The Scottish musician and Arab Strap singer chose to commemorate the experimental novelist and poet by posting a spoken word recording of one of Johnson’s poems, ‘The Poet Holds His Future In His Hand’ which just so happens to be about the author’s manhood.
“Today, the 5th of February 2013, would have been B. S. Johnson’s 80th birthday. I decided at 2am this morning I’d like to mark the occasion by recording one of his poems – so here it is. Somewhat predictably, I chose the one about his penis, but I’m nothing if not consistent.
B. S. Johnson wrote brilliant books. I have neither the time nor expertise to explain why, but if you’re a stranger to his work and this little poem has piqued your curiosity, I’m sure you know how to use the internet to find out more. The good news is that four of his novels – Albert Angelo, Trawl, Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry, and House Mother Normal (probably my personal favourite) – are being reprinted this Spring, along with a new anthology called Well Done God! and a BFI DVD collection of his short films.
2013 also marks the 40th anniversary of his death – 13th November to be precise. If I have the time, I may record a few more of his poems and release them as a free download then – this isn’t a commercial exercise, it’s a tribute to a writer whose work has made my life a little richer. I’m simply – hopefully – spreading the joy.
I won’t wish him a happy birthday because that would imply he’s still around in some form to hear it – and I’m sure he would’ve hated that.”
Listen to the track below: