Morn has broken and the gnomon has fallen into shadow

Nabokov called editors, “Pompous avuncular brutes”? Fitting. Although I’ve always found them to be purple genital prunes.

Rejection. It’s an odd thing, isn’t it? It’s so like the first time you ask a girl out on a date. You spend hours the night before meticulously choosing what voice to use: should it be Dylan Thomas or Angela Carter? And then you scrutinize your face in the mirror until you swear you look like Charles Dickens. And then you brood over liver and onions until your parents make you eat the dog instead, and then you worry will the pup’s tail show. Then it’s ridicule from siblings — although you are sure you heard one of them fiddling behind a closed door. And then it’s to bed. And you just can’t do it. It’s so cold between the sheets and what if She will be there? You know, your mother. And then the next day after sitting on the school bus next to a boy who has brought along his coconut monkey for a little exercise, you see her. She’s huddled in a group of other girls. And you suddenly realize the Joy Division badge you wore is upside down. You approach, like an anteater a mound of fervid ants, except your tongue is dry and short like a toothpick. You cough — and thank God your balls have already dropped, otherwise it would be to the nurse’s office for a cold spoon. She turns to face you like Aphrodite after Paris gave her the apple — the one he’d stolen from Dai Hughes’ orchard — and, and . . . There’s gagging like fleas on a hairy cat. And then the little asphodel you brought along wilts and you curse yourself for not brining along Novalis’ blue flower. And then your words start turning into big spuds that a burly Irishman is fondling in his effeminate hands. And then you turn redder than the red dragon you could have sworn spewed fire from behind the girl’s smirk. Then it’s just you and the lonely football, while in the net, two young lover’s neck. And dragging your feet, you slowly wander back to English class where it will be discovered that you haven’ t read read Lady Chatterley’s Lover and are not prepared for the quiz , “What, besides, poaching, are chickens’ eggs good for?”

Now, to borrow a bit from the Clash: priests and politicians in the streets, scaring us with their salvation and salivating.

As Willy, the man who could shake things up, said, “Tedium is a tale twice told.”

“What’s the point of writing at all if you have no ambition for the form and no passion for language — subject matter is not enough.” Winterson


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