Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Poetry and Poo

No really, I’m not just taking the piss, nor am I trying to diss any poets or poetry in general. I was once invited to an evening of “pooetry” where I believe the theme of the evening was to do with matters scatological, but I wasn’t able to go – no pun intended. And I digress.

I am quite up to my eyes in sheets of paper and poetry (mine) as I am storming into Lent trying to get stuff out before the end of the week. Don’t ask why it has to be before the end of the week, some of us have deadlines to meet. This makes me sound quite important, but in fact no-one but me will give a stuff if I don’t meet the deadline. I am not only up against Time, but a whole batch of poems (what actually is the collective noun for poems that are not yet in a collection?) that still need a fair amount of work doing to them. I don’t know how this can be, they seemed quite fine when I last looked at them, but this is how poems behave if they are left lying around for too long.

And then there is Lent. You will remember that last year I put myself into self-imposed Poetry Boot Camp because it was either that or give up chocolate. I know that Lent is supposed to be all about giving something up, but what I say is that as long as it hurts it counts. So this year I will be doing Poetry Boot Camp and giving up chocolate – not to mention the cigs that have unaccountably crept back in (I blame Daughter of Signs, the Icemaiden and TPE and is it my fault that what Dennis Potter so accurately called “lovely tubes of delight” are bad for my cholesterol levels?).

I would very much like Cat of Signs to take on a Lenten restriction but she has never shown much religious inclination, or inclination of any kind that does not fit with whatever she fancies doing at any given moment. The lovely nurse at the vet’s encouraged me to get a new kind of clay cat litter to encourage her to stop pissing in inappropriate places. She likes it so much that she has quite given up going outside to do her more serious business, and she is not particular about whether the serious business goes squarely into the litter tray or flops over the side and onto the floor. She has also decided that the kitchen sink is a fun place to have the occasional recreational piss. I have been told that if there is no urinary infection then we will have to address Behavioural problems. What am I supposed to do – find her a Shrink? Something tells me she would crap on the idea of CBT.


Collin Kelley said...

I am giving up nothing this year. I need all my vices to get through this season.

Reading the Signs said...

I can understand that, Collin. I think perhaps C of S is also taking this position.

trousers said...

Yes I'm giving up Lent. But good luck with poetry boot camp and giving up chocolate.

I'm a bit of a chocoholic - yet I've gone back to having chocolate at weekends only, and I've found it surprisingly easy. Seems a case of the less I have, the less you want, to the extent that at least one weekend has passed without so much as a (chocolate) bar.

I really ought to impose some deadlines, or even just a modus operandi of some description, on my own creative ventures: as you point out so vividly, these things don't sort themselves out do they?

Collective noun: I'd love it to be poa.

trousers said...

"The less I have, the less I want", that should read, since I can only speak for myself.

Montag said...

Are there any other bodily functions we shall play matchmaker with and join to poetry?
Unfortunately, many that are not alliterative absolutely leap to mind, and cover me with shame and confusion.

And what about other types of writing.....?
How about Essays and Eructation?

The Periodic Englishman said...

Don't encourage her, Montag, for pity's sake. Our job is to talk her down (or up, depending on which way you look at these things) and lead her to safety.

Signs, pooetry? I can't work out if I'd prefer to believe you just made that up or whether it's actually, you know, a thing. I can't even search the internet for "pooetry" as I'm not using my own computer and the thought of leaving evidence of such a search is rather underwhelming. But pooetry? Tell me you tripped and knocked your napper and just kind of made a mistake.

I'm very, very impressed, however, by your implementation of deadlines. These things are crucial, I feel. Self-imposed or otherwise. Apart from drugs or a scrape with death it's pretty hard to think of anything more helpful than a deadline. It just helps to focus the mind and forces the words to keep time. (Keep some drugs in a drawer, though, just in case - no need to be hasty in discarding these things.)

How can you say for sure that your cat has never shown any religious inclination? Maybe her God is telling her to do just exactly what she likes just whenever she should choose? You'd have to say, under these circumstances, that cats are a pretty devoted bunch. (It would also explain the wild look they sometimes get in their eyes and the dulling stubborn streak they display when you try to introduce them to reason.) Your cat may very well be the most religiously observant entity in your house, Signsy. Stands to unreasonable reason.

Anyway, keep smoking. It's good for you.

Dispiritingly kind regards etc....


(And happy lenting, incidentally. Good luck.)

Reading the Signs said...

Trousers, I am actually quite taken with the first version. It might be wonderful to think that a reduction in your chocolate consumption had the effect of making me want it less. But then I would think of all manner of things I could ask you to cut back on, for my benefit.

Yes, deadlines. But it is a crying shame that things don't just sort themselves out. I need a manager, a secretary and one of those motivational life-coach thingies just to live, Trousers, but until I am rich and famous I have to do it all myself.

Reading the Signs said...

Montag, I have just looked up eructation. Somehow these frenchified words don't have the same poetic clout as good old anglo-saxon poo and piss. Well I'm not saying the anglo-saxons actually used those words and you could take me to task and say that piss comes from pissoir, which is hardly anglo-saxon, but you know what I mean: there is something earthy (of the earth?) about those words, which is why they sit well with poetry.

I can't think what those words might have been, dear Montag, that should have had this effect on you. I think if this happened to me in a Shrink session, he would be thinking we had struck gold. But then, that's Shrinks for you. Poetry is like foolery (pooetry?), which does walk about the orb like the sun and shines everywhere. ok, that's Shakespeare, but I thought of it too.

Reading the Signs said...

TPE, now look what you made me do! I have just looked up pooetry and have therefore left evidence which could - by a stretch of the imagination - be used against me one day (and here you are urging Montag not to encourage me). But listen, once you have your own computer back, for which believe me I am daily praying, you simply must google it. There are places, whole sites, I tell you, devoted to this very thing and it promises to be quite fascinating. Not that it interests me very much - just to make that quite clear. I'm just saying (but google it, TPE, it will boggle your mind).

There are deadline-imposing drugs that one can keep in a drawer? This I must google too, as I struggle to do this for myself. This is why people like me need something like Lent, even though that's not the real reason for it. I don't think C of S is a christian, well not C of E anyway. I think you have a point though. She gets that Egytian gleam in her eye sometimes and stares at us in a disconcertingly penetrating way.

Re the smoking: I keep thinking of that Woody Allen film where they wake up some time in the future and find out that we were all wrong - cigarettes and fudge sauce are brilliant for you in every way. Something you clearly knew all along.

Montag said...

"...which is why they sit well with poetry."

I can only hope that you, indeed, intended to write the word "sit", as you did.
After all these bodily functions, I can only hope.

Poetry actually - as I said to someone someplace and sometime earlier - reminds me of a joyful promiscuity.
Now one may imagine what those other words that come to mind are, BUT please do not do so!

And keep at those deadline thingies. Nose to the grindstone.
Eschew the Xanadu of smokes and stimulants until you are finished. Developed that Egyptian "gleam" and hungry look!

Reading the Signs said...

Montag, you rogue, I meant nothing other than "sit". I promise you that I will not try to imagine what those other words might be. And as for you: feel free to imagine anything you like except for a pink elephant in a bowler hat crossing the road. Don't let it even cross your mind, ok?

As to the grindstone - thank you, and believe me I hope to keep so close to it that with any luck I will have very little nose left by easter.

Kahless said...

Great money-spinning idea; set-up as a cat shrink.

Reading the Signs said...

She couldn't afford me, Kahless, Signsy doesn't come cheap. And I think we would become deeply enmeshed in counter-transference issues.