Tuesday, 14 July 2009


Informed that The Guardian covered the launch of The Burning of the Books and indeed it has, in its own bemused, provincialist, ageist, pressed-trouserist, slightly edge-of-sneerist (I love these -ist terms, perhaps I could be an Istist), but on the whole approving metropolitan way. And I may be being a touch uncharitable to an article that may be just a touch charitable. I don't know. I do think it is very Guardian though. Come on, young Master Sam. This is not Aldeburgh-at-bay: it is Canetti-Vienna-Thirties-Fascism-Visionary-Violent-Apocalyptic-Budapest-Brazil-Nightmare-Cosmopolitanism of the highest order. Let it be known that The Burning of the Books is the last word in zeitgeisty, crunchy, salivatingly mind-blowing cool. As for myself, I could very well pass for thirty-three in a fog with the light behind me.

In correspondence with Bill Herbert about pro-wrestling we point each other to websites, and me having pointed him to one Kendo Nagasaki site, he points me to Nagasaki's own, that has its own Mystics Corner, where he says:

Kendo Nagasaki is, of course, a spiritual entity..
As am I, Sam Jordison, as am I...


Desmond Swords said...

testing testing italic tag

romes - word verification, very relevant. See next post for why so.

Desmond Swords said...

EX-cambridge educated goat-herder from Alnwick N'thumberland m' Lord, joint author of Crap Towns I and Crap Towns II, hack at a now (i think) defunct Idler - one has only just copped on, that this was a gee up revving to the sneer-edge:

It's printed on creamy tactile paper, complete with luxurious fold-outs.

I thought this was straight-up Sam, and these very few words sparked one's first response to Sam.

Only on reading S, a veil's been draw back to reveal what I too thought was on sneer edge:

..a busy room full of noisy, bread-stick munching paragons of the chattering class is no place to form an opinion about such an involved work...

I have just read Betty Radice's 1964 translation of Younger Pliny's Letters, and BOOM!! - the timeless grammatical underlay of Latin revealed in English. The vehicle that makes one real as a printed entity who gets read, or not.

Sam studied Classics at Cam and with Pliny the mind-key intellectualy unlocking a how-to-write cupboard, the tool from which: one's been spamming with for the last few days since discovering it, and coming to cognize the majesty and control of H himself in print is merely the timeless nous of Latin Letters.

I detected it in Sams opening:

"Last weekend, I drove down the Suffolk coast to Aldeburgh to witness the launch of an increasingly rare phenomenon: the first book of a new publishing house."

The colon: a 3/4 pause and impercebtible beat bringing stateliness and grandeur to the ones who come to use it.

So there was me misreading Sam the above-line star writer on the books blog (because he gets in there with the loonies and does the equivalent of a politicain on the stump pumping hands), and thought I would josh back, writing as OhMyGodNotHimAgain, a post which was immediately removed by the mods.

OMG is one's 100 and something nom de guerre at the books blog: the final mask in a Power game which ebbed, flowed, flowered and flared and in which one's posting rights were removed time and time again, for many reasons relating to privilege and personal politics, the full of which are essentially comedic and which i'm saving for my memoirs.


Dear Finder-in-waiting of the hottest poetic talent to emerge since Manditonus of Aldi de Lidl: please accept one's most exquisite and cordial greetings.

If one may: numerous texts are in my possession, the author/s of which I am not at liberty to reveal, due to marvellously enchanting supernatural properties plied with immense skill, grace care, compassion and love, wefting the very physical surfaces on which empyreal fascinations flit such ways as mere words cannot hope to convey the breathtaking scale, bedazzlement, allure, charm and - delineating there: the gravity of.

Where it is impossible for any living Thing or being to portray the design and beauty between the covers of these artworks: inconceivable to cognize what poetic truths immure a global harmony one finds on - not reading; for the exposure to these higher keys and codes unlocking cosmic silence long invisible, only a handful of heavenly entities too fantastic for our puny human brains to hold within its present scope of understanding, are knowing of what is currently being passed into lore as: the New Thing.

Po-Biz is big business: potentially, many millions wait to vent the words of what next big thing is the New Thing ex Oxford-Havard-Yale student, professor in St Paul Macalester Minnesota and College ollamh: Stephen Burt spoke to be in the Boston Globe.

The New Thing poetry school, strung from thin air by Burt Finder-in-waiting: for a fee, you can take me and do as you please, but not the holy books, please, not Crap Towns I and II, I beseech you from the bowels of Christ.

I am waiting for you Finder, can sense our cleverness, wit, warmth, exquisite taste in Foetry come to take a look at s/he who is Reality.
New Thing what will prove to be unbeatable, should you send a fee.

George S said...

Is the part after OhGodNotHimAgain a copy of a letter you wrote to the Books Blog?

One point at issue:

"Last weekend, I drove down the Suffolk coast to Aldeburgh to witness the launch of an increasingly rare phenomenon: the first book of a new publishing house."

The colon: a 3/4 pause and impercebtible beat bringing stateliness and grandeur to the ones who come to use it.

In my view the colon here is the ironic intake of breath, the miniature drum roll, before the grand announcement that turns out to be not so grand.

I don't altogether blame the writer for that. I too would experience a slight shiver of anticipatory irony in entering such a gathering. But I have that in any literary gathering, in London too, which is one of the reasons I rarely go. In this case it is the feeling that since it is NOT in London there is a decent, predator's chance it might be toothless, unable to bite back, and therefore uncool, that propels the piece through its hedged bets.

Desmond Swords said...

Yes George, a second draft slightly altered, a few misspells and the insertion of Crap Towns I and Crap Towns II in reference to the holy books.

I admit to being a coward who daren't write the name of these tomes in the original OMG guardian post which was removed; because I knew to do so would be considered grossly impertinent and deemed by the moderating entities supporting their brave, jolly decent writers; a tasteless and disgusting act of insolence that could very possibly have resulted in the removal of one's posting rights from that highly cultured and civilized part of the greater Guardian Media Group organ, whose writers are among the most sophisticated talents to have known one another at the Fame school head-quarters only pukka PLU's are chosen to hatch their gift in - because they are so uniquely different and thus: no saminess.


That minature drum roll you mention, was the ineffable image ravelled in one's mind as I groped about for an apt expression when teasing out one's own definition of the comma: failing and losing out to a description of greater clarity in the most poetical written meaning for a comma competition.


Sammie though, me and him have history: go way back to the time I (posting as Ovid Yeats) began my guardian guerilla training, in spring 2007


Sam had been on the guardian books blog since its inception, six months before my own arrival. Three months later he was on an American road trip with a travelling companion, who turned out to be another books blog writer whose name I can't mention here coz I can't remember it.

Lousie is it, ah, yes: Eloise Millar.


Sam was posting from a number of literary landmarks, criss crossing America in search of the faery force from dead titans' ghosts: Laedville Colorado where Oscar Wilde lectured; 49 Zillicoa Street Asheville, North Carolina: site of the Highlands Mental hospital where Zelda Fitzgerald had ECT and as Sam told us: "was finally put out of her misery on the night of March 10 1948, aged just 47."

Big Sur, the town of Ovid and, most memorable of all, recounting his time with Mark Bittner the author of Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, who had been a semi-homeless wandering bum before gaining fame as the local custodian and lover of wild parrots in SF.

An addiction which depressed one of your secret levers of the universe and, as Sam says: surprisingly, opened the doors that had so long remained closed to him.


In his road-trip posts spanning the high summer of 2007, undertaken after finishing a Crap Town book: a travelling companion would occassionally appear, briefly in one line, who at some point was referred to as his girlfriend. I, as Ovid Yeats, would josh him about Sammy, (who I took to calling the unamed companion) conjuring all sorts of fictional scenarios in which he and Sammy appeared.


Millar was also blogging there but none of us ciffers knew she and Sam were together, and wouldn't have known (poosibly to this day) if she had not told me who, in all innocence, had been joshing with her: naturally in the dark about her and Sam, who she now has a child with.

Most of her posts did not mention she was in America with Sam, as they were usually a few hundred words of literary prose blog-filler. Then a post appeared in which she told us she was writing from San Francisco, and I joshed that another blogger, Sam, was on the road and had been telling us about a possibly imaginary girlfriend, which let the cat out of the bag as she informed us it was she who was the travelling companion.

This may sound a crap anecdote, but at the time, was a big news for us below-line ciffers in the crocodile tank of the books blog, and as H said in his last Guardian article on Robert Henryson, the challenge is to create a work that answers MacDiarmid's big challenging definition of poetry as 'human existence come to life'.

Fiona said...

Please don't ist me: