Here are some notes on my new book, The Inexorable Progression, which you can buy here.
Cover art GIMP-ed by me, based on a public domain image I found online. Would credit the photographer if I had their details, but I don’t.
Other illustrations: Ditto.
X and Y
This is not a Coldplay reference. I am still bitter about being at college with Chris Martin, who stole all the success that ought rightfully to have been mine, by using the unfair trick of writing songs that people wanted to listen to. I am not, however, so bitter that I will stop namedropping him.
Dedicated to Sam Rapp The Dyslexic Poet, whose poem “Rant” asks “Does anyone really understand a Y and X?”, to which I always want to shout “Yes, me! I didn’t get a degree in maths for nothing!”
(Sam Rapp’s “Rant: Dyslexic Me” is available from Whisky and Beards here)
In ancient Rome, an auspex was an interpreter of omens, whence we get the word “auspicious”. There were sub-categories of this such as “haruspex”, someone who interpreted the entrails of sacrificed animals. I doubt “faecaspex” was a thing at the time, but we could do with such a word today so I possibly coined it.
Roger Moore and Paul McCartney are legitimately my favourite Bond and Beatle, but I don’t tolerate such weakness in others.
The pastime of knocking on people’s doors and running away is variously known as Knock-Down Ginger, Ding Dong Ditch, Chap Door Run, Zoom Zoom, Knock-a-door Run, Thunder and Lightning, Nicky-Knocky Nine Doors, Chappie, Run-Bang-Skoosh, Cherry door knocking and so on.
Ray, A Drop Of Golden Sun
Poetry ace David Dykes looked this one over and suggested I make some cuts, to which I said NO NAY NEVER and instead drew a pretty diagram to “explain” what this one is about. I can be even more explicit about the meaning if you ask me nicely.
Again, I ignore the sage advice of David Dykes and refuse to make sensible cuts. Soz.
Poetry Is Not An Expression Of My Soul
I misread an event’s title and suggested theme as “Poetry Is An Expression Of My Soul” and wrote this poem before I could correct my own misunderstanding.
Edwina Van Halen
Extensive notes about this one are available here.
With each passing year, the number of people who have watched TV series “Inspector Morse” (and cared about it) reduces, so I guess this is the sort of pop culture reference I should stop making. On the other hand, I used to love Morse, at least in part because John Thaw’s erudite beer-and-crossword loving detective was quite like my dad.
Yeoman of the Guard
I hope this isn’t too male-gazey. It’s obviously about me looking at a woman, and is inspired by me actually looking at a woman, but hopefully I didn’t gawp at her or sexualise her. I just found her attire very striking, far more so than one might expect to see at Longfield station. Random woman, if you are reading this, it was a strong look and I commend you.
“A country’s banner, knowing not what country it was for” – Yemen. It’s the flag of Yemen.
Light A Flame In High Winds
Written for the launch of my last book, “Demimeditations“, on the basis that I thought the audience might like to hear a proper poem as well as the contents of that book.
Of The Wonderful Things That You Get Out Of Life There Are Four
I wrote some low-quality code to generate the word groupings here. The title is from the jazz standard “Four”, lyrics by Jon Hendricks, music (probably) by Miles Davis (no relation).
2-litre Bottle of Beer
I wrote this as a hypothetical, but didn’t feel I could publish in good conscience without further research. It was actually a 2.5l bottle of Timisoreana – I had a choice of several brands – from the Eastern European shop at the bottom of Gabriel’s Hill, Maidstone. I paced myself sensibly and it was very tasty.
Can’t Drink In Spoons Blues
I swore off my beloved Spoons a few years ago, but have had various relapses due to stress and convenience. I’d like it if you avoided it too, but life is tough and sometimes you need a cheap pint.
10 points if you can guess the highly respected and geographically distant poet who inspired this one.
One instance of the phrase “Déjà Oublié” is bolded, not italicised. This is highly significant and definitely not the result of me clicking on the wrong icon.
Sound of the Basketballs
Initial opening inspired by Stevie Wonder’s “Lately”.
This is slightly borked. The cost of a “full” first print run was only a fraction greater than the cost of one proof, so I foolishly went full steam ahead. This is my book, it’s fine it’s fine it’s fine.