Please note that the work on this blog is the copyright of the writers and may not be reproduced without their permission.

Friday, 25 April 2008

10 or Less: Slam -- by Mimitig



Short and Not Necessarily Sweet

OtherStuffers have proved, with the i-kus and the 50 word stories, that brevity is most certainly the soul of their wit.

That fine writer and friend of OtherStuff, Marcela Mora y Araujo, has pointed out that there have been a few competitions, on blogs and in artsy journals, to write 6-word stories or memoirs. People seem to have enjoyed these, and there's even a book of them, called "Not Quite As I Had Planned".

So here's a new challenge.

I thought perhaps our regular poets and thinkers would like a bit more freedom and/or a few more words, so you have:

As usual, embellishments and decorations are welcome but not essential. Please don't send decorated versions in Word, though, the Word decorations disappear when I put it onto Blogger - better to send a pdf.



10 or Less: Career -- by Zephirine

Here's one to start off with:


Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Knocking on the Hull -- by File


Father here I am,
            the woken. Stolen
By nocturnal tides, the taken from
The undertow of your troubled soul,
Your drinking, drowning
Me, I had to go

Father here I am,
            the frozen child
The freezing man forsaken. Lost
Sailor incarcerated, son nailed on
A sunken cross; the Kursk and
Memories of you
And home

Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be this abysmal nave
On earth as inertia and insistence in oceans
Don’t leave us with our sins as we left those who sinned against us
Which led us into conscription and delivered us not from war games
Give us this day viaticum
For their state is their kingdom,
And their power is their glory,
For ever and ever

Father here I am,
            echolocation, the spoken,
The waves, vibrations,
These verses. The hull between us
Is iconostasis; leaking,


Friday, 11 April 2008

Life Sentences -- by File


‘slike you was on the box Ken, I’d already run but
Looking back in from the outside,
One lit window framed by the night
You there, your heavy hands in the air, your charmlessness
And your sweaty armpits, police everywhere

I left the country and Yes I took the cash
Went somewhere warm and somewhere warmer
Got heat rash, passports, a dicky belly and sunglasses
Missed the Arsenal at home, Heinz soup and Daddies sauce
And not much else, straight up; I was glad you took the rap

At first, but it went on and on, we’d been a team
I was a man with a phantom limb, haunting him
Couldn’t meet a steady gaze, wore a cap to hide my face
Handcuffed to myself, I was chafed by regret, loneliness
Is like tinnitus innit? It grates

You a big man in a tiny cell, me I got smaller in the vastness of the world,
Even so there’s been girls mate, I’ve been lucky with them
Snap happy tourists bussed in no end, cash to spend
Leaving, in the morning like winter was coming,
Litter, emptied jetties and bars and lipstuck graffiti scars

“Wherever you go, there you are” said one
There was me wondering when, how and if I’d be released
And her words caught me like a disease, I realized
I’d never been anywhere; only ever just Not There
There’s no hiding inside as you know Ken


Monday, 7 April 2008

Rules and Instructions 7: How Not To Watch Any Sport -- by DocShoot

Avoidance rules and principles for the Sports Disadvbantafged (basically physically too stuffed to participate but still helplessly addicted to watching)…


Live in the Southern Hemisphere…
The majority of key events will always be after midnight and in the wrong season…


Have hordes of small children - your own and others - running all over your house…
Surprise Sub-rule: Destruction of Weekend sport you had pencilled in for watching – just when you finally remembering to get hold of the TV guide you hid on top of the cupboard and planned it all you find children in your lap…
Lost Horizon Sub-Rule: Video player – the one you used to tune the telly with is now totally confused by accidental weird and untraceable programming done by stubby little butter-covered fingers
Chubby Little Chewy Sub-Rule: The telly is now stuffed anyway - because somebody chewed the buttons off the channel changer and the emergency biro which could poke the button stubs into action has disappeared - the previous telly which actually had manual controls as well (even though the controls got clogged up with honey and wheat germ – they still worked sometimes) is being used by the child minding centre whilst theirs is being fixed… I need a medium ball point urgently…
The No Alternatives Sub-Rule: The radio is now out because all the high quality recyclable alkaline batteries are somewhere at the bottom of the chook food bin under 200kgs of grain and mash and I promised at christmas never to use horrible disposable ones ever again for the planet… and the radio wall-cord got chewed through that day mrs williams dropped her 3yo off for an hour and we didn’t see her again until the pub closed… the car radio might have been an option but the peanut butter sandwhich was never properly fished out of it and it makes an awful crackling…
The Last Resort Fading Rule: The TV guide (lifeline if you have a friend with a telly that works) has just now got itself torn into shreds during the demolition of the book ‘Walk With the Animals’ and nobody knows where the sticky tape is any more…
The Sanity Clause: The chance of getting to the club to watch at least one game is now gone this weekend since the car is now fully booked and besides can I mind the youngest who endlessly poohs his nappy and if you get time could you look at the leaf guards on the guttering and… sorry, there ain't no sanity clause


Support a team which has the slightest chance of having a win…
Principle: the gods may grant you a glimpse (albeit in replay) of any game your side is destined to lose, but you may only read about your wins in the print medium after a news commentator has already spoilt the result…
Sub Rule – the tease and tease again followed by despair:
the house will magically empty for you and the telly will magically fire up when two uninteresting teams are competing in the Kafiristan B-grade shuttlecock semis, or amateur horseshoes between two Florida retirement homes with commentary in translation…
and worse still, a side you cannot bear will always be available for viewing…
and worse than all that, if your side is winning and you manage to catch a glimpse of the game live through a RetravisionTV outlet window while holding the shopping, brushing flies away and wrestling three little children into submission with dripping ice creams and you pray that she will be a little longer looking at shoes, your side will immediately slump and start to get trashed while you watch …


What you get for stashing your club paraphenalia somewhere around the house…
Rule: It will pop up to shame you every time your side has been humiliated,
However, at half time when you are winning it is nowhere to be found… the second half can be largely wasted in searching unless you actually do find the precious scarf and hat and get back to the telly screen… and when you do you will find Bindy’s jungle clubhouse has taken over the transmission waves and serious trouble lies ahead… or else your side has slipped back into the same kind of useless losing torpor they always display when you are watching


Marry a Sports ignoramus
OH NO!!!
Rule: all sports lovers will be won by charming and caring attitudes and witty intellectual badinage and fantastic sex life and forget forget forget to ask the all important most critical question of all until it’s too late… then discover one is expected to discuss the latest dissertation on Keats and Irish Political History whilst the first ten minutes of the match ticks by in the back of your head and you are wondering who is on the bench and… Yes of course I am listening dear…


Live in some ridiculously remote paradise where the locals don’t understand your sport.
Also known as The Ultimate Sacrifice Rule: usually for work or love, sometimes for escape or other desperate reasons one may find oneself living in a place where civilisation has not yet arrived:
Results in frustrated sports lover having to wear earplugs for weeks and not look at any news or results or anything, until a couple of precious videos arrive in brown wrapping paper and a night is booked with the only other cultured person on that part of the planet in front of their telly which still works on any channel other than childrens approved (a night married up with a sickie from work the next day)… and videos carefully to be played in the correct order…
only to discover that the wrong games have been sent and your supposedly civilised new chum actually follows a poisonous and prohibited team and some very difficult decisions / compromises present themselves…


Believe that there is something inherently ennobling in sport and that you will find it rubbing off onto yourself by watching and being elated…
Also known as Tinkerbell’s Pixie Dust Rule;
Power and flight, the dreams of the sports watcher, suddenly wear off mid flight, and another urgent dose is always needed to keep the self aloft but it’s so hard to get… especially if you follow a shite team and your next best is only mid way on the ladder…
And worse still if your main hero gets traded away… ooh the pain of rule 10, the pain… ooh the pain…