A while ago, when I didn't give a shit and had something to say - as opposed to now, when I have something to sell and don't give a shit - I wrote a sketch about London to pass the time on a bus journey, which included this passage....
I can’t be bothered to say that line again, you’ll have got it by now.
I’m old enough to remember Madness and the alien embassy
at Marble Arch, in what was once the proud offices
of BCCI. So the fact that there is a Boots on Carnaby Street
no longer shocks me. I did have a smile at the new people TV
format adopted by the armed forces for the current war.
And, I did wonder why so many of the statues were war memorials.
And I did stare in wonder at the Hugeneot church that
gazes across the leafy square to the offices of Twentieth Century Fox
and think – this isn’t the place they planned D Day –
and come to think of it why is there a statue to Marshal Foch?
And I wonder if we as a nation have buildings cover?
And if so, can we claim against the Boots on Carnaby Street,
and the lack of bookshops on the Charing Cross Road
and the lack of decent books inside them.
And how much for a coffee?
Does that include the flight to Kenya?
Don't worry it's not in the new book, it's a sketch.
Still, I read it at a local writers group and this woman went off on one about my descriptions of bookshops. I had seen her the previous week in just such an establishment, sipping a latte - I love that northerners pronounce it latty - reading some sort of earnest feminist tract with airbrushed cover and prose.
I mention this because of the ongoing business of price for The Blue Book. I have succumbed to the harpies crying at me for daring to ask a fair price. For some reason it is outrageous to ask for one hour of someone's time at minimum wage in order to pay for a piece of art. So now I am only asking half an hour at minimum wage.
Of course the trick I am missing is that I should be touting tales of salacious liaisons between Big Foot and an enthralling lady vampire, which is an avenue I intend to explore. Indeed I am currently working on a fantasy fiction that will have a homosexual dwarf as one of the main characters - once I have got through the first part, that ends with the death of a nymphomaniac princess at the jaws of a magical dragon. After all if you are going into the penny dreadful market, you might as well go the whole hog.
Which brings me to a rather absurd notion, the cost to page ratio.
Clearly someone has done a webenar on this, or there is some website or another along those the lines of those 'how to write' books. As it appears to be something that the slaves are very keen on.
I don't dismiss the theory out of hand, as in the past I have thought long and hard about the subject of pricing a poem. Perhaps the solution ultimately is something like the Apple music store, where you buy the track you want and ignore the artistic entirety of the album. As a concept it is nice, you could have your poetry playlist - Stop up the clocks, the opening to Under Milk Wood, a couple of Pam Ayres, that John Donne one about his mistress - but it would rather defeat the point of Taking Tea with Kingsley Amis.
But back to this idea of never mind the quality feel the width.
How many haiku's would equal the Tay Bridge Disaster?
At which point you might say anthologies already fulfill both of these functions.
And indeed they do. But rather like free kindle books, they also leave a great deal unread.
Random picture of the day - purely to brighten up the Facebook feed....