Recent Posts

18 April 2014

The corrugator supercilii

is a
small, narrow
pyramidal muscle

located at
the medial end
of the eyebrow.

Its fibers
pass upward
and laterally.

as the principal
muscle of suffering

the muscle is
sometimes severed
or paralyzed with

botulinium toxin
as treatment for migraine
or for aesthetic reasons.

From the Wikipedia entry for Corrugator supercilii muscle. Submitted by Dawn Corrigan.

16 April 2014

Supper preferences

When these birds move their wings in flight,
their strokes are slow, moderate and regular,
and even when at a considerable distance

or high above us, we plainly hear the quill-feathers,
their shafts and webs upon one another,
creak as the joints or

working of a vessel in a tempestuous sea.
We had this fowl dressed for supper
and it made excellent soup;

nevertheless as long as I can get any other
necessary food I shall prefer his
seraphic music in the ethereal skies.

William Bartram, in Travels Through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws. Spelling modernised. Submitted by Dawn Corrigan.

14 April 2014


About midnight, having fallen asleep,
I was awakened and greatly surprised

at finding most of my companions
up in arms, and furiously engaged

with a large alligator
but a few yards from me.

One of our company, it seems,
awoke in the night, and perceived

the monster within a few paces of the camp,
who giving the alarm to the rest,

they readily came to his assistance,
for it was a rare piece of sport;

some took fire-brands and cast them
at his head, whilst others formed javelins

of saplins, pointed and hardened with fire;
these they thrust down his throat

into his bowels, which caused the monster
to roar and bellow hideously, but his strength

and fury was so great that he easily wrenched
or twisted them out of their hands, which

he wielded and brandished about and kept
his enemies at distance for a time;

some were for putting an end to his life
and sufferings with a rifle ball, but

the majority thought this would too soon
deprive them of the diversion and pleasure

of exercising their various inventions
of torture; they at length however grew tired,

and agreed in one opinion, that he had suffered
sufficiently, and put an end to his existence.

Taken from Travels of William Bartram by William Bartram, published 1928. Submitted by Dawn Corrigan.

12 April 2014


The ocean is empty
again. Here and there

a small galaxy of scales
marks where a bluefin

swallowed a herring.
The victim's scales

swirl in the turbulence
of the departed

tuna now bearing off at
high speed. Then each vortex

slows and stops. The sinking
scales gleam like diamonds

from a spilled necklace
then they dim. Finally

they wink out at depth.

From Quicksilver, Kenneth Brower, March 2014, National Geographic. Submitted by James Brush.

11 April 2014

Cocoons: A Fibonacci Poem

becoming more
and more relaxed
with uncertainty, more and more
relaxed with groundlessness, more and more relaxed with

not having walls around us to keep us
protected in a little box
or cocoon.—Enlightenment
we do

From The Bearable Lightness of Being by Pema Chödrön, March 2014, Shambhala Sun. Submitted by Ali Znaidi.

07 April 2014

The Dilemma

Picture this.
A man spends a
long bus journey
groaning over a very full bladder.
The bus finally pulls into a station
for a brief stop
and the guy rushes out,
leaving his bag on board.

But there’s a problem:
all the toilets are closed.
He runs around,
one muscle-twitch
away from humiliation,
looking for someone to open them.

Then, out of the corner of his eye,
he sees the bus pulling away,
with his possessions.

It’s a dilemma worthy
(well, almost)
of Hamlet:
to pee or not to pee?

Taken from 'Stage Struck: Frankly, my dear, you gotta make ’em give a damn' in The Irish Times, 3 April 2014. Submitted by Taidgh Lynch.

04 April 2014

Do You Have?

week one:
pattern for knitted
swimming trunks
will pay postage

week two:
Record by The Turtles
She’s Rather Be With Me
willing to pay all costs

week three:
Eye needed for an emu
(Rod Hull’s 70cm/27 1/2 in puppet).
Will pay costs

week four:
knitting pattern for a
lady’s jumper with a
blue and white Chinese
willow pattern on the front

week five:
Aretha Franklin CD
or cassette, The First Time
Ever I Saw Your Face.
will pay all costs.

week six:
Microwave Cookery Books
Will pay postage.

week seven:
Manual or photocopy
for a Sharp QL310
portable memory display
typewriter. Will pay costs.

week eight:
Instructions for a sony
ericksson K7001 mobile
phone. will pay costs

week nine:
Copy of the late Steve Conway’s song,
My Thanks To You.
Will reply to all letters.
Will pay postage and expenses.

week ten:
Hayne’s Ford Focus
LX 2011 car manual.
Will pay costs.

week eleven:
Knitting pattern for
anything using two odd
pins, one small and one
large. Will pay any costs.

week twelve:
DVD of the film, The
Merry Widow.

Adverts from the 'Do You Have?' page of Yours magazine, various issues spring 2012. Submitted by Anna Percy.

02 April 2014

Window in the House of Mirrors, Market Street, 1889

At the top
is a clear-eyed maiden
whose lips smile joy.
and to the left, framed
in long hair
is a horribly sensuous face,
eye closed in a leer
thick slobbering lips.

Next, is the stupid fat face
of a glutton. Then comes
the hard cold face
of a woman not much
older than the young girl above,
the fifth
face. In the narrow
ell of the house,
behind her is that embittered
old man with cruel eyes,
his hairy moustache
cushioning bulbous jaws.

A description from a file in Denver Public Library of stone carvings on an old Colorado brothel. Via Soiled Doves: Prostitution in the Early West by Anne Seagraves (1994, Wesanne Publications). 'Cushioned' changed to 'cushioning'. Submitted by Angela Readman.

31 March 2014

Wardrobe Mistress

My mother is ninety and likes
To wear a nice dress.
But she is tiny.

Size ten, and only five feet tall, she likes
Colour, nothing too clingy.
And needs a collar.

She would also like some nonslip
Ankle boots that are
Size four and a half.

Please help.

Nobody seems to cater for
Small, slim people of a certain age
Who are not terrifically flexible.

Do not want low necklines.
Do not like black and beige.

Taken from the "Wardrobe Mistress" column in the Sunday Times' Style Magazine, 29 September 2013. Submitted by Kirsten Luckens.

28 March 2014

Wood Green chopping city

I've shown you how to chip,
I've shown you how to chop,
I've shown you how to dice and slice.

These sad people who spend
all their time chopping stuff up
in the kitchen - all you need's just
three cuts across like this.
You won't find an onion chopper any quicker!

They're not cheap.
If you're looking for cheap stuff getahtofere.
I've been using this same machine
on my demonstrations for fifteen years.

And you get a free spirally cutter, look -
you can use the peel for earrings.
There's a booklet with both words and pictures
so if you can't read the words, just look at the pictures.

They're £24.95 on TV,
so you're saving almost a fiver.
If you can't afford it today,
stick to the knife,
don't bother me,
Not bein' rude,
but I don't have to live in your house.

The patter of a cockney guy demonstrating an elaborate kitchen vegetable cutting machine in Wood Green Shopping City, London, 2004. Submitted by Richard Tyrone Jones.

24 March 2014

Scientific American

You sink into their brains
a little socket with a screw on it
and the electrode can then
be screwed deeper and deeper
into the brainstem,

and you can test at any moment
according to the depth,
which goes at fractions of the mm,
what you're stimulating,

and these creatures are not
merely stimulated by wire,
they're fitted with a miniature
radio receiver so that they can be
communicated with at a distance.

The technique is very ingenious.
I mean you could press a button
and a sleeping chicken would jump up
and run about, or an active chicken

would suddenly sit down and go to sleep,
or a hen would sit down and act
like she's hatching out an egg,
or a fighting rooster would go into depression.

Taken from Aldous Huxley's speech "The Ultimate Revolution", given on 20th March 1962 at Berkeley Language Center. Submitted by Howie Good.

20 March 2014

Buddhist bullseye

The look of
the moment
Infinity scarves

Sign in the Juniors department of Target, 1 March 2014. Submitted by J.R. Solonche.