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Seasonal Procrastination Post

December 11, 2011



Dream Song 122: He published his girl’s bottom in staid pages

He published his girl’s bottom in staid pages
of an old weekly. Where will next his rages
ridiculous Henry land?
Tranquil & chaste, de-hammocked, he descended—
upon which note the fable should have ended—
towards the ground, and

while fable wound itself upon him thick
and coats upon his tongue formed, white, terrific:
he stretched out still.
Assembled bands to do obsequious music
at hopeless noon. He bayed before he obeyed,
doing at last their will.

This seemed perhaps one of the best of dogs
during his barking. Many thronged & lapped
at his delicious stone.
Cats to a distance kept—one of their own—
having in mind that down he lay & napped
in the realm of whiskers & fogs.

John Berryman (1914 – 1972)


I suppose we could have some seasonal poems, if you’ve any inclination to versifying…here are a couple of my oldies:



There Is A Sanity Clause

I like having a tree;
its significance (for me)
is far from the rites
of bear-skin berserkers
and cold forest nights;
but the bedouin dream:
growing things; green.

I enjoy the children’s hints
and oh-so-casual asides:
isn’t the new Powerbook nice?
I pretend I’m distracted
and become absorbed
in something at the end of my leg;
Is that a foot? Good Lord:
How interesting.
They see through my fraud.

I like the smells, the sounds, the tastes;
pine needles, brandy and burning log;
excited children, a sense of place;
purring cat and fat warm dog;
and I like lying in bed later on
as my wife, that fine and rare jewel,
gently strokes my face and looks fond
and says ‘You’re not so bad for a fool.’



…and now, for a more typical School of Pepper effort:


The Night Before Christmas In Bethlehem Hospital


T’was the night before Christmas when all through the wards,
not an inmate was sleeping, not Mowbray, not Swords,
and Henry Lloyd Moon hung himself from the tree,
while one far-gone loon wailed that Poland was free.

In the doctor’s lounge shivered Rumens and Mills,
gargling vodka and inhaling pills:
It’s freezing and frankly this whole thing’s a bummer;
couldn’t the bugger have been born in the summer

  1. mishari permalink*
    December 11, 2011 12:07 PM

    …and just to get it started, here’s a comment about absolutely nothing. Enjoy!

  2. henrylloydmoon permalink
    December 11, 2011 12:16 PM

    Dream Song 123: Mish published his cat’s bottom. But I tigress…

    Mish published his cat’s bottom, photocopied
    at an office party while skunked and poppied
    and wreathed in blossom
    to the delight of feline afficionados
    who, bedecked with transatlantic bravado,
    fondly named him Old Possum.

    To his blog flocked the motley, sable-coated
    and purring crowd, eruditely-quoted
    and fresh as a daily…
    Moon gazed in awe, chuckled, raised his beer,
    turned briefly to hiss into the mirror
    at an ageing Bill Bailey,

    Then resumed his musing, -vaguely aware
    of a kitchen bustle; an aroma in the air
    of Staffordshire stew-
    slumped in an armchair; on his knee
    a quaint verse by John Barrowman. Isn’t he
    the gay guy in Dr Who?

  3. mishari permalink*
    December 11, 2011 12:26 PM

    Brilliant, Hank…and too damn quick. You’re a bit scary. Another re-tread:

    The Downsizing Of S. Claus

    as told to E.J. Thribb

    You were the last
    of the independents,
    scorning the elf’s union,
    feeding your reindeer
    ground up reindeer.

    Health and Safety warned you
    about climbing down chimneys:
    breaking and entering in the night-time
    the police called it.

    A sturdy yeoman farmer,
    one M. Mowbray of Jollity Farm
    blew your head off
    with a shotgun.

    Oim not ‘avin none
    ‘o zum faat feller
    a-climbin doun moi chimbley
    an’ thaat’s flaat.

    One could see his point.

    You left it too late;
    should have shaved,
    lost some weight,
    dumped the red suit
    and opened Santa’s North Pole Data Center.
    Now the point’s moot.

    Ho-Ho-Ho was your motto;
    now the world slowly turns
    around Santa’s new grotto
    and today’s food for worms.

  4. hic8ubique permalink
    December 11, 2011 7:11 PM

    Oh, my dear BottleRocket, it’s really you. I find myself quite overcome.
    That mewling little Italian man might have wished… No wonder the incomparable Inez found you impossible to resist. Anyway, that’s my Christmas present off your list.
    I have only an interim retread to offer as I was out last night, and again today. In fact, during a flurry of preparation, I had to hunt out the shoes from last year’s seasonal poem…

    Patent crimson Christmas shoes
    and a damson ruffle shawl…
    snow boots I will need to lose
    leave them melting in the hall.

    Some invitations I refuse
    rife with bores despite champagne
    but this night sparkles in the mews
    Solstice wassail time again.

    Toes need not endure abuse
    pinching feet means pinching face
    Candelabra snag up-dos
    of tottering fillies about a place.

    Girls, be sensible in your shoes!
    stilettos aren’t for garden parties
    or sailboats, you will just amuse
    the other guests and sea-dog hearties.

    Platforms again are in the news
    an awkward wedge should make you baulk
    (Quite true I’m forward with my views)
    It’s pointless if you cannot walk.*

    Now holly sprigs and boughs of yews
    four-part carols, fluttering light
    revellers’ rich velvet hues
    I’ll venture out this stormy night.

    The perfect heel’s an art to choose:
    Patent crimson Christmas shoes.

    *addendum: (unless someone is willing and able to carry you) [That’ll be me-Ed.]

  5. mishari permalink*
    December 11, 2011 7:23 PM

    You’re very diplomatic, my dear. I felt a bit guilty after misleading you for so long with Marcello-darling’s photo and what with you and Reen having revealed yourselves, I felt i owed you the true horror of my visage.

    As I don’t really have pictures of myself (aside from as a child, photos that my mother sends me to show to my own children) I scanned my passport photo. It’s about 2 years old and was taken whilst in the throes of a colossal hangover that appears to have turned my eyes beady and ferret-like and of mis-matched sizes, while my lips (I do, I assure you, actually have lips) are compressed (in pain, I imagine) into a rat-trap slash. Not a flattering likeness but what the hell…I felt I owed you something

    Lovely poem…and re-treads are fine. I forget my own stuff, as I imagine we all do and it’s rather nice to see old work again.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 11, 2011 7:36 PM

      That’s only two years old?! So who then was the man in the profile with a shock of silver hair and specs?
      I thought he was really you as well. (He gave me the idea of the pince nez, which I rather fancied.)
      I’m not sure how I’m being diplomatic. Your eyes look level, but one brow is lower– interesting, especially since you’ve sustained blows to the face. You are a magnificent black lion, and I’m delighted to see you. I imagined you more professorial, and not so pale.

  6. mishari permalink*
    December 11, 2011 7:48 PM

    That was Samuel Beckett, sweetie…apparently, I’ve misled you even more than I’d thought.

    The ‘pale’ is, I’m pretty sure, the blinding white lights that the photographer had pointed at my face. Light like that tends to wash out everything…shadows, skin-tone etc etc. My cheeks are a little hollower and my cheekbones more prominent but the shadows have been eliminated and rendered me flat-ish…and I’m more olive-complexioned, even in winter.

    Professorial?…dear me, no. Perhaps in conversation. In appearance, I look more like a minor mafia chieftain. Oh, well…

  7. December 11, 2011 7:59 PM

    I’ll be back in a while when I get over the excitement…

    • mishari permalink*
      December 11, 2011 8:02 PM

      Get away with ya…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 11, 2011 8:28 PM

      Me too, I need to go dance it off. ‘Leonine’ is far superior to ‘professorial’ in my book.
      Samuel Beckett, hahahahaha

  8. henrylloydmoon permalink
    December 11, 2011 8:53 PM

    Here’s a seasonal message retrieved from the Guardia from three years ago. Interesting to see if you can decipher those who were with us then,..

    “As I mentally prepare to face the serried ranks of evil androids that stand between me and a seat on the plane to Bournemouth, may I take a second to thank you all. You have enriched my life immeasurably over the past year and hopefully will continue to do so in 2009. Every single one of you poets deserves a wider audience (you know who you are): Pet Rapper, Momentary Blow, Urban Scholar, Learned Fop, Antacid Pen, Sly Ill Limb, Sly Milk Noun, Rare Columns, Fond Beak Hoots, Zip Herein, Too34Tap, Poor Mink, Dead Dog, Folio Sentences, Parallax View, Dehydrated Bale, Chanced Carriage, Hotblooded Enough, Parisa, and all those who have escaped my arrogant hydrangea. Or something like that. Not forgetting the ConDoms who protect us from self-harm. And a word for cynicalsteve, whom I still miss though we never met.
    Merry Christmas to all

    • December 11, 2011 9:32 PM

      Christ, it’s too much … is it really you too or a fourth Bee Gee? I will have to go on a drip.

    • henrylloydmoon permalink
      December 11, 2011 9:40 PM

      I may be somewhat the worse for wear but I still look healthy compared to the others.

    • December 11, 2011 9:43 PM

      It’s not right that a girl should be so stimulated and her recumbent after a day selling her wares down the market, innit?

  9. mishari permalink*
    December 11, 2011 9:03 PM

    Funnily enough, Hank, I was actually reading and decyphering that earlier this evening when I was retrieving my re-treads. I was also re-reading your terrific The Pork Tornado Song that appeared the next Christmas, when Mills asked for food verse (seasonal or not)…

  10. December 11, 2011 9:05 PM



    Santa Tryst

    The snow impedes my vision
    But.. yes.. I think it’s him
    The wind whirls our wild words skyward
    And the moon shines far and dim

    How will I know it’s him?
    How can I be sure?
    How should one discern
    Between a deer and lion’s roar?

    I thought I saw a flash of red
    But then I’m weak with lust
    “Weak and lost” I mean to say
    And I can’t feel my bust

    I’ll trudge a little further
    Knee deep in wet cocaine
    The noise still carries on the breeze
    Christ, it sounds like he’s in pain

    There, behind that tree
    Slightly off the mapped out course
    I sense the end of trudging
    And the start of my divorce

    I thought he rode a bloody sleigh
    But, no, I can’t deny
    It’s a bicycle, and its rider?
    … M.I.S.H.A.R.I

    • mishari permalink*
      December 11, 2011 9:12 PM

      Excellent…blush-inducing (beige-complexion allowing) but excellent.

    • December 11, 2011 9:28 PM

      Seasonal swoon* is a mild but rapid-onset disease caused by sudden revelations to people of wild imagination with a penchant for ferret eyes. Sufferers should be approached with patient understanding and soothed with nettle tea and sonnets.

      * patent pending

  11. mishari permalink*
    December 11, 2011 9:43 PM

    You look like Terry Gilliam’s younger brother, Moon…no bad thing: Gilliam has a good face.

    Reen, nettle-tea’s off, but I can probably manage a sonnet…soon come…

  12. mishari permalink*
    December 11, 2011 10:12 PM


    To A Hot-Blooded Female, Dreaming By The Fire

    The weaker female should avoid
    all thoughts debased, (unseemly wish),
    and undeploy the charms deployed
    to snag that passing tasty dish.

    For lust will lead to broken dreams,
    to sleepless nights and chain-smoked fags;
    to busted heels and crooked seams
    to trembling hands and eyes with bags.

    Think clean and healthy thoughts alone;
    think baby Jesus in his cot;
    for if you fall, you will atone
    in hell; and baby, hell is hot.

    Take a shower cold as ice
    and think of clap and pubic lice.

    • reine permalink
      December 12, 2011 12:12 AM

      I just slept through two episodes of The Killing and have woken up from a snazzy dream with newfound purity, mercifully p.l.-free. I think I’m cured. Satan is behind me and making a funny noise…

  13. MeltonMowbray permalink
    December 11, 2011 11:31 PM

    What happened to Christopher Logue? Gone where his sister Ana is about to go, I suppose. I’d already written my Iliad poem in anticipation.

    I can’t decide whether you or HLM is top of the FBI’s Most Wanted list. I’m afraid I’ll have to turn you both in.

    • mishari permalink*
      December 11, 2011 11:35 PM

      Double the fun, double the money. I started on a Logue appreciation but realised, after reading a few others, that it would have been superfluous. It had already been done, and better. But there’s nothing to stop you posting your Iliad. Just give it a title like Santa Goes To Troy

  14. hic8ubique permalink
    December 12, 2011 1:53 AM

    Moon the Berserker! I’m pretty sure we’re cousins, if not siblings.

  15. hic8ubique permalink
    December 12, 2011 3:17 AM

    It occurs to me to chime in here, M, despite this new format being legible and neatly modern, that the ones with a masthead somewhere on the page are more helpful in that they flag ‘replys’ out of sequence.
    Other entry titles/ links are missing as well; perhaps you’ve yet to add that feature, but the porthole one was more functional, to my mind.
    Still, digging the snowflakes.

    • mishari permalink*
      December 12, 2011 12:33 PM


  16. reine permalink
    December 12, 2011 12:35 PM

    Better if you are a borrower maybe…

    I am choked with a cold dose…all that rolling round in snow I suppose, what did I expect?

  17. mishari permalink*
    December 12, 2011 12:50 PM

    Now? You do know that you can increase the font-size of the page by using ctrl and + (or decrease it using ctrl and -) and your browser will remember and render the blog at your chosen size every time you visit?

    • reine permalink
      December 12, 2011 12:56 PM

      I do know that but I’m all about the appealing aesthetic. Ya get me?

  18. reine permalink
    December 12, 2011 12:50 PM

    This is better. I am sure you feel like telling us to get lost. I don’t mind really but felt I was straining my eyes to read the smaller type. Thanks for your patience.

  19. reine permalink
    December 12, 2011 1:44 PM

    Pssst … there doesn’t appear to be any time tag on comments on this theme. They are useful for following the sequence of chat.

  20. mishari permalink*
    December 12, 2011 1:58 PM

    I just noticed that. (sigh)…back to the drawing board, i guess…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 12, 2011 2:34 PM

      This looks good to me.
      (I’m seeing ‘Matala’ with a spare-ish header, sepia tones, and all the accustomed amenities.)

  21. reine permalink
    December 12, 2011 2:40 PM


  22. mishari permalink*
    December 12, 2011 3:02 PM

    OK…we’ll stick with this one, then…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 12, 2011 3:09 PM

      …are we the fighting turkeys?

  23. mishari permalink*
    December 12, 2011 3:26 PM

    Perish the thought. They’re actual 65 lb turkeys, bred for aggression and supplied with switchblades and the tel. no. of a good lawyer.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 12, 2011 3:52 PM

      squabble squabble squabble

      I’ve known of a roaming band of wild turkeys so aggressive that they kept frightened people from leaving their houses.

  24. December 12, 2011 6:06 PM

    I started to write a poem in which we all met for Christmas and had the vague feeling I had been there done that, and a poke around discovered this one from last December.

    Edward’s on the babycham
    Melton’s drinking Bristol Cream
    Hic is smearing stuff on ham
    Mishari oversees his team

    Reine’s making sherry trifle
    If MM leaves a drop behind
    Freep is cleaning out his rifle
    Zeph is zesting orange rind

    Freep goes out to shoot a turkey
    Simon’s knitting socks and jocks
    Captain Ned wants some beef jerky
    With Simon’s vodka on the rocks

    HLM is making baubles
    To hang on MM’s quarter tree
    Steve Augustine sings of joy bells
    While trying to make cranb’ry jelly

    The door bursts open and GG
    Arrives with crackers and a bottle
    Whiskey? I ask, he cannot hear me
    Above Mishari’s master throttle

    He’s trying to sort the seating plan
    When Exit B arrives at last
    All admire his berry flan
    Ignore his flies which are half mast

    Obooki’s stuck in traffic
    Hopes to make it here by noon
    GG says the girls look sapphic
    But Hicster’s making eyes at Moon

    Des and Pink are in the garden
    Arguing about Pink’s Tweed
    Mishari roars “I beg your pardon”
    “Get the fuck off my prize weed”

    Reine makes an Irish coffee
    For the workers on their break
    MM chokes on licorice toffee
    Ed Heimlichs him back awake

    Reine tells him he should rest
    Take a load off until dinner
    She helps him undress to his vest
    And thinks she’s on a winner

    Just at the crucial moment
    A gun rings in the distance
    Freep has got his turkey
    Which all must pluck at his insistence

    This is the Christmas story
    Of the PH Christmas do
    Raucous, touching, sometimes gory
    But never dull, thanks to you …

  25. December 12, 2011 6:58 PM

    I persisted but I can’t think straight with all the sneezing… (a workman shouldn’t blame his drools). This is as far as I got.

    Aboard the thrumming eurostar
    A carriage is reserved
    Unlike those sitting in it
    Who are rather more preserved

    Pickled, soused, anaesthetised
    Full of anticipation
    About their Christmas outing
    That started at the station

    In a melee of yuletide mirth
    They gathered there at noon
    First to come was Mowbray
    Followed sharpish by H. Moon

    And then came Exit Barnardine
    In one of his jaunty shirts
    Henry wanted to grab a sandwich
    But MM wanted just desserts

    “No need to spoil the mood”
    Exit B interjected
    “No, I want only desserts you see”
    Mowbray distractedly corrected

    Then all four eyes followed his
    To a scene some distance off
    Where two ladies arm in arm
    Guffawed loudly at some toff

    Who turned out not to be a toff at all
    But a communist of note
    Bound by train to Paris too
    He preferred it to the boat

    So now the party swelled to six
    (Some swelled more than others
    But we’ll leave that for another day
    Lest we shock our mothers)

    Simon, Reine and fair Hic
    Greeted the others gaily
    Crimson kisses branded all
    Reine even kissed Bill Bailey

    Who was standing beside the little crowd
    En route to a continental gig
    Or so he was explaining when
    He squawked “Is that a pig?”

    And so it was that Ed arrived
    Behind a porcine pillow
    His prop you see, tool of his trade
    No, not Michael Portillo

    The girls were getting cold by now
    (so suggested a pert nipple)
    Henry spied the station bar
    And proposed a swift hot tipple

    Freep had not been seen for months
    But a sudden round of fire
    Made the group jump in unison
    And turn to see the squire

    Peer at them through the window
    Pointing at his watch
    Mouthing “hurry bloody up
    We’ve got a train to catch”

    So, panting, they took their seats
    In carriage No. 5
    And considering Freep’s behaviour
    They were glad to be alive

    It didn’t take so very long
    For the mood to turn to festive
    They couldn’t wait to see Mishari
    For months they’d just been restive

    “We’re going to see Al Adwani?”
    Mowbray shouted, face contorted
    “Fuck, Reine told me Eurodisney
    There’s my best laid plan aborted”

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 13, 2011 1:08 AM

      A tunnel by any other name
      is still … something to which, I discreetly claim,
      and beg Ms Party Planner may marginally note,
      I invariably prefer a sea-worthy boat.

      My quibble notwithstanding, a most festive poem.
      (The nipple’s a nice touch.)

    • December 13, 2011 12:44 PM

      Nothing could be more recuperative than a parcel! I couldn’t wait and am sitting bedecked in new things and covered in glitter which has given my pallid complexion a much needed lift. Thank you immensely. (sending you mail)

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 13, 2011 2:42 PM

      That’s unbelievable. I was the last one out of the Post Office on Friday, and it arrived early Tuesday? and that without a postal code. It seems the timing was just right though.
      A first-class parcel from here to California takes a full week, and that’s without customs.

      [For anyone wondering… Reine always gets a dash of glitter since it featured hilariously in her first poem to make me laugh, on the Poster Poems Aubades blog.]

  26. December 12, 2011 7:02 PM

    PS Steve Augustine and all the others I didn’t get to got the train time wrong…

  27. mishari permalink*
    December 12, 2011 10:43 PM


    The Rise of Santa

    Santa got a rocket-sled
    a Lockheed-Grumman-Boeing;
    the reindeer got the chop: they’re dead
    and laughing grimly Santa said I’m going
    to cleave the skies at rocket speeds;
    hot action, that’s what Santa needs.

    That sonic boom that shook the room
    was Santa, passing by; the gifts
    are laser-guided now and will take
    off some noxious brat’s nasty head
    before the bastard’s begun to rave:
    it wasn’t what he wanted; Santa gave
    him a surprise instead. Now he’s dead.

    Santa is winning the War on Children.

    Santa looks like a Bolivian admiral now:
    a white uniform with more medals and
    braid and brass than a doorman at The Ritz.
    He’s a presence; even the fat bits.

    The children have surrendered in droves,
    making gas-masks out of cut-up clothes
    (flannel pyjamas are good) and bending the knee
    to Santa, accepting him as emperor. But (you see)
    I don’t want the job, Santa opined:
    I just want what’s best for mankind.


    Tomorrow, Santa’s going to take Disneyland.
    The mouse must die, Santa said, over and over.
    The children of the New Imperial Guard ask Santa
    to kill Goofy, too. Live a thousand years in clover
    the children scream as they smash iPhones into
    little bits with silver hammers and braid their hair
    with liquorice and fettuccine and angelica.

    Santa smiles and says: I live, I love, I slay.

    And now it’s Christmas every day.

    • Reine permalink
      December 12, 2011 11:57 PM

      Jesus, bleak midwinter how are ya… Will Arnie play Santa in the movie?

  28. mishari permalink*
    December 12, 2011 11:25 PM

    Mildly curious about the origins of the bizarre spectacle that is Donald Trump (and who, in truth, is not mildly curious about a man who wears a mink stole on his head and eats pizza with a knife and fork?), I wikipediaed him.

    Along with a lot of very dull biography, I discovered the following gem:

    Trump has succeeded in marketing the Trump name on a large number of products, including Trump Financial (a mortgage firm), Trump Sales and Leasing (residential sales), Trump University (a business education company), Trump Restaurants (Located in Trump Tower and consisting of Trump Buffet, Trump Catering, Trump Ice Cream Parlor, and Trump Bar), GoTrump (an online travel website), Donald J. Trump Signature Collection (a line of menswear, men’s accessories, and watches), Donald Trump The Fragrance (2004), Trump Ice bottled water, Trump Magazine, Trump Golf, Trump Institute, Trump The Game (1989 Board Game), Trump Vodka, and Trump Steaks. — wikipedia

    Holy Hairpiece…that’s a lotta ‘Trump’…a name, by the way, that Donald should have changed years ago: half-way between ‘Tramp’ and ‘Dump’.

    Not good–although highly appropriate in Donald’s case.

    However, a baldy whose lack of an embarrassment-gene allowed him to grow his remaining strands of hair to extraordinary length and then whirl them around his pate like candy-floss, affixing the whole tonsorial Bad Sight to the top of his head with industrial-strength epoxy, is not a man to be bothered by a goofy name.

    But Donald Trump The Fragrance? Even for a knuckleheaded egomaniac like Donald, that’s pushing your luck. Does it promise to make you smell like Trump? Is the scent isolated from Donald’s glandular secretions (Yuck)?

    I imagine the strong aroma of bullshit, with subtle undertones of tripe, egomania, hair-piece adhesive and the occasional but unmistakeable whiff of bankruptcy.

    But, seriously…who in the hell would buy or even accept for free, a cologne/after-shave so-named?

    • Reine permalink
      December 12, 2011 11:50 PM

      Oi, what’s your beef with furry headwear, huh, huh?

  29. mishari permalink*
    December 12, 2011 11:58 PM

    Fuck me…it’s The Abdominal Snowperson.

    • Reine permalink
      December 12, 2011 11:59 PM

      You’ve a short memory. Ha.

  30. Reine permalink
    December 13, 2011 12:03 AM

    … which is to say I’ve worn this muff (it’s not a hat) before ;)

  31. mishari permalink*
    December 13, 2011 12:09 AM

    No, I do vaguely remember you doing your Jackie O/Leonid Brehznev impersonation before…

  32. December 13, 2011 7:23 PM

    My sister, a bit of a comedienne, sent this to my gmail a while ago. I confess I did laugh but it might just be the fever… He doesn’t pronounce my name right though, the beardy bollocks.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 13, 2011 10:21 PM

      L. hates ‘Renée’. She gets that a lot.

      I once asked my cousin in Götheborg (a retired engineer) why he preferred a Mercedes to a Saab, as I succumbed to jet-lag in the back seat. He explained with his customary precise courtesy:
      “You see, sometiiiime, you might like a little luxiuourious.”
      A charming man. From time to time I conjure schemes for going to see them. A graduation gift for L-E might be the excuse I need… there’s a thought. If they live so long…

    • December 13, 2011 10:36 PM

      May I say I wouldn’t thank you for a Mercedes – more an old Jag or a Saab lover if I had the choice?

      I was colouring my hair a while ago (which necessitates disrobing the upper bod) and laughed to see that I did indeed have “a dab of glitter on my bust”! Thanks again. x

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 13, 2011 10:50 PM

      Did you see that recent article in the G about toxins in hair dye? You can go from slight irritation to full anaphylaxis.
      You would make a lovely silver tigress.
      L-E just turned in his truck for an old Saab. They’re great in the snow. And they growl.
      Ok, to the soup…

    • December 13, 2011 11:01 PM

      I know, I know – I’m not ready to go silver yet, taking calculated risks. A growling car – now that would be right up my street. Get LE to swing by some time.

      I wore my gloves for a while but had to take them off to make dinner but admired my earrings in the window throughout. I heart them so much. Tack, tack, tack…. (the gratitude, not the presents).

  33. mishari permalink*
    December 13, 2011 8:29 PM


    That Santa is a fraud, Reine (Renée? Beardy old bollocks is right). I met the real one in a Soho dive the other night…


    Hey, Kids! Santa’s On The Skids…

    The bar was of oak, it was scarred
    burned and scratched;
    the lights intermittent and dim;
    a room where dreams broke
    and where mad plots were hatched;
    a room where bad luck posed as sin.

    He was sat at the bar, with his back to the door;
    his unfocused eyes gazed at space;
    under his stool, his own piss pooled the floor:
    no-one cared–it was that kind of place.

    Me, I just wanted a port in a storm
    a long, quiet drink on my own;
    the rain-sodden streets
    were so grey and forlorn:
    any bar with a roof was like home.

    He turned his blank gaze onto me, as I sat
    nursing my brandy and dreams;
    bet he called himself ‘stout’ but in fact he was fat
    and his shabby red-suit strained the seams.

    He stuck out a flipper, nails bit to the quick
    and parted his lips as to speak;
    his fingers were grubby, ungainly and thick;
    no words came from his mouth, just a squeak.

    ‘The name’s Nick’, he finally managed to say,
    spraying flocculent spit as he spoke;
    ‘I’d buy you a drink but it’s just not my day,
    I’ve been sacked and I’m totally broke”.

    So I bought him a drink, thought it might shut him up,
    but in fact, it just primed the old pump;
    I expected to hear of the women he’d tup,
    how he didn’t belong in this dump.

    Instead, what I got was a tale of old woes,
    how the promise of youth had gone sour;
    how the corpulent wreck with the bottle-red nose
    had once been The Man of The Hour.

    …to be continued

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 13, 2011 10:28 PM

      Dreadfully good. Please don’t leave him there, but do continue.
      I’ve been remiss; must get to work… I’ll ponder as I make soup.

    • December 13, 2011 11:11 PM

      I almost felt the “spraying flocculent spit”.

  34. mishari permalink*
    December 13, 2011 10:25 PM

    Whenever you feel a little blue, a little discouraged, take heart: any world that contains Basil Marceauxdotcom (half-man, half-website) is a world worth living in. I love Basil Marceauxdotcom. I wish he was our Prime Minister:

  35. mishari permalink*
    December 13, 2011 10:31 PM

    …and because there’s no such thing as too much Basil Marceauxdotcom:

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 13, 2011 10:40 PM

      Oh no, there’s more?
      He’s already made me too ‘happy’ to do anything.
      I ride a luge! aaahh!

  36. mishari permalink*
    December 13, 2011 10:42 PM

    Basil’s got Julius Caesar’s ‘Democracy Sword’ [no, I don’t know either-Ed.]…top that, Romney…and Basil’s a ’54 man; we ’54 men have to stick together…though, I must say, Basil’s looking a bit worse for wear. The stress of political life, I don’t doubt:

  37. mishari permalink*
    December 14, 2011 12:57 AM

    Finally, it wouldn’t really be Christmas without Basil Marceauxdotcom massacring a seasonal tune…hit it, Basil:

    • henrylloydmoon permalink
      December 14, 2011 11:00 AM

      A definite hit. He’s got my vote.

  38. hic8ubique permalink
    December 14, 2011 4:13 PM

    Perhaps of passing interest to you, M, as I recall your connection to the General…
    Opening celebration for this yesterday:
    I wasn’t there, but am told it’s been nicely done inside, with one of the original buildings incorporated for the early period exhibits, and a garden on the roof (café in season).

  39. December 14, 2011 7:43 PM

    Simple Arithmetic

    He seeks sanctuary
    At the Christmas party
    Eyes up the one with blonde hair
    Looks classy but smells tarty

    She’ll be his undoing
    But he doesn’t know it
    Thinks he’ll have this grope gratis
    If he doesn’t blow it

    Up her blouse during Fairy Tale
    She mouths “I’ve got a feeling…”
    His hand on her back
    Head and senses reeling

    The boss watches wide-eyed
    But he’s too far gone
    Can’t halt his gallop now
    Can’t pretend at genteel John

    No, the twang of a bra strap
    The touch of damp satin
    He’d risk clink and the clap
    To unleash that batten

    …Buries his head in A. Provocateur
    Tweaks ever so gently as she tries to demur
    In a flash, he’s undone, he rolls in her clover
    The price? Shag x boss’s wife = career over

  40. December 15, 2011 9:42 PM

    If ye are all gone to the Christmas party and no one told me, there will be consequences.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 16, 2011 6:42 PM

      Not possible, Reine, please
      no consequences;
      you are the party:
      confetti… sequins… fez…

  41. December 16, 2011 11:57 AM

    That which did not make Hitchens stronger…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 16, 2011 6:40 PM

      I’ve had only a peripheral sense of Hitchens, but I can say one anecdotal thing about oesophageal cancer… If you should meet someone of otherwise normal personal hygiene who has incredibly foetid breath, such as to make you sit back when you face him across a table, it would be a kindness to suggest he visit his doctor.
      I have noticed this symptom several times in men who were later diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.

    • December 16, 2011 9:42 PM

      Yipes, Hic!

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 16, 2011 10:28 PM

      Inappropriate to broach at dinner?

  42. mishari permalink*
    December 16, 2011 10:51 PM

    I am completely nonplussed. Once again, the utterly discredited ratings agencies are wreaking havoc on national economies and governments are allowing them to get away with it.

    Baldwin’s description of the press barons of the 30s (‘power without responsibility; the prerogative of the harlot down the ages’) could equally be said of the ratings agencies.

    Remember, these agencies played a major and crucial role in destroying the world’s economy by rating hugely volatile and risky debt-backed securities as ‘AAA’. And they did it because merchant banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan paid them huge sums of money to do it.

    If that’s not fraud, what is? Why aren’t these people in jail and their so-called ‘agencies’ (in reality, nothing more than cat’s paws for the merchant banks) broken-up?

    Why haven’t governments across the world raided their offices, seized all their files, frozen all their assets and brought charges of criminal conspiracy against all their executives?

    But we already know the answer to that, don’t we? And so the farce continues–economies are wrecked, lives are ruined and futures destroyed–while the ‘ratings agencies’ and the merchant banks whose criminal behaviour caused the world-wide economic crash in the first place, get richer.

    The next son-of-a-bitch that tells me ‘tis the season to be jollly’ is going to be spitting-out teeth.

  43. mishari permalink*
    December 17, 2011 12:22 AM

    @hic, I actually read Perkins’ book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man a couple of years ago; none of it was news to me, of course. Nonetheless, it was still a shocking read, coming, as it did, straight from the horse’s mouth, giving names, dates and figures.. And yet, despite those in power and those in the media knowing all this, nothing changes. On the contrary: things get worse. Truly, I fear for the future.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 17, 2011 1:46 AM

      I appreciate your frustration, M, and am in no way urging jollity, but listening to Perkins I did feel some sense of hope that the choices we make on an individual human basis can build initiative for gradual improvements to emerge.
      Must agree that prospects for the future look dire from here, but I do feel as well a promising prospect of regrouping through and after the collapse of the status quo.
      I expect that will be messy and stressful, but it’s so crap for so many on the planet even now (human and otherwise) that moving through the upheaval as best we can seems in a way salutary, like a purge.
      I may well be completely wrong/ignorant/deluded,( in which case, forgive me) but in the meantime this outlook keeps me from the alternative undesirable state: paralytic neurotic basket-case.
      I don’t know whether we’ll even continue to have the internet, but in the meantime…

      Also, the young adults are nothing short of amazing. If the ones I know are any indication, by the time we baby-boomers are off the boil, they will have re-prioritised everything that’s still in play: agriculture, fisheries, transport…

      So, anyway, what is it you so dislike about Switzerland? May I know?
      (I’m supposed to go to Winterthur for a course, at some point.)
      Is it just the same old Austro-Hungarian correctitude?

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 17, 2011 2:03 AM

      The world may be blighted, and the trails may be bare, but at Pol Hom
      we have snow flurries.

    • December 17, 2011 9:47 AM

      The thing I found most frightening about Perkins’ book was the fact that he had no problem putting it out there; that his higher-ups “okayed” it. That means, in my opinion, that it’s only a hint of the real scope of the horrors Perkins witnessed (and participated in and, perhaps, initiated)… or that the Powers That Be estimate, cynically, that it won’t matter; that the unshockable herd will go about its business (which being: chewing cud). As long as the narratives that Perkins and his ilk (make a packet doing evil, then make a packet selling the “tell-all”) put out there involve “our” Elites committing grave crimes against Others, “we” won’t give a shit.

    • December 17, 2011 10:03 AM

      Also, Hic, I don’t feel as upbeat about the cleansing tide of young adults as you do, I’m afraid; I think they’re a fairly well-engineered product. Most of them appear to worship at the altar of Saint Jobs, for one thing. The ones with a little money want to keep their hands on it and the ones who have not are trying to get some: both cases dictate conformism.

      The apparently mind-bended social upheavals of the ’60s were a luxury of prosperity/ stability. You can’t go mountain climbing during an earthquake (to quote an imagined Chinese sage of the 11th century) and the earthquakes are now non-stop. Or: in order to fix the truck one has to climb out of it, first (to quote another, more modern, imaginary sage) and I don’t see many young adults or old adults or even pre-schoolers climbing out of it. No mountain-climbing.. no truck-fixing… it’s a mess.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 17, 2011 6:28 PM

      Did I give a false impression of upbeatness then? I’m more characteristically of a deliberate sostenuto temperament these days. I would admit to being hopeful, not based on any reasoning or evidence, but because given the nervous system I’m working with, that’s sort of the band-width I prefer to occupy.

    • December 17, 2011 7:42 PM

      You must admit I cheered you up with that Ed Sullivan clip! (laugh)

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 17, 2011 8:04 PM

      (Yeah, but I’m so easy.)

      If I may quote our sage friend, Moon:
      ‘A definite hit. He’s got my vote.’

  44. December 17, 2011 12:20 PM

    Something nice to cap off the gloom and doom I just committed:

  45. mishari permalink*
    December 17, 2011 10:12 PM

    ‘…what is it you so dislike about Switzerland?’

    Jeez…where to start? The Swiss themselves? Smug, priggish, petty, reactionary, pettifogging, ‘orderly’ (but not in a good way); rabidly conformist, doltishly materialistic; seething with resentment at what they regard as a lack of proper respect for Switzerland and the Swiss; humourless, oafishly devoted to bland, stodgy food; amoral and unethical (although they see their conniving with dictators, thugs, murderers and kleptocrats to loot poor countries as part of their pathetic ‘neutrality’. The podgy little burghers are too dim to grasp that there are things that one cannot be ‘neutral’ about. I could go on…

    And as for their Boit De Chocolat of a country…bah. I’d sooner live in a cardboard-box next to the LA freeway than live in their barbered, manicured, moisturised, massaged, trimmed, polished, buffed, sterile little post-office box of a country.

    If I had the power of sorcery, I would have a giant-size Toblerone inserted forcefully and without warning into every Swiss posterior…daily. I’d inculcate a sensayuma in the dull bastards even if it kills ’em.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 17, 2011 10:27 PM

      Thank you. Sorry to have asked you to expand on another unpleasant subject, but I do appreciate the effort.
      That was illuminating; you definitely have the power of sorcery.
      (I almost looked up ‘sensayuma’ but caught it just in the nick. It promised to be such a good mysterious new word.)
      I’ll never look at a Toblerone the same way again.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 17, 2011 10:36 PM

      I just read it again… it’s even funnier with you looking so dead-pan there.

  46. hic8ubique permalink
    December 19, 2011 2:27 AM

    Eve not Morn: A Reminiscence

    We never sat in the fat red lap,
    wrote no list-expectant letters;
    we Ekberg girls were well apprised;
    we had learned well, and we knew better…

    Our Dad was a learned authority
    on everything that was important to know:
    how to make his own soda, twist out a tree-stump
    and the secrets of getting tomatoes to grow…

    the drainage of trees, the changing of oil,
    the centripetal force of a planet,
    how to go to The Office, build a hi-fi
    and the names for components of granite

    He said: Santa would wear sealskin mukluks
    and a hooded grey long sealskin parka
    He showed us the ones that old Santa
    had given our grandfather, Sverker…

    and gifts of the petrified tooth of a mammoth,
    a great big ivory walrus’ tusk,
    the ear bone of a Bowhead whale;
    his friend Santa was how he had got such stuff.

    The man in red was just to fool
    the silly people; he was fake.
    Santa was really the ‘Jul Tomten’.
    He could travel by Julbok, and no mistake.

    Santa wouldn’t slow down for cookies and milk,
    or any proffered food or treat;
    nothing more in his haste on Christmas Eve
    than a snort of icy Aquavit .

    So, when twilight fell and the stars came out
    We’d climb to the attic and peer to the East
    for lights or any unusual signs
    when we scarcely had finished our Nordic feast

    of bird’s-nest salad (with hairy salt fish)
    sweet lingon, peas, potatoes dilled,
    spiced meatballs with gravy, risgrynsgröt;
    all abandoned as anticipation built…

    Terrific at once came a thrashing of bells!
    We’d fly down the stairs vainly hoping
    that we’d see him, but No… there’d be snow on the rug
    tumbled gifts, and the back door swung open.

    Dad would appear, having collared the dog,
    who had valiantly nearly been gored,
    and report that he’d just caught a glimpse of the Elf
    heading Southward along the back shore.

    Mummy would open one present or two,
    but seemed to be somehow forlorn.
    Poor Mum was confused, but to her it was wrong;
    should have waited until Christmas morn.

    If she thought ‘Father Christmas’ had something to do
    with the action, she tried not to mention.
    We girls were adults long before we caught on
    to that marital point of contention.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 19, 2011 2:29 AM

      Oh bugger that. I’m not trying any more italics.

    • December 20, 2011 12:54 PM

      I love it, italics and all.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 20, 2011 9:54 PM

      Thanks, Re. I can see things I might change (or should have left alone), but I wanted to get the dogg out in time for Christmas, just in case M should close comments…

      Your envelope one [following] is lovely and evocative. Especially like the touch of softness underfoot. I can hear all it quite clearly in your voice.

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