It’s Quiet. Too Quiet…

While My City Gently Sleeps
It’s quiet in the town beneath the shadow of the tower.
It’s not the calm before the storm.
It’s the sullent petulant silence of a sulking child.

The people of the town beneath the shadow of the tower
Have melted away into the dark grey
That is a summer’s street in winter.

The tower blinks.
And the empty quiet town beneath the shadow of the tower
Rolls over and goes back to sleep
Wherein to await the coming of spring.


“If my mind and my city were the same thing then I was losing my mind.” – Aleksandar Hemon, The Book of My Lives


Ta-Dah! Oh…

Shouting “Eureka!” In A Crowded Library
What a time for an epiphany.
Right in the middle of a tricky job
Is not when you’d choose
For the world to roll back its darkening veil
And show you the Great Secret we all suspect
Everyone else knows but which has hitherto been hidden from us.

Archimedes, the lucky bugger,
Had his moment of blinding clarity
Mid-bath. His trickiest task
Was to cover the necessaries with a towel –
Which, incidentally, he conspicuously failed to do.

Still, I guess it beats working for a living.


‘It’s a bizarre but wonderful feeling, to arrive dead center of a target you didn’t even know you were aiming for.’ – Lois McMaster Bujold, author’s afterword to Cordelia’s Honor

Left Bank, Right Bank, Bottle Bank

The Old Socialists’ Drinking Society
The Old Socialists’ Drinking Society
Is called to order tonight.
They have convened to battle sobriety
And, nearly as bad, the Right.

They don’t know the words
To the Internationale,
Their red flags no longer fly high.
The bookshelves that line
The old Hampstead parlour
Groan not with Engels, but Fry.

‘Moab Is My Washpot’.
Saddam was no despot.
(Isn’t it a shame what happened to Hitch?)
Who would you rather,
Chavez or Carter?
Don’t start me on Rand, the frigid old bitch.

The Old Socialists’ Drinking Society
Melts into the North London night.
Next week they’ll convene to battle sobriety,
And, nearly as bad, the Right.


‘Some people’s blameless lives are to blame for a good deal.’ – Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night

Don’t Forget To Be Happy

Recall Now The Roses
There will be a time to cry.
There will be a time to remember that you’re the only one
Who went home alone.
There will be a time to go twelve rounds with yourself
And lose on points.
There will be a time to second-guess every glance,
Every laugh, every conversation and every half-heard whisper.
There will be a time to call yourself a cunt.

But in this place
Of vast, terrifying beauty that seems
To us more-or-less intelligent primates
The last word in permanence but
Has only been for a few blinks
Of the great geologic eye;

And under these stars
Shining their impossibly ancient light,
Light that was born before the first
Rocks of Earth collided and now
Rests orphaned in your tear-damp eyes;

And with these people
Who, despite their happy, normal, love-filled lives
Can still find the time
To remind you that their world at least
Would be the poorer for your absence;

In this place,
Under these stars,
With these people;
This is a time to hold on tight to
And say,
“I am happy. And that’s okay.”


No quote this time, Buzzfeed already said it all (or rather collated it all):

Okay fine, here’s your quote, with a pretty picture to boot:

Fiction Is Real

Man: The Amnesiac Watchmaker
“God simplifies nothing.”
“God shuts down debate.”
“God is inimical to reason.”
“God leads to fear. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate…leads to suffering.”
True, true, true…true.
“God is not real.”


Just because we invented god,
Does that mean it’s not real?

Mull over Macbeth, argue about Achilles;
Hubris and glorylust, mortality and anger,
Fiction or no these are real questions
Worthy of real quarrels and quibbles and quiet mediations
And fierce refutations of the overly lexical classical scholar,
The Freudian peek into the Myrmidon tent
Or the Bacon-ite, Marlowe-ite, whoever-else-ite
Who thinks, “What does he know of Scotland
Who only Warwickshire knows?”

(Reductio ad absurdum works better in comedy. Divine or otherwise. Ed.)

But in the end, we return to the bush
Which we have been beating around:
We must not forget it was us who made god
And not the other way round.


“Man had created God in his own image, not the other way around. He had done it through sheer terror, and who could blame him? Unfortunately he had made too good a job. The god he had invented was just as cruel and careless as man himself. Not a deity to whom one should seriously address a prayer.” – Richard Herley, The Penal Colony