Recent Posts

30 August 2011

On the accidental death of Frank O'Hara

Dear Ketchuplover,

well, these freaky things happen.
Poets have had more
ridiculous deaths than that.

We urge you not to blame anyone.
We are sure Mr. O'Hara was
humongously drunk on that evening.

But it was definitely a big loss.

From a comment by user revistamododeusar on the YouTube video of Frank O'Hara reading one of his poems. Submitted by Rishi Dastidar.

25 August 2011

Of godly life and sound learning

Totter legged and pilled priest; stinking
knave priest; scurvy, stinking, shitten boy;
Polled, scurvy, forward, wrangling priest;
Runagately rogue; prick-eared rogue;
Drunken-faced knave; copper-nose priest;
Wrangler and prattler; Scottish jack;
Jack sauce and Welsh rogue; black-coat knave.

Insults suffered by members of the clergy in 16th and 17th century Britain, taken from a review of The Plain Man’s Pathways to Heaven: Kinds of Christianity in Post-Reformation England, 1570-1640 by Christopher Haigh. Submitted by Marika Rose.

23 August 2011


It's got a big yellow dog,
sharks, a dead dugong,
attracted millions of viewers
on YouTube and you couldn't
make it up.

From the Reuters story about a recent viral YouTube clip, Dog Bites Shark. Submitted by Christian.

18 August 2011

Clothes make the man

Naked people have
little or no influence
on society.

Mark Twain, quoted in 'High and Mighty' shop window in Newcastle, spotted 18 August 2011. A perfect senryu. Submitted by Marika Rose.

16 August 2011

Don't cry for me Vancouver

This is not us
Born and bred in Vancouver
Remember this, the morning after

Why did you trash my downtown backyard?
Such a beautiful city
Destroyed by such a few

Shame shame, double shame
Where does this anger and hate come from?
A riot in the city of love

We are so much more than this
These are not the fans we need or deserve
I wish we could have been better

When you talk about destruction
You know you can count me out

You will pay, somewhere, somehow

The city belongs to us
The people whose words are on the walls
I am proud to walk around the morning after

And see everybody clean
What a few people destroyed
Love can save us, only love

Vancouver sigue de pie
Te amo hermosa cuidad
Better luck next year boys

A compilation of phrases written spontaneously on window boarding by Vancouverites who were cleaning up after the Stanley cup riot on 15 June 2011. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

09 August 2011

The Sample

I want a specimen of your urine.
I have my own syringe.

I had a suckling brother,
who died at the most tender age.
The beast had a human body,
the feet of a buck, and
a horn on its head.
The corpse will be taken to Tonga.

Because I was out buying a pair of wooden shoes,
I had yams and fish for two days,
and then I ate fern roots.
At what time were these branches
eaten by the rhinoceros?

I don't play the violin, but I love cheese.

'Useless phrases drawn from actual phrasebooks by Swedish linguist Mikael Parkvall, from Limits of Language, 2006,' from Futility Closet. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

04 August 2011

Full of dead men's bones

All your talk
about freedom and democracy
is sheer claptrap,
parrot phrases,
fashionable twaddle,
or hypocrisy.
It is just a painted signboard.

And you yourselves are
whited sepulchres. You
are mean-spirited boors,
and your education, culture,
and enlightenment are
only a species of
thoroughgoing prostitution.

A quotation from Lenin's Collected Works, found at Stalin's Moustache. Submitted by Marika Rose.

02 August 2011

Hamlet R.I.P.

Hamlet was a young man very nervous.
He was always dressed in black because his
uncle had killed his father, shooting him
in his ear. He could not go to the
theatre because his father was dead
so he had the actors come to his house
and play in the front parlor and he learned
them to say the words because he thought he
knew best how to say them. And then he thought
he’d kill the king but he didn’t. Hamlet
liked Ophelia. He thought she was a
very nice girl but didn’t marry her
because she was going to be a nunnery.
Hamlet went to England but he did not
like it very much so he came home. Then
he jumped into Ophelia’s grave and
fought a duel with her brother. Then he died.

From 'English as She Is Taught: Genuine Answers to Examination Questions in Our Public Schools, 1887,' as featured on Futility Closet. 'By' removed from line 3 and 'he' from line 12 to keep the decasyllabic pattern. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.