Thursday, 31 May 2012

Fame - Half Price!

What is the deal with having such soft feet? I wore some man-sandals when it was unseasonably hot out five days ago, walked a couple of hours total and the left one tore an absolute lesion in the top of my foot which didn't stop bleeding until yesterday, responded neither to bandages nor plasters, kept me awake at night by actually throbbing like, I don't know, a gunshot wound, and has left me walking around shoe and sockless with one trouser leg rolled up waiting for it to even start to heal. This is completely out of proportion when I only wore the sandals on a whim. I've written to my MP.

Anyway, this (left) is currently making me very happy: it is a fictionalised mention in Mark Haddon's new novel, The Red House. It is on p. 138 and the paragraph in question concerns a character who doesn't like contemporary poetry, especially free verse. She picks a book off the shelf at random and it is translated by me, which is not something I know how to do in real life - I'm generally too busy looking for my own name in print to master a second language - but it's pretty cool nonetheless. It could, of course, be the promising young Ohio basketball player Luke Kennard whose impending success I'm still trying to work out how to capitalise on. I had been planning to pick up The Red House anyway after reading a couple of reviews, but one of my MA students mentioned my mention to me so I ran straight to the campus bookshop to pick it up. The whole thing reminded me of my favourite scene in Martin Amis's The Information when Richard Tull anonymously sends Glyn Barrie a copy of the LA Times with a post-it attached reading "Glyn, something to interest you here - the price of fame?", knowing that Glyn will have to spend days sifting through the entire paper and all its supplements looking for his own name. (In a Road Runner / Wile E Coyote type twist, Glyn later tells Richard that he found the relevant mention within a few minutes).

Surely, surely this counts as some kind of Impact or Knowledge Transfer in the upcoming REF? Next week I am hoping to somehow turn up dead in a posthumous Roberto Bolano. He's the Tupac of contemporary literature in translation.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Prequel or Whatever

Holdfire Press Launch - Thursday May 31st - Including a New Pamphlet by Me

Elated to be reading at this on Thursday night (May 31st, 8pm). Holdfire are a brand new small press based in Liverpool and the editor, Michael Egan, has put together a really exciting first sequence of pamphlets. Also beautifully designed (see below) but not good for getting the hearth going (see bellow).

My pamphlet, The Necropolis Boat, takes place within one of the lines of a poem from Planet-Shaped Horse, so could be considered a sequel or prequel or whatever you call a follow-up sequence the narrative of which occurs within one of the lines from the preceding work. A nested sequel, is what I'm going to call it, I think. But you don't have to have read PSH to enjoy it! It stands alone! Like a man! On a jetty! On his own!

I hate the word jetty. I could have said anywhere and I went with jetty.

I may work out some kind of special offer whereby I sell PSH half-price if you purchase a copy of TNB. But really you should buy it directly from Holdfire, and in fact probably you should probably buy all of the other pamphlets too.

One day I'll write a third part and publish it with a different pamphlet press, thus atomising my already meagre readership across three small presses. But by this time I'll be really famous and a major publisher will write to me and say, 'Hey, why don't we put out all three of your pamphlets from the last decade as a lovely complete book? Maybe we could market it as a "novel in verse" which bizarrely seems to sell better than poetry collections, fuck knows why?' And I'll be all like, 'Oh, thank you major publisher, where do I sign?' And they'll be like 'PSYCH! I am your mum all along! Why have you not made more of your life?' And then the heat-death of the universe. Hope to see you there. I will be drunk.