I’ve got a poem for you, a very short one, he promised with a garrulous grin, and then, in a long-winded introduction in which all the masters of brevity were cited, he proceeded to demolish the very notion of shortness. The poem took ten seconds, the intro five minutes.
I do not much like her novels.
They are crammed with characters like clowns jammed in jalopies.
But I like her epilogues.
They are lean and succinct, sinewy.
A bit like you, Bev says with a chuckle.
I may not have a novel in me but I have a draw full of epilogues.
And when push comes to shove I can pump out prologues at the drop of a hat.
It’s the in-between bits I’m not good at.
I could leave them to someone else.
Jilly Cooper, for instance.
“I have never read Jane Austen.”
“Emily Bronte and Jean Rhys but
never Jane Austen.”
“You should be ashamed of yourself,”
So I hung my head in shame and kept on
not reading Jane Austen.
You’re my Oxycontin
My Iron Jack
My slug of Scotch
My Gin & Tonic
My second glass of red
My six-pack of beer
My magic board that surfs over anxiety & tedium
Just the thing for a long flight
my paperback of Tim Winton’s ‘Breath’
Is it any good pleading? Thompson says.
For your life? Not really.
But you can’t just toss me aside like a dog carcass, not after all I’ve done for you.
You were more than serviceable, W admits. But you’ve served your purpose. You can’t argue with me.
Will it be painless?
Well, get it over with then.
One minute, W says.
He reaches into his satchel and pulls out his laptop.
Finish your drink, W says. Out with the old and in with the new, he smiles, keyboarding fiercely.
And with that, Thompson is gone.
The vivacity of verbs
The hulk of hard nouns
The ribaldry and racket of the non-standard
The irruption of oddities
The salty tang of sentences
A strange brew of language
Found from ‘Trainspotting’ to ‘A Clockwork Orange’
To the poetry and plays
of C J Dennis.
I am reading an annoying little novel called ‘To The Lighthouse’.
I am on page 138 and they still haven’t got there — though they talk about it a lot: whether they will or they won’t and on what day they should venture forth? It is always the weather.
Hamlet, if he were written a few hundred years later, would have loved it. He was a ditherer too. There’s even a skull he could have addressed as ‘Alas. Poor Yorick’ though sadly it belonged to a sheep.
I’m getting tired of these people. They need a cattle prod applied to a certain part of their anatomy — though it may be it is not the book for me. I didn’t much like ‘Hamlet’ either.