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30 September 2010

The morning question

The morning question,
What good shall I do this day?

Rise, wash, and address
Powerful Goodness;
contrive day's business,
and take the resolution of the day;
prosecute the present study;
and breakfast.


Read, or overlook my
accounts, and dine.


Put things in their places,
supper, music or diversion,
or conversation;
examination of the day.

Evening question,
What good have I done today?


Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule, from his autobiography which was written between 1771 and 1790. Submitted By Rishi Dastidar

29 September 2010

To Poetry

Poetry is dead –
Poetry is like –
Poetry is what gets lost

in translation.

Poetry is everywhere –
Poetry is emotion
recollected in tranquility.

Poetry is to prose
as dancing is to walking,
poetry is not a luxury

Audre Lorde.

Poetry is the synthesis
of hyacinths and biscuits,
poetry is not a luxury–

Poetry is not a project.

The auto-complete suggestions from Google (UK) for the search term 'poetry is'. Yes we have done this before. Capitalisation and punctuation added. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

23 September 2010

Where's Warner?

Where to begin? Top left corner.
Hidden somewhere in this noisy,
chaotic morass of society
is our fellow traveller, Waldo,
a man unstuck from place and time.

He travels the world on foot, his
only lifeline to his friends and
family a litany of dreary
picture postcards sent from arbitrary
locations the world over. His
postcards do nothing to convey
the humanity, the madness
of Waldo's adventures. For that,
we must go find him. Waldo leaves
trinkets scattered behind him, shedding
a wake of objects as he goes.
What story do these leavings tell?
They are a series of transmissions
from the past, sent in a code we
cannot decipher. Is that a
scroll, or merely a rolled up towel?
After trying so hard to find
the scroll, are we sure we can handle
the real answer?

Occasionally, Waldo is all
but impossible to ferret
out; sometimes it seems like he's barely
trying. At the ski slopes, I find
him almost immediately. At the
sea, I hunt until I am mad,
yet Waldo does not reveal himself
to me. Oh, there he is. Hello,
my little friend. Wait a moment.
Who is that man with the beard? I
have seen him before. Is he pursuing
Waldo from place to place, country to
country? Someone must warn our hero.

What is everyone so preoccupied
with at the airport that they miss
the man of the hour right before
them? Perhaps they are experiencing
a collective nightmare of
impending disaster. Who is
Waldo's pursuer meeting with
at the museum? If only
I could warn Waldo of this conspiracy.
His naϊveté will be his
undoing, as it will be for
each of us in turn.

Why all this travel? We search for
Waldo; but what is Waldo searching
for? Perhaps he is not searching
at all, but running from something.
Does this man even want to be
found? Or, in searching for Waldo,
did we really find ourselves? No,
probably not.

From Warner Herzog Reads Where's Waldo, 22 April 2010. Submitted by Marika Rose.

21 September 2010


Freelancing means walking from the West Village
to the Upper East Side and back because
you don’t have enough money for the subway.
Freelancing means being so poor and so hungry
for so long that you “eat” a bowl of soup
that’s just hot water, crushed-up multivitamins
and half your spice rack (mostly garlic salt).
Freelancing is being woken up on a Monday
at eight a.m. by an editor who
gives you the following assignment: “Put
together everything interesting about
all the city’s airports by Friday,”
doing it, and then not getting credit
when it runs … as an infographic.
Freelancing is having your mother send
you a book called $ix-Figure Freelancing
which lists as helpful resources, on page
one nine eight, the dictionary, thesaurus,
and Freelancing means your editor
will reject your pitch and then, seven months later,
run the story you pitched—with the same language
as your pitch—and then have it submitted
for a National Magazine Award.
Freelancing is having an editor tell you
that he really loves the story you’ve filed
and wouldn’t change anything, and in fact
suggests you expand upon the characters
a bit—and also cut the story in half.
Freelancing means having to chase down checks
every time, even when that means waiting
two years for one thousand dollars. It means
having stories killed and being told that the
editor-in-chief gave no reason, but
that the same editor would love to work
with you some more.

From 'Seven Years as a Freelance Writer, or, How to Make Vitamin Soup' published in The Awl, 2 August 2010. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

16 September 2010

Not a Tame Lion

Supposing there were other worlds,
and if one of them was like Narnia –
and if it needed saving –
and if Christ went to save it
as He came to save us –
let’s imagine what shape and name
He might have taken there.
And the answer was Aslan.

From a letter by author C.S. Lewis to a fan 12th February 1958, reproduced on Letters of Note. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

14 September 2010

For Love

It is a restless moment
She has kept her head lowered,
To give him a chance to come close.
But he could not, for lack of courage,
She turns and walks away.

He remembers those vanished years.
As though looking through a dusty windowpane,
The past is something he could see, but not touch.
And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct.

The subtitle translations of the text at the beginning and end of the Hong Kong film In the Mood for Love, directed by Kar Wai Wong, 2000. Submitted by Marika Rose.

10 September 2010


All I can do is
tell the truth. No that isn't
so – I have missed it.

There is no truth that
in passing through awareness
does not lie.

But one runs after it all the same.

Spotted in the preface to The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis by Jacques Lacan. Submitted by Marika Rose.

07 September 2010


Our chimney fell into the garage 

and killed a bike if it had have fallen
the other way it would have killed Daisy
and Rod. Happy fathers day I guess. 

We were wide awake when the quake struck. 

The house started to shake gently at first
then more violently so standing or walking 

was out of the question. It seemed to last 
for ever.
The noise was like a freight train
but no coming and going just right next to you
all the time. We gathered the kids up
and made a run for the ground floor 

and the kitchen table. Rod was scared for most
of the day; very jittery, very angry.

I walked around on Saturday like a zombie. 

Seemed that everything was the same yet different. 

Small cracks in pavement, large ones near the river 

which had changed from clear to milk. 

We went upstairs and a corner of the house
is down a slope from the hall. The foundations 

slipped into the liquefied sand underneath. 

The house is safe, luckily.

Out of an email from a friend who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, following the earthquake that struck there in the early hours of Saturday 4 September 2010. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

02 September 2010

Legendary Tales of Your Sausage

Get a longer and more robust pole,
Grow your organ into a monster.
Big d1cks get all the chicks;
Your long and hard rod will please her.

Get more length, girth and hardness,
Impress your huge size on her;
Make your underpants bulge today,
Give her the best experience ever.

Better sex with organ pills:
You will reach far deeper inside her.
Bang her till she passes out,
Bang her longer and harder.

Surprise everyone with your increased length,
Cumming has never been stronger.
Be the man every woman desires:
This will make you longer.

Subject lines picked from my Gmail spam folder in the last 10 days, including the title. What happened to all the innocent spam? Submitted by Gabriel Smy.