Thursday, October 25, 2007


Our thanks go to head of the judges Daniil Kharms, who's dead you know.
nb This competition will open then close again on November 1st at thirteen minutes to midnight. All entries should be lightly salted and perfectly manicured. Happy pickling!

On a sandwich
After tea
But before Z
Mind the giraffe
He's dead you know

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


WATSON: I say, Holmes.

HOLMES: Yes, Watson?

WATSON: Do you think there is life after death?

HOLMES: Why do you ask? Isn't this one enough for you?

WATSON: It's just there's so much pain and suffering. It'd be nice to think that there's a reward waiting.

HOLMES: My dear quack, you have no idea what pain and suffering is. You've never been shot at, knifed, raped, robbed or died a slow death through lack of food or warmth. Just be grateful for what you've got.

WATSON: It's just...

HOLMES: Contrary to popular Watsonian rectal philosophy, the world DOES NOT revolve around you, it merely tolerates your incessant whining and self-obsessive behaviour.

WATSON: I say, old bean, that's a bit harsh.

HOLMES: Quite mild, actually, and verifiably true.

WATSON: I was talking theoretically, old man. And also the fact that... (groans) there seems to be a poisoned dart protruding from my diaphragm.

HOLMES: What?! Oh, so there is. I wonder how that got there?

WATSON: Am I going to die, old chum?

HOLMES: Possibly in the physical sense. Judging by the angle of trajectory, I'd say it came from... that direction. Teddy!

WATSON: Teddy?! From next door?!

TEDDY: Yes, sir, Mr Holmes?

HOLMES: Come out from the fireplace. Now have you been playing bows and arrows again?

TEDDY: Yes, sir, Mr Holmes.

HOLMES: I see. Would you mind removing that arrow from Watson's diaphragm?

TEDDY: Certainly, sir, Mr Holmes.

WATSON: You mean... Ow! Oh, gosh, look, Holmes, it's a sucking blubber... rubber sucker. Good Lord! I'm saved! Heavens!

HOLMES: Thank you, Teddy. Now be a good lad and call Hudders, would you? Watson's in shock.

TEDDY: Right away, sir, Mr Holmes.

WATSON: Oh ho, not a poisoned dart, after all. Ha ha. Silly me, always imagining the worst. Awfully sorry, Holmes. What a terrible fretting irrelevance I've become.

HOLMES: That's what becomes of an idle mind. Have you thought of becoming a Scout leader? Showing strapping young lads how to tie knots and hunt wild stag beetles at camp? That should knock all that egotistical balderdash out of you.

WATSON: I say, what a spiffing idea. We could set up camp in Epping Forest and cook bangers and mash on the stove by the lake and sing Ging Gang Goolie Goolie Goolie Goolie watch ya Ging Gang Goo Ging Gang Goo then make a tree house and catapults to kill lizards and snakes and creepy crawlies with. Then after that we could build a boat to explore the island on the other side and capture and interrogate any natives we might find, perhaps even sell a few for good money at Camden Market.

HOLMES: Oh, dear. I think the camphor's starting to kick in. Sometimes, Watson, I wonder what would've have happened to you if I hadn't plucked you from the depths of suburban obscurity. I do believe you'd still be living with your parents, playing with your train set and reading Treasure Island for the thousandth time.

WATSON: Ah, yes. My beloved train set. Took me seven years to build and just half an hour to burn.

HOLMES: Yes, along with the house.

WATSON: I do wish you wouldn't keep bringing that up. I wasn't in my right mind then, as you know. And just what's wrong with reading Treasure Island as many times as I like? It takes me to another place, provides me with an inner peace not to be had from the grim bedlam of this earth. And don't forget my toy soldiers. Many a time I re-enacted Agincourt. They were wonderful times.

HOLMES: Which just proves that some men never grow up.

WATSON: If dear mama could see me now...

HOLMES: And they dare to muse on immortality.

WATSON: If papa hadn't chosen to conceal his identity from all and sundry from the moment I was born...

HOLMES: And ask that others take them seriously.

WATSON: If dear gran hadn't mysteriously disappeared after dropping me off head first at the police station...

HOLMES: I really don't know what the world is coming to.

WATSON: If I hadn't spent those long winter months locked in the tool shed...

HOLMES: Watson!

WATSON: Yes, Holmes?

HOLMES: If you promise not to be late for lunch, you can go and play bows and arrows with Teddy.

WATSON: Oh, can I? Oh, thank you, Mr Holmes. You really are the bestest host.

HOLMES: And don't talk to any strangers.

WATSON: Right you are, Mr Holmes.

HOLMES: Run along now.

WATSON: Ta-ta. Teddy! Teddy! Hold the fort, I'm on my way!

HOLMES: (sighs) You can take the man out of the boy but you can't put the boy in the... oh, whatever. Hudders! Hudders! Where is she? I need a strong pot of tea and some crumpet after all this. Let's hope that psychiatrist Dr Bumfenbaum can sort out Watson when he gets back. In truth, I don't think Watson's been right since that piano fell on him on his way to the tuck shop. Oh, well. Que sera sera as they say. Crumpet at eleven!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


BIRD: You sound pretty wasted, Buffters. What was you up to last nite?

BUFFALO: Alligators, Birdy. Up to my ass in 'em. Sometimes I get a break, though, and then it feels like I'm being eaten alive by ducks.

BIRD: Any particular kind of ducks?

BUFFALO: Very angry ducks, ducky.

BIRD: Bordering on mad?

BUFFALO: Yes, pre-size-lee. Mad ducks.

BIRD: Are they are bad as mad dogs?

BUFFALO: Wurse. They don't foam at the mouth, so by the time you've figgered out they're mad, you've already been bitten.

BIRD:And danger of infection? Contamination even?

BUFFALO: No, fortunately I've been quite mad for most of my life, so I'm immune. I think my current de-lemo can best be summed up in the dire log between our two most favorite Russian scallywags.

BIRD: Blimey, you mean the Russian virgin of Laurel and Hardy?

BUFFALO: The very ones. I've been eavesdropping on them. It appears that they've gotten themselves into a mighty pickle.

BIRD: Turn up the watts, Buff, so we can all have a listen, innit.

BUFFALO: Hang on, here they come.

BORODNY: Well, Pushkin, here is other fine mess you got me into.

PUSHKIN: It's not my fault! She said she will be doing both of us, on back seat of Trabant!

BORODNY: And you believed her? Are you not learning anything from last six times she duped us, turnip dick?

PUSHKIN: But she was so sincere, and eloquent, regular Daughter of the Revolution, already!

BORDONY: Da, and now here we are, hanging upside by our ankles, in Durance Vile, waiting for bloodsucking attorney to skewer us like couple of shish ka-knobs. Pushkin, you truly are idiot of distinction of former Soviet Mother's Union.

PUSHKIN: But it is not my fault! Mama dropped me on head as baby.

BORODNY: Is great shame she did not flush you down toilet, instead, already.

PUSHKIN: What toilet? We had bucket, like all citizens of revolution. Mama make many smellies. Wooo! We relieve ourselves once a year in correct procedure, on annual visit to Moscow.

BORODNY: What in name of pregnant goat with inflated udders you was doing in Moscow?

PUSHKIN: Visiting papa, in Lubayanka. We save money for him, so he bribe guards to give him cabbage to eat, but he was lunatic out of hungry and eat the money, already.

BORODNY: Da, suspicion confirmed. You come from long line of idiots.

PUSHKIN: Is not true! But we must stand in long line of idiots to use bathroom.

BORODNY: So is why you have shit for brains.

PUSHKIN: Excuse me, please. but I am hanging here in company, you know.

BORODNY: But of course. I am idiot to listen to you. I am telling myself you so potty that you are banging wet dream, already. Once again you hear Sirens drawing you to rocks, and like complete ficklehole I give you helm. For this, I deserve Order of Lennon, winter vacation in Siberia, and nice red hot poker up ficklehole.

PUSHKIN: I am sorry, already! You know how it happens when she flashes headlights at me and gives me come on, already. No man who is not prancing nancy boy is resisting it. I am just human, you know!

BORODNY: You are human turd, is what, you fooked idiot. If we get out of mess, I kick your sorry ficklehole from one end of Red Square to other, then I drown you in vat of vodka.

PUSHKIN: Drowned in vat of vodka? "Death, where is thy sting?"

BORODNY: You will see, if we survive. I put pitchfork so far up your ficklehole when you walk in room, everyone is saying, "Look, here comes Pushkin, who speaks with forked tongue." Enough of crying, already, die like man!

BUFFALO: And dat's where we must relieve it.

BIRD: Thank the Freddy. It's getting a bit tacky, innit? Funny how there seems to be a parallel between our current situations.

BUFFALO: There are parallels going all the way back to Eden, Birdy. Forbidden fruit, and all that.

BIRD: Beware of Greeks bearing gifts, is it?

BUFFALO: More like, beware of Vikings bearing melons, I think.

BIRD: I see what you mean, Buffers.

BUFFALO: Next time, do me a favor, Birdy. Shoot me in the fookin' head, willya?

BIRD: Or the Freddy.

BUFFALO: That, too. I should have the damned thing amputated, for all the good it does me.

BIRD: Live and learn, Buff.

BUFFALO: I think I have a learning disability, Birdy.

BIRD: No one's purr-fect.

BUFFALO: You can say that again.

BIRD: No one's purr-fect.

BUFFALO: Put a lid on it, Birdman, before I am throttling you, already.

BIRD: Whimper, whimper.

BUFFALO: Ditto that, Birdy, ditto that.

BIRD: Film at eleven?

BUFFALO: Yeah, "The Battleship Potemkin" - uncut, uncensored, un-fookin'-believable. Arf, arf!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


BIRD: Snap out of it, dude. It may never happen.

BUFFALO: Wot do you know about it, dude? You weren't there.

BIRD: The mind plays winsome tricks, pair of noya an' all.

BUFFALO: Whatever. But I know wot she said.

BIRD: Just words, Buffters. Sometimes well ordered. Sometimes misplaced.

BUFFALO: Dude, listen to yourself. You're playing the game too. Aiming for profound but hitting a big fat pisswilly asswonk.

BIRD: Now I know you're upset, and a shade disorientated even, but you can be civil.

BUFFALO: I wear my heart on my sleeve. And everything else. You don't like it, suck on my gazunda!

BIRD: Whoa. Violation 1, retraction accepted. I haven't done anything. I'm trying to get you to talk your way through the fading blancmange.

BUFFALO: Highly unsuck-Cecilly so far, I might subtract.

BIRD: OK, look, if you hadn't started at A then said B then heard C but thought D, E wouldn't have occurred to you now. And as for F and G, well, they can wait until we've sussed out if A1 has got something to do with this.

BUFFALO: Cut the nitwibble, Birdman. You think I've got the wrong end of the pole vault. No more, no less.

BIRD: Or the right end of the electrode.

BUFFALO: I transcend that last remark. I haven't resorted to the Twirling Super Cone for well over two weeks. And I didn't think D at all. And hactually, I was closer to H when I found I'd hit the underpass, so to speak.

BIRD: Good. Now we're getting somewhere. Now if you were to articulate H, what would it be?

BUFFALO: Sharp, dude. Max respect. Well, H would be "wind". Gusts of. Howling. Blowing in. Listening to. In the willows. Of change.

BIRD: And D?

BUFFALO: Which I didn't think of anyway. D would be "kite". As high as. Go fly a. Red. Swirling. Punctured. Jeez, I'm SO depressed.

BIRD: Come on, dude. You remember that story you told me about when you were seven and you flew that kite higher than anyone and won all the choccies?

BUFFALO: Wot of it?

BIRD: Make yourself another kite, a massive one and get out on that hill and fly it! Fur get all your whirlies.

BUFFALO: Oh, wot's the point? As Mayakovsky said, "Love's boat has been shat on against the life of everyday".

BIRD: That's "shattered", dude, and when he wrote that he hadn't slept for a week. And he was well fooked by the authorities. But he never let a casual remark injure him.

BUFFALO: It wasn't a casual remark, and it didn't injure me. It just made me think that careless lips start heavy rumours. Turns out, the only reality worth catching is on the back seat of a parked car in a cul-de-sac with a cork a-popping. Encore!

BIRD: Dat's my boy! Sensory overload at eleven?

BUFFALO: Arf, arf!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


WATSON: I say, Holmes.

HOLMES: Yes, Watson?

WATSON: Is it still raining?

HOLMES: Veritable cats and dogs.

WATSON: Oh, dear. So it's not the smog.

HOLMES: Alas, no, old chum. I blame the gherkins. Repeats on me every time.

WATSON: I'm worried about the roof what what what. What if it leaks again?

HOLMES: It's all right, old bean. We've got a big bucket up there. It'll have to rain for 40 days and 40 nights to fill that blighter up.

WATSON: Why, Holmes, you almost sound biblical.

HOLMES: Why 40, I ask myself? There really is no logic to it.

WATSON: Do you think this sort of thing's going to get worse? I mean as the earth warms up. More floods and storms and heatwaves?

HOLMES: Hard to tell, old fruit. Our pal Charlie, he of the Darwinian fame, predicts that we're all going to hell on an asteroid when the King abdicates.

WATSON: It would appear that everything we hold most dear is illusory, fragmentary and inherently self-implosive. It's a brave new world out there, Holmes.

HOLMES: It's as they say in cricket, 22 players and a catch. Or the animal farmyard. Nineteen hundred and eight, or is it four?

WATSON: What's that, Holmes? You lost me past the tram stop.

HOLMES: Ways of looking at our predicament.

WATSON: You mean theories of what awaits our civilisation?

HOLMES: Precisely, old wacky quacky. Let's say, oh, I don't know, to make it snappier, instead of cricket and suchlike, Catch 22.

WATSON: Very CATCHY. A-ho-ho.

HOLMES: And instead of the farmyard thingie, maybe Animal Farm.

WATSON: Oh, OINK-cellent! A-tee-hee-hee.

HOLMES: And instead of nineteen hundred and eight or four, possibly, um, well, 1984!

WATSON: Good Lord! I'm in AWE...well... You know, Holmes, if you ever tire of sleuthing you could do a lot worse than become a novelist.

HOLMES: Oh, don't be so silly, you old pooper. Who would possibly want to read a book called Catch 22, Animal Farm or 1984? Now you're dancing with the fairies and tickling La-La.

WATSON: Incredible. In just one morning of sustained rain and crushing dankness you've laid the foundations for the next 100 years of literature. People shall look back on this day and wonder what might have been had it not been for these confounded downpours.

HOLMES: Oh, I don't know. I've had a few thoughts about where Mozart's been going wrong too. You see, it's my belief that the beat is all wrong, and there needs to be a more prominent role for the bass, and these two are, after all, the foundations on which everything else is built.

WATSON: You mean the drum and bass. How extraordinary. Let me write this down.



HOLMES: The rain, it's stopped.

WATSON: Good Lord! Toby, walkies!

HOLMES: About time too! Now what was it we were talking about?

WATSON: Talking, Holmes? We weren't talking about anything. We were sitting here in splendid, oppressive silence, wishing we could be elsewhere.

HOLMES: That's strange. I could have sworn we were talking about something.

WATSON: Well, whatever it was, it couldn't have been of any great import, or we'd remember it.

HOLMES: I suppose so.

WATSON: Walkies at eleven?

HOLMES: Not half! And yet totalitarian rule is not so utterly unthinkable, is it?

Friday, October 05, 2007



Darkness: the sluice rained down;
The pockets were deep;
It was well past the post on a midsummer's flight
When parping nuns lay in bed snug up tight;
There, with much gargling to do before daylight,
We lugged our sweaty bodies as best we might
Along the gutter; sometimes a blackbird sang
And droning belles burst with a hollow bang
We were sozzled, soiled and wretched, everyone;
Darkness: the distant wink of a lady of pleasure
I tossed in the black ditch, loathing the warm;
A firework fizzled and cackled with excruciating flare,
And lit the arse of what had been a face
Floundering in the dish. He stood before me bare;
I say that he was Freddy; stiffened in the glare,
And arcing upwards from his burgeoning task,
Both love sacs in support; His focus all mine
Proud from the whimsical head that wore no mask
Of immoral pain in Mon Venus's unholy shrine.

And pounding in haste, the impatient buck
Mumbling: 'O Manchester United, now I'm stuck!"

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


WATSON: I say, Holmes.

HOLMES: Yes, Watson?

WATSON: We should have a conservatory built what what what. Evercrest are offering some spiffing good deals, you know.

HOLMES: Conservatories are for the chattering classes. You and I don't chatter, we deduce.

WATSON: It's a bit dark, this room, don't you think? And stuffy too. We could do with more light and fresh air, hm?

HOLMES: You mean so we roast in the summer and freeze in the winter? And let's not forget that the blasted thing will be full of rodents and wasps and spiders and will be positively awkward to clean.

WATSON: I thought you liked creepy crawlies and things.

HOLMES: I do, when they're out THERE, where they belong. Have you forgotten about my allergies and skin rashes?

WATSON: Oh, yes, of course. If a bluebottle so much as lands on your arm, you swell up like a melon. Most distressing.

HOLMES: Well, I was perfectly fine before you roped me into your little experiment to find a cure for lumbago.

WATSON: Holmes, old chap, I did warn you of the risks.

HOLMES: You mean a permanently damaged stomach lining and chilblains in July?!

WATSON: You're not going to let me forget this, are you, old man? Every time there's a slight altercation or the possibility that I may be winning the argument, you trot out the old lumbago thing. It won't do, you know. People will begin to think you're a whinger what what what.

HOLMES: And I haven't had a decent night's sleep since then. Why you ever thought toe jam and frog's droppings in a cup cake would cure that particular ailment I shall never know.

WATSON: You didn't have to eat it.

HOLMES: I trusted you.

WATSON: Nonsense. You were going for glory. Being the greatest detective the world has seen EVER just wasn't enough for you. You wanted to be the first man to be cured of lumbago too!

HOLMES: Watson, I didn't have lumbago until you started poking me about. I should've kicked you out on your ear for that one.

WATSON: Oh, come now, Holmes, you'd never do that. Who would you have to feel superior over, to treat like a bungling buffoon who provides cheap and cheerful amusement of an evening?

HOLMES: True. Oh, I suppose a conservatory wouldn't be so bad. And one does have to consider one's standing in the community.

WATSON: That's the ticket, Holmes. Now shall we have the three facet Victorian, the five facet Victorian, the Georgian or the gable or the box gutter? The three facet is aesthetically pleasing but the five facet presents a more rounded appearance, don't you think?

HOLMES: Oh, I don't know. I quite like the Georgian with its square elevation.

WATSON: Yes, the elevation is an asset, I'll give you that. Mind you, the gable comes into its own when matched to a steeply pitched roof.

HOLMES: But the box gutter is able to capitalise upon a shared gutter system.

WATSON: It's a tough call to make.

HOLMES: It sure is, old bean. More tea?

WATSON: Yes. Why not? Crumpet at eleven?

HOLMES: Not half!

Monday, October 01, 2007




Move them into the rain
Gently their touch awoke them once
At home, fizzing of oats half-sown
Sideways it poked him, even in Madge
Until this dawning and this snow
If anything might rouse them now
The kind old hoe will know

Think how it wakes the seeds
Woke once the hops of a cold beer
Are bags, so clear defined, are binds
Fully-wired - ever warm - too hard when stirred?
Was it for this one night they stood tall?
O what made fleshy receptacles soil
To break Clarissa's hump at all?