Castle-town Mark I

I seem to be bet­ter at telling sto­ries than any­thing else in my po­et­ry, every­thing else seems a bit too forced, where­as telling sto­ries comes a nat­u­ral­ly. I don’t re­al­ly have the in­cli­na­tion to write long things like nov­els or even short sto­ries, so in­stead I am go­ing to work with what many pompous peo­ple re­fer to as ‘dog­ger­el.’

Since mod­ern po­et­ry is not re­al­ly ap­pre­ci­at­ed by Society At Large, I want to write things that are eas­i­ly ac­ces­si­ble by those folk. In or­der to ac­com­plish this I have de­cid­ed to start with so-called ‘children’s lit­er­a­ture.’ More pre­cise­ly fa­bles, or frac­tured fa­bles in my case. I sort of have Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes in mind, but I want to make up my own sto­ries in­stead of retelling fairy tales.

Thus, I have come up with the Castle-town Idea.

I was at a grad­u­ate po­et­ry read­ing the last se­mes­ter and the po­et who read seemed proud of her in­ter­pre­ta­tions and med­i­ta­tions of some ob­scure Russian, some­thing I was not in­ter­est­ed in at all, and found quite bor­ing. However, at the end, some­what abashed­ly, she pre­sent­ed us with the de­light­ly­ful­ly Terrible Tale of Nigel Nasty. Something she re­ferred to as dog­ger­el. It was great. She seemed a much bet­ter sto­ry­teller than a po­et.

So in this vein, each week I am go­ing to present a char­ac­ter sketch of an in­hab­i­tant of Castle-town, or the out­line of a sec­tion of town in the form of rhyming dog­ger­el. I have de­cid­ed to get away from at­tempt­ing to write and in­stead work on pro­vid­ing brief mo­ments of amuse­ment, even if the amuse­ment is not due to the sto­ry, but in­stead through the au­dac­i­ty of the method of sto­ry­telling.

Without fur­ther ado, I give you the first in­stall­ment of Castle-town: Miz Grumblewort.