The Loser’s Club Is A Real Place And We Didn’t Even Get There

Delighted to post this image retrieved from Istanbul by Nia Davies, which seems a fitting way of recording the almost complete moribundity into which we, the Collected Losers, Losels and Loseurs of Adishakti, have fallen. Though, to be fair, it wasn’t much of a drop.

I met up with Nia while in Istanbul for the Poetry Festival, at which I caught up with several Word Express types including Gökçenur Ç, Efe Duyan, Claudiu Komartin and Katerina Iliopoulou.

We never got to the Loser’s Club, but I didn’t have the heart to tell Claudiu while we sat in the gutter drinking Secret Beer at three in the cool of the morning that we were already there. There was poetry to discuss, especially from his great journal Poesis International, and, besides, the Loser’s Club is always on our tail – if you look round suddenly you’ll see the edge of the Table, just keeking round a corner in the darkened street.

Meetings with the Adishakti 8 have been few and far-flung: Sampurna and I caught up briefly at the London Book Fair; Alexandra met up with me at Poetry Parnassus. Meena read in Switzerland; Sampurna launched her novel in Mumbai; Zoë’s not long back from Paris, though I forgot to ask her why she was there. Correspondence has been slightly more active, in that Raphael, Arjun, Meena and I have found a way to insult each other on Twitter. Other Losers may feel they are maintaining a dignified silence, but we all know there’s precious little dignity involved.

(Roselyne adds, ‘J’ai eu le plaisir de voir Aleksandra cet été au Festival de Lodève en France… Nous avons parlé de chacun.’ – That ‘Alexandra’, or Francesca, as we know her to be, her jewellery heists take her all over the world, but one day Clousseau will catch her up.)

What we all want, and we want it bad, is a way to meet up in this frank establishment (address 13 Deadbeat Close (a cul-de-sac), Underdogville, Flopshire, or so we’re told). Then we can discuss our work in the questioning and adult manner we have come to expect from our fellow Losers. We know that at some point this will involve cramming moths into our mouths as though they were so much cotton wool so you don’t need to rub it in by telling us.

(I should add here that The Losers’ Club (note much better use of the apostrophe) is also a Turkish Film, Kaybedenler Kulübü – ironically, a very successful one.)

So if you, or a rich uncle of yours, feel like sending us to take up a small residency in the Loser’s Club, there to endure the unfeeling heckles of Dr Jekyll and Mr Deride, be warned that most of us won’t turn up, while the others will be late and/or fail to bring the correct translations. Money or indeed monkey in a small brown envelope at the usual drop-off point, please.


About Bill Herbert

Poet and pseudo-scholar W.N. Herbert was born in Dundee in 1961, educated there and at Oxford, where he completed his DPhil thesis on Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid, and now lives and works in Newcastle. He is Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and his books are published by, among others, northern publisher Bloodaxe Books. He is also the Dundee Makar, or city laureate.
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8 Responses to The Loser’s Club Is A Real Place And We Didn’t Even Get There

  1. Meena says:

    Sorry Bill, there’s no one replicating us. We are not Loser’s Club. I have a vague hunch we are LOOSER’S CLUB. Yes! That’s how some of us repeatedly misspell it.

  2. Bill Herbert says:

    I suspect you’re right about the spelling, Meena. I’d ask what was I thinking with my correct spelling attitude if I didn’t already know that no actual thought was involved. Mindless conformity is not the Looser’s Way: deliberated, humiliating conformity is more our style.

  3. kulturweider says:

    By the way, a “Luser” in Swiss-German is a comb for lice, or a cheeky person.

  4. Akshay Pathak says:

    Well hello everyone! Just to let you know that I have actually moved to Adishakti for a few months (if not longer!) where I am learning Kalaripayattam and working on a play! Miss you all here.

  5. Sampurna Chattarji says:

    Speaking of jewellery heists, Alexandra and I successfully looted several silver shops in Prague this summer, as light entertainment between the rigours of pub-crawling, downing Drowned Men and other Hrabalesque delights. And adding to the list of Fabled, Few and Far-Flung: meeting Raphael in Bern and Hausach while on my Swiss residency, and Arjun in amchi Mumbai at the Pint Room for what was overtly a conversation about my new novel but really an excuse to indulge in name-calling and serious damage to countless bottles of Bavarian beer.

  6. Pingback: The Losers’ Club | Ricardo Blanco's Blog

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