Under the Ivy

Under the IvyI want to visit Kate Bush’s England. Tolkien’s England. The England the Irish rarely deign to perceive.

C.S Lewis’s England–even though he was Irish.

Set me under the ivy, leave me there, with the green and the grey. And something good to read. I am tired of confusion and fatigued by hatred. Just leave me there with the foliage still blossoming despite the snow.

These vines are troopers. Naked and fragile they fight on, despite inevitable ruination from the coming storms.

Away from the party indeed—the boot-party raging over life, words showering down around us, upending our habits, upending the details of you and me.

Plath vs Sexton, cake vs salad, let’s stop hating whatever we are not.

What began as a reflection on the good ol’ boys of English literature has devolved into rambling holiday prose.

Forgive me my trespasses, for I have most definitely sinned.

I have been tippling, as Dylan Thomas once said. The holiday season is preferable this way. I will stay drunk, God willing, until the sun rises and I am rational once again, returned to the land of the living, the literate, the safe, the pragmatic, the productive sector of society.

I will stay drunk until the next time I’m drunk. That’s an Irish drinking song, I shit you not.

Not that it matters for I am a prole—except when I am not a prole. It depends what I have to say and how I wish to say it. I cannot remain loyal to my indecision today.

I am a poet tonight; no wait, I am writing prose. Will I reject this inclination come morning? We are on speaking terms this evening, this technique and I. It whispers secrets in my ear.

And they all sound like Kate fucking Bush.

And fuck the Welsh, but only because they’re more hard-core than We.


Yevgeny Zamyatin got the shaft; Orwell got the glory.

Not that he wasn’t deserving. I’m not saying that. He was deserving as hell that genius old fuck.

But never mind that. They’re all dead now anyway.

I’m going back under the ivy to while away the hours with W. Somerset Maugham. Why? Because he’s my hero these days. And fuck it. I don’t care how cold it is, or how deep the snow.  All I care is that Mildred is an unenviable cunt and Philip an unbearable source of frustration.

I’ve got stray cats and a thick, warm sweater to keep my warm. My grammar seems to be functioning as well, despite the liquor.

That should keep me warm for an hour or two.

Should I fail to surface tomorrow just search the green and the grey; I will be there with the stray cats, other people’s writing, and a warm sweater damp with the tears of the drunk and disaffected.

Of mirth or sorrow I’m not yet at liberty to say. And whether or not they are my tears will be left equally unfathomable.

And books–did I mention I would have books with me already?

We, Brave New World, 1984.

It’s back to the future but the future found us hiding in our neurotic nostalgia and now all bets are off…

(I’m the only person I know not waiting in thrall for New Year’s to drink away the disappointment that was Christmas.

…Maybe I don’t know the right kind of people.

Or maybe I drink too regularly for the holidays to be special.

And the original statement opening this bracketed mess was only half true.)

So here’s to the encroaching New Year, and all us beautiful degenerates who will welcome it with words and reflection. I’m infinitely grateful for your talents.

Thank you.

21 thoughts on “Under the Ivy

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    1. What a wonderful observation! No, we are not making the world a mess for others–we’re too busy drinking and reading, and writing about drinking and reading! Good on us! 🙂 Thank you for link as well–‘grumpy impatience’ is a wonderful description of my mood when dealing with dour teetotallers… And Happy New Year to you!


    1. Why thank you–and it actually wasn’t too disappointing. I’m not really a Christmas person–but I am a little OCD–so it’s more the chaos of the entire season that amuses and horrifies me. Even ‘horrifies’ is too strong a word…I hope all is well on your end. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Re this ………

    I have been tippling, as Dylan Thomas once said. The holiday season is preferable this way. I will stay drunk, God willing, until the sun rises and I am rational once again, returned to the land of the living, the literate, the safe, the pragmatic, the productive sector of society.

    You ought if possible to sit on the floor of Browns in Larne as he did and say “leave me here I cannot fall” … 20 years I my wife and 6 or 7 locals sat as he had and laughed the night away in his honour…

    Perhaps then the ivy will part and the sun emerge …

    This is the season to do what you will

    Liked by 2 people

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