Plog 18th June 2011

June 18th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized

The Poetry Group I attend at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol has the theme of Independence for the first meeting in July.  Perhaps it is more difficult for non-Americans to find something conventional to say on the subject, but I have never been a big proponent of conventions .  The subjects of dependence, co-dependence, independence and interdependence affect each of us most of the time and so I decided to give independence my conscious attention for a couple of hours.

The result was nonsense verse.  I have never written nonsense verse before.

Somehow the whole idea of anything operating independently from everything else took on ludicrous images . . . and the Art Fish was born . . .

Free From

Free From
Free from art fish.
Her Majesty’s
Government’s health
Warning: Art fish
Carry cans and
Can be clanky.

General advice:
Try opening
The can before
Eating art fish.
Cull rings round them.
Flay skins off them.
Preserve their tiffs.
Rights will never
Be affected.  They
Never ever
Could, for after
All, they made them
Just to forget
The customer

Their caveat
Is emptor as
A disused tomb

A smart fish on
The other hand
Is trendy.  In
Shining armour
Vegetable oil
He shines silver
Sardines.  Free from
Hook, line, sinker.

Customer note:
Be the backbone
Of the brand new
Brands may be big
Green and gleaming
But the backbone’s
Like a woodlouse
A crustacean’s
Brittle segments.

Is no new thing
You just ate it
Hook, line, sinker.

And they’d warned you
On the label
So it’s your fault.

Free from statue
Tory response

Hark ye, art fish
Coz precedents
Get elected.

For those of you unfamiliar with British customs, there is a notice on every packet of cigarettes saying: ‘Her Majesty’s Government’s Health Warning, cigarettes can seriously damage your health’.  That is fair enough, but when you buy a packet of bananas that says ‘best when peeled’, you begin to wonder what sort of comedy you have taken a part in.

The art fish themselves are part of the general slogan: ‘free from artificial colours, flavourings and preservatives’, which you may hear voicing its statutory responsibility elsewhere in the poem.

I’d love to try illustrating it . . . unless anyone else wants to . . .

Your comments are always welcome,  so if anything stands out to you as needing further exploration,  please drop me a line.


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