Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Short Season of Aphorisms and Other Nonsense

lattice, fishnet, hessian, careen, gunny, hopsack ... the poem began to totter under the weight of its own pretention, searching in vain for the modesty of table, chair, pomegranate, sex.


Bo said...

I hate that. 1980s faux-lesbian sub-Wintersonian bollocks.

Jane Holland said...

Faux-lesbian sub-Wintersonian? You must be reading some odd subtext in there ... !! Was it the fishnet thing? And the pomegranate? Or the 'modesty', perhaps? How entertaining. They were entirely arbitrary choices, though how much was subconscious is another matter.

Originally, I had 'simplicity' rather than 'modesty'. What made me change my mind? It seems to have made all the difference!

Bo said...

pomegranate was the fatal word, as was ending on 'sex' (a wintersonian tic around the time of 'art objects')!!

Jane Holland said...


I'm embarrassed to admit I've never read any Jeanette Winterson, though I know you're a huge fan and afficionado.

Seems a little unfair to disallow the use of the word 'pomegranate' on those grounds though. Especially given its numerous (and classical) uses prior to hers. Though I guess I would feel the same about someone who used, even in ignorance, several keynotes reminiscent of Plath ... poppies, moon, yew tree, tulips etc.

Bo said...

I am a fan---nothing wrong as you say with that lustrous fruit (though it disagrees with me).

It just sounded ventriloquistic---had I a)not be pissed and b) known it was by you, I would have said 'Ooh! that's very Wintersonesque!'

Jane Holland said...

That's alright. I prefer a pissed but honest answer!

Yes, they're all my own invention, and some are, naturally enough, better than others. I thought 'em up on the spot. One was so good, I got cold feet about it and deleted the entry after an hour or so, because I became terrified that I had actually stolen it from Don Paterson ... wholesale. I've read loads of his aphorisms, and this one was pure Paterson. So pure, I'm still sure I must have lifted it. I'll have to root out his books sometime and check through them for anything too similar. Because if it wasn't his, I'm having it!!