Having a Lark in the Face of Fate

PLEASE NOTE THAT EVERYTHING ON THIS ARCHIVED SITE IS DATED, AND THAT WHEN CURRENT PIECES WERE WRITTEN FOR SPECIFIC AUDIENCES FOR VERY PARTICULAR PURPOSES. WITHOUT PROPER CONTEXT ALL SECTIONS, ALL ARTICLES ARE LIKELY TO BE OFF-PUTTING OR PUZZLING. This is unedited. Ideally, one should read only what is recommended. Again, THIS IS UNEDITED. THE POETIC BOLDFACED LINES BELOW ARE TAKEN FROM PHILLIP LARKIN’S FAMOUS POEM THIS BE THE VERSE. I HAVE BROKEN UP THE FLOW OF HIS WORK — SORRY! — FESTOONING MY OWN LINES ON THE PAGE, BLENDING MY WORDS IN AND AROUND HIS FOR A PURPOSE. I RECOMMEND THAT THE READER TAKE IN HIS LINES FIRST ALONE, AND THEN READ MY POEM, THE LINES OF WHICH ARE INTERSPERSED WITH LARKIN’S… NOT BOLDFACED. I MET LARKIN IN HULL IN THE SIXTIES. HE WAS NOT DOWN ON CHILDREN, I ASSURE YOU, FIRST IMPRESSIONS HERE NOTWITHSTANDING. Oh yes, remind me to share another poem (“A Verse to Us”), if we connect. Its about the phenomenon of patriotism.

Having a Lark in the Face of Fate
by The OX

This Be The Verse — by Philip Larkin

This Be The Worst — by Richard Oxman

or Perverse Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

They fuck you up, your teenagers

They may not mean to, but they do.

Sometimes when younger too

They fill you with the faults they had

They face you with the faults you own

And add some extra, just for you.

And pay you back unmendably

But they were fucked up in their turn

You did the same in your own turn

By fools in old-style hats and coats,

Sucking dry befuddled love

Who half the time were soppy-stern

Half the love without conditions

And half at one another’s throats.

Half the crime overweening

Man hands on misery to man.

But down we forget as up we grow

It deepens like a coastal shelf.

You simply cannot know the hell

Get out as early as you can,

And don’t have any kids yourself….

As early as that bell of bliss rings round your throat

Be fruitful and add up, add to it.