Archive for October, 2011

Monday, October 31st, 2011


Tom Swift Jr. and his associates at Swift Enterprises wait breathlessly for what may well be the most important scientific event in history—the arrival of the visitor from Planet X—a visitor in the form of energy. But there are factions at work determined to snatch the energy, which Tom has named Exman, from the young scientist-inventor’s grasp. First, a series of unexplainable, devastating earthquakes threaten to destroy a good portion of the earth, and Tom suspects the Brungarian rebels who obviously would like to capture Exman and use the space visitor to further their own evil purposes.

With the security of Enterprises and Exman at stake, Tom creates two of his greatest inventions—a Quakelizor to counteract the simulated earth tremors, and a container or “body” to house the energy from outer space.

If the earthquakes cannot be stopped, the entire world will be threatened by destruction, and the Brungarian forces will conquer the earth. How Tom utilizes all his scientific knowledge to produce swift-action results and outwit the Brungarians makes one of the most exciting Tom Swift adventures to date.

Victor Appleton II, Tom Swift and The Visitor From Planet X (dust jacket notes)

Sunday, October 30th, 2011


There should have been the devil to pay (our misdemeanours are legion) if we could only have found him. Bethany searched in every nook and cranny and Toby searched in and out his lady’s chamber and I went through all my pockets, but there was no sign, no sign of any devil.

But the stuff we found! Bethany had not known she came from a long line of exotic dancers, but the photographs seemed to prove this was the case. And Toby was at last able to explain his strange desires. And yours truly? I was simply over the moon to find the ticket for my dry cleaning: I thought I’d seen the last of my cloak of invisibility.

Saturday, October 29th, 2011


Notes towards a confessional sonnet


Because of

I always

And I would

Even if

And because of

I would often

Even though

And then


And even now I

Although I

I still

And I still

And I still

Will I ever

Friday, October 28th, 2011


An imagined world is only okay if you’re not

paranoid. The real world is only okay if you’re not

paranoid. Today’s subject for discussion

was Tropical Fish: Do They Care? I heard the world you have

is the world you make. Or the world you make

is the world you have. Something like that.

But it’s outside the door and under the bed

and inside my head

and if I put my arms around myself it’s no comfort at all.

I don’t trust the fish.

Thursday, October 27th, 2011


When James Fenimore Cooper was working on The Last of The Mohicans he received a call from the editor of “The New Yorker” to ask if he would consider writing a regular music column for them. Readers of “The New Yorker” had been complaining in increasing numbers about how, for what saw itself as a leading current affairs and cultural magazine, it was absurdly devoid of any coverage of the contemporary music scene beyond the occasional highbrow event or classical music record release.


Cooper understood those concerns: he had been surprised that the new record by his favourite beat combo, Gauntlet Hair, had garnered no mention in the pages of the magazine. He considered the offer for a few days but then declined, saying he felt the demands of his own writing were too great and that anyway he probably was not the right man for the job, since his tastes were, by his own admission, narrow. He suggested the magazine approach Ralph Waldo Emerson, but there is no evidence they ever did.

Katrina van Tassel, from The Unknown James Fenimore Cooper

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011


It’s time for me to cook supper

but I’ll have to go down to the pond to gather watercress first.

At least, I think it’s watercress.

Whatever. Once things are boiled down to a pulp

any name will do.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011


I’ve been asleep a lot.

In my few waking moments I have to read “Middlemarch”

more or less incessantly because

those are the rules today. The end

is approaching.

Monday, October 24th, 2011


I received a note from Chloë yesterday, the envelope sealed with a wax seal impressed with a design that reminded me vaguely of a leaf, perhaps the leaf of an oak or a  horse-chestnut, but I’m not sure: my years of dendrology are long past. In the note she said she is collecting leaves and sticks and intends to put them together to make her very own tree. I have no idea what she’s talking about. Indeed, I don’t know who this Chloë person is. I can only assume the note was delivered to the wrong address.

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011


You think someone else imagines your life

and it’s true: someone else wakes up each morning

and their head is filled with it.


I think someone else imagines my life

and it’s true: someone else wakes up each morning.


We think someone else imagines our life.

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011



Submit to being called a neurotic. You belong to that splendid and pitiable family which is the salt of the earth. All the greatest things we know have come to us from neurotics. It is they and they only who have founded religions and created great works of art. Never will the world be conscious of how much it owes to them, nor above all of what they have suffered in order to bestow their gifts upon it. We enjoy fine music, beautiful pictures, a thousand exquisite things, but we do not know what they cost those who wrought them in sleeplessness, tears, spasmodic laughter, rashes, asthma, epilepsy, a terror of death which is worse than any of these……

                                                             Marcel Proust,  from The Guermantes Way