Seems Legit

Untitled

Thank goodness this didn’t fall into the wrong hands! Good old great uncle Engr, an Anglo-American Togolophile to the end. I had best claim my inheritance. Do I want a house first on a 911? Ah, screw it, both!

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Everclear and tonic

Sat here sipping Everclear and tonic which my friend brought back from California. Quite sure that this 80% alcohol is illegal in UK.
Makes me ponder legality and contraband. It is just a stronger alcohol, why does a government believe it has the right to restrict it. Can we not just be responsible for ourselves?
This is a much larger topic than I have time for but, when I received my Everclear I noted the superior strength and so exercise caution, can’t we just give people a ‘heads up’ and then allow them to imbibe whatever they like?

Honest

Let’s be honest
He said, she said, they all said
As I sat there flipping that coin
Nonchalant and repetitive

You never wanted any of this
Its not how you planned
What you dreamt
What you thought and where you
Imagined you would be
Could be

When you stood so proudly ten years ago
With dew glistening on those fresh white wings
Spreading out behind you
Feeling the breeze on your face
The wind in your hair

And now the sand in your eyes and ashes in your mouth
As you clamber through the dirt
They lied to you when they told you that those
Crisp feathers were for anything other than decoration
Ornaments laden with sentiment

Yet you were the only one who didn’t see through it
You must have done something wrong to end up here
Boy
Hard work and humble pie makes a man into
A mouse

A snivelling, sniffling rat
With a scabby fur and mouldy tail
Those crude pigeon wings strapped, taped to your back
By capricious kids and the cackling fat masses

You never wanted this
Or saw this coming, creeping and climbing
Declining like your health and mind
Wrapped up, trapped in that bone skull shell

Heck, I know what I want
But how to get there
And where there is
Will always escape and elude me

I’m far too old, far too soon and so far from
The goal, I’m kicking it about
Playing keepy-ups by my own corner flag
Flung far back in defence
Too cautious and still sat soundly on the wrong end of a five nil thrashing
I shake my tail and wonder

Where is the cheese
Far beyond several false doors, buzzers, shocks and strong lights
Far too far for your furry white snout
Far too far for my pasty white self

June Update

I self published two books in the last year, two collections of poetry. Swannui and Cygnus was a huge learning experience in terms of what it takes to produce a book. Advertising was difficult and actually getting local businesses to sell or even put a poster in their window was both embarrassing and frustrating.

My business model of selling the book for £4, £3 of which would go to myself and £1 would go to the store, seemed reasonable to me. I didn’t ask for stores to buy up stock. With my model they earn a few quid and look good by promoting local endeavors. Despite this I was told quite a few times that “poetry doesn’t sell” and that “we need the space”, which apparently meant that a 210mm x 148mm book would crowd the place out. The town council office even told me that they wouldn’t put up my small poster as they don’t advertise businesses, despite the massive garish poster advertising a carnival 20 miles away. The staff seemed to take issue when I pointed out the irony of this.

In spite of this I managed to get my press release into a couple of local papers (of the 6 I messaged, 2 used the article and 4 entirely ignored my email). It was all a little disheartening but I sold 30% of my stock and took the whole thing as a learning experience. It was my first book and many of the hurdles I had overcame would serve me well when releasing a further one.

With that in mind, at the end of last year I released my second collection; Be All; End All. This time, I only ordered half the quantity of Swannui and Cygnus. I promoted it across my Facebook, Twitter and on here. I went around with posters to every local book shop I could think of. Across five towns I only managed to convince the public libraries of each to stock it (the library of my hometown, Beccles, even returned the books to me).

Other interesting comments I had this time round included

“Frankly, it won’t sell at all so I’d rather not”

“The trustees don’t want any clutter”

and

“Is it about Norwich, are the poems about the area?” to which I replied that, as a resident of the area, there is no doubt that the location has influenced me. Apparently that wasn’t enough. So for Hell Yeah; Part Three I will produce an alternate version with every third word replaced by “Norfolk” “Suffolk” “Norwich” or “Waveney”.

I appreciate  thatthis can all sound a little despondent. I guess it is. Staying positive can be tough sometimes.