Sometimes I’ve felt that poetry serves a role for me in addressing a crisis before it becomes fact, allowing me to thrash it out on own terms.

-Chris McCabe, in The Best British Poetry 2015.

Centenary

Somewhere there’s a photo of me getting what I think might be my first drink, outside the thumb dipped in gin for the gripe; it’s me in a blazer, certainly preteen, and my grandfather sharing his ruby port. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the birthday meals he used to host for his wider family – wife, two daughters, their husbands, their two children each – and that means it’s an exact number of years from today, which would have been his 100th birthday. He was so keen to see it, and missed by less than two years. I have been drinking port tonight in salute, and I wish it could have been with him.

La sottise, l’erreur, le péché, la lésine.

I found a seventeen year old notebook today, about half full of poems and quotes in my own younger handwriting (better handwriting) that I clearly wanted to remember or keep. One was the Baudelaire quote that’s the title here – folly, error, vice greed, and no note to self why I wanted to save that. I still like quite a lot of them, which either means I had good taste then or I’ve not developed a better one. Some embarrassments I shouldn’t share. Some I know aren’t great but I like anyway. Some I remember writing down – when I found the HD poem’Choros from Morpheus’ I could remember the slightly musty paperback I found it in, the bed at my aunt’s I was sitting in as I transcribed it, and I’m pretty sure the wintry sun shining on the page as I did. Others I don’t recall at all, but I’m happy to rediscover Allison Eir Jenks’ Heaven, which you can find here if you’ve got login privileges.

This also is in there, from Martin Millar’s Ruby and the Stone Age Diet:

We disappear into our separate rooms and I get back to staring at my pot plant. I had considered writing a poem but now I don’t feel much like it because with Ruby in such a bad mood I will have no-one to show it to. But this is probably just as well, because I am a terrible poet.

I think copying that means I was having a low self esteem day.

nothing to hide nothing to fear

N+0

For too long we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.

N+1

For too long we have been a passively tolerant sociologist, scab to our cities: as long as you obey the lawn, we will leave you alone.

N+2

For too long we have been a passively tolerant sociology, scabbard to our civilians: as long as you obey the lawsuit, we will leave you alone.

N+3

For too long we have been a passively tolerant sock, scaffold to our civilities: as long as you obey the lawyer, we will leave you alone.

N+4

For too long we have been a passively tolerant socket, scald to our civilizations: as long as you obey the laxative, we will leave you alone.

N+5

For too long we have been a passively tolerant sod, scale to our clacks: as long as you obey the layabout, we will leave you alone.

N+6

For too long we have been a passively tolerant soda, scallop to our claims: as long as you obey the lay-by, we will leave you alone.

N+7

For too long we have been a passively tolerant sofa, scallywag to our claimants: as long as you obey the layer, we will leave you alone.

N+8

For too long we have been a passively tolerant soft, scalp to our clairvoyants: as long as you obey the layette, we will leave you alone.

N+9

For too long we have been a passively tolerant softball, scalpel to our clams: as long as you obey the layman, we will leave you alone.

N+10

For too long we have been a passively tolerant softener, scamp to our clambers: as long as you obey the layoff, we will leave you alone.

N+11

For too long we have been a passively tolerant softie, scamper to our clamours: as long as you obey the layout, we will leave you alone.

N+12

For too long we have been a passively tolerant soft-pedal, scan to our clamps: as long as you obey the laze, we will leave you alone.

N+13

For too long we have been a passively tolerant software, scandal to our clampdowns: as long as you obey the leader, we will leave you alone.

N+14

For too long we have been a passively tolerant softwood, scandalmonger to our clans: as long as you obey the leadership, we will leave you alone.

N+15

For too long we have been a passively tolerant softy, scanner to our clangs: as long as you obey the lead-in, we will leave you alone.

(I use http://www.spoonbill.org/n+7/)

Very Satiated Chrysalides

I have one of the least likely to win entries in David Schirdaun’s 200-word game competition, probably, but it’s been interesting trying to wrap a bit of formalism into each instruction. Here’s a direct link: Very Satiated Chrysalides.

It’s been a joy to discover that you could refer to butterflies as imagines (four syllables).

Edited to add: I say unlikely as there are some splendid things in there I’d prefer, even with my conflict of interest. Vikings Having Feelings, say, Unfinished or Slay You Perfect Speakers. Also, A Better Person speaks to me.