Archive for December, 2011

Saturday, December 31st, 2011




Mathematics for Foreigners by Zhang Yan

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

The Zenith of My Healing (Early Poems) by Jeremy Twill

A Life Of Lethargy: The Biography of a Lazy Man by Tarquin Jones

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Misunderstanding Tom Waites by Tom Waites

A Piano in the Family by Constance Key

China on the Moon by Li Siqi

The Book of Staying the Same by Persephone Cummings

My Heroic Couplet Phase (Late Poems) by Martin Standard 

Friday, December 30th, 2011


It could be said that Thursday 19th October 1995 was a turning point in his life. At around two o’clock in the afternoon he arrived home from lunch (a broiled fowl, a pigeon pie and two tankards of porter at The Golden Cross) to find four women in his drawing room, having been admitted against all instructions to the contrary by “The Boy”. In almost alphabetical order they were an ex-air hostess, an ex-waitress, an ex-wife, and a potential future girlfriend. When he regained consciousness he was in the Royal Berkshire Hospital and could not remember his name. More significantly, he looked at the young nurse at his bedside, a nurse “with breasts and all the rest,” and saw only a young nurse at his bedside. He felt nothing, absolutely nothing – a feeling he had never felt before.

Tarquin Jones, from A LIFE OF LETHARGY: The Biography of a Lazy Man (Panic Button Books, 2012)

Thursday, December 29th, 2011




Your hair looks good today.

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011


Again, Mr. Micawber had a relish in this formal piling up of words, which, however ludicrously displayed in his case, was, I must say, not at all peculiar to him. I have observed it, in the course of my life, in numbers of men. It seems to me to be a general rule. In the taking of legal oaths, for instance, deponents seem to enjoy themselves mightily when they come to several good words in succession, for the expression of one idea; as, that they utterly detest, abominate, and abjure, or so forth; and the old anathemas were made relishing on the same principle. We talk about the tyranny of words, but we like to tyrannize over them too; we are fond of having a large superfluous establishment of words to wait upon us on great occasions; we think it looks important, and sounds well. As we are not particular about the meaning of our liveries on state occasions, if they be but fine and numerous enough, so, the meaning or necessity of our words is a secondary consideration, if there be but a great parade of them. And as individuals get into trouble by making too great a show of liveries, or as slaves when they are too numerous rise against their masters, so I think I could mention a nation that has got into many great difficulties, and will get into many greater, from maintaining too large a retinue of words.

Charles Dickens, from David Copperfield (1850)

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011


So many things to remember.

But I remember waiting. And my wings fell off.

And all the shops were closed.

Darkness fell. I’m still waiting for it to be lifted. Hyperbole.

Then I wrote a poem about love and called it “Distance”.

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011






It’s a brown horse, 11 years old, and answers to the name of Denis.  

 from The Ladykillers (Ealing Studios, 1955)

Monday, December 26th, 2011


I received a note from Chloë yesterday, reminding me that Christmas was come (and would soon be gone) and she had not yet received my gift. Apparently she’s under the impression I’d promised to give her a golden hamster, the fulfillment of a girlhood dream. I have no idea what she’s talking about. Indeed, I don’t know who this Chloë person is. I can only assume the note was delivered to the wrong address.

Sunday, December 25th, 2011


Martin Stannard,

Each of his several selves

Reaching beyond the reachable,

Rejects touching the furthest boundaries

Yet seeks solace in the unknown.

Saturday, December 24th, 2011


Close as a heart is

He knows only distance is a constant.

Reaching beyond faith

Is almost impossible,

Such is the importance of thinking. But

Today is happening,

Martin Stannard in it as hopeless

As ever, reaching beyond sleep,

Suggesting that to be awake is to be uncertain.

Friday, December 23rd, 2011


I remember one day in 1987 thinking how one day (perhaps in 2011) I would need to remember the events of that day for a poem I had to write in (maybe) 2011 (or 12). And I remember thinking I must remember what happened that day however insignificant it seemed at the time.

Memory always matters.

But I forgot everything. The diary was burned. The tape has been wiped. The blackboard has been cleaned. Etc. Etc.