Monday, February 19, 2007

What Horrors Lie Upstream?

As the canoe noses (!) up Shit Creek, unexpected weirdnesses will unfold...

Issue #3 of The Shit Creek Review, due to go online on March 23rd, will contain a few surprises, including...

* A switch to Quarterly publication, giving the editors more time to devote to soliciting bribes, engineering scams, and especially to their top-priority Nigerian Bank Account programme

* Thousands of poems by the Anti-Corruption Editor himself, Prolific Paul (by popular request)

* Son of The Shit Creek Review! - A subzine entitled


II will be focused on such themes as a particular author or artist, a particular type of verse or art, and anything else your crazed editors can dream up (depending on their supply of Clag, the snorting of which gives them most of their best ideas). More news on this as it comes to hand.

* The truth about Nigel's adventure trying to save a gerbil from being beaten to death by a psychotic transvestite in Liverpool while visiting his auntie

* Torrid encounters with the frantic and verbose but formless lurking "n/a" entity, known for its ability to type up to 13,000 insults simulataneously (though admittedly with frequent spelling and grammatical errors)...

Well, they won't actually be surprises, will they, now that I've told you about them? But there will be more...

...The reach was narrow, straight, with high sides like a railway cutting. The dusk came gliding into it long before the sun had set. The current ran smooth and swift, but a dumb immobility sat on the banks. The living trees, lashed together by the creepers and every living bush of the undergrowth, might have been changed into stone, even to the slenderest twig, to the lightest leaf. It was not sleep -- it seemed unnatural, like a state of trance. Not the faintest sound of any kind could be heard. You looked on amazed, and began to suspect yourself of being deaf -- then the night came suddenly, and struck you blind as well. About three in the morning some large fish leaped, and the loud splash made me jump as though a gun had been fired. When the sun rose there was a white fog, very warm and clammy, and more blinding than the night. It did not shift or drive; it was just there, standing all round you like something solid. At eight or nine, perhaps, it lifted as a shutter lifts. We had a glimpse of the towering multitude of trees, of the immense matted jungle, with the blazing little ball of the sun hanging over it -- all perfectly still -- and then the white shutter came down again, smoothly, as if sliding in greased grooves. I ordered the chain, which we had begun to heave in, to be paid out again. Before it stopped running with a muffled rattle, a cry, a very loud cry, as of infinite desolation, soared slowly in the opaque air. It ceased. A complaining clamour, modulated in savage discords, filled our ears. The sheer unexpectedness of it made my hair stir under my cap. I don't know how it struck the others: to me it seemed as though the mist itself had screamed, so suddenly, and apparently from all sides at once, did this tumultuous and mournful uproar arise. It culminated in a hurried outbreak of almost intolerably excessive shrieking, which stopped short, leaving us stiffened in a variety of silly attitudes, and obstinately listening to the nearly as appalling and excessive silence. 'Good God! What is the meaning -- ' stammered at my elbow one of the pilgrims -- a little fat man, with sandy hair and red whiskers, who wore sidespring boots, and pink pyjamas tucked into his socks. Two others remained open-mouthed a while minute, then dashed into the little cabin, to rush out incontinently and stand darting scared glances, with Winchesters at 'ready' in their hands. What we could see was just the canoe we were on, her outlines blurred as though she had been on the point of dissolving, and a misty strip of water, perhaps two feet broad, around her -- and that was all. The rest of the world was nowhere, as far as our eyes and ears were concerned. Just nowhere. Gone, disappeared; swept off without leaving a whisper or a shadow behind...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across Jack Conway's attack on you by accident. Who the %@#*! is he? What an idiot. It was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. Shit Creek rocks, stay cool. - Jacques.


2:12 pm  
Blogger Caratacus said...

Thanks, Jacques. I feel sorry for him. He obviously can't control himself, and his urge to insult and belittle others seems almost pathological. He was kicked off the forum where he attacked me precisely because of that behaviour - for insulting repeatedly every other poster there. All he managed to prove was what an idiot he is, as you say, and that he himself self-publishes apparently. Jack Conway's much-vaunted poetry books seem to have been self-published, as well as sold by himself - then touted triumphantly ad nauseam by him as publishing creds. Others at QED disputed his alleged academic claims. Then he tried to claim that other poetry zine editors would not speak with me ever again as a result of his emailing them to tip the bucket on me. Since then several of these very same editors have emailed me with support, and two have accepted poems of mine for publication!


4:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am with you, Jacques! (Can you hear the strains of Frairah Jackah in the background as I speak? (Pardonay mwah moan funetics, as I was never properly schooled in German.))

I also have no respect for any critic whose underlying, (yet tray transparent), purpose behind his/her/their critique is to demean the poor poet, while taking every opportunity to include a word or two that needs researching in the OED since no rational human ackshully speaks that way, but which shows this personage, unlike the riff raff he/she/they are addressing, is/are a True Academic. Or Pandemic. (I always get those two afflictions confused.)

This sort of personage earns my true disdain and my ignorance. That is, my ignoring. Of him/her/them, I mean.

Okay ... never mind.

I myself have never self-published anything, much less a book, but have had a book published by a self not my self, that is, not by my self, as I said, but by another self, who, according to my detractors, should never have. Published, I mean. Not themselves, but me, (if a person can indeed to be said to be published).

I write in order to clarify my unequivocal position, which I wish I knew, or had ever known.

This has so exhausted me I think I'll go have a lie down.



8:04 am  
Blogger Caratacus said...


I couldn't agree more. Now if you'll just explain what you mean....


8:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caratacus writes about what I've writ:


I couldn't agree more. Now if you'll just explain what you mean.... "

One, (meaning I), cannot help but admire the daring of one, (meaning Caratacus), who

couldn't agree more with one, (meaning the aforementioned I), what he asks to have

explained to him, (meaning him).

So I will endeavour to elucidate on what should need no further elucidation.

What I meant to say, and which, if I'm not mistaken, and which I seldom, if ever, am, DID say, but which one, (meaning you-know-who), did not seem to grasp, was ...

What was the question?

I hope that clears matters up.



9:20 am  
Blogger Caratacus said...

I am suspending anoymous comments for the time being.


5:37 pm  

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