Saturday, March 10, 2007


I've had half a dozen comments online about the truth-meme I posted earlier, and a number of others have commented privately.

TOPIC: "Five Things You Don't Know About Me (of which, only FOUR are TRUE) ... Which one's NOT True?" ~ DISCUSS!
  1. I went to school with Rita Haworth

  2. I went skinny-dipping on a beach near Bridlington

  3. I drove over the Atlantic

  4. I did the twist on stage dressed in a monkey suite

  5. My shortest published poem consists of one three-letter word

The time has come, as they say, to come clean and reveal all.

Well sorry to disappoint the ladies, but I never went skinny-dipping near Bridlington; the waters of the North Sea are far too cold!

I did go to school with Rita Haworth; Jane Mansfield and another whose name I forget who also had a Hollywood namesake, but they were all Yorkshire lasses.

Yes indeed, I drove across the Atlantic on the bridge that links Seil Island to the mainland of Scotland.

I had the part of a monkey in a play at school. I don't remember much about the play itself. I think it may have been based on the story of Noah's Ark. The script called for the monkey to dance the "hornpipe". I couldn't do it to save my life. But at the village youth club I was a champion at doing the twist. I told the producer that since the "hornpipe" was anachronistic anyway, why not bring the play up to date and twist to Chubby Checker instead. He agreed.

And, finally, I wrote the one-word poem and in 1973. It was first published in 1982 in the US magazine Interstate and in 2004 in the Canadian magazine Raw NerVZ.

It is an example of a "square", a syllabic verse form I pioneered in the 70s. A "square" is a stanza that consists of as many lines as the numbers of syllables per line; the poems are untitled and all squares begin with the word and.

Thus there can only be one uni-square.

I've written and had published quite a number of squares. In 1992, Krax published a selection of quadra-squares, Four Square Replay.

An eight-stanza octo-square sequence was published in Fire #17 in 2002 and can be viewed on the Poetry Library Archive.


  1. Yay! I got it right! Woo hoo and all those sort of celebratory noises... lol! I somehow knew you'd do the wordy thing.