lundi 15 août 2016

Michalangelo and hangers

If you fold your shirts 
Read no further for these lines are
For those who hang
Like to hang
Or would like to hang more.

Not all hanging is the same: 
We are familiar with the terry cloth towel that hangs from a hook
The hanging when you hang out or  just
Hanging in the air before the B-Ball goes Swish

But for the real hard core hangers we are talking about wire, wood, plastic contraptions that
Hang our clothes, day in, day out
Using imitation, restless and straight shoulders

These hangers hang and have been hanging over centuries

(Copy of petrified hangers found in Lascaux, circa l7,300 BC)

Whether be it the leather loincloth or a frilly blouse 
Every hanger has its purpose and no two are alike.

The light twisted wire
The imposing wood
The puffy soft cloth
And the imposing clamps for pants or skirts
Provide a tolless testament to Time and Service

Yet hangers can be polymorphous:
In the news we heard 
Of a jet crashing into a hangar!

And in Mommie Dearest a hanger is an icon of female abuse and self-abuse

When it comes to hangers there are many stories and mysteries
One of the greatest being Michelangelo's David 
Who was commissioned at the age of 26 to carve out
A monumental block releasing what has become one of the most
Famous sculptures of all time.

Michalangelo originally had hung a pleated toga on his personal marble  hanger 

But the light fabric is told to have excited the model during long poses
Erecting his penis beyond human proportions 
This angered the artist and he decided to wisk it away leaving
David as nude as a baby

A true masterpiece even though some critics may say he is "not well hung."

------- - --------

dimanche 3 juillet 2016

Soapless Cities

Just when you thought Jane Austin's Marianne Dashwood reflected the ultimate in unrequited love, in Soapless City, by Jamesola Langola, we witness Nigel, an ambitious dry cleaner in the south of London, who has fallen for Mary, a voluptuous marketing assistant at Clive Christian perfumes. With heart-rending tension from the families who oppose each other for political beliefs (Mary is out and Nigel in) this sexually charged novel is peppered by Brexit: with all european trade deals gone bonkers neither Nigel nor Mary (nor any Brit for the record) can wash themselves. Mary qualifies her fiancé as a "stinking mule" but she falls in her own trap because she starts to stink too. Can they both go on stinking and hating each other? Who can save this relationship? Questions and mysteries abound and the ice becomes constantly thinner between the protagonists as time goes on.

Yet somewhere in a dark basement in Sussex a certain Tony, a scientist with a big ambition and even a bigger mouth, is working frantically to produce a new soap. A soap that does all. A soap that washes all. A soap so powerful it calls itself "Powerbull". 

Still, will this soap get on the shelves of the Icelandic frozen food chain before Mary and Nigel separate? And what about the English national football team? What about it?
As Brexit turns London and other metropolises into "Soapless Cities" and tense battling fields, Mary and Nigel's egg-breaking relationship is just a detail like a painting of Bruegel's.

Langola's  writing courses like a river, sometimes black with mud, sludge and stains, sometimes bright with moon bleach. Danger of love is omnipresent, even after combat recedes; nature careless and the lack of soap is monumental. "This is the novel of the century" offering hallucinations caused by privation, be it physical detergent or hunger or erotic yearning of the soul they are unapologetically evoked in this masterpiece. Langola exploits Brexits aftershocks in the sumptuous futuristic dystopian novel that one loves as an allergy loves a sneeze. Not since Tale of Two Cities has literature reached such a level.

A Booker Prize runner up. The Gardian.

mercredi 25 mai 2016

lundi 16 mai 2016

The Ironing Party

I want to have an ironing party
All my friends will be invited to
Bring one shirt
No short sleeves

We shall compete in the basement around
My grandmother's ironing board
We shall use cotton and
Steam settings

No starch allowed if
You're under 18
Judges will award points for
Speed, creaselessness and eloquence
Ramming into a button and tearing it off
Is not acceptable but

A rhythmic song, an ode to 
Beautiful, pleated clothes
That complements the rising puffs of steam
May earn you a medal.

Like Magellum, a good ironer requires a brute sensibility to
Navigate over creases that ressemble a cotton moving glacier

One needs to predict how the textile landscape is going to


By intuiting how a crease behaves on the flip side of the
Breast pocket and 
Pulling with delicate fingers the fabric till it's taught

At my party 
You can iron if you're left or right handed
You can iron even if you forget those little
Plastic ice cream collar sticks
And you can iron if you have a muddled understanding of how
Heated polymers can allow a fabric
To take on a new shape to the benefit of all.

At my party just knowing the patent number of the
First electric flatiron iron
Made on June 6th, l882
(Patent number 259,054 -the 054 being the same last 3 digits of
My social security number)
May just be distracting trivia

But if you can spew out the settings for
Spandex (135 C)
Wool (l48 C) and
Linnen (230 to 240 C)
Refuse to wear Permanent Press articles then

You are welcome to my party anytime!

dimanche 15 mai 2016

Fossilized Fetuccini Alfredus

An unusual discovery has been made due to the receding of the famous Báröarbunga glacier in Iceland

 A plate of fossilised fettucini Alfredo that has been attributed to Vercingetorix, a Gaul who led the battle of Allesia against the Romans and Julius Ceaser in particular

At the edge of a cracked bowl an inscription reads,
"Fettucini Alfredus Petrus" or
"Fettucini Alfredo rocks" in modern lingo.

"This is a stunning finding" remarked Harvey Attenborough, the son of the famous naturalist, "it is as if Achilles said to Hector
'Trojan figs swag' or

Kane telling the Undertaker, 'I like your mossy breath'". More importantly this is an ancient form of a moth-eaten tweet. We know opponents sent short messages to each other but never with this level of irony.

What we are really looking for today is a retorque on the part of Julius Ceaser, something to the effect "I love Gallic blood pudding"" levelled the young Attenborough, wincing ever so slightly.

dimanche 1 mai 2016

Apologies and jingles

A lot of apologies have been running around these days, from the CEO of Volkswagen who pleaded the US government to be “gentle” since so many honest jobs are on the hook to the Pentagon that offered a mea culpa regarding the tragic bombing of the Afghan hospital in a 3000 page report detailing some 16 errors that were determined to be mistakes but not criminal.

On a lighter note an apology  I would like to share with you a story that involves Finish Powerball soap tablets.
To those of you who still hand wash this might not mean much but the powerball tablets are a game changer in the industry. Whereas before one had to add salt to soften the water today the tablets include in the ball a dose of salt. The other day, getting ready to wash my dishes, the tablet I took was without a powerball and this being the last tablet in the bag put me in a state: I went ahead and did the wash but I couldn't rinse the incident out of my head. Finally I decided to write to Finish; I explained the situation and this is the reply I got.

Picture showing Powerball tablet with and without Powerball. Courtesy of Library of Congress, 2012

Dear cherished customer,
We are so pleased that you use our Finish product that we are not sure where to start with the compliments. People think that Finished is “finished” but every day we go about making Finish, a better product. We have forwarded your letter to our R&D department that has promised to examine and reexamine how the powerball may have dislodged from it’s tablet. To offer a token of our appreciation we would like to invite you to a week of dishwasher washing at the annual dishwasherthon in Endsall, Finland. We can only hope that after this event you will be even more convinced that our product is the best in the world. 

Arnold Gent

Finally I would like to apologize for members who today were awaiting their windfall profits. Our poetry insurance subscription increased 400% which would have translated to a paycheck of 15.000 ch francs each only that the capital gains were invested in Volkswagen and now we owe 250.000 each to help pay Matthias Muller’s bonus and his coach who is working on his apology presentations to various heads of state. (VW’sCEO) 

Another major recent event this week was the passing of Les Waas, Adman who became famous for the Mr Softee jingle.

Les Waas was born to a father who provided costumes for theatre and his mother was a sheet metal worker.
As a child he hated all cereals but when he his parent played him a 1926 jingle of Wheaties he immediately asked them to buy it.

Have you tried Wheaties?
They’re whole wheat with all of the bran.
Won’t you try Wheaties?
For wheat is the best food of man.
They’re crispy and crunchy
The whole year through,
The kiddies never tire of them
and neither will you.
So just try Wheaties,

The best breakfast food in the land.

Not much is known about Les Waas' private life but in her radio show with Donald Trump Sarah Palin rightfully noted that both Waas and Softee had double consonants in their names however, Trump politely corrected her by pointing at her breasts and saying two vowels babe”.

When asked about some of his influences Les Waas names the Slinky, Mr Clean and of course Aeroplane Jelly as having changed his views on jingles.
"I always knew that a jingle was a powerful medium" said Les, "but both in Slinky and Mr Clean the message goes beyond the target; it reaches to the parents and the opposite gender (in Mr Clean)to propose a cleaner house. Who would have thought that a white bald man could show a housewife how to clean? Who would have thought that a slinky could "bounce like a clown?" In Aeroplane Jelly, on the other hand, it is the innocence coupled with mystery, like the Mona Lisa, that makes this Jello Jingle irresistible."

Who walks the stairs without a care It shoots so high in the sky. 
Bounce up and down just like a clown 
Everyone knows its Slinky. 
The best present yet to give or get The kids will all want to try. 
The hit of the day when you are ready to play 
Everyone knows it's Slinky.  

It's Slinky, It's Slinky for fun the best of the toys. 
It's Slinky, It's Slinky the favorite of girls and boys.

Mr. Clean will clean up dirt; grime; grease in just 1 minute!
Mr. Clean will clean your whole house; everything that's in it!
Floors doors, walls, halls, white sideboard tyres, and old golf balls!
Sinks, stoves, bathtubs he'll do, he'll even help with the laundry too!
Q. Can he clean the kitchen sink?
A. Quicker than a wink!
Q. Can he clean a window sash?
A. Faster than a flash!
Q. Can he clean a dirty mirror?
A. He makes it bright and cleaner!
Q. Can he clean a diamond ring?
A. Mr Clean can clean anything.

Aeroplane Jelly
I like Aeroplane Jelly
Aeroplane Jelly for me.
I like it for dinner.
I like it for tea.
A little each day is a good recipe.
The quality is high as the name will imply.
And it's made from pure fruit, one more reason why.
I like Aeroplane Jelly. Aeroplane Jelly for me.

But let's take a closer look at Mr Softee. So famous it became that laws had to be  made to limit the playing of the jingle. In 1992 Softee trucks were allowed to play Mr Softee only six times in a row and only when moving. In 2004 the US army used a fleet of Mr Softee Ice cream trucks against the Taliban. The Taliban, until they mustered effective earplugs, fled in large numbers as loud speaker offered the "creamiest dreamiest soft ice cream". 
Prince the musician love softies so much his first writing of Purple Rain was "Purple softee" although in his song "Cream", a erotically charged hit, Mr Softee was all over the place.

I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted one time to see you laughing
I only wanted to see you laughing with a purple softee

Purple Softee purple Softee
Purple Softee purple Softee
Purple Softee purple Softee

I only wanted to see you eating a purple softee

It is an honour to honour one of the greatest jingle writers America has produced -just consider the thousands of Mr Softee truck drivers -some without drivers licences- who made an honest living thanks to the success of the jingle. We hope in these dark moments new jingle writers will be encouraged to jingle jangle and fingle fangle because jingles bring this country together and they sing to all walks of life.

Here comes Mister Softee
The soft ice cream man.
The creamiest, dreamiest soft ice cream,
You get from Mister Softee.
For a refreshing delight supreme
Look for Mister Softee.
My milkshakes and my sundaes
And my cones are such a treat.
Listen for my store on wheels
Ding-a-ling down the street.
The creamiest dreamiest soft ice cream,
You get from Mister Softee.

dimanche 17 avril 2016

A drop in the ocean

When I heard today that the Pope took 12 Syrian refugees home from the Island of Lesbos
He invoked the words of Mother Theresa

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

I said,

Forget the apostles, tomorrow I'm taking 13!

I don't know what the Pope intends
But I will break the bread with these refugees and one day hope
These victims of war can forget man's brutality in favour of
Spreading the gospel of Art and Love

Then I got a call on the phone, it was the Pope who told me that
Balancing the world's interests has always been an act reserved for the Astute Acrobat
Only a few can see advantages upside down
Taking home 12 or 13 didn't matter
And I could swear he said this with a frown

"My eyes are lucid" said the Pope to my outreaching ears
"And to stretch out and shake hands of adults and children
That others seem to vilify takes little effort and few tears"

When he hung up I thought it but a daydream
Only the news flashed again reminding me of those intense faces, full of hope and anxiety

Yet I was feeling anxious as well
I knew this was not the first or last refugee crisis
In the l680s Louis XIV kicked some 200,000 Huguenots out of France 
 Just because they were Protestant

And even in earlier times if you belonged to a clan and
You were different
A male unable to hunt
A female unable to weave
Consequences were rude

Was it possible that modern society's humanitarian drains of empathy were clogged?
Was it possible that our uplifting spirit was fading into a smog?
Was it possible that our ocean couldn't care for "that missing drop"?