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The Return Of El Mystico

January 20, 2010


You are getting sleepy… very, very sleepy…you are completely relaxed…you can hear nothing but the sound of my voice…now, go to your nearest ATM and withdraw as much cash as you can…good…put the money in an envelope and post it to: Politely Homicidal c/o Mr. Sophronius Bangrupd Chanzer, The Bank Of Poets and Hornswogglers, Grand Cayman, The Cayman Islands…good…when I count to ten and snap my fingers, you will wake up and write a Ballad about theft.

Theft of any kind: of goods and chattels, of money, of love, of hopes, of dreams or perhaps a ballad addressed to that most persistent and shameless thief of all: time.


And as a special FREE SERVICE from Politely Homicidal Finance (Nigeria) :


  1. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    January 20, 2010 8:20 PM


    It’s ladies night: the feeling’s right
    I’ve had a pint or two
    Hoves into sight Brighton delight
    A gaggle, yet: a few

    An ageing strump still firm of rump
    Is giving me the eye
    I feel my lump and mime a pump
    “To your garret I’ll fly!”

    I climb the stair, lighter than air
    Quelling a nascent squeal
    Until I stare at bedroom bare
    Where Molly makes her deal

    As it was late, to fornicate
    She’d only make me pay
    The going rate for masturbate
    Yes, it was my birthday

    I shagged her then. And then again.
    And then again some more
    As shagging went from one to ten
    My confidence did sore

    With Molly splayed on her bidet
    I limped toward the door
    And curtains made of crushed brocade
    Adieu’d beneath the whore

    I put the toll upon my soul
    And Holy Trinity
    Down to Old Moll, for she had stole
    My first virginity

  2. pinkroom permalink
    January 20, 2010 9:34 PM

    First year juniors

    The dinner money’s gone, they say.
    They think they know who did it;
    and I have shit and pissed my pants
    where stolen, cold coins sit.

    The lesson proceeds normally,
    I stare out into space.
    The stink below allowed to spread
    and signal my disgrace.

    The dinner money’s gone they say
    Headmaster knows who did it
    Strides into 3C purple-faced
    carrying in his stick.

    Furious he holds the stick
    up silent to the class
    I shake and cry, ignored by all
    as he begin to ask,

    if anyone, just one, knows who
    has taken all our cash?
    The he will spare us all a lick
    of his cane’s whippy lash.

    Those whose eyes, dare to turn,
    all turn around to me
    I cling on hard onto my chair
    but his large hands pull me free.

    What happened next
    I will not say, aside to say I wont
    forget the day I chose to steal
    wiser friends
    said “don’t”.

  3. January 20, 2010 10:54 PM

    Like an avalanche my body fat is sinking south
    Like a Rembrandt etching sharp lines form around my mouth.
    Like a supermarket till the bags cluster round my eyes
    It’s check-out time, too much cellulite round my thighs.

    Like a sci-fi story hairs grow out my nose
    Like a mystery story they appear where nothing grows.
    Like a jumble sale my clothing is rarely new
    It’s check out time, cholesterol turns my blood into glue .

    Like a billiard ball I lack a head of decent hair
    Like a clairvoyant I hear things that aren’t really there.
    Like a broken record I endlessly repeat myself
    It’s check out time, I’m not in the best of health
    It’s check-out time, I’m not in the best of health
    It’s check-out time, I’m not in the best of health
    It’s check-out time, I’m not in the best of health

  4. InvisibleJack permalink
    January 21, 2010 12:41 AM

    The Advantage of the Heartless

    She stole a heart from the Devil,
    never to give it back,
    on a night when the clouds were torn
    but the lazy rain was slack.
    Then she wrung it out in twists
    till every drop was spent
    and sold the skin of that old heart
    to cover that month’s rent.

    But when the Devil’s stolen from
    the Devil steals in kind,
    so the Devil called to her firstborn
    and stole that young boy’s mind.
    And with that mind all shining new
    the Devil made a mask,
    and hid behind ideas all day
    and answered what you’d ask.

    And if you’d ask for numbers
    he’d give them one by one,
    and if you’d ask for nighttime
    he’d offer you the sun,
    and if you asked for something else
    he’d give you life or death,
    and if you asked for salt or gold
    he’d ask you for your breath.

    So when you take a silver fish
    fresh from the river’s vein,
    or when you take fine beads of light
    from falling sheets of rain,
    think of the payment for your theft
    as payment always dawns,
    for on the stem of every rose
    are seven brutal thorns.

    So give your heart to the Devil
    and never ask it back,
    even on nights when the clouds are torn
    and the lazy rain is slack.
    He’ll wring it dry with seven twists
    till every drop falls free,
    but then you’ll be a heartless one
    and care no more than he.

    Jack Brae Curtingstall

  5. InvisibleJack permalink
    January 21, 2010 12:53 AM

    Hi Mish,

    I’m so glad that you changed the optical animation from the one you had earlier. When I first came onto the new thread sometime after six this evening I could actually feel my brain growing a new outer layer. That original animation was bloody dangerous!

    Jack Brae

  6. mishari permalink*
    January 21, 2010 7:48 AM

    I know, Jack. A friend got in touch and told me that after viewing it, he’d heard Cameron speaking and found himself thinking “…this chap makes good sense; perhaps I’ll vote Tory.”

    It was clearly dangerous and capable of deranging viewers: it had to go.

    Fine ballads from all. Jesus but you lot are quick…

  7. Captain Ned permalink
    January 21, 2010 2:13 PM

    Great stuff, all.

    Just finished watching Tarkovsky’s ‘Mirror’ on Film4 – what an odd time of day to broadcast it, plus it’s rare enough these days that Film4 has anything decent on. But what a film – the first Tarkovsky I’ve seen. It reminds me a lot of Norstein’s remarkable animated short ‘Tale of Tales’; it has a similarly allusive interweaving of personal and political memory, the same disregard for narrative logic. A stunning work.

  8. MeltonMowbray permalink
    January 21, 2010 11:53 PM

    What an odd time of day to be watching a film. You are aware that This Morning is on, I hope? Phil has some excellent household tips.

  9. January 22, 2010 12:22 PM

    Capn Mirror is his best I think followed by Andrei Rublev which is probably on this afternoon on ITV after Loose Women and before A Touch of Frost.

  10. January 22, 2010 7:54 PM

    Thought I’d share this pearl of a sentence with you from Lolita.

    I was lead upstairs, and to the left – into “my” room, I inspected it through the mist of my utter rejection of it; but I did discern above “my” bed Rene Prinet’s “Kreutzer Sonata”.

  11. freep permalink
    January 22, 2010 9:40 PM

    Just seen A Prophet = don’t miss it.

    So far this year I’ve seen The Road**, A Serious Man*** and Up in The Air***, and A Prophet ****takes the biscuit by a long way, even though the others are watchable. Very convincing on prison life and racial divisions ….

    Poetry coming slow, and hard to match the four above. Jack, I found yours moving … a rather magnificent plainness of diction.

  12. mishari permalink*
    January 22, 2010 10:34 PM

    I’ll definitely watch it, freep. Sounds good.

    For anyone not familiar with the painting that Al via Nabokov mentions, have a look.

    At least Humbert had something to laugh at…

  13. InvisibleJack permalink
    January 23, 2010 12:59 AM

    Thankyou Freep,

    Sorry to hear that the verse is coming slow. I’m okay usually as long as I have a challenge. I get itchy to write, though, when the challenge is lacking, and currently can’t wait for Billy to post a new theme to PP. I just hope he hurries up, I’m feeling impatient with the void. (Unfortunately, however, his last two themes weren’t that encouraging of inspiration.)

    Jack Brae

  14. Captain Ned permalink
    January 23, 2010 1:25 AM

    @Freep: Snap! Saw it today too. Like you I was impressed, although I thought it could have done with an extra half hour; the film’s two and half hours as it is, so I do not say this lightly (OK, maybe an extra 15 minutes). I thought the first 20 minutes or so were a bit rushed – pedestrian even; a more leisurely introductory sequence would have provided a better set-up. I was worried for a bit that maybe this would prove to be the most over-hyped movie disappointment for years, but its cumulative power turned out to be tremendous. Two quite magnificent performances, I have to say. I do wonder whether a few moments might have been a little too crowd-pleasing, but the very effective, very ambiguous ending has left me unsure of this. One to watch again, perhaps, and certainly a gripping, brilliantly controlled piece of cinema.

    Has anyone here read the book I’m reading now, La Regenta by Leopoldo Alas? A late 19th century Spanish novel, very long, very funny, and extraordinarily good. It’s one of those books where you read the first paragraph and you know instantly that you’re in expert hands. The first sentence is irresistable: ‘The city of heroes was taking a nap.’ It has made me think about how neglected most Spanish literature seems to be in this country.

  15. mishari permalink*
    January 23, 2010 9:34 AM

    A great novel, Ned and more satisfying (in my opinion) than Madame Bovary, to which it’s often been compared.

    Until Spain converted to the Euro, it was Alas who appeared on the 200 peseta banknote.

  16. MeltonMowbray permalink
    January 23, 2010 10:31 PM

    I can’t think up any poems about theft. My mojo seems to have disappeared.

    On the plus side, I found an mp3 of Drink Up Thy Zyder.

  17. mishari permalink*
    January 23, 2010 10:51 PM

    Never mind…the next subject will be boozing. I can’t envisage you having any problems with that…

  18. pinkroom permalink
    January 24, 2010 1:37 AM

    We let them steal

    These sour thugs who steal our time,
    purporting to be entertainers,
    who sit there, damp-groined, in their flop-
    sweat suits and meaty faces that Hi Def hates.

    Thieves all – “comedians” who can no-longer be
    arsed to stand-up and spout their shit,
    aside from the tour and all their sold, given
    but never played, discs. Just sit there; mugsneergrin

    on endless cheap television, or radio, shows of six to eight
    interchangeable arseholes, and a nasty prick between,
    stealing our lives from behind their panels of painted mdf,
    because somebody else wants to watch, or listen,

    “allegedly” (laughter) but you don’t. There is not a single
    thing they can say that does not, liver-sicken
    further. An entire culture under a lifetime illness;
    mugged by these burned depressives and allowed

    to do so by idiots, who hand over their one
    and only lives, and bay on the bile,
    the shark- eyed hate, to those who have nothing,
    but a weight and cocaine-weakened heart

    and their dead-end to offer.

  19. January 24, 2010 12:26 PM

    I stole a glance
    Only a slight peek askance.
    My curiosity remained hidden
    As though the viewee was

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