I have tweeted various of my blogs into cyberspace, to everyone in general and no one in particular. Whether this makes any difference remains to be seen.
I sent a message to Paul Muldoon, an Irish poet, through his website. He was on radio yesterday, along with Paul Brady, a rather good Irish singer, with whom he collaborated on some songs, sung on the program.
You don’t get rich writing poetry, someone said. I quoted this to Paul (Muldoon), asking him if this was his experience? Luckily, I write other things apart from poetry. So there is hope.
Mae West said I been rich and I been poor, rich is best. I have not had the chance to verify her words. Being rich doesn’t make you happy, but you can be miserable in comfort. To quote a great philosopher. I should have been born rich, God made a mistake. Or maybe when I was born babies were mixed up. I’m still mixed up. I have my mother’s nose, I don’t know if she wants it back.
Paul Muldoon seems a reasonable example of a human being, he spoke well. The singer was okay too. The program was pleasant, inoffensive. I wasn’t offended anyway. Some might have preferred the Beatles. Apparently Muldoon wrote a poem about their appearance in Dublin in 1963, which was notable by my absence. In that year I saw President Kennedy, also in Dublin, not Dallas. We did not speak. On a later occasion I saw President Nixon, briefly hurrying by in a car, no crowds for him. He wasn’t Irish enough for the Irish. I never saw President Reagan, I am not always in pubs, only sometimes.
When presidents visit Ireland they have a pint in a pub, to which some prudish Irish object. Drink is part of what we are. Paddy wagons in New York are named after the Irish. We’re famous. For some things, anyway. A glass of the warm south. A little wine for thy stomach’s sake. For medicinal purposes. Christ turned water into wine, but not Guinness. The brewery does that. Who needs God?
Publicity. The only bad publicity is no publicity. If I became a serial killer I might be famous, but I would have to be caught. There’s always a drawback. I think I’ll skip that one. Some poets had nothing published until after their death, one American woman, famous, and some old time English guy, both of whose names escape me. And both pretty good. They were good at keeping quiet. Kafka asked for his unpublished work to be burned after his death, this was not done. It saw the light of day post mortem. So he never appeared on a talk show. Nor did the other recluses.
Self effacement is all very well, but it doesn’t pay the bills. Not in one’s lifetime.
My work has the appearance of looking like it could have been written by anyone. Well, it has been. And that continues to be the case. I am just anyone. Maybe I should rename myself, Just Anyone. Justinian, formally.
When Maeve Binchy’s first book came out she was on a talk show in New York. A lady in the street said to her, I read your book, I didn’t like it. I thought I could have written it myself. But you didn’t, Maeve said. Neither did anyone else write my stuff. Maybe they wouldn’t want to.
The struggle of the artist to get his voice heard is a well known cliche. I might mention pissartists, but won’t. I have described myself as breathing new life into old cliches, but my words fell on deaf ears. What do you expect of relatives?
My writing is the same old words in a different order. (I stole that one, partly remodelled). New Order is I think a fascist organisation, which I shan’t be joining. Maybe they could make me an honorary member.
DISCLAIMER: The facts here bear no relationship to anyone living or dead. They have nothing to do with anyone or anything. At all whatsoever. Any resemblance to anyone is wholly coincidental. So it’s no use suing. My people will talk to your people. All characters are entirely fictional. They don’t exist, never did and never will. They are no more real than Mickey Mouse. Now do you understand?
This letter is a figment of your imagination.
Burn after reading.
Keep your hands warm. Boil a cup of tea. Cook an egg.
Writer of Writing To Some Purpose and many other as yet unpublished masterpieces. Mostly still unwritten. But who knows?