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A laureate for our fractured times
Ian McMillan

You Took The Last Bus Home: The Poems of Brian Bilston

Brian Bilston
Status: published
Publication Date: 06.10.2016
  • Paperback£9.99
  • Ebook£5.99
A laureate for our fractured times
Ian McMillan

You Took the Last Bus Home is the first and long-awaited collection of ingeniously hilarious and surprisingly touching poems from Brian Bilston, the mysterious ‘Poet Laureate of Twitter’.

With endless wit, imaginative wordplay and underlying heartache, he offers profound insights into modern life, exploring themes as diverse as love, death, the inestimable value of a mobile phone charger, the unbearable torment of forgetting to put the rubbish out, and the improbable nuances of the English language.

Constantly experimenting with literary form, Bilston’s words have been known to float off the page, take the shape of the subjects they explore, and reflect our contemporary world in the form of Excel spreadsheets, Venn diagrams and Scrabble tiles.

This irresistibly charming collection of his best-loved poems will make you laugh out loud while making you question the very essence of the human condition in the twenty-first century.

'Bilston is no stranger to crafting cleverly composed poetry' Huffington Post

'Part John Cooper Clarke, part Frank Sidebottom. Brian’s minimalist homages… are all brilliant' Esquire

'Brian Bilston is bringing poetry to the masses… with his topical, witty, thoughtful and accessible poems' Irish Times

'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' Richard Osman

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.



LINES WRITTEN UPON ARRIVING AT A HOLIDAY COTTAGE
AND DISCOVERING THE LACK OF RELIABLE WI-FI


slow burning days drag by
as the smouldering fag ends of hours
turn themselves to ash

second-hand jigsaws
sleep smugly on dusty shelves,
uncontrite at their incompleteness,

next to a well-thumbed
Robert Harris and the fortnight
stretches like old laddered tights

evenings drab with scrabble
and the death rattle of yahtzee dice
provide no substitute

for videos of piano-playing cats
instagram selfies, status updates
and Lionel Richie memes

instead this, the buffering
and the suffering and the shutters
which rattle in the wind



FRISBEE


Frisbee whizzing
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.

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