You had me at 'hello... guvna!'

Mr. Johnson said if you're
tired of London then you're tired of

well I'm tired but mostly from
jet lag

One year later and I'm
ready to forgive you

(see 'London!' 9/19/04 )


Euro cupcakes till Oct 11

I'm away the next two weeks, to look for a gorgeous Mediterranean bride with a generous dowry....If you know a nice but reasonable hotel in Madrid and/or Lisbon, please leave a comment.... Look here soon for photos; take care of the place while I'm away. ~pdog



Who’s luckier than a man with a big cheese sandwich? Indeed! Few of us can comprehend the beauty that’s inside the cheese.

I mean, have you ever eaten a large cheese sandwich? I ate one the other day and near shit my pants with delight. I was eating this absolute megabomb of a sandwich and along comes a spider, a big tall fatty named Octopod the Magnificent. I look at the spider and I compliment him on his purse. I say ‘Is that silk?’ but spiders don’t appreciate nuance, not like a praying mantis. But who cares when I got sammies on the brain.

Anyway I was eating a sandwich like I said and felt like the King of Heaven on a joy-bender. It was happiness, loose and groovy, bigtime smilesfest like when a vat of money falls in your lap and you go apeshit purchasing jewels or whatever. This sandwich had it all: sweet curves and tasty crust; it was like the Formula One of ensconced cheese. I can’t even remember what kind of cheese was in there exactly, it could have been laced with ecstasy cause that’s how it felt. So good, or should I say
gouda. Hahahaha.. I think it might have been Swiss but that’s like singling out one cheese for praise when a sandwich is by definition a team effort… all that matters is how good it felt you know?


Doctor Snotburglar's Ludicrous Assistant

There I was in Cambridge at the river's edge, talking to the man who operated the gondolas, except I think they’re called punting boats. He was a tall man, too tall for many economy-sized sedans, but I thought it rude to bring up another vehicular medium, so I just ordered him to row me to the other bank. The man's name was Hodges and we agreed on a five-pound fee.

Hodges wished me off at the other end of the bank, and I was at the great University. It was past 12 bells and I had the entire afternoon at Cambridge to enjoy, higher education at Britain’s classiest institution. An exciting prospect, to rub elbows with famous crippled megastars like Stephen Hawking! I was excited to meet even those without ALS; I couldn't wait to get everyone's email addresses, blog sites and RSS subscription URLs.

It was noon and despite my enthusiasm I was hungry, however. I wondered where to buy bread - carb-rich bread, for I had not embraced South Beach. I was starving on that Illustrious Riverbank and my blood sugar was dropping. I looked up at the sky and in my faintness noticed a cloud, and it resembled the great nutritional magnates Hal Johnson and Joanne Macleod. I asked them for some glucose but they were mere clouds.

After swallowing some come-by-chance seaweed to restore my blood sugar, I napped for several hours on the river bank, and after waking up made I friends with a beaver. The beaver’s name was Charlie; he had a large brown tail and big white teeth. I asked Charlie to chew me a punting pole, and failing that to hew a walking stick out of the earth. Charlie was a great beaver, but he was stupid and did not understand. I designed a pole in the dirt, I clucked my tongue and made emphatic gestures, and then he understood. But it was 4 o’clock, and the afternoon had been wasted in SleepyHeaded Lollygaggery.

I balanced myself on the punting pole, regained my feet and thanked Charlie for his efforts. He sped into the river with a 5-pound note affixed to his snout. I didn't see Charlie the rest of my vacation but I felt his watchful presence at many a forest walk or punting expedition. Entering the Grand academic-looking castle by the river bank, I gave the guardsman a 10-pound note. This time I just shoved the money down his suit of armour. The guard’s name was Carlos, and the armour cut down on his agility; nonetheless he was grateful and I sped inside.

I was to attend the Monthly Castle Lecture put on by the Egregious Dr. Snotburglar Fountain, celebrated Professor of the Ludicrous Arts. Snotburglar was famous for his Theories on Ridiculousness, his Rambungling Hypothesis and his Treatise on Rapscallianity. He had written ‘1000 Options for the Insane Fritterer’ and his didactic autobiography ‘How to Outsnort a Snortburglar’ has sold in the tens of thousands. How thrilling then to see him in the flesh.

For someone so ludicrous Dr. Snotburglar dressed rather prim and proper, I noted. His tie was done up to the button and his cuff links fresh from Tiffany’s, diamond-crusted and twinkling through the castle crystal radiance. Dr Fontain approached the podium with a snort. The lecture was beginning, and I tittered in my desk-chair:

“Dear Gentlemen and Ladies... and the Clowns who live in my brain,” he began in his trademark 'recognition of clowns' style, “I have a large melon in my noggin.” And he proceeded to produce a massive pink watermelon! He spent five minutes cutting it up and distributing it to the stupefied audience. The melon was a delicious and quite welcome surprise on such a hot summer eve. “I thought this was a refresher course," the doctor said, "and hence the refreshments." Aha - pure genius! - I jotted that one down right away; clearly Snotburglar was not above wordplay. He continued, hands dripping with juice: “This is a lecture about Ludicrous Theory. The first measure of Ludicrousness is Falsifiability. If you cannot falsify the truth, then you are not the liar you could be.” Now I saw the direction he was meaning to take. "Please look outside at the night sky. Allow me to bring you on a tour of Uranus...”

After 45 mind-bending minutes Snotburglar's lecture received a standing ovation, and I was elated at the nuggets that had been proferred. But then I noticed a young creature at the other end of the room, a tall gorgeous bucktoothed woman with high heels and lazy eye. She had a quiver of stealth-cum-ingenue about her, and I was transfixed. She introduced herself to the Doctor and I eavesdropped on their conversation.... Aha - It was an assistantship she was after! I would have to tail this minx.

The minx had introduced herself as Zelda Fitzwiggins, a student in Nonsense from the Bavarian Foolishness Lyceum; she wished to intern for a while in Cambridge and get experience. Aha - If only she knew how much I could help her! My own labs were in Pennsylvania, admittedly, but I was one of only seven Nonsensticians in the world licensed to perform Pathological Emissions Analysis. I could help Ms. Fitzwiggins and then some.

I stopped Zelda outside the lecture hall and I pinched her cheeks. She slapped me and said “Do I know you?” I cried real tears but she just laughed “You must have dinner with me sometime!” She stalked off and I was smitten; I hoped I would see her again. If I did I would give her my last Rolo. Before he left I asked the doctor a question about Shaggy Dog Stories, which he answered and I was satisfied. He invited the remaining audience members to a local pub where he could be among the idle and gawk and have nothing to do but cuss and discuss football and other activities pertinent to the mindless classes. It was so difficult being such a dedicated nonsenstician I thought.

Zelda was already at the pub waiting for us. I snuck up on her, sat on her lap and gave her my last Rolo. She was happy, she skipped around the pub as though every last hope of hers had been met. I asked her to sing me a lullabye but her diction was impaired. So she told me, and she threatend to snap my neck, so I was lucky just to make it out of this conversation with all my teeth...

(unfinished of course)

sitting right in front of you

He came over
she was shy
stifling leftover resentment
asking with her eyes
asking 'why...
don't... you... love... me?'

I would never be impolite


we are cowards


"Tell me what's wrong..."

You drove into the ocean
and hollered on your cell phone
it was three thirty in the morning
when I got to hear you drown
I was better than that
than last minute confessions
you made me your vomit bag
you made yourself a clown


Saw the slow men in the community centre, it was an eyeopener, so little hope and so much madness, what heroes are there among the most hopeless. Fresh heroes minted in every tragedy. Suffer and grow, and now you know. Obstacles being what you see when you take your eyes off goals, and these boys and girls had obstacles, but goddammit when there is a dream to make it to Spain and lie on sand and dance flamenco with a margarita in hand, then you make a plan, you make it happen; you do the obstacle jam.


More names to be used in upcoming FIAC short stories

(the names drive the stories, see)

  • Fopzilla von Steinmetz (and her pet fish Znoosle, the Curmudgeonly Coelacanth)
  • Corporal Nar-Nar McMalady (who suffers from horrendous toenail clacking)
  • Kyle Oswald Destructo (and his Intrepid Piss-Drunk Legionnaires)
  • Ms. Norma Charles ScoopCoop aka 'La Grande Coccodrilla'
  • Googa Manthumper (and her lesbian lover Violencia DeSuavia)
  • Giacomini-Gerrardo Carstairs Gabrielle, curator of the Museum for Unimportant Things
  • Damian Crump aka the Grump
  • Hoosha Flutterbug, photojournalist extraordinaire
  • Todd Blarney , one-armed Irish tour guide with false teeth
  • Hamish Goldfarb-Yokahama, the Scottish-Japanese Israeli
  • ... I could go on...
Any favourites? Other suggestions?


Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Ever-ready and waiting in the mist, there is the historical coughing fit, Athanasius, the great defender of the faith, dead set against Arianism ,preaching truths as he saw it, favouring the emperor who would not do it. I must organize another onslaught I must attempt the gunshot, I need more cold showers keep my power under wraps play taps upon the piano and rag rag rag again with my raggedy keyboard knees, say cheese and freeze yourself temporarily--but theoretically eternally--with the button of a digital camera


The Extraordinary Sloggings of Gunther Glock

(to be edited over the next day or so -see it now in all its raw and awful ignominy)

The Extraordinary Sloggings of Gunther Glock

It was half past seven, the barges were tooting and the shipsmen were gathering at the docks to begin unloading the asparagus shipment. Gunther Glock had been out of work for 7 months, and it was his first day at the pier. He wondered how bad 600 tonnes of asparagus would stink. The sun was shining and the breeze was stiff and cool.

“Twenty-three ships,” cried the foreman, “a new record for asparagus!” The barges were creaking and banging into one another at the edge of the docks. Huzzahs went up from the dockworkers – they were proud to be among the elite in vegetable commerce. Gunther was impressed; he was in good company, and finally in the midst of better luck. “Tonight,” he said to himself, “I shall provide asparagus burgers for the entire house."

Glock, with his heart of gold, was a bit of a doofus. He often shook his fist at the common folk, and yet he was no better than a magician or a breeder of condors, which in his country-Pawtucket, Massachusetts-was not a noble profession. He hadn’t wanted to work at all, yet now he found himself dealing with the biggest asparagus shipment in the world. He hoped it was destiny, not just a come-by-chance greenery.

Eight hours of slogging flew by; the asparagus stank not as bad as he feared and Gunther Glock went home that day and to his family, who were overjoyed. Little Tessa, his daughter who had polio, was able to walk again in sheer joy at the food bits tendered forth from Gunther’s proud arms. Gunther had a newfound respect for work ethic.

The next day Gunther was excited to surpass his previous day on the job hauling asparagus. What a surprise then, when the ship came in full not of asparagus but flax seed! It was unexpected, but Gunther Glock was nothing if not adaptable. "This is what happens in a global society: capital and production shift by the hour.” Gunther Glock had read The Economist and he was acquainted with theories that bore nothing in common with reality and economists no better than common astrologers, making predictions based on the vagaries not of birds and stars but on nonsensical money market fluctuations and other exchange mechanisms producing inflation but very little real wealth. “How great it would have been to have traded in securities," cried Gunther. But today at least he would have to content himself with flax seed.

Flax does not a tasty burger make, and Little Tessa did not dance upon Gunther’s return that evening. “I promise, my young one,” promised Gunther, “I will cure your polio." And she looked at him. He continued, "For I have heard there is a vaccine.” Now Gunther did not often call upon physicians, because he was proud and he thought Tessa would get better if she just did more homework and sat up straight at the dinner table (Tess’s table manners were atrocious). But life at the dockyard has reduced Gunther's pride; he saw beyond his own foibles and decided to contact a physician.

Dr Morgan Busybody was a very busy physician, and he took care of the staff of Coca-Cola Incorporated. They called him a 'fizzician' which is a poor joke, or should I say coke. Dr. Busybody wanted desperately to see Tessa, because he was convinced polio was making a big pathological comeback; Tessa could be his guinea pig for a new treatment that would render the old vaccines obsolete, and the Busybody Solution would have to be adopted by the Medical Association. “Little Tessa will dance again,” said Busybody in a meeting with Glock. Glock was worried: would Busybody, a busy man, respect him - a mere hauler of flax seed?

“Calm yourself my friend," said Busybody, "for I have taken the Hippocratic Oath, and that means every patient is like a jewel, and I will polish Little Tessa until she shines, and dances like somebody who never had polio in the first place.”

Glock went home and told Little Tessa all that had been promised. All she wanted was an asparagus sandwich; Glock pulled out a flax burger, and Tessa was so disappointed she collapsed to the floor, twitching with polio.

For an entire week Glock slogged at the shipyards. In came bauxite in boxes, and it was moved by Glock and his coworkers sweating beneath the port’s stiff humid air. There was zinc by the barrelful, and much uranium, which was dangerous to handle. Glock kept a smile on his face, thinking how his wages would go toward the good doctor’s cure. He happily smiled even when a crates of rhubarb came crashing down beside him, pratically smushing his foot. A crane collapsed with seven men stuck inside; the entire rig fell into the water and all the men drowned. Glock was frightened at how the workers were treated. He feared an accident on the job. If he got hurt he would be unable to cure Little Tessa, for his wages and burgers were essential. Glock's colleagues sensed he was a leader and they wanted him to stand up to management for them. But Glock was not inclined to become a unionist.

But management heard rumblings of dissent and a very stern word was put out.
“There shall not be any gatherings or meeting of workers on company property after the yards are closed down," read a sign posted by the foreman. The management foreman was Wallins McSmashmouth.

McSmashmouth was an aging ex-mariner who had a leg bitten off by a hippopotamus in the Congo river. He was working for the Farming Port Contingency – the trade name of Glock’s firm - but he longed to be back on the ships. He took out his frustrations on the workers, who in secret called him 'Wantins to McSmashhisfacein'. The hippo’s bite seemed to have been infectious, for McSmashmouth was every bit as ornery and rumbling as the river horse what had felled him. Gunther Glock was deferential in most matters with management, but it seemed he could not avoid getting tripped up in controversy with this quarrelsome amputee.

“Mr Glock,” cried the foreman one day in the dock kitchen – and it was looking like a deliberate public confrontation – “you like to stir up trouble, don’t you?” And the workers looked up at the unfolding scene. Glock was taken by surprise. Continued McSmashmouth, “we don’t need trouble Glock; nobody does. Nobody ought to put it with it, And nobody here will. No sir, no trouble.” Now Glock had a mouthful of string beans. He took a glass of water and put it back, trying to swallow. “You know Glock, you have the promise of a a good worker. It seems you really enjoy this job, moving bauxite and flax seed and asparagus – let’s not forget that delicious asparagus...” Glock had trouble swallowing. He asked for more water. “… and Lord knows it must be hard take care of an unwell daughter..." Now Glock was choking. “Quiet today, aren’t you Glock?” Gunther Glock knocked over the chair and made a 'Heimlich gesture'. “Well well, run along then. Have a good one. We’re all watching you Glock."

Glock awoke in the infirmary. It was worse than a polio attack: he had choked on a dozen stringbeans and the glass of water had not helped. There was also the matter of his public dressing-down by MCSmashmouth, but that embarrassment would hit later. The nurses had put an ice-pack on his fingers and shoved a popsicle down his throat. the staff also removed his wristwatch and had attached it to a respirator. He asked "What time is it?" and he pointed to his watch. “Or should I say, is there any hope for my watch?” The nurses diffused his fears. “We simply put your watch there to amuse the children watching at home, Mr. Glock. “Smile, you're on reality television!” And Glock stared at the camera dangling before him. “This is how hospitals must raise money these days,” said the nurse, "it’s a very lucrative concept, and our ratings are through the roof!” Glock tried to smile, but he was also thinking he should get back to work. “Can I have my clothes back, ma’am? I must go unload the crates of figs.” The nurse smiled, “Sure thing Mr. Glock, we’ve put a chip in your brain to track you, so if there’s any problems we’ll know about it.” That was very considerate of them, thought Glock, though perhaps irksome they had not consulted with him first, - but then again the medical field had its ways. “Thank you," said Glock, "it’s better than a chip on my shoulder,” and they both laughed. Glock had a lame sense of humour. He wondered whether the transistor in his brain would set off metal detectors, but decided it was best not to think about it, which in itself is ironic.

Boxes and crates had to be unloaded in a hurry. Because of his choking fit Glock was behind schedule and he had to make up time. That night he went home more exhausted than usual. Little Tessa was not well at all. She was upset about her continuing polio and also a poor grade she had received in gym class. “Teacher says kids with polio can’t play volleyvball,” she explained through tears, “but I tried to play anyway and kept getting tripeed up.” She cried in Glock’s arms. Life was never easy.

The next day there was more confrontation with the foreman. “Glock” he cried on the docks, shoving a page in our hero’s face. “What is the meaning of this report? Your brain transistor has cost us half a fortune!" McSmashmouth showed Glock an invoice for $900 for a brain implant. "It’s coming out of your paycheque. Hope you’re happy working like a slave this week... And don’t think I don’t know about you trying to organizing the men afterhours at Stoolie’s bar."

Stoolie's was a hangout for the dockworkers, it was a diner greasy place with a lot of scum underneath the linoleum tables.


2pm whippersnappers

guess jube jubes in a jar
stare at her afar
wait till they close the bar
and walk her home to doorstep

leucocytes and fistfights, morbid dizzying heights of vocab flex, she had a hex for every smile, wriggled out from every hug, so cynical her nipples bled vinegar, asking - begging - to be slapped.

he was a shrivelled dink, small on think and big on blather, lathering his borrowed opinions, rinsing repetitions, dissimulation and yawning putting out his neck on a block.

Jezebel my angel hold on to your hair, look at the mirror and marvel, your wrinkles relax and your face is marble. Sparkles make you beautiful, shining in neon, done up till Sunday with bubble gum and burnt sugar... (Now Jezebel won't even blush in her rouge, and her lips were lined by a marketing stooge.)

Slucking spitting bile, reviling your guile, wittiness with acidity is so easy - but I like your shallow shivers, glassy eyes, reminds me of riverboat casino-chatter and frozen apple pies.

Pharmocology is greener and user-friendly, well-medicated in political correctness and gender-neutral nomenclature, I was trying to bake a cowperson cookie but was stampeded by reality, so I rejected tradition in its totality and flew the solipsistic skies


fridge bits

I love mornings 6 to 8
caffeine a stop-gap measure
I don't have animosity
u seen my nephew, curly Joe?

shake dressing out of the jar
clean up toast crumbs
moist wet rag to cover scars
noah shuts eyes, awaits the flood

between moments, dialogue, episodes of mash
antennae high on alien signals
asteroid shaves your cheek

do aspire to meet the president
you, mr. janitor? crucial
clone a sheep a sheep a sheep
smelling salts? wasted on sleepyheads

once I had a scooby doo lunchbox
nesting swallows in the larch
I could multiply like a computer
but Google made me obsolete

so here's my brain to the highest bidder
food stamps would suffice
imagination, quantum zaps
u heard the latest from Condi Rice?

and a dozen hellos to my sweet saviour
my roses read for you alone
eggshell-delicate, sheltered in a superdome
when you sigh I feel the hurricane

I'm drowning, toss me an anchor

A big mistake a big mistake.

Do not follow the rabbit down the hole.

If a big sweaty man with a yellow nose asks you for a banana, do not give it to him. He will only shove it up his nose.

An exploding toad has its uses.

Big ideas come in little plastic bags.

Wear pink underwear and you'll be smited.

Carry a troubadour's knickers wrapped around your wrist.

An alleyway is a bad place to argue about Steinbeck.

Never lend a parrot your socket wrench. He will use it to loosen your nuts.


horsetorcher II

Garble garble, and tug, pull and let stretch, let it bleed. Push it twist shove it stick, bend crumple crease crush chew smash hammer into a sheet rope it in a wire crowd it to death bang it with cinder blocks flatten it cram into toasters slide smother it choke it coax coerce suggest finesse shrinkwrap and stack beat back with a board clamp it down shackle into bits sluice it stirred whip it steamroll iron out under anvils pressurewash with firehose and hang on a line to dry.

(serves two: me and you)



(25 seconds, just flirting)

Hey gorgeous

you move nice
like that belt
makeup flattery
u working out?
beauty mark right dimple
peach fuzz
bouncy bouncy
-sexy even
sweat pants



Liquor stinking breath, wrestling Death under a trestle, Satan hellbent on mortar shells and pestilence, big bang helplessness and the sound of silence. Boohoo, this is you: vain barbells and leg presses, deep purple dressings on a black and blue face, laced veils and sweetened entrails, weary of eradicating the entire rat race. A woman’s wink sidelong at a bar, premonitions of a car crash in Iraq, her tenderest lash puts me on a rack, this drunken beauty queen - she weaves her own sash. I don’t wanna wake beside her in the trash.

Alight in a good place, the lightness at her waist, chemicals superfluous, clouds whirl perilously sweet, a beat leads me blind like a chocolate lab, exit this maze by my own right hand. Sums and figures, statistics lie and liars swagger, wipe the dagger clean, unsheathe a dream, flag a train and lay new tracks, there’s a man somewhere with a mountain on his back.

Be a crab and claw - or a lioness with cubs securely in her jaw. Bloated pigeons, wizened crows, sulking in secrets nobody knows. Topple those deadly hydrants and fire the hose, the fresh breeze blows, so head down to Momo’s and order Dom Perignon, sure it ain’t New Years but I got my freak on.

Heap on praise; be crazy! eat nothing but water for three or four days, start a parade, freshly mint the good old days, dedicate them to her gaze; rattle the cages but don’t get lazy. And do not watch quietly the firelit night. Instead, burn up right inside of it: fire is light.

Agree? Yes, quite easily. Agree agree - but not with me. Please let me be. Agree with yourself and your heart and the stars. But as for me, pay no mind. I’m just the scenery, and I’m doing fine.

But dance? Yes, dance! Dance and prance. Dance and prance and prance and dance. Do it all night. Do it all morning. Dance! Yeah. Do it in your underpants.


Killing the messenger

(msn frustration)
Why procrastination, no attention span nation, MSN beckons and teases, your decisionmaking increases in difficulty, Hick’s law more info takes more time, exponential complications, paralysis frustration, shut down the computer and be alone, open up connections and be overwhelmed, binary on and off, like scott summers shooting laser beams with every blink, all or nothing, I wish there was a happier medium. More intelligent yet more feeble with each innovation, specialists chasing nothing down to infinity like the graph of 1/x, x>0. Nuance yourself down to the bone, the threshold for necessity long since broken, everything now is superfluous. Report body counts on a hurricane, essential news, all views identical texture each digit indistinguishable, need analog to make this analogy, otherwise it’s monotony in stereo liquid crystal flat screen ads for ice creams and we scream louder each ad more expensive because attention is a singularity. This is what happens when you take the short run view, ignore the laws of thermodynamics and who pays for the ads? The consumer. Infinite desires overwhelm scarce resources, finite needs. TV screens should split up into smaller rectangles each with different sound throwing its voice at different parts of your ears and my remote control navigates me through the cocktail party so I pick out one conversation from many instead of the constant one-a-at-time parade of theatre that relic from the railroad age. Why captivate an audience at a movie theatre; is the linear storyline worth the perceptual inefficiency? Media need not be discreet, soon it will be the mass neuro medium. That’s how drugs work anyway I think.