Brian Bilston’s true identity is shrouded in mystery, but he has been described as the Banksy of poetry and Twitter’s unofficial Poet Laureate. With over 50,000 followers, Brian has become truly beloved by the online community for his humorous poems posted on Twitter and InstagramHere, Ben Miller reads three poems from Brian Bilston’s new novel, Diary of a Somebody, part tender love story, part murder mystery, part coruscating description of a wasted life, and interspersed with some of the funniest poems about the mundane and the profound.

 

This is Not the Poem that I Had Hoped to Write

This is not the poem that I had hoped to write

when I sat at my desk and the page was white.

You see, there were other words that I’d had in mind,

yet this is what I leave behind.

 

I thought it was a poem to eradicate war;

one of such power, it would heal all the sores

of a world torn apart by conflict and schism.

But it isn’t.

 

Lovers, I’d imagined, would quote from it daily,

Mothers would sing it to soothe crying babies.

And whole generations would be given new hope.

Nope.

 

I had grand aspirations. Believe me, I tried.

Humanity examined with lessons applied.

But the right words escaped me; so often they do.

Have these in lieu.

 

 

Not Drowning but Waving

They saw him, his arms up in the air

And they rushed in to save him:

But I was just happy with how far I’d swum

And not drowning but waving.

 

Poor chap, he must have had enough

And decided to join the dead

Lurking beneath must have been sad, hidden depths,

They said.

 

Oh no, no, no. I have none of those,

(He spluttered as they reclaimed him)

I was simply splashing around, having fun,

And not drowning but waving.

 

 

Lorde’s Prayer

Our Father John Misty,

which Art in Hanson,

hallowed be thy James

thy Kinksdom come,

thy will.i.am,

in Earth, Wind and Fire as it is in Heaven 17.

Give us Green Day our Motörhead.

And forgive us our Travises.

Aswad forgive Them that Travis against us.

And lead us not into The Temptations;

but deliver us from Emo.

For Ride is the King Crimson,

T’Pau, and the Gloria,

For Everly and Everly.

Shamen.