‘hilda doolittle’s carl jung t-shirt’ by Charlie Baylis – erbacce-press


Charlie’s got a girlfriend
Charlie’s got a girlfriend

you hear the others singing – taunting – but he doesn’t care and keeps on writing the love poems, imagining the morning sun shines a light on romanticism, eventually.

But first, the sun gets all surreal, as everyone calls it these days – the apocalypse of any exciting experience. For Charlie Baylis and Pink champagne at the pony club, it’s a girl in leather boots who is carrying a daisy chain to wrap around the nuns and Jesuits, and while he tries to ‘stay in the now’, we have strayed into a world where much is new and interesting.

In Jamie’s got blue eyes there is great delight in the mischief of a beach that ‘does not stop raining from rudeness’ or where on

‘…a clear day we see the mermaids play
all of the boys and all of the girls
you are alive in every line I write’

In the title poem it is as if the Yellow Submarine animation is spelling its bright and boldly coloured words all over the page when we hear

‘I lost my Oyster card in an octopus’s garden
in the shade, all the hens stumble sideways
and I can’t remember the next line’

and in the right-on #metoo world since these poems were written, we hope his apology will be accepted for the honest truth it is

‘but I don’t want to stare for fear I’ll offend you

(as you may think I’m looking at your breasts)
which I am but I don’t mean to’

In Stones, the poetry, for a moment, takes on a radiance of semi(let’s go with the qualifier)-formal description

‘Purple blossom of star-fall over Sierra Nevada
tropical storms, elephants coated with glitter
Leticia Egea, your uncle, companion of shadows

left in the black sky’s loom over black sand’

and this beauty is defined as

‘all my vowels hang from a cherry tree.
When I think of you the spring turns blue’

Such continues in the following poem F.S.

‘…the larva of ghosts. Satin brushes your eyelashes
all night in the star-burst, fairies of the velvet moss
pause on the trickle of memory’

That is a false distinction if you take it as a distinction. There is simply this notable breadth and embrace of variety in the writing, and I enjoy that.

In from the litanies of Charlotte there is a list poem of warnings which again delight it its mischief and madness and mirroring, for example

‘Beware Nancy Reagan’s death the year before she died’


‘Beware the unhealthy glow of fashionable young novelists
trading insults on expensive sofas’


‘Beware of me and all of my answers’

Finally, if you have ever wondered why this and hiss sound exactly the same but are spelt differently you might not score particularly well on a current Key Stage 2 GPS [Grammar, punctuation and spelling] test* but you could read the poem my name has only one s

*your parents should have withdrawn you from school anyway

You can purchase this wonderful chapbook here [but don’t ask what ‘Frames’ are or you will get a reply from Gertrude Stein]


2 thoughts on “‘hilda doolittle’s carl jung t-shirt’ by Charlie Baylis – erbacce-press

  1. Pingback: Poetry Reviewed 2018 | mikeandenglish

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