Sonnet style: The New Tuberism
A Potato's Thoughts
This is an article about The
New Tuberism - a sonnet
style which I have been secretly using for years...
THE NEW TUBERISM: A POTATO'S THOUGHTS....
In my capacity as a potato sonnetteer
of Describe Adonis, and occasional contributor to poetry
groups web-wide, in this article I shall attempt to clarify the conceptual thoughts behind what has become
known, in popular sonnet culture, as The New Tuberism.
WHAT IS THE NEW TUBERISM?
We all know that a sonnet is usually
comprised of three quatrains and a couplet, much as one's mid-week menu may consist of three courses with
perhaps a lamb cutlet, and hopefully no potatoes will be harmed in the making.
So what, you may squeal, is so different about The New Tuberism? Well, my pumpkins, the difference
is in the actual content, not in the structure, of a New Tuberist sonnet.
Firstly, ensure that potatoes are mentioned,
in some context or other. The sky is the limit here. There are many different races of potato
- just look at the visual difference between a sweet potato and a King Edward. My personal roots are in Cara,
yours may be elsewhere.
In the second instance, think Camp. Think
Very Camp Indeed [VCI]. Few things in this world can bring more delight than a drag potato, save perhaps
two drag potatoes. Gaiety, Campness, and Flamboyance are the order of the day. Be bold with taffetta, go
mad with colour, luxuriate in lurex. Let your words shimmy and sashay on the page, bring your words
to the world tied with a pink bow and borne by Renaissance cherubs and powder-blue penguins
singing the Hallelujah Chorus on roller skates. For this is what fans of the New Tuberism truly desire;
it is the pink fluffy heart of the madness of romance.
Here is a New Tuberist Sonnet I prepared earlier
(minus the lamb cutlet):
Sonnet of Potato Versus Pixie
© The Potato Of Terror, 21/4/01
The terrible dark gnomes of deepest nightNOTES from the author:
Do jibber unto me dementedly.
They wear their leather breeches black and tight,
satanic pixies round for tea.
Oh save me from their fearsome canine
Which gnash and chomp, haunting my darkest dreams!
They wear pink robes, with nothing underneath!
beastly such raiment seems!
For shame! Let them to monasteries go,
Or let them get them to a nunnery!
For when I take my belt
off, fee fie fo,
Most anything shall happen, they shall see!
I am the worst nightmare of bad pixies;
Swift Sword" for such as these.
Much pain and suffering went into the
composition of this sonnet. Great heavings of dismay and undulations of fear were experienced
before pen caressed paper, which, though terrifying, did help to fuel the passionate fires
of inspiration. For poetry is truly an untamed fire, which
starts in the girded loins, ignites the underwear and causes the top of the head
to spin, until finally, a new sonnet is born, like a bat popping out of a belfry.
GETTING THE INSPIRATION
So how does one begin to commune with
the muse, sufficiently to produce a sonnet of true New Tuberism? It is not exactly like being able
to plug in a toaster or radio. It is more like trying to catch a wisp of ectoplasm, or trying to induce an
extremely large, bored bull elephant to dance a threesome reel. It takes time, concentration and most
importantly - inspiration, which has to be coaxed, rather than forced.
There are many methods of calling forth
inspiration, and believe me, since losing my magic pen down the back of the sofa, I have tried them
all. Popular belief has extolled the virtues of sitting with one's feet in a bucket of gravel, while some
favour covering their lower body with mud and sea kelp, which, while good for cellulite, may
not actually help to coax a good New Tuberist sonnet into being.
Some New Tuberist sonnetteers have also
been known to try shouting through cardboard tubes, which rarely works these days, as the violent
shouting can close off the energy inroads to the body's essential chakras, and occasionally, rupture the
My mother always swears by daubing herself
with a generous covering of Wintergreen, but she is a cross-channel swimmer and rarely writes poetry.
When she does, her works are occasionally of some merit. She is also a drinker of some impressive voraciousness,
so what she says, while "in her cups", is generally best ignored.
No indeed, as I hinted earlier under
~NOTES from the author~, the key is to suffer for one's art. Put on a hair shirt, lash yourself with a bicycle
chain or hard loofah, wail, sob, bellow... and lo and behold, the first glimmering of the
first merest spark of an idea will form. No really. This really works, but
obviously close the curtains first, especially if the windows of any houses opposite are facing yours.
LEVITATE TO PROLIFERATE
As you may have been wondering - yes,
levitation does go a long way to helping with inspiration. Put away anything breakable, say a quiet mantra
with your hind legs folded beneath you - and drift away, gently.
This has rarely been known to fail, especially
when meditating on poetic growth. Sex while levitating is also popular, but that is a whole other article,
which may be explored at some other time.
UNFOLD YOUR TUBER TALE
A New Tuberist sonnet must be gently
unfolded, like the veiny leaves of a cabbage slowly unfurling. Let your tuber story emerge in this manner,
so that it effectively "sneaks up from behind" on the trusting reader, then BAM!! The final couplet arrives, with either a shattering, momentous statement, or a resounding
echo of the first phrase, thus punctuating the sonnet with maximum impact, like the slap of a large trout
round the ear.
WEAR SOMETHING NICE
Have a sense of occasion. You would not
bathe in your best clothes, or walk along Rodeo Drive in your old carpet slippers. To be truly camp in the
New Tuberist style, you need to be dressed in shiny black leather, or, at the very least,
dark PVC or latex. A touch of lace here and there, with fishnet and the occasional shiny D ring, also helps.
ENJOY THE PAIN
By all means, suffer for your art, but
enjoy it. Many have said - "No pain, no gain" and it's true. Remember this as you sit in your drafty garret,
sipping Absinthe, levitating as your painful leather stays shimmer in the dim candlelight.
There is much art created through pain. And pain
can be fun!
© Sonnet style: The New Tuberism - A Potato's Thoughts
© Potato Tarquin Grendlebaum Orbisfleur Terror III,
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