Monday, 26 November 2007

Thoughts of Water

We are the Society for the Positive Healing Powers of Water.
Our current motto is "Think When You Flush"
As we are also concerned with conservation.
Last year, our motto was "Think Before You Flush"
But we have changed this to emphasize the importance of water itself
Because you would be flushing and not thinking about the water
While you were flushing it away. That's just too sad.
In fact, the first thing on our agenda tonight
Is to decide if we should change our motto yet
"Think Before, During, and After You Flush."
The pros of this are that is even more specific
To what we want to achieve.
The negative side is that it may be asking too much.
And may take up too much time.
And we may be inundated with calls...for example
How long before and how long after do you have to think about the flushing?
How hard do you have to concentrate?
Can you read a book while doing this?
Of course, once we have decided on the exact timing of these imperatives,
We will post it in the FYI and FAQ of our website.

The topic for this evening's discussion is:
Say Kind Things to Water and It will Change your Life...
By Author....Wilma Tedworth.

Gated Community

In voice of---Linda Lovelace (Chair of the social society for the gated community of Wintergreen Springs)

Hello and welcome....welcome....
Take your coats off....feel at home...
Not too at home.
You have homes to go to.
This is the first annual meeting
Of the Wintergreen Springs Gated Community Social club.
You can call it WSGC for short.
We're a cosy group.
You're here to rules tonight.
Why call it a gated community if you just throw away the key?
Let's start with the basics:

Each house must be set back from the road exactly 35 feet.
That's an easy rule to follow as you didn't build your house yourself... did you?
Secondly, the grass should be kept between one and two inches at all times.
If you have any problems with this, our handy caretaker can come out
And readjust your blades
With his measure.
He will be around to measure your lawn on a weekly basis.
Don't worry. You don't have to be home.

What colour do you want your house?
Pink, baby blue, or dark orange?
Well it ain't happening here....we're not Barnum and Bailey's Flying Circus.
You choose: White, beige, or for the deep thinkers and eccentrics...
We have dark gray.
If you are a decisive person, (we like that) get it sided.
You house will be white, beige or gray until you die.
Unless, of course, you move.
If you choose to paint your house,
You are welcome to switch between the three colors,
but prior notice is needed...Inform Sam at the clubhouse.
Permission will be granted....but we love paperwork.

You must also have at least five televisions.
One must be on at all times...
We recommend the kids' rooms or the kitchen for this.
You must have a subscription to 200 cable channels.
You must eat breakfast while watching the morning news
In the kitchen and never sit down, never finish your coffee,
And always kiss your partner and children before leaving for work.
If this takes too much time, either alternate this task every other day,
Or choose just one or the other.
And if your children are under five, stick them in the Montessori.

You must have a deep freeze the size of Antarctica in your basement.
In this, you must have at least three frozen pizzas, ten gourmet ready meals,
half a cow portioned into hamburgers and steaks, and some sort of vegetarian
Option for difficult guests.
We're a very gregarious group.
You are required to attend
Four block parties per year.
It's BYOB-bring your own beer
And BOYB-Be on your best behaviour.
But that rule is usually broken
Due to the first one.

We're going to take a break now and have some bunt cake...
Emma Lou?
Oh. She's not here. Sorry --no bunt cake, however,
If you wish a piece of bunt cake to be mailed to you
Please sign the guest list at the back of the theatre.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

broken smarties

Sinking Cruise Ship Rescue Drama
Involves laughter with a stranger:

What are you doing later?
Oh God. You have nothing to do do you?
(both laugh)
Well. I'm not going to Tesco to buy chicken for my mama .
And then take it home and fry it up.
Or did you bake it?

No I'm going to the body shop to get face creams....
It's alright to shop for face creams if you are a man
But it's not alright if you fore go a lunch invitation
to do so.

Ben looked at the photo and said,
"You broke my smarties."
Then he looked at me and asked,
"Your smarties are broken.
Have you ever broken smarties?"
...really said that. just like that. Smart boy.

Monday, 19 November 2007

It's Better

It's better to be burningly truthful
When you know it's going to burn.

And it's better to hear the truth
When the volume hurts.

It's better to flick ash into a cardboard container
When you know there's water.

It's better to know what you lost at the casino
Even when it's more than you bet.

And it's better to see the mistakes that you made
Even when you didn't know you were making them.

It's better to deflate the pillow of hope
Than to sleep uncertainly

It's better to find those letters
At the bottom of Mt. Vesuvious
And read them again
Flamingos and all.
Before they blow up
Though the ink has run
And the feathers have flown
And say hello.

I think the address was there all the time.
On my internal speedial/filofax....
however it was filed
scrawled on a piece of paper
that might have been
torn off one of your letters.
I just never wrote the letter later.
Even the postcode.
Ha. Even the postcode.
It's been my pincode for years.

And what are you doing later...?
I'm having Manchester United over
For some popcorn.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Toddler Logic

Do you know why they don't have
Drug Prevention Week for Toddlers?
Because there's no need for it.
Toddlers already on drugs.
They born on it.
They got the logic of rhinos.

"Mamma I want the undergroundies."
What, please tell me, are the undergroundies?
Some kind of superhero I missed
Or is a food that we currently out of?
Sounds like a band.
So I check the internet.
No...just train schedules.

Then he takes a photo of grandma's house....
Says....It's grandma.... I love grandma....
.....cuts her up with the scissors.
"Baby safe scissors"
I suppose he's showing his affection.
OOh Grandma's up in the sky.
Sure she is now.

When he's done with that....
He takes the scissors to his winky...
Puts it between the blades....
And then decides that that would be too painful.
That would have been the end
Of the clan.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Lila in the Sauna

In the voice of Lila the ex-pat Polish Princess...talking to man in the sauna.

I hope you don't mind. I put a whole bucket full of water
On the rocks before you arrived.
So.... it is steamy.
If I would have known you were coming,
I would have left the temperature as it is....
Already quite hot.
My you look so sweaty.
You must not be feeling well.
Do you have a fever?
Here, let me pat your brow.
Oh..I don't have a towel.
I will just use some of
Is that better?
It is a wonder you are so sweaty.
It does not seem that you are exerting yourself.
You are just sitting.....
But perhaps the removal of your ipod
From your ears is exercise enough.
From the look of your muscles,
I think you have been exercising
Already too much.
Some body builders.....
They have cobra brain....
They have exercised so much
That the muscles around their brains
have tightened to the point that
That it is cutting off the oxygen to their
Gray matter.
Ofcourse, when you have this kind of
Muscular body....
Perhaps this other part does not matter.
What do you think?
Can you speak?
Or are you just pretty?
I hope you don't have this disease.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Thirteen New Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

This poem was inspired by Wallace Stevens, 1879-1955, who wrote the original Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird . This new version is by Aiden McGee who gave a reading at the Exmouth Arms recently.

1 A blackbird zig-zags the forest clearing.
It forgets and cannot foretell
The thread of this ballet.

2 The man showed the people
He was a man of the people
By wearing country clothes
And walking around some villages.
The blackbird ignored him.

3 A man and a woman are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird are one.
(Wallace Stevens)
But a blackbird in a flock
Precedes a trail of dots
After which words and numbers
Invisibly dispute the final total…

4 The cynic returns to his roots
And makes up a lot of hard luck.
He sulks on a hillside
In front of a tree
Above him branches criss-cross
Where the blackbird perches.

5 At 0500 hours you had two hours
Before you had to get up.
Capital Radio cannot account
For how you were thinking -
The blackbird had an audience.

6 One January England got cold
Just after Chesterfield.
The freeze moved northerly
As a blackbird moved
From the skies to the hedgerows.

7 A thing is either a blackbird
Or it is not a blackbird.
And binary logic is so coolly composed
It’s a wonder that nobody has tried
To punch right through it.

8 He had an affair for two years.
He could not say what she could not say
So they were communally static.
Towards the end they bought a cat
That looked squarely with intent
At blackbirds on the patio.

9 Doing things is our ordeal,
We are confused by the many,
Fixated on the one,
And there is an asymmetry
In the blackbird’s beak,
Thin, orange, like an oboe reed,
Essential to the whole.

10 But things do not link.
The earth is but a country park in the nexus,
Part of a list not causal;
Mercury, Venus, Earth, love,
Crust, core, blackbirds, hemispheres,
Tesco, all waiting their turn
And then something else.

11 The clairvoyant has a future
For people will fall in love.
But it is everything that happens
Within that moment
As when a blackbird blinks
That the crystal ball finds so elusive.

12 There are two sides to purity.
Cuckoos are bailiffs that don’t send letters
Seagulls scream like affronted children
Wood-pigeons morse code in cooing and shitting
And rooks do a satire that makes words look…
But the blackbird potters around
A little like an unobtrusive minister.

13 The summer made a joy of the afternoon
The city was full of pubs with gardens
And the pubs with gardens were full of people
And the burbling hilarity felt justified.
On the edge of it all
Near some mustard fields
The blackbird found a partner for life.

Copyright Aidan McGee 2001, 2007

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Lila and the No Smoking Program

This monologue was performed at the Exmouth Arms on Saturday night as part of the Klezmer Night. This is done in the voice of Lila the ex pat polish princess:

Hello. I must wear my hat. I keep all my thoughts in here
Just like you... the man with the beard.
My husband has a beard, but he is not here tonight.
He is on a plane.....often on a plane
As he is on a no smoking program.
He has to sit in the seat for no smoking.
This makes it absolutely impossible for him to smoke.
Such pressure.
It is very hard and very difficult for him.
So hard and so expensive. So brave he is to do this.
SOmetimes, he sits on the plane for six hours.
Then he has to stay somewhere for a while
As he is tired...and so is his instrutor.
He says that this no smoking program will take...
About two years to complete.
His instructor says he is doing very well,
But still needs some improvement.
So he has to work hard to pay for this course.
Sadly, it is not enough
So we had to sell some of my rings...
Some dresses....
Then my fur coat...he took off last week.
So sorry. But it is for a good cause.
But strange as I saw it on the lady next door.
Perhaps she has one just like mine.
She is always copying me.
She has no fashion sense of her own.
I have seen jewelry on her...
Just like I used to have.
Then , we had to sell Fifi.
Fifi was our beloved miniature barker.
So lovely....but so expensive...
She speaks Chinese. We had a Chinese translator.
She was born speaking Chinese
So she is a much rarer dog than the ones
Who go to Chinese lessons.
But then, I think I heard Fifi speaking next door.
It can not be though. And I know that that lady....
She doesn't speak Chinese very well if at all,
So they wouldn't get on very well
If it is Fifi...but of course, it is not.

Do you like my Jesus paintings?
This one is Jesus on the hill with the baby sheep.
They are bleating for Jesus.
You used to be able to hear them
But I have to change the battery.
Thank you...that you like them.
I know you are nodding inside.
They are painted on cardboard....
Printed actually. A very expensive technique.
They used to be in oil, but this cardboard is much more...
Modern. I want to keep up with the times.
And the price tags.....
I know...Only 59 pence.
It is not true.
They are secretly from Christies....£350,000.00
However, I do not want the thieves to know this.
They just see the price tag and are fooled by it.
Foolish of them...Last time they were here...
They only took the silver and the television.
They used to come regularly...
So I put out some cookies and milk for them...
Like you do for Santa Claus.
But they did not touch it....
Perhaps they were not hungry...
Or they didn't know it was for them.
I should leave a note in future.
We also took off the gold frames.
They were too heavy...
Could fall on your foot and cause some pain.
And also husband needed them.
But I think that there is not much left for him or them to take now.

If you would like a tour sometime,
While the collection is still intact...
Please let me know.
However, only my good friends....
I do for free.
And as I have no good friends,
You must exchange something for this
Privelege.... a trinket or some such thing.
Like this lady over there.... your necklace...yes
The one next to the man with the
Big bald spot wit wisps of fake hair sewn into his head.
Did it hurt? It looks so unnatural.
If you are going to be bald, it is better to do it
In a windswept way...
So you look like you just came off a clipper ship
In Penzance
and are only docking long enough
For a pint of Guiness and some peanuts.
But you....
Men should never spend more time
On their hair than their ladies do.

Do you like my potted palm trees?
I know...they are dead.
But this is also good
As If I forget to water them...
I have not killed them
As they are already dead.
They were not killed.
They only died.
When ELvis died.
They were so sad about it.
He used to live here.
I will not tell you much about him.
He used to sleep in this room.
I slept in this room...and sometimes....
This room.
I am not one to write a book about it.
But I keep the plants he gave me.
That is all. I will tell you more next time.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

The Clock Man

Eight o'clock man.
It's time to wake.
Nine o'clock man.
Ten minutes too late.
Four o'clock man.
One hour to go.
Ten minutes to five.
The meeting is slow.
Five o'clock man.
Fills in the report.
Six o'clock man.
He watches some sport.
Seven o'clock man.
He's having his dinner.
Eight o'clock man.
My team was the winner.
Nine o'clock man.
He's ready for bed.
Ten o'clock man.
He rests his head.

Four Cups second series

Candle Lady has sold

Poem on cup with face:

Long fingered lady
On Lake Geneva
A red-lipped complainer
Lives like a Diva

Looks out the window
"Our boat is too small."
Husband comes home...
"He's really too tall."

Poem on cup with mouse upside-down and framed cat face:

If you are bothered by furry pests...
I am Alex the cat. In me, you must invest.
I'll give your mouse traps a rest..
As at hunting, I am the best.

Large cup with hearts on-no text.
Brown, purple bands.
Red and brown bands with beige inlay.
Beige and green.
Inlay polk a dots and stripes.
Inside--hearts at bottom in beige
with one red and one green.

One face cup with some stars.
Text---You are a star.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Dark Stone

A deep dark stone at the bottom of the sea.
In tidal waves it touches me.
The distant crash of breathe to my ear.
I hold the shell so I can hear.
It moves two centimeters
Every three years.
The scientists
Foretell our erruptive fears.

There's nothing I can do or move.
Write your name in the sand
What would it do
It's at the bottom of the ocean just like you.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Shoppin' Trolley Thievin' Club

(Continuation--to be read after the previous BYOB--BOYB)

N: Here we are. Go lock up the shoppin' trolley.

H: Lock it up? Who's gonna steal a shoppin' trolley?

N: We did you fool. You think we the only shoppin' trolley
thieves in the whole world?

H: In the whole world?... No. On this block? Yes.

N: You forgettin'...we with our friends tonight.

H: Oh yeah...The shoppin' trolley thievin' club.
Ya'll gotta bring your own trolley to be a member....
Lest you forget. Look....There's Edward's over there.

N: How do you know that's Edward's?

H: Number 509...same number as his house.
He put in a special order for it.
Took three weeks.
Didn't even steal it himself.
Paid someone to steal it for him.
Now if that ain't upscale crooked, what is?

N: That's stylin'. I reckon we need a number 27.

H: I reckon 137's good enough. Subtract the 1 from the 3...
And you got a two.....two and seven...just think of it that way.

N: What if I get mixed up and use addition instead?
I be goin' home the wrong way.

H: For God's sake Thelma

N: Thelma? My name ain't Thelma.
You be goin' home the wrong way soon.

H: Norma...It a shoppin' trolley.
Be happy with it. I ain't spendin'
No one hundred dollars to get it customized.

N: One hundred dollars? What is it ---turbo charged?

H: It's a turbo of a charge, but he got it delivered.

N: With delivery.... for shame... that ain't stylin'
That's just stupid.

H:'s silver plated. He didn't want me to tell no one.
That how come he got it locked up.

N: See! People do lock up their shoppin' trolleys.

H: Some people...but Norma. We ain't that stupid.
And if you really want....for Christmas....
I'll get you your own personal shoppin' trolley number
From Didgeree Don's.

N: Didgeree Don's...Whoop dee doo.
What about my other present?

H: I want ...I want....
That number's gonna be expensive honey.


N: Harry. Get the bottle.
H: Which bottle?
N: Good question.
Bring them all.
H: I can't carry all that.

N: Well it's BYOB tonight.
So I'd BOYB if I were you.
Be on your best behaviour--
And that means bring 'em all...
Even if you have to use the shopping trolley.

H: The shoppin' trolley? Honey--we tramp enough as it is
Without pushin' a shoppin' trolley down the street.
People'l think we got no where to live.

N: If they see us and they know us,
Then they know where we live....and how....
How fine it is.
And if they see us and they don't know us...
Then they don't live in this neighborhood...
They should be home by now.
Tuckin' away their wallets.
And what matter is it to them:
Where we live, how we live, or if we live at all?

H: Oh, you're so smart Norma....
Sometimes, I think you snuck out to night school
And got a college education
When I wasn't lookin'.

N: Well, when you weren't lookin',
.....I did sneek out....
But I didn't get no diploma....
Interestin' course though.

H: Norma. Are you tellin' me somethin'
I don't want to know? I don't want to know
Your innermost secrets.
I don't even wanna know your panty size.

N: Can't you take a wild guess?

H: Wild? Yes. I ain't thinkin' of numbers when I....

N: When you what? Lookin' for my Christmas gift?
I told you which panties I wanted.
I even told you which store they in.
Hell, I got a better chance with Santa.
Or maybe I'll just get one of his helpers.

H:Yeah. Just get on the speed dial and remind.
Bet he got that number tattooed on his head.

N: Well don't your imagination fly when it has to.

H: Ain't no imagination.
I've been sleepin' with my ears open.

N: Have you now? Shouldda told me.
Half the conversation was drowned out
By your snorin'. You even yelled out in your sleep.

H: I know. That was funny wasn't it?

N: Would have been more convincin'
If you weren't shoutin' the name of your own mother.

H: She ain't the only Lorraine.

N: Oh is it? Ya'll shouldn't tell me things I don't wanna know.

H: And don't your imagination fly....

N: Shut up and grow some muscles.
We got a party to go to.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Now in Oz

The balcony the bottle
It's resting on the nozzle
Of the hoover which is trapped
Between the doorway and the mat.

I'll tidy in a few
But a rest is overdue
And some other things to do
Prep the chicken for a stew

Hands that hold tomorrow got a cramp
Partly from the season as it's damp.
Wondering and waiting for replies
A tiny dying cycle---giant sighs

Tomorrow has been dropped from the agenda
The best reply would be return to sender
Better leave alone and leave it out
Than dance between the pleasures and the doubts

Can't trust it anymore
The reasons out they pour
I've got tired of being ignored
I'm too busy. I'm too bored.

If I replay this once again
I will not be my own friend.
Why do they pretend to care
When there's really nothing there?

Why give you satisfaction
Of my passionate reactions
To your teasing little phrases
When your heartbeat isn't phased?

I suppose it brought you idle titillation
Answer's clear but still I close with hesitation
Can't even say exactly what it was
Or where it would have's now in Oz.


SBHW: Suburban Housewife
N: Double Door Norma

SBHW: I can't believe you did that. That was totally inappropriate.
N: Did what? We've been talkin' about fifty things in the last minute.
SBHW: Totally unfeeling and inappropriate.
N: Oh so I don't have no feelins' now either. Where? In my leg or my head?
SBHW:Don't get anatomical on me. Can't you page through?
You must know what I mean or
Are you are just one big walking faux pas?
N: Walking? I told you I can't even move my leg right now. So how can I make any
Walkin' fo pas? Unless I do it laying down.
SBHW: Correction--crawling faux pas. You don't get it do you? The card you sent.
N: The card? Honey--I killed a man last accident.....Last worry is the card
I sent.
SBHW: Well I have to say. That had to be rustiest nail I've ever seen
pounded into a coffin. I can't believe you sent his wife a card.
N: I was bein' thoughtful.
SBHW: But what were you thinking?
N: I was thinkin'..... incase it her birthday too,
I'd get her one of those mulit-message cards....
You know....the ones with the boxes?
Tick here if it's a birthday.
Tick here for congratulations.
Tick for a wedding.
And tick here for "get well."
SBHW: But he isn't gonna get well the way you left him laying in the road.
N: I know. Tire marks all over the man. Never got up.
I ticked "congratulations"....on your new life. As I guess his wife....
She'll be startin' over again soon.
SBHW: It's not a thing to congratulate.
N: Well they didn't have a box for
"Sorry your stupid husband crossed the road
At the wrong time and scratched up my Harley."
SBHW: Ofcourse not. You don't need to be that specific.
A simple "In sympathy" would do.
N: Sympathize? If I didn't have my helmet on,
It would have been a mutual exchange...
One big sorry Hallmark Golden Moment.
Two for one funeral.
SBHW: I don't think that woman wants you buried next to her husband.
N: I wouldn't want to lay next to him neither--dead or alive.
SBHW: And she invited you to the funeral?
N: Not exactly. But I saw it in the paper--kinda recognised him.
Unmashed his face with my imagination.
SBHW: Well considering the circumstances, I am quite surprised
that you showed up.
N: Showed up? I showed up everyone. I had my best party dress on.
Most people---all in black.....looked like they going to a funeral.
SBHW: But it was a funeral.
N: I didn't go to the funeral. I ain't sittin' through all that....
"We all gathered here today....."
No. I went to the party afterwards.
SBHW: The reception.
N: The reception...the party whatever. Still drinks and food.
Pretty fancy food too. So tiny--couldn't even pick it up with ma fingers.
Had to use a toothpick. Had to go to chicken shack afterwards
To have myself a proper meal.