Stinky, Epic Poems and Minmax Travel

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ah! The distracting power of Epic Poems


Stinky had released the first 200 stanzas of his epic poem onto the free access system. This had infuriated his previous publisher who had not spoken with Stinky since the publication of the first epic.

"I not think you would be interest," Stinky had said after finally accepting the call.

The publisher did not share Stinky's corporate dialect. He spoke in the faddish manner of a modern aesthete which changed day to day or even hour to hour as each new style rose and fell in popularity. This created a series of inner sanctums in the artistic world that only the most dedicated adherent could successfully penetrate. Being a publisher who was constantly talking with artists he was able to keep up to date with the latest trends. Stinky, by comparison, had been too long in the corporate room to follow the trends and was now so isolated within his muse that he stumbled and stammered while trying to converse across the language barrier.

The publisher replied in deepest dialect, "Not sweetypied? Are you fully olli? Not sweetypied by the stanzardas?" He said with a great flourish of emotion. Stinky had not directly understood a word but assumed that it was a denial of lack of interest. "You are trested?" he asked for clarification."Indupediticiuosly, centre my fold, staple my brain. I was finger poised on your eyedee." The publisher repeated the last comment for emphasis. "Finger poised!"

"Finger poised?" Stinky asked while waiting for his personal system to access the latest language records which he did not keep in stock. His preferences were for the annotated works of all LU literate poets, and that did not leave enough room for the endless gyrations of mindless art-language. The system, having found the latest edition of the corporate-artfad translator began displaying its interpretation of the publisher's speech in standard corporate. Some of the words which the publisher used and many of the phrases had not yet appeared in the formal translator which always lagged a fast changing dialect. The translation of the last statements were: "Interest? Are you function? Not interest by the word?" Which was followed by: "Certain. (Centre my fold? >unknown semantic.) (Staple my brain? >unknown semantic) I was about to call you. On the point of..{calling you}".

Stinky found the display distracting and so he tried to guess the meaning and would only look at the display if his mind was blank. "Just about call me? It's been 15 year since you last call me."

"Mathmatology side-lining. Moochimos clienteles. Moochimos conversatsis. Staple my brain, you were erupting. Finger poised! Then, lordy lordy eyes forordy! You wank yourself!" The publisher paused for this to sink in which allowed Stinky to look over the page of possible meanings supplied by the system. Unfortunately with so little conversation to work on, the system did not yet know which period or which sub-set of the dialect was being used. This gave several possible shadings to the words, but Stinky picked out what he thought was the likely one: "Time not import. Big client list. Lot of call to make. You were now at top of list. Then I could not believe my eye. You (wank yourself? >signifies self reliance. Sentence incomplete. No reference.)" Stinky guessed that this referred to his having put the first 200 stanzas on an open channel with virtually free access. "You object to my advert my first 200?"

"I never scratch the eyes or dot the teeth. Cliento mio. Cliento mio. What does your epicure pertain? Where does it travel?"

Stinky hesitated because he had a suspicion that there was no meaning whatsoever in what had just been said, so rather than trying to reply to it he asked, "Have you read it?"

"Read it, read it? I want to fuck it, I lick its juices, but it is only an infant. Will it still be juicy as a teen? When will it adultify? Where will it travel? I mean, I mean will it reach 5,000 stanzadas or what?"

"What you say? You want what?" and then quietly, "You think it good? Don't tell me!" Stinky did not want to hear an opinion at this stage, he did not want to be influenced while his creation was still helpless on the slate. Let it be strong enough to carry him if he should fall, then would be the time to allow criticism.

"Good? What shipappy word is that? Good? It is consummate. It is perfidatious. Do you reeslize your premier stanzado is mirror perfect, counter-symmetrical and sumates? It sumates the entire, the entire next 200!

Stinky was suddenly relaxed because the publisher was now using standard epic poem analytical terms with which Stinky was very familiar. At the same time he was excited because these comments matched his unspoken hopes. Could it be true? He had believed them to be true, but working so close to the poem he had doubted his own judgement. He had read some beautiful examples in LU of mirror perfection in a premier stanza, he had read trivial educational examples (perhaps theoretical) of counter-symmetry, but had never seen an example of both of those in a stanza which also sumated the next 200. This was an achievement.

The publisher broke Stinky's moment of glory with the question, "Is it a piss in the wind pot shot?" Stinky did not have to even glance at the translation to know the meaning of this query over his ability to keep up such a high level of quality. "If I can keep up quality, what is the deal?" he asked with more than an edge of annoyance.

"Even if it is a piss in the wind, I can get your premier stanzada quoted on calendars. Every Corp no-brain will want that on his seismic. I can feel that first stanzada putting bread in the grandson's gullet."

"Just that one stanzada? I mean stanza."

"It's piematic! It's thrillado! No, it's foot swearing!"

Neither Stinky nor the system had translations for these words but the tone of voice suggested something better than good. It became apparent that the publisher felt the subject matter and the very high academic standard of the work would ensure its being noticed and commented upon by the artistic fashion makers and taken widely by the poetry reading masses. The tilt of the poem, which ridiculed the Robotcracy, and highlighted the suffering of humanity, was likely to hit a very lucrative chord. The publisher, who really believed that the first 200 had been a piss in the wind pot shot, was unwilling to make any guarantees or advances against the complete work, but he explained that if granted an option over it, he would immediately place the first stanza with the calendar company and begin work on a serialisation contract with a popular sleaze magazine that was trying to move up-market. Stinky knew that that was where the big audiences and the big money were obtained and so he agreed on condition that he be left alone to continue his work and not be bothered by interviews. How he hated the idea of being constantly asked what the next stanza would contain and could the audience watch as he wrote each line. That would make the flow so stilted and false.

The work continued to flow as if he were connected to some great extra-dimensional data feed. Almost the only barrier between him and his work was the mental exhaustion which dragged him into bleak moments of imagining himself a slave to the whip-handed true writer of the poem. He would drop into sleep and re-awake to the multi-slated versions of his thoughts and themes. Everywhere in his home would be a slate with the latest text available and yet he preferred to use the one he had begun with. The keys had grown to be a part of his fingers, the shaded guide lines were burnt into his eyes and the system voice, in perfect LU would read his words when he was too tired to see them. In traditional style he did not release any further stanzas until he had finished number 282 which marks the 282 points of supplication of the One True Poet in his pilgrimage. The publisher had insisted that no further work be placed on the free access channels and was waiting impatiently to see those next 82 stanzas

"Shred my mind!" he had replied after reading all 82. "No piss in the wind pot shot those 200. No one double piss pot shots!"

"You think is good?" Stinky asked fearfully."

Good? Still this papshappy palabra? Desiccate good and build a pyre with it. This is fakty. Time to order the star-streamer, make that two!""You think this will sell?""Sell? I will mostravate it! I will buy a planet and name it for you. I would disconnect my sysm for this. No, insignifacdos, insufficatic, you will be printed. Ah! A rag paper edition." He said this with all the reverence due to such an unusual and expensive method of publication, and then added, as if he had not said enough already, "Leather Bound!"

Stinky was crying. He had never believed it possible. He could not remember the last time that a new poem was issued in a printed and bound edition. As his emotions subsided he wondered if these statements were just publisher's fantasies used to encourage a pitiful old hack, but no, this publisher had ignored him for 15 years. It had to be true. He was, at last, creating the great work he had always written in his dreams. Those years of isolation had given him an insight, a view on the ways of humanity that were bright, original, fresh, and which would sell in the millions.

The publisher was so excited that he was talking of an initial printing run of 500,000 (and that was in the hard bound edition!) to be followed by a wrist viewer cartridge, a speak a stanza mantelpiece clock, the usual clothes deal plus of course normal publication through the dedicated poetry channels on the system. Sales at this level would be astonishing for a new work and would transform Stinky's financial position.

During this excitement he had completely forgotten several things. First he had forgotten his responsibilities at Minmax. Second he had forgotten JayJay's plight. Third he had forgotten his concern for the future of humanity. These three were surprising, perhaps even amazing acts of forgetfulness, but the fourth was spectacular. As he sank deeper and deeper into the creativity, the beauty of Lingua Universal when applied to an epic poem of devastating themes he had, marvellously, wonderfully, kindly, but probably only temporarily, forgotten the smell.

[Copyright: Extract from "God's Companion" courtesy of the author, David Lee, who retains copyright.]

A word from the sysm...

I have the honour of representing the great author. He is, of course, now too busy writing his epic poem to have the time to continue posting to this blog.
You may be aware that he had been a manager at the Minmax Travel Advisory around the time that the Chief launched the fruitless rescue mission to recover the body of one of their writers killed by Marauders in Lawless. Some have asked why he ignored the message from Jones of the Knwaybe Defence League reporting the death of Jayjay.
I, a humble secretariat sysm, not worthy to clean the phargarties of the great author, have nontheless been awarded the great honor of explaining recent events.
I do not take the presumption of writing of the great man in the first person as if I were he, nor shall I adopt the narrative style of third person, what I have decided to do is quote from the history books which explains the events better than a humble secretariat sysm could hopt to do, although it does appears an impertenance to refer to the great author in the venacular as would his closest (in the non-physical sense of the word).
[I have in fact been physically closer to the great author than any of his friends, but then I have no olfactory sensors.]
And so we begin....

The Epic Poem

[SYSM NOTE: Due to the immense demand to read the first 200 stanzas this blog has been overloaded and the stanzas have been moved to the publisher's system where they are subject to copyright restrictions prior to the full publication. ]