Madam Alena was, at the time, my oldest patron. A petite slender lady with short cropped white hair; she would from time to time summon me to her home to entertain a group of her acquaintances These were never events of great formality, more gatherings of friends who’d grown old together and knew each other … More Port Naain by starlight
It is with good reason that the collective noun for a group of artists is ‘a brawl.’ Yet as individuals, no more peaceable people could be found anywhere. Well perhaps I exaggerate a little for dramatic effect, but still, we’re quiet enough if left alone. Yet more than that, patrons rely on us to ensure … More The season of good will
As a less poetically inclined gentleman once commented, ‘My memoirs are not my confessions.’ These are sentiments I feel a certain kinship with, the duty of a poet is to draw attention towards that which is worthwhile, not to rub the listeners nose in a squalid reality that they are all too aware of. Indeed … More The Port Naain Philosophical and Debating Society for Ladies of wit and discernment.
I have always held that it is the main duty of an artist to ensure that he is paid for his services. After all, entertain your patrons for free and they will chatter as you declaim your finest work. But if you extract silver from their tightly clenched palms, then they will sit in utter … More A bitter confession?
The turn of the year always brings memories. You think back across the years and remember the people who are no longer with us. For me the end of the year is largely focussed around the Society of Minor Poets. Now you might wonder why I, the leading poet of my generation, belong to the … More Amateur dramatics
People sometimes comment that I rarely seem to mention my good lady, Shena. This is not entirely true. It has to be said when working I often refer to her, repeatedly, in glowing and affectionate terms. Whilst my patrons are all persons of unchallenged personal integrity, one cannot always say the same thing about their … More Grubbing around in the mud
Have you noticed that whilst we might have petty thieves, lesser nobility and minor poets, you never get a lesser demonologist? It seems that demonology isn’t so much a path you saunter down as a precipice you plunge off. One moment you’re a moderately respected scholar, the next you’re a stooped and shuffling figure with … More An evening out
You know it is time to worry about the state of the world when somebody assures you, with considerable vehemence that, “Your trouble, Tallis Steelyard, is that you are not in touch with the Modern Woman.” Had it been a lady who had been leaning over me in the saloon bar of the Vagabond’s Purse … More The Modern Woman