Saturday, 7 October 2017


23:05:00 Posted by Steve Rowland , , , 12 comments
The week's bloggings on the theme of outsider have been mostly of a personal and confessional nature, but I'm going to buck the trend as this one is going to be impersonal and (...I'm not sure confessional has an exact opposite). Plus it has to be brief, as I'm short of time I'm afraid; (pressing affairs on behalf of Blackpool Supporters' Trust).

I'm thinking slim chances, long odds, underdogs. We all like to see an underdog win, but they so very rarely do - and maybe that's because when it comes down to it they don't really want to?

Better perhaps to be a beautiful loser than an ugly winner? (Discuss.)

The best side is the outside
This somewhat cryptic take on 'outsiderness' is new and can be filed under oblique accounts of people we know; (more correctly, used to)...

this is underdog
still trying to convert
the hounds he hears in his head
into poetry and song
soundbites howled with feeling
into unrequiting night
words punched out
through gritted teeth
in baskerville twelve point type

with the benefit
of hind-leg sight
he might not have cocked up
in quite the way he did
pissing opportunities
up the wall
in pursuit of
so singular a vision

but underdog
is not looking for your pity
as shorn of respectability
shunned by the pack
and shunning them back
he straddles a line
between genius and madness
shambling towards epiphanies to be borne

Thanks for reading, S ;-)


Anonymous said...

I personally like to see underdogs doing well because it suggests there's hope for anyone who tries hard enough. Also it's boring when the same group of whatevers wins out all the time.

I thought your poem was very good though I'm not sure I understood some of it. Does that matter?

Steve Rowland said...

Dear Anon, thanks for your comment. To answer your question: no, it doesn't matter. I'm sure everyone will take something different from it and if it engages them in pondering about its meaning, that's a good thing I think. I'm just pleased you read the blog and enjoyed it enough to say something.

By the way, the person it's primarily about, though it has obvious references to outsider archetypes (like the Steppenwolf among others), once confided to me that he didn't always understand himself the meaning of things he'd written, so there.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I really like that poem.

Anonymous said...

Clever imagery old lad. Liked your poem. Keep up the good work with this and with BST. OO!

Steve Rowland said...

'Old lad'???? Dude, I've just done on those stupid quizzes on FB that assesses (that's an awful lot of esses) your emotional age. Mine, apparently, is 29. LOL (laughing old lad)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant poem Steve. Nicely done.

MoonGoddess said...

Really interesting dog-legs in this poem and you definitely haven't made a dog's dinner of it!!
Were you reading Hound of the Baskerville's recently?

I love this quotation by Groucho Marx, what do you think?
'Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. And inside of a dog it's too dark to read'

Steve Rowland said...

Dear MoonGoddess, thanks for the feedback and for the Grouchoism (which I much admire). As it happens, it's probably 20 years since I read Hound of the Baskervilles but I had it in mind and had to use the fact that there is a popular font going by the same name (though in honour of Sir John Baskerville, I believe) as part of the poem. As for Groucho, he might deserve a Dead Good Blog to himself one week :-)

Anonymous said...

Love this Underdog poem. It's clever, sad and defiant all at once.

Hermann Hesse said...

"You are much too exacting and hungry for this simple, easy-going and easily contented world of today. You have a dimension too many..." Steppenwolf.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was great, right down to the W.B.Yeats allusion at the end.

Anonymous said...