Midnight In The Kitchen Of Good And Evil

Here, a little housewife, I
Sit upon my stool and sigh;
It’s dark, midnight, I’m feeling blue;
The cat is looking maudlin too.

I think of what I want to say -
It comes, it goes, it will not stay;
The Muse has left the building, gone;
Abandoned me; “Support withdrawn.”

What’s this? A voice! “Cheer up!” it cries,
Don’t fool around with wherefores, whys!”
“Trouble?* Did you speak?” I query
(She never speaks unless I’m beery)

Trouble looks at me, she blinks;
Inscrutable – she’s as the Sphinx.
“Don’t mess about” I say, still shaken.
I try to keep my knees from quakin’.

Then, I think, that voice seemed friendly!
It wishes well; sounds kind. Suddenly,
It comes again: “Sam do not fear me!
I’m Voice-O’er Man come from the telly.

“I can’t be seen, I’m disembodied;
My voice is booming, epic, storied;
But nights, to keep me off the rum,
I moonlight as a fairy Godmum

“You say you’re feeling blue tonight?
Let me help you ease your plight.
You’ve just two wishes – spend them well -
The Market’s hurting us as well;

To make ends meet, we’ve cut right back;
Tooth Fairy’s turning tricks and crack!
We’ve only got 2 spells per litre,
Now hurry up, you’re on the meter!”

I thought, I thunked, I hemmed, I hawed,
Full of wonder, overawed.
Moonbeams puddled round the apples,
Silver light in pools and dapples.

“I have it!” whispered I discreetly
“My mind’s made up! I’m sure, completely!
What I want is Solomon’s knowledge
And ken that they don’t teach in college.”

“I’m sorry” said the voice, “You see
We’ve had a rush on Sol, ‘cos he
Had wisdom we all want to know
In these uncertain times: stock’s low.

In Wisdom all that’s left to offer you
‘Sthe Dubious Doublethink Of W;
Not asked for much, we’ve got a heap
Of his thoughts, AND those of the Veep

“Oh dear!” I said, “I must refuse
For I already have the blues.
Wading throught that fog of cant
Could render me MORE ignorant.”

One more wish” said subbing Godmum
“Quick! I’m not here ad finitum!”
“I want to write of time,” I sighed
“Of fury, love and lives denied!”

“But” I whined, “The Muse is gone!
Alone I labour on t’wards dawn.
I wish…I wish…
I wish the words came swiftly, sweetly
My thoughts arriving meetly, neatly”

“It can’t be done, I’m sorry, Sam.
Errata’s gone, she’s on the lam.
What with poets’ importunings;
Editors debating prunings…

She’s buggered off; o’er-worked, she’s fled.
She left a note:
“Piss off!” it said.
“I’m on my hols, leave me alone!
Don’t call ‘cos I’ve turned off my phone.

“Say I’ll come back when I’m ready
‘Til then, bash on, stay firm, keep steady.
All requests temp’rilly denied
(Especially tell that damn Sam, Child Bride!)”

“Oh,” said I, my hopes all rent,
“I guess she’s right. It’s my intent
To drop this folly, poetry;
It’s back to limericks for me!”

*

There once was a planet called Pluto
Most unjustly given the boot-o
The scientists (swine!)
Kicked him out of the nine
Poor Pluto’s now rendered caputo.

* Trouble = My cat.
For greater enjoyment of this pome, try not to notice it?s crap, and doesn?t scan and strains to
rhyme. Thanks.

33 thoughts on “Midnight In The Kitchen Of Good And Evil”

  1. Love it, you sum it up so well!

    The muse can be a fickle thing when you’ve got the blues but seemed to want to wax lyrical tonight! :)

    Poor Pluto what did it do to deserve demotion – been around longer than we have! Maybe you should start a save our Pluto campaign. :)

    Greetings from a fellow Scot who’s enjoying your writing. .

  2. Alas, Tattieheid, my muse waxes less lyrical and more limerickal, universally acknowledged as the lowest form of poetry on the planet. I have made it my own and regale my friends with limericks about themselves. They don’t thank me. I think that tells you all you need to know.

    You’re right about Pluto. These “scientists” are no fun. It’ll always be a planet to me. I would most certainly attend secret, underground “Pluto: Forgotten Planet” meetings but I wouldn’t start one. The paperwork would be horrendous what with all the triplicate (for secrecy, see) letters back and forth to Patrick Moore who, I’m told, gets very technical very quickly. I’d be happy to bring the biscuits though.

    SafeT, that Geisel bloke sounds like an ignoramus to me. A planet’s clearly not a sandwich, the silly man! On Mars though I hear they do a very nice plutonium on rye. Pluto: 1930-2006 – rest in peace, old buddy..

  3. But, you see Sam, the thing that no one knows is that the line: “I want to write of time–of love and fury and lives denied.” Actually happens to be the greatest line ever.

    So at least you’ve always got that.

  4. PCB…impressed with your versitility and quite in agreement with the sorrow expressed for poor Pluto. I suspect alterior motives behind the deplanetization and I for one would like to see a full scale investigation. I would also like to know who appointed the IAU (Int’l Astronomer’s Union) gods of the solar system and who’s pocket it is within they reside. Not to turn this into a rant but I can’t help but feel the entirety of my secondary education is little more than a lie as the memorization of the planets remains one of my most vivid memories and a fact that for all of these years I have held as one of the very few things taught that continued to be above question and ill repute…alas, I am cast adrift in a sea of doubt…who can say with any certainty now that 1+1=2 or that i before e except after c is actually a rule at all. The icons of my education, my formative years have now fallen…I no longer know what is real, what is illusion…what is next…what shoe will descend from on high and strike me square on the noggin leaving me further befuddled, dazed, and confused. Woe is me.

  5. Latigo, darling, I’ll always have Paris and I’ll still have Ullapool for a while yet, I think, but I butchered that line and it cannot now be my own because it doesn’t want me. See, it was once far more splendid but I cut it up, I defaced it and made it a poor broken shadow of a line and for what? For Rhyme and Meter, these demanding tyrants whose rules I flagrantly pooh-poohed elsewhere in the same pome. Now look me in the pixellated eyes and tell me I don’t deserve every misery of mankind heaped upon my sorry self.

    Joel, you’re right. I’ve never believe in i before e except after c since I learned about Watergate. You can’t trust these government suits. Who’s to say there is not, right at this very moment, an intrepid journalist with a tan skinny-rib polo neck and thick-framed glasses uncovering a shocking cover-up called Spellinggate. Our education has been a sham and, in an act of civil disobedience I hope will catch on, I hereby pledge to spell ‘recieve’ wrong until people in the palaces of power jolly well sit up and take notice. Controlled anarchy on the People’s terms! Hooray!

  6. Count me in!…however… I must confess that as I study the word “recieve” I realize that I have always misspelled it so my contribution to the carry a bit less impact than I would hope. By the way…on a more troubling note…as I write this I am hearing rumblings that the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), emboldened by the worldwide publicity garnered by the IAU’s deplanetization of Pluto, will take up the issue of whether or not the letter Z actually qualifies as a member of the alphabet at their upcoming world conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The world as we know it…crumbling.

  7. I like Limericks.

    If Joel is right we better start inventing more words beginning with the letter Z, save our alphabet!

    I’m zabbergasted!
    :)

  8. Joel, that’s going to really mess up my surname. I think they should have had their conference in Zanzibar or Zimbabwe or the Czech Republic. It might have led to a few awkward moments but it might have made them concentrate on that REAL alphabetical free-loader, X.

  9. You are so right about X…the world will continue to spin on its axis just fine without it. I am concerned about the little A,B,C song I used to learn the alphabet should Z be excised. Go ahead…sing it, you’ll see what I mean. Ending with Y just doesn’t work…it’s akin to running face first into a brick wall. Losing X changes the song not one bit! That’s it…I’m writing a letter.

  10. But what about the X Files?
    X rays?
    Xylophones?

    Will they be degraded to the level of Y Fronts?

    Ma poor heid, can’t cope – Pluto and X’s vanishing from my universe just like that!

    :)

  11. Fantabbydozie, reminds me of why we Anglish always call Scots Brits when they win. Will visit more often in future. Regards a fellow Brit!!

  12. Sam and Joel: ‘park in feild’ is recieved spelling in Somerset.
    I’m a bit teary Sam that you said you were ‘beery’ and not ‘Kiry.’

  13. Joel, somewhere in America, wherever you live, there is a corner of a feild that will be forever Somerset.

    Tattieheid, it’s hard to have these childhood facts turned on their heids, I know. That is why I’m not going to tell you what they’ve done to Little Jack Horner. Put it this way, he’s no longer in his corner.

    Paw, hello! Fan Tabbie, dozy! is just what my husband screamed at me when the cat caught fire.

    Footles, I would eat my own ears to produce noodles like your’s. How’s the dog?

    Pat, I tried to find a blackberry liqueur to make kir this weekend but I think I shall have to try someplace other than the supermarket. Will report next week. It sounds like heaven.

  14. Not Jack as well, after what they did to Little Bo Peep!?!

    Kir is sheer heaven but you need plenty of wine! Nothing worse than running out just as you’re developing a taste for it!

    :)

  15. I think you just have to buy the muse Tiffany jewelry, no? I mean, if the Albert Brooks movie is to be believed.

    This is magical, once again. I humbly bow in your literate, literary presence.

  16. You have a muse Sam. That much is obvious.
    Ye mun treat her weel lest she taks wing and flees, aye flees, fae yer herth.

    I deliberately slipped into the vernacular to foil any who would tempt your muse over their own threshold.

    I have shortbread, black pudding potato scones square sausage Ayrshire bacon deep fried bounty bars??..

    Is she moving yet? See! Told you.

  17. I was about to be all complimentary about how you synthesise the styles of Spike Milligan and John Cleese and Edward Bulwer-Lytton (with a soupcon of Alan Coren, is he read in the Hebrides or CA?) but then all these rambling comments pissed me off so I’ll be complimentary some other time.

  18. Tattieheid, how does everyone know about kir except me? I come from the Hebrides of Scotland where alcoholics come on Norwegian Princess cruises to pick up tips from we locals on falling over without getting hurt and how to stay passed out for an entire week. I’m feeling left out of this kir revolution. Must fix that.

    Mom101, jewelry? If only she wanted mere jewelry. No, she’s after my soul and my recipe for rrrrrrum punch.

    Doccie M, ideally the muse would flit gently over the neurons in my brain guiding my fingers to type magical things to soften and gladden the heart of even the most vile and viscious prisoner in the Bar L. The type of muse you are suggesting would sludge, gloopily through my arteries, flitting exactly nowhere but depositing cholesterol willynilly in all the important bits and I’d have a stroke before I saw 33. I need a muse who runs five miles daily, eats porridge for breakfast and has the constitution of a horse. She has to be able to perform gymnastic feats of rhyme and iambic pentameter before lunch, you see, and pen well-received novels which will effectuate peace on a global scale, in the afternoon, ‘cos i sure as hell amn’t up to it. And she has to be good for a laugh in the bar at the end of a hard day’s musing. I think you’re talking about my wee brother’s muse – fond of his square sausage, that one. Diff’rent strokes for different folks but I want my muse to be training for marathons in her 80s before it even occurs to her to have a stroke. I’LL be kicking back with the shortbread and Ayreshire bacon, thank-you very much; the muse’ll have her work cut out for her.

    safeT, I didn’t know Theodore Geisel was Dr. Seuss who wasn’t widely read in the hebrides of my youth. I did not know that. Always learning. When’s Closure up next, T?

    Mr. Q-C. Welcome! Thank you for stopping by. I’m sorry they bothered you but the rambling comments are on account of my wanting to show gratitude to the people who have sat through the length of my drivellous posts and been kind enough to leave a comment. And cos you can get to know people better sometimes from their comments than their posts. I’ve met some terrific people in comment boxes. Have a look at my links and go meet some of them, if you fancy it. I like me some Alan Coren, you’re right. The News Quiz is one of the best things Radio 4′s ever done. Now i’m in California I can get it more clearly from the internet than I ever could from the radio in the Hebrides. Way up there, you know, Stephen Fry sounds Welsh and Alan Coren like he’s from 19th century French Guyana.

  19. Sam, every time I come to your site I emerge pleased and vaguely bewildered, as though I’ve been force-fed drugs. I read your post, formulate a comment in my head, and then set out to put it in writing, only to wind up sidetracked by your commenters’ clever comments and your own even cleverer comment-comments.

    Could I ask a big favour, namely that you post lower-quality items in future? Some bitchy observations about Paris Hilton might be a start.

  20. Re poor Pluto.

    The day after the decision in Prague, my horoscope started off;

    “With Pluto in such a strong position…. ”

    That Justin Toper is such a godamned liar.

  21. I’m originally from Inverness – The whisky capitol of the North!

    My mother taught me how to make Kir when I was about 5 year old. Never looked back! Luckily she also taght me how to cook (when pissed) so I managed to get past fry-ups onto healthier foods like haggis, stir frys and roasts – even when I was legless!

    :)

  22. You know, as anyone of our bloggery pool will attest to, I don’t like poetry. Slim was forever trying to prise open my philistine mind but it remained firmly clam like. But I read the whole of your poem and never winced one, it even raised a smile or two, until I realised I was reading poetry. Confused, yes I was. Then I had crisps and all was right with the world again. I was awful pelased you took up the mantle of liver thrashing when I was ‘inside’, it made me very proud.

  23. My own sweet Footles, you ARE of course being fed drugs. Vampirella and I actually go back quite a long way and are conspiring in an involved plot to have you meet our mysterious ends in a way which will not become clear until there are 42 bridges over the Thames and the lark begats an owl. Why do you think your Horlicks has tasted so funny of an evening lately? Resistance of course is useless. I’m quite glad that I’ve told you actually. I hated having to procure the necessary powders from these sleay dealers in Tijuana. And postage to London is so expensive these days.

    I never thought Pluto was in a strong position and always found it unfair that Goofy was allowed to express himself with words but Pluto just got a few impotent woofs. It must have been creative torture for him but in Hollywood it’s all about who you know isn’t it? I hear poor Pluto met a rather ignoble end on Des Moines’ skid row. Tragic. What a performer! What a waste.

    Tattieheid, I’m impressed. Your mother sounds like the perfect Highland mammy. If I can pass on half of my own little how-to-operate-when-overserved tricks to my children before they reach 5 I’ll consider the better half of my mothering duties done. Of course, at 4, they already make a killer G&T for mummy’s elevenses and ,while they can’t reach the cooker yet, they know by heart the numbers of all the best take-away places in town. I’m very proud of them.

    fmc, wheesht – for me it was truly an honour to uphold such an awesome tradition. If I ever come to Ireland I will expect to come to your kitchen and observe a full traditional Ritual of the Rum in all our ceremonial finery, with due solemnity and gravity and Blondie playing in the background. Crisps sort everything out, don’t they. I think we should include them in the ritual.

    Helga, unequivocally yes, but bear in mind I am allergic to ampicillin and if you really want my organs for science then you’d better sign me up before I go to see fmc in Ireland, after which my liver and perhaps both kidneys will be use to neither man nor beast.

    Wee niaff, I’ll call mid-week sometime. Everything OK?

  24. Your replies to comments are as wonderful to read as your actual posts!

    The next stage is to teach your children to make the perfect Dry Martini, which involves a lot of gin and little or no vermouth!

    :)

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