Recent Posts

29 March 2012

A piece of tree bark

Half way through the night,
as recurring twinges of cramp keep me
padding off to the
I experience a quite
irrational fear of
being in the same room as a piece of

Taken from Pole to Pole: with Michael Palin, first published in 1992. Submitted by Lauren.

27 March 2012

Breaking up

What am I supposed
to do now? I've got your face
tattooed on my arm.

From a most incredible exchange on Facebook, in which a young man finds out that his girlfriend of one week has had his face inked permanently on her body. Sadly, for us, a hoax. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

22 March 2012

Groceries or pizza?

pizza is just an easy fix
for a temporary solution

A friend's facebook response to a shopping dilemma on March 1st 2012. Submitted by Rachel Helen Smith.

20 March 2012

The moderate Finnish sauna

You should not slap
your neighbours without asking
their permission first.

The sauna is dear to me, almost sacred.
My father was born in one,
and his dying wish was to bathe 

in a sauna one last time.

Summer is the best time to go.
Strike a match, hear
the crackling of dry birch wood
as it is engulfed by the greedy flames,
then sit down on the steps
to ponder the ways of the world
and wait for the sauna to warm up.

Your body sighs with relief when the first
ladleful of water hits the sizzling stove.
The experience is topped off with a dive
into a pure, clear lake.
What else does a human being need?

Both the senryu and main poem are from a piece about saunas by Olli Rehn, the European Commissioner in charge of the Eurozone crisis. Omitted: 'to the sauna' (line 5) and 'sauna' (lines 9 & 14). Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

15 March 2012

Simon and Ruth

At first, Ruth was a bit put off
by the fact that Simon turned up in a car
with every imaginable gadget:
I wasn't used to flash cars, she says.

Then, on a day out to the beach,
Simon messed up Ruth's kite.
He got all the lines tangled
so I didn't use it again, says Ruth,

who had, however, noticed
that Simon was very polite.

Taken from the Announcements, Marriages and Engagements section of The Times on 18 February 2012 (Simon and Ruth are to be married on 22 June 2012). Submitted by Thom.

13 March 2012

I am not even faintly like a rose

I am not even faintly like a rose.
I wasn’t even vaguely engaged.
I have been drunk just twice in my life.
I was standing beside his bed.
I was lying half asleep in the cold lower level
of the Pennsylvania Station.
I had been actually invited.
Most of the time I worked.
I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes.
I wasn’t actually in love.
I felt a sort of tender curiosity.
I am one of the few honest people
that I have ever known.
I was more annoyed than interested.
I don’t believe they heard a sound.
I stayed late that night.
I was reminded of something.
I wanted to get up and slap him on the back.
I was tempted to laugh whenever he opened his mouth.
I just remembered that today’s my birthday.
I was feeling a little sick and
I wanted to be alone.
I walked away and left him standing there.
I couldn’t sleep all night.
I didn’t want to go to the city.
I thanked him for his hospitality.
I wanted to get somebody for him.
I’m five years too old to lie to myself
and call it honor.
I turned away.
I went over.
I erased it.
There was nothing I could say.
I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world.

Nick Carraway's confessions, in chronological order as they appear in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1924). Submitted by Gary.

10 March 2012

Personal longings




The digital display board of a Thames Express train from Oxford to London, some time around 1995. The first three character spaces were hidden from view. Submitted by Dan B.

08 March 2012


Rain makes for mood of
sadness. I wish for sunny
days for all. My fans.

A tweet by Tommy Wiseau on 4th January, 2012. Submitted by Marika Rose.

06 March 2012

Communiqué from an absent future

We work and we borrow
in order to work and to borrow.

And the jobs we work toward
are the jobs we already have.

Lines from the we want everything blog – critical theory and content from the nascent California student occupation movement. Submitted by Rishi Dastidar.

01 March 2012

Confessions of a Designer

Just because you think
you can use photoshop does
not mean that you should.

One of a series of posters by designer Anneke Short, found on Designer's Block on 27 January, 2012. Submitted by Marika Rose.