Recent Posts

29 November 2011

Chickens on bikes

Things like boiling water, lizard watching,
mosquito nets, thorns in my shoes, wearing
skirts and t-shirts all the time, waking at
five AM, seat feeling sweaty, hearing
spoken Swahili, admiring cornrows,
dirt tracks and colourful markets and snacks
that all seemed so new when I first arrived,
now just feel normal. Glass pop bottles, old
Tsh notes, mud brick houses, chickens on bikes,
Karibu, men at bus stations, heat, dust,
colourful buses and dala-dala
and colourful clothes, rice and beans, insect
repellant, hot showers heated by the sun,
watering the garden morning and night,
African singing, mangos and pawpaw,
taking antimalarials, buying
green vegetables for the girls low in 

iron, frogs, owls, feeding chickens … I got 
that challenged feeling again today,
of having practical skills to offer.

For those of you 

expecting a blog
on South Africa, 

well, what can I say?
They did show G.I. Jane 

twice in four days.

From the individual blog posts of a married couple, separated by 3,000 km in Africa: the first verse is from Sarah's blog post about her experiences in Tanzania, while Luke is working in Johannesburg, his article providing the last six lines. The marvellous decasyllabic rhythm has been maintained by the removal of four little words, and phrases in lines 15-16 have been swapped over. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

24 November 2011

I love you and I

I love you and I
will be screaming with my love
from San Jose.

Taken from an MSN conversation, 4th November 2011. Submitted by Devin.

22 November 2011

Plowing at high knottage

Plowing at high knottage
through time itself
even in stasis

Plowing temporally ahead

With time coming off him
like water in sprays and wakes.

From endnote 57 in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, (Little, Brown and Company, 1996). First published on Zach Higgins Is A Designer. Submitted by Zach Higgins.

17 November 2011

Soon enough came fearfulness

Once she was born
I was never not afraid:

afraid of swimming pools,
high-tension wires,
lye under the sink,
aspirin in the medicine cabinet…

rattlesnakes, riptides, landslides,
strangers who appeared at the door,
unexplained fevers, elevators without
operators and empty hotel corridors.

A paragraph in Joan Didion's Blue Nights, as quoted in the London Review of Books, 3rd November 2011. Submitted by Rishi Dastidar.

15 November 2011

God Bless America Yes I Believe

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Text picked from the front page of the website What Would Jesus Do? on 11 November 2011. Submitted by Lucie Shuker.

10 November 2011


I confess:

I have become 

a runner.

I go 




Like a 


Which is what 

I have become.

A running 


Forgive me.

Oh Christ.

Forgive me.

Taken from Charlie Brooker's Guardian column, 6th November 2011. Submitted by Ailsa Holland.

08 November 2011


Lynsey Peterson likes we want
a Scottish flag on Facebook.

Anna Hammond Сака ли некој
да одиме во парк денес?

Rebecca Grohl commented on her own 

status: Ich bin eigentlich ueberfluess…

Luke Southey is listening to 

Que Veux-Tu by Yell on Spotify. 

Clive Law commented on Peter Meadow's
status: I always put too much red wine…

Natalie Southey and Ruth Garcia-Lopez
are now friends.

Russell Goodwin OMG!

From my Facebook friends latest activity stream (or whatever that short update column on the right is called) on 17 October 2011. Exactly the order in which they appeared, names altered for privacy. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

03 November 2011

Slip in their veins

I started as a boy
straight from school
in nineteen fifty
and I enjoyed my
twenty five years here.

It was almost like
a home from home, really.

It was always said
that potters had
in their veins
instead of blood.

That’s what we were.
We were potters.

Terry Abbotts, former Royal Doulton worker, interview in the BBC4 programme Ceramics: A Fragile History. The Age of Wedgwood, first broadcast 17th October 2011. Submitted by Ailsa Holland.

01 November 2011

Never go to a horse race

Who loves a horse race?
Are not too many fond of it?
Does it not lead to many evils,
and to frequent ruin?
Never go to a horse race.

Mr. Mix had one child,
whom he called Irene;
he had also a good farm,
and some money.

He went to the races with his child,
dressed in black crape for the loss of her mother.
Here Mr. Mix drank freely,
and bet largely,
and lost all he was worth.

At night he went home a beggar;
took a dose of brandy,
and died before morning,
leaving his child a pennyless orphan.
Never go to a horse race.

From The Clinton Primer, 1830, via Futility Closet. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.