Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Books I'd rather suffer a sleepless night than read

I don't suppose I've gone to sleep without reading something before switching the light off more than 20 times in my life, usually after drunken parties in my younger days. Now, it would be an impossibility. My idea of hell would be to find oneself alone late at night in a foreign hotel room without even a Gideon Bible for solace. In those circumstances, I'd read almost any book ever published rather than not read anything at all. But there are exceptions to that rule - i.e. books I wouldn't read even if it meant a sleepless night. Here are a few of them:

No, Lance - it's about the drugs
No idea - but I know what I think you are
Mouth-watering or what!
And not even a BBC publication!
Unbearable, even without the giggle
Not if my life depended on it

Too untalented?
Give it a rest, love




  1. Great post. Much appreciated. Thanks.

  2. Benjamin Zephyr Zodiac24 January 2013 at 00:35

    Me poems ryhme, mostly.
    Me speak for a generashun,
    In a celebrashun, of de miscegenashun,
    That has bring we unto de mighty multicultural vibrashun,
    Dat ghetto by ghetto, street over street,
    Gwan redefine wot we mean by "Nashun"

    An' dat'n dat is a good t'ing.
    Yo! Me mean you, whitey!
    We got yo' numbah!
    We gwan protest to de beat of de reggae music an' to a lesser extent de rumbah
    Oop agin you!!
    Posh Cameron, Osboy, Boris too
    And de Tory cuts
    An' Marshall Kuts.
    From de Boer War.
    From which me African bruddas' wounds is still bleeding sore.
    And what's more.
    Whe' we bear de scar,
    Of our Indian bruddads' mass slaughter.
    An' give no quarter.
    Fe de sake of I an' I son n' daughter.
    Which is called Duwayne an' Shazzeelle

    An' to de Ambassador of Paraguay
    Don' gwan deny
    Dat you have Julian in chains of represshun,
    In a state of deppreshun
    In a small tomb.
    An' not much room.

    Him mus gwan fightin' a cause dat is right and mighty
    But him shiverin' in him nighty,
    With not much heating.
    Like in Sweden.
    Where him might go.
    I an' I say No. No. No.
    To extradishun.
    Dis is not which we am wishin'.

    Sweden gwaan be cold an' cruel as I would say
    An' all de Swedish wimmin
    Wait fe
    To gib evidence
    Of varying degrees of relevance
    Fe to make Julian do some penitence
    Jus cos him hold him body parts agains'

    But meanwhile here.
    In dis land of brutalisashun
    How de Rasta an' him Ashun bruvvas gwan stop de fightin' ovah de gang territorialishun?
    An' no cause any mo' inter-rashul cranial abrashun?

    Actually. Me have no clue.
    Me just award winning hack poet dat only de Guardian takin' seriouuss.
    Peace Rasta
    Peace Ashun type peeple.
    Bluud in a Babylon.
    Raas Claat in Ashia an' ting.

    Mebbe dis gwan will lead us
    To our destashun
    Of glory to Jah
    Where de train of injustice
    Gwan be delayed fe 23 minutes outside Surbiton Stashun
    By snow on de line.
    An den head into de sidings of despair.
    Behind time.
    And the Sub-Regional Manager of Fate
    Gwan charge excess fare
    In Heaven.
    Or down dere.

    While de Inner-City express of hope.
    Go chug chug, n' woo woo.
    Passing thru'
    Down de line.
    On time.
    We must not worship idolatry,
    As we enter the Terminus of Equality
    Til we meet our fate.
    Expressed as an average annual figure and with relevant indicative seasonal weather factors taken into account,
    Seven and a half minutes late

    An' de Ticket Collector of Righteousness
    Get off him knees
    An' he will him say,
    "Tickets to Eternity in an orderly line please.
    Hope dere is dis day"

    Rise up Bruddas!

    Raas Claat. in a Babylon
    An' t'ing.

    1. You left out masturbashun! I note that your poem doesn’t have a title – could I suggest “Masturbashun Stashun” or “Masturbasun Nashun”, which would neatly solve that little problem?

      Benjamin, the work of quite a few poets reduces me to tears, but I only to have to hear your name and I’m sobbing uncontrollably sobbing. I presume this is because I know that I’m about to embark on a searing, life-changing, roller-coaster ride of equal parts guilt, compassion and gratitude – yes, gratitude at the fact that I’m sharing this planet with one of the greatest creative artists ever produced by Western, or, as you’d no doubt prefer, Afro-Caribbean civilisashun.

      The train travel metaphor you employ so tellingly reminds me of Larkin’s “The Whitsun Weddings”, but I doubt if that old, white, racist pornography-addict could sustain it as convincingly as you so triumphantly have (mainly because he’s dead). Even if he were alive, I doubt he would have managed to yoke in Amritsar and that martyr to free speech and body odour, Julian Assange, so seamlessly.

      I'll admit that when I read the phrase "Terminus of Equality", I pumped my fist and let out a whoop of sheer pleasure (although I'll admit this may have had something to do with where my fist was at the time).

      I too have been stuck in a train for 23 minutes outside Surbiton Station, and it did indeed feel like a gross injustice.

      I have no idea whether this poem is your defining masterpiece –but it is undoubtedly a towering achievement. I suspect there’s plenty more of this sort of stuff to come. I suspect that your searing attack on our vile political establishment will see that bambaclaat batty-crease David Cameron resigning before too long.