Flashy Poem Monster

Monstrous Mental Gym Poem: de-monstrate, not tell

I have been reading lists of clichés;

listening to talks about random violence-or-not at chuckycheezes

spoiler: it’s usually a domestic affair


weapons of mass destruction


small-step braveries

shooting of mentally ill patients in hospital beds

snatches of gravity’s rainbow

and long re-reads of tortuous tales

It made the time on the treadmill go by somewhat faster

even without stem-cell time crystals

Touché cliché has a bonjour tristesse ring to it, no?


like sweat through a lulu leotard

demon straight

demon’s traits

– I am trying to think of a monster-

in 1500 words


The monstro-of-consciousness

morphs and changes.

Now cooing sweet nothings,

then tearing self-esteem apart-

It throttles the black dog;

tickles the tummy full of cherry pie-

whispers, cajoles, shouts;

pulls at bruised toe-nails.

It pinches off yeasty-dough pizza thought bubbles

and spins and flattens and tosses them.

Some plop down like toe-biter offspring;

take root, potato-eyed spud roots

with leaves and shoots and spider hair.

Others crawl away, skinless, raw, unlit:

shoestring allumette fries.

The stem cell time crystals voice their opinion:

They protest too much, methinks.

Vulture paté, it’s a thing:

They came for its liver, every day

and it grew back by night.

Now, they sit, own talons nailed to a plank; force-fed themselves.

It’s a delicacy, you see.

The post-prandial pancreatic pleasure

of Deliverance

de mon traitor

Ma man,

the good father

That is, the water bug dad:

not a monster, you say.

When you tear the legs off a sea star,

you can grow five new ones.

Twenty-five torn off could soon add up.

High five, oleaginous prince,

you get a five star review!

We’re going on a monster hunt

Mon stêr

Mon star

My stare

I see you now:

You are a true monster,

my monster.

The woke monster

The delicious monster, caught by its tail

of twenty-now’s.

Descend the stairway to hell on tippy-toes.


(Not halitosis)

tie; grrr

Sorry, Pops, what did you say?

Pop star?

Pop tart?

No: just toast

How can toast be just?

A toast to justness then!

It’s just a lemma after all.

A choice between the high road and the low one:

bract or chaff.

The grass roots of a double-take.

But don’t panicle;

there’s no stigma attached to this ovary,

the anthers in fact a filament of your imagination.

Don’t unsheathe the blade

of ridicule so readily.

True post-modern poetry

is hard to conceive

And readily aborted

No mint will sweeten that breath:

vulture vomit is an involuntary evolutionary un-evil defence mechanism.

You know that.

A sticky wicket, when your software won’t update

Even with the license key

It leaves one vulnerable

to all kinds of unholy trolls

Raging at the fall of the good knight.

Do not go gently.


Fight that good fight.

Into the night rode the five hundred

their duty done

Screw the one thousand;

we do this for fun

So: nine more words:

it should have been none.

Now: the other thousand words will have to be a picture, because I’m out of time and talent. Hey, it’s pi day today.





A Feathered Thing

I am working on a commission. Some to and thro-ing has occurred and conceptually we’re talking about feathers. I am doing some Chinese ink and brush sketches to get into the mood. Because the painting will be going all the way to Australia, I briefly considered doing it on ‘rice paper’ (it isn’t really; it is made from the bark of the mulberry tree). That way I could just roll it up and send it off in its little tube, le voila. But I’m prone to larger, more dramatic pieces that you can sort of climb into physically, well, metaphorically, euphorically, wholly. I have recently done quite a few using oil and cold wax- this I like. The texture, the flat colour. Acrylics are great because they dry so quickly, but they are very shiny, as they should be. That is their true character. For this I wanted something with a little gravitas. The painting will be a wedding anniversary present. It is going to be fairly large- a triptych of about five foot by five foot. I will have to do it on the floor, so to put some kinetic energy into it. We’ll see.

The Existentialist Penguin

Gravel gizzards literally rock!

What's In John's Freezer?

It’s World Penguin Day! Watch your back though… these penguins aren’t as nice as they seem. But they need us to be nice to them!

Hahaha?Whether you watch a classic GIF like the one above, or a kid-friendly TV/film documentary, you might get the impression that penguins lead carefree, or at least silly or slapstick, lives– happy feet and all that. It works for Hollywood: a Charlie Chaplin comedy relief role to play.  And that’s the vision of penguins I grew up with: they were living cartoons to me.

But what’s the reality? Plenty of documentaries, most notably to my mind the recent Attenborough’s “Frozen Earth” episodes or “March of the Penguins” film, have dealt with the darker side to these two-toned, tuxedo-toting antipodeans. And anyone who has experienced penguins in the wild has probably seen those not-so-light facets of penguinity firsthand. On realiizing just how compulsively horny young “hooligan cock” male…

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Death’s Doll: The World’s Most Beautiful Mummy

Death’s Doll

The Chirurgeon's Apprentice

They call her ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ the world’s most beautiful mummy. Rosalia Lombardo died from pneumonia in 1920 at the tender age of 2. Her body was embalmed by Alfredo Salafia (below), put into a glass coffin, and placed inside the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Italy. If it were not for the oxidizing amulet of the Virgin Mary resting atop her blanket, you would swear she had died a few days ago.

Very little is known about Rosalia’s life, and, until recently, even less was known about Salafia’s preservation methods.

Embalming as a means of memorializing the dead has ancient roots, dating all the way back to the Egyptians beginning in 3200 BC. During this period, embalmers removed the internal organs before rinsing the empty cavity with palm wine and filling it with natron salts. Over the next 40 days, the body would begin to dry out and mummify. The internal…

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The Best Literary Facts from the Twitterverse

I am inspired to get a pet lobster and name him “Nuances of Growth”! (or maybe Nuisance?)

Interesting Literature

Last Wednesday, we issued our 50,000 followers on Twitter with a challenge: to tweet us with the best literary fact they know. The reason for this was simple: since last December, the modestly sized research team here at Interesting Literature has been tweeting (as @InterestingLit) little facts, quotations, and links based on all aspects of literature, but one of the joys of literature is that as well as being a solitary experience (reading, writing) it can also be a social and communal interest (blogging, tweeting, discussing). And everyone who is interested in literature knows far more interesting things about it than they probably even realise themselves, so we saw this challenge as a chance for our followers to show us what they’ve got. They didn’t disappoint.

So, here are what our followers tweeted us. The author of each fact is included in brackets after the relevant tweet, placed in…

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Fright Night Villanesque

Fright Night
Fright Night (Oil and Cold Wax, 16″x16″)

Fright Night Villanesque

Strip it down bare-boned, meet the beasts head-on

The serotinal thief is cowardly

Fright night’s raging will pale when day is done

The swirly eyes feverish when light is gone

The brake lights, air bags all but memory

Strip it down bare-boned, meet the beast head-on

Sharp fangs glisten, triangles having fun

In sad abandon they blink forever uselessly

Fright night’s raging will pale when day is done

The pulse of light, a gonner, such was man

The scritching sounds of horror legs scurry

Strip them down bare, boned; meet the beast; head on

Dismembered in the day’s light, now there’s none

Just the skid marks on an easel, somewhat sunny

Fright night’s raging will pale when day is done

But lie down and dream deeply, hon

Those leglike lashes come crawling for more fun

Stripped to bare bone, meat- the beast’s head

Fright night’s whimper will pale when life is done

Coup de chapeau au Passé: J’ay perdu ma Tourterelle, translated here…(Lichtenstein too-two-II, of course…tipping the hat is so much better than tipping the cow, no?)