Richard Craven is an Anglo-Canadian Doctor of Philosophy based in Bristol in the UK. He writes long-form high-burlesque literary fiction, dystopian short fiction, and formal verse specializing in iambic pentameter. He has written four novels, 155 sonnets, including one in French, and a play, The Senseless Counterfeit, which he describes as a comedy of manners in the form of a Jacobean revenge tragedy. He is presently working on a fifth novel, Helix Folt the Conservative, and a second play, Sir Jawn’s Parasite.
The editor considers Pope passé,
but is quite partial to a shopping list.
“Stick to Sauternes, Prosecco’s far too gassy.”
She grips my elbow with a tiny fist.
“The fashion’s not for polished, mannered wit.
The ossuary’s sediments of slime—
think Heaney, Hughes, subjective feel. Think shit
and squirt it out, jarringly, and unrhymed.”
She leaves me worrying about my voice:
a cleverclogs in thrall to formalism,
a meter maid, cuckold of my own choice,
vas deferens for watery old jism.
I thank the oracle for her advice,
and help myself to orange juice and ice.