Archive for November, 2011

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011


I received a note from Chloë yesterday, to the effect that when one’s favourite colour is blue then the Angel of Sadness is destined to be an overwhelming presence inhabiting one’s days. Very poetic, I thought, albeit in a very 19th century, twee and naïve manner. Enclosed with the note was a fragment of material torn, I think, from an item of intimate female apparel. Pinned to this was another note upon which were scrawled the words “Do you recognize this?” 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.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011


Thank you for teaching me philosophy. I owe you sixpence.

I was never really sure if you were actually there. Nor me either.

So many times have I been mislaid. I wander lonely.

We are here because pain needs to exist and loss is everything.

I wrote a poem about carelessness and called it “Me”.

Monday, November 28th, 2011


Dear Bluebird,


………… of the night.


The recurrent and insistent idea that Happiness is a creature catchable but un-keepable haunts me.


……… and it is like this, isn’t it?

Sunday, November 27th, 2011


“Despair and Bewilderment” (1) …..


Memorial has 15 or so perfect touches that show Oswald to be a considerable poet: for example “flower-lit cliffs”, “the darkness hit him with a dull clang”, the sea “just lifted and flattened lifted and flattened”, “fire with its loose hair flying rushes through a city”.

 Craig Raine, writing about Alice Oswald’s Memorial ( Faber) in The Guardian, November 25th 2011

…. and despair and bewilderment hit Mr. Stannard like two things hitting him with a dull clang.

Saturday, November 26th, 2011


The guano is a fine bird, but great care is necessary in rearing it. It should not be imported earlier than June or later than September. In the winter it should be kept in a warm place, where it can hatch out its young.

It is evident that we are to have a backward season for grain. Therefore it will be well for the farmer to begin setting out his cornstalks and planting his buckwheat cakes in July instead of August.

Concerning the pumpkin. – This berry is a favorite with the natives of the interior of New England, who prefer it to the goose-berry for the making of fruit-cake, and who likewise give it the preference over the raspberry for feeding cows, as being more filling and fully as satisfying. The pumpkin is the only esculent of the orange family that will thrive in the North, except the gourd and one or two varieties of the squash. But the custom of planting it in the front yard with the shrubbery is fast going out of vogue, for it is now generally conceded that the pumpkin as a shade tree is a failure.

 Mark Twain, from How I Edited an Agricultural Paper (1870)

Friday, November 25th, 2011




The dove of love perches in the most unlikely of places.

Thursday, November 24th, 2011


Happy called in to see the town marshal.

“Happy!” exclaimed the marshal, evidently either surprised or happy to see Happy. “How the Hell are you?”

“I’m not happy”, said Happy.

“Yes you are”, said the marshal. “You always have been and you always will be.”

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011


This morning I was two people. One of those people was angry and tired and ready to say throw it all away. The other of those people was angry and tired and ready to say he couldn’t even be bothered to throw it all away. Meanwhile, outside where the trash collectors were gathering the trash a small cat was watching a small bird in a small tree.

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011


Entered a calm vacancy —

silence permeated emptiness.


Nobody. No things.

It was kind of peaceful.

Monday, November 21st, 2011


I’ve always thought Noah was kind of a boring person.

It’s not true he used to own a slaughterhouse. It’s not true he was good.

It’s not true my best friend understands me.

Fear stalked through my life unimpeded. Unimpeded by confidence.

I wrote a poem about sleeplessness and called it “Wake”.