My publisher sent me three copies of the book my poems were in, Sacrum Regnum II by Hieroglyphic Press. That pleased me. I skipped to see and at a glance saw one was omitted and over another Horatian was misspelt. That pleased me, though I had to think why it did. Life’s vagaries I enjoy because I’m not into conscious control at all. I do my best: I’d written the poems god knows why and therefore had them to hand when the publisher asked for submissions of translations from the French symbolists. Baudelaire was near enough. I copied the poems out on my laptop and threw in one from Horace as well, saying the publisher could do what he liked with them and he had.

I read the book from the beginning. The short stories were good, the interview with Quentin S Crisp and the Crispiana good, the other poems good but needless to say I really liked mine which had drive, exuberance and a fine careless experimental rapture. It was a better book than Sacrum Regnum I. That might be because I had become used to the format. Before I’d finished the book, I set about putting it onto my author’s page on Amazon. Amazon refused because unavailable to it. I told the publisher. Faute de mieux, I tried putting it on Goodreads, which refused because the ISBN no I’d given was for another book. I left a comment on this in Facebook for the publisher to find or not. It’s nothing I can do anything about. That left me his email address, evans_lichamleas@yahoo.com, for anybody who evinced interest in my poems, which I read again, including the omitted one from my laptop, before shelving the book beside Dadaoism, An Anthology by Chomu Press, the book my short story’s in and which is available on Amazon.

While I had the book on me to take to the library where I internet, I told people my poems were published. The only one interested was Sandie who read them on the way to tea and wouldn’t give them back till she had – save her buying the book. I’d been chary of telling her because she’s a self-published poet and might think it invidious I’d been published. She was, however, flattering: classical poetry, humorous, unafraid to invent words (‘retiarius’, which I did say wasn’t made-up) and, in the last poem, deep. That was especially pleasant because written at sixteen in Dr Black’s Latin class.

“Nobody’s interested in my poems,” I told Cherie. “Or in your sardines,” she was checking me out at Waitrose but without any sexual connotation whatsoever.

I took the unpublished one to read out at the writing group. Finished, I directed attention almost without pause to the next reader. Even so John Elliott was able to insert, “Nothing like a bit of Baudelaire,” at once taking all credit from me as poet and dismissing me as translator, the putdown coated with enthusiasm, the better for me to swallow it. (I probably activated his unconscious to provide an instance of it in action. He is ignorant he has one. )

Still not on Amazon, here’s a recently provided link to the poems: http://hieroglyphicpress.co.uk/sacrum2.html


About johnbrucecairns

I'm a retired history teacher who's written for most of his life with a book readied for publication.
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