Verses to Apologize.

I am, it must be confessed, an enormous birthday spaz. I miss them in spades, and at length. These are not small transpositions- not by, say, a day, or even a week. I have been known to be off for months, calling people in June to wish them for February. I am liable to skip years entirely; and my more patient friends call to kindly remind me to wish them. It is this haphazard jerk within that all my birthday-posts were intended to restrain, for if something is part of my writing calendar I can’t possibly forget, right?

It was a sound plan. Well reasoned, and so far, well executed. Then my writing calendar terrified me so much I began to avoid it. Tomorrow, I told myself everyday, I will look and see what deadlines I have. Blip! Blip! went the radar, while the navigator napped. This post is thus almost a week late, so back I go to being a jerk. Happy birthday, bluefloppyhat. Without you this blog would have no art, and it thanks the universe with me that you are alive. I forgot because I am an ass, but I do love you so.

This be the Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

—- Larkin


A sentence uttered makes a world appear
Where all things happen as it says they do;
We doubt the speaker, not the tongue we hear:
Words have no words for words that are not true.

Syntactically, though, it must be clear;
One cannot change the subject half-way through,
Nor alter tenses to appease the ear:
Arcadian tales are hard-luck stories too.

But should we want to gossip all the time,
Were fact not fiction for us at its best,
Or find a charm in syllables that rhyme,

Were not our fate by verbal chance expressed,
As rustics in a ring-dance pantomime
The Knight at some lone cross-roads of his quest?

—– Auden

This Be Another Verse.

They don’t fuck you up, your mum and dad
(Despite what Larkin says)
It’s other grown-ups, other kids
Who, in their various ways

Die. And their dying casts a shadow
Numbering all our days
And we try to keep from going mad
In multifarious ways.

And most of succeed, thank God,
So if, to coin a phrase,
You’re fucked up, don’t blame your mum and dad
(Despite what Larkin says. )

—– McGough.

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