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Looking Back

June 19, 2011

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This Christmas reminds me of old days when we used to celebrate Christmas in thamel, Jesus birth anniversary, celebrate the day with a big bang, Didn’t know why people in Nepal celebrate this day in a country where the major religion are Hinduism and Buddhism, I enjoy this occasion because I was a party animals, and best opportunity to flirt with white woman which was my favorite sports. In those days thamel wasn’t that’ over crowded places, Not so many massage parlors cum brothels or strip teasers club exist, no criminals activities or gangs of hoodlums wander around the street.

In short’ thamel was a best place to stroll around especially at night, with full of peacefull tourists and thamels local guys and only few outsiders. Seating in a garden of spamsport pub own by Irish gentleman. listening to live band singing Eagles track, sipping ram & coke my favorite drinks of yesteryear, but today I’m sober since 7 years , There are other good bar and restaurant in thamel which still exist, to name a few, tom & jerry, pub maya, pumpernickel, K Cs, road house, yinyang, and ram doodles. those days thamel was most peacefull location in ktm, I still recall the streets of thamel where I learn to ride the bicycle and after couple of years motorcycle.

These are my sweet memory with the downtown thamel. we used to call it heaven on earth….! Today thamel has turned into a red light area with over populated with peoples and vehicles. Today thamel is importent junction for call girls, collage sluts, swingers, strip teasers, he lady prostitutes, and all the alcoholic of kathmandu’s. These are what I encounter when I walk around the street of thamel, so partying in thamel is no more fun. — A Nepalese blogger reminiscing about his youth in Kathmandu

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I remember Thamel long before a ‘spamsport pub own by Irish gentleman’ (whatever the hell that is) was even a concept and before ‘collage sluts’ had been invented. It was a sleepy residential district on the edge of the (admittedly very small) city.

I used to frequent a chang bar in a Thamel basement with my friend Ravi, who lived nearby (chang was the local millet beer, very cheap and very strong; it was often distilled into Rakshi, the Nepalese poitín). Afterwards, we’d ride my old Russian Ural motorcycle to a shack by the river, opposite the Monkey Temple (Swayambhunath), where Tibetans from Mustang served the most delicious momos (a Tibetan ravioli filled with shredded mutton, spring onions, ginger, chillis and coriander).

The Monkey Temple itself sat atop a conical hill on the opposite bank and the favourite pastime of the sacred (Rhesus) monkeys who crowded the hill was to mug the pilgrims and visitors who trudged their way up the (alleged: I never counted them) 365 steps, for food. 1500 years of immunity had made them utterly fearless.

On the night of the vernal equinox, the monks held a ceremony to celebrate the coming of spring. It took place in the hours before dawn and visitors were welcome, although I was the only foreigner there. The young acolytes of the temple had spent the previous few nights trapping fireflies. They must have caught thousands of them. The ceremony began with the lighting of crude tallow candles (a by-product of the water buffalo slaughter-house further down the river). Then the chanting began, with the accompaniment of small cymbals.

Finally, the long (6 or 7 ft) horns joined in. Following this, there was a period of quiet meditation with no sound but for the wind (and the gurgle of a pint-bottle of Khukri rum: what can I say? It was colder than a witch’s tit up there).

Then, at a signal from the abbot, the candles were all doused; another minute or two passed and at another signal from the abbot, the acolytes all opened their tightly-woven wicker baskets and released the fireflies.

The little insects swirled up into the night like a cloud of sparks from a large wood fire and disappeared into the dark. It was oddly moving. When the sun rose some 30 minutes later, everyone bowed to the abbot and to one another, hands placed together in the universal Buddhist expression of respect and then formed a long and orderly crocodile down the 365 steps to the river and across it homeward.

***

I was living in a room above the Yin & Yang Restaurant in Durbar Square. The owner of the restaurant and my landlord was my friend Trilugen, a soft-spoken, gentle man with a smile of ineffable sweetness. He was a hopeless businessman because (to his credit) he wasn’t the slightest bit interested in money. However, his hard-faced French wife more than compensated for his lack of avarice; but she wasn’t a bad sort and they were both exceptionally kind to me through the many periods when I was broke. Trilugen would lend me money and encourage me to try to repair my fortunes at the Casino (located in Kathmandu’s only ‘international’ style hotel, The Oberoi).

The casino was frequented by gambling-mad Tibetans, Chinese traders, Indian crooks, Thai heroin dealers, Australian remittance men, smooth young Portuguese gigolos up from Goa enjoying a well-deserved respite from their exertions and a shifting cast of hard-to-place shady characters who made a living off tourists.

I often did well, mainly because the blackjack dealers (the only game I played: roulette is for mugs) were reliably dozy and the other players tended to be passionate and impulsive: passionate and impulsive is not the way to win at cards. After a good night, I’d make my way back to the Yin & Yang, stop by Trilugen’s office, repay the loan and any rent owing, pay a couple of weeks rent in advance and invite him and Marie (his wife) to have dinner with me that night.

After an unlucky night, I’d go straight into the bar, which was opposite the restaurant proper, separated by a covered flagstone courtyard. A fountain stood in the middle of the courtyard in which a carved-stone goddess (Parvati?) smiled enigmatically as she played a flute and danced eternally. Trilugen would hear the barman greet me by name and would come out of his office, to find me gazing glumly at the goddess.

He’d light a Burmese cheroot for me, ask the barman, Mohan, to bring a bottle of rum and then, with my glass filled, he’d pat me on the shoulder: “Not to worry, my friend, not to worry; the wheel will turn again; always the wheel turns again…” and he’d give me one of his extraordinarily sweet smiles and invite me to have lunch with him. He really was a lovely man.

***

It was my habit on most mornings to cross Durbar Sq. to where the newspaper seller had his wares displayed on a cloth spread on the ground. There, I’d pick up The Rising Nepal, Kathmandu’s English-language daily. Published using the old hot-lead linotype method, it was a never-ending source of amusing misprints, malapropisms and mangled grammar. I’d then make my way over to Aunt Jane’s for breakfst.

Aunt Jane’s was a little bit of America in Nepal. The wife of an American diplomat had opened it in the late 60s and taught her Nepalese staff how to make brownies, pancakes, omelettes, club sandwiches, minestrone, banana splits, milkshakes and hamburgers. It was off the beaten track (most tourists never strayed far from A) The Oberoi, if they were well-heeled or B) Freak Street [Jochen Tol] if they were hippies) and I only discovered it through a Peace Corps pal who ate there three times a day when he was in town (the rest of the time, he was 200 miles away, up the Lang Tang Valley, teaching Gurung hill-farmers How To Win Friends and Influence People…or something).

The first time I went there I pointed at the menu board and said to my pal, “They’ve mis-spelled ‘beefburger’; it says ‘buffburger’…”. He grinned and set me straight: “No, it’s correct; that’s what they are–burgers made from buff…water-buffalo…”. And very good they were, too.

There was a large framed photograph of ‘Aunt’ Jane on the wall, freshly garlanded with marigolds. Apparently ‘Aunt’ Jane had died not long after leaving Nepal. In all the times I went there, the flowers on the picture of ‘Aunt’ Jane were always dewy-fresh. The place was always spotless and the staff were always in crisp, white shirts: ‘Aunt’ Jane had trained her staff well.

***

Two or three times a week, I’d stop by the fire-station on New Road. It was the only fire-station in Kathmandu and for all I know, Nepal. It contained one fire-engine…but what a fire-engine: a 1930s Merryweather & Sons of London. There were about a dozen firemen and they spent most of their time attending to the Merryweather: polishing, buffing, wiping, oiling and cleaning. It was immaculate, a vision of blood-red coachwork, gleaming brass and chrome and  glowing polished oak-ladders.

The firemen were charming. The first time I’d walked past, the sight of that magnificent old machine stopped me in my tracks. Seeing me transfixed and enchanted by the Merryweather, the men invited me in, delighted to show off their pride and joy and happy to practice their English. They brought me masala tea and samosas and happily told me the machine’s history; how it had been a gift from the government of India to the present king’s father; how it had never actually attended a fire (they looked a little crestfallen at that but cheered up when I suggested that it was only a matter of time before the Old Palace went up in flames, it being mainly built of wood).

Sadly for less exalted residents of the city, the Merryweather was far too wide to pass through the majority of the city’s streets. The firemen were clearly sorry about that too. They’d have liked nothing better than to tear around town, bell clanging wildly as they raced to a conflagration.

But once a week, they drove the old machine down New Road to the palace and back again. I took to dropping in regularly and it wasn’t long before I was invited to join them on the weekly run. I still remember it vividly, standing on the running-board and grasping one of the side-ladders, waving back at people who waved at us as we sped down what had once been the city’s only paved road; people seemed to enjoy the sight of the old Merryweather as much as I did.

I expect it’s long gone; like the Kathmandu I knew.

Verse about places lost, please.

202 Comments
  1. June 19, 2011 2:48 PM

    (Hesitant to taint this beautiful post with a trivial comment but “A Long and Orderly Crocodile” would make a great title for your 5-vol, CinemaScope autobio, Sah)

  2. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 19, 2011 3:33 PM

    Yes, brilliant stuff. My cheque for A Long And Orderly Crocodile would be in the post yesterday.

  3. mishari permalink*
    June 19, 2011 4:01 PM

    Thanks for the over-generous remarks, chaps. I was taking a little trip down memory lane (something that the interwebz has made appallingly easy) and googling (and ‘street view’-ing places and establishments in Kathmandu to see what remained and how much had changed almost 40 years on.

    I came across the post I quoted and realised that the poster was nostalgic for a Kathmandu that I wouldn’t have recognised. I’m guessing he was born some 20 years after I’d left. It made me feel as old as sin: the perils of nostalgia…

    • Reine permalink
      June 19, 2011 5:07 PM

      What a life you are having, your breadth of experience matched only by the breadth of your generosity in sharing it.

      Wearing my tincture of envy cloak, summer weight.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 19, 2011 11:31 PM

      Sin? You’re older than that.

  4. mishari permalink*
    June 19, 2011 6:50 PM

    Thanks, Reine (blushes).

    I see that toe-rag Ed ‘Blinky’ Balls is advising the unions not to strike because it might damage Ed’s electoral prospects…actually, he lacks the honesty to say that, although that’s what he really means.

    Instead Blinky says the unions must give up their right to take action because otherwise, Osborne will blame them for the UK’s economic decline…for all the world as if Osborne and his creatures aren’t doing that already.

    Ed Balls: The Thinking Man’s Moron.

  5. hic8ubique permalink
    June 19, 2011 6:55 PM

    It’s a winning image, but I’d have to cast my vote (rhetorically speaking) for:
    Gazing Glumly at the Goddess .

    You sure know how to leave us wanting more, M.

    Which reminds me… how is that elegant south paw of Nepalese fame? Up to a bit of daily Hanon therapy?

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 19, 2011 11:33 PM

      Makes you go blind. Or so I’ve heard.

      This print seems to get smaller every day.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 20, 2011 12:12 AM

      ‘This print seems to get smaller every day’

      Virtuosic Macular Degeneration?

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 20, 2011 12:32 AM

      VMD? Something like that.

  6. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 19, 2011 11:30 PM

    This one’s sort of related, so I thought I’d give it a run out.

    The Mowbray Gene

    Back in my Gloucestershire childhood,
    the one thing that gave me a scare
    was the two-headed lamb which stood
    at the top of my granny’s stair.

    It posed in a glass cabinet,
    topped off by a castor-oil plant,
    buffed like a dowager’s lorgnette
    by my ancient four-armed aunt.

    I gave it to the dustbin man,
    but though it was weird and sick,
    my six-eyed uncle loved that lamb,
    and granny’s eight legs were too quick.

    So it stood in its usual place
    with its dead eyes and its dandruff
    and every time I hid my face
    twelve fingers just weren’t enough.

    • Reine permalink
      June 20, 2011 12:11 AM

      Super duper

  7. Reine permalink
    June 20, 2011 12:11 AM

    Tongue Tied

    Blacksod seemed then an ancient place
    As remote as we had ever seen
    Its wild beauty lost on our youth
    Which on townscapes was more keen

    I remember the very rainy day
    When we fell in love in Irish
    Met on the pier near the rotting boat
    In the gloom, by water mire-ish

    In our native tongue, we explored each others
    “Tá tú go h-áileann” you said
    The boat’s faded name was “Máire Beag”
    Its prow, like my face, was red

    The kisses were awkward to begin with
    Neither knowing what to do
    Hands locked on khaki wet gear
    All I saw and felt was you

    I went back there last summer
    And remembered a day so long ago
    It seemed a vapour, our rainy caper
    Where only memories and the wild wind blow

    • Reine permalink
      June 20, 2011 12:15 AM

      “go hálainn” it should be, sorry.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 20, 2011 12:31 AM

      OK. Just don’t do it again.

      Like the poem. Very atmospheric.

  8. Reine permalink
    June 20, 2011 12:35 AM

    I knew you’d spot it, being a Gaelic scholar of note.

    Thank you. Just read Abba…

    “…they captured the nonsense we say
    when the heart’s too full for thinking
    or the brain’s too fogged from drinking”

    “when we are choking out ‘I love you'”

    Guilty, your honour. You capture it wonderfully.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 20, 2011 2:14 PM

      Too kind of you.

  9. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 20, 2011 12:38 AM

    Lost places must for now remain hidden,
    For I to my bedchamber now am bidden…

    The Comedy Of Macbeth IV, sc 2

    • Reine permalink
      June 20, 2011 12:41 AM

      “Whereat I shall find my crazy wife
      Sharpening her favourite knife
      There is no rest for the wicked
      No shit, Shakespeare”

  10. Reine permalink
    June 20, 2011 10:14 AM

    The Point

    “What’s the Point?” he asked
    It’s a where not a what
    The place where we spent out summers
    An open-air seaweeded squat

    We tramped down there every July
    With our buckets and our spades
    Permanently togged beneath
    Our summer dresses’ shade

    The days then were always sunny
    The Point heaved with our tanned throng
    We ate Kimberleys and Tayto
    And inhaled the seaweed pong

    When we got too hot we swam out
    Into the bay’s cooling embrace
    Didn’t worry about effluent
    Didn’t swim with too much grace

    Sometimes we climbed “the mound”
    In those days before fnarrs
    Watched the boats come from Clare Island
    Counted all the matchbox cars

    Then scurried home at evening
    Tired out and sunburn sore
    And on the sunny morrow
    We packed our bags, went back for more

  11. mishari permalink*
    June 20, 2011 12:29 PM

    The speed and quality amaze, as usual.

    Thought I’d share this…in an early part of Paul Theroux’s Dark Star Safari he described taking a cruise down the Nile on a very luxurious ship. His fellow passengers were almost all rich, elderly Americans. They were accompanied by a tour guide, who attempted to explain and contextualise and pointed out that not all Egyptian antiquities were pharaonic.

    This evidently confused the elderly Americans, who, when confronted with stone monoliths, temples, pyramids and statues, would (and according to Theroux, you could almost set your watch by it) say two things:

    “Geez…how the heck did they move that thing?”, closely followed by, “Is it fronic?”

    Theroux says that after a few days of this, whenever he himself encountered the colossal remains, two thoughts would pop unbidden into his head: ‘geez, how the heck did they move that thing?’ and ‘is it fronic?’

    Well, it made me laugh…

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 20, 2011 2:26 PM

      ‘Why is Paul Theroux an arrogant condescending prick?’ often pops into my head when reading a travel book by Paul Theroux.

  12. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 20, 2011 2:16 PM

    Glastonbury Tor, September 1972

    Night dark deep still stars grass damp earth
    nothing whispers alone dark for ever dark cold
    whispers sounds dark smoke and noise cold whispers
    fire in the dark fire flicker figures moving whispers
    close hair face her what where hand warm there
    glowing mist whispers rustles moving standing
    light
    breaks where no busie old fool unruly son of York
    words words words noise movement yawning
    golden arc of piss hungry thirsty let’s go.

  13. mishari permalink*
    June 20, 2011 2:53 PM

    He is an arrogant, condescending prick…but not all the time. Still being an arrogant, condescending prick and being a good writer aren’t mutually exclusive. And speaking of arrogant, condescending pricks, I came across this entertainingly combative quote from Richard ‘I’m Furious’ Dawkins:

    “Science can predict when a particular comet will reappear and, to the second, when the next eclipse will appear. Science has put men on the moon and hurtled reconnaisance rockets around Saturn and Jupiter. Science can tell you the age of a particular fossil and that the Turin Shroud is a medieval fake. Science knows the precise DNA instructions of several viruses, and has recently done the same for the human genome.

    “What has theology ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has theology ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? I have listened to theologians, read them, debated against them. I have never heard any of them say anything of the smallest use, anything that was not either platitudinously obvious or downright false.

    If all the achievements of scientists were wiped out tomorrow, there would be no doctors but witch-doctors, no transport faster than horses, no computers, no printed books, no agriculture beyond subsistence peasant farming. If all the achievements of theologians were wiped out tomorrow, would anyone notice the smallest difference? The achievements of theologians don’t do anything, don’t affect anything. What makes anyone think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? ”

    from “Free Enquiry” Spring 1998. vol.18 n2. p6

  14. mishari permalink*
    June 20, 2011 5:31 PM

    Here’s an old one of mine that’s kind of about a place (i.e. a hole in the garden).

    A rather revolutionary debunking of both the language and material of fiction had been going on for some time. It probably started in poetry; almost everything does.Raymond Chandler, from The Simple Art of Murder (1950)

    The Simple Art Of Mother

    The shadows cast by the rising sun
    As we dug a deep hole in the garden
    Made us realise the job had better be done
    Before the ground began to harden.
    That’s the way to plant Mater:
    Rather like an unwieldy p’tater.

    Down by her favourite dog-rose
    We reckoned she’d rest easy
    (the aphids might disturb her repose,
    a thought that made my wife queasy).
    It’s no casual stroll in the park
    Planting the family matriarch.

    It’s not that we weren’t fond of the old girl
    But the credit-crunch knocked us for six
    We thought we’d give insurance fraud a whirl
    Just like they do in American flicks.
    And dear old Mum
    Had had a good run.

    So we slipped some arsenic in her tea
    And laced her sherry with strychnine;
    Damn me, but she thrived like a young bay tree:
    She called for more and madder wine.
    We weren’t getting far
    Putting the quietus on Ma.

    I chucked a toaster into her bath: no dice.
    She leapt to her feet, gave a maniacal laugh
    And said, “My drink needs a little more ice.”
    I could see there was no point in doing things by half:
    We’d have to blow-up Mater,
    Even if it left a crater.

    So I filled her hot-water bottle with gelignite
    And a time-fuse set to blow around three
    The noise gave her a bit of a fright
    And the cat shot up the nearest tree:
    She said though the door,
    “I had a dream about the war.”

    That gave me an idea, straight out of the blue;
    We’d carpet-bomb the old girl while she slumbered
    I bought a war-surplus B-52:
    Surely her days were now numbered?
    She walked out of the ruins, showed no emotion;
    Said, “I think there’s been a gas explosion.”

    And just when we were giving up hope
    And resigning ourselves to our doom
    She slipped on a bar of errant soap
    And took to her bed and to gloom;
    I used a pillow to smother
    My inconvenient mother.

    In the sunrise we’re planting the old girl
    In the garden that she loved so well
    Wrapped in plastic that won’t unfurl,
    Perfect to keep in the smell.
    We’re taking the ten o’clock train
    To our handsome new villa in Spain.

    .

    .

    Nice to see that The Grauniad’s economics editor Larry Elliot has finally grasped the maths and has come round to my way of thinking. He’s conceded what I’ve been saying all along: the ‘cure’ (sic) offered by the IMF and the Euroshmucks is worse than the disease. Better a few years of misery than endless horror.

    It’s comical reading various commentators urging Greece to ‘be more like Germany’. Germany has been an advanced industrial nation since the late 19th century; until the 1970s, Greece manufactured nothing but bouzoukis, souvenir plates and shoes with large pom-poms on them [You forgot those fisherman’s hats with the braid and Demis Roussos records–Ed.].

    Perhaps the penny dropped for Larry when he noticed that the Greek Deputy Prime Minister is named ‘Pangalos’…

  15. Reine permalink
    June 20, 2011 9:34 PM

    As I was leaving Westport today after lunch, Dad called me aside and did the “squids hug” where a note is magicked into one’s hand or handbag… “get yourself a cup of coffee love and drive carefully, you’re inclined to tailgate” … “Oh, and Reine, I hope, in vain probably, you won’t go quoting me all over the Internet. I’ll get your mother to check.”

    He loves it really. His funniest comment (to me) was when he described a fella’s occupation as “he does a bit of rough gardening”. We knew exactly what he meant but I was highly tickled, as I was when he described a man who had died suddenly in England as “having half a notion of coming home to be buried”. I conjured images of the poor man trying to convince a Ryanair attendant that he was dead and therefore not liable to extra baggage charges, coffin notwithstanding.

    Dad’s aunt, my grandaunt Teresa, used to run a seaweed baths hotel at Westport Harbour, down at the Point of my ditty above. She was quite mad by all accounts (perhaps not from the wind I take my melodrama). I only remember her as a very old lady, Miss Havisham-like with flowing hair and old dresses sitting, hail, rain or snow, beside a roaring fire in the house she shared with her bachelor brother. The hotel fell into disrepair and was ransacked, very little of its sizeable collection of antiques saved. I did however inherit an old hall stand, a small dinner gong and the massive, rusting key to the front door of a non-existent hotel. They are among my most prized possessions.

    • Reine permalink
      June 20, 2011 9:36 PM

      I meant to say hail, rain or sun …. very wise of her to have a fire down on hail, rain or snow days.

    • mishari permalink*
      June 20, 2011 9:54 PM

      Speaking of keys… Salonika was a centre of Jewish culture until it was destroyed by the Nazis. The Sephardic Jews of Spain had been invited to settle there by Suleiman The Magnificent after they were expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella. They still, after over 400 years, spoke Ladino (a dialect of mediaeval Castilian) amongst themselves. Many of them still had the massive rusty keys to houses in Granada, Toledo and Seville. They had never stopped hoping to go back (rather like the Palestinians, in fact).

      I don’t think they had hall-stands or dinner gongs…

      BTW, I added Adam Curtis’ 3-part The Power Of Nightmares to the DVDs I posted today. Perhaps you’ve already seen it but if not, it’s well worth watching.

    • Reine permalink
      June 20, 2011 10:07 PM

      That’s so sad.

      Far from dinner gongs and hall stands I was reared but I have an eye for relics of ould dacency and (unfulfilled) notions above my station.

    • Reine permalink
      June 20, 2011 10:14 PM

      No, haven’t seen that. Thank you, I look forward to it. I will gladly procure some dried Clew Bay seaweed for you to try out in the bath, once you have recovered full strength in your hand to ward off any slippages.

  16. mishari permalink*
    June 20, 2011 9:56 PM

    PS: what is a ‘seaweed bath’?

  17. Reine permalink
    June 20, 2011 10:03 PM

    Baths in which seaweed is placed in hot water to extract its curative oils. Rich in iodine, seaweed is very good for the skin and detoxing (but treacherously slippery and a bit weird). Good for covering your bits with if you are surprised by joy or have forgotten to lock the door.

    Have you really never had one?

    • mishari permalink*
      June 20, 2011 10:22 PM

      I have not, although it does sound rather good. I’ve always had a great deal of faith in seawater in general as a curative…all that salt and all those minerals, doncherknow; the wine, olives and sunshine that generally accompany my experience of the sea don’t hurt, either.

  18. Reine permalink
    June 20, 2011 11:41 PM

    I came across this poem earlier, written apparently by a monk in the ninth century about his cat Pangur Bán. The Pangur/Pongo echo made me think of you Mishari … here it is:

  19. mishari permalink*
    June 20, 2011 11:54 PM

    Lovely, Reine. I know the poem well and in fact, I think I reproduced it here ages ago, leading to an interesting discussion with Jack. I believe it was written by an Irish monk at a monastery in what is now Austria (though I could be misremembering) and that it was discovered written in the margin of a handwritten/illustrated manuscript known to have been produced at that monastery.

    In fact, here it is (on a thread from Feb. 2010)

    • Reine permalink
      June 21, 2011 12:10 AM

      Ah, I see. Before my time here. I should really go back and fill in the blanks.

  20. Reine permalink
    June 21, 2011 12:04 AM

    St. Paul’s Epistles allegedly in the Monastery of St. Paul, Carinthia, Austria? I’d go mad with only a cat and a biro for company.

  21. mishari permalink*
    June 21, 2011 12:25 AM

    It’s an entertaining thread, I think. I found the following on it and at the risk of immodesty and despite it having nothing to do with the current subject, I rather like it:

    Entertaining Mr. Slow

    Put wood on the fire, the room has turned chill;
    Pull up a chair for your unwelcome guest;
    The darkness has deepened, the air’s become still:
    The hot rat of fear scrabbles inside your chest.

    Offer refreshment: your guest is polite,
    Refuses and gazes at you with a smile:
    “Will that fire burn for the rest of the night?
    This darkness could last for a very long while.”

    It’s true, for the sun will come up again never
    There’ll be no more dawns, no more birdsong for you;
    The gloom of the room is your doom now forever;
    Farewell to the light of the world that you knew.

    Your guest settles back in his chair and starts snoring:
    Jesus, you think, is Death always this boring?

  22. Reine permalink
    June 21, 2011 9:08 AM

    Certainly is good although I was a bit confused at the start having read it as Entertaining Mr. Snow.

    Ah well, into the rat race I throw myself once again. (Call me Joan of Arc). Wish I had a pangur bán to catch that rat.

  23. mishari permalink*
    June 21, 2011 3:29 PM

    Juarez has imploded into a state of criminal anarchy – the cartels, acting like any corporation, have outsourced violence to gangs affiliated or unaffiliated with them, who compete for tenders with corrupt police officers. The army plays its own mercurial role…

    Not by coincidence, Juarez is also a model for the capitalist economy. Recruits for the drug war come from the vast, sprawling maquiladora – bonded assembly plants where, for rock-bottom wages, workers make the goods that fill America’s supermarket shelves or become America’s automobiles, imported duty-free. Now, the corporations can do it cheaper in Asia, casually shedding their Mexican workers, and Juarez has become a teeming recruitment pool for the cartels and killers. It is a city that follows religiously the philosophy of a free market…

    People also ask: what can be done? There is endless debate over military tactics, US aid to Mexico, the war on drugs, and whether narcotics should be decriminalised. I answer: these are largely of tangential importance; what can the authorities do? Simple: Go After the Money. But they won’t.

    Narco-cartels are not pastiches of global corporations, nor are they errant bastards of the global economy – they are pioneers of it. They point, in their business logic and modus operandi, to how the legal economy will arrange itself next. The Mexican cartels epitomised the North American free trade agreement long before it was dreamed up, and they thrive upon it.

    Mexico’s carnage is that of the age of effective global government by multinational banks – banks that, according to Antonio Maria Costa, the former head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, have been for years kept afloat by laundering drug and criminal profits.

    Cartel bosses and street gangbangers cannot go around in trucks full of cash. They have to bank it – and politicians could throttle this river of money, as they have with actions against terrorist funding. But they choose not to, for obvious reasons: the good burghers of capitalism and their political quislings depend on this money, while bleating about the evils of drugs cooked in the ghetto and snorted up the noses of the rich.
    from a good piece by Ed Vulliamy, one of The Grauniad’s few remaining ‘reporters’ (as I understand the word).

    The rest of the paper is a tepid slurry of ‘cultural’ reporting by vapid ‘lifestyle journalists’ who (judging by their writing) avoid books like the plague, and pontificating by dreary establishment windbags.

    THIS piece by alleged ‘music journalist’ Alex Needham is a perfect example of why The Grauniad is haemorrhaging money (to the tune of £35 million p.a. as of April).

    I wonder if that worthless twit Rusbridger will be foregoing his annual £150,000 bonus (paid in addition to his £400,000 p.a. salary) this year? After all, The Grauniad was vociferous in its condemnation of banker’s bonuses: “We must not reward failure”, thundered the bourgeois liberal’s favourite sink of hypocrisy.

    So, I guess we’ll be seeing Rusbridger down at the Unemployment Office, then? I mean, seeing as how the buffoon has lost the paper £30 to £40 million a year, every year for the last decade (and that’s not counting the £100 million he wasted on new German presses that stand idle).

    Somehow, I think not.

    Meanwhile…

    Epochal news! I’ve applied for membership at the dating site BeautifulPeople.com. How could I resist? The benefits they offer are mouthwatering, my dear:

    *Connect with beautiful men and women in your local area and from around the world

    *Chat live with other beautiful men and women

    *Make an intimate connection

    *Meet REAL beautiful people who actually look in real life as they do online

    *Attend exclusive parties and events

    *Be ‘discovered’

    *Be part of the largest most exclusively beautiful community in the world

    *Browse beautiful profiles of men and women without sifting through all the riff raff

    UPDATE: I’m in!!! Despite the fact that:

    This month, the website triggered anger in Ireland when it said that Irish men were among the ugliest in the world. This was based on the reasoning that only 9% of male Irish applicants to the site were accepted.

    …evidently, these dull-witted, bovine narcissists don’t recognise a photo of the young Errol Flynn when they see one. Must dash: exclusive party to attend…mwah-mwah!

    UPDATE 2: Bad news. I’m not the only person who sent in a bogus photo. It was like attending a reunion of The Fellowship of The Ring: dwarves, elves, hobbits, middle-aged hippies and very, very old hippies with beards. Back to the drawing board…

  24. Reine permalink
    June 21, 2011 9:53 PM

    “Reine, take down that photo from the Interweb immediately!”

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/705/25500721826875153686910.jpg/

  25. mishari permalink*
    June 21, 2011 10:02 PM

    Let me guess: your father on his way out the door to fight crime?

    • Reine permalink
      June 21, 2011 10:24 PM

      There is a tale of him as a younger man borrowing a meat cleaver from the butcher whose premises was below his office and wielding it at some horrible man who had driven his car at my mother on the street while she pushed me in my pram shouting abuse at her because the paper Dad worked for had published coverage of a court case in which he, the bad guy, was named. My father had nothing to do with it. The story only came out last year when Mammy’s tongue was loosened with wine and we were slagging Daddy off and saying he was such a pacifist he’d make Gandhi seem violent. He insists it was only a prop insofar as it was the only language the fellow in question would understand. He drove around the town after him and leapt out of the car telling him if he ever approached any member of his family again, he would make chops of him. We laughed for days.

  26. Reine permalink
    June 21, 2011 10:07 PM

    At a four year old’s birthday party; a serious man, my Dad, not usually given to mask wearing which is why I find it so outrageously amusing. It’s probably a “had to be there thing”. I post safe in the knowledge that if you locked him up for a year and a day with a laptop, he wouldn’t get past Password. Just thought I would share the source of much of my inspiration. Electra.

  27. mishari permalink*
    June 21, 2011 10:24 PM

    The Scene: A pair of young burglars are breaking into an off-licence in Westport. Of a sudden, there is a blinding flash of tweed and friendly-looking gentleman in comfortable shoes appears. He is wearing a mask.

    The Burglars:
    Oh, jaysus…we’re done for. It’s Kindliness Man, scourge of the criminal classes, like…

    Kindliness Man (for it is he):
    Now, now, boys…enough of that…away home with ya…here’s a fiver..get yerselves a drink…

    The Burglars:
    Oh, thank you, Kindliness Man…we’ve seen the error of our ways; from now on, it’s the straight ‘n’ narra fer us…

    Kindliness Man:
    Right y’are so…good luck lads…(he pats his pockets)…now were did I put my bloody keys?

    • Reine permalink
      June 21, 2011 10:27 PM

      LOL but spookily accurate insight into the motivations of Kindliness man. He would give his last fiver to any poor crathur he felt needed it, even a burglar.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 22, 2011 1:30 AM

      Ha ha!
      He is lovely, Reine.
      I suppose my father would be Anecdote Man.
      (I’d rather say Anecdotal Man. It sounds better, but that would convey the wrong meaning.)

  28. mishari permalink*
    June 21, 2011 10:30 PM

    From all you’ve said about him and the photo besides, that was the impression I got. You chose your father wisely…

  29. Reine permalink
    June 21, 2011 10:38 PM

    He is a dote; a man of immense knowledge, intuition and skill who wears his learning lightly. A bit like yourself. (And you are better looking than Errol Flynn)

    Where is everybody?

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 22, 2011 1:34 AM

      Glory, yes.
      By a long shot.
      A very long shot from a Welsh archer.

  30. mishari permalink*
    June 21, 2011 11:00 PM

    Abandoned us, alas…they never write, they never call…out ’til all hours of the night…I never know where they are anymore…..the hoors.

  31. hic8ubique permalink
    June 22, 2011 1:21 AM

    Nej nej nej!
    For my part, I was trying to be good and note down some impressions (that might amount to something poetish sometime)with a theme from Coppelia looping in the inner soundscape.
    I might self-indulgently send one or two more pics, Re, as we roll on…

    I declined a convivial dinner invitation when I realised the alternative was to be left alone for an entire evening.
    There’ve been so many (non-hooring) June events, I couldn’t pass up the prospect of a peaceful non-event.

    I suppose you two have retired by now (respectively!), but I’ll just venture to say…
    that sometimes I can’t tell whether you decline to answer me, Mishari, or whether you have just missed the question. If you’d rather not to respond regarding your left hand, I’ll bow out and stop asking, but if you’ve just happened to overlook my enquiry…?… I’d really be grateful to know how much function you’ve recovered.
    I have a greater than average interest in hands, only superseded by my affectionate interest in your well-being.

  32. Reine permalink
    June 22, 2011 8:40 AM

    Hej, hej, hej!

    Hope you enjoyed your evening of solitude after the busy times, Do, by all means, send more pics. I would be delighted. We did have a convivial dinner out yester-evening to mark the end of the exams a couple of hours beforehand. Much relief all around. It was a hectic and tiring schedule. In the lap of the Gods now.

    More fizz followed when we got home so I was indeed retired when you posted, not with Mishari (breaks into momentary flight of fancy), as you rightly observe, but with an early onset hangover and a snoring HI for company.

    Speak softly today won’t ye?

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 23, 2011 2:08 AM

      Hej da, kärasten~
      Speaking of ‘lap of the gods’… I have such a dream to tell:
      Last night, I was speaking with a little Hispanic man who wanted to carry me (!) but I declined, preferring to drive to his shop which was nearby. I went by way of a great multi-lane fly-over and took an exit ramp which landed me on a beach in ‘my’ little white car.
      I wandered into a low building and asked for the machine shop, but was told by students that it was separate in another place. As I couldn’t go up the exit ramp, I next found myself in a derelict area of a disused industrial/housing complex.
      I drove over debris including bales of wire in the road and thought:
      ‘This is why they tell you not to go into bad areas’.
      I could feel I had a puncture and then the motor died, the ignition wouldn’t turn over, and I came to a halt.
      I was completely alone, and feeling warily that there was utterly nothing more I could do… when my car began to glide backwards and redirected itself. I was cruising along with no motor, not even the wheels turning, just propelled, and though there were no heavenly beings or radiant light or such, I had a refreshing feeling of grace and peace that all was, after all, well.
      Although I often have very active transportation dreams, this was quite unusual.

  33. mishari permalink*
    June 22, 2011 11:38 AM

    Sorry, hic…I wasn’t ignoring your question, I saw it and then got distracted and forgot to reply. The hand’s fine, thanks for asking. As you know, muscle atrophies with lack of use and I’ve been seeing a physical therapist, a lovely Polish woman, Marta. She’s been putting me through a series of exercises, both in and out of water (water exercises give you the resistance of weights without the strain). Everything’s pretty much back to normal (or what passes for ‘normal’ with me).

    I couldn’t resist the ancient joke when Marta told me the hand was fine. “Will I be able to play the violin?” I asked her. “Of course,” she said. I said, “Fantastic. I could never play the violin before.”

    Apparently, that joke never made its way to Poland because she laughed uproariously and punched me in the (right) arm. Maybe she was just being polite.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 23, 2011 2:11 AM

      Excellent! Thank you. I do appreciate knowing. Good you keeping up your pt. So, you’ve lived to ride again.
      I recall writing in praise of aquatic therapy when you were out to lunch on narcotics in your early convalescence.

      My f-i-l was a great teller-of-jokes, so even I have heard that one, and though I’m not generally wild about jokes (being pitifully credulous), it is a good one.

  34. June 22, 2011 3:26 PM

    Am I allowed some self-indulgence on my birthday?

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 23, 2011 2:15 AM

      Happy Birthday, Solstice Baby!
      You are allowed everything on your birthday.
      Big smooches from me.
      Be safe, Si. I’ll go listen to your soundcloud now…
      xxO

  35. June 22, 2011 3:28 PM

    Try again – delete that last one please, Ed

  36. June 23, 2011 4:05 AM

    Thanks K, I’m touched. I have had a good birthday, apart from dropping a glass on my toe, the gory details of which I shall leave to the imagination…

  37. Reine permalink
    June 23, 2011 10:35 AM

    A packet on my desk! Thanks Mishari.

  38. mishari permalink*
    June 23, 2011 11:17 AM

    Happy birthday, Simon…sweet sixteen again? How do you do it?

    Glad it arrived, Reine. At the risk of belabouring the obvious, you know that they’re not ordinary DVDs that can just be inserted into a player and watched? Actually, that’s not quite true. the most up-to-date, top-of-the-line players will play these file formats, but generally, if your player is a few years old and cost less than £600 or more, then probably not.

    You just insert the DVD into your computer drive, go to My Computer, double-click on your DVD-drive icon and you’ll see the files. Drag-and-drop them to your desktop and use VLC Player to watch them (the best open-source player there is–completely free and will play anything you throw at it. Download it HERE.

    Mind you, Windows Media Player should play them too, if that’s what you normally use. Either one will also allow you to play the files directly from the disc-drive but that’s usually quite noisy; drag-and-drop is better.

    If you have any trouble viewing them, let me know.

  39. Reine permalink
    June 23, 2011 12:57 PM

    Gotcha,thank you.

  40. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 24, 2011 7:43 PM

    The Lost World

    On my way to Vespers I passed
    the lay brothers’ refectory,
    and thought once again of the World.

    Their raw undisciplined noises
    suggested the boiling city,
    its wild streets and steaming taverns,

    and the shocking naked bodies
    sprawling among the twisted sheets.
    Father, forgive those idle thoughts.

    This windy valley is our home,
    these damp pastures our garden.
    When I listen to Brother John

    argue with Brother Ignatius
    over who should feed the chickens,
    or hear the relentless babble

    from the people of the village,
    or watch Brother Peter misspell
    another page of manuscript,

    his tongue between his yellow teeth,
    for a moment I understand
    the love that God has for mankind.

    There are times, too, when the rain comes,
    my habit is wet and I know
    that it won’t be dry for a week,

    when Brother Paul reads the Office
    in his dull, expressionless voice,
    when I shiver in the cloister,

    copying with a frozen hand,
    when the sun falls like a hammer
    on our wool-clad backs, there are times

    when I hate the monastery,
    the brothers, the abbot, the Pope,
    and the Holy Catholic Church.

    Irksome, ugly, often sinful,
    Aquinas could not distinguish
    between this dungheap and the World,

    yet, once the Office has been read,
    and the reader departs the lectern,
    when we rise, our sandals shuffling,

    and the glorious golden hymn
    bursts from the throats of the brothers
    I know I shall never go back.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 24, 2011 11:58 PM

      Good one, MM~~ You had me laughing, especially with the tongue and teeth.

      I have a modest suggestion for your consideration… When the brothers rise toward the end, would you like ‘sandals shuffling’, rather than ‘habits rustling’?
      That sound of the feet drawing under as choristers prepare to rise is what comes to my ear. Wot say ye to that?

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 25, 2011 10:51 PM

      That’s a good idea. I didn’t want to repeat ‘habit’ again but I couldn’t think of anything else. Do it, Ed!

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 25, 2011 11:57 PM

      Much gratified!

  41. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 24, 2011 7:48 PM

    Gone But Not Forgotten

    I barely noticed it was receding,
    so gradual was its departure,
    it’s not as though I was unheeding;
    you expect that area to be secure.

    In several ways it was a vital resource,
    held my trousers up, made a scratching post,
    it was a useful door-closer; of course,
    in sitting down was where it mattered most.

    I’m actually gutted to see it go;
    not just because my tailoring hangs slack,
    and the band of my Jockeys tends to show:
    in a very real sense it had my back.

    But there it is, and I couldn’t be glummer,
    posterior wastage: it’s a bummer.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 25, 2011 12:00 AM

      The hemming wayward, not first class
      lamentably, farewell to arse.

  42. mishari permalink*
    June 24, 2011 7:50 PM

    Ah…you’re back (and in fine form). Good. I was waiting to see if you were about before I posted a bunch of stuff to you (including that book about Haiti that I promised you ages ago). Computer trouble or just generally pissed off with the on-line world?

    I dunno…this fellow seems awfully familiar:

  43. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 24, 2011 11:15 PM

    Events, dear boy, events. Thanks in advance for Haiti. I’m pleased to hear the hand is ready to slap some Japanese tourists.

    I meant to say that my lines on Glastonbury were nearly contemporaneous with the event, inscribed on the inside back cover of ‘British Poetry Since 1945’, which explains their strangely unconservative style. Ah, Youth!

  44. mishari permalink*
    June 24, 2011 11:31 PM

    Glad you’re well (at least, I hope you are). I have an old copy ‘British Poetry Since 1945’, with a cover painting that resembles an optical illusion of some sort or a Bridget Riley painting. It might actually be a Riley painting. I’m too lazy to go hunting for the book.

    A very entertaining/horrifying article about the Greek fiscal imbroglio.

    The national railroad has annual revenues of 100 million euros against an annual wage bill of 400 million, plus 300 million euros in other expenses. The average state railroad employee earns 65,000 euros a year…a successful businessman turned minister of finance named Stefanos Manos pointed out that it would be cheaper to put all Greece’s rail passengers into taxicabs…

    That made me laugh. The piece is by Michael Lewis, who’s written some entertaining books

  45. mishari permalink*
    June 25, 2011 12:21 PM

    Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and, as you consider the career and future presidential prospects of an incredible American phenomenon named Michele Bachmann, do one more thing. Don’t laugh.

    It may be the hardest thing you ever do, for Michele Bachmann is almost certainly the funniest thing that has ever happened to American presidential politics. Fans of obscure 1970s television may remember a short-lived children’s show called Far Out Space Nuts, in which a pair of dimwitted NASA repairmen, one of whom is played by Bob (Gilligan) Denver, accidentally send themselves into space by pressing “launch” instead of “lunch” inside a capsule they were fixing at Cape Canaveral. This plot device roughly approximates the political and cultural mechanism that is sending Michele Bachmann hurtling in the direction of the Oval Office.

    Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions. She believes that the Chinese are plotting to replace the dollar bill, that light bulbs are killing our dogs and cats, and that God personally chose her to become both an IRS attorney who would spend years hounding taxpayers and a raging anti-tax Tea Party crusader against big government.

    She kicked off her unofficial presidential campaign in New Hampshire, by mistakenly declaring it the birthplace of the American Revolution. “It’s your state that fired the shot that was heard around the world!” she gushed. “You are the state of Lexington and Concord, you started the battle for liberty right here in your backyard.”

    I said lunch, not launch! But don’t laugh. Don’t do it. And don’t look her in the eyes; don’t let her smile at you. Michele Bachmann, when she turns her head toward the cameras and brandishes her pearls and her ageless, unblemished neckline and her perfect suburban orthodontics in an attempt to reassure the unbeliever of her non-threateningness, is one of the scariest sights in the entire American cultural tableau.

    She’s trying to look like June Cleaver, but she actually looks like the T2 skeleton posing for a passport photo. You will want to laugh, but don’t, because the secret of Bachmann’s success is that every time you laugh at her, she gets stronger.

    In modern American politics, being the right kind of ignorant and entertainingly crazy is like having a big right hand in boxing; you’ve always got a puncher’s chance. And Bachmann is exactly the right kind of completely batshit crazy.

    Not medically crazy, not talking-to-herself-on-the-subway crazy, but grandiose crazy, late-stage Kim Jong-Il crazy — crazy in the sense that she’s living completely inside her own mind, frenetically pacing the hallways of a vast sand castle she’s built in there, unable to meaningfully communicate with the human beings on the other side of the moat, who are all presumed to be enemies. — from Michele Bachman’s Holy War, Rolling Stone 22.6.11

    Read Matt Taibi’s piece on the latest crazy person to make genuine headway in US politics HERE.

    • June 25, 2011 5:06 PM

      “She believes that the Chinese are plotting to replace the dollar bill…”

      Well, actually… (ie, even a broken clock is correct once a day [in Europe])

    • June 25, 2011 5:14 PM

      But, seriously (as they say)… I just can’t keep up with all the new loonies, stepping every day, off the Lunatic Celebrity Conveyor Belt, back in my Fatherland. The clear message is to avoid eating Twinkies and/or reading The Bible (and never, ever both at the same time).

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 25, 2011 11:58 PM

      I did laugh. This Matt Taibi understands gallows humour.

  46. InvisibleJack permalink
    June 25, 2011 3:44 PM

    Glad you had a good birthday, Simon.

    Been having connectivity problems the past fortnight and am unable to send anything from my hotmail accounts. Just wanted to let you know, Hic, that the parcel, which is being enjoyed greatly, arrived sound and well. Something going out to you very soon.

    Jack Brae

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 25, 2011 11:55 PM

      That cheers me up no end, after the ghastly Michelle Bachmann article and videos, Jack.

      I found your moth ode a cannily crafted riposte to the self-described ‘shit-stirring’ of ‘fingsaint/belivid’.
      He has abused the hospitality extended him on PH.
      Reine, who was targeted this time, has only ever shown him kindness.

      Pardon me, but I’ve saved it here (in case you wrote it in the comment box)…

      “An ode to the departures of Brightning, my pet moth

      the not-moving of your moving
      the lazy non-committal of your flying
      you the dull knocking of the lampshade
      the smacking of your head that you smash up your brains to
      the curtains of your fluttering
      your wings the curtains of your closing
      the silvering tattoos of your falling apart
      the silverings of your many begonnings
      my coffee mug the pond of your circling
      the dregs of my coffee your drowning
      the hiss of your burning
      the fossil of your stopping in the wax of the candle
      you the many of many
      the many the same of you
      the group of your gathering

      Jack Brae Curtingstall

    • InvisibleJack permalink
      June 26, 2011 1:25 AM

      Thanks Hic,

      Glad you liked my nod to the “My Cat Jeoffry” section of Jubilate Agno. If Fingshite/Belurid spots your post here I’m sure (ignoramus and point-misser that he is) that he’ll be puzzled by your reference to a riposte, but I’m glad you spotted it at least, as that was a side-intention.

      By the way, I only spotted it after I’d posted the poem to PP (at a quater-to-three in the morning when my brain was long past weary) that I’d misspelled “non-committal”. So if you catch this post, Mish, perhaps you’ll fix that for me in Hic’s post above?

      I think it so moronic that anonymous posters, lacking so obviously in a full life of their own, have nothing better to do than to begrudge the online friendships and encouragements of the other posters. Fair play to Don Greenpants for sticking up for himself (and for Reen and MM as well) and for reminding that fool that the blog is for poetry.

      Jack Brae

  47. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 25, 2011 10:55 PM

    Atlantis – The Reckoning

    I suppose we should have seen it coming,
    but it’s easier to look the other way,
    outlook was good, the economy humming,
    I mean, no-one was expecting Doomsday.

    Yes, there’d been some weird weather events,
    torrential rain, hail, some tremors and shocks,
    but not in the city to any extent,
    and it’s pretty normal for the boondocks.

    As I said many times to the local seer,
    who bugged everyone with his babbling,
    the evidence simply wasn’t that clear:
    maybe it was just a seasonal thing.

    As it turns out, he was completely right,
    and full credit to him. For the record
    it wasn’t me who set his house alight
    or put his wife and children to the sword.

    Bloody lucky we were here on the Med,
    we took our holiday early this year,
    we’ll beat those Hittites to the loungers, we said.

    It seems to have worked out well, anyway:
    we’re planning to build a new city here.
    What? Oh, we were thinking of Pompeii.

  48. ExitB permalink
    June 25, 2011 11:40 PM

    Well, I’m drunk, but that’s when memory
    Obtains
    And fuming, djinns me rearward slow
    And automatic – time coils.

    Cow parsley, tight ditch, maize slopes
    A hammock. Ringworm gate; rust.
    Field irrigation – scaffold-necked plesiosaurs
    In a shallow valley. A valley to a three-year-old
    Today, barely an incline.

    Rabbit skull. Extant (one tooth lost).

    Inhalation of apple, under glass. 1978.
    It stuns still. Buddleia. The long grass
    And safety, generations, the high window

    Preludes a tumble. Jesus, from my grandfather’s church
    At the garden’s end.
    My name’s on the wall. I’ll compost precisely there.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 26, 2011 11:07 PM

      Good to have you back, ExB.
      So, you were a rural lad.
      The plesiosaurs- they must be that sort of harvester machinery?
      I love the child’s-eye-view incorporated.

  49. mishari permalink*
    June 25, 2011 11:58 PM

    Lovely work, MM and XB. Hope you’re well, XB? What did you think of Mirrors of The Unseen?

    .

    Where has the tenderness gone, he asked the mirror
    Of the Biltmore Hotel, quarto 216. Alas,
    Can its reflection lean against the glass
    Too, wondering where I have gone, into what horror?

    from Delirium in Vera Cruz by Malcolm Lowry

    .

    Where I Have Gone

    Up a valley where the snow-melt
    had carved a chasm,
    the torrent moved boulders
    as big as a house;
    at the bridge of wet
    and naked logs,
    I reconsidered God.

    Down a Costa Rican road
    that was carpeted
    with white butterflies
    and rippled like a sail;
    tires struggled to grip
    and the driver said:
    “People crash,
    skidding on butterflies;
    crash and die”.
    I have no idea why
    that made me laugh.

    In a small boat in a storm
    where my terror was so great
    that it purged me of fear
    like a cleansing flame:
    I was sure that nothing
    could scare me again.

    On the skids, where
    I moved so fast
    downhill that the bottom
    raced up at me
    like a train;
    the long climb back up
    was a thesaurus of pain.

    On the mend,
    put together
    by a woman
    who was good
    at jigsaw puzzles.

    That’s where I have gone
    and come back from.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 26, 2011 10:32 PM

      Well done. A satisfying poem, Mishari.

      Banana slugs
      are known thugs
      he shrugs,

      but,

      to slip and die
      on butterflies
      surprises.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 26, 2011 11:10 PM

      Not bad, not bad at all.

  50. Reine permalink
    June 26, 2011 12:06 AM

    Prize poems all round I must say. I back slap for Ireland when it’s deserved.

  51. ExitB permalink
    June 26, 2011 12:17 AM

    Thanks, Mishari. Hope you’re well. Loved ‘skidding on butterflies’. Hi, Reine.

    I confess, I’ve not read the Mirrors yet. Current obsession with re-reading Shakespeare (through the crappier ones, took a break to re-read Quixote) – also first-drafted a new novel then got sidetracked writing a play in iambic pentameter about John Fletcher (and others).

    Your vivid post got me thinking. I read a biography of Cervantes recently and was struck with the differences between his life and Shakespeare’s. MdC was a soldier, a tax collector, imprisoned in Algiers for five years, escaped scandal to Italy, lived and travelled widely, constant bad timing etc. Shakespeare (from what we know) lived between Stratford and London, never travelled further, had a relatively stable life as a player/writer and was financially secure. Is wide and extreme life experience preferable for an artist, do you think, or stability and imagination. Or does it depend on the individual and circumstance?

    • Reine permalink
      June 26, 2011 12:30 AM

      How are you Exit, you’ve been busy. Good to see you.

    • ExitB permalink
      June 26, 2011 12:38 AM

      Busy, yes, in my manic way. How are you? I’ve not checked in here for a while.

  52. Reine permalink
    June 26, 2011 12:25 AM

    Bad Trip

    Somewhere in Florence
    Trickles turned torrents
    And I drowned

    Somewhere in Venice
    Meanness turned menace
    And I frowned

    Somewhere in Turin
    Sourness turned sin
    And I quivered

    Somewhere long lost
    Freezing turned frost
    And I shivered.

  53. mishari permalink*
    June 26, 2011 12:36 AM

    Glad to hear you’re well and busy writing, XB. I think that it depends on the individual and circumstance. I think I’m right when I say that Cervantes fought at Lepanto (which led to his Algiers captivity). Yet his having fought in one of the defining battles of European history doesn’t seem (to me) to make his writing on soldiering and battle any more effective than Shakespeare’s, despite the latter’s never having any military experience.

    Robert E. Howard (author, as I’m sure you know, of the Conan books) was a rather timid young man who never travelled outside Texas and killed himself when his mother (with whom he lived) died. James Brooke (The White Rajah) lived a life that was almost as exotic and exciting as Richard Burton’s but never wrote an interesting word about it, while Burton’s output was remarkable in both quantity and quality.

  54. ExitB permalink
    June 26, 2011 12:47 AM

    Of course you’re right, Mishari. It just struck me – the extreme differences in life experience between artists, yet nothing accounts for the ability to create an illusion of truth. Personal character, it seems, is all. One of my current projects involves a conversation between MC and WS and I’m thinking about how the careworn, devout and luckless tax collector would discuss his art with the lucky, secretive and comfortable play-maker (some deity intervenes, of course, to smooth the language barrier).

    I hope you’re feeling better since your accident.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 26, 2011 11:03 PM

      There used to be speculation that Shakespeare had done some soldiering, in the Netherlands if memory serves. I think various passages from the plays were adduced as evidence, and I seem to remember there was a gap in his cv which would have been neatly filled by a call of duty.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 26, 2011 11:09 PM

      That’s correct MM, the gap is so big he’s thought to have spent most of his days in the loo.

  55. ExitB permalink
    June 26, 2011 12:49 AM

    For Reine:

    In Florence
    I climbed the hill but missed the point
    Of the embossed stations
    Of the cross. So, by the crest
    I was un-immaculate

    In Venice
    I was too young and baffled
    By the piety and gilded
    Straits. So, only remember
    Glimpse of Casanova’s cell

    In Assisi
    Quite frankly, give me tent-space
    Under olives, and a friend.
    Keep your under-earth-saint
    Your earthquakepaint

    In Pisa
    I caught a plane
    Back to the rain

    • Reine permalink
      June 26, 2011 11:06 AM

      I’m good thanks ExitB, in my also manic but less creative way. It’s been a funny few months but the PH hearth is ever welcoming and I probably toast my toes too often at it or block the heat with my arse!

      Thank you very much for your poem below; I was trying to say something particular in mine but abandoned it sort of mid-stream when it wouldn’t form (I lack the discipline of a dedicated writer). Anyway, glad my acorn begat your oak…

      Hope you stick around.

  56. Reine permalink
    June 26, 2011 11:07 AM

    “your poem above” even, I thought I was replying to your earlier comment.

  57. hic8ubique permalink
    June 26, 2011 9:53 PM

    Night Apertures

    I.

    Sky-lidded eclipse
    cyclopean pupil
    dilated deep amid
    its indigo iris
    lashes flaring
    in dark atmosphere.
    Moon body so vast
    so close, this planet
    cannot be Earth;
    familiar nonetheless.
    A pale stone pool
    limestone, trellised and vined,
    illumines our bathing.
    How dispassionate we are
    these slightly familiar companions
    and I.
    ‘Are you my children?’

    II.

    A hall so large
    the concert grand could
    be placed anywhere
    easily two of them .
    Leaving Mother to arrange
    the buffet tables
    as she pleases…
    I seldom visit the same
    room twice, or enter by
    the same approach.
    ‘Half could be let to a tenant’
    I think
    though, not the small great-room;
    lovely beams and arches
    balcony sight-lines,
    and not the sleeping-porch
    where water laps at the rock ledge
    shimmering at night.
    Do you ever think
    of that time?

    III.

    Old-growth trees
    elm and oak, enormous pines,
    the winding road up
    to the rotunda,
    beach and trails far below,
    back entrance landing
    high plaster ceilings
    elevators and corner stairs
    one to a bell-tower
    through a tight
    fright squeeze,
    airy marble libraries (must
    belong to the museum)…
    strolling to the archipelago
    with little shops I’d like
    to find again.
    It’s seldom sunny,
    and though I know
    it is my home, it has changed
    every time I visit,
    the way forgotten.
    A watercolour-walled shrine,
    massive gold-leaf Buddha…
    ‘How long have you had that
    in here, Mother?’

    • Reine permalink
      June 26, 2011 10:20 PM

      Oh, I like this Hic; very evocative.

  58. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    June 26, 2011 10:25 PM

    “Moon body so vast, half could be let to a tenant…”

    Great stuff, hic. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow I diet.

    • Reine permalink
      June 26, 2011 11:10 PM

      LOL, hope all well with you.

  59. hic8ubique permalink
    June 26, 2011 10:37 PM

    Thanks Re. I wasn’t sure, but I never am really, so I just flung it out there lest the topic end suddenly.
    Actually, I’ve had a fever, so I’m a bit off… or loopier than usual.

    I haven’t heard from you in ages, Moon! Nothing untoward implied, to be sure.x

    • Reine permalink
      June 26, 2011 11:13 PM

      Sorry to hear you are under par, your poem certainly wasn’t; the heat here is making me languorous. I just emailed you.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 26, 2011 11:16 PM

      Oo thanks, must go investigate…
      I think it was the cold here that dashed my resistance on the rocks, since I refuse to shut the windows at night.

  60. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 27, 2011 12:08 AM

    I thought you might be interested in this extract, from Tony Judt’s ‘The Memory Chalet’ (which I’m currently reading). As a schoolboy he was a keen Zionist, spending summer holidays on a kibbutz. Before going to university he spent two years on one, becoming increasingly disillusioned, and eventually joining the Israeli Army as an auxiliary in 1967:

    ‘The other stimulus to separation, of course, was my experience with the army on the Golan Heights after the Six-Day War. There, to my surprise, I discovered that most Israelis were not transplanted latter-day agrarian socialists, but young, prejudiced urban Jews who differed from their European or American counterparts chiefly in their macho, swaggering self-confidence, and access to armed weapons. Their attitude to the recently defeated Arabs shocked me (testament to the delusions of my kibbutz years) and the insouciance with which they anticipated their future occupation and domination of Arab lands terrified me even then. When I returned to the kibbutz on which I was then living… I felt a stranger. Within a few weeks I had packed my bags and headed home.’

  61. Reine permalink
    June 27, 2011 12:14 AM

    The Lost Art of Dirty Dancing 1988

    Ronnie “love plums” Ring
    Dimmed his eight disco lights,
    Flicked his mullet and said
    “Time to slow it down folks”

    Girls shuffled left, boys right
    The parquet sea revealed itself
    To the sweating hordes
    Who would dare?

    Ritz-emboldened, perry not Paris
    I sashayed across the floor
    Placed your hands on my hips
    And guided you centre stage

    Ronnie played Cherish
    Spinned his love discs
    As you touched mine
    Fingers locking, lower backed

    We snake hipped and dipped
    I nestled in your neck
    Hands clasped about it
    Brut was indeed brutal

    No matter, we ground on
    Wolfwhistles now
    Ronnie was disconcerted
    By the French kiss finale

    Kool and the Gang
    No cooler than us
    On a lost Saturday
    When we cherished the love

    ———–

    Just watched Kool and the Gang at Glastonbury

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 27, 2011 1:27 AM

      ‘The parquet sea revealed itself’ …ha! great moving image.
      As I recall, the equivalent 10 yrs earlier was ‘Nights in White Satin’.

  62. Reine permalink
    June 27, 2011 12:15 AM

    Apologies … & (cooler than “and”, an ampersand)

  63. hic8ubique permalink
    June 27, 2011 1:22 AM

    Gram

    Once a month at least
    I dream she has been there
    all along, and all I had
    to do was buy a ticket.

    I know for sure that soon
    I’ll phone, we’ll chat a bit.
    I plan to bring the youngest.
    What a fool! to think

    her dead, all this time.
    Now nothing will prevent us
    visiting this winter
    or sooner; all will be well

    again… In the other dream
    I arrive. Her sitting-room is over-
    grown with foliage, and she is gone
    entirely. What a fool! to believe
    her living still.

  64. June 27, 2011 10:36 AM

  65. June 27, 2011 10:46 AM

  66. June 27, 2011 2:20 PM

    The top of my head used to have hair
    But now it has disappeared off somewhere
    Else never again to be replaced
    A situation my ego has had to face.
    There are no tears welling up in my eyes
    But old photographs catch me by surprise.
    Has someone been tampering with a doodle?
    Or was my head home to a poodle?

  67. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2011 9:51 PM

    Cross-dresser Kills Goat While High On Bath Salts

    A 19-year-old American man has blamed the narcotic effects of bath salts* for sparking an episode that resulted in the death of a pygmy goat.

    Mark L Thompson of Alum Creek, West Virginia, was arrested on Monday after police had been called by the owner of a pygmy goat, a neighbour of Thompson’s, who had complained that the 19-year-old was holding the beast captive in his home.

    The neighbour’s nephew and two women went into Thompson’s house. Thompson warned them off, saying he was naked.

    When they pushed Thompson’s bedroom door open, the neighbour told The Charleston Gazette: “He was standing there with his pants down. He had on women’s clothing and the goat was dead and there was blood everywhere. It was just a scene.”

    A pornographic photo was apparently found lying near the carcass of the goat.

    Thompson took to his heels, still in bra and panties, and police spent several hours scouring local woods for the cross-dressing caprine killer.

    When they cornered him eventually, Thompson told police he had been high on bath salts for several days.

    The teenager is being held on animal cruelty charges. He was taken into custody by Adult Protective Services.

    *”Bath salts”, a designer drug, has become the latest legal high worry for the authorities on both sides of the Atlantic. It is typically based on methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and is also known as Magic and Super Coke. It induces similar effects to mephedrone, the last big legal high worry.

    It is not actually recommended for use as part of a beauty regime.

    The Charleston Gazette, 4th May 2011

    It is not actually recommended for use as part of a beauty regime…. You don’t say.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 28, 2011 12:10 AM

      ‘He took to his heels’ and then some.
      These ‘notes from the bizarre’ news items must find you. There’s no other plausible explanation.

      When we used to subscribe to our local newspaper, the police notes were sometimes so extravagantly weird I suspected they were secretly in competition for some underground journalistic prize.

  68. Reine permalink
    June 28, 2011 7:05 PM

    Maidenhead, No More

    Maidenhead, still on the map
    Along the River Thames
    A trip to Berkshire long ago’s
    From where this memory stems

    You and I we’d common ground
    You mirrored my reflection
    At least until the point at which
    I discerned a predilection

    For more than leafy riverbanks
    Bursting in summer glory
    They weren’t all that burst forth
    If you catch this shortest story

    Lost, alas, along your banks
    Maidenhead, your name
    Is ever etched, with backward thanks
    No, you’ll never be the same

  69. pinkroom permalink
    June 28, 2011 9:11 PM

    just looked in and saw your fine Maidenhead poem Reen. Spookily enough I was there on Saturday. My first ever visit although I long feel I have known it following the words of Betjeman,

    But spare the bald young clerks who add
    The profits of the stinking cad;
    It’s not their fault that they are mad,
    They’ve tasted Hell.

    It’s not their fault they do not know
    The birdsong from the radio,
    It’s not their fault they often go
    To Maidenhead

    And talk of sport and makes of cars
    In various bogus-Tudor bars
    And daren’t look up and see the stars
    But belch instead.

    It’s a fairly pretty little town swallowed up by 1980’s monstrous multiplex/shopping centre architecture. The computer/telecoms firm “3” have their HQ/Palace there. So many erstwhile market towns have gone the same route. Mammon/clone towns.

    The market square?
    No longer there.
    They trimmed three sides,
    its slabs are bare
    a franchised, cadcam
    thoroughfare.

    These past few years,
    on hard times fallen
    each third front closed,
    sales appalling.

    “Sale” in red
    its epitaph
    And a first small hint
    of return
    to grass.

    • Reine permalink
      June 28, 2011 10:58 PM

      Hello Pink, how goes it? Thanks for poem compliment; I haven’t actually been to Maidenhead but I have been to Bray (although dined at Alain Roux’s The Waterside Inn and only looked in the window at The Fat Duck). We did have lunch in Heston’s pub, The Hinds Head … we were the first lunchers and arrived shortly before Prince Philip who was coming to meet Heston and some people upstairs. My husband’s rather thick Cork accent and my jaunty green dress sent a bit of a frisson around the security suits.

  70. mishari permalink*
    June 28, 2011 9:33 PM

    In the 80s, even Wham! supported the miners. —John Harris, The Grauniad, today

    No wonder the poor buggers lost…

    Fine poems from Reine and hic, both.

    Never been to Maidenhead but pace PR, I too remember Betjeman’s judgement and was never tempted.

    Mind you, I have been tempted to visit Bray, which is very close-by, but only to try Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck…and speaking of Bray:

    In good King Charles’s golden days,
    When loyalty had no harm in’t,
    A zealous High Churchman I was,
    And so I gained preferment.
    To teach my flock I never missed:
    Kings were by God appointed;
    And they are damned who dare resist
    Or touch the Lord’s anointed.

    And this is law I will maintain
    Until my dying day, sir,
    That whatsoever King shall reign,
    I’ll be Vicar of Bray, sir.

    When Royal James obtained the Throne,
    And Popery grew in fashion,
    The Penal Law I hooted down,
    And read the Declaration;
    The Church of Rome I found would fit
    Full well my constitution;
    And I had been a Jesuit
    But for the Revolution.

    And this is law I will maintain
    Until my dying day, sir,
    That whatsoever King shall reign,
    I’ll be Vicar of Bray, sir.

    When William, our deliverer, came
    To heal the nation’s grievance,
    Then I turned cat-in-pan again,
    And swore to him allegiance
    Old principles I did revoke,
    Set conscience at a distance,
    Passive obedience was a joke,
    A jest was non-resistance.

    And this is law I will maintain
    Until my dying day, sir,
    That whatsoever King shall reign,
    I’ll be Vicar of Bray, sir.

    When glorious Anne became our Queen,
    The Church of England’s glory,
    Another face of things was seen,
    And I became a Tory.
    Occasional Conformist Face!
    I damned such moderation;
    And thought the Church in danger was
    By such prevarication.

    And this is law I will maintain
    Until my dying day, sir,
    That whatsoever King shall reign,
    I’ll be Vicar of Bray, sir.

    When George in pudding-time came o’er
    And moderate men looked big, sir,
    My principles I changed once more,
    And so became a Whig, sir;
    And thus preferment I procured
    From our Faith’s great Defender;
    And almost every day abjured
    The Pope and the Pretender.

    And this is law I will maintain
    Until my dying day, sir,
    That whatsoever King shall reign,
    I’ll be Vicar of Bray, sir.

    The illustrious House of Hanover,
    And Protestant Succession,
    By these I lustily will swear
    While they can keep possession
    For in my faith and loyalty
    I never once will falter,
    But George my King shall ever be,
    Except the times do alter.

    And this is law I will maintain
    Until my dying day, sir,
    That whatsoever King shall reign,
    I’ll be Vicar of Bray, sir.

    Anon. First published in The British Musical Miscellany (1734) but thought to originate in the reign of Henry Vlll

    • Reine permalink
      June 28, 2011 11:04 PM

      Thanks, too, to you Mishari.

  71. hic8ubique permalink
    June 28, 2011 9:56 PM

    Oh! where are you, Vicar moBray? He’s playing our song!
    (I meant to say… you really got me with the Hittites line.)

  72. mishari permalink*
    June 28, 2011 10:05 PM

    More than 10,000 retail jobs face the axe as the British high street faces one of its most painful bouts of contraction since the second world war amid the biggest squeeze on household budgets for decades.

    As the government’s austerity measures take hold, experts warned that the number of retailers going bust would continue to rise this year with a number of household names facing insolvency.

    The confectioner Thorntons emerged as the latest high street casualty when it said on Tuesdayit would close up to 180 stores, putting more than 1,000 jobs at risk. The flooring chain Carpetright followed suit, saying 50 stores could close as consumers shun purchases amid fuel and food price inflation and rising job insecurity, especially in the public sector.

    Over the last week, a clutch of high street names announced they were in trouble. Habitat was among several to call in the administrators, putting 750 jobs on the line. The electronics retailer Comet is also shutting stores.

    The department store chain TJ Hughes said it was planning to appoint an administrator after a slump in sales, raising a question mark over the future of 4,000 employees who work at its 58 stores in England and Wales. —The Grauniad, today

    But not all is doom and gloom…our beloved Prince Charles received an 18% rise from the taxpayer last year, from £1.6 million p.a. to £1.9 million p.a.

    Thank God for that. The thought of Prince Charles (who received £28 million last year from the Duchy of Cornwall alone) going without life’s necessities (like Michael Fawcett to squeeze his toothpaste, for example) pierces me like a dagger.

    Repeat after me…We’re all in this together

  73. Edward Taylor permalink
    June 28, 2011 11:48 PM

    Given the fuss over the teacher’s strike I only hope another one of the Royals isn’t getting married.

    A day off school will harm on the children’s future prospects and society as we know it will end.

  74. mishari permalink*
    June 28, 2011 11:57 PM

    Did you catch that risible twit Gove the other day? Suggesting that parents should, you know, turn up at schools as scab labour? Presumably giving their actual jobs a miss into the bargain.

    How in God’s name did we get saddled with these intellectual pygmies? Wait…don’t tell me: it would only depress me…

  75. pinkroom permalink
    June 29, 2011 12:43 AM

    There’s a lovely photograph circulating of a young Gove, looking like a perfect t*** under the influence of Ben Elton, on an NUJ picket line. Strange parts of his DNA are clearly missing.

  76. Edward Taylor permalink
    June 29, 2011 8:39 AM

    Gove discussing gangsta rap with Lethal Bizzle ( for our older readers LB is an exponent of said form ) on Newsnight a few year’s back was a highlight for me.

    Even atf would have laughed at Gove’s attempts to be down with the kidz combined with his trademark unctuousness and desperate inner need to WIN an argument.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 30, 2011 6:58 PM

      As the scenes accumulate, the gentlemen seem to develop an air of unflappable zest for experience.

      Remember the film ‘The Accidental Tourist’?

  77. June 30, 2011 3:43 PM

    Child David’s Pilgrimage

    Turn the key
    Unlock
    Memories
    The clock
    Memorises
    Time and tide
    – Doesn’t wait and will not stop –
    Ticking hands
    Shifting sands
    From far to wide
    ’til they elide
    Turn the key
    The shock

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 30, 2011 6:49 PM

      Ah, it wants a title, Re. May I gently propose:

      ‘Child David’s Pilgrimage’

      How are you bearing up? x

    • July 1, 2011 11:26 AM

      Ah, Hic, you know what I did not even know myself. Make it so.

      Bearing up ok… one of the party has already lost or had stolen a wallet… I soothed my nerves last night with a gutsy red wine called Domaine Seguela and forgot to worry for a while. HI imposed a laptop moratorium for the evening so we just drank wine, ate cheese and listened to music by candlelight. The kind of thing you can’t really do when there is a 6’4″ teenager lumbering about.

      Loved The Accidental Tourist. William Hurt makes me cringe deliciously.

    • mishari permalink*
      July 1, 2011 3:39 PM

      I wish I’d written this poem.

    • Reine permalink
      July 1, 2011 5:27 PM

      “This poem”, my poem? Did you put your comment in the wrong place? [No-Ed.]

      Would you mind putting Hic’s suggested title to it when you have a moment please? [Done-Ed.]

    • Reine permalink
      July 1, 2011 6:14 PM

      Thanks Ed. I thought it was shite. I only wrote it to break the silence yesterday. That’s the second time a man here has made me flush today.

  78. July 1, 2011 9:30 AM

    CODA (relatively rapid turnaround, I’d say):

    “Equally troubling, investigators learned that several people from around the country made multiple cash deposits in her bank account totaling $100,000 over the past two years, the Times said.”

    http://tinyurl.com/6ajk8g2

  79. July 1, 2011 9:58 AM

    I guess that the job of discrediting has already been done and there’s no need to spend further money in court.

    Given that the PH forensic team has worked this one out by reading stuff widely available to everyone you’d think the conspirators would be a bit more clever in how they go about hiding their conspiracy.

    The kids of today etc.

    • July 1, 2011 11:38 AM

      Quite a few Americans who wanted to put DSK on trial (rape or no rape) for fucking an African chambermaid (who wasn’t his wife) will be sad today, ET. Many will be amazed (and offended) that his wife doesn’t seem to care about the adultery bit… but that’s why we’re the Hoi Polloi. I know of several upper-middle-class marriages in which there’s an “arrangement” and they’re not even worth half a billion. But that’s Europe for you.

      The main laugh of this case, IMO, though, was the fact that anyone for a moment believed that an obese 60-year-old was so potent as to orally and anally (that was the original allegation) rape a 34-year-old woman after chasing/dragging her around a suite… (ruling out Viagra, considering the alleged spontaneity of the alleged assault). I’m pretty potent myself but it only works so well because my wife very kindly (forgive this) eggs me on…

    • July 1, 2011 12:23 PM

      There’s a midday image enough to cause any lady a little palpitation.

    • July 1, 2011 12:26 PM

      Reine it certainly put me off the egg mayonnaise sandwich I was planning to have for lunch.

    • July 1, 2011 12:31 PM

      Images of St Augustine lepping about preceded by his ample reputation could have that effect, I can see.

    • July 1, 2011 12:38 PM

      Oh, sorry Steven, I forgot I wasn’t supposed to tell.

    • July 1, 2011 12:44 PM

      Oh Reine…!

    • hic8ubique permalink
      July 1, 2011 12:58 PM

      ‘Images of St Augustine lepping about preceded by his ample reputation’

      Even more ipso facto first thing in the morning.

    • July 1, 2011 1:00 PM

      You too? Why that double-crossing… Oh sorry, I misread.

  80. mishari permalink*
    July 1, 2011 11:10 AM

    What I found both distasteful and illogical was the speed with which Strauss-Kahn was presumed ‘guilty’ by people who really should know better. I have no doubt that the man is a prick. He and the IMF have been raping the poor for years. However, it is not axiomatic that just because a man is a prick, he must be,ipso facto, a rapist. The whole way the narrative was played out, (rich white man abuses poor black immigrant) was almost too neat. Then, of course, there was the small matter of evidence…

    But, hey…what do I know?

    • July 1, 2011 11:49 AM

      Did you catch the New York Post’s coverage? From Day One they were referring to DSK as a “FROG” and a “PIG”.

      And then there’s this:

      http://tinyurl.com/635w95l

      “Dominique Strauss-Kahn did not act alone. Throughout France, hands are as dirty as those of a chambermaid tasked with scrubbing a $3,000 Sofitel suite.

      “The upstairs-downstairs saga of the Big Shot who allegedly sexually brutalized the maid did not hatch out of the ether. It is as if the majority of the citizens of France — locked into 1950s-style notions of sexism, misogyny and racism — was complicit in the horrific, accused deed.

      “This is more than a tale about the (now-ex) International Monetary Fund chief and the working gal who cried rape. The sordid affair brings into sharp relief the vast cultural, legal and moral differences between a young United States and a cowardly and decayed France. A nation where the word of a poor, black immigrant is inferior to that of a rich, white knucklehead.

      “And it has further strained already tenuous relations between the United States and France, that primary spoke in the America-loathing Axis of Weasel, a moniker France earned in 2003 when it betrayed the US and our allies by refusing to support foreign policies.

      “Yet the French displayed a twisted kind of backbone when its citizens aided and abetted Strauss-Kahn, from his rise as a horny politician to his starring role as alleged perpetrator of a crime that, in this country, is considered a diabolically violent abuse of power.

      “But to many in France, attempted rape is something quite different: Free love gone bad.

      “A joke.

      “If you want to be revolted by a national mindset proudly on display in the Gallic nation, look no further than this hideous nugget penned by social commentator Sophie de Menthon. A woman.

      “Frenchmen of all political stripes and social castes, she wrote, have “stood there aghast,” confronted with images of DSK, as he’s affectionately known, handcuffed and under arrest in New York. She went further.

      “It creates feelings and reactions which go far beyond what is, essentially, after all just another minor alleged crime.”

      “Minor. Alleged. Crime.

      “Good Lord. So sexual abuse is but a small hiccup. Like sticking gum under a subway seat. In this worldview, DSK’s guilt or innocence is of little consequence. That’s because the sexual assault of a poor, powerless lady is nothing at all. But arresting a rich, powerful man is, by definition, the more egregious offense.

      “Last weekend, a few French feminists — though the phrase sounds like a contradiction in terms — came out to protest the misogyny on display in the case of DSK, and victims of sexual assault have just begun to speak up. They won’t speak out for long.

      Victims might start by muzzling former Justice Minister Elisabeth Guigou, now a parliamentarian. She called pics of the man in handcuffs, “incredibly brutal, violent and cruel” — but uttered not a word in defense of the alleged victim, a cipher.

      “A horrible global lynching!” was how Jean-Pierre Chevenement, a leftist French senator, described the images.

      “Writing in The Daily Beast, DSK’s philosopher pal, Bernard-Henri Levy, actually wrote that the judge in the case “pretended to take him for a subject of justice like any other.” Dang!

      “Do you know who I am?” DSK reportedly said while allegedly attacking the maid.

      “Le Figaro and Paris Match helpfully named not only DSK’s alleged victim, but for some reason, her 15-year-old daughter. Le Figaro also made a point of giving the accuser’s height — tall — as if to prove that the dwarfish DSK couldn’t possibly have physically overcome the woman.

      “As the case proceeds, infuriating revelations emerged that friends of the accused fiend tried to buy off his victim through payments offered to her dirt-poor relatives in Guinea. Proudly, they refused.

      “All I can say is — thank goodness Strauss-Kahn is to be tried in America, not France.

      “I am proud to live in a nation where the word of a poor, frightened maid can be taken seriously, and her wealthy, self-important, accused tormentor can be frog-marched to jail.

      Just like any other accused felon.”

      *

      How you say… Le Ooops?

  81. July 1, 2011 12:00 PM

    “Frog-marched” is good, the idea that most of France was in the hotel room egging him on or throwing up their hands and going “Bof!” is good too but the rest of the article is putrid.

  82. mishari permalink*
    July 1, 2011 12:18 PM

    Of course, I always turn to Murdoch’s Post for cool, rational analysis…but that’s because I’m completely batshit fucking insane.

    • July 1, 2011 12:45 PM

      Which explains the popularity of Pol Hom, of course

    • mishari permalink*
      July 1, 2011 3:33 PM

      You didn’t think it was the quality of my prose, did you?

  83. July 1, 2011 4:40 PM

    The je ne sais quoi (how you say, “Bahtsheet Foo-king Ansan”) of your prose, yes…?

  84. Reine permalink
    July 2, 2011 11:49 AM

    I recorded this poem by John Montague, which appeals to the romantic in me (qu’elle surprise). Finally happy after many bleeped attempts, I hear now there is an echo at the end. Makes a change from coughing I suppose.

    http://soundcloud.com/you/tracks

  85. mishari permalink*
    July 2, 2011 10:31 PM

    Unfortunately, Reine, your link just takes me to (presumably) your log-in page, where they want my username and password…let’s get the proper link to the sound file…

  86. Reine permalink
    July 2, 2011 11:02 PM

    Sorry about that…

  87. mishari permalink*
    July 2, 2011 11:44 PM

    They call him Flipper, Flipper,
    faster than lightning,
    No-one you see,
    is smarter than he…

    …Well, hello there….just back from the ocean waves. It’s my double life, you see: part-time jaded urban sophisticate, part-time bottle-nosed dolphin…must dash…I’ve just spotted a school of sardines…oooh…and a soundfile….

    And we know Flipper,
    lives in a world full of wonder,
    Flying there-under,
    under the sea!

  88. Reine permalink
    July 3, 2011 12:03 AM

    I see you as more of a Roger (well, better more than less…)

    “Roger Ramjet he’s our man
    Hero of our nation
    For his adventure just be sure
    And stay tuned to this station.”

    • hic8ubique permalink
      July 3, 2011 1:56 PM

      Another lovely choice, Re.
      And! such a compliment from Mishari for your poem as I’m sure I’ve never seen in two-and-a-half years, not from any of the Pol Hominids.

      ‘Kimba the white lion is the one!’

    • Reine permalink
      July 3, 2011 11:37 PM

      Hi Hic, thank you. I am a sucker for a love poem set in a railway station…

      To say I was stunned and not a little thrilled beyond measure would be an understatement. Flipper is generous beyond the beyonds and to think I may have had my finest hour and didn’t even know it. Thank you for the title; you are indeed an intuitive friend.

  89. Edward Taylor permalink
    July 3, 2011 12:39 PM

    I coped with Ezra Pound’s Cantos, Schoenberg’s String Quartets, Marina Abramavocic’s performances and the sump oil installation by Richard Wilson but the synopsis to Michael Bay’s Transformers 3 The Dark of the Moon has utterly defeated me.

  90. hic8ubique permalink
    July 3, 2011 1:55 PM

    Here’s a TED (for you particularly, EdT. The end bit will please you most, I’m guessing. It did me.)

  91. mishari permalink*
    July 3, 2011 4:20 PM

    Watch this and weep–it’s RoboEd, The Blairite Tool. This interview is so incredibly, laughably bad that many people suspected it must have been tampered with; a Tory plot to make Millidud look bad: if only. It isn’t.

    Millibland really is this awful. He needs no help. The interviewer, Damon Green, wrote an interesting blog post about the interview HERE.

    Can anyone really imagine this wretched, clueless twerp saving the country from the Tories? My cat’s more left-wing than this spineless, adenoidal doofus

  92. mishari permalink*
    July 3, 2011 4:58 PM

    Miliband nervous breakdown starts early

    ED Miliband has begun his mental collapse more than three months ahead of schedule.

    The Labour leader was filmed yesterday saying the same thing over and over again to an ITV reporter, as senior party figures confirmed that he was now in the full embrace of a total nervous breakdown.

    A former cabinet minister said: “The googly eyes had gotten a lot wider recently but we thought he would at least make it to the end of the summer before something popped inside his noggin.”

    After the interview Mr Miliband left the building, walked past his car and made straight for a cat. After catching it, he held it above his head and said: “These strikes are wrong at a time when negotiations are still going on.”

    Eye witnesses said that as well as repeating the mantra over and over again, he seemed to be staring intently at the cat, as if he was trying to hypnotise it. —The Daily Mash

    • hic8ubique permalink
      July 3, 2011 5:48 PM

      “…before something popped inside his noggin.”

      (sinus polyps)

  93. hic8ubique permalink
    July 3, 2011 6:37 PM

    The Man i’ the Moon
    came down festooned
    a-wearing of his Barbour.

    He took to the South
    where the only mouth
    that surpassed his
    belonged to the harbour.

    Dear Moon~~~
    M!any H!appy R!eturns of the D!ay
    Pray do not abstain from cake on this festive occasion.

    xxO hic

    • Reine permalink
      July 3, 2011 11:38 PM

      It is Henry’s birthday? Nearly belated best wishes dearest Moon. x

  94. Edward Taylor permalink
    July 3, 2011 6:43 PM

    poor stuff from Milliband but he’s up against a government who have just twigged that if they cause a lot of unemployment the bill for said unemployment will cost as much as the the money saved by cutting jobs. Very much shoot first and ask questions later. We’re vblessed with Idiots on both sides.

    I liked the eye in a box on the wall hic. Reminded me of the whale eye in Disney’s version of Pinocchio.. A terrible film in retrospect but that bit still lingers in what’s left of my memory bank.

  95. Reine permalink
    July 4, 2011 12:26 AM

    The kitchen is alive with moth
    And I, myself, near dead from sloth
    They kamikaze round the light
    Dear friends (specially absent ones) I bid ye all goodnight

  96. July 4, 2011 10:46 AM

    My mother said “you must put a halt
    To looking back, you’ll turn to salt”
    If I think back to those early years
    She’s right, back come all those tears.
    My dad said ” There’s nothing in it son
    Look back too long and you’ll end up one
    Of those types who only live in the past
    Better to get out of that situation fast.”
    If I look back at a past too rosy
    He’s right, I’m going nowhere slowly.
    My brother said ” I always disliked you”
    He’s right but I also hated him too.

  97. mishari permalink*
    July 4, 2011 11:12 PM

    From a list of complaints made to Thomas Cook Holidays:

    “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white.”

    “Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women.”

    “We bought’ Ray-Ban’ sunglasses for five Euros from a street trader, only to find out they were fake.”

    “No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.”

    “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish…”

    “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England it only took the Americans three hours to get home.”

    “There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist only speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad'”

    “I was bitten by a mosquito – no-one said they could bite.”

  98. hic8ubique permalink
    July 5, 2011 2:44 AM

    23. “My finance and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”

    Oh! those roguish finances, always angling for a chance to go out and multiply.

  99. July 5, 2011 10:02 AM

    My husband dived into a volcano. There was no mention in the brochure that lava is boiling hot and can kill.

    The food on sale in Reykjavik was expensive. The adverts for Iceland over here claimed that the cost of their food was a bargain.

    Nice was anything but.

  100. July 5, 2011 11:07 AM

    This from the latest Wikipedia entry on Rebekah Brooks

    The Late Rebekah Brooks. May your festering corpse rot in hell. (née Wade, born 27 May 1968) is a British journalist and newspaper editor.

    It’s now changed since I pasted that!

    Rebekah Brooks (née Wade, born 27 May 1968) is an evil whore, vile scumbag and sycophantic employee of the corrupt Rupert Murdoch. She is chief executive of News International, having previously served as the first female editor of The Sun.[1] She was married to the actor Ross Kemp from 2002 until their divorce in 2009.[2]

  101. Reine permalink
    July 5, 2011 11:46 PM

    To whom it may concern… the child is home safely; had a ball. The house is awash with softish Toblerone …

    • hic8ubique permalink
      July 6, 2011 2:12 PM

      …no sooner than awed murmurs begin to spread of the Red Giant of Barcelona … how he plundered the confectioners of the city before vanishing into the sky.

  102. July 6, 2011 3:12 PM

    I doubt he saw much of Barcelona’s confectioners, Hic; more likely the tobacconists (rueful sigh) and liquor licensed who benefited from his custom. Toblerone is the duty free “I forgot to buy anyone anything” staple although I did get a little Gaudi lizard. Hope all well with you and those in the wings. x

    …Speaking of wings, I played Sleeping Beauty as a six year old and a certain F.H. of Westport wailed in the wings as I reclined on the chaise longue in my lilac satin awaiting his kiss. The only time I ever witnessed nuns begging a boy to kiss one of their girls. Audience members were highly amused but I feel it has scarred me…

  103. hic8ubique permalink
    July 6, 2011 3:52 PM

    Finnan Haddie?
    My entire ballet career, much of it backstage, transpired when I was aged six…
    I was the obdurate one. No wailing, just a lower lip that might accommodate a coach and six, so I was told.
    During the first recital, I remained stoutly within the folds of the red velvet curtain through the first three pieces, because I ‘didn’t like them’, until the one in which we pranced like horses.Then I participated with gusto.

    For Peter in the Wolf, I was assigned the role of The Duck, and was disgruntled that I had to sit out the second half because I’d been eaten by the wolf.
    At the time, I made no association between my refusal to cooperate in the first production and my minor role in the second.

    Re, I’m afraid these accounts tell us we haven’t changed much in our essential motivations, you and I, since the age of six.

    …And now I am six
    I’m as clever as clever
    So, I think I’ll be six now
    for ever and ever.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      July 6, 2011 3:55 PM

      duck in wolf but ‘Peter and the Wolf’

    • July 6, 2011 4:05 PM

      He had a faint whiff of fish about him alright.

      “Are you calling me a drama queen?” [stomps off, bangs doors, throws herself on the expansive chest of a passing man and weeps]

    • hic8ubique permalink
      July 6, 2011 4:29 PM

      [contemplates further participation]

  104. July 6, 2011 7:06 PM

  105. Reine permalink
    July 6, 2011 8:04 PM

    Like that Des. Thought for a minute it was you singing…

  106. July 6, 2011 10:26 PM

    No, it was an English bloke living in the Basque country, who I met at Glor, (foda on the oh) a Monday poetry and song night below in the International Bar on Wexford Street, who had a very wierd accent when I spoke to him, outside, in the company of a brilliant (indeed the only) Louth (Dundalk) Sound Poet, who also fronts a band; Ronan Murphy.

    I hadn’t heard the man sing, we just got chatting outside and he had a mad accent, part Geordie, part Spanish, and I thought at first he was some extra-large-ego-wierd arty; but then I heard him sing at the monthly Brown Bread Mix Tape above in the Stags Head, several days after first meeting him outside the International. Then the confidence in his accent made sense. He was just a fucking brilliant and orginal singer.

    Ronan Murphy is also very original. I first met him four years ago and remember waking up to what he was doing, as he is the only person I have heard doing genuine sound poetry, who pulls it off; who is sincere about it. Outisde the Stags Head the night this guy sung, Ronan did one of his sound poems,. and it was the best I’d heard. He then recited, from memory, an Ezra Pound poem with a lot of Greek and other languages in it, and at that point all what he was doing in the sound poetry, made sense.

    There’s a recording of him in very good quality, of a Wurm Im Apfel gig he did a while back, that I cannot embed but you can hear at the link.

    Very impressed with the old actress recitals Reen.

    Is it Maureen? I would never have guessed, but in the Hugh Cooney vid I put here a few weeks ago, one of the auld wans he plays says to the other, ‘what do you mean, Maureeen’ and at that point I thought; duh!

    No need to say if it’s right, but it sounds about there, a Mayo Maureen.

    • Reine permalink
      July 6, 2011 11:26 PM

      Ronan Murphy is ringing a bell – was he featured in some documentary RTE made a few years ago?

      I’m sorry to have missed Glór. Did you recite?

      Maureen, my name or the old actress’s? Reen is just short for Reine which isn’t short for anything and not very Mayo. Just what some family and friends call me, not very original. Thanks for the compliment, appreciate it. The old actress is Gina Lollobrigida… just a joke christening by a friend, sadly no striking resemblance.

  107. Reine permalink
    July 6, 2011 11:55 PM

    Goodnight poets.

  108. July 7, 2011 1:19 AM

    Brilliant poem Reine.

    Very apt. Now I am going to give sobriety another go, the bird may yet, with work, return to the hand to be clapsed tight and laughing from the branches once more I will be writing poems instead of misery filled woe-is-moi nonsense for a select audience of everyone on the old blog which alcoholic madness turned into a pity party no over, hopefully.

    When I first came to Dublin I was writing poems all day long, always had one on the go, always the laughing bird in the branches above never moaning, and now that is all I do.

    I remember the mature student colleagues at college where I was for the three years before getting here, many of whom loved whinging. The tutors were cunts, the college staff were arseholes, and only them (us) the mature student failures-in-life, knew the truth.

    I always thought, you sad losers, you just don’t get it, it’s just an excuse, the reason we have all had a shit life is because of our own failings, not the host of phantom persecuting bastards conspiring to hold us back, you tossers sat on your arse all day complaining.

    Never, I thought, will I turn into you lot. And yet, after seven years in Dublin, slowly the drink has got to me. I’ve ended up a fat, unfit, middle aged tossser flashing my bits in public, ranting away on facebook and books blogs about how those anonymous bastards ruined my career, and all the time it’s bullshit. Not facing up to the truth. I am a loser unless I change my ways and actually start writing poems, again.

    Cheers

  109. July 7, 2011 5:04 PM

    Oh, sorry Reine. Yeah, I did recite at Glór. It was Valentines night and Sue was in Africa and I recited

    Eye the chasm of a heart
    refuse to look past a pool of cloud
    drawing love to force a tide of will

    storms of white horse-water whip
    the dawn, and sleeping a beggar
    scattered his dream

    love is thy nighbour in this mirror
    of broken flotsam, rippling
    the night-scented silence

    and divinity within us, risen
    in the rememberance of a ghost
    flickering beyond love.

    The momentary illusion of a lost
    son fled, when passion beneath
    his hooded caul web, wrapping

    the night above us, enmeshed
    the fragrance of memory
    tapered to what passed between

    us, what drop from the scaffold
    befell us, and why its platform
    will claim a green glow

    Blah blah fucking blah, Reine, carrying on to the bitter fucking end, I read alright at fucking Glór on fucking Valentines night, with Ronan Murphy, the unheard singer from the NE and the rest of the babes on the fucking poetry scene that cold February night. And I drank, Reine, chasers, pints of porter, gallons of fucking alcohol, and then I got arrested for impersonating a human fucking being, crimes against ‘us’, people, freinds, blog-colleagues, cunts. I fucking recited alright. Oh yes, oh fucking yes.

    ~

    Forgice my outburst, I am on my second bottle of Paddys for the day, depressed, wondering, should I just fucking do it, Reine, should I just run over to the Dail shouting your name, demanding entry in my drunken fury, roaring, Reine, Reine, come out and hear some fucking poems..

    Tell me, tell me what dept you are in and I will be there in ten..

    • July 7, 2011 11:07 PM

      Reine has been seconded to the House of Commons pro tem… She left this message.

      “Des, take it easy. Might see you down the International one of these summer evenings…”

  110. ExitB permalink
    July 7, 2011 5:39 PM

    The News of the World
    The iceberg’s tip, of course. Still,
    Good fucking riddance

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      July 7, 2011 11:52 PM

      looks like andy Coulsen will be arrested tomorrow too. Good. I look forward to seeing how Cameron wriggles out of that one.

      Incidentally XB, Cap’n Ned and Mishari ( should any of you be reading this ) we are bringing our compost show to the Shoreditch festival on Sunday 17th July. Don’t know precisely where we are except it’s by the canal or what times exactly but if you are round and about please come and see us/ throw things at us/drown us out with Grateful Dead on the car stereo.

      Even if you loathe what you’ve seen do come and say hello. We’re also in Edmonton on the 23rd with the same show – again I don’t have any details as yet. Will post them all up as and when.

  111. Edward Taylor permalink
    July 7, 2011 5:43 PM

    The WRAS are 30 years old next year and we’re trying to organise an exhibition to get some of our old props and gadgets off the shelves for a bit. We went to Manchester Museum to meet someone who could help us and after the meeting went up to the vivarium where we did a performance in 1996. It’s full of frogs, toads and lizards and quite by accident we met the guy who was head of the place when we performed there.

    He’s a real frog and toad expert and has done lots of work in Central America discovering species previously thought to be extinct. A really nice guy too. He showed us these 2 Colorado bull-frogs.

    He has a popular frog-blog ( don’t we all? ) and these 2 hippies from Lancaster contacted him in the middle of the night. They’d smuggled these 2 frogs into the country in order to spend time licking them and getting high. But they’d licked and licked them and nothing was happening so could he take them off his hands. Which he was only too pleased to do.

    Apparently you make the frogs secrete their glands onto a piece glass, dry it out and rub it in tobacco so you can smoke it. Far more powerful than licking the skin of cane toads he informed us.

  112. July 7, 2011 7:03 PM

    “But they’d licked and licked them and nothing was happening…”

    In fact, ET, the frogs themselves copped quite a buzz

  113. Edward Taylor permalink
    July 7, 2011 7:28 PM

    SA Bar the rainbow coloured headbands the frogs did resemble a couple of DeadHeads I saw hanging around the Melkweg in Amsterdam in 82 waiting to see Captain Trips and the rest of the boys

    . The frog’s distinct lack of movement suggested they were half way through reliving a 35 minute long spacejam.

    • July 7, 2011 8:02 PM

      I can’t believe I ever knew actual caravan-following Deadheads who dressed in actual tie-dye and never once hit them

  114. ExitB permalink
    July 8, 2011 12:22 PM

    Would love to see you in Shoreditch, Ed. weirdness allowing, I’ll see you there.

  115. July 9, 2011 6:43 PM

    A fresh challenge for Team Politely Homicidal… (get those quills ready)…

    http://weirdnews.aol.com/2011/07/08/woman-dies-allergic-sex-with-dog_n_893509.html

  116. July 9, 2011 11:27 PM

    I had a feeling someone here would pick up on this story. It was front page news of the Irish Daily Star yesterday and I was gonna post it, but decided against it coz I didn’t wanna give the impression of being interested in such things.

    I feel sorry for the kids. It’s the sort of thing to completely scramble anyone’s head, a parent dying of this.

    I saw a programme a few years ago on British telly, about bestiality, in which a cast of animal lovers shared their lives of animal sex with the filmaker. One bloke had two mare-girlfriends he was in a committed relationship with and there were all kinds of other cross-species fornications documented, but the one commonality the various human protaganists shared, that went unmentioned, was the fact that they were all incredibly fat cunts and I remember thinking at the time, I hope I don’t get so fat and desperate that I end up shagging dogs, sheep, horses, elephants or giraffes.

    I searched for this documentary on Google and found the above instead. Zoo, a film based on a true story of Kenneth Pinyan, a man who died after one of his regular anal sex sessions with a horse went badly wrong and his arse ruptured.

  117. mishari permalink*
    July 10, 2011 1:02 PM

    Jesus…I go away for a week and you lot are on to animal sex? Speaking of which:

    Vaseline smothered mice found in ‘bizarre’ bestiality sex farm

    A British tourist has been arrested at an alleged ‘bestiality farm’ in the US. Stephen Clarke, 51, is accused of having sex with three dogs at the compound in Washington State.

    A video showing Clarke, of Peterborough, allegedly abusing the animals was found by police who raided the farm, said to be owned by convicted cocaine smuggler and former dotcom millionaire Douglas Spink, 39.

    Dozens of dogs, horses and mice were seized last Wednesday, along with animal and child pornography, according to reports.

    ‘This stuff is just truly bizarre,’ said police. ‘These mice had their tails cut off.

    They were smothered in Vaseline and had string tied around them.’ — metro.co.uk

  118. July 10, 2011 4:51 PM

    “‘These mice had their tails cut off. They were smothered in Vaseline and had string tied around them.”

    …cut the tails off *and then* tied strings around them… ?

  119. mishari permalink*
    July 10, 2011 9:59 PM

    It is a bit odd. I suspect the strings were for (sensitive readers might want to look away now)…ahem…’retrieval’; the tail-cutting has me baffled though.

  120. Edward Taylor permalink
    July 10, 2011 10:20 PM

    The tail-cutting makes complete sense if the mice were blind.

  121. mishari permalink*
    July 10, 2011 10:26 PM

    Good point, Ed…see how they run.

Comments are closed.