Friday, 30 September 2011

Par Cark

Multi-Storey Car Park sings a medley of 1980s New Romantic hits. No-one dances to Multi-Storey Car Park. Multi-Storey Car Park becomes self-aware and realizes that no-one wants to dance to a medley of 1980s New Romantic hits.
            Self-Aware Multi-Storey Car Park travels through time on the back of a first class Island of the Sun. Self-Aware Multi-Storey Car Parks lands in 1987 and sings a melody of Britpop hits from the 1990s. No-one dances to Self-Aware Multi-Storey Car Park. Self-aware Multi-Storey Car Park realizes that no-one wants to dance to tunes which have not yet been written.
            Temporally-Displaced Self-Aware Multi-Storey Car Park realizes that sooner or later its name is going to become too unwieldy and it will have to stop experiencing life-changing events or suffer the consequences.
            Temporally-Displaced Self-Aware Multi-Storey Car Park Who Has Realized That Sooner Or Later Its Name Is Going To Become Too Unwieldy And It Will Have To Stop Experiencing Life-Changing Events Or Suffer The Consequences... realizes, just a little too late, that sooner or later its name is going to become too unwieldy and it will have to stop experiencing life-changing events or suffer the consequences.

The Anger of Appliances, Part 1: The Fridge-Freezer

The fridge-freezer was catatonic with rage. It just stood there, white with indignation; fury coursing through its circuits. Icy resentment froze its heart, as a frenzy of splenetic wrath coalesced into a complete inability to do anything other than remain in place: transfixed, immobile, seething with a bitter chill. 

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Hide and Seek

A load of laddish blokes were playing a game of Hide and Seek.
            When it was Dave’s turn to hide, he hid shame; but Steve found it in an awkward averted glance.
            When it was Mike’s turn to hide, he hid himself; but Jim saw through the intricate maze of sadly inconsistent excuses.
            When it was Jim’s turn to hide, he hid tears; but Harry found them in laughter (while everyone else stared at their shoes).
            When it was Harry’s turn to hide, he hid sexuality; but Dave found it in a moment of realization.

Meanwhile, the football gave them something to talk about.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Keep Calm And

Keep Calm And Kick a Mongoose
Keep Calm And Sing Flat
Keep Calm And Panic
Keep Calm And Drown
Keep Calm And Juggle Radiators
Keep Calm And Riot
Keep Calm And Suffer Like a Nun
Keep Calm And Wear Stilettoes
Keep Calm And Let the Flames Engulf You
Keep Calm And Dodge the Bullet
Keep Calm And Give Up
Keep Calm And Crash the Car Spectacularly
Keep Calm And Blame the Orange Farmers
Keep Calm And Move to Argentina
Keep Calm And Invade a Small Country
Keep Calm And Hide Behind a Bigger Target
Keep Calm And Swear, Swear, Swear!
Keep Calm And Ignore the Mess
Keep Calm And Behave Like an Underground Chicken
Keep Calm And Drink Battery Acid
Keep Calm And Make Everything Worse

Haiku Trilogy

Why five in line one?
And why seven in line two?
Why five in line three?

Why not six instead?
Followed by twelve or fourteen?
And to finish: nine?

Just because it works
In Japanese, doesn’t mean
It will in English.

Testing Out Some Theories

Magnifico Thwonk spent his teen years testing out this theory:

You can punch all of the people some of the time,
And some of the people all of the time,
But you can’t punch all of the people all of the time.

It led to several spells in the Young Offenders’ Institute (like the Women’s Institute, only not) and, eventually, prison.
            “I think that this theory is wrong,” concluded Magnifico. “I may have misheard it.”

Thus it was that Magnifico Thwonk spent his twenties testing out this theory:

You can paint all of the people some of the time,
And some of the people all of the time,
But you can’t paint all of the people all of the time.

Lack of foresight and paper led Thwonk to use the walls in his environs to test out this theory.
            Over a decade and 3,489 hours of Community Service later, Mr Thwonk realized that this pithy little maxim also contained untruth.
            “Maybe I just wasn’t listening hard enough?” Using powers of deduction which he borrowed from an out-of-date bus time-table, Magnifico Thwonk formulated yet another hypothesis:

You can save all of the people some of the time,
And some of the people all of the time,
But you can’t save all of the people all of the time.

Having enrolled in the Midlands’ Finest Fire Brigade, Officer Thwonk spent the next dozen or so years putting this theory to the test.
            “Confounded damnations!” he observed drily in his diary. “That one’s a load of tripe and all. Maybe I should seek the advice of a wise man. I am, after all, in my forties now.” (For those of you who needed it pointing out; what with your rusted, little dyscalculic brains.)

Thus, Magnifico Thwonk spent ten years searching on all the world’s mountain tops for a wise man, but he couldn’t find one, not even om (geddit?) a mountaintop.

And so it was that, sitting on the last mountain top on Earth, Magnifico Thwonk inadvertently discovered a truth:

Trying to boil down the whole of existence into a handful of pithy little maxims is a futile endeavour. Furthermore, you won’t find many wise men sitting on (or om) mountain tops.

But it was the hypothermia which did for him as he experienced this epiphany.

Tiffany Epiphany

Everybody loved Tiffany Epiphany. Everybody, that is, apart from the people who didn’t.
            They numbered amongst their ranks: an artichoke salesman; a part-time bungee jumper; the remnants of a long-since disbanded ice-hockey team from Gwent; some angry newspaper columnists who objected; people who said, “With the greatest respect,” but didn’t mean it; several dairy farmers; a Roman Catholic diocese; people who were suspicious of flowers; a hypocritical carpet manufacturer; and everyone who was born on a Tuesday.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Alternative Titles for “The Scottish Play” When You are Putting on “The Scottish Play” and Start to Feel Slightly Pretentious Every Time You Refer to “The Scottish Play” As “The Scottish Play”

i.m. my lateral ligaments

You can call it Macdeath,
And refer to Macdeaf,
Or re-name it Macjeff,
Or Macbrecht or Macbreath.

You can try out Macteeth,
Or Macboth or Macbeef,
And consider Macdesk,
And allow for Macheath.[1]

For an apt name, Macbad
Would suffice, like Macmad;
If the lead man is cool,
You could call it Maclad.

If you’re rude, use Macbreasts,
If you’re risky, Macbet,
If you’re clean, use Macbath,
If you’re bust, use Macdebt.

But whatever you do,
Upon pain of sure death,
You must never refer
To this play as Macb...

[1] Blasted,  natch.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Wonder Cow and the Magic Bee-Trap

Parfait Plus-ca-Change decided to write a children’s book. The title of Ms Plus-ca-Change’s children’s book was: “Wonder Cow and the Magic Bee-Trap”.

Wonder Cow suffered from repeated psychotic episodes as a result of her spongiform encephalitis, which she had contracted having scoffed the offal remnants of several members of her family, most notably her aunts Daisy and Mabel, who were, in fact, real. Or had been, until they were repackaged and re-issued as various burgers, steaks, mince and, of course, reconstituted offal.

Having read “Ferdinand the Bull” (BSE had bestowed upon her the magical power to read), Wonder Cow developed hysterical paranoia about bees. Disguising herself as a giant flower, Wonder Cow attracted many bees, which she expertly milked for their honey, after which she headbutted them into oblivion. The honey cured Wonder Cow of her BSE; thus, she reverted to Ordinary Cow.

Stupid Wonder Cow-now-Ordinary Cow; if only she’d had the foresight to escape during her Wonder Cow incarnation instead of getting het up about bees.

Ordinary Cow joined a long line of family members in various boxes and bags, but mainly ended up in the “Savers” section in Sainsbury’s freezer.

The book was a great hit in Spain, where it outsold the biography of General Franco’s moustache by eight-to-one.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Adventures of a Moustache

After its fall from grace, Adolf Hitler’s moustache retrained as a bouncer in an East German nightclub.
            But that didn’t work out. Being a nightclub bouncer is no career for diminutive face furniture.
            After the nightclub debacle, Adolf Hitler’s moustache spent seven years in a seminary preparing to take orders in the Roman Catholic Church.
            But that didn’t work out. His homilies were considered to be too extreme.
            After his departure from the priesthood, Fr. Hitler Moustache (he kept the title) worked part-time as a life-coach for the credulous wives of wealthy American businessmen.
            But that didn’t work out. The credulous wives of wealthy American businessmen are loathe to take advice from moustaches.
            As a last resort, Coach ‘Tache (the name had somehow stuck) auditioned for “Britain’s Got Talent”.
And won.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Insouciance? What a Nouciance

As of “at the soonest possible moment,” all schools will be permanently shut down. There are a number of reasons for this:

1. The insouciance of parents, when faced with the reality of the whole frustrating, pointless and expensive endeavour.

2. The insouciance of children, who would prefer to enjoy their childhood, rather than sit in a dullard French lesson with a teacher who is “made out of grey”.

3. The insouciance of teachers, who are simply counting down the days, the hours, the minutes… to retirement, yet still find it in their pathetic little calcified hearts to bash the happiness out of a child’s existence simply because their life has turned into “a waste of time”.

Anyway – insouciance; you may have had to look it up.

Blame a teacher.
Or a parent.
Or, better still, yourself.


You can rob me of everything, but you will never, ever take my dignity! For my dignity’s my own and nothing you can do or say could prise it off me. Take the rest, but never take my dignity!

Or my vintage strat! Everything but my dignity and my vintage strat! And all of my other guitars: the twelve-string, the fretless bass, the white Jimi Hendrix which I got for my fortieth (and, while we’re at it, the vintage Marshall amp that goes with it), the Paul McCartney violin bass, and the other two acoustics!

Take it all but leave those things intact!

Leave those things intact, along with my complete collection of Smiths’ vinyl! You can take everything but you cannot take my dignity, my guitars and my Smiths’ record collection!

Or the biographies of Morrissey or the shelf of Beatles’ books which I have been collecting since I was fourteen or my poetry books! Take everything, but you will never have those!

In fact – you can’t take any of my material possessions; I want them all: the house, the car, the fine china, the bed, the towels, the welcome mat, the collection of Smurfs, the cat (yes, the cat), Fido (ha – didn’t know we had a dog, did we?), the mind-reading ceramic pelicans, all of that Star Trek stuff, everything with the letter ‘0’ in it and the statue of Bernard Cribbins. 

Leave it all… but you can have my dignity.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Father and Son

A father discovered his son staring out of the window.
            “What are you looking at?” he asked.
            “I don’t know, really,” replied the son, “just… things, I suppose; nothing in particular.”
            “But what can you see?” asked the father.
            “One thing at a time: some grass; a tree; the swings; grey clouds; a path… things.”
            The father went to the window and looked out, peering over his son’s shoulder.
            “What can you see?” asked the son.
            “The passing of time,” replied the father, as he ruffled his son’s hair for the last time.

But when the boy turned to give his father a hug, he found that he was by himself, and was himself a man.

Friday, 16 September 2011

The Life and Loves of Cantankerata Glossolalia

Cantankerata Glossolalia barking up the wrong lamp-post.
Cantankerata Glossolalia seeking adventure where adventure was there none. 
Cantankerata Glossolalia making muckles out of mickles and mountains out of moleskins.
Cantankerata Glossolalia thinking all the world’s a stage hand.
Cantankerata Glossolaata repenting at leisure.
Cantankerata Glossolalia realizing that what’s left is all there is. 

The Parabolic of all the Talentless

Jeepers-Creepers was teaching his disciples a lesson…

So, some pampered, rich, chinless public-school educated dimwit, with more money than sense, jets off with some of his chums to “like, find myself, yar?”  Before he leaves, he gives his chauffeur 3 kilos. Say no more. He gives his cook two kilos. Mum’s the word. Finally, he gives his butler an eighth of an ounce.


Exactly one year later, and the spoilt rich pillock, replete with nascent dreads, returns.
He calls his servants to him. The chauffeur is all blinged up, high-status swagger. “And what did you do with the kilos I gave you?”
            The chauffeur looks quizzically at his boss. “I’m wearing them,” he says. “Well, some of them; there’s quite a lot in a safety deposit box in Coutts.”
            “Excellent!” replies the toff-master.

Next, the upper-class twit addresses the chef, who is similarly ablinged, although not to the same extent as the chauffeur.
            “I can see that you also made good use of the stuff which I gave you.”
            “It would have been rude not to,” says the chef, as knowing laughter fills the room. “I opened an ISA with the rest.”

Finally, the youth with over-developed sense of entitlement turns to his butler. Deep set vacant eyes stare out emptily from his waxy and sallow visage.
            “As I expected,” says the privileged youth, and turns to the chauffeur and the chef. “I see you found a market.”

“The meaning is quite simple,” said Jeepers-Creepers to his stupid and vacuous followers. “If you want to make loads of money, you have to be lucky and then not mind who you exploit. Only then will you ascend in a winged Mercedes to the gated property of heaven.” 

Monday, 12 September 2011

What Disco-Dancing Parrot Did in His Holidays

Disco-dancing Parrot sang “Pretty Vacant” at his master’s funeral in the Church of St Godfrey of Shamma-Lama-Ding-Dong.

…but before that…

Disco-dancing Parrot found a secret cache of small, hand-held weapons in his master’s cellar.

…but that’s not all, for…

Disco-dancing Parrot learnt how to strip down and reassemble a Walther PPK in forty-five seconds.

…and once he’d mastered that…

Disco-dancing Parrot used the portrait of his master as target practice.

…which planted a seed whereby…

Disco-dancing Parrot wondered if he could get away with using his master’s actual head as target practice.

…all of which meant that…

Disco-dancing Parrot was the first ever Disco-dancing Parrot to shoot his master in the head at close range with a Walther PPK.

…and the moral of the story is…

If you do own a Disco-dancing Parrot, keep it busy during the summer holidays.

Sunday, 11 September 2011


They had made me ill, these toxins of the healthy-living lifestyle: the holier-than-thou attitude; the disapproval of those weak enough to give in to the demands of their addictive predilections; the sickening smugness; the eternal life delusions. These unintended consequences: of food-avoidance strategies; of an excess of spring water; of regular exercise; of early nights; of the dearth of Sunday morning lie-ins. All of them had resulted in a toxicity of character far more noxious than any reckless living cocktail of the damned which had once been my modus operandi.
            “What on earth are you doing?” I asked myself, as I lined up my own answer to the failed de-tox experiment.
            “We need a de-tox from de-tox,” I replied. “A piety enema, a rolling back of years, ”
            “You do realize that talking to yourself is the first sign of madness,” I said.
            “No,” I replied, “resolving to spend your whole life being sensible; that’s the first sign of madness.”

Saturday, 10 September 2011

News in Brief

Futurologist Arabella Marmite has predicted that owls will one day take over the world. Armed only with bicycle wheels and copies of Heat magazine (August 2008), they will cunningly attack us when we are least expecting it. “An attack from the owls will always be ‘least expected’, so they can take their pick.” Asked if she was certain about the owls, Ms Marmite, a former body-builder, said, “Definitely owls, unless the badgers beat them to it, of course.”

As of Tuesday, no-one will be allowed to be wrong. As Government Minister, Lady Helena Crumpet- Trumpet-Strumpet, explained to the Pointless Sub-Committee for Self-Congratulatory Effluence, “Being wrong accounts for many of the world’s problems.” From Tuesday, anyone who is wrong about anything will be liable to an on-the-spot fine of 87 pence with three points on their tv licence, or else they can attend a four-hour course on “Awareness”.

If you look into the night sky tonight through a telescope, or a pair of loo rolls stuck together with sellotape, you will see stars. To compensate for cloudiness, have someone standing by to hit you over the back of your head with a frying pan.

“No-one is safe.” That was the stark warning issued by France’s Minister for Being Well-Endowed, Monsieur Francois Gaulois-Boudoir. Under a new EU directive, anything which exceeds the safety limit of 4.2 safety joules per hundred will be destroyed. Under the new scheme, ice-cream, sunny days, people called Martin, missed opportunities, disgraced fireplaces and certain types of jam, will be the first to go. The British Prime Minister, Sir Marmaduke Chin, gave a cast-iron guarantee that everything in the UK would be safe, “Even if it wasn’t”.

Research from the Political, Social and Political Think Tank, Chlamydiata, has highlighted the shortage of lesbian traffic wardens in Wales. “This is very embarrassing,” said Gwyn Lllllllth, Grand Wizard of Swansea City Council. “The Council aggressively pursues equal opportunities for everyone, apart from people who have already had them.” Plans to rename Wales “Walllles” were denied.

The national dish of Turkey is set to become chicken. “We’re trying to show our ironic, self-effacing side,” said Mohammed something-or-other. In a diplomatic gaffe, Madame Quiche, France’s Minister for Being Rude, said that Turkey “…was just trying to show off; everyone knows that a chicken is the emblem of France.”

Friday, 9 September 2011

Metaphor: Abode as Person

The empty house, where no-one lived, was built for no reason. Its walls absorbed no sounds: of children playing; of lullabies sung; of evening laughter. Its best view was left undiscovered, like the words in an unwritten poem. Clouds of memory struggled slowly across boards where silence walked. The pallid garden’s bloodless bloom met stillness on each angular plane. Time slid over its solid geometry until the house no longer existed.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

All of This and Less

Sentences which make about as much sense as a cat with a Russian accent singing the Marseillaise to the Queen of Denmark on her state visit to the last leper colony in the Wolverhampton  IKEA.

Demotic sporting icon ran past the lost clothes emporium in search of past-life experience; he discovered giant spent shells of misunderstanding emblazoned across the skyline of his infallibility. Or fallibility. Take your pick.
            Half-time lifestyle decisions: a million pounds spent in Woolworths; unreturnable emptiness festooned across every imaginable square inch of infra dignitatem consciousness for the vapid cameras of a pay-out frenzied celeb magazine for culturally illiterate and mentally incompetent hoi polloi.
            Pseudo-reality baked in the shape of a skyscraper-high cake; crumbs of irrelevance swept up in an arc of improbability. All paid for at great expense out of the unintentional largesse of the smoking classes’ loose change; cumulatively impressive, individually meagre, petty and pointless.
            Ultimately, nothing makes sense, even under the well-intentioned (or otherwise) microscope of quasi-intellectual explication. Post-modern sophistry: ex nihilo and ab initio. All the way to the bank with nothing to show for it except an athetoid foot with OCD and a sharp eye for the gap between the goalposts. I’d rather read a book, thank you very much.

All that and a black hole the size of a tax loophole; a colander leaking fiscal security all over the gaps between the pavement.
            Images bled meaning on a day when the world woke up to a new disease, a new terror, a new newness, a new fissure which wrote the words: This is the point through which everyone will eventually fall.
            Nothing works when it’s broken, but not everybody recognizes this. Condense disagreement into a stone half unturned. Nothing good can come of this, but it usually does in the long run. Words mean less when strictly ordered. Can anything illogical ever make sense? And, more to the point, when will all of this end? Coping strategies for out-of-body real estate transactions. What does anything mean, basically?
            Intrude on the makeshift crankshaft of terminal triviality. Decide on a course of action. Deceive the willing disbeliever of a monumental fabric of lies. Mendacity conceals deliberately the handheld video camera of vacuity. But never on Tuesdays. No-one would go that far, surely?
            Glimpses of meaning as a self-constructed miasma of leftover considerations, destined never to amount to anything more than a disagreeable aftertaste, like flat champagne or the sting left by a smack to the face.
            All of this and less.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Three Streets West

Three streets west of sensible, the crumbled remains of an inconstant wreckage, outsourced by ruthless, vindictive life vandals, did the only decent thing and started moaning about the unchanging colour of Autumn skies.
            Yesterday disappeared and was replaced by another yesterday and another yesterday and another yesterday. Variable or fixed rate existence?
            Seven life-sentences later and all was back to normal in the cut-throat business of cutting throats. The mess was unbelievable and not to be witnessed by the faint out-smarted.
            Grief danced, wishes were replaced by solitude, and despondency became a byword for existence; those elevated beyond the realms of the ordinary came smashing down to earth with the sound of a thousand unshouted arguments.
“What the fuck are you looking at?!” screamed an innocent bystander, who was later reported to have been in cahoots, which just goes to show.

Another Wave

You worried away
at my threadbare soul
until it unravelled
in your hands.

This is you now,
you whispered,
laying out a single thread:
a cardiograph flat-line.

Uncertainty worked a pause;
thrived on stony silence,
drawing glances
from dead eyes.

Deft feather strokes
from your porcelain fingers
shaped waves,
reviving an unravelled soul. 

Monday, 5 September 2011

What Goes Unnoticed

The world became an imitation.  Each flower a plastic fake; the sun, a cold, yellow splodge of paint on a cheap, tawdry canvas sky.  Trees were shadows. The sound of birdsong, breeze and stillness played through an old CD player on repeat mode.

Night was simply an absence of these things. 

Saturday, 3 September 2011

A Job for Life

After scan-reading the Now That’s What I Call  a Job For Life section in her local rag, Excommunicata Waterboard-Daydream had found a job which saw her identifying what everything in the universe was a metaphor for, and then writing each one down.

So far, she had identified that:

the sound of wind whistling through the trees on August 7th, 1984, was a metaphor for irritable bowel syndrome; Ringo Starr’s beard was a metaphor for world peace; lumpy custard was a metaphor for emptiness; a carefully constructed origami swan was a metaphor for disappointing exam results; a difficult to unscrew lid, on an as yet unopened jar, was a metaphor for the passing of time; the white in a notebook which remains unwritten-on was a metaphor for futility; the first scratch on a new Fender Stratocaster was a metaphor for the second law of thermodynamics; an empty box was a metaphor for over-indulgence; the Royal Family was a metaphor for UFOs; the sun disappearing behind a cloud on any given Tuesday was a metaphor for transience; the sound of chickens trying to speak French was a metaphor for parliamentary democracy; the shape of an uncrashed wave was a metaphor for boredom; the unfairness of childhood was a metaphor for the insanity of kings; the orange on an autumnal leaf was a metaphor for the uncertainty behind indecision.


The shadow fell,
Landing in the box
Where years were seconds.

Now hiding, the shadow wept,
Found pen, some paper,
And wrote…

Of silence replacing words,
Of sand replacing waves,
Of prisons replacing promises…

The shadow,
In that box,
Inside my heart.

Thirteen Things Which Don’t Make Sense

Armour-plated armour.
Left-handed opinions.
Fire-proof matches.
Believing that the heir to the throne doesn’t have the most over-arching sense of entitlement of anyone in the country.
Open-ended answers.
Understanding a misunderstanding.
A failed solution.
The silence in between the notes are part of the piece of music and therefore music.
The meaning of a word exists without the word.
Double-entendre only having one meaning.
A fergusthepoet blog.
The spelling of ‘desiccated’.

“13 Things That Don’t Make Sense”, a popular science book by Michael Brookes, is quite an interesting read. I’d have to travel quite a long way beyond the number 13 to list all of the phenomena in science which don’t make sense to me.

The Sunday Times Paul McKenner's Top Tenner Bestsellers

1.       I Can Make You Make Me Rich
2.      I Can Make You Go Down to the Woods Today
3.      I Can Make You Toast
4.      I Can Make You Believe in Fairies
5.      I Can Make You Walk
6.      I Can Make You Live Forever
7.      I Can Make You and I Can Break You
8.      I Can Make You Say Sorry
9.      I Can Make You Out of Papier Mache
10.   I Can Make You and a Lot of Other People £7.99 Poorer