Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Welcome all!

Cheers! Welcome to this, the first official blog of me, Arthur Greenleaf Holmes, sixteenth century and, until recently, anonymous poet. I should like to begin by thanking Nigel Bunshaft for discovering my cache of writings that I'd hidden beneath the floor of my cottage. It took nearly 450 years to be discovered, but who's complaining? A toast to you, Bunshaft! May you die with your pants around your ankles!

Now then. Hmm? What's that? You wish to know my story? Well, you lucky, lucky bastards, I will be only too charmed to tell thee. But before we begin this journey, let me address this palpable discomforture permeating the room. You are no doubt wondering how a 16th century poet may nevertheless speak to you through a blog. Do I yet live? Or do I speak from beyond the grave? Shall I don a bedsheet and run around the room like a nervous Orthodox virgin?

I assure you, I am quite dead. To paraphrase Chuck Dickens, there is no doubt whatever about that. Old Arthur is as dead as a door-nail. Therefore, I must speak from beyond the grave, right? Poppycock. I speak from beyond nothing, save the bottom of a beer glass. I am here. I speak. That is enough, I say. Think of it thusly: that I exist in a sort of ever-articulating past. My present is your past, and who should blame the two for enjoying each other's company. Right? Quite right.

This affords me some pleasures. As I'm sure my recently discovered writings will elicit critical analysis of my life and art from academics and historians, I would like to invite their scrutiny. Go ahead. Analyze my writings, critique away, and I shall post them here. I do, however, reserve the right to discard any and all essays as excrement.

Anyway, without further ado, here is my biography, briefly. I didn't write it, but most of it seems accurate enough:

"Arthur Greenleaf Holmes was born in Dorchester, England, sometime between the years 1547 and 1552, a period later to be known as “The Gay 90’s.” He was the eldest of three children; the youngest, Edmund, lost his eyesight at an early age, and then proceeded to lose the rest of his lower body over the following thirteen years of his life, until cruel fate had whittled him down to nothing but a head. Nevertheless, it was the older sister Babette who suffered from depression, while Edmund apparently possessed an indefatigable spirit, right up until the time he was eaten by a German debate team. Babette sank into despair and lunacy, and later convinced herself that she was a prime number. She died at the age of twenty-nine while attempting to make herself divisible by two.

Strangely, less is known of Arthur’s childhood. While his siblings certainly encountered their share of travails, there is very little to suggest that Arthur’s experiences were especially tragic. Indeed, the most that could be said of his youth is that it was framed by confusion—his father was a wetnurse, and his mother, a cowbell. Most of his early work (referred to by scholars as “The Juvenelia”) takes the form of simple pastorals and flower odes, with an occasional lamentation at what was an extremely late-arriving puberty (“Mother, Shall My Stones Drop?”)

Then, a turning point. One day in the life of Arthur Greenleaf Holmes was to change his life—and writings—forever. He was perhaps 24 when a series of highly improbable and devastating events transpired, all on the same day. After receiving word that his father had died in a mellon-balling accident with an epileptic, and his first book of poetry had been rejected on the grounds that it was entirely too “asexual”, he returned home to find his wife in bed with a hairstylist from Canterbury and his mailbox vandalized once again by Ricky Watts, a local hooligan. It was then that his testicles finally dropped with such force that it ruptured one of his eardrums, at which point Arthur plunged into town and drowned his sorrows in the physical solace of a prostitute, a banker, and a goat named Fanny. His improved mood was short-lived, as Arthur contracted what is described as “The STD triptych”: Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and an indeterminate third malady which he referred to, cryptically, as “Trench Sac.”

It was to color his poetry forever. First, the slyly skeptical “Lower Pub Canto”, which questions the worth of marriage vis-à-vis drinking. Then, the groundbreaking “I Bought A Cheese And Thought Of You,” widely regarded as Holmes’s arrival as a major literary force. A string of successes followed: “The Wyfe Addresseth Her Husband,” “The Wee Irish Guy” the projectionist poem “Clap For My Sister: An Ode To Chlamydia,” “I Built My Love A Menstrual Hut” and finally, the mammoth “Ode To An Extremely Provocative Knothole.” By now, Holmes was accepting invitations to London, and performing for Queen Elizabeth herself, much to the dismay of Raleigh.

None of this would ever have seen the light of the twenty-first century had his writings not been discovered by Philip Bunshaft in 2007. Bunshaft, an English violin-maker and handyman, purchased a small tudor cottage with the intention of restoring it when he discovered the cache of poems, letters, and journal entries in a small wooden box. He sent the entire collection to a friend who taught English Literature at a college in England, and within months, the world of renaissance studies was abuzz with excitement."

Blah, blah, blah. Well, enough of my backstory. I suppose you'll want to see some of these poems. So, over the course of our journey together, I shall post them as I feel so inclined. But be warned: I am no feel-good milquetoast of a poet. If my words offend, as I'm sure they shall, well.....funny, I haven't the slightest idea how to end this sentence.


Arthur Greenleaf Holmes


  1. Where can I find the Ode to Chlamydia?


  2. thought you might like this photo i snapped of you at this year's ren-fest


  3. thank's for your information and i like this post