Now Is Not The Time For Politics – Scratch!

Hello blog followers and whoever else occasionally drifts by.

I’m stepping in to taint the poetic purity of The Mundane Comedy with some non iambic prose for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, I’d like to say a belated thank you to everyone that followed, shared, commented or simply read some of the poems I wrote every day from 18-6 months ago. It would have been really weird to have written all these Cantos without a slight notion that they were being appreciated somewhere.

Secondly, I’d like to let you know that the project is entering a bit of a second phase that will culminate in a (hopefully touring) one man show and a book. It all begins on Monday 18th March with a rough cut presentation of the one man show, entitled Now Is Not The Time For Politics. The title actually comes from a comment by our most prolific commenter and all round good fella, Peter Litton.

The show samples some of my personal favorite Cantos and shapes them into a loose narrative about the year in which I became a Dad. However, the whimsical nature of the blog is also represented in poems about journeyman boxers, racists on the tube, chow mein, my dislike of The Shard and pregnancy week by week guides that compare foetal growth rates to exotic fruit and vegetables.

The event will take place upstairs at The Poetry Cafe and will also feature Dan Simpson scratching his new show. Admission will be free but a hat might be passed around a couple of times. We will also beg you for your merciless feedback so that we can beat our shows into Fringe Festival shape. The event will start at 7.30pm and my show will be up first so don’t be late!

I will continue to post about further news in the months to come but for now I hope to see you on the 18th. Further details can be found on the Facebook Event page.

Niall

Canto CCCLXVII

When daylight prods into the travel cot
and baby girl alerts us to the fact,
I rise to lift her out without a thought

and place her down gently at the exact
mid point between my pillow and her Mum’s.
Sometimes we all agree a silent pact

to sleep another hour despite the sun…
and you can take your leave now, dearest reader,
these iambic confessionals are done

and I’m anxious to reinforce the border
between my family’s bubble and the world.
The ebb and flow of linked Terza Rima

continues elsewhere, endlessly unfurls—
the words that I lobbed in were only pebbles,
the flow was always there, as eternal

as rivers that vanish below ground level
to leave the jurisdiction of the ear.
Some of the world’s worst poems are immortal.

The verse endures, the poet disappears.

Canto CCCLXVI

The moon is waxing gibbous, my verse wanes
as I build to my closing, five stress whimper,
tomorrow’s sky will host a round, blank page,

and my work will be done before September
draws the dark across the lunar face
and piddles on the summer’s final embers,

so Dante can stop spinning in his grave.

Canto CCCLXV

I try to picture this child in my arms
as an old woman in a distant time,
despite global warming and nuclear bombs.

Maybe she’ll one day read these dodgy rhymes
to Great Great Grandkids I may never know?
Well, are you currently reading these lines?

Have I been gone a long, long time?
                                                                 Hello.

Canto CCCLXIV

Occasionally, my sleeping baby girl
wakes alone within the darkened room,
lets out the saddest little drawn out wail

then falls asleep again. The summer moon
glints icily through our uneven blinds,
a helicopter judders through the gloom,

a dog across the road barks and then grinds
his canines against his new favourite stick.
There’s never a moment when you cannot find

something that’s crying out, but if you pick
a random living room, you’ll find instead
a roaring soul within a nest of brick,

a trembling lip, a hairline bead of sweat,
a knot within the stomach, a slight tick,
a mental rerun of a great regret

that will not be alchemised into talk,
nor find throat in primal, mammalian cries,
the expression rises within, then balks,

returns to its cramped cell behind the eyes.

Canto CCCLXIII

There is a virtual lion loose in Essex.
Its mane’s weaved from a thousand jokey tweets.
Its body is a flickering, quantum flux

between King of the Beasts and household cat.
Its only trail’s a vast swathe of newsprint,
Its roar is fibre optic and its scat

is piles of dodgy Photoshopped attempts
at peerless documentary evidence.
Tonight, it shakes its tail to leave its scent

against every suburban garden fence
and falls asleep unseen on garage roofs.
As tabbies’ shadows lengthen at sunset,

so harmless facts grow into monstrous truths.

Canto CCCLXII

The car enthusiasts amass below,
around a seventies gas guzzler.
The bonnet’s raised, the engine’s revs bellow

as I charge at full gallop down the stairs,
to demand that they play their games elsewhere
instead of waking up my baby daughter.

Twelve middle aged businessman stare
back at me like surly boy racers,
but that analogy just isn’t fair

as Jack the Lads will rev their souped up cars
in city limit, desolate car parks
beyond earshot of family homes like ours.

They kill the engine, head back to the bar
to find new ways to over compensate
for libidos that wane over the years

unlike the cars they choose to salivate
over in public. Two hours pass by
before the car’s owner retakes his seat

and revs the engine full blast before I
can make it to the rattling window
as he’s accelerating out of sight

as limp-dicked Clarkson clones are wont to do.

Canto CCCLXI

Some can argue it was poetry
that sent us to the moon and that science
was but the tool for realising dreams

while others may say that the main agent
of inspiration was the Soviet threat,
a pissing contest for world dominance,

to fly the flag in view of our planet.
But on the day that Armstrong leaves the earth
for a third time, the footprint that he set

on that dry surface will hold greater worth
for all the unborn stargazers to the come
than any flag that signals who was first

among the proud tribes of our shrinking home.

Canto CCCLX

Most of my diurnal moves are planned
with the intent of avoiding rush hour.
Oh, I know that makes me a lucky man

compared to those poor schmucks that must endure
the suit and trainers, white collar stampede.
This evening finds me heading out the door

to join the homeward office worker creed.
I’ll make no smarmy talk on the rat race.
I’ll stand aside, stay quiet as the dead,

but if you tut me, I will bite your face.

Canto CCCLIX

Heraclitus has been switched to Timeline.
Needless to say, he’s philosophical
about the situation, he’s resigned

to having the world scroll down his profile
to reread all those late night, drunken posts;
his failed conquests, long periods spent single,

the just-dumped tantrums and the new love boasts.
And then there’s that urge he could never pass,
those background moonies at the Christmas toast.

It’s not the same office, nor the same arse.

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