A review of a book on the history of censorship, on the site Interesting Literature, https://interestingliterature.com/2020/03/censored-literary-history-subversion-control-fellion-inglis-review/.
In September 2015, I released “The Girl Who Wasn’t there”. You can find a book trailer (which includes me reading “Dolls”, a poem included in this collection, here
You can find “The Girl Who Wasn’t There” on Amazon
For a video of my friend, Shanelle reading the title poem please see below
Oscar turned pale
And languished in Reading Gaol
For “the love that dare not speak it’s name”.
It was society’s shame
That he found no peace
And died soon after his release.
Housman remained buttoned up
Pains to hide
Inside his verse.
The poet wrote of lads dying young.
Neither he nor Oscar swung
For their “crime”,
And we are left with the rhyme
Of “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”
And a poet who hid his “curse”
Within his verse.
I am sick of plastic grins
And half-hidden sins,
And those who wink
I do not see
What they see
Shall I spend my day
(Like Dorian Gray)
Gazing at a portrait
Because it ages not,
While I lose the plot
And myself enfold
In arms that are loathe to hold?
In the attic of my mind
Skeletons that given half a chance,
Would dance in the bright day
And give the game away.
It is plain to see
That it is me
Who holds the attic’s key
(Though I can not wield the knife
That will end the portrait’s life).
It is said that “every man has his price”.
We decry vice,
For the nice
Guy or gal
Not get caught
Doing what they ought
Not to do.
Save the saint
In narratives quaint
Can with honesty say
There has never been a day
(An admission truly shocking),
When temptation came aknocking.
Some may not fall
The devil on their shoulder
Who whispered “you are getting older.
Only the fool
Adheres to the rule
That keeps him poor”.
They may refuse to open,
Yet the devil’s words are spoken
And every word
By man and child.
Many, like Wilde,
Anything accept temptation.
Ducking and diving,
Just about surviving
Is the lot of many
Who have only a penny
To see them through.
What to do
When the cupboard is bare?
Temptation, for Oscar knows
Where leads the sweetness of the rose …
“I can resist anything accept temptation”. Oscar Wilde, “Lady Windermere’s Fan”.
What is behind the façade
of those who live it large?
A girl on the make.
what a poor girl can.
He has no plan
apart from fun.
Together they run.
will always shine.
The band will always play
and the hay
will be forever sweet
as they dance with nimble feet
without a care
upon the air.
Old Father Time
clears his throat
as the band strikes a sour note.
(The reference to dancing with nimble feet upon the air is a reference to Oscar Wilde’s “The Balad of Reading Gaol”. “it is not sweet, with nimble feet, to dance upon the air”, which is, of course a reference to men dangling from the hangman’s rope).
I am pleased to announce that “The Girl Who Wasn’t There And Other Poems” is now available in the Amazon Kindle Store. My thanks to Chris Graham (the Story Reading Ape) for designing the wonderful book cover and David J. Higgins for proof reading “The Girl Who Wasn’t There”. The book blurb reads as follows:
The great Oscar Wilde remarked,
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”.
Many of the poems in this collection portray people struggling in life’s gutter.
“Lonely men of a certain age” hear the voices of young women and yearn for something beyond “sterile sitting rooms”, while to the prostitute its all about “handbags and shoes”, even if her “choice” leads to the woman “drowning in booze”.
Anyone who likes dark poetry will, it is hoped, gain something from this collection.
Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0155KSKOC
I will be taking a break from blogging over the UK bank holiday weekend. I will be preparing my new collection of poetry for publication. The title is “We Are All In The Gutter, But Some Of Us Are Looking At The Stars”, which is a quote from the great Oscar Wilde. As the title suggests, the collection will be a compilation of some of my darker poetry.
On first reading, the quote is bleak. The gutter suggests the lowest point in the life of man or what some might label “a low mode of living”! However the fact “some of us are looking at the stars” suggests hope or the possibility of change for the better.
The new collection will join my existing book, “Dalliance; A Collection Of Poetry And Prose” which can be found here, (http://www.amazon.com/Dalliance-collection-poetry-prose-Morris-ebook/dp/B00QQVJC7E/ref=cm_cr_pr_bdcrb_top?ie=UTF8).
“Cecil Graham: What is a cynic?
Lord Darlington: A man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.
Cecil Graham: And a sentimentalist, my dear Darlington, is a man who sees an absurd value in everything and doesn’t know the market price of any single
(Oscar Wilde. Lady Windermere’s Fan).
According to the above, I am a sentimentalist for I had no idea what price to attach to my book, “Dalliance; A Collection Of Poetry And Prose”. Indeed I must confess to finding the attaching of monetary value to artistic creations rather distasteful. For me literature and art more generally possesses a value in and of itself which can not be reduced to a matter of pounds, shillings and pence. Food feeds the stomach while art nourishes the soul. While the former is vital to the survival of the species, once food is eaten that is an end of the matter while, with art exposure to it continues to feed the spirit long after the creation in question has vanished from view. Poems I read as a boy continue to resonate with me today while countless meals are long since forgotten. Of course one may remember a dinner for the excellent companionship of friends but only on rare occasions will the food consumed figure in one’s recollections.
Having said all that, I do, of course accept that man does not exist by consuming fresh air alone. Authors must earn (and deserve to earn) a crust. Consequently it is necessary for me and other authors to attach monetary value to our creations. In the case of “Dalliance” I discussed the matter of price with several colleagues and friends who had read the book. None where of much help. One colleague suggested a price range of between £8 to £20. Given that “Dalliance” runs to 68 pages I felt that £20 was much to high. Eventually I consulted the man who owns my local bookshop, Bookseller Crow. He suggested a price of £7.99 which we agreed upon. This will cover the cost of producing “Dalliance” and, I hope allow both myself and the good purveyor of books to earn a crust.
In conclusion, books do possess an inherent value which can not be translated into purely monetary terms. However in the real world it is necessary (as with other artistic creations) to assign a price to them. However, deep in my soul I feel that it is sacreligious to place a financial value on Keats “Ode to A Nightingale” or Arnold’s “Dover Beach”.