This one comes with a po’m. Or kitchen sink rant, if you prefer. Yes, sorry about that. My Muse is a bully wot cannot be denied and I fucking wish she’d retire and go live in Sicily, or somewhere far enough from me, or run away with a nice boy Muse, or just run away and get eaten by a passing Shantak Bird, or something. But she won’t, worse luck. So I’m stuck with her and you lot with my poetry, Bumba have mercy on us all … Or perhaps not. Perhaps indifferent poetry is also a valid tool and I should be grateful that She’s still around and willing. Who knows… (Who cares…)
Meeting Strangers. (For Jane Austen.) It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single FlatFish in possession of a large cave and several square feet of tasty seaweed must be in want of a wife. Or two. Pushy mothers are not the sole preserve of the human race, obviously.
The Storyteller. Sometimes on moonless nights with nothing half decent on the telly I metamorphose into this blue blob-like thing, borrow a few cats from the neighbours, gather my Shoggoths and I tell stories. They are all arbitrarily made up and bear no relation whatsoever to any known narrative tradition, foreign or domestic. The Shoggies really like them and the cats are too polite to say what they really think about them -but they keep on coming back for more. Recently a stray Cagnolito of Tindalos has started dropping in to these soirées (more like gatecrash, I think; I don’t remember inviting him, honest), but nobody minds because he behaves so well we are all beginning to wonder whether he is truly one of that ilk. Why, last time he actually showed up with a bag of cat biscuits, a large carton of Smarties and a bottle of a very nice red of uncertain origins (the label was ever so fuzzy and it was smeared with what looked suspiciously like blood). What’s the Final Void coming to, that’s what I’d like to know?
Funny old life. You plod through one of those long dry periods where nothing happens and nothing will come and then you get the art equivalent of the runs. Not complaining about the diarrhea, though. I’m enjoying this abundance enormously. So, here they are, the latest paridas.
BoulderFish. A very distant relative of our old chum BoulderGirl, he fulfils a similar role in all & sundry aquatic environments. That is, he shadow-dances dimensional insurrections into being and, on a good day, he’ll be able to call up a watery sipapu . If you’re very, very, very lucky, you might find him lurking temporarily in the depths of your water tank. Offer him a little cake or a few drops of vodka and he’ll see what he can do. A word of caution. Do not overdo it with the vodka. He’s extremely susceptible to high-proof spirits and you don’t want a riotously drunk and possibly disorderly BoulderFish on your karma, trust me. And here’s a wee link for your delectation and instruction in case you didn’t know a Sipapu from an ordinary hole in the ground: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sipapu
Brief EncounterV. Those two unrepentant troublemakers Rhys and Rhodri have caused the mother of all psycho-magnetic storms just for the hell of it -either because they were bored, or because they were tetchy owing to the last bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon being corked; or perhaps they were thinking that Wales is getting too respectable, what with the Brexit vote and all, who knows. Indeed who can know the workings of a Lloigor’s mind. Fact is that all sort of innocent bystanders have been caught in and left to cope with it best they could. The tiny Crinkly SlugThing, a tough enough creature in normal or semi-normal circumstances but pretty defenceless against howling psychic gales, has been reduced to hitching a ride on the tail of Gwen, the Bobbly BearGon*, much to the beastie’s surprise. Well, there’s the Lloigor for you. Totally out of control, often out of order, but who’s gonna dare say “boo” to them? *Exozoology Note. A BearGon is a hybrid myffological being, half bear, half dragon. Originally a species native to East London, they moved to the Brecon Beacons several centuries ago, when Hackney started becoming fashionable and Epping Forest was enclosed and turned into a playground for Tudor brats.
Tadpole Tittle-Tattle. The Tories should autoeuthanase for shame. It’s bad enough that their alfresco bribe to the Paisleyites makes any decent person’s piss boil and that we all feel compelled to blush ourselves radioactive on their behalf at such obscene shenanigans, but when this sort of brazen jiggery-pokery shocks the exquisite sensibilities of small, delicate microorganisms like the Webby Tadpoles to kingdom come, the offence is beyond unforgivable. I feel like quoting stern bits out of Ecclesiastes, or my all-time fiery favourite* and advocating the reinstatement of public hanging, pour encourager les autres, I do. *But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Small Mercies (aka Ugly No.1). Here be a perfect example both of the simple, innocent delights of a jolly old ad hominem attack and the health benefits of selective schadenfreude. Take a leaf off this here Ugly’s book: No matter how ungainly and ill-favoured he may be he will never-ever be as repulsive as the Orange Duck. And whatever his intellectual shortcomings, they are NOT, I repeat NOT a patch on the stupidity of, say, a CNN news editor or a BBC grandee. Now, apply these values to yourself. See? You feel better already. You’re welcome.