Scouring for potential customers on the twitters, I was struck by the odd reputation poetry has. Apart from the rather dull meme of the problem of Kindle formatting, and the usual chit-chat about rap being poetry anf vice versa; I was interested to note the cliche of poetry being a 'cry from the soul' being repeated in various forms.

The gullible often look at this as being something deep. And the trendy tend to use it to reveal the deeper truths that lie behind the committee thinking of the 'liberal consensus'.

As someone who is happily married - well we would be if hetrosexualists hadn't forbidden civil partnership as an option - with three kids, I can vouch for the power of words correctly applied.

The missus and I met at a poetry gig in a working men's club (and you don't get more Room at the Top than that), and after a bit of cat dance, she wooed as surely and firmly as Cyrano de Bergerac. It's funny look back on it. Because there we were at the local poetry group, her at one end of the table, I at the other. The read round began. Frank with his marvelously seductive nature poetry, John with his Guardian reading sensibility oozing through his text, me with some piece of whimsy; and on the wheel turned in the candle light. Until it got to the missus.

Her poem was simplicity itself, A list of tell tales signs that she had fallen in love - a workmate noticing she wore brighter lipstick - was the line that sticks in my head. It's an odd feeling to be on the end of such a direct invitation. A heartfelt missive. A cry from the heart if you will.

When she had finished, the discussion centred upon the the perceived feminist message of the poem, and how all the items listed, and the situations described, were indicative of the patriarchal oppression of women. But as I sipped my beer, and toked my rollie, I fixed the missus with a beady eye, unable to move because of the erection.

Another example that sticks in my mind, is a Kathy Benson poem about her grandmother's house. In it she mentions the clocks. I was instantly transported to my grandma's, where on the hour, every hour, the clocks up and down her street would chime over the space of three minutes.

Random picture to keep the Facebook interesting....


Short Selling

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....

Free Stuff

The more observant readers will notice the new content in the sidebar.

The less observant should look for the links under the title Audible Poems.

These are of me reading some of the poems wot I rote.

So for those who want to try before they buy, just click the links.


Joining the Club

And so the task of selling the book begins.

I hit upon the idea of joining forums, so that I could pimp links, which in turn would feed the spiders and bump me up the search rankings. The problem is that I have never been much interested in epeening on forums. But needs must....

So off I go.

I sign up to a forum that appears to be either popular, or paying, as it is the top of the googles.

The usual schtick is to type the letters and numbers to prove you are not a robot. Not here. 'who wrote the Raven?' they want to know. Edgar Alan Poe, I reply. Wrong. Fill in the passwords again, next question. 'Who wrote Pride and Prejudice?' Ummmm.... Jane Austen or is it Jane Austin? I don't know, having never managed to wade through more than a page and a half of her work - they are great on the radio, but unreadable. Reset passwords. 'Mary had a little lamb it's fleece was....?' And I'm in.

I'm then faced with a profile page that is either very specifically designed in order to give an accurate reflection of the hidden truths of the creative process, or they are selling it to the NSA.

The question that really baffled me was 'what level of criticism would you like?' There were three options ranging from 'just my poetry' to 'Maoist character assassination.' Actually this was perhaps not the most baffling because there were about ten choices for those wishing to express their romantic relationship. I didn't even know there were ten choices of relationship. The choice clearly fed into the next question, as to what sort of friendship I was seeking with other members. I found myself wondering at this point if they took luncheon vouchers, as it was all getting a little too Madam Cyn for my taste.

All I want is to pimp a few links, and suddenly I am being asked to declare my level of willingness to take Elizabeth Barrett Browning up the coal scuttle.

Clearly this sandwich board business is not so easy as I was led to believe.

It Arises

The Blue Book is now available on kindle.


You Have Been Warned

Post modern, feminist, lapsed pagan, one time vegetarian, pacifist warmonger, are all labels that could apply to the work of Jeremy Young.

Flippant, irreverent, overly serious, and challenging to the point of obscurity, are some more descriptions.

Bearded, is another.

Were Edna Wellthorpe still in possession of a pen, her libations would be filling the letter pages of newspapers within the Clitheroe, Batley, Goole triangle, at the outrageous, subversiveness of Young's poetic messages. Subjects such as war, love, sex, death, cross dressing, ex girlfriends, animal rights, stillbirth, mental health, erections on buses, mysticism, and poking fun at the Daily Mail, can only upset the impressionable and corrupt the morals of the young.

From his Ilkey lair Young plans - when he can work out who to upload a Kindle book - to unleash the Pilgrimage of Grace that is the dreaded Blue Book.