1,735 words


The HMS Dolphin, an aging 90-gun first rate, was once the pride of the Royal Navy, taking its name from the steely-eyed dolphin figurehead fastened to its bow. For over thirty years she had made her presence known throughout the Pacific, serving several prominent navy captains and having been captured and recaptured at least twice. Her figurehead, whom the sailors nicknamed Lucy, was now home to many barnacles and had a slight crack running down the length of her spine. The most noticeable change, however, was in her facial expression. The once stern, uncompromising gaze had given way to a tired, almost sullen stare, and you couldn't help but catch a glimpse of sorrow as she cut through the water.

One day on her way back from an escort mission the Dolphin encountered a pod, seven strong, of actual dolphins as they began swimming alongside Lucy, seemingly recognizing her, and leaping out of the water joyously. One dolphin in particular took a liking to Lucy, a small but energetic young calf. Over the next six weeks the calf followed Lucy around everywhere, jumping with her in the waves as the Dolphin meandered the Pacific. Lucy seemed to warm to her new friend and little by little her visage began to soften. Her eyes started to betray an abstract fondness for the calf, and her mournful gaze had regained a glimmer of hope. Eventually they became inseparable and the calf, who had taken to Lucy as its mother (some of the crew speculated), never left her side.

Wednesday, 23 April, 1703 was a bitter night. The sea was rough and a number of the crew who had earlier had a row with the captain over the waning food supplies had gathered on deck to get drunk. The isolation of life at sea often gives way to a cruel boredom, as on that night one sailor suggested they catch the dolphin calf who had been following them for the many weeks prior, for fun. In a drunken haze they readied a harpoon over the bow, took aim at the calf and fired. The harpoon pierced the calf's dorsal fin and the crew hauled it on deck. When one sailor sliced the dorsal fin off completely, it began to yelp incessantly. The crew took turns beating and kicking the calf with cheers and laughter, while it struggled and floundered around the deck. After at least twenty minutes it stopped, exhausted and sheepishly resigned to its fate. The crew, now bored of the game, threw the calf over the bow to die and resigned below deck to their stupors and sleep.

In the night they were woken by a short crack and a loud splash. Hurrying on deck, they discovered that Lucy had broken herself off of the bow and plunged into the precarious waters beneath. "It's about time," quipped one of the sailors, "maybe now we can get a mermaid." Laughter erupted on deck, shortly interrupted by a thunderous crack which began to split the HMS Dolphin down the middle. The panicking seamen ran about in every direction, clinging to the mast and rigging, desperately trying to get away from the widening chasm as the Dolphin cleaved in two.

One sailor recalled a story his father once told him of a songbird that lived in a quiet churchyard. The congregation caged the bird and put it on display in the very same courtyard it once sang so liberally. When after a cold night the bird died, the church bells sang with an awful clarity: "After joy... sorrow."

The HMS Dolphin was never found. There were no survivors.

I once gave my fiancé a pearl necklace (get your mind out the gutter!) which she immediately and confidently thought were anal beads. What can I say? That's the sort of class I look for in a woman. I couldn't bring myself to tell her otherwise and she still wears them up her arse.

Mystery Meat

Janet looked down at her Mystery Meat stew, slowly beginning to trace the edges of the bowl with her spoon. Mystery Meat is the only thing you can get at the supermarket these days and it's something of an open secret where it comes from. After all, Janet's uncle used to work at one of the processing plants before they became fully automated. It's human meat, pared from the bone, broiled to kill bacteria and then ground into mince, flavoured and canned. They called it Mystery Meat because by some reckoning, it isn't cannibalism if you don't know. There aren't any live humans in the factories anymore, and the label is quite ambiguous on the subject. Honestly, it isn't completely unpalatable apart from the vague risk of unwittingly devouring a loved one and the children take to it very well. "I wonder what they'll make out of me when I die," Janet thought to herself, "I'd like to be a Mystery Meatball," she giggled.


Harold ate his breakfast in mental quiet. "If I think too loudly," he thought, rather too loudly, while eyeing his cornflakes with suspicion, "they'll know I'm a phony."

"For the love of God, Harold, would you stop taking so long?" Harold's wife never understood his plight. He shook his head solemnly, "I never asked God to love me."

"Oh, here we go," she rolled her eyes, "why don't you just have an apple and be done with it?"

"Apples... what's the big deal? Those things have gotten undue attention ever since one didn't fall on some dude's head," Harold looked quizzical, "I'll tell you what keeps doctors away: anti-vaxxers, but I wouldn't advise eating them."

Harold's wife left the room mid-sentence, leaving him to the scrutiny of his cornflakes.

On Socialism

Sharp but gentle is what you should be
(especially when cutting cheese)
Leave the rest to the bourgeoisie
and read Karl Marx if you please
but he was frustrated, so overrated,
and mistook gruyere for brie.

How to win a political argument

1) Make them explain everything multiple times while acting more and more confused
2) Start every sentence with an affirmation followed by a denial (yes, but... I agree, however...)
3) Concede nothing. Ever. Especially if you agree
4) Tire them out with irrelevant personal anecdotes
5) When they get frustrated, end the conversation by claiming that they're the problem

Nonsense Town

So there's this place called Nonsense Town
where all the trees grow upside down,
with their roots in the air
and shoots in the ground!

Though I'm afraid there's not much shade
in which to take a stroll,
you shouldn't do that anyway,
on account of the flying moles.

Vexing little critters, they are,
like little bats but more bizarre,
just as blind but twice as silly,
bumping into everybilly.

Well, if you find yourself in Nonsense Town,
Heed these cryptic words:
Don't be one to hang around,
or you'll end up living
with the birds.

The Doctor

pity in pink pills
something pretty
plump in a cute way

The Doctor is sitting across from me, legs crossed, hands folded neatly in her lap, that same airy look about her. Did you know that doctors aren't human? Yes. I've analyzed this phenomenon at length - every week for several years already - and although she looks convincing enough, all the usual rituals, probably even shits like one of us, her eyes are rigid - not so much empty as spaceless: dense like wood. I've never met a real human with eyes like that. You can't see eyes in your dreams, you know? It's true. Dreams are eyeless worlds. Strange, right, but your brain can't imagine them. The Doctor has those same placeholder-eyes, and now she's babbling on about something or the other, trying to justify my being here. I need to be dehumanized in order to be more human, naturally, because these inhuman creatures have appropriated the term. Also, I tried to stab my mother through the heart with a screwdriver and who knew breast bones were that hard! Do you think the characters in our dreams have hearts?

She's been dead several days already. The Doctor, that is. I write those present tense entries when I'm feeling dramatic. They're just fantasies, you know, she wasn't really a doctor.

Afraid of the dark?

Me too!
They said I'd get over it
But none of them knew
What when the lights went out
And there was darkness about
Exactly what to do.

On Alcohol

Hit rock bottom? Hah! There is no bottom, you sad little vertebrate. Your backbone won't save you this time. Keep spiraling down and down and down and down until you can't tell up from down. It's okay, poor creature, I understand you. Our hearts have that same messy, warm embrace of a seething abscess. Our gaze is a windswept paradise.

I've tried to find the limit,
The line,
The capacity.

The sheer quantity
Required to make me slur,
Let alone sleep,
Could kill a pony.

There is no limit,
No line,
No capacity
But for the broken heart
Of a whiskey still.

oh no! :O

): don't be sad

Every word I write is a wrinkle in time.
You may ignore them but they will never cease to exist.
The whole sodding universe is my page!
I've written to every star but you're my favourite.

The Land of Glob

Welcome to the Land of Glob,
where every single thingamabob
grows only on a GMO cob
and farming is the only job!

And in the loopy Land of Glob
there's little need to steal or rob
when every seed and every sod
grows all you need right on its cob.

O! Lovely, lively Land of Glob!
I grew my wife and children there.
The Land of Glob! The Land of Glob!
No other land could I compare.

Romance is dead

Or so I say. It died with the electronic cigarette and the rechargeable book and the smart dildo.

"Find what you love and let it kill you." That was Charles Bukowski's advice, and he was hardly a romantic. It's a simple implication: love is dangerous, it will kill you, and you should let it. But today the prospect of dying for love, however abstract, is seen as an infraction of individualism. No! You must love yourself more than anything worth dying for. That is the secret, they say, to loving completely: that unless you're willing to save yourself first, you are incapable of love. You've heard them say it. You've seen their affected looks, their begging eyes: "Please love me. Please die for me."