Friday, May 22, 2009

Inspired by events elsewhere!

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am pleased.
In vast quantities it has been remaindered
Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized
And sits in piles in a police warehouse,
My enemy's much-prized effort sits in piles
In the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs.
Great, square stacks of rejected books and, between them, aisles
One passes down reflecting on life's vanities,
Pausing to remember all those thoughtful reviews
Lavished to no avail upon one's enemy's book --
For behold, here is that book
Among these ranks and banks of duds,
These ponderous and seeminly irreducible cairns
Of complete stiffs.

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I rejoice.
It has gone with bowed head like a defeated legion
Beneath the yoke.
What avail him now his awards and prizes,
The praise expended upon his meticulous technique,
His individual new voice?
Knocked into the middle of next week
His brainchild now consorts with the bad buys
The sinker, clinkers, dogs and dregs,
The Edsels of the world of moveable type,
The bummers that no amount of hype could shift,
The unbudgeable turkeys.

Yea, his slim volume with its understated wrapper
Bathes in the blare of the brightly jacketed Hitler's War Machine,
His unmistakably individual new voice
Shares the same scrapyart with a forlorn skyscraper
Of The Kung-Fu Cookbook,
His honesty, proclaimed by himself and believed by others,
His renowned abhorrence of all posturing and pretense,
Is there with Pertwee's Promenades and Pierrots--
One Hundred Years of Seaside Entertainment,
And (oh, this above all) his sensibility,
His sensibility and its hair-like filaments,
His delicate, quivering sensibility is now as one
With Barbara Windsor's Book of Boobs,
A volume graced by the descriptive rubric
"My boobs will give everyone hours of fun".

Soon now a book of mine could be remaindered also,
Though not to the monumental extent
In which the chastisement of remaindering has been meted out
To the book of my enemy,
Since in the case of my own book it will be due
To a miscalculated print run, a marketing error--
Nothing to do with merit.
But just supposing that such an event should hold
Some slight element of sadness, it will be offset
By the memory of this sweet moment.
Chill the champagne and polish the crystal goblets!
The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am glad.


Desci said...

I love it so much. And if, theoretically, I had recently attended a book launch for a contemporary (who theoretically may be a bit of an arrogant hack) and I had, theoretically, stood alongside far more talented, sans publisher writers as he read, I'd love it even more.


Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Glad you cleared that up, Dess.

Perseus said...

I wonder if he's talking about Costello Memoirs?

(By the way, I don't know why my post is above yours. I din touch nuffin.)

wari lasi said...

I was wondering about the precedence myself Perseus.

Isn't it terrific work though? I've always liked his stuff, but this is the most beautiful piece of bitterness ever penned.

Even if remaindered isn't really a word. Or is it now because he's made it that way?

I prefer modulus myself. Or modulused? I dunno.

Melba said...

Remaindered is the correct word in the publishing world. And I thought it was over-referenced in this poem.

Do you people just know these writers, or do you look them up, then oh so casually indicate that you know who it is without using their name, and so frustrating people like me who don't know who the fuck any poet is apart from Hughes, Plath, Keats, Eliot etc? If it aint in "The World's Contracted Thus" or the yellow "Anthology of Poetry," then I have probably never heard of the poet.

Weekend weather and yacht club update wari?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

It's Clive James, Melba.

He's a good mate of mine*

*This may mean I bumped into him in a pub once

Fad MD said...

It's hot and sunny in Manila if that helps Melba. We have the last PAFL game before an invitational tournament tomorrow, and then I have a 5 yr old's birthday party where the Dad sent out an email to parents assuring us that "Grown-up drinks will be served"


wari lasi said...

The lovely Melba. I rarely pick them, but I did this one because I'm a bit of a fan of Clive. His New Years Eve summaries of the previous year's events are hilarious.

Weather is crappy, as it has been all week. Grey and raining. 26 ish. Emma is wearing her jacket to school, she was 8 on Monday, by the way.

Nothing flash at the yachtie tonight, just the usual drunken expats and Joker Draw.

I've sent the "babysitter, recently upgraded to girlfriend" down to Cairns to see her sister so I'm footloose and fancy free tonight. I'm planning to misbehave.

wari lasi said...

And hey, it moved up all by itself.

squib said...
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