Foreign Bodies Alan Marshfield

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Kindle Edition

152 pages


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Foreign Bodies  by  Alan Marshfield

Foreign Bodies by Alan Marshfield
| Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, RTF | 152 pages | ISBN: | 8.35 Mb

Alan Marshfield’s second volume of short stories comes in two parts. The first ten tales exploit the author’s agility in a number of wry styles about a wide range of people who, he claims, are in a mostly shallow predicaments. The first storyMoreAlan Marshfield’s second volume of short stories comes in two parts. The first ten tales exploit the author’s agility in a number of wry styles about a wide range of people who, he claims, are in a mostly shallow predicaments.

The first story concerns a man whose courage and integrity are found wanting. The next is about a married couple who have things they fail to tell each other. Another couple in the French Ardèche have recurrent dreams which surrealistically merge. The title tale, Foreign Bodies, is inspired by the paintings of Jack Vettriano and depicts a 1940s postwar black marketeer and a stylish prostitute. A reclusive old man wonders why old friends have fallen away. In Make-up an MP’s wife slowly applies her make-up before a visit to the Knightsbridge shops, while her officer son’s life is in danger in Afghanistan.

A father visits his married son in Germany, where the old man’s behaviour becomes unacceptable. Suburban village preservationists turn out to be crooks on a very large scale. An old lady who imagines she can communicate with beings in other universes gets rid of a nuisance. A timid writer gradually, as she ages, takes over a large house and grounds, becoming battier and forgotten.

In the second bunch of stories, grouped under the title of Chain Gang Poetry, a copywriter and poet, Luke Lovelace, thinks of himself as a great ponderer. He wonders about everything – why men no longer wear hats- why Alison says that his office skit emulating Ginsberg is cruel- why accents are beautiful or ugly (Alison says he lacks empathy)- why one’s memory of film endings is so bad- why a company should want to sell goat’s meat- and so on.

Somewhere past the middle of these eight stories his life as a poet come to the fore. The ‘Chain Gang’ to which he belongs is a group of four poets who read their poetry together in chorus at gigs. In the course of one gig Luke meets a famous female novelist who is fiercely pro-Palestinian.

Her husband is a pop music promoter who offers to groom the Chain Gang and make them superstars. They are happy with what he does for them, but he blows up when he discovers they have practised a special number without his awareness. Finally, over a snowy weekend in a Berkshire manor, a meeting of chosen poets and song writers, instigated by Luke, goes (thanks to a goth lady) disastrously wrong. Is it the end of the Chain Gang? Some fellow poets would like to think so.



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