Monday, November 12, 2007

gods of small things

A little over a year ago, I received a very charming, not to mention welcome note from Charles Johnson, the editor of Obsessed with Pipework. Three of my poems had been accepted for publication in the autumn 2007 edition. Not only that, he had even added the postscript ‘more poems at any time, please.’ I would have sent some too, except I thought I was going to be leaving the country any minute, as opposed to a decade yet to be determined.

When you send out poems you accept that the publication date might be further in the future than your head can find its way around. The knowledge that three little pieces of work over which I'd endlessly slaved had secured themselves a place on the page cheered me no end. My record is roughly equivalent to that of a mother leatherback turtle in getting my delicate babes into the world. Not only that, my poems are in the tenth anniversary edition and they’re the first three. Even readers with an attention deficit condition will probably get through at least the first poem. It’s about a bird and it’s very short.

Fellow blogger Matt Merritt also has three poems in OWP of which my favourite is Small Hours. Any poem that references Gary Snyder is going to get a nod from me. He was kind enough to mention me on Polyolbion too.

Nice occurrences are necessary to offset the immense, (and recklessly under-anticipated on my part), turmoil of selling up and moving on. So stressed am I that I have switched to Greenall’s Gin (cheaper and 40% proof) and started checking out the alcohol strength of wine. Did you know that some Chilean wine has an alcohol content of 14%?

I managed to persuade my kindly neighbour to get up in my loft today and fetch down a dozen boxes of books, notebooks and photographs that had been stored there for the last eleven years. He looked like a rather large chimney sweep when he emerged. I spent the afternoon sorting through the boxes to discover that I have two copies of several favourite books. I have three copies of Elizabeth Jolley’s Foxybaby, which I don’t particularly like and no copies of Palomino, which I love.

I also own two copies of T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. I brought the heavily annotated paperback copy I had at university with me when I came to England in 1982. One day I’ll butcher it in the name of art. The other is a grubby second edition I picked up in Spain for 300 pts, which shall remain no more molested than it already is. I also discovered that I had a very large collection of out-of-focus photographs. I say had because I culled them with half an eye on the EastEnders omnibus this afternoon. To say the cut was arbitrary would be lending it more gravitas than its due.

This week House of Pants received double acclaim. I draw your attention to the newly inserted large pink feline thing on the sidebar. I have been awarded a Roar for Powerful Words from the Shameless Lions Writing Circle. The honour comes from The Inner Minx – thank you Minxie.

With reward comes responsibility. (Is there anyone out there who can do something about this btw?). I must now identify three elements I think essential for powerful writing. I can only perceive this from the Pants POV so here it is,

1) Believe you’re right about absolutely everything.

2) Outwit any opposition immediately (not as difficult as it sounds).

3) Love the written word more than life itself (I hasten to add this does not preclude enjoying life to the brimful, obviously).

It now falls to me to pass on the roar to five other bloggers. Well… you know I’m a bit of a bucker of systems at the best of times and even I know enough maths to realise that by the time this thing gets down a few layers, you will find it quite difficult to find someone who hasn’t got one. I’m not being mean or anything (Barney – shut the fuck up! A little friendly advice to anyone who has US$4,000 disposable income lying around – DO NOT BUY A HYPOALLERGENIC HYBRID PET WITH IT). Where was I? Right. By the power vested in me (however dubiously), I bestow a Roar for Powerful Words upon,

Baroque in Hackney – Ms Baroque spends her spare time teaching lions how to roar.

Reading the Signs – As a cartographer of experience, Signs has few equals.

Now I must return to turning over the dust of my own life. Put simply, there are still plenty of grubby boxes left to sift through...


Reading the Signs said...

1. Obsessed by Pipework: this is wonderfully strange. I have just in the last few days been in touch with the editor, wanting to get this edition - completely unaware that your poems were in it. Why? I just woke up the other day thinking, I must have a look at Obsessed by Pipework. It is a Sign, Pants.

2. Moving house etc. The local homeopath here says everyone who does this should take Floradix tonic. I feel sure this is Good Advice and hope you are already feeling better for it.

3. The Roar Award: Pants, I love you - mwah!

That's so pants said...

A sign Signs? This is a rhetorical question, right? What is Floradix? Is it as good as Sauvignon Blanc?



Shameless said...

Hey, well done! Your pink lion looks good there in your sidebar too! :-)

That's so pants said...

Thanks Shameless

Hope you don't mind my bending the rules -it's what I do...



Minx said...


That's so pants said...

Thanks again Minxie!

R.H. said...

I don't know if this is any good to you but the Australian government is handing out a baby bonus of four thousand smackers. From July first next year it increases to five thousand. Wooh!- love in a Capitalist economy -might be worth getting romantic again!
I never believe I'm right about anything, that's what keeps me curious. And inventive.

That's so pants said...

V flattering RH but I don't even qualify for a first home buyer's grant and I've been HERE 25 years. The math is not pretty, I'm afraid.



R.H. said...

38-24-38 is a pretty math. Especially in this climate. More show for your dough.

R.H. said...

It's taken thirty years, but I've developed x-ray eyes.

R.H. said...

Well maybe some of the poms over there will consider emigrating now, they used to come here for five quid, now they can get five grand, for something they might do anyway.

(I said might)

Matt Merritt said...

Thanks again, Pants!

That's so pants said...


Calm yourself dear boy.

Hi Matt

No problem.