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.