too good to be true, then it
Wednesday, 27 March 2019
Tuesday, 26 March 2019
Today, I read a poem, and now I need Trauma Counselling. ‘Hello,’ I say, into my phone, ‘is that the Poetry Trauma Counselling Hotline?’ but I have failed to dial the number because , of course, there isn’t one; the Poetry Trauma Hotline does not exist. ‘How embarrassing,’ I say to myself. ‘Not as embarrassing as reading poetry,’ my inner critic replies.
I decide, instead, to phone the Embarrassed Englishman’s Hotline, but they are too busy to take my call and I find myself 1,457, 694th in the queue. I hang up. Mainly because of the muzak.
I spend the next seven minutes deciding not to go to A and E, the nearest thing the NHS has to a trauma unit (or does the NHS have trauma units? And what is a trauma unit equal to? A mile? A ton? Four cubic kilometres? A week? I decide to stop asking myself flippant questions. After all, this is an emergency.)
I reject the idea that I should pretend to phone the Samaritans and fabricate a conversation along the lines of, ‘Is reading a poem some sort of euphemism, sir? What type of poem was it? How many did you read?’ because it would be crassly insensitive.
My wife walks in, ‘ ‘Sup?’ she asks (she doesn’t; she only ever speaks in properly constructed sentences, with subject, verb, predicate, and – interestingly – punctuation).
‘Today, I read a poem,’ I explain, ‘and now I need Trauma Counselling.’
‘Open speech marks Was the poem you read one of yours question mark close speech marks’ (Now you see why I abbreviated her previous question.)
‘Normally, I would say yes,’ I reply, ‘but this was one of those found poems you hear about.’
I point to the piece of paper on the table.
‘Open speech marks That apostrophe 's my To Do List full-stop. It apostrophe 's not a poem full-stop close speech marks.’
‘Tomayto/Tomarto,’ I say. ‘I read it as a poem, ergo it is a poem, ergo I need Trauma Counselling.’
‘Open speech marks ellipsis close speech marks’ she says.
‘What?’ I ask. Now it’s her turn to point.
I look again at my wife’s To Do List (and what’s a poem but a glorified list?). It is written on infinity paper, the only paper long enough to accommodate all of the things on a teacher’s To Do List/Poem (cry for help?).
‘Open speech marks I apostrophe 'm the one who needs Trauma Counselling full-stop close speech marks’ she says.
I read the first line of the List/Poem/Cry-for-Help and set about buying all of the ice-cream in a five-mile radius (Trauma Counselling/Comfort Eating, potayto/potarto, sort of thing).
Tomorrow I will hit the Off Licences.
We’ll take it from there.
Thursday, 21 March 2019
Wednesday, 20 March 2019
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
Monday, 18 March 2019
For my showstopper on ‘Unheard-of Poets: Bake Off Special’, I choreographed (you have to have dance in a ‘showstopper’, surely? Otherwise, what kind of show is it?) a dozen meringues dancing to a specially commissioned song (which the composer, me, called ‘Let’s All Bake Paul Hollywood, Literally’). Getting the meringues to the right exterior crunch/interior chewiness is usually the tricky part with baking these things, but for this showstopper, it was getting the meringues to co-ordinate their dance moves with their singing (fact: harder than it sounds).
Culinarily, the meringues could best be described as ‘less than satisfactory, even for a gimmicky version of this show’ (this said by a rather defensive Mr Hollywood, who was probably still reeling from the unflattering chorus about his general air of smugness/creepiness), but the singing and dancing were surprisingly adequate (‘by meringue musical theatre standards’ – apparently).
Henceforth, I shall choreograph all of my kitchen creations to original compositions. My vegan ballroom-dancing (cha-cha-cha) shepherd’s pie (word and music, ‘I Saw My Sheep Come Sailing By’, by self) is coming along particularly well.
I redraft my latest unfinished sentence
on the walls of the library.
Orange crayons are my favourite writing implement,
or is it utensil? (or is it implement?)
Picasso claimed his artistic ambition
was to paint like a child
(he never quite scaled those heights,
in my humble/ignorant opinion).
I tried this as a poet, but when you’re limited
to monosyllabic words, mainly misspelt,
then you end up sounding as competent
as an Instagram poet (well, I say poet).
Writing in orange crayon
is my way of compromising
with my inner childpoet
(neologism dictionary compilers
please take note).