Wednesday, 21 January 2009


Here is a picture of my mood (see Third, below).

Third. A right plight.

“Nothing.” (answer to last)

Writing this blog, I feel in sympathy with Emily Dickinson’s ‘nobody’ –

“I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us — don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!”

…or, as Mr. Frog ’imself might say, “dropping one’s aitches takes the ‘hauteur’ out of ‘auteur’.”

Which means I am, in my solipsism, free to write as I will.

And so, I write, on a similar theme:

The Companion.

At the lake’s edge,
A sudden gust.
Caught among the swirling
Skirts of faded petals -
Breeze of another summer -
The faint scent
Of his deep longing.

The children about his feet,
Hungry for the hundred tales
With which his life was leavened,
Are all his mind.

The trembling minstrelsy of his fingers,
A parliament of birds
Prodigiously dispute the propriety
Of each fibrous knot of memory
Discarded from the crusty fabric
Of his life - till the tale’s end
Scatters these fickle courtiers
To flock homage
Under the aegis of some other king.
©Alan Gilliland.

This may not quite be nonsense, but it is the way I am feeling today, and my imaginary companion is understanding of the vagaries of my mind.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Second. A mysterious case of thick handedness.

I was signing at Waterstone’s, County Mall, Crawley, yesterday when the back of my right, drawing, hand started to swell and ache badly. I thought I must have banged it playing tennis the day before but, instead of turning into a nice black bruise, it just kept swelling as if from a bite.
I took anti-swelling tablets and cream, called anti-hisstamines - which sound as if they should be good against snake-bites , though I never saw one in the shop - but it just kept on swelling through the night. Today the back of my hand looks like a tumulus (long-barrow - where ancient Brits were buried).
Since it is my best drawing hand and I find it very useful, I would just ask this: “If anyone who bought my book yesterday did bite me, or perhaps had a snake or spider or ancient Brit in their pocket, would they kindly let me know.”

Hercule Poirot might suspect one of the 28 people who bought the book, possibly narrowing it down to one of the seven who shook my hand, four of whom were children. But has anyone heard of a person maliciously buying a book?
I dismiss such a preposterous theory out of hand, preferring instead to thank those people in the hope that one reading this may have a better explanation for thith thudden cathe of thick-handedneth. (the thwelling theemth to have thpread to my mouth!)

Tomorrow: What lies betwixt the lips and lisp?