My dear Maggie
I’m warin’ the karker you give me for I’m feelin’ my ‘ed summat froze. This blasted winner dont never seem to wanner end. Mebbe I shud of come ‘ere in zummer, for winner in Borston is bitter cold and theres no jobs for love nor munny. I ‘ad to sell my ‘ammer and chizzle for to eat, that was last sarterday. They ‘ave rooms ‘ere like you said but again its the munny.
I ‘ope your all well there. I will sign off now and dont wurry.
— Well, slap my ass and pop the toaster! It’s you, isn’t it?
— It’s me.
— Well, blow my horn and steam the chittlins! How ya doin’?
— I’m ok.
— Jeez, it must be, what… twenty years?
— Must be.
— You haven’t changed a bit! I’d know your ass in a sack o’ melons!
— I can’t believe it…. I was just thinkin’ about you the other day!
— Course you were.
— No, I was! I was driving through the Appalachians, and something about the shape….
— So, what’ll it be?
— What’ll it be, mister?
— Like I said: slap my ass and pop the toaster. You still at Steamies?
— This way.
According to Crabbe, the fornix is an elongation of the corolla, which covers the forpine glute. However, Nettlefold disagrees, and claims that it is actually underneath the umbo, where it forms the convex cap of the ostrea.
Today, we must wonder exactly what kind of bicycles they were riding.
travelled far among
the tribesmen of Peroo,
until he met the Incas
and then at once he knew
that he would stop and settle
with Co-axial Pot and Kettle
— Cup of tea, Grandad?
— No, no, don’t mind me. Look after yourselves first. You young people represent the future now: bright beacons of hope and glory, in sharp contrast to my dying embers. I’m happy to cower in a cold ditch as you youngsters march boldly past along life’s great highway, bearing aloft the fluttering flags of all that’s pure and noble in man’s relentless quest for meaning.
— You take sugar?
— Four, please.
There was a young dork from York,
who would only eat pork with a fork.
If the pork was too tough,
he’d say ‘I’ve had enough.
It’s more like cork than pork!’
In the shade of a manchineel tree, Leonora and Miss Andrews were sharing delicious nuggets of gossip, and buzzing like happy wasps.
Quain brought them a salver of arrowroot biscuits, just in case.
Your heart is a sealed room with mirrored walls.
When you look out, you only see you, looking out.
Enjoy the view — I’ve loved it for years.
There was a young tease from Belize,
who loved to give them a squeeze.
Then one day,
she got carried away,
and brought the poor shmuck to his knees.
There was a young lady called Vickers
who kept a mousetrap in her knickers.
So she kept her vagina
as cold as old china,
and consoled herself with hot liquors.
There was an old lady called Vickers
who kept a bulldog in her knickers.
But the older she grew
the more she would rue
the fate of those sweet cherry-pickers.
I’m as pert as a yuckle in an oaktree, young feller,
I’m as fit as a frog on a log in a bog,
So don’t you patronise… shit!
Your lumpy form, your languid hair,
your twisted lips, your vinegar look
— I was very gradually thunderstruck.
I see the children at their play,
but their laughter fades away.
Nothing glads me anymore.
Everything sads me to the core.
Yes, I know it fades in me — not them.
Their laughter never ends.
Lucy bore a large and vivid birthmark on her left cheek, which she tried to conceal with scarves, and high collars, and powders.
Her mother told her that love is blind, but every time Lucy looked in a mirror, something inside her shifted — just slightly — and fell.
— ‘But they aren’t’, she reflected.
Quain was busy at the pepper-quern, grinding, grinding, grumbling.
Just as Leonora entered the room, he snoze explosively, making her recoil with a startled oooff!
— ‘No one noze how I zuffer’, he znotted.
Leonora sobbed: ‘Abernathy’s left! ‘Oh Quain! My whole life has been a makimono of misery, unscrolling daily towards this dismal doom!’
— ‘Biscuit, M’Lady?’ asked Quain.
I took the road to Kathmandu
and ended up in Kalamazoo.
Either I’m completely pissed
or I must have a word with my oculist.
We were driving through Perdition, on the way to hell and back,
when we thought we’d stop and take on board a life-sustaining snack.
Well, the barman was a vulture, with talons made of steel,
though he served a very toothsome and highly-seasoned meal.
When we tried to pay him, he just stared at us and said
’You’ve already paid, dear pilgrims, for your life-sustaining snack:
We’ll meet again, and again, and again, on the road to hell and back’.
The ham went up, and up, and up,
Into the clear blue sky.
Then it fell back down again:
I told you — pigs can’t fly.
Shall I compare thee to a sack of hay?
Thou art slightly more comely
and hast a comparable heft.
Come, my sack, and marry me,
Seek no more to tarry me,
While time and tide are left.
You should have tried
— at least —
to be kind.
Did you feel strong when you cut me
to pieces with your words?
Did you feel ‘empowered’?
I have words, too,
— I try hard —
Leonora was reading aloud from Dampier, in the Orangery:
“The land of the Tonquinese abounds with pomegranates, muske-millions, pome-citrons, pine-apples, and a curious fruit called chaddock — the size of a man’s head — which also grows in Ceylon and is commonly called there the pumple or pimple-nose”.
— ‘You read so beautifully, my dear’, said Abernathy. ‘The very words adore you!’
— ‘Curious fruit’, thought Quain.
I asked my love to marry me.
She asked if I would carry the
uneaten fruits downstairs to the bin.
Leonora sat with her back to the window, while Abernathy stood near the clavichord. She was motionless; he was quite animated. The music room was filled with sunlight.
Quain could see them clearly from the south lawn.
— ‘I’ll always have you, my beauty’, he said, to the horse.
The fruit of the Bonano tree grows in clusters of large, finger-like, yellow berries. Some of the common sailors chuckled when they first saw them, and one tar was moved to an appallingly vulgar simile.
Capt. Stevens had him drowned in a wine butt, and the others flayed. Then he ordered the Bonanos be brought to his cabin.
Abernathy, just off the steamer from New York, thought that Leonora was ‘some pumpkin… and then some!’, though he had the good grace not to say so.
When he met her in Covent Garden, he said ‘Swell, swell.’
For a moment, Quain thought the horse was ill.
My little girl is growing up
— how fast the years go by!
Your old dad understands
your need to open to the sky.
Spread your wings, my angel,
The world is yours to roam.
But if you’re not in bed by midnight,
— I see Garner’s on the prowl again, in a manner of speaking. He was in church this morning with his father, the old man pushing him in a basket chair, like a huge baby, slobbering too, and his head rolling from side to side — hero’s medal pinned to his jacket.
— The hero returns! Pity they didn’t get him in the todger.
— Say what you like about war, there’s a kind of justice in it.
You’ve kept me cowed all my life — leastways since I married you — but no more, Jeb Thomas! No more! It’s time I spoke out, though I am a woman.
How can I stand by when cozeners and shifters are puffing and blowing? There’s not a manly man among you — banging your bibles in the pews like boys at cudgels. Not one of you knows what love is, I mean real love, natural love, not your sort, that stinks of death.
It’s all a trickery, Jeb Thomas — and don’t look at me that way — you know I’m speaking true, though I was duped — I admit it — but only cos of you and your kind keeping me anxious and beaten down, year after year, like you beat down everything that’s good and natural. Well, it’s not natural, Jeb Thomas, and you — you’re not natural. There, I’ve said it now and I can’t take it back.
I might as well go on, be hung for a sheep as a lamb: I never believed your talk about hell, or the other place either. Hell is in your head, Jeb Thomas, and it makes you bitter and hurtful and cruel.
And no, your mother is not looking down on us from above — a babe in arms knows that! But you — you’d even turn the sky to something unnatural.
Don’t you see? Heaven is where you go when you love — not when you die, for fuck sake!
Don’t you see? Hell is where you go when love dies, you crazy bastard!
Terebinth is a hard tree‥. whereout runneth ye gumme called a pure turpentine.(Ecclus. xxiv. 18)
I lay under a terebinth,
and dreamed of a land so fine
that the air itself was like champagne,
and the rivers flowed with wine.
But as I slept, ye gumme ran out,
— now I stink of turpentine.
Nothing could be more shocking
than a cobra squeezing you tight,
unless you include
my sweetheart’s nude
arse in the cold moonlight.
It seems that hate and selfishness
are the ordure of the day:
A kind man hides his gentle soul,
where it cannot be betrayed.
I used to clean the toilets
at Café Mal de Mer,
and now I’m tossing pancakes
at Café de la Faim.
I hope some day
I can make my way
to Café de la Paix.
People were kinda huddled, cold.
Brother Devereux coughed, then recalled how Lucius used to share everything he had with other boys at school. ‘Some good in everyone’.
Rev. Proudfoot spoke next, and sent a small ripple of laughter through the group with his story of how he had reprimanded the 8-yr-old Lucius for teasing the bees over at St Anselm’s. ‘Like it was yesterday’.
Lucius’ attorney, Delmar Nelson, didn’t laugh. He’d been there since long before dawn, and he was so cold, so tired.
The warden said everyone had to leave.