of the internet allows people (who’d shit bricks if they actually saw me coming towards them in real life) to vent their spite, envy and rage to their bitter little heart’s content. The tedious DonGhoul is a case in point. Best to ignore them, I think.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 10, 2010 7:17 PM

      I can well ignore the comments of the Don, and have done for some time. I won’t even give him this, but I’d like Parisa to have it:

      No need to rip a new one; the Green man will exude
      from every gaping orifice his jealous belchings crude.

      But did I expect better from parallax.

      I don’t imagine you are in need of my defence, Mishari, and I keep silence when I can, but sometimes my self-respect or sense of justice?…something… indignation? requires me to speak up.
      Sometimes it seems for the sake of the little community there that some peer rebuke is called for. I find it’s a lot more agreeable than ‘moderation’, for everyone’s sake.

      It was a great week for PP, and I’ve felt privileged to be a part of the celebration. To my mind, the blogs are less when you, Mishari, probably the best-read among us, withdraw in despair.
      I suppose I feel strongly about speaking up for what we value, especially in one another.
      That’s not sentimental, it’s like making an effort to support a small grocery, or you’ll be sorry when the shutters go up.

  68. MeltonMowbray permalink
    October 10, 2010 8:46 PM

    ‘probably the best-read among us’

    yeah i hav trubble wiv my ritin two

    • Reine permalink
      October 10, 2010 8:53 PM

      Don’t worry, coned hats are very de jour.

    • Reine permalink
      October 10, 2010 9:20 PM

      du jour even …. you know who would not have made that mistake!

  69. Reine permalink
    October 10, 2010 8:52 PM

    Hic, I applaud your stand on PP; artfully articulated as always. The point extends beyond Mishari into a wider one so well done. Your girls are loyal to you Mish – we may need a uniform.

  70. mishari permalink*
    October 10, 2010 9:11 PM

    Well, you can both expect to be punished for it by the usual suspects, so I wish you wouldn’t. Charmed as I am, I’d rather you weren’t abused on my account

    Just came across this, which is the actual transcript of a radio conversation between a U.S. naval ship and the Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995:

    Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the
    South to avoid a collision.

    Americans:
    Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the North.

    Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

    Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

    Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.

    Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN. THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS, AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH, I SAY AGAIN, THAT’S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTERMEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.

    Canadians: We are a lighthouse. Your call.

    • simonmh permalink
      October 11, 2010 8:06 AM

      From Ojar

      Tower: “Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency 124.7”

      Eastern 702: “Tower, Eastern 702 switching to Departure. By the way, after we lifted off we saw some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway.”

      Tower: “Continental 635, cleared for takeoff behind Eastern 702, contact Departure on frequency 124.7. Did you copy that report from Eastern 702?”

      Continental 635: “Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes, we copied Eastern… we’ve already notified our caterers.”

  71. hic8ubique permalink
    October 10, 2010 9:33 PM

    I’ve just forwarded that to the wood-lot clearing brigade in the north-woods. They seem to get intermittant reception from the dock. I foresee it being read aloud to augment the no doubt already soaring conviviality of ‘men with tools’.

    Uniforms, Re? Never in my life, and not on yours, but thanks.
    I’ll gratefully accept your approval and decline the bunny ears.

  72. freep permalink
    October 10, 2010 9:45 PM

    Yes, a good and necessary defence, hic, just and loyal when it matters. But from your gravatar (curious term, sounds like a brand name for instant and reliable asphalt) I note you have excellent teeth, which I observe all residents of the United States seem to have. Few are the British dentists of repute. And good teeth are often a marker of interior strength and fibre. Fiber in the US case.

    Zeph asked above why I am called freepoland, and the original reason is very prosaic (to do with drink and some foolish self-referentiality) and not even interesting. So I will say that it is an anagram of the name of the great Milwaukee historian and metaphysician Earl P. Foden (a cousin of the founder of the lorry empire). Foden defended Sir Thomas Urquhart’s ability to trace his forebears back to Adam and Eve with precise and unerring genealogical certainty. He thus proved eleven varieties of historical veracity in Genesis.

    Next time it may be different, and I may invent a serious matter to do with the Warsaw ghetto. I wish I could get a flattering picture of my dogg into a gravatar, (he resembles me as I imagine the bald eagle resembles Mishari) but I will have to wait until he has been properly groomed at Woof Kutz next week.

    The lighthouse jest is a excellent one. Time I got down to some more pomes, but I am having to read The Old Curiosity Shop for academic porpoises. Alas poor Nell, it is 500 pages until you meet your sorry death.

  73. October 10, 2010 9:45 PM

    I’ve just spent an enjoyable 40 minutes following the various pomes-related intrigues at GUblog; nearly comedy genius how that epigrams thread was just skipping along, for the longest time, in a field of flowers, tooting the panpipes, when it suddenly became splattered with blood. Also: I think the Parisa cover looks quite good, in a classic, Modernist way (I hear a photo of Lee Rourke’s writing space came *this close* to being the cover instead). There are some fucking good pomes in that book.

  74. rarareen permalink
    October 10, 2010 9:55 PM

    This is a test; the hovercard thing got me curious. I thought I could change my user name and try it out elsewhere but seems the name is tied to the address – I am rather dense about these things.

    Hic, has fabulous teeth – if my photo comes through, you’ll notice I’m not displaying mine.

  75. rarareen permalink
    October 10, 2010 9:55 PM

    No photo, don’t know what I messed up. No loss to ye.

  76. mishari permalink*
    October 10, 2010 10:08 PM

    Personally, Steven, I’d be delighted to have Rourke’s aerie on the cover. After all, we’re talking about the very engine-room of the ‘greatest writer since Joyce’ (©Stuart ‘I Spend More Time On My Risible Haircut Than I Do On My Writing’ Evers)…

  77. Reine permalink
    October 10, 2010 10:56 PM

    Did anyone watch The Song of Lunch on Friday based on Christopher Reid’s poem and starring Rickman and Thompson to mark national poetry day? I was away, just watched it now. I liked it. My penchant for Rickman notwithstanding, I thought it was well done.

  78. Reine permalink
    October 10, 2010 11:10 PM

    Oh good Jesus, here I am. Too many of me though!

  79. Zeph permalink
    October 11, 2010 12:22 AM

    Thank you for the explanation, freep, my curiosity is satisfied, and I hope the dogg enjoys his visit to Woof Kutz.

    Off to PP to check on the latest mayhem. DonGil’s attacks on Parisa on Billy’s anthology thread were thoroughly unpleasant, I thought, not to say bizarre. Who was he expecting to give us a cover illustration, Botticelli?

  80. hic8ubique permalink
    October 11, 2010 2:42 AM

    Well done, Reine! I’m still monkeying around with the image thing…
    My comment was deleted, inexplicably per usual, further underscoring the superiority of conversation here, I dare say.

    You’re very dear, freep. Thank you.
    My dentition is excellent it’s true, tight perfect arches, but my teeth are another matter. Apart from the slivver off one incisor (which doesn’t show in the pic) sustained in a cycling crash, I have many fillings to maintain thanks to my first dentist who was a nightmare. ‘Preventive fillings’ they called them in the ’60s. Happily, I haven’t actually lost any of my own, though two impacted wisdom teeth had to be extracted, my only surgery ever. *touching wood*
    I’ve been fortunate to have good dentists, all but the one, but I do see plenty of bad American teeth, I assure you. Cosmetic dentistry is probably farther advanced here generally than in the UK, but only for those who can afford it.

    I did enjoy this gallery very much, Zeph:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2010/oct/05/art-youve-never-seen

    • Zeph permalink
      October 11, 2010 12:20 PM

      hic, I’d suggest the first of that gallery: Rubens’ The Fight for the Standard as the perfect cover for an anthology of comments from POTW.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 11, 2010 2:40 PM

      Imbroglio without the gore;
      some standards are worth fighting for.

      (Like horses in a traffic jam,
      I can’t get out of epigram.)

  81. goldgathers permalink
    October 11, 2010 8:39 AM

    Has anyone seen the book yet? It’s organised thematically, not by the alphabet. As for the paper last week, a touch of randomness plus restrictions of space.

    Jack, I take your point re epigrams, but nearly 70 blogs in, have you any idea how much time goes into coming up with a new theme/topic/form each time now?

    Don Greenpants is pants.

  82. InvisibleJack permalink
    October 11, 2010 11:40 AM

    Hi Billy

    I do understand that, actually. I was simply, being hungry for inspiration to write, having a whinge and a pity-party! You should know by now that I get tetchy if I’m not writing poems!

    The new thread has certainly been very good, though, in bringing in new voices. Curious, also, to see Michael Augustine there, even if but briefly. But the epigram really is down his alley. Anyways, I’ll be a good garsún and try to write more epigrams.

    I’m hoping the book arrives here soon. The first few pages that are visible on Blur books have whetted my appetite. I personally like also that it’s set out in themes, that usually makes for a stronger collection. The one thing I don’t like, is that myself and Hic and Reen ain’t in it!

    Jack Brae

    • Reine permalink
      October 11, 2010 4:22 PM

      That would be nice Jack – if only to stop my family roaring laughing at the idea of my “poetry” writing.

  83. goldgathers permalink
    October 11, 2010 11:55 AM

    I better start pushing for volume 2.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 11, 2010 2:47 PM

      There you have it Jack, from the horses mouth.
      x (for the thought)

      I found the epigram theme a most welcoming form well-timed, Billy, just as the wider community was looking in due to the book release.

  84. Zeph permalink
    October 11, 2010 1:03 PM

    Jack: your riposte to the green-panted one is excellent (over on the Epigrams thread).

  85. InvisibleJack permalink
    October 11, 2010 3:02 PM

    Thanks Zeph, but quite frankly I just sighed with exasperation that I had to go to the trouble of addressing him at all. I do realise, however, that I drew the little twit on myself when I made favourable mention of Parisa’s cover illustration to the anthology. (Although, I must say, that his argument – that by expressing my opinion that I was somehow denying him of his – was somewhat mind-boggling.)

    At this stage his technique, to pretend that we’re the bastards who are making him the bastard, is simply becoming tiresome. I last came across that one in the school playground when I was six. Why can’t people just post poems?

  86. Zeph permalink
    October 11, 2010 4:50 PM

    Alas, there are a few large flies in the otherwise splendid online commenting ointment, one of which is that you come up against the kind of people you’ve been avoiding since the school playground. Or, worse, people who are pretending to be like that because they think annoying other people is funny.

    “You’re all a hateful clique” does seem to be a standard troll technique, I’ve met it in various very different web locations. Or perhaps it just reflects a certain kind of personality.

    Still, at least one can practise the art of the cutting retort.

  87. Reine permalink
    October 11, 2010 5:02 PM

    I wasn’t finished, don’t know what happened there!


    My tribute poem

    I’d like to thank Mammy and Daddy
    For bringing me into the world
    They’d probably hoped for a boy child
    But out of the womb I unfurled

    I’d like to thank dear Sister Oliver
    For all of her sound, sage advice
    Liking bringing oranges to the disco
    And wearing shiny shoes wasn’t nice

    I’d like to thank my first boyfriend Dominic
    For helping me shed inhibitions
    Among other things which led, in due course,
    To several acts of contrition

    I’d like to thank my two sisters
    For the tears and the laughter and all
    But, Sarah, I cannot forgive you
    For leaving me up on that wall

    I’d like to thank my first boss
    For checking my bra size was right
    Although I didn’t know it was part of the deal
    To model as well as file shite

    I’d like to thank my two husbands
    For not killing each other or me
    In truth, they are saints which I certainly ain’t
    I hope they will like number three

    I’d like to thank my dear son
    For not dying of mortification
    Every time I wear fur or use a big word
    And rant ’bout the state of the nation

    I thank all the friends who surround me
    For persevering with such an odd name
    An Anne would’ve been far far easier
    To round up for a Monopoly game

    There are too many others I now realise
    To keep up this gratitude list
    But I thank you all too, quality through and through
    Consider your cheeks fondly kissed.

  88. InvisibleJack permalink
    October 11, 2010 10:56 PM

    Reen, I think that by composing your Tribute Poem you’ve actually put the perfect geasa upon Billy. He won’t be able to shirk the enchantment and the second anthology is in the bag!

  89. Reine permalink
    October 11, 2010 11:22 PM

    If I have indeed put the geasa on him, it has given meaning to my day Jack. And make it your business … as the nuns used to say … to have Jesus, Born on Moss ready for inclusion. Fond of Jesus born on moss were the nuns.

    One really used to advise us to carry a copy of a newspaper and an orange to the discos … the newspaper if we were planning on sitting on a boy’s knee and the orange to give him something to do with his hands. Needless to say there was never a newspaper to hand nor an orange that some starving second year hadn’t eaten.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 12, 2010 1:07 AM

      Was the newspaper meant as some sort of sanitary knee doily, or as a rolled-up instrument with which to thwack the inevitably liberty-taking boy?

  90. hic8ubique permalink
    October 12, 2010 2:04 AM

    an epigrammatical teaser to please her…

    Bryophytic disposable ancient nappy
    absorbed both the tinkly and the crappy.

  91. Reine permalink
    October 12, 2010 8:59 AM

    More a groin to knee bib, Hic. Impenetrable though the gabardene of their trousers and our gym slips were, I think the nuns feared seepage.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 13, 2010 2:52 AM

      Does this mean I’m more naive than a nun?
      I knew I’d have made a bad nun, but…

  92. Reine permalink
    October 12, 2010 10:08 AM

    Mishari, thank you for the edit yesterday. Have we driven you away or are you and MM having a think-in at a secret location?

  93. mishari permalink*
    October 12, 2010 10:48 AM

    Reine, I believe MM is under heavy sedation in preparation for his gender re-assignment operation (goodbye Mowbray, hello Meltonella)…my net connection is intermittent, being achieved through a mobile usb modem that depends on being in range of a mobile-phone mast…

  94. Reine permalink
    October 12, 2010 10:50 AM

    Oh, as long as you know you are missed. I will have to go into mourning if he becomes Meltonella.

  95. Reine permalink
    October 12, 2010 11:47 PM

    To You

    To know all
    and know nothing
    To feel empty
    but something
    To crave
    and feel sated
    To be low
    then elated
    To ask and
    to answer
    To deplete
    but enhance her
    To search
    and find

  96. hic8ubique permalink
    October 13, 2010 2:28 AM

    and upon further revisiting delights from the past…

    http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=belloc&book=alphabet&story=reviewer&PHPSESSID=8c5b55aac04dceb62de4d7991c768af2

    ( that is the tiny version, M)

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 13, 2010 2:40 AM

      “Make up amply in verve what they lack in perspective.”

      an under-utilised blog motto?

  97. Meltonella permalink
    October 14, 2010 12:31 AM

    … doctor… I can’t feel my… what’s this on my chest?

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 8:14 AM

      Did he only give you one?

    • Meltonella permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:07 AM

      It was half-way through the operation.

  98. October 14, 2010 2:33 AM

    Meltonella! Welcome back.

    A kindly Dr. Who? I’ve been called many things: some of them unprintable even here, but kindly? Clearly that picture hides my morose and vicious temperament: more Davros than Doctor. If I were a Time Lord I’d like to be the one I grew up with, Tom Baker, who is splendidly eccentric. Trouble is I haven’t got the hair.

    Hic, you were kind enough to mention the blog. Please feel free to leave a comment or share anything; the more the better.

    Returning to the ants (via 3 Quarks Daily).

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 8:17 AM

      Hi S, I wouldn’t cross you myself but I would wear your hat.

      1 twat nightly – self deprecating or boasting?

  99. October 14, 2010 2:35 AM

    Hmm, that should be ‘3 Quarks Daily’, or possibly 1 Twat Nightly. Please could you change it, meister?

  100. Meltonella permalink
    October 14, 2010 11:10 AM

    Thanks, Simon. I thought I should stay off in case Parisa wanted to post something. As you know, I prefer to avoid unpleasantness.

  101. Meltonella permalink
    October 14, 2010 11:16 AM

    Submitted too soon.

    Anyway, she hasn’t, so I thought I might as well make a comeback. I suppose I’ll get kicked off by the Prince for not toeing the party line on the anthology cover when he gets back.

  102. mishari permalink*
    October 14, 2010 11:31 AM

    Of course, it’s always been my policy here that failure to agree with me is punishable by…well, you’ll find out when that 3 AM knock-on-the-door comes. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

    Is it just me or does ofile appear somewhat deranged? His hatred seems so, I dunno…disproportionate. Mind you, I did warn everyone that they’d be punished by the usual suspects for associating with me. Why do I seem to attract these spittle-flecked loonies?

  103. October 14, 2010 11:59 AM

    Good lord you drive all the way to Budapest and back to discover you’re in a book. Or perhaps were in a book – given the length this thing has taken to come out I don’t know whether my contributions have remained intact. In fact I can’t even remember what my contributions were, only that there were some originally.

    Budapest is a bloody long way away should you be considering a drive. Lovel;y city though and driving through the South German countryside with the sun blazing down on the autumnal leaves was tripmongous.

  104. mishari permalink*
    October 14, 2010 1:19 PM

    Welcome back, Ed.

    I can’t let this nonsense from parallaxview (posted on Poster Poems, where I once again seem to have become the subject of debate) pass without comment. I won’t post it there because I don’t want to fan the flames or abuse Billy’s good nature:

    Freaking Mishari has got a lot to answer for in the design of the divisive nature of this blog. Talented bloke – template derivative poet – but incisive, disciplined, emotive, funny-as-fuck, aggressive (tick all the boxes) blogger. The down-side is that he’s destructive when it comes relationships – he’s a win or lose guy. That’s what’s unattractive – despite the groupies.

    1. I posted perhaps half a dozen bits of verse on PP, all of them mild and unremarkable. I didn’t reply to the very ugly attacks from Don Knickers or offal. Yet, apparently I have ‘…a lot to answer for etc’. Right.

    2. What pv calls ‘template derivative’, I call discipline and a respect for form (always a red rag to the ‘free verse’ poseurs and fakes).

    3. ‘…he’s destructive of relationships…’. As no example is given (big surprise), I must assume pv means my relationship with pv. Allow me to refresh pv’s selective memory. Out of a clear blue sky pv accused Ed Taylor of being ‘a racist, a white supremacist’ and ‘a BNP supporter’.

    When asked to either A. provide evidence for these absurd and deeply offensive claims or B. apologise, pv reacted by accusing me of being a ‘racist, white supremacist…’ etc because I like the poetry of Kipling. Seriously.

    I told him to apologise, offer evidence (Kiplingophilia won’t fly) or fuck off. He chose the last and then went on another blog to repeat his accusations, again offering no evidence.

    I’ll tell you what’s ‘unattractive’, parallaxview: a putative adult who won’t admit to making a mistake and apologising, instead choosing to reinforce the original error by adding to it and insulting anyone else who gets in the way (‘groupies’? Seriously? Do you really have so little respect for the people who post here? Are they not sentient individuals, capable of making informed choices? Not according to you and your pal offal).

    As for being ‘aggressive’, if by that, you mean I don’t permit myself (or my friends) to be bullied, insulted and demeaned by chippy, ill-mannered oafs and boors…then, yeah: colour me ‘aggressive’. Now fuck off…and take offal with you.

  105. Meltonella permalink
    October 14, 2010 2:33 PM

    I just wanted to say that I was completely wrong and the the cover of the anthology couldn’t be better.

    Will that do? Ow!

    I just wanted to say that I was completely and utterly wrong and the cover of the anthology is one of the marvels of civilisation. [Better. Try harderLuca Brassi c/o Il Padrino Ed.]

  106. Reine permalink
    October 14, 2010 2:41 PM

    I agree with Meltonella. She’s so clever and beautiful.

  107. October 14, 2010 2:46 PM

    Mishari I think it’s a case of someone being a self-styled “outsider” revelling in the freedom to call people whatever they want whenever they want and if they carry on calling people whatver they want whenever they want then it becomes true by dint of doing that. Anyone else who disagrees can be dismissed as an acolyte.

    There’s no obligation to debate or justify.

    Forgive me if I just don’t have the energy or will or desire to rake over this ground again but first time round the replacing of debate with abuse suggested it was a pointless exercise.

    I think Zeph’s observations about the Australians and the English use of the same language were pertinent. My mum lived with an australian for about 12 years and there were many slippages of understanding on both sides. I had the impression parallax had completely misunderstood what I’d written to the point of wondering whether he’d bothered to read it properly.

  108. mishari permalink*
    October 14, 2010 3:24 PM

    Sorry, Ed. I shouldn’t have bored everyone with it–after all, who really gives a flying fuck? Just tiresome people, easy enough to ignore. If Bill and the mods want to put up with all that nonsense, that’s their business.

  109. Zeph permalink
    October 14, 2010 3:50 PM

    Don’t know about parallax, he was fine till that misunderstanding but seems unable to get past it now. Pity, his posts are interesting and he has a different perspective.

    Ofile is OK, I know him from way back on Pseudscorner and OtherStuff, he’s a very talented guy and genuinely nice, not an oaf at all, but does go, as he himself once said, a little feral at times.

    Don’t we all? DonGreenpants got me quite pissed off on the previous thread. But it is really all very pointless.
    ET’s first paragraph neatly sums up quite a few people on the poetry threads, I’m afraid.

  110. mishari permalink*
    October 14, 2010 4:18 PM

    Zeph, he may be the fucking archangel Gabriel himself but all I see is post after post of bilious hatred that’s as baffling as it is disproportionate.

    Mind you, we’ve heard all this toxic if tedious drivel before. Starting with @atf to @susanabrams to Des to @wordnerd to @phil hall to @Don Pants to @ofile and it’s always the same: Mishari is hateful, I hate him and anyone who doesn’t must be one of his mindless creatures. Yawn.

    I’d like to think I’m learning–I didn’t respond to any of this on the thread nor will I. Nothing pisses off these idiots like being ignored…

  111. October 14, 2010 4:21 PM

    Well it appears from his comments on PotW that I’m still the epitome of a white supremacist. Oh well. I suppose in travelling to Budapest I missed an opportunity to march on Poland

    I work in theatre ( albeit the outdoor version ) but I know a lot of indoor actors who are generally considered to be the most backstabbing individuals on earth but they are as nothing compared to some of the individuals ( both on PotW and in “real” life ) that I’ve met in the poetry world.

  112. mishari permalink*
    October 14, 2010 4:35 PM

    Ofile gets viler with every post. Now he’s taken to inventing quotes. Thai hookers? When have I ever mentioned Thai hookers. Vile and shameless. He’s not feral, Zeph, he’s fucking unhinged…

  113. [v]ile permalink
    October 14, 2010 4:44 PM

    unhinged Mush? Vile? Or just willing to quote your own words/lies back to you:

    “Thailand, where a Thai hooker taught me how to smoke smack in cigarettes”

    http://misharialadwani.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/the-empty-shell-of-a-newspaper/

  114. Zeph permalink
    October 14, 2010 4:46 PM

    Alarming: Parallax: definitely language barrier. You were writing in an objective tone, he read it as de haut en bas. I’ve met that with Aussies before, what we think is dispassionate they think is dismissive/condescending. Oh well.

    Mishari: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect

  115. Zeph permalink
    October 14, 2010 4:47 PM

    Filo, you should read that wiki page too.

  116. mishari permalink*
    October 14, 2010 4:49 PM

    My mistake…2 years ago, I mentioned that when I went to Thailand as a 20 year-old, a Thai hooker taught me how to smoke smack…that’s it. Now offal’s dredging that up as evidence of my infidelity? Something (not sex) that happened 20 years before I met my wife? Sorry, Zeph. Whatever he once was, he is no longer.

  117. mishari permalink*
    October 14, 2010 4:51 PM

    ofile, here’s what you wrote:

    What gets me is the public “I love my wife cos she ranted at a donkey botherer” and blogged “can’t wait for more Thai hookers to pamper me with smack”.

    …and here’s what I actually wrote 2 years ago in a comment in discussion about drugs:

    Ah, Thailand…over 30 years ago, I spent a few months in Thailand, where a Thai hooker taught me how to smoke smack in cigarettes.

    You dishonestly attempted to make it appear that I had recently expressed a desire for Thai hookers and smack while at the same time writing love poems to my wife. This is clearly a lie. You are a liar. I didn’t say anything remotely like that. All I did, in a comment in a discussion about drugs 2 bloody years ago, was remember a trip to Thailand when I was 20 years old, for fuck’s sake.

    And by the way, my wife didn’t ‘…rant at a donkey botherer…’. She grabbed the stick from a man who was savagely beating a donkey and menaced him with it. It’s a kind of courage I doubt you’re familiar with. God knows, you’re a stranger to honesty.

    Now fuck off, you lying creep.

  118. Zeph permalink
    October 14, 2010 4:52 PM

    Well, I’m off out to have a life now, so carry on fighting without me – or, preferably, don’t.

  119. October 14, 2010 4:58 PM

    Thanks Zeph I’m tired after 3 days travel back from Hungary but am at a total loss as to why I’m considered to have a superior tone. Dry? most certainly but superior? Not in the least.

    I’ve spent my life performing directly to people on the street all over the world. The reason for that isn’t to demonstrate my innate superiority it’s to enjoy the collision between our work and the audience’s imagination in the most direct way we can think of.

    The lesson you learn is that you’re only as good as your audience so one day the show is fantastic and the next day the same show can be crap.

  120. October 14, 2010 5:14 PM

    Sounds like a good drive, Ed. I did some of the same route a few years ago: London-Calais-Munich-Opatija-Banja Luka-Sarajevo-Dubrovnik-Trieste-Monza-Pontarlier-London. 2 weeks, over 3000 miles and a lot of adventure, particularly in the Balkans.

  121. October 14, 2010 5:25 PM

    simonmh being up North we went Hull, Rotterdam ( by boat obvs ) Arnhem, Frankfurt, Vienna, Budapest and reversed it on the way back.

    I’ve never been to Hungary before and enjoyed Budapest immensely. As grand as Vienna but it has a human lived-in feel to it.

    As a fan and a ( very poor ) player of Balkan music I’d love to go further East but time and opportunity haven’t reared their head. We’ve worked in Ljubliana and a few other Slovenian towns but no further. Whilst we were there the Slovenians kept saying to us ” we are the most industrious nation of the former Yugoslav states”. Given this was said during an afternoon spent sitting in a cafe the claims of industriousness seemed a little far-fetched.

  122. October 14, 2010 5:31 PM

    Yes, the Slovenians do like saying that; I played at the Mitteleuropa backgammon championship in Nova Gorica once and had a few of the same conversations.

    I agree that Budapest is lovely. I haven’t seen it since 1984 and must get back sometime.

  123. mishari permalink*
    October 14, 2010 5:37 PM

    The Mitteleuropa backgammon championship in Nova Gorica, Simon? Now that’s something I wish I could casually drop into the conversation. Perhaps I will anyway:

    “Ah, yes…it reminds me of my days at the Mitteleuropa backgammon championship in Nova Gorica…”

    Cue: gasps of wonder and respectful touching of garment’s hem…

  124. October 14, 2010 6:06 PM

    Not much wonderful about it: days in smoke-filled rooms throwing dice. I did win a bit of money, but only enough to cover the trip. Anyone can turn up to these events as long as you can pay the entry fee, so just being there does not imply superiority. Having said that, the best players in the world do tend to turn up in the hope of fattening their bank-balances.

  125. freep permalink
    October 14, 2010 6:18 PM

    Re: Parisa’s cover design for ‘Evereyone’s sense…’. It looks remarkably like one of my own designs for a neolithic mobile phone.

    When I go out on my daily walks on the rim of the German Ocean, if I see a flattish rectangular stone that is of the same shape as a Nokia, I bring it home and paint it, daubing a grey screen, blobs for the buttons etc. Varnish, sometimes. Some of them have been quite realistic, and I leave these on the wall outside my house so that passing tourists (there are many) can pick one up. One advantage of owning such a false telephone is that you can surprise onlookers by speaking into it, then feigning paroxysms of rage, and then hurling said pseudophone into the nearby river / Ocean.

    However, some of the later, more drunken stone phones have become deeply impressionistic, even abstract. Like the book cover.

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 8:45 PM

      Freep, your description of your phone antics caused me to spit wine all down my front. A much needed laugh after a long day.

  126. hic8ubique permalink
    October 14, 2010 8:00 PM

    That is charming, freep, and sounds highly therapeutic just now.

    Simon, I do appreciate your invitation, and will take you up on it soon, but haven’t the heart just now.

    I’ve travelled in the past 24 hrs or so from being convivial… to
    bemused… to aghast…to shattered… to sombre,
    but I’ll keep moving through. Yoga is good for me now.

    Everyone~ Shanti~

  127. Reine permalink
    October 14, 2010 8:39 PM

    I’m afraid I can’t add anything useful or witty or consoling to the party but sorry for your aggravation Mish and hope your joie de vivre is soon restored Hic.

  128. mishari permalink*
    October 14, 2010 9:00 PM

    Did you go through the woods to Grandma’s house, hic? I warned you about that…

    Thanks, Reine…the dismal fuckers depress and infuriate, which I suppose is exactly their game. An honest debate is one thing, but telling blatant lies to score points, dragging my wife into it…that’s just degraded.

    I guess I’m still always surprised by the ugliness and bitterness behind so many internet anonymouses, hiding behind their fake names; keyboard warriors who’d shit themselves if they actually met me in the flesh. I guess that’s mostly it. The bravery of distance and anonymity.

    Still, I suppose @offal is a step up from @atf, who used to stalk me around the internet a few years ago, following any comment I made anywhere with her own comment saying ‘…this poster was banned from The Guardian…” I can laugh about it now but it was deeply creepy at the time…

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 9:04 PM

      You are right, that is a very low blow but you know the truth so cling to that. And, look, even if you were a lying duplicitous bastard, we’d back you all the way ’cause you are the boss of us and we have no objective critical faculties of our own ;)… x

      Hic must be trying to make me jealous again; I didn’t get any invitation anywhere. Hmmmm

  129. mishari permalink*
    October 14, 2010 9:12 PM

    That’s the kind of faithful-minion-forelock-tugging-type talk I like to hear. At ease…smoke if you’ve got ’em…

  130. Reine permalink
    October 14, 2010 9:18 PM

    I think I have some left that an old gigolo friend gave me recently while my husband was on voluntary service with the ISPCA. Thank you Sir.

  131. freep permalink
    October 14, 2010 10:29 PM

    Mishari, the contrast between your generosity of spirit and the mean idiocy of the carping bloggers is obvious to anyone over the age of 4. God bless you, even if there is no Godd. Would you like a phone made of stone? They are very symbolic of nothing in particular.

  132. mishari permalink*
    October 14, 2010 10:38 PM

    Thanks, freep…sounds perfect. Just the thing for my Channel swim:
    ‘…hello?…hello?…operator?…godamn reception on these is atrocious…perhaps water got into the delicate paleolithic mechanism as wrought by freep, that man of flint-knapping parts…’

    Actually, freep, we could probably make a fortune marketing them. “Fed up being interrupted the pub? Tired of always being ‘available’? Feel like you’ll fucking scream if your phone company sends you another sodding text message about a ‘great new offer’? Sick and tired of charging the damn thing. Had it up to here with monthly bills? You need the new StonePhone© from Freepworth Electronics of Grasmere. Use it as a paperweight; chuck it in the lake; put it through your MP’s window; beat your noisy neighbour to death with it and all for the one-time price of £199.99. No more bills, no more calls, no more aggro–the StonePhone©. Wm. Wordsworth would have wanted one…”

  133. InvisibleJack permalink
    October 14, 2010 11:19 PM

    The recent posts on PP have been disgraceful. I really can’t accept this latest bombardment of personal and cowardly bile purging. I see that most of the posts have now been removed, which is not before time.

    Actually Mish, you and I do have something in common in that neither of us are really anonymous in the true sense; we can both be located in the real world. This makes personal attacks all the more cowardly, because the other posters really are anonymous. Anyways…

    One related matter. Since last Friday, more or less everytime I logged onto the Guardian pages, my computer has been attacked by a malicious virus. Obviously the work of a vile and parasitical hacker who’s managed to latch on to the Guardian blog. Each time my computer has dealt with the nuisance, but it indicates to me really that that particular place has become infected in more ways than one.

    So, for the time being at least, I won’t be going back there. Made that decision this evening after the latest virus attack. It’s such a pity, it’s potentially a truly wonderful blog.

    It’s much safer here. This is a haven from all that insanity.

    Jack Brae

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:26 PM

      Well, that’s interesting Jack. Same happened me “malicious threat has been detected (no shit)” message – seems to be particularly associated with Internet Explorer so I switched to Google Chrome and haven’t had the message since.

    • InvisibleJack permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:31 PM

      I was sure it’d been happening to others too, but for me it’s only been happening at the Guardian blogs. Did you experience it on other sites, Reen?

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:34 PM

      Nope, just the Guardian for me too.

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:38 PM

      According to my tech savvy son Jack, Explorer is rubbish and prone to all sorts of corruption. Firefox or Chrome seem to be the way to go.

    • Meltonella permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:39 PM

      I haven’t noticed anything (IExp). It can’t just be Ireland, can it?

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:42 PM

      Could be, God knows we love a bit of martyrdom.

    • InvisibleJack permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:40 PM

      Fairly ironic that it happened at a joint called the Guardian…

  134. Meltonella permalink
    October 14, 2010 11:20 PM

    They sound a lot better than the idiotic thing I’ve got, which connects itself to the internet or calls someone whenever it’s lightly nudged. It does very good photos, I’m told, but since I haven’t taken a snap since 1990 it’s not a great advantage.

    Sorry to hear of your discombobulation, hic. Having spent a couple of years in the Communist Party (when it wasn’t unknown for Party members to take their ideological differences outside) and several years in the Labour Party in the 70s/80s flamewars seem fairly civilised.

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:27 PM

      “housecarls” was a new one on me Melt, I appreciate your vocabularly enhancing powers. How are ya settling in to your brassiere?

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:30 PM

      I also appreciate that vocabulary has only one l.

    • Meltonella permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:34 PM

      Pretty snug, but where does the third one go?

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:39 PM

      My third one is pretty low hanging so I usually just tuck it into my knickers.

  135. InvisibleJack permalink
    October 14, 2010 11:21 PM

    Epigram minus its Operating Manual
    “Every poem is a poem within a poem…” Wallace Stevens

    A jar of glass
    with pickled mice
    is opened once
    but rarely twice.

    Jack Brae Curtingstall

  136. InvisibleJack permalink
    October 14, 2010 11:27 PM

    Errr…Manual.
    Editor, please help!

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:28 PM

      Poor Manuel, he is always being exploited.

    • InvisibleJack permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:33 PM

      I don’t know, if I’d spotted him in time I would have hit him over the head with a serving tray.

  137. Meltonella permalink
    October 14, 2010 11:31 PM

    Very mice, Jack. For no reason I’d been thinking about the Battle of Hastings, did a verse on it, then checked Wiki for some ‘facts’ on the battle. Today turns out to be the 954th anniversary. Another England defeat.

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:47 PM

      I’m swallowing my patriotic riposte.

  138. freep permalink
    October 14, 2010 11:43 PM

    I’ll send you one, mish. Only £4.93, guaranteed silent.

    • Reine permalink
      October 14, 2010 11:45 PM

      Can I have a pink one Freep? Just fling it hard, I’ll duck.

  139. hic8ubique permalink
    October 14, 2010 11:54 PM

    Thanks, Reine, I’m recovering, and thanks MM, I have no such history, but your elan is a beacon. I myself have an abundance of bristling housecarls, reckoning two.

    I haven’t heard anyone else use ‘aggro’ in ages, Mishari. (I’m an outlier, but not of an outsider nature.) It’s a choice and favourite abbreviation.
    I hope you won’t take file’s anger to heart.
    He and I have had a not-at-all-anonymous creative and mutually encouraging poetic conversation for the past year. I’ve been aware he was angry with me for several months, but he wouldn’t explain.
    He is a dear and generous person really, as Zeph attests, I can’t fathom what stress has driven him to exhibit the very abuse he purports to despise, but… the souls of humans are naturally inscrutable.
    I can’t say more for fear of betraying what was a privileged and treasured friendship, but please forebear in villifying him; it is heart-wrenching for me.
    I say this with utmost consideration for you and your Inez, your admirable devotion to her.
    We are all in her debt for sharing you, your inspirations.

  140. Meltonella permalink
    October 15, 2010 12:03 AM

    She can keep his perspirations. Right, I’ll just go and recommend my epigram 1000 times and then I’m off to bed. Ciao!

  141. mishari permalink*
    October 15, 2010 12:05 AM

    Been reading a book I think you’d enjoy, MM. It’s called ‘Blue Blood’ by Edward Conlon. Conlon was (not sure if he still is) a NYC cop–rose from patrolman to detective–from a family of Irish-Americans who had been cops for 4 generations.

    Conlon was unusual (for a NYC beat cop) in that he graduated from Harvard (the first in his family to go to university). He kept an extensive journal of his time on the force and wrote a weekly ‘Cops Diary’ for the New Yorker. The book grew out of that.

    There are some wonderful exchanges in the book. Interviewing a victim, Conlon ask him to describe his assailant:

    “Dark skin, beige jacket, skinny, about 5′ 11″ maybe even 5′ 12″…”

    It’s full of stuff like that. IOW libraries don’t seem to have it and mine is on loan from a friend otherwise I’d pass it along. I’ll send you along the next 7 or 8 episodes of Sons of Anarchy next week. Are you interested in HBO’s new big-budget drama Boardwalk Empire? I haven’t watched any of it yet but it looks promising…

    Jack, Reine…never, ever use Internet Explorer. It is truly horrible, so many vulnerabilities. Chrome or Firefox…that’s the ticket..

  142. mishari permalink*
    October 15, 2010 12:38 AM

    hic, I understand your position but the outpouring of vitriol from a man I don’t know and haven’t addressed a word to in a year is baffling. However, I’m nobody’s whipping-boy. If he attacks me, insults me and villifies me, he’ll get it back in spades.

    I’m keen to comply with your wishes but sadly the way I’m made doesn’t permit me to roll over and play dead. If he leaves me alone, I’m more than happy to leave him alone.

    All I want from him is nothing…literally.

  143. hic8ubique permalink
    October 15, 2010 1:34 AM

    I understand too, thank you. It’s not even a fixed position, but a painful sensibility. I’m so sorry, Mishari; I feel horribly responsible, and I never would ask or wish you to ‘play dead’. You have been gracious here far beyond the precepts of hospitality, and I say that as nobody’s sycophant, nobody anywhere ever.

    Jack, I’m comforted to hear that perspective from you. It’s a touchstone for me in turbulence, as I once again find my severely jarred bearings.

    I’ve now had a surfeit of pain, and duly of wine, but must say, if there’s anything I will champion for us all, as far as we each are able, even to my last breath, it is this:
    benevolence.

  144. hic8ubique permalink
    October 15, 2010 2:00 AM

    Here’s another example of how deeply and utterly ill-equipped I am…
    My daughter announced this evening that she and her class were choreographing Bohemian Rhapsody, and I said:
    “Oh, is that Dvorak?”
    [eyes roll]

  145. hic8ubique permalink
    October 15, 2010 4:23 AM

    Goood mornings~

  146. Reine permalink
    October 15, 2010 8:27 AM

    The Conlon anecdote reminds me of a girl in school talking about her Grandad with the explanatory aside: “He’s actually dead at the moment.”

  147. goldgathers permalink
    October 15, 2010 8:32 AM

    Alarming, your poems are indeed in the book.

    Pleased to see that a lot of the bile has been deleted from PP at this stage. I’m getting genuinely sick of it; hardly seems worth the bother.

  148. Reine permalink
    October 15, 2010 8:35 AM

    Hi Billy, please don’t give up – my life, for one, would me much the poorer.

  149. goldgathers permalink
    October 15, 2010 8:46 AM

    I’m more likely to stop being nice, Reine.

    Small ad here: http://bealfestival.wordpress.com/

  150. Reine permalink
    October 15, 2010 8:56 AM

    Hope I can make the NCH; I will applaud loudly and maybe wolf whistle.

  151. Meltonella permalink
    October 15, 2010 10:33 AM

    Well, I’m sorry for my part in the imbroglio, Goldie: I shouldn’t have let myself get narked. I’m exercising a self-denying ordinance from now on.

    Bohemian Rhapsody! It’s a pity deletions are against blog policy.

    Ordered the book, Prince, thanks for the tip. Only vaguely heard of Boardwalk Empire, but sounds interesting. I’ll look forward to SOA.

  152. October 15, 2010 10:33 AM

    Billy I was going to get the book anyways but now I’m in it …….. well that changes everything.

    Good luck with the festival in November. Am I right in thinking you’ve had some of your work set to music?

    I’m 6/8ths of the way into getting money to make a show next year with 10 performers carrying 10 life-sized doppelgangers ( ish ) making a crowd of 20 people moving through the street. Singing will be one of the focuses of this.

    Obviously being a white supremacist the first thing I’ll do is annexe Alsace-Lorraine but after that its up for grabs. There are a large bunch of drawings for it somewhere on Steven Augustine’s TET blog no. 6 ( I think ).

  153. mishari permalink*
    October 15, 2010 10:50 AM

    I’m sorry for any part I played, inadvertently or otherwise, in putting you in an uncomfortable position, hic. You know that was never my intention.

    It is a bit comical, though: the people who accuse me of playing a win/lose, with me/against me game are the ones who actually do play that game (hence ofile’s ‘anger’ with you). I don’t.

    Everyone’s welcome here as long as the play by the rules: my house, my rules. Those rules do not and never have included strictures on associating with people I dislike.

    Quite a few people who post here used to post on another blog, run by someone I detest. I never, by word or deed, indicated that this was problematic. It was none of my goddamn business.

    The other blogger, however, played the with me/against me game and drove away anyone who was viewed as sympathetic to me.

    parallax keeps trying to turn it into a free speech issue, which is quite spectacularly bone-headed. Am I free to march into his house, criticise his dog, insult his wife, abuse his friends and rail against his taste in soft furnishings? I am not.

    I am free, however to go to Speakers Corner, get on a soap-box and do the above. Equally, people are perfectly free to set up their own blog and say whatever the hell they like, no matter how vile and unfounded: but they can’t do it here or on Poster Poems, for that matter.

    Some people fail to make the distinction between ‘license’ and ‘liberty’. Too subtle for them, I expect.

    Love that one, Reine. ‘Dead at the moment’. Makes him sound like a vampire.

  154. Meltonella permalink
    October 15, 2010 11:50 AM

    My new friend Gordon Sumner was saying last night that he would love to post on your blog. I’ll give him a call, shall I?

  155. Reine permalink
    October 15, 2010 12:01 PM

    The same girl, Mish, referred to her neighbour as having “a touch of cancer” as if it were no more than a headcold. She had an hilarious turn of phrase. She would tell what she considered to be very sad stories in grave tones and everyone would fall around the place laughing.

  156. mishari permalink*
    October 15, 2010 12:05 PM

    Got to draw the line somewhere, dude…and Sting is that line.

    Boardwalk Empire looks interesting. HERE’S the wiki page. The premier episode was directed by Scorcese. Stars Steve Buscemi as an Atlantic City gang boss in The Jazz Age (flappers, bootleg gin, Thompson submachine guns). I’ll pass along the first half-dozen episodes. See what you think. I’ll bung Machete (which I haven’t watched but looks like it might be entertaining) in there as well and that Moore book about the Tour de France.

  157. October 15, 2010 12:14 PM

    Does anyone do rat-faced weasels better than Buscemi? After Fargo I can’t imagine him as a boss though.

    Meltonella? Have you had “something” removed?

  158. mishari permalink*
    October 15, 2010 12:25 PM

    Ed, you’re not the first to voice that same concern. But Buscemi plays a character who’s as much politician as gangster (he plays ‘the Boss’ of AC), so ‘weasel’ sounds about right…

    Reine, I understand the people of Hiroshima had a ‘touch of the sunburn’ in the last days of WW II…

  159. mishari permalink*
    October 15, 2010 12:28 PM

    Actually, Ed, the wiki page informs me that his character (Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, based on the historical Enoch L. Johnson) is more politician than gangster, so ‘weasel’ it is…

  160. hic8ubique permalink
    October 15, 2010 1:35 PM

    I absolutely know you never intended such a thing, Mishari. It’s very clear you have a forgiving nature to go along with your temper.
    I think file’s outbursts would seem perhaps less personally creepy and out of the blue if I explain that he and I were already con-versing in that thread, and I pushed him.
    I challenged his ‘misunderstood/unloved’ stance twice before he erupted.

    I’m sorry for that, Billy. Another time I’ll be wiser and let it go for the sake of the blog. It really was great fun til then.
    I was stunned.

    As for ‘licence and liberty’, I find ‘provocative and provoking’ to be similarly a pair often confused in discourse, sometimes a fine line between.

    I appreciate Zeph’s remarks about cultural misunderstandings among the English language speakers. That goes some way to explain Parallax’s behaviour, but then some people just have massive shoulder-chips as well.

    In that cultural sense, I won’t bring up the alpha thing again.
    To me, it’s a rather neutral indication of leadership/ responsibility/initiative. But there’s an outrage against what people call ‘self-regard’ in the UK that makes the concept of alpha seem positively fascist, or (gasp) sadistic.

    That’s disturbing to me: the idea that having any sign of self-esteem is somehow at the expense of others, when in fact it’s usually the opposite. Does this sound familiar? People who wouldn’t even display family photos due to that cultural inhibition? self-depreciative to the extent of malaise.

  161. hic8ubique permalink
    October 15, 2010 1:49 PM

    Reine, I’ll not be entertaining any jealousy. I mentioned the link to Simon’s blog in his profile as a good and convenient idea (Zeph has one too) and he encouraged me to visit.
    You know he’ll be delighted for you to drop in. He’s added photos since I saw it last.

    …and, I saw a jacket entirely covered in violet ostrich feathers and thought of you, not the whole plumes, just individual wafting feathers.
    It was spectacular, but thousands sadly, so I won’t be posting it off to you.
    I see you and MM have been at it again on PP…must investigate.

    • Reine permalink
      October 15, 2010 6:23 PM

      I don’t know what gave you the impression I like feathers Hic! x

    • Reine permalink
      October 15, 2010 6:24 PM

      Shit, that didn’t work. Try again…

      I don’t know what gave you the impression I like feathers Hic!

    • Reine permalink
      October 15, 2010 6:26 PM

      Oh for God’s sake, the moment has passed. Sorry for cluttering

  162. Zeph permalink
    October 15, 2010 2:04 PM

    Hic, in present-day Britain there’s a nasty habit of mind which says that if somebody else has success/respect/money you must hate them because it means there’ll be less for you. It isn’t natural to the Brits, (though an objection to ‘showing off’ is an ingrained part of our culture) but has become widespread in the Murdoch years.

    I’ve been a protagonist in one horrible online row and witnessed several others. They’re all pretty much the same. If the participants were present in the flesh, one could see that they were tired/upset/drunk/ill/just in a filthy mood, or that a remark had for some reason wounded them deeply, and one could respond accordingly; but absent their corporeal selves, the whole thing flares up. It’s territorial, mostly. We’re all squatters in cyberspace, trying to farm our own little patch of the ether.

  163. October 15, 2010 3:54 PM

    I generally try and stay out of these hate-storms, not because I’m a nice person but because I have a vicious temper, can be incredibly nasty and have learned over the years that no matter how much of a rush I get from lashing out, the guilt that follows is always worse. And no one ever wins an argument online. Ever.

    This one is particularly nasty, though. Often, a commenter gets rounded on en masse for a provocative comment (re atf and hip hop passim) but I’ve never seen so much unprovoked nastiness launched in one direction before.

    @Goldgathers: harness the lightning. Here are some ideas for future PP topics – My Opinions; Hip Hop (loud); Why Other People are Wrong; Historical Battles; Mutually Assured Destruction; Slander; Wartime Collaboration; Binary; The Inquisition; King Mob; Paranoia; Mountains/Molehills….

  164. hic8ubique permalink
    October 15, 2010 5:38 PM

    I find that competitive habit of mind you describe destructive, Zeph, because if people are then unwilling to find their individual expression and speak up or otherwise present their inspirations it’s more power to the ‘Murdochs’, a monstrous cycle.
    A double-edged opportunity, as everything about the net seems to be. It also seems to come out in the way people drive, competition that is. When some enormous vehicle is ‘squatting’ in the fast lane, talking on the phone, ignoring everyone trying to get by, I feel a rising loss of equanimity and a primal urge to have a go at them. A few choice words under my breath usually suffices.

    Exit~ ‘not because I’m a nice person…’
    that’s amusing and endearing.

  165. mishari permalink*
    October 15, 2010 6:30 PM

    It’s true, hic…XB used to be a little ray of sunshine, always smiling, patting children on the head, feeding the squirrels and saying ‘Hello, birds, hello trees…’ and then one fell day, the iron entered his soul, acid-sour and broken-glass sharp.

    He grew fangs and claws and walked up and down in the earth, seeking whom he might devour…and just when his Osmonds tribute band was getting off the ground, too. It’s all so very sad…

  166. October 15, 2010 6:59 PM

    Right, both of you. You’ve made my List. Happy now?

  167. InvisibleJack permalink
    October 15, 2010 8:09 PM

    Had a migraine most of today. Feeling better in that my head doesn’t ache so much, just that weird after-buzz you get post-migraine, but I’m still feeling fairly putrid and weak. Spent a good bit of the day in bed.

    Despite that, the day was otherwise quite encouraging!

    I have always admired Ofile’s approach to poetry, he offers a counter perspective on the PP blog that makes it all the better. But personal attacks are really unacceptable and none of us should tolerate them by even our silence. I’m personally saddened by this latest fiasco. As for the others, I really do think that some posters are just there to take the piss.

    I don’t want to abandon PP, but I’m giving this current thread a miss for a week at least. I might actually wait it out until the next one. The thing is, I do like composing poems for it and I don’t want to allow pissants to sully the satisfaction I get from it. But, more than that, I like discovering new poems (and poets) on there, and it’s annoying to see the deranged few spoil it for everyone else. If it looks like nothing but a madhouse then prospective posters will give it a wide berth.

    Billy, do keep the blog going. We’ll be there with the poems.

    Jack Brae

  168. Reine permalink
    October 15, 2010 9:18 PM

    Poor Jack had “a touch of the migraine”
    Reclined on his poetic bed
    Sworn off epigrammatic endeavour
    He’s awaiting a clear-headed thread

    Glad you’re feeling better J.

  169. hic8ubique permalink
    October 16, 2010 12:46 AM

    Reine bird,
    say the word;
    I’ll purchase the jacket
    howsoever absurd.
    ~
    XB~ A dear old friend of mine has HenryIV up and running.
    I asked whether he had a cast, back when you were out of work, but he already did.
    Haven’t seen it yet… If you ever want to make the leap, let me know and I’ll be happy to put you in touch, and to put it about what a scourge you really are.
    http://www.actorsshakespeareproject.org/
    Whatever your List is, at least I’m in good company.
    ‘Pastime with…’
    ~
    Jack~ I heartily agree with your last post, and am truly moved to learn that you too are a migraineur. Mine are under control in recent years, but it’s been quite a journey. If you ever wish to discuss options for managing them, you are more than welcome to contact me: hic8ubique@gmail.com
    My epigram run seems to have aborted as well.
    I wanted to encourage you to make a WordPress profile, perhaps with your martian image, and add a link to your facebook page. It would be convenient for us who aren’t often on FB to pop in and see your posts.

    Mishari~ good to see you are back ‘in sorts’. Safe home. x

  170. Meltonella permalink
    October 16, 2010 10:46 AM

    I see you as Mouldy or Wart, Exit.

  171. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    October 16, 2010 11:39 AM

    my children say i
    look like gaius from merlin
    i don’t believe it

    • Reine permalink
      October 16, 2010 12:23 PM

      V witty H. Hope things are more settled in HLMville these days.

  172. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    October 16, 2010 1:17 PM

    Sadly Frank passed on this Wednesday evening after a three-week struggle. Daughter 1 is enjoying BrockenHurst College, Daughter 2 has found a school near Lymington. My wife and the dogg are in England too. I’m in Paris panicking about deadlines. Nothing like a crisis to focus the mind. If left to my own devices, though, I tend to concentrate on new and interesting ways to unfocus it, before falling back on the tried and trusted ways.

  173. Reine permalink
    October 16, 2010 1:29 PM

    Oh I’m very sorry to hear that Henry. Rest in peace Frank. Poor Mrs HLM. Ye are due some good and happy times ahead. x

  174. hic8ubique permalink
    October 16, 2010 3:52 PM

    Condolences, Moon. Good to hear from you.
    This is a beautiful aphorism. I’m inspired to collect it.

    “Nothing like a crisis to focus the mind. If left to my own devices, though, I tend to concentrate on new and interesting ways to unfocus it, before falling back on the tried and trusted ways.”
    ~HLM

    I need to decide whether to create folders in which to save favourite remarks from each of you, or whether to continue my erratic practice of leaving scribbled bits of paper tucked into books where they lie in wait to surprise me someday.

    I posted this one, inspired by your dead-at-the-moment friend, Reine:

    Very Sort of Pu

    There’s been a degree of chaos, slightly pandaemonium
    that’s interfered with processing our just-for-volts plutonium.

    ‘Very sort of’ is one of the silliest descriptive habits in common parlance.

  175. Meltonella permalink
    October 16, 2010 4:29 PM

    My sympathies, HLM.

    Some Islanders do their 6th form at Brockenhurst – better choice of subjects, I think. D1 should be able to spot them by the vestigial second head located behind the ear; the sixth finger and tail are usually removed at birth. Safe to approach, though communication can be difficult.

  176. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    October 16, 2010 5:53 PM

    Thanks, guys. Really.

    It seems I missed a few meltdowns. I imagine the prince hacked down dissidents from his noble white steed. I have no problem with alpha males, being more of a delta male: slow-moving, covering a vast area, and constantly at the mercy of dames upstream…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 16, 2010 8:34 PM

      I’m sorry, none available; we only stock milk-white steeds.

  177. freep permalink
    October 16, 2010 6:14 PM

    ‘Very sort of’ is very sort of amusing because it is foolish. But I wonder if anyone shares my current bete noire – no, not the habit of politicians of saying ‘going forward’ in every sentence – but the injunction to ‘enjoy’ everything.

    It is not possible for any waiter to resist saying ‘enjoy your meal’ as s/he dumps the plate of neapolitan goo before you, nor for the hotel receptionist to forget to say enjoy your stay as you shuffle up the dark corridor to room 2014B. But worse. There used to be something called the English Tourist Board. Now it is called ‘Enjoy Britain’. Suppose I do not want to? Is life only for enjoyment? Cannot I be permitted to luxuriate in my chosen gloom? But I am old.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 16, 2010 8:42 PM

      I’m peeved by being addressed as ‘guys’.

      hic or spouse: ‘Thankyou’

      service person: ‘No problem, guys.’

      In fact, when combined with ‘no problem’, as if I’d imagined my patronage was causing them a problem, ‘peeved’ doesn’t suffice to express my irritation.
      I hope this habit of speech never infests your environs, freep.

    • Reine permalink
      October 16, 2010 8:48 PM

      I have no problem with guys.

  178. mishari permalink*
    October 16, 2010 6:36 PM

    …and with age, comes wisdom, freep: enjoy!

  179. mishari permalink*
    October 16, 2010 6:42 PM

    Sorry about your FIL, Hank. But a stroke is a massive insult to the brain: the worse the insult, the more merciful I think it is to just leave one’s moorings quietly and drift away, like my father:

    Under the wide and starry sky
    Dig the grave and let me lie;
    Gladly did I live and gladly die,
    And I lay me down with a will.
    This little verse you grave for me,
    “Here he lies where he longed to be,
    Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
    And the hunter is home from the hill.

  180. Reine permalink
    October 16, 2010 7:54 PM

    I came home from town today full of the joys of autumn to find HI holding one of his teeth in his hand, it having come loose while he was eating some soda bread. It was very sort of disturbing.

  181. hic8ubique permalink
    October 16, 2010 8:27 PM

    Endjoy

    Wisdom: the sole consolation of age.
    I expect to be sager attaining that stage.

  182. hic8ubique permalink
    October 16, 2010 8:53 PM

    Here’s little a Gore Vidal story for you, MM…

    A friend of mine, living in Greenwich Village when he was young, worked hard in the effort to unseat Carmine DeSapio over the course of several elections, with the support of Mrs Roosevelt. He had occasion to lunch with Gore Vidal, while working for Little Brown as I recall, and the recent triumph of the Liberal Democrats came up.
    Oh yes, said Vidal, I just saw Mrs Roosevelt at a party and she said she never would forgive Carmine for obstructing her son’s Senate nomination, and had vowed to defeat him for it.

    That revelation marked the end of my friend’s youthful idealism.

  183. Zeph permalink
    October 16, 2010 9:12 PM

    HLM: condolences, hope your wife is OK. I lost a parent the same way; there are worse ways to go, I think.

    Surely freep has always been wise?

  184. Reine permalink
    October 16, 2010 9:17 PM

    Freep, as someone who spends a lot of time excising or radically amending phrases like “going forward”, “in relation to”, “ticking the boxes”, “the feeling on the ground”, “At the outset, can I just say, notwithstanding…”, “the public pulse”, “extremely unique” and my all-time favourite “cognisant of this new paradigm…” in her day job, I’d go wild with excitement at an occurrence of “enjoy”!

  185. Meltonella permalink
    October 16, 2010 10:23 PM

    I can see why that must have disappointed your friend, hic. Though you know in theory how things work in politics, it’s always a surprise (to me at least) when it’s spelled out. Reading Jonathan Powell’s account of the relations between Brown and Blair was quite depressing (and bloody funny at the same time).

    My favourite Vidalism was his description of American astronauts: Rotarians in space.

  186. October 17, 2010 12:50 AM

    @HLM, regards and condolences. Strength to you all. To quote Mistress Q, ‘he’s in Arthur’s bosom…’A made a finer end, and went away.’

    @Hic

    Well, thanks. Henry IV are two of my favourites, although I failed to catch them at the Globe this summer. Beautiful, melancholy, very funny and more London than Gin Lane.

    I’m hoping to get a play of mine staged next year. It’s a sex comedy, so there should be at least some marketing potential (sadly needed even before the forthcoming Government purging of UK arts). Happily, as you now understand, any obstacles toward the stage will be torched by the white flame of my divine fury.

  187. hic8ubique permalink
    October 17, 2010 1:15 AM

    Hots~ I’m sure we’d all be annealed by any reading you might wish to offer for preview.
    May Juno sing her blessing on you.

  188. Hots permalink
    October 17, 2010 1:31 AM

    Writing this from my cheapo phone-the final frontier. @hic – i would love to. but how does one preview theatre online? good night sweet ladies (and guys), goodnight.

  189. hic8ubique permalink
    October 17, 2010 1:42 AM

    Reine~ that’s an intensely vixenish development following your Grey period. Fierce, but the plumage was good too.

    Mishari, what’s all that then about armies and jurisdictions?
    Must it remain a mystery? I feel all quizzical.

    What cats like, I find, is a person who doesn’t rush at them, but makes a respectful acknowledgement with laconic eye contact from a distance, perhaps blinking once slowly, and lowering a hand to cat level. That usually elicits a response if the cat finds it a convenient time for social engagement, and may even inspire a courteous approach and greeting, or not.

    Anyone who’s not tried blinking at a relaxed cat may be surprised by how invariably the blink will be returned.
    Good manners come foremost with cats. It’s paramount that one never address them as ‘guys’.

  190. Reine permalink
    October 17, 2010 11:55 AM

    Hic, I was trying to revert to my original pic – the plumage having been for a particular purpose and looking rather too hallowe’enish – and uploaded that instead. I was in the clutches of some discord or other that day with my beloved (the photographer), might explain the “I am not amused” look.

    I am greatly taken by your cat etiquette tutorial. Must try out the blinking.

    Hots – a sex comedy, I’m badly in need of a career change. Any role for a buxom brunette who can cry or scream with alarming alacrity?

  191. October 17, 2010 3:13 PM

    @reine

    no crying or screaming necessary (although maybe I should write some in, people do seem to like all that).

    Really, anyone I can persuade to put their name to the fringe theatre equivalent of the Book of Genesis directed by Pasolini and Benny Hill is more than welcome to share the fleeting glory and lingering remorse.

    Does the screaming often come in handy?

    • Reine permalink
      October 17, 2010 7:38 PM

      The screaming is mostly counterproductive Exit – I scream to elicit a reaction and get none other than the object of my attention rushing around closing windows. You’d think I’d save myself the bother at this stage but it is rather therapeutic. I am not a screamer in the other sense you might mean. Lived beside one in my early twenties for a few years; we rarely got any sleep and neither did she by the sounds of it. It was very odd; she looked very mousy in the daylight but obviously came into her own at night.

  192. Zeph permalink
    October 17, 2010 3:44 PM

    Hic’s right about the blinking – it indicates your friendly intentions, because to cats a direct stare is threatening, as with most predators. (That’s also why they often go and sit by the person in the room who isn’t looking at them and saying “Here, kitty kitty”. ) They almost always blink back.

    Exit, bribe a critic to describe it as ‘an enjoyable romp’, that seems to bring in the coach parties.

  193. October 17, 2010 4:16 PM

    XB Just write an outright lie about what it is. Preferably something provocative. You win both ways – it stirs up a debate, the crowds become curious, critics defend its use of boredom as a strategic weapon and random mutilation of live guinea pigs and the box office soars.

    Just avoid using anything that offends Christian Voice – they seem well organised at being offended, which is fine, but they are pretty effective at getting things closed down.

  194. October 17, 2010 4:19 PM

    HLM My condolences too. Having recently experienced the death of a parent I hope I know how difficult it is to deal with the range of feelings that are unleashed.

  195. hic8ubique permalink
    October 17, 2010 5:09 PM

    I think of the deliberate blink as blowing a cat-kiss, Zeph.

    Let us know whether your cat relations improve as a result, Re.
    ( naturally you’ll want to omit your crying/screaming repertoire during these encounters)

    Hots~ I was thinking of a taping of a read-through of perhaps just a scene from your script. Sometimes original plays get that live treatment here for preview audiences, followed by discussion.
    It might be an interesting adaptive experiment for your blog?

    • Reine permalink
      October 17, 2010 7:43 PM

      Oh, I’d never scream at a cat Hic. Relations with felines I presume you mean as opposed to my “cat”* relations – bit late in the day for their improvement. Only joking if any of you finds me…

      *(Irish people use “cat” as an adjective meaning desperate, terrible – don’t know how universal it is.)

    • Reine permalink
      October 17, 2010 7:48 PM

      An abbreviation of cat melodeon for anyone interested.

  196. October 17, 2010 5:53 PM

    @hic – The audio idea is a very good one indeed. I know an excellent actor with a lot of radio experience I could work with. Food for thought, thanks.

    @zeph – the only problem I can even imagine is that the critics’ reaction will be so positive that people will become suspicious and assume I’ve bribed them. Blue skies all the way.

    @ed – ‘Just avoid using anything that offends Christian Voice’

    That could really, I mean really, be a problem. Although maybe they’ll be distracted from the frequent attacks upon and satirical rewriting of holy scripture by the almost constant nudity. Y’know, in an enjoyable romp kind of way.

  197. October 17, 2010 6:07 PM

    XB I’m getting the picture. Ecclesiastes meets the Paul Raymond Revue ……. with hilarious consequences.

    Perhaps you could ask Phillip Green ( I think that’s the name of chief CV stirrer ) if he wants the lead role?

  198. Meltonella permalink
    October 17, 2010 8:15 PM

    The Semen On The Mount? The Last Slapper? The Sexual Acts Of The Apostles?

  199. Reine permalink
    October 17, 2010 8:22 PM

    The Lady Garden of Getsomeofme

    Calvary or Bust

    Cock Crow Capers

  200. mishari permalink*
    October 17, 2010 9:22 PM

    St. Paul’s Piss-take to The Ephesians

  201. hic8ubique permalink
    October 17, 2010 11:07 PM

    …set off by the great hymenal prelude:
    “Lo, the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph”

    I’m dinner party bound for now, but delighted to anticipate partaking of the new thread…

  202. goldgathers permalink
    October 18, 2010 8:26 AM

    Condolences, HLM.

    Splendid suggestions, exitbarnadine, but I may pass.

    Cat melodeon (pr. “malogeon”) is pretty universal in Ireland, I believe, but nowhere else, Reine.

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