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- My father's memorial service gets edgy
Smoke pours from a meter box outside. Firemen scurry like comic extras, unable to locate the smoke's source. Spaced apart in orderly rows we swivel, casting sideways glances through tall windows. Organist and minister struggle with focus.
Issue 10 : Published 20-May-2013
- Pablo Neruda's prophecy in poetry
On the eve of the violent overthrow of the elected government of Chile 40 years ago, Pablo Neruda wrote a cycle of cantos that came to be called The Book of Questions. Twelve days after the coups the poet was dead. It is hard to miss the military and political connotations of some of Neruda's 'questions'.
Issue 9 : Published 14-May-2013
- Cronies of the nudge and wink
When ibis move, they do so in rosters of fastidious steps, each bird as polite as a grandad who is looking for the salt ... Stooped in twos or threes like patient skittles, they whisper quiet inventories of silvered figments and storied frogs.
Issue 9 : Published 13-May-2013
- The imperfect mother
My mother came to stay for a week after my eldest was born. She cooked, cleaned, showed me how to manage the basic baby-care routines. I felt utterly desolated when the time came for her to leave. 'Do not worry. You are perfectly capable of looking after this baby,' she said. I didn't believe her.
Issue 9 : Published 07-May-2013
- Sex separated from religious song
They're hooked, no longer hear the church's gong, the stories or the insights that beget it, Real need for intimacy drives them on, a bare heartbeat from chaste religious song.
Issue 9 : Published 06-May-2013
- Giving stick to incipient police violence
A nightstick doesn't sound fearsome, but when you see one up close you respect the inherent violence of the thing. I stared at it for a while, contemplating how a burly policeman with his feet set could deliver a cracking blow to a head or a shoulder or an arm flung across your face to protect your eyes and brains.
Issue 8 : Published 30-Apr-2013
- Frantic chat on the world wide spider web
And in the raucosity of blogs, the avidity of trolls, the ubiquity of porn, the vidvidvidity of tubes, the facebookery of profiles, the aviary of twittervation — can the mind still find that space to stretch itself?
Issue 8 : Published 29-Apr-2013
- Refugee's tram ride to freedom
The city seemed always to sulk under clouds. Only occasionally the sun showed its face, promising something but never delivering: just like his life. He was confused and often afraid. He had not wanted to leave his home, but his family had sacrificed much to send him here, and he was starting to feel he had let them down.
Issue 8 : Published 23-Apr-2013
- Philosophical kissing
'When it comes to the kiss, philosophy has very little to say,' you once protested. 'It would seem that the lovers of wisdom don't know how to kiss!' ... Always longing for union with my other (and better) half, the two pieces, long astray, finally fitted together, mouth-to-mouth ...
Issue 8 : Published 22-Apr-2013
- Greece's brush with linguicide
The label 'crazy script' really infuriated me. The article suggested the Irish were all the better for having parted with their own 'crazy' Gaelic script in the 20th century. But an attack on a culture's language is an efficacious way of destroying the culture itself, and scrapping an alphabet seemed to me to be the thin edge of the wedge.
Issue 7 : Published 16-Apr-2013
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