Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

A message for those who want it

At the foot of this post is a poem I wrote in 2004. I still believe that we can, each of us, re-create the eternal city inside ourselves, in each moment in which we connect with the humble reality in front of us. But I no longer associate this with a place or any time other than now.

This is a message for the disillusioned. You carry with you everything that through your work you have gained.

Here is a link to Cavafy's poem, The god abandons Anthony, which expresses this idea better than I can.

Below is my 2004 poem:

Another Athens shall arise

Though our untended wasteland's choked with weeds,
Yet, bramble-bound, a rough Arcadia lies
Here hidden, and its dark earth holds the seeds
From which a city's garden shall arise.

Tear with bare fingers ivy from the face
Of Dionysos! Here we'll plant a hill
Of vines, and there Athena shows a place
For rustling olive groves. Then, labouring still,

We'll change the thorns of bramble for the rose;
Among the flowers build a noble square
Where love shall wear away the years of those
Who, ever younger, greet each other there.

Here a new, waking Athens shall arise
That with our hearts shall mirror Paradise.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Free vampire story for halloween

Click for a free vampire story, The girl who was not a vampire. Fair enough, my heroine is not a vampire, but there is definitely a vampire in the story.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Recipe for a happy marriage

Milton Marmalade's recipe for a happy marriage:

(1) Find someone you fancy and who loves you despite your being a bit of an idiot sometimes;

(2) When (s)he pushes your buttons, bite your tongue (this too shall pass);

(3) When (s)he's in the mood, give her (him) a good time.

That's it.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Increase levity using Milton Marmalade's Remarkably Silly Stories for Grown-ups

If you take yourself lightly enough you may one day learn to fly.

Milton Marmalade's Remarkably Silly Stories for Grown-ups front cover

Milton Marmalade's Remarkably Silly Stories for Grown-ups are here to help you into a light frame of mind. They are mostly happy tales with just a bit of necessary darkness.

This is a slim volume of strange tales which struggle with universal questions like the meaning of now, infinity, and why Wolf fell in love with Redcap. The girl who was not a vampire (complete story available on this web site - just click the link) celebrates the condition of being ordinary. Chocolatina is a satire on the odd puritanism that informs some New Age diets and at the same time a paean in praise of chocolate. I have also sneaked in a few poems, mostly silly and one just a little bit erotic (not enough to make you spurt your takeaway coffee in public, although what you do in private is your own affair). In a deliberate protest against the decayed mores of the age, the poems rhyme. A literary tapas time for curly minds everywhere.

At a mere US$5.99 (€5.99, £4.99), a bargain stocking-filler for chuckles over a mince pie. Available from Amazon worldwide and good bookstores everywhere.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

We are still birds, and children of the sky

gloomy fish

Swims a gloomy fish through muddy weeds,
There hides the flickering tail-fin of despair;
The bottom-dweller on detritus feeds:
A Something sees all this, and is not there.

Between the half-lit gloomy depths and air
Exists a surface shimmering and free:
Beneath this subtle boundary despair
Drifts through an imaginary sea.

We looked below and fancied ourselves fishes;
Our vision caught, we understood not why
Our airy state had turned to brine-worn wishes;
We are still birds, and children of the sky.


This is the only serious poem (leaving aside the slightly erotic one) in my forthcoming book of poems and stories, Milton Marmalade's Remarkably Silly Stories for Grown-ups. I shall post a silly poem on this blog soon, together with news of the new book, which should be available in an inexpensive edition in time for Christmas. Suitable for anyone with a curly mind.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

This is a draft cover for my new collection of short stories and poems. The revised title will be Milton Marmalade's Remarkably Silly Stories for Grown-ups, and the cover will be very stylish when it's finished.

Here is the copyright notice, because I thought the usual copyright notice a bit dated:

Remarkably Silly Stories are all copyright, all rights reserved, and if you steal my stories and I later get famous my lawyers will certainly be after you. 
My lawyers are called Bloodfang & Wolf and they have a reputation. If you go into their office on a full moon you will find yourself at the front desk where a very pretty woman sits. In one corner is a carved wooden candlestick holding a fat off-white church candle, its tiny flame guttering ineffectually. 
You see the woman by the moonlight streaming through the gothic windows. She is wearing a black dress calculated to show off her figure, in which roundness in all the right places is emphasised by an almost unfeasably small waist. She has raven hair and her eyes are pools of darkness. Though she is beautiful you feel for a moment as though you are staring into the soul of an animal. 
You ask to see one of the partners but she tells you ever so sweetly that since it is a full moon neither of them are in. However she assures you that your case is in the best hands and anyone who steals your work will be sure to regret it. Somewhere outside you hear a scream which you think may be a fox or maybe not. 
Because she is smiling at you, and also because her low cut dress suggests breasts of surpassing wonder, you think about asking her out on a date. The moonlight casts a glint on one of her unusually sharp canine teeth.
You lose your nerve and find yourself out on the pavement again wondering quite what happened. The fox, or whatever it was, screams again, briefly, then there is silence. 
Check back again soon for updates on the book, which will be pocket-size and as affordable as printing costs will allow.