Odds and Sods

New books!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here. Sorry about that. Or maybe it’s a good thing. Opinions may vary.

Anyhow, I have managed to publish a couple of new books since my last post. Quite how this happened, I don’t know.

In January, my new collection ‘Alexa, what is there to know about love? published. It’s my first proper collection since ‘You Took the Last Bus Home’. It contains a sequence of poems about love in its different varieties, as well as other, more mundane preoccupations. It looks like this …

And then a few weeks ago, I had a book of football poems for children published. It’s called ‘50 Ways to Score a Goal’. It’s bright green and looks like this …

Both are available through a bookshop near you – or indeed any of those online bookshops that you get nowadays.

That’s it for now. Stay safe and well!

Today I shall listen to the news

Today I shall listen to the news and the football scores
and the tally of the dead. Intermittently, I shall pick
at the crossword and the biscuit tin, and stare out
of my back window at a squirrel as he scurries along
my fence. Later, there may be a film to watch. But for now
I shall listen to the prospects for a Liverpool team

looking to bounce back from a disappointing midweek defeat,
the rising unemployment figures, and the tally of the dead,
while attempting to make inroads with the north-west quadrant.
It is thought likely for there to be some changes made
to the side which started on Wednesday evening. I shall
be brought team news from all the featured grounds today

amid continued concerns over travel this Christmas, and
the failings of Test and Trace. It is regretted that in the present
circumstances, my newspaper is unable to process
crossword prize entries. Tomorrow, I shall buy some
more biscuits and possibly a pint of milk, and listen
to the news and the football scores and the tally of the dead.

A new online bookshop for the UK

A new online bookshop has launched today, in support of the UK’s independent bookshops. Do bear it mind when Christmas shopping.

I’ve created a page on the site, featuring my own titles plus a list of ten novels which make me laugh, and some of the favourite books Ive come across since following the excellent books podcast, Backlisted.

https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/brianbilston

On Hearing the News that You’re a Great Big Loser

Schadenfreude is an ugly trait,
to enjoy another’s ill-starred fate.
In the sea of life, we’re all storm-tossed,
and yet … ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, you lost!

I don’t quite know what happened there:
to laugh at losers isn’t fair.
To win with grace, that’s best by far,
but … ha, ha, tee-hee! Ha, ha, ha!

I apologise for that outburst
but it just slipped out, unrehearsed.
I need to show more dignity.
However … ha, ha, ha! Tee-hee-hee!

Ha! Laughter is a wondrous thing!
What a gift – tee-hee! – of joy you bring!
You’ve brightened up – ha ha! – my day.
Ha ha, tee-hee! … now go away.

Conservative Party HQ Lunchtime Menu

Deprived shrimps

Money-glazed smirked ham

Scorn fritters

*

Battered electorate,
with a basket of crushed hopes
and slow-cooked fatigue

Half-baked notions,
idling on a soft bed of privilege,
served with a thick faux pas sauce

Kids in blankets,
deep-famished, with a deprivation of vegetables
and a relish reduction

Toads in the hole,
with golden hand-outs in a thick rich gravy
(self-serving only)

*

Eton Mess

Fudge (ten different flavours)

An Outbreak of Matt Hancock

turned off my phone and radio
got rid of my tv
ran barbed wire around the house
yet still i am not free

matt hancocks in the sitting room
matt hancocks in the loo
matt hancocks in the kitchen drawer
i don’t know what to do              

there’s six of them beneath the stairs
in the fridge another ten
my house is getting overwhelmed
by underwhelming men

i think i may have lost my mind
i see them every place
just yesterday i stroked the cat
she had matt hancock’s face

filled gaps in all the skirting boards
laid poison in the hall
set traps involving bits of cheese
but nothing works at all

matt hancocks haunt my dreams at night
wake up screaming yet again
my mind is getting overwhelmed
by underwhelming men

Alexa, what is there to know about love?

Some news. I’m delighted to have a new poetry collection publishing next year with Picador Books: ‘Alexa, what is there to know about love?’

It’s coming in January to coincide with the seventh wave of the virus, and can be preordered now.

You can find out more at the link below:

https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/brian-bilston/alexa-what-is-there-to-know-about-love/9781529051629

Dominic Cummings: The Lockdown Tour

He’s been locking down in London,
And a bit in Durham, too.
Not to mention Barnard Castle,
Legoland and Bristol Zoo.

He’s been locking down in Stoke-on-Trent
And Weston-super-Mare.
He’s spread himself quite thin of late.
He’s been spreading everywhere.

He’s been locking down in Basildon,
In Derby, Penge and Rome.
Wherever he lays his beanie hat,
That’s his lockdown home.

He’s more spreadable than margarine.
He’s been spreading far and wide.
He’ll be locking down in your town soon:
Spread the word and stay inside.