Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Lydia Verses

Do you remember poetry? I mean, real poetry, like we used to get when we were kids. At least, when I was a kid. You probably haven’t even noticed the change and think that song lyrics are the poetry of today. They’re not, by the way. Lyricists are failed poets. They only take the job because they’ve had their noses rubbed in the sand by the ghosts of Wordsworth and Keats.

So, after having their Ode to the Bird at the Chip Shop rejected by a dozen publishers they meet a mate down the pub and decide to form a band because it’s the only way people are going to listen to their poems. Then, if they’re lucky, they get to publish a book of their lyrics and all their fans buy it and say what a great bloke they were before they died so tragically.

You know, the number of contracts I’ve picked up from twenty-somethings (we’re not allowed to sign mortals up until they’re eighteen (when you can drink, drive and sign away your soul)) who want to be a rock star. They get their fame and fortune and then, when they start making an ass of themselves, I drag them away.

I want to see sonnets in ten foot iambic pentameter with a side serving of villanelles. What’s this modern trend for haiku? Half the time people are using it as a shorthand for actual writing. Haiku should describe a season, a journey and a conclusion, none of this I’ve just had a thought/I promise it’s a good one/I’ll cut my ear off.

You can take your free verse and shove it up your bum.

Anyway, you want to know about Lydia, don’t you?

“A priest?”

My heart sank. Of all the people to have an affair with, she had to choose a bloke married to God. Normally I’d rejoice at the sin of a man of the cloth, but when Lydia was involved, all I could think of was her abandonment.

“That explains a lot,” I said. No wonder he couldn’t cope with you being descended from a Faery queen. His theology denies that Fae exists at all.”

“So I gather.” By contrast with the tears of earlier, Lydia was now being stoic. She’d picked that up from living in England for so long. Stiff upper lip and all that. “He really did love me,” she said. “He said that to be in love was just as much a way of honouring God as being a priest. We were going to run away to Margate.”

“Why Margate?” I sat on the piano stool and reached for my tea. “It seems an odd choice.”

“We like the seaside,” she said, “and it’s easier to get lost in a resort town. There’d be less questions.”

“And now?” I raised my eyebrows over the porcelain of the teacup. “Where will you go for support if you can’t go to Faery?”

Lydia’s shoulders slumped. The lace sleeves of her top swished against her white arms and lay flat and still. “Stay here I suppose.”

“Will you not go back to the manor? I’m sure Adantia and Frederick would be pleased to have a nephew or niece.”

“And their father?” Lydia squeezed lemon into her Earl Grey.

I nodded. “Good point,” I said. “This is a lovely house.”

Until the morrow. X

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