June 11, 2008

The Window

I can't believe that my last entry was in January. I have been unfaithful to this blog, but I have tried to be faithful to life and other people. Naturally, I'd prefer if the first poem in a while would be one full of hope, but this is the poem that I wrote. Enjoy it, if you can.

The Window

The door is open

Almost transparent

Propped up with a wedge.

There is truth in that

But also in

The window.

What can be seen inside

Should be taken for granted.

A desk, a table lamp.

Undecorated. Nothing special.

Feel attached to the items.

Feel free to touch them.

They are not yours alone

To touch.

The books you thumbed

Have been touched by a hundred hands

And the hands were greedy

Like yours, too.

They wanted to hold the books

And claim them forever

Like mine do.

There is truth in that

But also in

The window.

The chairs are comfortable

Until you find that others

Were offered a seat before you.

When you were not there,

The leather chair held someone

And kept them firmly close.

There is truth in that

But also in

The window.

Because the window is always open as well.

And beyond it are too many trees.

Those who leave by the door

Signed the book

Left a name and address.

The wood is harsh.

Beyond the window

Too many trees.

The furniture

That gave comfort to all

Betrays the guests.

Of all the guests

It is always


That leave.

Because everyone is invited.

No one should leave.

But people do.

One is too many.

And the book by the door

Remains unsigned.

It is left with



And the wood is deep.

I yell to the wood.

There is truth in that

But also in

The window.

Here's my hope for today, for people of the internets. Walk out and be happy. Find the person closest to you and hold them for 5 minutes. You don't have to say anything, and neither do they. Most importantly, remember the warmth of them. That warmth of another has no proper name, but you can think of your own.

I'll stop rambling now. Posts will follow this one. I hope to have something funny for you next time.

January 21, 2008

Apologies to People Who Are Interested In My Blog

I have been unbelievably absentminded over the period since my last posting. I have been busy procrastinating and essay writing. Plus performances in Sweeney Todd have tired me out to no end. Sorry to the people who I'd like to think are fans of the blog. In apology, here is an orgy of material I have churned out.

ICW Assignment number 1:

3rd Person Past Tense Exercise with Dialogue

  Going against the typecast, he understood the importance of secrets: how you should keep them when they’re told to you and harbour your own and sometimes share them with others. As he waited down the corridor, he remembered the riddle: When you have it, you want to share it. When you share it, you haven’t got it. Sharing was so much and so little at the same time. He knew that if you share too much, you become vulnerable. At least, that’s how he felt.

  He’d got it wrong with her.

She had the appearance of someone intrinsically – well, not local. One of the things you notice about the British face is that it falls into an angular frame. Her face was curves, gentleness that sweeps. Her nose was not severe. The eyebrows had a thick wildness to them that is indescribable. Impressionable in life as well: a low burning vigou that stands out against the local damp. And there was more. She was a listener, a rare breed of person. From years of people being put up with his vocal garbage, it was great to have someone who listened. She had something interesting to say, and she said it to him. Maybe he was a bit slow, but he understood the importance of being a friend as well as having them.

  He wanted to say sorry to her. It was the least he could do, after she found out. The problem was the time, manner and place. He set down texting as wrong: he knew a little ‘I’m Sorry’ at 5p a text is not worth it. Giving a call wouldn’t work either. He hadn’t the knack at seeing what the other person was doing at the other end. So today he was waiting near her front door for the moment she’d get back from a 5 o’clock lecture.

  It was strange. He expected her to be more surprised to see him by the door.

  ‘So,’ he said. Starting these conversations was never his strong suit.


  ‘Don’t be like that.’

  ‘I’m not acting any different than before.’

  That wasn’t true, he thought. He knew that before she was more receptive. Then again, it was his fault. He shouldn’t hide important things from people. ‘It’s not fair.’

  ‘Well, you shouldn’t keep things from me.’

  ‘How could I? You dragged it out of someone else.’

  ‘I shouldn’t have to.’

  ‘Look, I’m sorry but-’

  ‘But what?’

  ‘Stop it. It’s immature.’ He didn’t want to say it. Why did I say it, he wanted to ask himself.

  ‘Nice one to talk.’

  ‘It’s not fair.’

  ‘Stop that. I don’t have the time for that.’

  ‘Sorry.’ From a young age, he learnt to apologise for himself. That came with his problems.

  ‘And stop saying sorry,’ She told him in the same firm way that she told him over the last few months. ‘I don’t hate you, so don’t make me.’

  ‘I just want to forget it all.’

  ‘Some people can’t forget.’

  ‘What do you want me to do?’

  ‘You want to do something for me?’

  ‘Yes. I don’t like you like this all the time.’

  She took the keys from her pocket. ‘Maybe you shouldn’t keep these things from me.’

  ‘I know I shouldn’t, but please. I want to go back.’

  ‘I wish it was as easy as that.’ She was in through the door, which she shut firmly between them.

Excerpt from An Assignment Which I Misunderstood Completely:

First Person Exercise

  I had to take a look. Aaron had been hiding again. John told me it was just a phase for him and that he’d snap out of it soon. I had to accept that, just as I had to accept John bringing Aaron into the house. We’d just settled in a new street for our new life, and John thought to give a friend a hand in his troubled times. I would like to be asked about these things before they happen. Now he – Aaron – spends most of his time between work, hiding in the spare room. Sometimes he disappears for a good few days. I worry that he’s dead in there. He must eat when no one’s looking: food just disappears and plates return to the kitchen cleaned and packed into cupboards. He never paid for anything he took or used. So one day I took a look in. I don’t know what I was expecting. I sasw the crusty plates lying around, clothes on the floor and Aaron on the fold-down. He wasn’t even asleep. He was lying there, stubble all over his face. I don’t think the pyjama shorts he was wearing had seen a washer in a while.

  ‘I’m not feeling well,’ he said.

  ‘You’ve been in here for a week.’

  ‘Really?’ He was actually surprised.

  ‘Yes. Did you let your work know?’

  ‘No. Didn’t want to.’

  ‘What do you mean?’

  ‘Had enough. They laugh at me behind my back. Don’t want to go back.’

  ‘You can’t say that. Phone them back now and tell them you’re ill. You need to work.’

  ‘I don’t want to. They think I’m a bum.’

  I couldn’t believe this. ‘You have to work. I’ve put up with you so far because I thought you could help yourself, but if you can’t be bothered to do that then I don’t know what I will do.’

  ‘Leave me alone.’

  ‘I can’t. Phone or I’ll throw you out myself.’

  ‘Give me ten minutes.’

  Everyone needs ten minutes to do something that will never get done. I left Aaron for now, but next time I might really throw him out.

Finally, this week's assignment based on the continuation of a continuation of a first sentence that I wrote last week. Nice.

And In That Moment…

And in that moment, I was forgotten.

  Geoff and Wife began life in winter, a harsh time for my cousins. The cold contracts, makes them brittle. Old Pipey blew a while back. Built up inside him, grew until his skin couldn’t hold it. They’re on their guard from ice. But not for me. Not for us. We shift with the cold. Cold suits us. It’s the hot we fear. I’m afraid of melting. Sometimes, when someone removes themselves from me, I worry that they’d chuck me in some fire and let me melt there. Would they watch? Could they? But they never do. I’ve been around for a while now, since my blood was in the rocks. Vain people dug me out of the ground, said I was theirs. But I told them earth-like, I am me. I am mine.

  And in that moment, I was forgotten.

  Geoff and Wife began life in winter. But I was here before Wife. Always with Geoff and Last Wife. Even before Last Wife was here, I was kept in the jewelry box which Geoff owned. The red walls are soft for a subtle prison. I am mine in there, though. Pure white, and always have been.

  Last Wife was gone. I had been in the red walls prison for a while, and it was cold. Cold suits us. We shift with the cold. But I was taken out by Geoff, he put the finger of New Girlfriend inside me to say that he’d be constant to her. She turned from pearl to ruby in the curves beneath her sapphires. He was too forward. New Girlfriend sounded a chime and reduced to Wife.

  And in that moment, I was forgotten.

  I am not constant. But I was taken out by Geoff, he put the finger of New Girlfriend inside me to say that he’d be constant to her. Last Wife’s finger was unimposing, it sat right. She was no brass fake or copper with arsenic makeshift. Pure white, and always has been. Geoff said he’d be constant to her. When Wife stuck her finger in, she didn’t fill the space. She wanted alterations made and I was cut up, remade for her. But I am the same. Pure white, and always has been.

  He told her Last Wife was pure white. Sweet girl, except for one thing. Constant. He wanted a constant wife to be constant to. I don’t care. We shift with the cold. Cold suits us. But he said never to open the door to the cellar. There was nothing there but dust and boxes of old magazines, fickle paper things that fell apart. Not like me. I’ve been around for a while now. Pure white, and always have been. He trusted her so much.

  He left the brass key in the lock, unturned in the shapely hole. Wife stared at it when she passed it by the door. One day she groped its handles like a pervert. Sick. They were alike, both brass. Not pure white. Not even close to Last Wife, who was just offshade. Not a carat in her heart. Her promise wasn’t set.

  It’s the hot we fear. Built up inside her, grew until her skin couldn’t hold it. She melted.

  And at that moment, I was forgotten.

  The cellar is off white from what Geoff says. He never lies about the magazines. They were gold to him until he tired of it. Trash, I thought, but he never cashes them. Wife never looked at them though. She followed the minted dust, footprints set in them, to the polished table and chair. She saw the album, full of obsene pictures. There she saw Last Wife: wedding photos, cuddling, and on display dripping rubies. Further back, there was Last Last Wife, and Last Last Last Wife.

  Geoff touched her shoulder. Her voice clanged in her throat.

  And in that moment, I was forgotten.

   It’s the hot we fear. Dripping rubies. Cold suits us. I nuzzled in the cold snow beside the shallow grave he dug for her, next to Last Last and Last Last Last. He puts them in the same place. I am not constant. We shift with the cold. Yet Geoff put me back in the jewelry box that he owned.

  Last Wife was the best. She lasted for years without touching the brass. But the brass got into her. Not pure. But I am the same. Pure white and always has been. Always will be, until the day someone takes me off and thinks to throw me into the fire. Would they? Could they?

  Geoff and Wife began life in Spring.

Ok, that's that done. By the way, if you want to, you can read my play based on the story of Cassandra here.


December 21, 2007

The world in general and my story, Em.


Life appears to be happening in very small ways. Decorations of the house are, as far as can be said, officially over. That's it. No more. The trauma of trying to put fairy lights on the tree were too much for me. If someone asks you to do that sort of thing, make sure they understand that you are in charge. Before you ask them how it looks,  make sure it is nigh on perfect, otherwise you spend a lot of time being told, 'That bit needs to be higher / lower / better spaced,' after every run at replacing the lights.

  That is my only trauma this week, however. Everything else is fine. Writing of Cassandra is going well, and considerably better than I thought it would. I have introduced one of the best epic figures ever: Agamemnon. He is very fun to write for: he builds himself up so much, refuses to back down, then collapses like a broken deck chair.

There may also be a Christmas story in the pipeline over the next few days. I know, late starting, but I'd really like to do something seasonal for the end of the year.

Really not much else to say, so here's that 3 1/2 page story I promised a while ago, Em. It's not too bad considering that I don't write nearly as much prose as I should. Hopefully you like the ending: I try my best to make those pesky endings make sense.


  I was nine and a half when I found out Mr Slake had lost green. I know that cause I was thinking about what I wanted for Christmas, which usually starts around October for me. I knew what I wanted back then, and I thought I could always get it, because I was the most patient guy in school. I could stare down Jim Porter from 5Q for minutes and beat him, even though I was just nine. Nine and a half, I told him.

   It was the year I wished for a train set, one of the ones with a little blue Hornby train, with three of those chocolate brown carriages all those sets came with. I didn’t get it after all. Dad said that Santa can’t always get you everything. I knew about Santa though, the truth. Cause I was nine and a half.

  Mr Slake was – back in October, nine and a half – my Santa. He never did much of what a real Santa would do, thinking about it. I guess I thought that he was old and cheery, like you imagine that red fat man to be. Most old people are like that anyways: no time to be all those cruel things normal people are. It was just-

  Well, it was just the way he will be in my mind now.

  Anyways, normal day was that I would be walking by and he would be out mowing his lawn or trimming a bush or jusst sitting in an old chair he’d brought out. I would talk to him on Thursdays, cause I didn’t have to run home and could take it easy. All the kids did it, and my mum and the rest didn’t think he was a bad man, so that was it as far as it went as far as the street cared. The thing was, he was inoffensive. He liked listening to people, and no one complains about an ear. He was interested too, in anything you wanted to talk about, which is an even greater thing for anyone to say. Sarah – my girlfriend – keeps on reminding me of this when I tell this story. I do my best, but it takes a lot out of you, especially when it’s easier talking about your own problems. I guess that means that Mr Slake had more energy than the rest of us combined in that sleeping street. And if it’s that good when you are grown up, try and picture how excited I got back then. A person who wants to listen to what ever you had to say? That’s a power trip when you’re nine. And a half.

  I suppose I have been more careful around him back then. They still tell you in school about the smiling stranger you shouldn’t trust. Especially if they give you candy. But these were before those times when single, older men talking to little kids was very suspicious. Right now, the police would get a call and Mr Slake would be told to please leave the children alone. Back then of course, nobody thought about those things. He was just a sweet old man who lost his wife a few years back. Natural death. Sad, but not tragic.

  Anyway, I found out about Mr Slake in that October. I was talking to him about how my teacher Mrs Matthews was dull in the mornings, and her nostrils flared when you dragged your seat or breathe sharp when you cut her up in the corridor. He laughed about that. Turned out he was in school with Mrs Matthews back when they were younger. I said that, looking at Mrs Matthews, it must have been ages ago. He said it must have been, by the sounds of that.

  After Mr Slake – well, I’ll say about that later – I found out about how they were an item when they were younger. If you have ever thought about what your parents or any older person was like when they were young and free, you know that its very strange to imagine them doing things in their teens. And Slake and Matthews spent their teens in the summers of love. Trying to imagine the both of them being young and having sex makes my brain shut down. But I suppose all people think like that. At least, all young people.

  But soon I started talking about Mrs Thompson down the road, and how she had got this new green car parked on her drive. It was a vile green car that her husband sometimes washed, and everyone thought it was vile but couldn’t bring themselves to say it out loud. A few years later, the car would get trashed by someone. Mrs Thompson and her subjected husband went round the houses asking if anyone had seen who had done it, but no one had. Got to love Neighbourhood Watch. She always thought it was was me or one of my friends, but I swear I never did. I mean, I hated the car but not that much. I swear she still thinks it’s me: whenever I come round to see Dad, Mum and the cousins, she’s there twitching the curtains.

  I didn’t know what ‘wistful’ meant back then, but I guess that’s how Mr Slake was looking when I was telling him how vile Mrs Thompson’s car is – was. Mr Slake said he wished he could see how vile it was.

  I asked him why. I said it was just down the road. Anyone could see it.

  He said it was nothing. Don’t worry about it. How was school?

  I wouldn’t let it drop. I hadn’t learned anything about how civilised adults talked, waiting till someone had an opinion then leaning towards it like a daisy, and I didn’t like to be left out of something. It’s not fair when you’re the only one who doesn’t know.

  I’m not keeping it from just you.

  So it’s a secret?

  Yes, it’s a little secret.

  Tell me.

  You are being a little nosy today.

  I promise not to say anything.

  You do, do you?

  I won’t tell anyone, not Mum or Dad, not anyone.

  Well, with a promise like that, Mr Slake could trust me with his little secret. He was probably trying to shut me up in some sort of roundabout way that you never work out until you are one of them, these adults, but he was going to tell me and I was happy with that. That is when he laid it on me that, for some reason, he could not see the colour green.

  In hindsight I was a pompous bastard when I was nine and a half. I said it was really stupid and that green was stupid as well. Eloquent, wasn’t I.

Anyway, it didn’t look cool. I wore, or rather was forced to wear, a green v-neck jumper to a family gathering when I was 6. Mum still brings out the pictures of Gran and Grandad’s leathery smiles, cousins who were caught on the way out for a fag, and me. I was roasting underneath 60 watt lights in a too-big v-neck with the sleeves bunched up around my elbows. Ever since then, green is and has always been a menace which I avoid whenever I can. Sarah thinks I look sweet in that picture, and is trying to reconcile me with green. I will not lose this battle.

  Mr Slake laughed at the little me. I’m sure he would laugh at old me, too. He said something like, ‘I can see why you’d hate it. But you can’t just cut out a colour from your life. A colour is important. You can’t just say, “This part is bad and I don’t want the rest of it.” Green is important to everyone, even me.’

  I think I said something about green being stupid again. That’s probably the earliest proof I had that I would never make the debate team. I’m sure I said that because Mr Slake said more about green.

  ‘Green is a big part of… well, everything. Think about all the grass out there. What other colour could it be? Would you be able to walk on, say, blue grass?’ I laughed. I remember that. Don’t be silly, I said. ‘Well, if it’s not green, then it must be blue or red or even purple. Everything has a colour. And what about those trees on the corner down the road? I heard that those trees look beautiful in the summer, coated in leaves. Can you imagine them being otherwise?’

  I imagined very little at nine and a half, and was proud of it, so I said no. I liked to think I was grown up and didn’t need an imagination. But I did ask him, because I was curious, what he saw instead of the green. Like he said, if it wasn’t green, what colour did he see. I thought it would be black. I thought it would be like that, a midnight black like space in those films from the eighties. Or maybe see-through, except you’d be able to see the edges, like a dotted line or something.

  ‘No,’ said Mr Slake, ‘It’s grey. Grey like your school sweater. Only this grey is more dull.’ Although I couldn’t see what could be duller than any school sweater, I let him go on. ‘Even when the sun shines on it, it’s still dull. It’s like someone’s taken a tap to it, put it on the green and let it run. All that’s left is that grey,’ he pointed to my sweater, ‘that doesn’t get lighter or darker but just is grey.’

  I asked him, had it always been like that?

  ‘No. The green was there all my young days, and even after my wife passed on. Then one day it just went. The doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with my eyes, and my brain has no water in it. I’m just fine, except I can’t see green. I wish I knew what happened to it, but for the life of me I don’t know and no one can tell me. I don’t feel bad about it, but all the same I miss it. I miss it when I go out walking, and when I trim the hedge and just sit around.’

  ‘But it’s not like the colour’s gone away,’ I thought. ‘I can still see it, and I’m pretty sure other people can. Maybe you’ve just lost it. My mum says you can find anything if you keep trying. It’s true. Even if you don’t know where you lost it, it usually turns up. Maybe if you keep looking, it’ll turn up too.’

  I think that’s what I said. I can’t remember it all that well, and maybe I’ve touched up my memory as I got older. Things have been getting vague now, and I can’t remember as much of my younger days as I could. I can’t even remember what Mr Slake said then. I’m sure it must have been a ‘Thanks, you’re such a nice boy’ or a ‘You’re welcome,’ or something along those lines.

  Can one memory write itself over another? It’s not weirder than someone losing the green in their life. That’s probably what happened, because I can’t remember what he said, but I do remember that it was the day after when Mr Slake disappeared. He must have gone in the night: nobody could say where he had gone. His car wasn’t on the drive and he wasn’t anywhere in his house or garden. Someone called his relatives and, no, he wasn’t with them. They hadn’t heard from him at all the last few days. Was something the matter, they asked? They came down to look for him, but he wasn’t there to be found.

  I thought it was funny at the time. All these grown up people running around and worrying. They thought they knew everything, but I knew where Mr Slake went. I told them, too. ‘Mr Slake’s gone to find his green,’ I told them. People laughed at me and told me I was silly. Even though I was nine and a half and knew more than they did. I was so sure, even when they called the police to tell them he was missing. A month or two later, when the searches for him turned out to be useless, I was one of the lot who tidied up his home. I helped sort his letters into one box, his bills another and keepsakes one more, and sealed them all away with final-looking brown tape. I felt daft doing it, knowing what I did. I didn’t believe he was gone for one minute, not even when they held a not-funeral remembrance service for him. I almost laughed in that marquis when they solemnly played songs he might have liked and people stood up to say how Mr Slake was a good man and every man’s friend. There was always the thought in the back of my head that at one point he’d leap out and say ‘Got you! Just went out to get my green back. What did I miss?’

  He didn’t, though. He stayed missing and has never returned to this day.

I wished I knew where he was. He wasn’t dead, I knew that, but I wanted to know where old Mr Slake had got to. I thought that he was running around some great hills in the country, or maybe meditating like Buddha in the middle of a field.

  It’s a shame he never came back, because I would have given anything to have shown him his house. Around March, a week after my birthday, Mr Slake’s house was coated in thick ivy that sprung up. Nobody noticed it when it first started growing, and some were surprised to see the house dressed in an ivy-fur coat. It was such a shame: it wasn’t long before the new neighbours moved in. After they settled in, the smiling couple carelessly cut out all that abundant green as if they had no idea.

Hope you enjoyed.

December 16, 2007

Some updates and some poetry

Yo to the people who read my blog.

Christmas is coming like a juggernaut, heading straight towards me. Dates shouldn't do that, I think. I like to think we journey forward in a small way and the days that come pass us by, much like cyclists in a cycle path. Unfortunately, Christmas is an inevitable time that heads towards me unyielding.

Christmas is a good time for family life. If you like your family, as I suppose I do, Christmas is great. It's just getting around all the baggage of the time. I feel I should be doing more with myself, but its difficult to work out what I should be doing.

Reading of extra texts and things like that are going well. Hope to start reading some AS Byatt soon, something I haven't done for 3 years now. I have also, against my better judgement, finished editing my short story 'Em'. Posting will appear soon.

I'm adding little scraps to Cassandra now. She's a sad character: her life becomes a story of deficit, to use the term I remember from studying the Odyssey. Cassandra, eldest daughter of the house of Ilion, gains precognisance from Apollo. Apollo then takes away her ability to persuade (or to be understood, seeing how you interpret it) for not having sex with him.

Then the Trojan war: being the only person who knows better, she tells Paris not to take Helen as prisoner. Paris is not convinced. Trojan war is caused by stupidity. Cassandra sees through the horse plan. Again, people do not believe her. Troy is destroyed by stupidity.

Then Cassandra gets some killer blows. She is raped by Oilean Aias (or Lesser Ajax) when pleading with the goddess Athena. When he is done with her, Aias gives her to Agamemnon (the king of her enemies) as a servant. Finally, she is killed as collateral to the murder of Agamemnon in a foreign land with no family to mourn or bury her.

Sad tale.

Anyways, I'll work to see how I'll interpret the myth as part of my play. For the moment, here's some more poetry.

Dan Perjovschi

There came the day

When the experienced doodles

Were painted over.

These strong brush



With white emulsion.

What can I say?

Those striking scrawls

Were made into canvas

For convenience.

December 11, 2007

Playing Catch Up

Hi people,

Adding to a blog all the time can be hard. I know it's not like its a long haul thing where I have to write for hundreds of pages a day, but I never seem to be able to find the time. I mean, is there a time in the day for blogging? For me its when I have something better to do, but choose not to do it. Tragic I know, but I am of the youTube generation.

Anything to tell you of this week? Well at the moment I have been sorting through the mail of my dad's cousin. So whilst I am trying to get some of the work done for next term (as well as reading some texts for personal enrichment and keeping up with my writing), my mum is trolling the mailing sites trying to slow down the steady flow of mail entering Geoff's house and phoning up to ask for advice on how to tackle this mail problem. It's really a family task, sorting through this mail, so excuse any days of silence.

Ah well. Here is something I wrote for ICW, a sestina on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and all that stuff that they did in the underworld.

On Riri

Last week I looked for Riri

Though I knew that she was lost

I searched for her still. Her Fifi

She caled me, before she was taken

By him, the guy that they call Rich

Who takes the steepest cost.

But why the hell is the cost

My cutey, my soul, my Riri?
She’s the one who made me feel rich.

But then a trip, fall, lost –

No tricks to try or steps taken –

I couldn’t save her, no longer Fifi.

I didn’t sing or laugh, no longer Fifi,

Just a bloke who loved and paid the cost.

Where is she? Dead. Taken

Low below the ground, pretty Riri,

In a filthy puddle, left and lost

To Rich. The dead make him rich.

Yes, the millions make him Rich.

I asked the miser and his wife, ‘Let Fifi

Take back his Riri. She was lost

And I want her back, whatever the cost.

I want to hold her now, my Riri.

Just tell me where she was taken.’

Then Rich said, ‘If you’re so taken

By her and thought yourself rich

Together, then you can have your Riri.

But you should know the price, Fifi.

’Cause every trip has its cost:

Look back and everything is lost.’

I thought I’d won back what I lost:

That I found what was taken

From me, that there was no cost

For this loss. In fact, I was rich

Until fear crept. I looked. That Fifi

Was the idiot who lost his Riri.

Riri was lost in the shadows,

And Fifi’s song taken with her.

Rich dreams have heavy costs.

Hope you enjoyed. As always, projects are banging around behind the scenes. Will get back to doing them soon, and they will appear before your eyes before too long.

December 05, 2007

Dearly Beloved….

We are gathered here to mourn the passing of November. It died silently in the passing of night, and we shall miss it dearly.

I have little excuse for this. All I did was do a show or two and some essays. I'll try and keep this blog for the winter.

Here's some of the stuff I did in November for ICW. To start with, a malediction or cursing poem.


Most would be content

To live at peace, in ease

Of simple pleasures,

Never striving or demanding

How others should act.

Not you.

You would measure virtue with a ruler,

Say, ‘Here you miss the mark,

There you need more effort.

You lack the precision needed.

Try again with more passion.”

But who are you?

Who gives you right to command

With no franchise in yourself?

Why not measure yourself with your

Harsh rule?

What punishment could serve you, toad?

The proscriber should be neatened:

Extremities removed. Fingers and toes,

Then hands and feet.

To pin your arms up, people would say

‘Such a right angle! Set that square!’

And plant a compass in your heart.

But to correct your gluttony?

Maybe it’s fitter to choke on excess

Let your pleasure become your gag

Of heavy bondage.

No: to be stretched and torn in two

Is the fate of a hypocrite like you.

Ok, there's that one done. The second half of that assignment was to read this poem again and write its antonymic equivalent, blessing someone. It wasn't my best work, but if there's room in someone's heart for this, enjoy.


Some can’t be usurous:

To die in war, in spite

To knowing hardships?

Always yielding or bending –

‘Why are you idle?’

- Are they.

You don’t value sin on the Bible,

Ask ‘Where do they gain a loss

Where they want less slack?’

You have a faith, desired,

Won. Never without some reason.

But who are you?

What steals their wrongs of conquest

By one poverty of their souls?

How can you love others at one

Sweet whim?

Why do I demand much less

If you achieve charity?

Which blessing would be unfit from them, dear?

A liberator must be freed.

The innermost gained, heart and mind,

Then grasp and soul.

To pull their legs down, I would ask

What’s this wronged, smooth flow, this circle

Or seed? A compass in your heart.

And from sancitons, their charity?

Certainly that’s excess: from breath of poverty

Deny their penance, being their voice

For light relief.

Yes: to be loosed and saved as whole

Will be a blessing by this saint of all.

I know that it is not a masterpiece. No hating please, just submitting what I came up with.

Working on some projects at the moment. One of them a Cassandra project I may have mentioned before, the other is just the editing of a previously written story.

Will talk later.

November 03, 2007

Back again with more poetry

Horrid little blog, but I intend to keep it. It's so easy to let such a thing slip, especially when people demand that you do such awful things as 'work' and 'socials'. It would be better for the sake of the blog to become a sociopath. Alas, I would lose contact with my readership, the world and food. I could live without the world, but food is necessary. As is readership. Please keep reading, I will try to be faithful to you.

Here is some poetry that I wrote for the sake of it. I liked playing around with the associations we make with nature.

I asked the willow

  (whose form was steeped

   In form of sleep)

Why did she cry at the water’s edge.

She replied,

  ‘Forgive me if you thought I cried,

  I am bent from laughing

  Which, like sorrow, leaves you spent

  Of energy.’

So I left her by the river side

   With mirth. But had she cried?

  Can it be that trees can lie?

Now for the week's assignments that I failed to put up. Sorry for the wait.

The first two are from the perspective of someone very small looking at something that appears massive to them. I wrote the first about something organic, the other about an inorganic.


Such mighty trunks

Great trunks

That reach out

Into the greater world.

Befuzzled arms

Such as you can grab,

With branches and boughs

Dark deep-rooted green.

A forest of befuzzled arms,

That reach out

(like me)

To the outer world.

Red Planet

Stretching out

Out out

This way that way

This way to eternity

That way to eternity

But less of an eternity

Much less of an eternity

Than the other one

But outstretching eternity

But moulded in a way

The green walls the hang

On the edges, high and green

Yet not as high as the sky

The ground beneath my feet pocked

There is a great white blob

Turned grey and printed with

The great meteor from above

That shoots down.

Here is the great mass monster

Behemoth that walks walks walks

Shining green backed with black shell

It might not recognise you

Hope it doesn’t

Look at it waddle

Slothlike rapidity

Then watch the stones

Set in stone, the whites

Whites but mostly greys

And darker, but not black

Not black by a long way

Not in traditional forms that tower

But the sharp forms beneath your feet

The feet that walk on eternity.

Finally, something written by someone who is massive, seeing a gigantic thing as small. I wrote this in the style of one half of a phone chat. Enjoy.


It’s just a little thing I foun.

Oh, nothing special.

It fits on the end of your finger.

No, it doesn’t bite.

I don’t know: not exactly pretty.

Small doesn’t mean cute.

Kinda sparkly, I guess.

Not shiny, just sparkly.

And it’s warm, too. Not hot, not cold.


I don’t know either. Maybe the sparkles do it.

Lots. I can’t really count them all.

They’re dots. If you lean in close, you can see them.

It’s not just sparkles. There are other things.

Rocks. Grains.

Fine then. I won’t let you see it.

Just kidding.

Like what?

No, no people.

Cause I’d be able to see them.

What, small people on grains?

Well, so am I.

I’d like to believe in candy rainbows, but I haven’t seen any of those.

Come aruond later, you can look for them yourself.

Ok, see you next week. Then you can look at

That little blob of space.

That's it for the moment. Aside from the assignments given for reading week, I'm working on a prequel to Aeschylus' Agamemnon that examines the departure of the Greeks with Cassandra in tow. You see, I'm one of the people who felt that Cassandra is a great character to examine, and that Aeschylus really touched only the surface of her story, one which I feel complex and worth investigating. Plus, I'll be able to write some feminist style rants about the unyielding dominance of men in Greek tragedy. Stay tuned, the intro is coming well and may be displayed for ridicule soon.


October 28, 2007

October Haikus

Hello again.

Here are some haikus that I have written for this week's assignment. Although they aren't fantastic, I feel they capture some moments in time.

Honey is wounded

But will regain its old shape.

Flesh sweetens lemon.

Autumn seeps through cracks.

The ochre leaves fall wanton.

Shut the window now.

Chocolate proem:

It melts on the tongue for all

In every season.

The last bus from Leam.

My head is throbbing dullness.

Autumn winds cool it.

In addition to this, we were asked to write some modern haikus, so I played around with the form a bit here. I have also included a nonsense haiku, a la Jabberwocky.

He/she/it/they is/are seeing/sleeping/dreaming/holding/grasping/clutching this:

Winter/Autumn/Summer in its glorified/splendourous/villainous/sarcastic/scandalous

Reign over/under the strong/mild/boy/girl/child.

Broon high with the splodge-

The middle of Gloon is harsh

When spitoons hide cabbage.

That's it for the moment, but I hope to put the rest of this week's assignments up tomorrow.


October 22, 2007

Two Poems: Crass and The Ballad of Old Tom and Bobby Joe


Sorry for my absence. Due to performing in the MTW Weekend Show here at Warwick, I have neglected the blog a little. To make up for it, here are two genuinely new poems.

  Crass is a replay of last week's word break down assignment, Wealth. Apparently it wasn't as fantastic as I thought it was, due to the fact that others may have touched on the same idea and written it better. However, it was a pleasant experience to write it, and I wouldn't change it for that reason. So here is a new poem, with more of the edge that was expected.



ah rass

what the hell

are you between your letters,

between the CRAcks in your ASS?

don't give me sass

just the answer


can rats allow such sarky

sloppy speech and rude cuts

to turn the butts

of jokes to crud?

angry enough

to shit bulls

and cruder

than oil.

crass, what are you, ass?

too bored to speak again.

Another poem in the bank. Now for this week's assignment.

A ballad about two idiots / artists discovering the world in a new way. I had a bit of fun with this one. I hope you do too. Cause I looked up ballad in the OED.

{dag}3. A popular song; often spec. one celebrating or scurrilously attacking persons or institutions.

Intruiged by the word scurrilously, I looked it up.

‘Using such language as only the licence of a buffoon can warrant’ (J.); characterized by coarseness or indecency of language, esp. in jesting and invective; coarsely opprobrious or jocular.

With that, I let loose a bit. Here is the babble that resulted, containing dubious images. It may make you laugh. It may make you cry. It may result in my untimely death. Enjoy.

Ballad of Old Tom and Bobby Joe

Well, Old Tom was a secret surrealist,

And so was his friend Bobby Joe,

And they had been living together

Since the time they destroyed Fabio.

But one day they saw the sun sparkle,

And screamed, ‘Argh, the light’s in my eyes!’

They wrote the sensation on old sugar paper

And wore it on their naked thighs.

Who let these assholes into the street,

And who taught them idiocy?

No one gave a shit ’bout the crimes they commit,

And the government let them go free.

Old Tom reached out for his cell phone,

Bobby Joe said ‘Put down that device,

Or your brains overload and make you explode

For that is the phone pixie’s price!’

Now Old Tom threw that phone out the window

And the handset flew way out of sight,

And set off their new neighbour’s car alarm.

Then Old Tom said, ‘By God, you’re right!’

Who let these assholes into the street,

And whotaught them idiocy?

No one gave a shit ’bout the crimes they commit,

And the government let them go free.

Then Bobby Joe looked at a table,

And asked Tom, ‘What happened to it?’

And Old Tom replied in a deep baritone,

‘Would you like to hear ’bout this shit?’

Those great pairs of legs were a-wand’ring,

And running all over the town,

Till one of them genius carpenters

Got this big plank to weigh the legs down.

Who let these assholes into the street,

And who taught them idiocy?

No one gave a shit ’bout the crimes they commit,

And the government let them go free.

Bobby Joe said, ‘Something’s in my underwear,

And I just don’t know what to do!’

Then Old Tom looked down and said, ‘Partner,

I think that I may have one too.’

Then they both laughed out in wonderment

And pulled down their pants to compare.

And they fiddled around, and the stuff that came out,

They used it to rub in their hair.

Who let these assholes into the street,

And who taught them idiocy?

No one gave a shit ’bout the crimes they commit,

And the government let them go free.

So happy were they in discovering,

They decided to play show and tell.

They rubbed themselves over womenfolk

And those women didn’t take it too well.

Old Tom and Joe are in jail now,

In a couple of months they’ll go free.

Their attorney was paid by the land they betrayed

Who plead for their insanity.

Who let these assholes into the street,

And who taught them idiocy?

No one gave a shit ’bout the crimes they commit,

And the government let them go free.

Done. Come back later for more.

October 16, 2007

Epic Poetry: 'Somewhat Epic' or the 'Tescoliad'

Hello people of the outside world.

After much anticipation (mostly my own), I have finished my first epic poem of great deeds done by men. It is not perfect by a long shot, but it makes me giggle, and I hope you enjoy it. I drew on my experience with Epic Tradition last year and came up with this idea over the last few days. It is excessively long, I know, but enjoy it anyways!

Somewhat Epic

  Sing, O Muse Calliope, of the journey, the trials and homecoming of the heroes of the Achaian host as they ransacked Tesco. Speak first of what became of the hoard of Argos.

  Great Agamemnon, shepherd of men, did rise one morning like shining Apollo from the sea and, feeling hungry, did inspect his fridge. But as a warrior who, conquering a foreign citadel with walls steep and after many years of arduous battle, finds the city he now possesses to be populated by old women past the flowers of their shining youth and the vaults of bounteous gold are left empty, so Agamemnon did find the fridge devoid of nourishing food. As quick Panic instilled great worry and doubt within his heart, the son of Atreus did check the freezer, yet that did not yield a golden fish finger, not even an ice cube. Heavy despair did strike Agamemnon in his heart and he dropped to the kitchen floor, rolling and rending his hair.

  He spoke winged words to no one in particular. ‘O this is the greatest tragedy to strike the house of Atreides! If I, a king of Argos, were made poor in glory lost or my fast ships taken by Poseidon, the shaker of earth, I would give it no mind. If I was left wanting gold after ransoming the whole of my host, I could quench that loss as a shepherd douses a smoldering flame. But this is beyond a king of men, and the gods do torment me! O Zeus of the aegis, grant me succour and I shall devote a ham and cheese sandwich to you at your temple.’

  But the Olympian did not hear the prayer of great Agamemnon of the shining helm. He had already eaten, and cheese gave him the awful wind and sweaty cheeks. Plus, he did have his hands full, what with every woman, man and animal he had had an affair with during his immortal life at loggerheads with one another. So Zeus of the dark brow did ignore Agamemnon, and waited for it to be Someone Else’s Problem.

  And so like an infant in need of its mother’s breast, Agamemnon did continue to wail, until Odysseus, sacker of cities, Diomedes and swift footed Achilleus were woken by the clamour, and minced into the kitchen. Odysseus of the many plans spoke winged words to Agamemnon, ‘What ails the Atreides? Do you want for glory and fame? In that, no one can contest with you. And the golden wealth of foreign lands is in your keeping. Does some god afflict you with hardship? Tell us, for even the gods, save cruel Hades, yield when men are suppliant to them.’

  In return, Agamemnon did say, ‘O calamity! There are no other pains but that the stores are empty, and that no man may eat his share or sip sweet wine.’

  At this, Achilleus was enflamed and burned with rage. ‘Is the greed of the Atreides endless, like ravenous Charybdis? I, Achilleus, have provided for Agamemnon when there has been little to profit myself. When you, Agamemnon, were in want of succour, I did provide bacon for your fry-up, yes, though my stocks did run low and I received no reward for myself.’

  Speak Muse, what thoughts did Diomedes keep within his breast? During this, Diomedes did remain silent in reflection of Achilleus’ anger, for he did know that, in the dead of night before Artemis’ countenance, Diomedes had stolen into the kitchen and eaten of Achilleus’ fat sausages and Odysseus’ flame grilled steaks. Yet he felt it best to retain this information within himself and not stir up the flames as a kiln owner does when making a large amphora.

  And Achilleus might have been overtaken by rage and harmed Agamemnon, or burst into tears and phoned his mum as was his wont, had not crafty Odysseus stayed him and reprimanded him. Odysseus said, ‘Hush! Have you not sworn brotherhood to Agamemnon? Zeus the negotiator looks harshly on those who renege on oaths made. Agamemnon of the shining helm respects promises and returns bounteous prizes to those who aid him. And Agamemnon, you are not one to turn woman, a leader in battle whose courage is undisputed. Do you not remember the words of wise Nestor, he who talks others to death? A few weeks hence, he did say, “Achaian men, when you are in want of food and drink, and your comestibles do run low, yes, even the day glow washing up liquid, these men must journey to other lands and, as the Olympian did coin himself children, so must man pay for his welfare. Whilst others may steal from the fridges of friends and abuse the rights of the suppliant, such as men are now, true Achaians do travel to Tesco, where all is available to those of status.” That was the gist of what Nestor said.’

  The heart of Agamemnon was swayed. ‘I apologise, noble men: I was taken by Ate. Now I’ve regained my cool, let us raid Tesco for the delights of men! And I shall throw such a party, that men to come in later days shall say, “That was one hell of a party, and Agamemnon and his comrades threw it.”’

And so they would have left then, had not Penelope caught Odysseus, halted him and addressed him. ‘Darling, such a man of cunning as could conquer cities and defeat a boar alone would not be taxed in fetching some simple commodities for a busy lover. For though I am but a woman, I yet have needs like men. I ask for you to pick up with your strong arms some shampoo, lasagna, this week’s Heat and some yoghurt, which will be chocolate for I have gone off cherry.’

As a man who, defying the Fates, discovers that his designs are fruitless and resigns himself to the will of the gods, so did Odysseus relinquish to Penelope and spoke to her in crushed words.

He said, ‘Alright.’

And so it came to pass that the men of Achaia did journey to Tesco.

Calliope, O Muse, tell us of the journey of the Achaian warriors to Tesco.

They did walk four abreast, like the great phallanx of an army, and did not take the bus, for to pay for the privilege to travel very slowly around the corner with many sweaty people was deemed unthinkable by crafty Odysseus, when a strong man can get there quicker on foot and spare his shining gold. And so the men did briskly walk to Tesco, with Agamemnon on the lookout for chavs.

Speak now of the joke of Diomedes.

Halfway through the journey, as Agamemnon and Achilleus did discuss the football and Odysseus noted the political debates of the week, Diomedes felt that he should contribute to the discussion. As club-footed Hephaestos was robbed of his iron will by Dionysos’ strong wine, so Diomedes was robbed of rational thought, and proceeded to tell a joke.

  What was the gist of the joke?

  There was no real punch line to be told, and it was no satyr play to entertain with mischance and bold humour, nor a divine comedy that Dionysos himself would commend when played in a grand theatre. It was a glorified penis joke, describing the actions of Dick and Fanny, Dick’s concubine.

  Is it repeatable, O Muse?

  I dare say not. It would waste time, for it was much more funny in the mind of Diomedes, addled by the spirit of Ate, for he did commit a crime against comedy. He tried to laugh it off, yet it was to no avail. Everyone was silent until they reached Tesco.

And what happened when they reached Tesco?

  All of them were overcome with awe within their breasts, and the shining halls of Tesco were so great in size that Achilleus did shed a tear in happiness.

  Agamemnon spoke in winged words, ‘O, this is the most happy day for all Achaian men, for the great automatic doors, O great design of Athena and man, have opened for us, and do continue to open and close for us. Now is the time for action! All men shall venerate the protection of Zeus the negotiator and Hermes, protector of all travellers.’ And to conclude his prayer, Agamemnon of the shining helm did pour libations and burn them in veneration of the gods.

  ‘Sandra, clean up at the magazine counter, please,’ spoke dull Tracy of the Customer Service desk, and all the men did hurry to their different errands.

  Odysseus, sacker of cities, did approach the magazines which do speak glorious tales with pictures and, with arms made strong by the gods and collected wits, did pick up a Heat magazine and drop it into his basket. He had remembered well the askings of Penelope and, using his manly knowledge, did think that he should be well rewarded in Penelope’s chamber that night. He would have left then, had he not spotted Agamemnon of the shining helm, swift footed Achilleus and strong Diomedes inspecting the magazines themselves, and so he did investigate and was deeply shocked.

  It was a copy of Nuts they did inspect, a magazine made glossy by manufacture and base by the focus group. It gave promise of many lewd enticements that snare men, such as ‘Big Boobs Edition’, ‘New Lesbian Photos’ and ‘Lucy Pinder Bares All’. On the cover were displayed many images of women, whose breasts were too large to be real, such as women are today, all naked with stars placed over their nipples enscribed with vulgar phrases like, ‘Censored!’ and ‘See More Inside!’

  Crafty Odysseus reprimanded them in winged words. ‘O brothers, why are you thus ensnared in the charms of Aphrodite, a cruel ruler of men who can’t control themselves? These women of lust are painted with insincerity. And as men know not when they are visited by gods, so these women will pay no heed to you.’

  Then did Diomedes speak. ‘Do not misunderstand us, Odysseus. We merely read it for the interesting true stories and amusing pictures, I say to you. It is the truth I tell.’ Yet Diomedes spoke in falsehood, for his face was red.

  Odysseus returned, ‘Diomedes, it is little else but glorified porn, and very bad porn at that reckoning. But if you must, have it, yet let it be known that I, Odysseus, shall not waste my gold on this and shall be paid back for it.’ At this, Diomedes put the magazine of lust into his basket.

  And what were the thoughts of Odysseus?

  In his head, Odysseus did think vile things of the baseness of his friends, and thought on how they could not be expected to solve a crossword meant for children. No, not even if they were to work together. And so Odysseus of the many designs did smirk but did not let it be shown outwardly.

Tell us now, O Muse, of the trials these warriors faced.

  The first was the trial of mince, for swift footed Achilleus did contest the manhood of Diomedes and spoke in winged words, ‘Why does Diomedes prefer lamb to beef? Is he bewildered by some god or spirit invisible to the eyes of men? Or has he turned woman, softening his wild tastes? Soon you shall be knitting like an old maid.’

  In response, Diomedes said, ‘It is not so! I do change my appetites for want of variety. You are one for talking of manhood: I ask of you why you spend so much of your time with Patroklos, and would you know of his manhood?’

  With great ire, Achilleus said, ‘It is not so! There is nothing but brotherly compassion between me and Patroklos!’ But as iron glows in a forge and becomes red, so did Achilleus face become red, and passing chavs did call him ‘gaylord’.

  And Achilleus would have smashed their faces in, had not Agamemnon of the shining helm said, ‘Achilleus, pay these churls no mind: the gods or police shall pick them up and punish them. And great Diomedes, do not descend into needless slanders for Rumour travels swiftly.’

  Next, the trial of Odysseus. He had found the mighty Heat magazine, as was foretold, and the frozen lasagna of which he found three, for great is the man with foresight who buys one for now and more for later. Yet he was beset with confusion as to the finding of shampoo. For as a shepherd who, having lost his flock in the wild and finds them mixed among those of his neighbours, so Odysseus, crafty though he was, could not discern which shampoo to choose. Like a hydra that grows new heads for each one rended, the shelves were stocked with many brands. Yet Odysseus was much loved by Pallas Athena, who descended and appeared before him in the countenance of Debbie, an assistant at Tesco, and asked of him, ‘Do you need help, sir?’

  Crafty Odysseus did recognise her and replied, ‘Yes, I am seeking aid. I look for shampoo for beautiful Penelope, a task at which I have no skill. If only Tritogenia, daughter of Zeus, was here, for she is kind and gracious to me.’

  At this, Athena revealed herself and grew larger. ‘I am she, and I repay those who do me service. Here, Odysseus, take this one.’ And with her dread power, she infused one bottle with menthol and eucalyptus, and strengthened the power of cleansing and volumising to that of a salon brand.

  ‘Thank you,’ spoke Odysseus, but realised that Athena was in waiting for tribute or payment. Odysseus was wise to the games of women, and knew that something was different about the goddess but not the nature of the change. He enquired, ‘Is that a new helmet, Athena?’

‘This is an old helmet,’ replied grey eyed Athena, ‘which I have worn since I was born, fully armed, from Zeus my father. So, no. Try again.’

  Then, as lightning strikes the tallest tree, Odysseus did realise the change in Athena, and said, ‘Ah, you have lost some weight and do look radiant.’

And though Athena was annoyed at Odysseus’ intial ignorance, the goddess did yield and not strike him down. Or so it would have been, had Odysseus not gone too far and did speak thoughtless words to Athena. ‘I do not mean you have turned anorexic,’ said Odysseus the not so crafty at this point, ‘No, you are not that thin. That is not to say that you are fat, for you are not as as fat as some goddesses. This isn’t because of the ride in Menelaos chariot, is it Athena? Because the cart is very old and creaks naturally-‘ But then Odysseus of the many designs did say no more, for like a blind man who stumbles in a cow field, he had trodden in a spot where few men wish to venture, and the dread goddess unleashed her fury.

  Then came the trial of beers. Agamemnon did find the crate of Carlsberg and did fetch a second, when Achilleus checked him, speaking winged words. ‘Stop greedy Agamemenon. Know your limits and do not strive towards excess!’ Agamemnon of the shining helm replied, ‘I do no such thing, and do maintain that a man who buys in bulk is wiser than he who would fear for his wallet. Besides, it is on special offer, and savings made can be used in other purchases.’ So spake Agamemnon and the second crate was added to the wire baskets.

  It was then that Odysseus returned, a shadow of his former self. As a pale ghost wanders the earth in search of succour and vengeance, so did Odysseus appear before his friends. Poor Odysseus was caked in foodstuffs flung by grey eyed Athena’s arm. Egg shells stuck to his hair and chocolate puddings and meringues adorned his body. The warriors asked him what had happened, but he did say, ‘It would be better not to say.’

  Then they did go to the checkout to consult Rose of the beeping desk. And what did she scan, O Muse?

  She did scan items too many for the telling, a feast of beef and lamb, of pizza and garlic bread with cheese, spaghetti, the dark barbecue sauce which men say goes with anything, curries, Odysseus’ lasagna, shampoo and the two magazines, and finally the crates of beer.

  Odysseus did speak to Rose the terminally bored, ‘I am Odysseus that was, who has lived for many years and bears many scars, most of them being mental scars. I have walked for what seems to be years, and suffered much by the gods I hold dear. I bring food for you scan for which I shall pay, for I have brought my shiny Tesco Clubcard.’

  And Rose did say, ‘Alright.’

  But while Rose did scan the mighty feast, strong Diomedes was disquieted, for he had seen the price of the beans he had picked. In his heart, he knew that he should have gone for the Tesco value beans, for they were bloody cheap at 9p a tin, yet he did go for the Heinz beans, which although they were as heavenly as the Olympiad ambrosia, they were much more expensive. He was shamed at his greed, yet now they had been scanned he had no courage within himself to recant and go for the cheaper beans. And so, like the silent dead he kept his peace.

  Soon the bounteous food was put into bags in sorting of rank and size. Diomedes was picked by lot to carry the eight bags of heavy shopping, which he did, lifting four bags in each hand, the sort of deed that requires four men today, such as men are. The journey was swift, for these men of Achaia knew that beneath the rays of Phoebus Apollo (he who strikes from afar) the frozen foods and meat would cook and be spoiled before they could prepare the feast. The gods made their limbs strong and made them walk fast, yet not too fast, for it is said that no man looks cool running unless they are in a movie and being chased by FBI men with guns made awesome.

  But Muse, please tell us quickly, what is the end of this tale?

  Agamemnon and his men did soon return to the kitchen in swift time and did offer the cold gifts to the fridge and freezer, where they did cool and did not go rank. Agamemnon did pay his libations to Boreas, whose northern winds do blow within the freezer, and all payed respects to Zeus the negotiator and Hermes, protector of all travellers, for the successful journey. All seemed well, and Achilleus did begin to prepare the feast so that all men may eat and none go without an equal share, but crafty Odysseus did collapse in despair. Odysseus of the many designs did realise at that point that he had forgotten the yoghurt of Penelope, and many important items of dire need. Furthermore, he would not know the delights of Penelope’s chamber, even though that was not part of beautiful Penelope’s bargain, and he most likely would not have gotten any at all. The fates had decreed that Odysseus would return to Tesco the next day, for no man is infallable unless he makes a shopping list.

That's it. Over. One more in the bank. Stick with me, please, for more is to come!

Signing out.

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