My Hero Bares His Nerves by Dylan Thomas

My hero bares his nerves along my wrist
That rules from wrist to shoulder,
Unpacks the head that, like a sleepy ghost,
Leans on my mortal ruler,
The proud spine spurning turn and twist.

And these poor nerves so wired to the skull
Ache on the lovelorn paper
I hug to love with my unruly scrawl
That utters all love hunger
And tells the page the empty ill.

My hero bares my side and sees his heart
Tread; like a naked Venus,
The beach of flesh, and wind her bloodred plait;
Stripping my loin of promise,
He promises a secret heat.

He holds the wire from this box of nerves
Praising the mortal error
Of birth and death, the two sad knaves of thieves,
And the hunger’s emperor;
He pulls that chain, the cistern moves.

 

by Dylan Thomas

from 18 Poems


Fun fact: People speculate that this poem is about teenage mastrubation in the solitude of the toilet ever on the verge of being discovered. Meanwhile others think it’s about his writing pen… well up until the latter half.

Flies Like Thoughts by Innokenty Annensky

Flies, like black thoughts, have not quit me all day…

A. N. Apukhtin (1840 – 93)

 

I’ve grown weary of sleeplessness, dreams.

Locks of hair hang over my eyes:

I would like, with the poison of rhymes,

to drug thoughts I cannot abide.

 

I would like to unravel these knots…

Or is the whole thing a mistake?

In late autumn the flies are such pests –

their cold wings so horribly sticky.

 

Fly-thoughts crawl about, as in dreams,

they cover the paper in black…

Oh, how dead, and how dreadful they seem…

Tear them up, burn them up – quick!

 

by Иннокентий Фёдорович Анненский (Innokenty Fyodorovich Annensky)

(1904)

translated by Boris Dralyuk

Paper and Sticks by Dylan Thomas

Paper and sticks and shovel and match

Why won’t the news of the old world catch

And the fire in a temper start

 

Once I had a rich boy for myself

I loved his body and his navy blue wealth

And I lived in his purse and his heart

 

When in our bed I was tossing and turning

All I could see were his brown eyes burning

By the green of a one pound note

 

I talk to him as I clean the grate

O my dear it’s never too late

To take me away as you whispered and wrote

 

I had a handsome and well-off boy

I’ll share my money and we’ll run for joy

With a bouncing and silver spooned kid

 

Sharp and shrill my silly tongue scratches

Words on the air as the fire catches

You never did and he never did.

 

by Dylan Thomas


 

Fun fact: This was the only poem left out of Dylan Thomas’ ‘Collected Poems 1934 – 1952‘ because he disliked it. The book was published on 10 November 1952 by Dylan’s usual publishers Dent of London, which gathered together all the poems from his three previous volumes of poetry (’18 Poems’, ‘Twenty Five Poems’ and ‘Deaths and Entrances’), plus a further six written since 1946, to make a total of 90.

What To Do When You Have Made Too Many Notes

I kept notes on my phone and never typed them up only to find out I cannot transfer them via Bluetooth, email, messaging or text. What to do? They are all full note documents which are about 1500 characters each and I have generated on average 4 per day for the past 5 months! I tried typing them out but that involves having to constantly tap the screen so it doesn’t shutdown. If it does then the entire Notes programme reverts to its default, sending me to the top of the list, to the newest entries, and I have to spend 30 seconds scrolling all the way down again and finding where I left off. So what to do?

Use a DSLR camera and photo, then scroll down while keeping the last line on the screen, photo, then scroll again, then photo, ad nauseam. The first set of images numbering somewhere in the region of 500 shots added up to about 1.5GB of data. Obviously once I type them up this will be far less but for the time being it is a step in the right direction.

With them off my phone hopefully it will not drain the battery as quickly… no that’s not the reason for this spring cleaning. I have a bad habit of making notes but not writing them up. I have scraps of paper from the last three years which have probably lost all meaning by now.

If I clear my phone will it clear my mind? No. But it will ensure I do not look at them during the day. Not discarded but at least placed where they will not weigh me down. A catharsis through clearing my record keeping.

Tomorrow I will photo all the scraps of paper – Held in a see through A4 carry case along with pieces of high quality 300gsm paper sheets and notebooks of previous years (including one from 2012 whose contents I wrote up in an early blog post on here should you wish to look https://ramblingatthebridgehead.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/the-faux-wisdom-and-miscellany-of-a-partially-filled-2012-notebook/ ) on a chair which has for the past year served more as a storage zone than a seat.

Monday I will sort out my paperwork – Presently spilling out of a filing box as if a small non-flammable bomb had exploded at its base.

Tuesday I will sort out the table in the corner of the room where I have put numerous brochures, programmes, pamphlets and leaflets from every event I have been to in the past ten years and many I never ended up attending in the end – A wicker basket, won from a Harrods contest, holds them all in check. If you have ever seen the artistry some people have in maximizing their one allotted bowl of salad at a restaurant buffet constructing fom that simple base a cyclopean tower ike structure defying all logic and yet in no risk of structural failure then you know how I have ended up creating a massively overloaded, blossoming flower like, paperwork mass billowing out from the corner table where it has been growing for over a decade undisturbed yet nurtured.

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I have been too busy to write them up properly in all these years. A positive to take from that is I have been too busy living a life to do so.

All these image copies will of course take up a lot of space if I don’t go and crop them but ultimately it will save physical space in the house. Although it goes without saying I will further back these records up by copying them to an external hard drive. So in one way I am getting rid of them but in another they will loom there awaiting the day I return to them and find they were all a waste of time.

But what are these notes about? Ideas, turns of phrase, thoughts, story ideas, observations, trying to better guide my future self about certain people’s most common type of behaviour so I don’t keep finding myself always giving them the benefit of the doubt or condemning them along with other miscellaneous matters. Does it really matter what they are about? They mean nothing to anyone except me (unless the person looking is naturally inquisitive or nosey). When there are entire sites like Pintrest focused solely on ‘pinning’ things as if to make a note of them for future reference it seems nothing odd to be ‘old school’ and actually have such things in the real world.

It is a long task but in the end I hope it provides catharsis. Better this than burning all my worldly belongings no matter how alleviating and romanticized that idea may be to people who are at no risk of it happening to them. I hope it will be a cathartic experience. I am not sure if I am an enigma or an open book.

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