Doom’s consciousnessness…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s featured letter of the alphabet is the capital ‘D’.
‘D’ is of course the ‘fat man’ of the alphabet – all the other letters keep telling him that he drinks far too much beer, but he just won’t listen and he laughs heartily at their concern.

Last Wednesday I was wandering around town looking for 8B pencils for sale. As I was passing that surprisingly unimpressive sculpture of the local lady aviator I heard a voice shouting my name from across the road. I recognised it as that of Simon Doom, poet from the glory days of the Hull Surrealist League. I pretended that I hadn’t heard, put my head down, and slouched on, but then he started shouting, ‘It was William James in 1890!… William James!… Dave!…’ I had no idea what he was on about, but I was a little curious so I half-heartedly crossed over the road to join him.
He smelled of cheap beer, was red-faced, glassy-eyed, and grinning. He had apparently just been thrown out of the nearby reference library after he was noticed drinking alcohol there. He had fastened two or three straws together and was nonchalantly sucking up lager from a can hidden in his jacket pocket.
‘Alright…’ I said, ‘Who was William James?…’ He explained that W.J. was the first person to coin the phrase stream of consciousness. He added, ‘Interior monologue… have you ever read James Joyce Dave?’ I said that I hadn’t; I was lying. I once managed to get a quarter of the way through Finnegan’s Wake, but gave up, but I didn’t want to tell Doom that…
Anyway, after about five minutes I managed to escape. Doom thrust a piece of paper with his new spoem (spoof poem) scrawled on it into my hand, in which, he said, he had been, ‘trying rhyming’. He then headed off in the direction of the Hull Cheese public house to do some more creative drinking.

Gushing sloppy tones of deep night splashes gash lashes, smashes,
Listless slit pale curtain crack, applejack, tin-tack snack, sweating stack,
Bamboozled loser boozing, sleeping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, pinky,
Pink as light as flight-tooth kite fight ping, ping, allures surely…

Soup soap soup soap soup soap soup soap.

Sliver moon shoe-shine moon-shine, a line, ping, ping, inclined,
Stiff card shadow wall now, creep spider light black cloud, now sounds stands alight,
Distant dismal train rail train leaf rustle owl shape, silence laps dank bark clang,
Ridges and thud carriages rage an age, sick yellowed danger pages, surely…

Soup soap soup soap soup soap soup soap.

Foul sticky yellow fool bellow below sallow, slip floor then odour, door,
Gushing tones of allure manure splash parchment tent ping sleet sheeting,
Sound sheet sound street tap, tap, tap, tap, train tap, train tap, sap tap,
Hill valley hill knee kneel, hill valley, steal steel soap soup soap surely…

Simon Doom 2015.


About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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2 Responses to Doom’s consciousnessness…

  1. julie harms says:

    Thank god ! there’s another member of the “I-know-who-Joyce-is-but-I-don’t-get-it”club. Seriously, I can’t help but solemnly salute you for having read a quarter of Finnegan’s Wake.
    If I saw you in person, I would shake your hand firmly and give you a manly pat on the back and say “Well done !”.
    I barely managed through a quarter of the first page. I think he was high when he wrote it. I also think some books are made to give as presents to people you don’t like. It’s the polite way to say “Hey, I don’t like you, but I am a civil, responsible human being, so I can’t tell you face to face, that is why I’m offering you this book ! goodluck understanding it, you asshole :)”. Some other works can be used like McCullers’ The Heart’s a Lonely Hunter, which to be honest I’ve never read, but was vehemently warned by my sister that picking weeds was a more interesting thing to do than read that particular book… I may also add, Cooper’s Last of Mohicans, which I read when I was a teenager. At the time, I believed boys bands were a real musical genre, so a bunch of scalping Indians really didn’t work out for me. To this day, I still refuse to read it.
    I’ve read your poem, It has a musicality to it, it sounds more like a song. Like a rap song.

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Oh dear, I must now confess that I was exaggerating… and perhaps also doing a bit of showing off.
      Finnegan’s Wake: I once read the first page and was impressed by its blatant weirdness, then I flicked through and looked at random pages to see if they were all like that – they were… so that was it… Another Irish book written the same year as F.W. is ‘The Third Policeman’ by Flann O’brien. It is wonderfully weird, but very readable…
      I’ll tell Doom that you thought his spoem was like a rap song, (are they called ‘songs’?) he’ll be really annoyed… Tee hee!…
      Thank you JH!…

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