Friday, 4 April 2014

The Grayling Damnation

The Grayling Damnation
It was a misunderstanding:
someone had seen too many
1950s prison movies, taken
it too seriously - the old stool
about a cake with a file in it.

Celebrity cookbooks were the first
on the hit list. Then anything
with a tang of the culinary:
A Moveable Feast. Cakes and Ale.
A Clockwork Orange
– too close

to a Terry’s chocolate orange
for anyone’s liking. Poetry
was a definite no-no: too much
to taste and savour. The classics
were hauled in and interrogated:

The Count of Monte Cristo,
The Prisoner of Zenda
, several
slabs of Russian miserablism
about crime and punishment
and the state of prisons.

The decision was unanimous:
this stuff was dangerous.
Never mind the Victoria sponge
with its jam and cream and hacksaw
filling, words were the whetstone

on which minds could be sharpened.
© Neil Fulwood

 Neil Fulwood runs the film review blog The Agitation of the Mind ( and is a member of the Alan Sillitoe Committee, a group dedicated to raising funds for a permanent memorial to Alan in his hometown of Nottingham. Neil co-designed their website