10 December 2018

I’m delighted to record that I have an American reader, or at least one I know about, and what’s also pleasurable is that the reader in question is an accomplished writer herself, with a formidable collection of work at www.susantepper.com To be read across the Atlantic is much appreciated, and as Susan now has her copy of ‘The Guy Thing’, I will also be sampling her writing. We are both contributors to the Irish magazine www.thelinnetswings.org, and it says something about the reach of LW that it can claim a truly transatlantic readership.

While on the subject of our cousins across the Pond, it is a regrettable but unavoidable fact that Huntington’s Disease spreads its deadly tentacles all around the world, and the U.S. is no exception. However, organisations fighting it are also international, and one of the biggest and brightest is the Huntington’s Disease Society of America , https://hdsa.org. I’d just like to express my congratulations and admiration for their work, as one whose own life has been invaded by HD as a result of my partner’s illness.

Returning to the Linnet’s Wings, I’m happy to say that another piece from The Guy Thing collection, ‘The Telegram Boy’, will shortly appear in their forthcoming issue. It is a story particularly appropriate for 2018 and the centenary of the First World War, and it sets out to highlight, as well as I can from such a distance of time and circumstance, the experiences of those guys who were too old or too young to actually do the fighting themselves.
More Broos Noos nonsense below. With the maelstrom swirling around us, I think many of us are not sure whether to laugh or cry, but I know which one I prefer, especially where I am at the moment.

Broos Noos 7

Inciting the people and stirring the mobs,
rich Tories aren’t going to lose their jobs
and maintain a vision of Britain whose view is
based on the country in the crisis of Suez.
How they love to torment their own Theresa,
to undermine her, twist her and squeeze her.
Soon now, they’ll be hearing a very old song;
the past is for the old; the future’s for the young.

Over in Paris, we see the evolution
of a sort of Hi-Vis revolution
aimed at helping those in poverty
by setting fire to people’s property.
Another ex-Trump man gets his face on the telly,
the new ex-Chief of Staff John Kelly
as we all sit and watch, boggling our minds at
one more ship deserting a sinking rat.

 

3 December 2018

Another competition success to be reported, I’m glad to say, and perhaps a few more might appear before Christmas. It’s an impossible business to predict which ones will do something, since competitions and judges can be so different, but my ‘Paris by Night’ piece, on a romantic theme with a darker undercurrent, has managed a third place and prize in the Erewash Writers’ Annual Competition and is now displaying itself on their site at
https://erewashwriterscompetition.weebly.com/

My poetry collection, ‘The Huntington Hydra’, due to be published in early 2019, now has a foreword piece from the Huntington’s Disease Association, www.hda.org.uk , and ‘Fallen Eagles’, the short fiction collection of ‘rites of passage’ stories due out at a similar time will be introduced by Catherine Martin, the Chief Executive of the Huntington’s Disease Youth Organisation, https://en.hdyo.org/

Final proof readings coming up in both cases, which will be something to do apart from eating, drinking and watching various festive bilge on television!
Speaking of which, latest Broos Noos below, which does manage to have at least a first verse which isn’t about Brexit.

Broos Noos 6

Like a twenty-first century Emperor Nero
President Shout is the climate’s anti-hero;
he’s ducking and diving, twisting and turning,
while all around him, the planet is burning.
Yet another last chance in Poland today
for our tottering species to find some way
to pause at the least, and even reverse
the one-way road of the climate change curse.

And in our festive home, Brexit rolls along,
like an ever-repeating annoying old song
and we wrestle on with eternal debate,
seemingly resigned to our miserable fate.
Families will soon be getting together
snarling ‘leave’ or ‘remain’ at each other as ever
and to the merry sound of the jingling bells
we will all slug it out in our Brexitive hells.

 

28 November 2018

A few updatings before yet another silly bit of news rhyming in the Broos Noos series, which is good for reminding me that writing doesn’t always have to be serious or deeply meaningful; in fact, it’s better if it isn’t for at least some of the time.

The GRIST writing organisation at the University of Huddersfield have recently held a competition under the title ‘Trouble and Strife: A Celebration of Protest’, the idea being that the best entries will be included in an anthology. My contribution, ‘The Unplayable’, centred on the theme of gay professional footballers, or rather the lack of them, is to be included in the collection, I’m pleased to say, especially as it’s a subject worth an airing as far as I’m concerned.

Two of the poems on the influence of Huntington’s Disease in the lives of my partner and I, ‘Us’ and ‘The Undefeated’, are also to be included in the Momaya Press 2018 Annual Poetry Review, and thereafter will go into the anthology ‘The Huntington Hydra’, to be published in early 2019; more precise news on that coming up.

And so to the Noos, and why not?

Broos Noos 5

We’ve seen more final Brexit crunches
than the Queen has given gala lunches;
such sharp division hasn’t been seen
since Marmite entered our British cuisine
and now Treezer’s going nationwide
to get the country on her side,
the dour remainers, the diehard leavers
and the who gives a shit non-believers.

And Russia keeps spreading alarm and fear
by buggering around in the Ukraine and Crimea;
Ms. Nightingale’s ghost stalks the place, willing
the poor land to be free of maiming and killing
and if you’re doing research, the place not to be
is on the territory of the U.A.E.
and if you are, what you must wish for is
your Foreign Secretary will not be Boris.