Following an announcement via YouTube on January 11 2021 we can confirm that Doubtist Books will be publishing “In the Men’s Room” by Alexander Velky in spring 2021. You can order your copy of the book right here, and you can watch the following video or read this blog post for a bit more detail. Please share the below video far and wide, whether or not you think anyone will be interested in it. Best wishes, A Velky. x
“The misery tune” is the fourth volume of poems in the Has Doubts series, written by Alexander Velky. Crowdfunding for this volume fell short in late 2018 and thus its future is uncertain.
The theme of this book is death; more specifically the human condition of being tasked with living, while knowing that death is the only certainty in life.
You can read a few of the poems and watch a couple of video performances (as and when they are uploaded) by following links from the contents list below.
The draft list of poems intended for inclusion in this book at the time of the publication of this page are/were as follows:
- Memento mori
- Scollock Rath
- In a Spitalfields pub
- No mercy
- Trying again
- My bonny bog oak
- Death directions
- The world
- The journey
- The dread
- The horror
- The terror
- The time
- The last
- The end
- Hymn for Thoth
- Delicious poison
- Project Gilgamesh
- No bastard
- I like to watch sand slip through my fingers
- Sing a long fornever
- My favourite ape
- All-purpose funeral poem
- The Owl of Minerva
- Good morning, Ragnarok!
- And what is life
- Something new
- The misery tune
Following the call for submissions for the second Doubtcast (this time on the theme of HISTORY) a few excellent recordings have trickled in: a lost-and-found song from an anonymous contributor; an imagist account of a recent hustings in Sussex; an epic prehistoric poem all the way from Brazil; a tirade against the British education system from an expat in France; and a couple of poems about a medieval monastery in Ceredigion (one of them bilingual!).
I even went out to a ruined chapel by the sea and recorded a history-themed poem from my forthcoming second book, with the help of a friend with a massive furry microphone. The sound of the waves in the background is lovely.
We need at least another 4 (preferably another 6) submissions to make a substantial (hour-long) podcast in the vein of the previous one though. So I’m setting a date to try to artificially give the project a sense of urgency. Come one, come all. Record your thoughts, be they in the form of a story, a song, a poem, an anecdote, a memoir, or anything. Anything that could feasibly be used to explore the theme of HISTORY.
You have until midnight, Saturday May 16. All being well I’ll record it the day after.
Tell all your friends. Thanks,
All my poems published to date, listed in alphabetical order discounting punctuation and articles (a, an, the).
All that is free
Art factory, The
Big American fridge
Damien Hirst responds to his critics
Dead by Christmas
Destroy your art
A duck with two heads
Eggs for sale
Escape to the country
George Monbiot’s agricultural policy
How days break
How to decide whether something is art
Ill of the dead
In the Fabergé museum in Baden-Baden
Information age, The
Interest in cartography, An
Irregular sonnets for Rockall
John Simpson’s burka
Martin Brady likes your link
Mirror ball, The
Mistaken for art or rubbish
Money to burn
My art is greater than your art
New Roman times
Nice big war
Old house, The
Please don’t fund my art
Poems about nothing
Rhyme for all time, A
Rhymes for all times
Sculptures of nothing
Sonnets for plop
Sonnets from the corners of the map
Thoughts on a Monday morning
Top ten indefinities ever
Trouble in the drains
Verse for the averse, A
Voice from a bin, A
Weeks before St Dogmael’s Day, 2019, The
Welcome to the Men’s Room
What really happened
Where is the heart of Europe?
Your Nazi tattoo
All my poems published to date, listed in alphabetical order by first line.
A metaphor for everything
A nice big war came through
A red eye glints and squints,
A sweaty grip on a suitcase handle,
All I own, I own I owe it to my will.
“All that is free is careless,” she said
All we lowly wingless grubs
An explosion of filaments
Armed with a chisel and equipped with the time
At ten is the time a Coptic
Benefactress, retired actress,
Beware the Public Footpath signs,
Creative destruction, said Marx,
Did dinosaurs dance
Did genius effect its genesis?
Each day dawns, a drawn breath held till dusk.
Every generation gets the art it asks for.
Finally / Chop the chives
Following a trail of
For a decade we fought off the wild polar bears,
For what’s existence but a burden to be borne?
From the back of the van the man heaves The Mirror Ball,
From troubles of the world I turn to Alexander Lukashenko,
“Gyrrwch yn ofalus / Please drive carefully”
Had a mate called Spider when I was a lad.
Half a mile north of Walter de Wale’s town,
Hard is the road, is the road I walk,
“Have you ever tried needles?” he asked,
Here we are now. There’s no returning.
How best could I, presented with your form,
I found an object in a location.
I have mastered the equation,
I have my doubts.
I heard a voice from a bin
I often lie awake and wonder
I only came once a year –
I remember that beer-soaked summer,
I / Remember / You / Remember / Me:
I want to be uncontactable.
I was harvesting slime with my concubine
Iblis, full of hubris.
If I were a unit of lore,
In Sahara’s sunset’s shade lies a wall,
Its dimensions are delicious:
I’ve passed through the rapids
Just a trope in your narrative,
Just as a sheaf’s wheat to the sickle yields,
Let us be honest. Let us be thorough.
Lone cuspid: Atlantic mandibular;
Look around you; say what you see;
Man became tribal
Motes of ashen newspaper
My art is greater than your art
My “art” is stacked against
My two-year-old daughter sits in the corner
No ceremonial farewell
Nobody expected them to thrive so well
One day, I know, you will begin
Only my second dentist’s appointment
Painted horses graze the pastures
Privacy is heresy nowadays.
Somewhere deep within
Stale fates in failed states
The bear and the lion seek your honey,
The internet’s an empty space,
The mist clung close to the trunk road.
The muse, the must who used to hue my blues,
The old house we left is still here,
The river rises with the rains
Their cousins still roam St Kilda’s Soay,
There is no argument yet made
There’s a man digging for lugworms –
There’s an industrial hum
These back lanes are suggestive
They make it our business.
This poem is not worth
This will be my legacy: a…
War and famine won’t sell soft drinks:
We fell asleep beneath red leaves
We two were born, entwined like vines,
Welcome to art school,
When I was young I conquered all that I surveyed:
Where is the heart of Europe?
While that other velky Alexander
Whoever knows these words will not taste death.
Would you walk the trembling embers with me, Lord?
You are the crushed cans of Foster’s
You washed and dried your hands
You wear your sleeves long all the year round
“You’ve backed me into a corner,”
EDIT: This call for submissions is over. Podcast is recorded. Thank you to all who sent stuff.
It’s ages since I recorded anything. And after I failed to get to another poetry open-mic night the other night – for the usual reasons, being busy, being knackered, being unprepared, it being an hour’s travel away – I had the mad idea of rekindling my interest in the art/craft of amateur podcast-recording.
But with a twist!
The twist is that this time instead of just playing mp3s of songs I like and talking over them I’d do something more literary. Something tied up with poetry and somehow relevant to the ethos of Doubtist Books. So this is what that will be. For one night only, or forever after if it goes well enough.
I’m going to be putting together an initial show under the DOUBTCAST label as a pilot affair. I’m looking for recordings of poems, songs, short stories, anecdotes, extracts from articles or philosophical tracts, sounds/noises (if there’s a difference) and possibly interviews, miniature diatribes or jeremiads – thoughts, I suppose, like Radio 4’s “thought for the day” or “a point of view”. But you don’t have to be a rabbi or anything. And because I detest and abhor literary publications with lots of rules and no focus, there are no rules and the focus this time is “RUBBISH”. If I can get enough stuff loosely themed around RUBBISH to stitch together into a 30-minute or 1-hour long podcast by, say, the end of February, I’ll upload it and share it. If not I won’t. And if I do and it’s any good, I’ll do another one with another theme afterwards. (Suggestions welcome.)
I said there were no rules. There basically aren’t, but try and keep anything you send to under 10 minutes. Probably better if it’s 1-5 for a non-narrative poem or song or whatever, but I’m willing to wave a very floppy editorial ear in the direction of suggested material for now. I’ll consider anything short of an hour’s silence. Ideally you will have copyright of submitted material (it’ll be something you’ve made) and of course I won’t personally claim to own that (even temporarily) if it appears on a DOUBTCAST. But you should be aware that some people might count stuff being on here as a legal event. So maybe don’t send me Elton John/Metallica songs or poems/stories you’ve submitted to competitions.
Doubtist Books ethos
I’m nowhere near done with my manifesto, but the premise of my “Has Doubts” poetry collections is supposed to be a focused look at a particular human quandary (so far: art/commerce, history/truth) that aims to articulate questions. I want to extend this to the artistic approach to the podcasts. So in this instance I guess it would be questioning the established narrative of what “RUBBISH” is and what it means to us. Picking it apart. Sniffing it. Licking it. Etc. I’m willing to be open-minded with this. Part of the idea is to help inform my own idea of what art and criticism should be, rather than to collect an army of artefacts that agree with my own definitions.
That’s all. Please send stuff or it’ll just be me reading poems for an hour. MP3 format would be ideal, but I can probably work with other stuff. Sound levels unlikely to be enormously professional so the clearer and louder you can make it, the better. Don’t send me anything if you have unrealistic expectations about what will result from it. (E.g. fame, glory, money.)
Your loathsome curator,