If I Was (#4) Percy Bysshe Shelley

December 31, 2008 at 5:20 pm | Posted in writing | 19 Comments
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Byron has electricity. Shall we winter in the chateau?

There’s comfort in the anonymity of an airport, neither here nor there and noone expects you to develop a conversation, he thinks, logs out and closes the notebook.

(I would order a drink, Ray Winstone style and look around the bar here but to what point? By the time I have made my visual pirouette the drink would be drunk, the plane descended over the bay and the limo door opened.)

He’s caught in an aural loop. The sound of the notebook closing, kerplunk, Easter Island, he says to the driver grinning and remembers he has forgotten to write to his niece. She rambles through fog shrewn landscapes and silences.

Far beneath the crumbling castle by the shores of some eternal lake machinery awakes and whirrs his welcome into place. Just one scene is worrying him. It plays in his head of its own volition and where there should be movement there is just a pause. Pinteresque, he thinks but this time content.

There would be Irish wolfhounds. All shy slobber and gentle discretion and in another room, has she forgotten I am coming home, the stereo is blasting “I am Henry The Eighth I am, I am”.


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  1. Mary Shelley wrote ‘Frankenstein ( The Modern Prometheus)’ and Percy wrote ‘Prometheus Unbound’ at Byron’s Chateau on the shores of Lake Geneva. Ray Winstone played Henry the Eighth . Segue into vodpod.

  2. This is wonderful the way it flows between different scenes. I especially like the sentence about the niece.

    The best thing about airports in my opinion (and i use them as little as possible) is evesdropping on other people’s conversations.

  3. As usual, the element you have going for your own self is that enviable fluidity! Indeed, there is a temporary sense of comfort in anonymity, but isn’t there an unjustified lack of identity that balances out the positiveness?

  4. lovely in its wooly britishly coat of colors

  5. First of all, let me say regarding our tiff that you are, in Yiddish, a Mensch. Secondly, kerplunk reminds me of that frog Haiku. Third: “shrewn” is a very funny word. And forth: I find that I need great concentration to read your stories. Everything is unexpected. They are the opposite of my stories in that way, so I can see why you said what you said.

  6. You tiffin’ again? Tsk. (See Carry on up the Khyber if you’re going ‘huh?’ haha.) This is wonderful. I adore it. I think all writers should collaborate and spa and argue and then all get drunk and make up with slobbery kisses and then write wonderful books. Shelley was quite a woman. Henry the Eighth was quite a man, he was. This is marvellous Paul. Happy New Year – it’s going to be a good one. I can just feel it is, so there.

  7. I will print this out and keep it in my journal.

  8. your work here is inspiring. i fell into the lap of every word. happy new year paul

  9. I can actually SEE Ray Winstone playing you, in a biopic about your life…

    Interesting mix of Vistas..
    It’s only a second rading that you see the whirl of sceneries in what is at first glance a static piece…

  10. I think this makes for an unique new years eve party ( with quite some characters as guests) .
    I hope you did enjoy the “passing to 2009”!!!

  11. Your writing goes down smooth.

  12. Strictly speaking, and taking local dialect into account, shouldn’t that last bit read ‘I’m Enery the Eighth I am, I am? Ever the pedant!

  13. wow i head drive to the desert and find a wifi and lookee hear it’s the old blog new again in the new year again

    and there is something new here for my ear to hear:

    and it is time again that fascinates most –the way time moves and shifts and the way time is embedded as well as the place shifting and the cultural references from classical to contemporary

    it’s funny too and a love story. my goodness, paul, you have the whole world in your hands

    happy new year! and now it’s time for #69,800 to head back into the wilds…

  14. And Dr. Polidori, Lord Byron (or George Gorden Noel’s) personal physician wrote The Vampyre based so closely on Byron that it drew attention to Byron who, in turn, fired him but not before the book became an instant success well before Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Byron was always a dark and sinister seeming character but friendly to many literary talents of the day such as the Shelleys and the older Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Great write Paul.

  15. If you’re anonymous in groups, are you polynonymous?

  16. What a brilliant collage of (visual) words. So like a half-dream state.

    I agree with Narnie, it’s going to be a good year.

    Hi Gingatao – Art Predator sent me here while I was building my wordpress site because you have the same theme. What a gem of a site! I’m glad for the sending.

    BTW – in this theme, I can’t figure out how to change the order of my links lists in the right hand column. Is it possible to order them manually?
    Hi, you can use the categories to organise the links. Each link has a category and it lists them alphabetically in the sidebar. Hope that helps and hello,

  17. After going back and reading 1 to 3 I wonder now if you are drawing nearer to a beginning, Paul. I can see links to much of your philosophy in this theme. By the way, the collaborative piece is looking fantastic.
    Sorry, Brad. I forgot to use the tags to connect them all. That is what tagging is for, to save people time like that. I have edited the tag in now and if you click it all the “If I was” pieces are nicely arranged. The collaboration is looking cool, I must start sending it out if everyone is happy with it.

  18. Round and round it went, more merrygoround than whirrlpool, it was fun though :)!!

    Happy new year!

  19. After reading this Prometheus really is unbound. Brilliant!

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