Overhearing a Conversation in The Flowerpots, Cheriton
There was a power cut in the pub last night. All light but the fire’s glow went
Out, and in the discontinuance, I mumbled, murmured, “Winter of Discontent”,
“The 70s” and “Jeremy Corbyn”, to parody the two men at
The next table, who, up until this outage, had been enjoying a chat
About the economy, each affirming the other’s assertions that
All employees in the public sector are over-pensioned, indolent
And unprofitable. No one knew me well, and, excepting the fire, this veil meant
I could beard, and would satirise, bold enough not to belie the charming
Ale, as I am loath to misrepresent the pleasure I get from drinking,
With these barely-barbed rhubarbs, without fear of someone identifying
The source. Peripety-lumen, propelling the dark forward to foment
Uneasiness and consternation, my presence murmured darker yet, excrescent.
“Laureate by seditious self-appointment, writing mainly in rhyming couplets, in relative isolation, in compliance with the guidelines, I collate my poems and set out my track record of previous publication to reify my suffering.” RW
Repetitive nursery rhymes such as Ten in a Bed and I Know an Old Lady undoubtedly shaped Rogan’s voice. He writes poems, almost always using end rhymes, and prose poems in a style that is unique and recognisable, not of any particular time. The themes of his work, however, are very often about the time and place he lives in, and his persona may evanesce to experience places of current social and political significance, with humanist empathy and a seer’s pity.
For many years, Rogan was a regular contributor to the poetry magazine Monkey Kettle. He was appointed the official poet of National Shed Week, 2008. His earlier work was published by Indoor Fighting Press in two anthologies: Failure Crawled Up My Leg and Ghostly Sightings of the Pornographic Lady.
As a synesthete, Rogan sees colours whenever he hears sounds, and has been collaborating with emerging and mid-career painters. Extracts from his poem Lines for Farkhunda were included as an epigraph in the catalogue for Canadian painter Andrew Salgado’s 2015 exhibition A Quiet Man. Rogan makes his work available to read on his blog: http://whitenails.blogspot.co.uk