opening lines

It was a wandering daughter job.

“Fly Paper”
Dashiell Hammett


hott nuns (#2)



Ava piece a banana BOYZ sed the Commish
                                                                   PONG CHOOEY
Ternight yer in fer a real treat
                                        and alla manyata
            stripped down to her knees and there a mantle
            a mantle of finest ivory that Casticcini made or Ezra
Let us alone / or like Yeatsy "Let me
ALONE" and Radinbranath in Terhune
reading the Chicago papers and asking after Minsky
the burlesk Minsky BANG GONG          and the gold dust
                                                                            hit in the face
his teeth broken his gold teeth broken O Anna Magnani
the pity that has broken my doily
                SAITH Themis     and
    my rock garden is empty no flower
                nor beast pusheth
                                      because of phooey
                Phooey hath eaten my garden
                                      Evil the cowslip
                     and the gem
                          that are tainted with phooey
                                                dit Wang Chu
                                                          972 B.C.
And you will grow up to be a high commercial
So that people of esteem will read your verses
Then you shall return to this valley and teach eating
                          For who hath eaten phooey
                          Returneth not unto paradise
Dem mudder fuckers doan unnerstan me
Said princess Toy Ling A.D. 1922
Dey doan unnerstan nuttin but smut
That was the year the doves fell at Livorgno
Six thousand of them and Caspia walking among them
From morning till night until finally there was nothing
But her feet and then nothing
But her ankles as white as doves
                                      nothing but ankles moving
               I have brought these jewels to Mantua
               I have been fortunate in my choice of birds
   for this beak eateth phooey
                                                    PING CHONG
for this beak eateth Ping Chong phooey.

Kenneth Koch



I never saw a rat
Sorry for itself.
I never saw two rats
Consoling one another for being rats.

Rats live good full rat-lives with other rats.
Rat mind and rat heart plunge them into rat sex with other impassioned rats.
People say they are poison and ugly and cause disease.
I say people cause disease.
I never caught a cold or syphilis or gonorrhea or manic depression from a rat.

Kenneth Koch


Maurice Blanchot on Sade

The libertine gets his greatest joy from the destruction of his victims, but this joy self-destructs, annihilating its own cause. "The pleasure of killing a woman," says one,
is soon over; once dead, she feels nothing more; the pleasure of making her suffer disappears with her life.... Let's brand her with a red-hot iron; let's mark her indelibly; from this injury she will suffer to the last moment of her life and our lust, prolonged without end, will only grow more delicious.
Similarly, Saint-Fond, not content with simple methods of torture, dreams of a kind of infinitely protracted death for everyone. To this end he devises an undeniably ingenious system to avail himself, in this upper world, of the inexhaustible resources of Hell for torturing whom he wishes. Clairwill chides Saint-Fond for what she terms his excesses, and tries to to set him back on the right path:
Get rid of that voluptuous idea that works you up so much—that of indefinitely dragging out the agonies of the creature you want to kill—and replace it with a greater number of victims. Don't try to prolong the murder of a single person, which is impossible, but kill many of them, which can be easily done.


How much does all the dust in the world weigh?

a) a million pounds

b) a billion pounds

c) dust doesn't weigh anything



Parker leaned far to the right, aiming the pistol out at arm’s length in front of him,

the line of the barrel sighted on Shevelly’s head. Shevelly read his intention and suddenly thrust his hands out protectively in front of himself, shouting, “I’m only the messenger!”

“Now you’re the message,” Parker told him, and shot him.

Richard Stark, Butcher’s Moon




Barabbas, slated to race, was scratched.

Pilate, the starter, pulling out his clepsydra or water clock, an operation which wet his hands unless he had merely spit on them — Pilate gave the send-off.

Jesus got away to a good start.

In those days, according to the excellent sports commentator St Mathew, it was customary to flagellate the sprinters at the start the way a coachman whips his horses. The whip both stimulates and gives a hygienic massage. Jesus, then, got off in good form, but he had a flat right away. A bed of thorns punctured the whole circumference of his front tire.

Today in the shop windows of bicycle dealers you see a reproduction of this veritable crown of thorns as an ad for puncture-proof tires. But Jesus's was an ordinary single-tube racing tire.

The two thieves, obviously in cahoots and therefore 'thick as thieves,' took the lead.

It is not true that there were any nails. The three objects usually shown in the ads belong to a rapid-change tire tool called the 'Jiffy.'

We had better begin by telling about the spills; but before that the machine itself must be described.

The bicycle frame in use today is of relatively recent invention. It appeared around 1890. Previous to that time the body of the machine was constructed of two tubes soldered together at right angles. It was generally called the right-angle or cross bicycle. Jesus, after his puncture, climbed the slope on foot, carrying on his shoulder the bike frame, or, if you will, the cross.

Contemporary engravings reproduce this scene from photographs. But it appears that the sport of cycling, as a result of the well-known accident which put a grievous end to the Passion race and which was brought up to date almost on its anniversary by the similar accident of Count Zborowski on the Turbie slope — the sport of cycling was for a time prohibited by state ordinance. That explains why the illustrated magazines, in reproducing this celebrated scene, show bicycles of a rather imaginary design. They confuse the machine's cross frame with that other cross, the straight handlebar. They represent Jesus with his hands spread on the handlebars, and it is worth mentioning in this connection that Jesus rode lying flat on his back in order to reduce his air resistance.

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Alfred Jarry

Hoagy Carmichael + Lauren Bacall


from "Two Sleepy People" by Frank Loesser (tune by Hoagy Carmichael, of course)

Here we are
Out of cigarettes,
Holding hands and yawning,
Look how late it gets!
Two sleepy people by dawn's early light
And too much in love to say goodnight.

Here we are
In the cozy chair,
Pickin' on a wishbone
From the Frigidaire.
Two sleepy people with nothing to say
And much too much in love to break away.




If the truth of a proposition does not follow from the fact that it is self-evident to us, then its self-evidence in no way justifies our belief in its truth.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus