The Adventures of Aloysius Humblebrag

Aloysius Humblebrag knows little of finance
(Yet his shares would make a Malcolm weep).
Aloysius Humblebrag believes in process
(But his poems are only seen in the Best Places).
Aloysius Humblebrag hates blogs like football
(Though he once wrote a villanelle about football
called “Aiming For Smaller Posts.” So amusing!)
Aloysius loves the working classes
(in Theory, which is an island near Manus).
Aloysius doesn’t read much written by women
(All this stuff about gender is so tedious, he opines.)
Aloysius Humblebrag has composed his epitaph,
and just managed to edit it to tombstone size.
(We all pray that he will publish that very soon.
I, for one, will give it a most positive review.)

P.S. Cottier



We all know poets like Aloysius, I’m sure.

Now I am dragging my exhausted carcass off to try and also write a poem for 365 + 1.  We’ll see if I can last a month; there are people who have been doing it for six months!  That site is well worth a look, although I am finding the process of writing something every day difficult.  Like Aloysius, I love the emphasis on process (really, in my case), but the process must be made concrete during this time, which is challenging.  (The concrete need not be set, but it must at least be mixed and trowelled.)

This blog remains my true sweetheart.


A ‘brilliant young man’ from Sydney
Unfortunately ruptured a kidney —
For his black jeans won’t zip
Round the tenure of hip,
Which perplexed our ‘young’ man from Sydney.


I am the last person in the world to suggest that people should dress in an ‘age-appropriate’ way, which for women seems to mean a sudden desire for demure suits and mousy blonde bobs past the age of forty.  Neither am I inclined to judge people by their size.

But when you see a fellow who is sailing into late middle age rigged out in a grungy something that would challenge a very fit twenty-two year old, well it’s not good, my dear.  It’s not good approaching, and it’s infinitely worse from behind.  Mental vanity can sometimes be expressed in inability to see the body, let alone to mark its changes.  Play and pastiche in clothes are one thing, but black skinny jeans are quite another.

Next week I promise a return to my normal politically astute observations of the world.  Either that or more dodgy style tips from one who tends to favour Rorscharch blotches in neon colours.

This series is proving great fun and shows no sign of ever ending.  This poem was actually the fourth one I have written, but as the first one was also about a woman, I wanted a man to feature as well!  And the third is so toxic (and identifiable) that I may keep that for my own amusement.

You can see which other poets are posting on Tuesday by checking out the sidebar here.

they cut her skin
to the latest pattern
she wears it well


I’ve been thinking a lot about vanity, and about Frankenstein lately, so that wee poem was inevitable, particularly in the light of Donald Trump’s hair.  If I had the money, I’d be ordering a Donald Trump piñata from Mexico or the US right now.


Speaking of the US in a much more positive way, I just received my contributor copy of A Quiet Shelter There: An Anthology to Benefit Homeless Animals.  My poem ‘Remembering Laika’ is in there, and I am delighted to see a poem by fellow Australian Jenny Blackford too, amongst the stories and other poems.

The book is edited by Gerri Lean, and published by Hadley Rille Books. Truly an ideal Christmas present for animal lovers.  It can be ordered here. A percentage of proceeds will go to animal shelters in Virginia and elsewhere.  An excellent excuse to publish a photo of my Staffie cross (who was a rescue dog) with a copy, looking away from the cat in the window, no doubt.  (It is $16 for the hard copy in US dollars; not sure how that converts.  No doubt your credit card will tell you!)  I haven’t read all the book yet; hoping to do so at the beach.

Mango with book


Belated Tuesday poem: (tanka)

November 11, 2015

She thought Paris
was a city of couture
modelling thin —
the Place de la République
where McDonald’s fashions fries

P.S. Cottier

glasses and cup

The photo has very little to do with the poem. Honestly.

Read the works of the other Tuesday Poets by pressing here.

Next week: Exegesis and tea.

Better than a facelift

(Inspired by the rejection of a prose work I wrote about poetry for possibly supporting the view that poetry is an ‘adolescent’ activity.)

Damn those adolescents,
with their playful texts
their unruly emotions
and their weird conceits.
The world is as it seems.
Damn them for their quirky fashions
and their belief in signs and dreams.
Settle down, you freaky teens,
and develop a CV.
It is never too early to be half-dead!
There is nothing like
advanced middle age
for teaching what one should see,
and how to take things solemnly
like the sensible me-he
who patrols this moat, and keeps it pure;
ejecting the splashy-squeaky.
Exeunt, stage right, and take
your selfies with you,
and those peculiar devices. Go!
And pick up those rappers!
I like things neat as a plastic lawn,
without a single blush of flamingo,
where no emoji dares to grin
and poetry conjures forth
a proper sense of dread.

P.S. Cottier

World's Oldest Adolescent

World’s Oldest Adolescent

‘Nuff said, really. Except that when one is my age, being called potentially adolescent causes an undeniable frisson.

Of course, a view that the ‘adolescent’ is a thing to be avoided reinforces the belief that poetry is a very dated interest. Ironic that, given that some poets of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries tended to act like adolescents are reputed to act. Shelley (PB) for example, would now just about qualify for the modern category of ‘adolescent’; if one is oddly interested in such uneccessary categories.

There is a view, of course, that seriousness equates with solemnity. That is, like totes sad. (Rising inflection, please. For am I not an honorary adolescent?)

It did make me think though, that rejection, and swear that I would continue writing what I want. Which sometimes tends toward the playful and humorous, like this cathartic little slap of a poem. Being light, or stompingly satiric, has its place, in both prose and poetry.

I have some more poetry to write, and must break out the shocking puns and the unlikely meatphors*. I promise not to mention flamingos again for a while, as I realise that they are becoming a trope in my writing. A pink trope, which isn’t only adolescent, but ‘feminine’ as well. Shudder. That’s so flippant it’s an ornithological handbag.

*A genuine typo, but let’s let it stand.

If you would like more poetry, defying all easy categorisation, press this link.