Every year around this time I am in creative ferment, composing my entry for the annual Cardiff International Poetry Competition (closing date March 14th). Organised by Literature Wales and now in its 14th year, the Competition has a first prize of £5000, £500 for second place, £250 for third and £50 each for five more also-rans (see http://www.literaturewales.org/cipc/).
Given that there surely can’t be many entries, I’ve always thought any old rubbish would put me in with a chance of at least bagging one of those 50 quid consolations; but so far, no luck. This year I’m more determined than ever. I’m aiming high. I want that five grand and I’ll stop at nothing to get it. Well, how else am I going to pay my Council Tax arrears?
About the nature of the space between the me I’m writing about and the I doing the writing.
Well then…uh…any suggestions?
Yeah, swim swan swim.
Why are you being so aggressive and contrary?
I AM NOT FUCKING AGGRESSIVE AND THAT OTHER WORD!
That’s it. God I’m hungry. I feel like something sweet.
Must you cheapen everything with barrel-scraping adolescent mysticism?
That’s the 57th consecutive question you’ve asked me.
You’re like a dry lizard on a slimy rock.
Wouldn’t the rock be dry and the lizard slimy?
But I didn’t ask for any celery.
Here’s a poem: Look at the jaguar, look at the ox, look at the fruit-eating bat, look at the hard-on I get when I pick up the cat.
I can forgive the bestiality but not the scansion.
Here’s another: Hitler took a dim view of the Jew.
That’s almost so bad it’s good – but not quite.
I’ve been getting anonymous phone calls.
The altar, as in pre-history, is anywhere you kneel. The unknown stranger is a wandering pagan god. Nothing is enough.
Last year Geoff Lajbrok of Cambridge, England, snaffled the £5k for a smug 24-line celebration of human cruelty called The Goose in the Suitcase. So the bar is set low and I should have no trouble bettering that standard (don’t go by my effort above – that’s just a tossed-off, piss-taking deconstruction of the very idea of a poetry competition to lull my rivals into a false sense of security). The winner will be announced in July. I’m so confident I’ve advance-booked my flights to Bolivia already. The Council can whistle for those arrears.