P.O.E.T.S. Day with the Perverted Algernon Charles Swinburne!

Once again we celebrate P.O.E.T.S. Day: Piss Of Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday. This is the glorious dawn of a new weekend and there you are stuck in an office, nurse’s station, or aromatic – but contrary to the ends of freedom and self determination – bakery. You owe The Man nothing. This is your life. Weasel your way out of work early and hit the bar. We’ll have something cool and inviting in a pint/rocks/wine glass waiting for you.

This week’s gambit for escaping the workplace involves a length of kite string (not fishing wire!) three unbent bottlecaps, a C battery, and a sachet of thyme, rosemary, flat leaf parsley, and basil but feel free to substitute marjoram if that’s your preference. I think it’s pretty obvious where I’m going here so I won’t bore you with the details. Timing is everything though. Get the timing right and you are out of the drudgery of employment and running headlong into the joys of fellowship, comradery, potent potables, and Jeopardy on the big screen in no time flat. Good luck. It’s in the timing.

Today we honor the thoroughly debauched Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837 – 1909.) A brilliant young man who occasioned me to learn, in the course of reading about his life, the word “rusticated” which means to be temporarily expelled from school, usually from Oxford as is the case with Swinburne.

He held membership in various literary societies and traveled and was influenced by a great many luminaries but all of that is completely boring when compared to the salient bits about his life: he was a raging alcoholic who loved to be whipped.

My favorite description of the poet is from the back cover of Mark Hodder’s excellent steam punk time travelling alternate history The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack in which a fictionalized Swinburne plays a Robin like role to Sir Richard Francis Burton as the lead adventurer. Per Hodder: “[Swinburne is] A promising young poet, a thrill-seeker, and a follower of the Marquis de Sade. For him pain is pleasure, and brandy is ruin!” He may be more debauched than Dylan Thomas, and that’s saying something.

The problem with Swinburne is that he matured and became respectable and respectability dulled his poetic instincts. Oh well.

Here, from his less than respectable days is a favorite sonnet.

Sorry about the screen shot but this site’s writing software is being very coy about how to properly indent and space poetry. I’ll figure it eventually.

See you this afternoon.

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