'Brian Bilston is a laureate for our fractured times, a wordsmith who cares deeply about the impact his language makes as it dances before our eyes.' Ian McMillan
‘If you like a) laughing or b) words which rhyme with each other, you will love Brian Bilston. Contribute now!’ Richard Osman
Over the last few years, social media has witnessed the rise of an exciting new voice in the world of poetry. But although the poems of the mysterious and reclusive Brian Bilston have become widely celebrated and shared, remarkably this is the first time the “Poet Laureate of Twitter” will be anthologized in book form.
Writing on topics such as diverse as love, death, buses, mobile phones, and the socio-cultural impact of delayed Ocado deliveries, the poetry of Brian Bilston offers profound insights into modern life and the human condition.
Never afraid to experiment with literary form, Bilston’s work frequently assumes unlikely shapes, reflecting the poetry which he uncovers in everyday places: excel spreadsheets, Venn diagrams, powerpoint presentations, Scrabble tiles.
This collection contains many of his best loved poems and some of his far less popular ones, too. Assembled together, these poems represent a sustained lyrical critique of what it is like to be human – and to forget to put the rubbish out – at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
POEM, REVISED DRAFT
I had to write this poem again.
I left the first draft on the train
and now it doesn't look the same.
The original was a paean to Love,
to Truth, to Beauty. It soared above
the everyday and all that stuff.
It would have healed estranged lovers' rifts,
stilled the sands on which time shifts
and stopped the world before it drifts
further into quagmired crisis,
ended famine, toppled ISIS,
employed ingenious literary devices.
I tried my hardest to recall
its words and rhymes, the rise and fall
of the carefully cadenced crawl
through the English language.
But it caused me pain and anguish
for there was little I could salvage.
It certainly didn't end with a line like this.
through the air
above our heads
over the sand
into the water
onto the waves
out to sea.
You cried a lot that day.
Frisbee was a lovely dog.
Dear Children of the Shed,
It’s been a while since I last convened a shed meeting and a lot has happened since those halcyon days: leadership contests, celebrity break-ups, sex tapes. Not to mention all the events taking place outside of my own household.
Oh, and You Took the Last Bus Home has finally published.
By now you should all have received your copy of the book. Do contact Unbound…
Dear fellow shedheads,
Some exciting news (for me, anyhow) to share with you all about You Took the Last Bus Home. It now has a cover – which looks something like this:
I hope you like the cover as much as I do. It has asked me to pass this poem onto to you …
DO NOT JUDGE A COVER BY ITS BOOK
Do not judge me by this book,
I’m just a humble cover,
an easy way for you to tell
Dear assembled members of the shed,
Thank you for all gathering here at such short notice for today’s meeting. Hopefully you received the agenda in advance but, for those who did not, I have brought some spare copies:
Shed Meeting, 27th May 2016
1. Update on book
2. Shed news, inc. feelings of envy concerning my neighbour’s shed
3. Poem about agenda item 2
Dear assembled shedheads,
Thank you so much for attending today’s shed gathering. Apologies for being late but I have been out campaigning on behalf of BRITFOP (British Federation of Poets) on why it is vital for the future of poetry in this country that Britain remains within the European Union.
Exiting from the EU is potentially very damaging for the British poetry scene:
Dear Guardians of the Shed,
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve journeyed down to the bottom of my garden to pen you all a post and for that - and so many other things besides - I can only apologise. So here’s an update on progress – and what a lot of progress there has been, too.
Firstly, the book is now 145% funded. That means, in layperson’s terms, that the book is more than funded. The consequence…
Thank you all for making it here today. I'm pleased to say that You Took The Last Bus Home is now even more funded than it was before - but if there's anything you can do to help get new supporters on board that would be magnificent. The more momentum we can get behind this project, the better - so when it publishes, it will be magically propelled to the top of the bestseller charts…
These people are helping to fund You Took The Last Bus Home: The Poems of Brian Bilston.