You Took The Last Bus Home: The Poems of Brian Bilston
By Brian Bilston
First collection from the Poet Laureate of Twitter
About the book
'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
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.
Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? *On the journey to the book launch* ;) xx
Please don't tell me you need the toilet.
I DID, but that was 5 days ago, so I had to use a placcy bag! :/ Next question: When did you start writing poetry, and do you remember WHAT exactly started you off? :) Lots of love, a hedgehog admirer. xx
The precise details are somewhat lost in the pipe-smoke of time, but I suspect there was probably a girl involved. Writing her a poem would have been a good alternative to actually having any kind of direct contact or communication with her. I would probably have then recycled the poem and tried it out on others, remembering to change any description of eye or hair colour if necessary. But, invariably, it would have the same result. It can't have been a very good poem.
Are you ever serious?!! ;) (I never know if I am talking to Brian, or the lovely Waynetta, these days!) P.S. I am loving this question and answer lark! It feel like a secret portal that only we two can enter. (and probably about a 1000 others, but 'I' can't see them!) Please DO tell me if I am annoying you!! I can TAKE it, I have my anti-poet vest on. :) xx
Yes, I am serious sometimes but I'm not very good at it. An anti-poet vest would be a very popular invention, I think. nb I think others can see this exchange so please try your best to keep the content of a nature suitable to a family audience.
How exciting - a direct line to the author! I don't understand the shed references in the rewards. It would have to be a massive shed, to fit us all in. Or is it just the Shed of our Minds? I am very happy to read your poems on FB, so am looking forward to the book. Do you read poetry yourself, Mr Bilston? If so, whose? Best wishes - Maria
Yes, the shed is more of a figurative one than a wooden one. Every few weeks, I'll post up a report on progress with the book, including selected musings and, on occasion, some supporters-only news about extra free stuff. I do read poetry myself but try to avoid poems which contain too many difficult words. Regarding contemporary poets, I am very partial to a bit of Simon Armitage and Carol Ann Duffy - and I really loved Jonathan Edwards' recent collection, My Family and Other Superheroes. I have a deep fondness - and a fond deepness - for Roger McGough and John Hegley, too. Of dustier poets, then Philip Larkin, TS Eliot, Stevie Smith, WH Auden and Wilfred Owen all float my proverbial boat. best wishes, Brian x
Hullo Brian - Thank you for your reply! I have nothing to add to what you wrote above, sadly - I used to enjoy reading poetry when being educated - the Russian/Soviet poets (Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, come to mind most quickly) as well as the British ones - the romantics. I have too many cobwebs in my brain to actively seek out poetry nowadays, though I so appreciate it when I see it. I have been racking my brain trying to remember one I liked: Do not feel something about our long-lost something, my friend, because something something.... *trails off awkwardly, like with one of those jokes where you forget the punchline and you're rubbish at telling them anyway* Best wishes, Maria
I like that something something poem, too.
Brian, I suggested to you on Twitter some time ago that you should publish a collected edition of your poems and you responded that it wasn't for you. But now you have and I have pledged to support it. Isnt life full of crazy surprises?
I remember that very well - and it's a continual surprise to me that it's all happening. I'd never sought out such a thing but it appeared to want to come and find me. Thanks so much for supporting this, Stephen.
I hoped that you might appear at a literary festival this year to read a poem or 5 but them I realised you would either have to appear behind a screen, or wear a cunning disguise. so maybe not...although also you might BE appearing at a literary festival but as yourself , who we do not know...and then I realised this wasn't a question but a ramble so I stopped and just wanted to say...can't wait for the book.
Thanks, Naomi. I shall be attending a number of literary festivals this summer but dressed as Carol Ann Duffy. I shall be reading her poems, too.
Brian, I only discovered your existence a few days ago through finding your poem Refugees and I'm hooked. Since it's part of human nature to pigeon-hole people,I immediately thought of e. e. cummings as a fellow spirit. Are you ok with that?
To share a pigeon-hole with e. e. cummings would be a pleasure - for me at least, if not for him. I'm a fan.
Brian, I have your wonderful poetry book and now I can't stop trying to come up with clever little rhymes.It's driving my long-suffering wife nuts-is there a cure?
You need to take some antisoundamines. They are tough on rhyme and tough on the causes of rhyme.
Hi, Brian, I would like to reprint "Refugees" in a book I'm writing with my son for Routledge entitled "A Guide to Literary Analysis." Your poem would lead off the book and the chapter on "Formalism." How do I obtain permission to do so? Or rather, may I do so? And if so, would it be possible to send me a note confirming permission? firstname.lastname@example.org I'm happy to make a donation to the cause in return. I think I saw a "Donate" button go by on here as I scrolled.
Hi Michael, thanks for getting in touch. I’d be very happy for you to use the poem in your forthcoming book. Permission, though, lies with my publisher Unbound. The best thing would be to email their Rights manager, Ilona Chavasse. Her email address is email@example.com Thanks very much - and happy Christmas to you. Brian