Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Sunday, 28 May 2017


Pillow Fight

"It's all right," William said (talking to my chest),
"When it's not all right I scream into my pillow.

"It's full of breasts you see –
I rip them out of magazines and papers
(we're not allowed scissors).

"They're like sponges, (I read it in a book) –
you must see – they soak up the pain."

16 August 1991
On the surface I can see how people might assume this poem is a natural follow-on to ‘Grief at Parting’ (#734) and I’m not saying there’s not a connection but William had already expressed an interest in women’s breasts in ‘The Lady Doctor’(#620). When I came to write my first novel (around November 1993) I decided to make Jonathan a mastrophile and the same is true of Joe, the dead father in my new novel Left, but before you tar me as a latter day Russ Meyer can I just state for the record that I’m not obsessed with breasts. I mean I like them—what red-blooded male doesn’t?—but from a writer’s point of view I’m far more interested in them because of the symbolism that goes with them. I had originally intended Jonathan to be a bum man but it was much simpler with boobs. It’s lazy writing on one level, to go with the obvious, but why make things hard for our readers? Men are hard-wired to be drawn to breasts. We don’t shake our heads when we learn this. We might not be proud to announce to the world that our dad has a complete collection of Juggs in his wardrobe but better that than Heavy Rubber Fetish Magazine.

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