Print Story I'm a poet
Diary
By nebbish (Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 01:21:33 AM EST) nebbish is the daddy, books (all tags)
and I know it


Me

Fortean Times is out. Issue 208, has a picture of Bigfoot or something on the cover. I'm on page 57. The photo of me was meant to be funny, but actually makes me look like a complete ponce.

They've dicked around with the story a bit, I suspect to fill it out so it'd fill a page. Not sure about this as I put quite a lot of effort into being as concise and clear as possible. Also, they put the word "splendid" in there. I would never and will never use that word.

Doesn't matter though really. I had a short story published a few years back and the same thing happened, I suppose it's something you just have to get used to.

[update 7/3/6 12.50pm] At yicky yacky's suggestion I have uploaded the article as a rich text file here. This is the article as it was before it was edited by the FT.

Other stuff

Went to Kew Gardens with a couple of old friends down from Halifax at the weekend. In the past we've taken a bit of MDMA to "enhance" the experience but didn't bother this time. Had a great day all the same. Nice to see a lot of stuff just on the verge of flowering as I'm going back in a month's time with my mum. I've thought of becoming a member, but I don't think I'd get my money's worth at 60 quid.

Books

Been reading some poetry, not because I'm really into it or anything but because I felt like I should. I've slagged it off a lot in the past and you can't really slag something if you've never read any.

Picked up The Metaphysical Poets in a second-hand book shop. I bought it because of its name and because it had a picture of someone dying on the cover (older edition), then opened it and read the introduction, which basically said in a roundabout way that these are the hardest poems ever written ever. And they are, I don't understand a word.

Funny that in the olden days people used to be able to be really good at two things - in this case Sir Walter Ralegh, who wrote metaphysical poems and did whatever else it was he was famous for. You just don't get that nowadays. I can't see Steve Jobs or Peter Andre writing poetry. I suppose there's Eric Cantona, though I can't imagine his poetry being critically acclaimed in three hundred years time.

Ordered The Earliest English Poems from Amazon. This is more like it. It has what is my favourite poem (after reading a grand total of about six) "The Ruin", about walking through the ruined city of Bath after it was abandoned by the Romans and vandalised by the Wierds, whatever they are. It also has extracts from Beowulf, which is about killing monsters so beats most poetry on subject matter alone.

My dad sent me a little 50p pamphlet of John Clare poetry after I told I'd been reading Edge of the Orison. These are pretty good as well. They're all about the countryside, and generally start with misty fields and chirping birds, ending with the horrendous deaths of some kind of vermin. There's a good one where a fox gets ripped apart by dogs, and another where an olden days pest control bloke strings up dead moles on a tree. Cool.

In conclusion, poetry is actually OK, and it's short so you can read it on the toilet. A+, will read some again.

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I'm a poet | 26 comments (26 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
pls pst by komet (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 01:42:43 AM EST
scan of page 57? kthx

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<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
Sorry, no scanner by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 01:45:03 AM EST
I can email or message you the article though if you like.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Digital Camera by Evil Cloaked User (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 01:56:05 AM EST
I vaguely recall that you have one. Take a photo of the article. Should be fairly readable on a half-decent camera.

[ Parent ]
I'll give it a go by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 01:58:41 AM EST
It's not very good at macro photos but it could be readable if I do it on 4 meg.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Upload it yo 'your files' by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:30:58 AM EST

and post the link in the hole?


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
Done by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:52:52 AM EST
and included as an update in this diary. Thanks for the suggestion.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

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The joy of subs by idiot boy (4.00 / 2) #5 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:05:31 AM EST
GF has been known to get the screaming hebbiejeebies when a sub has dicked with her text badly.

Generally speaking, she's full of praise for them but when they get it wrong.... wow. Explosive.

Yeah by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:09:35 AM EST
I found it annoying because I'm a bit anal about saying as much as possible in as few words as possible, so when someone adds some flowery crap just to up the word count it sort of ruins it all.

It's not that bad though really. I'm much more annoyed about the word "splendid" being employed. Eww.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Splendid by Gully Foyle (4.00 / 2) #16 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 04:22:33 AM EST
That seems like a house style kind of word. The FT often reads to me like the author's are trying to sound as much like Rev. Lionel Fanthorpe as they can.

[ Parent ]
Splendid! by yicky yacky (4.00 / 2) #9 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:56:01 AM EST

Nice one. As a general rule, once you've submitted anything for publication, it's no longer "your bitch" and they can do what they like with it.

One of the professors at university was constantly being nagged by both the Observer and New Scientist to do a piece for them on his work (AI), but he always refused on the grounds that the issues he was dealing with were so subtle and so easily misunderstood that, to him, it was a long-misconceived-argument-avoided rather than publicity-gained.

In a similar vein, a friend of mine once wrote an incredibly well-thought-through letter to the 'Radio Times' and the BBC complaining about a specific programme hosted by one of their most popular performers. She'd meticulously gone through all the rational counter-arguments to her points and shown them to be questionable, at best, and utter rubbish, at worst (she'd had us playing Devil's Advocate for a couple of days before sending it etc.). Miraculously, she'd also kept it concise and at an unfeasibly-low word count (hoping to get her complete message across). It was pure, distilled point.

The next week she was devastated to find that they'd kept the bulk of her opening two paragraphs (i.e. her general complaint) and had padded them out a bit, but had completely jettisoned the rest, which meant that the next three issues contained precisely the tiresome and predictable rebuttals she'd worked so hard to shoot down in the first place. It worked to show that she "hadn't thought it through" as all these counter-points were raised.

She's not of a bitter, twisted and cynical mindset, so she took it on the chin and refused to read anything significant into it (just copy-editors filling available space appropriately etc.). I, on the other hand, am, and am convinced that it was done intentionally in order that her points be publically and consensually brushed-aside (i.e. the panjandrums at the beeb didn't have to acknowledge that the argument had any merit).


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
That's pretty bad by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #10 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 03:01:44 AM EST
I got off lightly really. First time it happened to me it was unexpected - the short story that got published was unpaid and was meant to be part of a showcase of new writers - so surely it should have spoken for itself? Bit of a hatchet job that one as well, they changed a couple of place names and got them wrong, god knows why.

This time I expected it but it's still a bit annoying. To be honest I've only skimmed the article anyway, I keep cringing too much :-) I suppose the trick is to think well, no matter what I think they're the ones with the experience, they know their readership, maybe they know best...

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Just read your RTF by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 03:22:06 AM EST

Good work.

I don't know if you read it but, tangentially-related, Ed Vulliamy's 'Rumours of a Riot' is another good piece which touches on gossip-in-a-hyperconnected-world and reaching lazy conclusions.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
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Cheers by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 03:25:11 AM EST
I'll read that.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

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Well, according to the BBC, I'm a racist by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #18 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 05:37:10 AM EST
Which is one of the few things that I'd claim that I'm not.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
Well, by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #19 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 05:52:36 AM EST

it is incredibly easy for the irrational cretin to confuse general misanthropy for any kind of set-specific -ism they feel they ought to be motivated against. This is, however, nothing more than a basic error of logic and probably to be expected given the execrable cognitive skills of the vast majority of any given populace.

On top of this, it is often advantageous for a given party to drown a debate in a morass of noise by unleashing an accusation of anti-set-ism than it is to acknowledge that there might be a valid point to answer.

What exactly caused their assertion in your case? Or are you "projecting"?


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
News article on anti-Engerlish racism by Rogerborg (4.00 / 2) #20 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 06:36:03 AM EST
+ stock footage.  Very casual stuff, not of much interest to anyone not involved.  But first they came for, and so on.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
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Fucking Splendid by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 1) #12 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 03:22:58 AM EST

While I appreciate the text file, I'm still totally buying a copy. It's got SQUIRRELS and CRACK, after all.

Also, I just spent a chunk of time looking at Sir Walter Raleigh biographical information, after I realized I didn't know what the other thing he did was, and I live in a city named after him. Thirty minutes later, and I'm still not sure what else he did. Could it be that writing poetry was a legit full-time gig back in the 1600s?

As well, going down the poetry route, I highly suggest Kenneth Fearing. However, I will deny any and all association with this comment after I post it, and, if necessary, will claim falsely that my account was PWNED.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
I'll look out for him by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #14 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 03:30:40 AM EST
I don't know of many more poets so recommendations are welcome. Second-hand bookshops are stuffed with cheap poetry books.

I think Sir Walter Raleigh was an explorer. He may have discovered the potato. I got this from episode of Blackadder II and anyway might have got the wrong person.

This issue of the Fortean Times is pretty good anyway, lots of stuff about undiscovered big beasties in jungles.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I Second the Fearing Recommendation by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #21 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 07:04:07 AM EST
I'd add the following:

If you dig Fearing, try James Dickey (I recommend the '98 "Selected" anthology), B. H. Fairchild's "Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest," or Tyehimba Jess's "leadbelly."

[ Parent ]
Googling Fearing by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #22 Wed Mar 08, 2006 at 06:25:10 AM EST
He looks like someone I might like. But Christ his books are expensive!

Will look out for the other titles as well.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

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Bizarre by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Mar 08, 2006 at 06:31:26 AM EST
I didn't know he was only available in such pricey editions. I own the American Library one - the $18 buck dealie. Though I don't remember it costing me that much.

Perhaps check him out a library first? I don't know that you want to drop at least a Jackson for poems you might not like.

[ Parent ]
No way I'd spend that much by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #25 Wed Mar 08, 2006 at 06:34:45 AM EST
But there were a couple for a fiver which I don't mind spending at all.

Seriously, thanks for the modern American poetry hints. I know *very* little about American literature (SF aside) and could do with all the pointers I can get.

So little time to read though... Don't you wish you could plug into a scanner sometimes?

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It's political correctness gone mad!

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Plug Into a Scanner Or . . . by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #26 Wed Mar 08, 2006 at 06:38:01 AM EST
Unplug from all my other responsibilities. I'd take the scanner if I couldn't get the private library on a private island deal.

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Dickey by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Mar 08, 2006 at 06:26:40 AM EST
Wrote deliverence! I'll definitely be looking out for him!

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It's political correctness gone mad!

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You got paid for an MLP? Sweet. by Rogerborg (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 04:21:57 AM EST
I thought we'd been over this?  All media will pretty-mouth you until the roofies kick in, and then they'll use you as their fuck-puppet any way they like.  All of them.

Your choices are to walk away, to insist on full editorial control (i.e. to walk away unless you're a Somebody), or wad up the money and wedge it between your clenched teeth while they Abu Ghraib you.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.

I'm only bitching by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #17 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 04:44:14 AM EST
I know it's part of the deal, and anyway what do I know? They may well have improved the article. They're the professionals after all.

And yeah, I did basically get eighty quid for an MLP. Sweet indeed.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I'm a poet | 26 comments (26 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback