Sunday, December 30, 2007

I like my women like I like my coffee...

I like my women like I like my coffee…

  • hot and black
  • light and sweet
  • Ethiopian
  • in the morning, in bed
  • simple and earthy, but with exciting, nutty undertones
  • tall, non-fat
  • hand-picked from among the finest in the world
  • in the kitchen
  • raised on the shady slopes of the South American countryside
  • shared among several coworkers at the office
  • artificially sweet, cold as ice
  • intensely, but without ever admitting dependency
  • from a small, independent and communally operated farm
  • in my lap, as I scream out violently, clutching my genitals in agony
  • bitter, possibly older than originally believed
  • in the car, on the way to work, not like a lazy gold-digging bitch, Diane!
  • full of vodka
  • cheap, available on various street-corners in the wee hours of the morning
  • covered in whipped cream and chocolate sauce... what?
  • the product of hasty and distracted teenagers, brought into the world with little fanfare and abandoned without so much as a name
  • …in the sense that I don’t actually find myself that interested in coffee these days, and that I think I might maybe like to start drinking tea…

more from the vault of josh's maddeningly prolific literary past


in the forever
spiking crystal spires
tearing armageddon holes in the sky
and Now
I press my
fingers to the flesh of my forearm.


dew drops of imagination
fusing in the ionosphere and
when they fall
they shatter just
like dreams, frozen.

Now and Then
I wonder, steal
glimpses of a future forbidden
I ponder stealing
and other glamorous sins
written in the stars.


in the
forever. Now
arrogant towers of purity
and Truth tear apocalypse holes
punching wide and raggedly rending dreams.
and Now.

I gently ponder loving
in the dark.
No one can see me.
I hope
You understand?
I am not a disembodied heartbeat
nor an eidolon, phantom-like ideal
I am pulsating memory & purpose tentatively approaching infinity
forever eternal Now.

~josh schwartz

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Thoreau, and an idea to consider

1) In regard to the post "Literature is Useless," Henry David Thoreau changed my mind.
Read Walden, and Civil Disobedience.

2) On Human Activity:
Two conditions ignite all actions.
- First, that an individual feels the impulse to commit an act.
- Second, that the individual feels that the benefits of performing the act outweight or break even with the costs.

For example, think of the story in Plato's Republic about the invisible guy. He could get away with whatever he wanted to get away with, and he committed many acts he would've refrained from doing had he been visible. But he's invisible, so he'll sneak into your house. Steal your wallet. Diddle your children. And piss on the floor.

In short, fuck humanity.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Literature is Useless?

Which is more useful and important to society: Shakespeare, or knowledge about the human anatomy?

You see, I've been writing earnestly since 8th grade, which made last August the 6th anniversary of when I wrote my first poem. I went to a performing arts high school where I majored in Creative Writing, and wanted to be better than Shakespeare and Hemingway. But I've recently come to doubt the practicality of literature. I've wondered if it's importance and allure is merely an illusion, and really a waste of time. Perhaps it is better to major in agriculture, or engineering. Better to read papers on psychology, and spend your time people-watching. You can learn more about people by people-watching than reading poetry by Keats.

I've pretty much made up my mind about these things. I may still write poetry and prose, but have really come to doubt its importance, and wonder if life would be better spend in some other activity.

Yet, what would be nice to know is what you think about literature.
Tell me why Shakespeare matters.
Tell me why the bottom floor of the Barnes and Noble should be comprised of paperback novels.
Tell me why we should be writing poetry and literary critiques rather than reading critiques
But what the hell do you think?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Elephant in the Room

--And so I said “Lemon bars? In your dreams!
--That’s rich, that’s really rich.
--I thought so. And then Susan—
--What the--? Wait. Look behind you.
--So anyway Susan comes over, and she’s all—
--Wait—are you not seeing this? There’s a—
-- She’s all, “Hey, what’s up?” And then she gives me a copy of her house keys.
--I really think we should do something.
--And I’m all like “Sweet!”
--Should we call animal control?
--And so I get to her house, right?
--I really don’t think this is safe. What if it—
--And guess who is there? Guess who is already freakin’ there?
--Look, I don’t—I’m not really—look, could we deal with this first?
--It’s Doug! Doug was already there.
--This is… oh goodness. It’s—oh no. Oh no!
--And I’m like, “Doug?!”
--That was my mom’s new carpet!
--And he’s like “Jeff?! What are you doing here?”
--It’s just sitting there.
--And it turns out we both got house keys.
--This is not good. How do we even--?
--And we just decided to go out and get some beers.
--What am I going to do?!
--I’ll tell ya… that guy is crazy.
--(Weeps softly)

Monday, December 17, 2007

This Week in Books

The New York Times Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List, 12/23/07, with descriptions partially imported from the analogous entries in the Children’s Picture Book Bestseller List of the same week.

T IS FOR TRESPASS, by Sue Grafton. Luke Skywalker must contend with a woman who has stolen Lord Vader’s identity in order to take advantage of Luke’s elderly neighbor.

2 THE DARKEST EVENING OF THE YEAR, by Dean Koontz. Goldilocks, who rescues golden retrievers, and one special dog she takes in, are shadowed by three bears.

3 FOR ONE MORE DAY, by Mitch Albom. The entire universe gets a last chance to reconnect and restore its relationship with a baby.

4 DOUBLE CROSS, by James Patterson. Troy Bolton and his new girlfriend, a “freaky math girl,” confront a Washington killer who boasts of his killings in a scrapbook based on the movies.

5 A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, by Khaled Hosseini. A friendship between two mice in Afghanistan against the backdrop of 30 years of war.

6 WORLD WITHOUT END, by Ken Follett. Animals seem to move when you flip the page in Kingsbridge, the medieval English cathedral town at the center of Follett’s “Pillars of the Earth.”

7 STONE COLD, by David Baldacci. Members of Washington’s Camel Club are being stalked to prevent them from uncovering Narnia.

8 THE CHOICE, by Nicholas Sparks. How a North Carolina man stands up for his favorite color, which is purple.

9 PLAYING FOR PIZZA, by John Grisham. An American third-string quarterback joins the Alphabet.

10 HOME TO HOLLY SPRINGS, by Jan Karon. The Mitford character Father Tim returns to his native town to reconnect with snowmen, snowflakes and other seasonal images.

Horrible Pun #157

I thought she was referencing the Bible, but it was just an allusion.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hey everybody. I hope you enjoy this poem from my sophomore year in high school.
On the upside, it was one i read on NPR!

Meditations on a Dying Woman

The streets are overcrowded with salable goods
and people too sick to move
and people too sick to live - without someone else
telling them how ...
In the midst of all the refuse, rotting fruits and animals,
struggling workers tearing at their bonds that they’ve been told
bind them.
Walking along on the street of metaphors,
between the beggars painted gold, dancing away their lives, for a buck
and all the almost corporeal odors, that have been here so long
they pay rent ... a woman dies.
On the corner of Society Avenue and Universe Drive,
In Symbolism, Illinois, someone falls and can’t get up.
A scream wriggles free from the claustrophobic crush
of the Communists and heterosexuals. Shop owners sweep their brooms.
Kids just out of school stand atop boxes preaching
to their congregation of the unfeeling masses about a Utopia.
And a cancer patient, female, age 32, slips on the sweetly disguised black ice,
feels her feet slide out from under her
feels gravity and other natural laws betray her and laugh cruelly.
Her head strikes the corner of a box containing oranges all the way from Flahrida.
Suddenly there is enough room for her to die.
Meanwhile, prophets preach, children complain, and children’s programming plays on.
A man who had been playing guitar and singing about freedom with responsibility
puts down his yogurt and rushes to the poor woman.
“Those poor people” grumble the suits as they step over around her and move on.
The guitar playing man lifts her head off the cold inhospitable sidewalk.
Her blood bids her body goodnight and abandons ship
her red blood pumps from the heart to the outside world
and her benefactor realizes he has her life in his hands
he resists the urge to rinse them off
but the blood won’t stop
bleeding unclotted and he’s scared
and prophets without a god preach about a perfect world
and a woman dies
and good Americans stand proudly with their country
and a woman lies bleeding on the unsympathetic concrete path.
Her life is in his hands and he can’t afford to wash it off.
He wants to comfort her and her breath comes belabored now.
He begins to sing softly to her
he’ll meet her in heaven, he swears up and down,
he’ll see her through thick and thin
this is nothing, he’ll see her next week right here, same time, same place
and she can help him sing of a world where
a man can find space to live without having to die.
She can help him, he promises, and she begins to relax ...
Slowly. Gently. Softly. Like satin sheets sliding off a pre-made bed.
She dies.
He wipes the tears from his eyes
and her life onto his denim pants. One more stain ...
And suddenly, he knows he will sing again
sing to all the self styled prophets, saviors, rioters, and protestors,
who didn’t know a woman can die.
He sings; and he accompanies himself with his old guitar.
And the body is beautiful and serene and is swept away into the sea of metaphors
and the shop owner comes out from his store
and wonders how those oranges will ever sell now
with the blood stains and all ...

by Joshua Schwartz,

Friday, December 14, 2007

A list, and a meditation

My brain attempts suicide every time I go to the front page of yahoo, and see that the top story involves a celebrity (ie. Worthless news). It jumps out of my ear, and looks for a ledge to jump off. It screams, “Babylon has fallen!” I have to tackle it, and shove it back into my skull. Every time. Well, I’ve made a deal with my brain, so that I never lose it: I’ll highlight interesting, yet useful news. (Let’s define ‘useful news’ as stuff that has the potential to affect you and me politically, economically, et et al.) So, here are five articles I found which I felt fit that description.

1) In South Korea, scientist made fluorescent cats. Let’s play catch in the dark using the kittens!

2) In Pakistan, President Musharraf lifts state of emergency. Shit is still scary.

3) NATO plans to stay in Afghanistan. Educated hookers disagree.

4) New Jersey votes to end the death penalty; first state “since 1965 to repeal capital punishment.” After having a governor in-the-closet, a peculiar scent, and a high crime rate, it is also still the weirdest state since 1965, after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 eliminated segregation, which occurred in the southern states,1,985658.story?coll=la-news-politics-national&track=crosspromo

5) A list of New York State’s most wanted fugitives. I hate the human race.

I hope you all noticed the references to the Bible and Chris Rock. RAWR


The following is a brief meditation:

Predators attack the meek. Predators attack those they think will be easy targets.

Some of you will remember that a certain individual raped and tortured a Columbia graduate student for 19 hours. This occurred last spring. Now, this event is absurd in its details, and most violent acts don’t even resemble this one. But they are similar in the general event—one person attacks another to own them. As simple as that.

Weeks ago, police arrested a mugger who attacked women. The mugger often pretended he had a gun.

Most events similar to this are mundane. As simple as two men walking down the sidewalk in opposite directions, and staring each other down for no other reason than they want to punk the other one out. But nothing happens because both of the dudes are afraid the other one has a gun. They each want power over the other, but don’t want to get hurt, either.

Power. Power. Power.

You rarely hear about “one unarmed man robbing four wrestlers.” Even an attempt.
Most of these fuckers don’t have the balls to attack their victims on equal terms. Any asshole can pick up a few guns, and pretend to be the Punisher until his bullets run out, or a police sniper puts him down. Without the guns, without their buddies, and without the big bad sneer they are just punks. Mice.

They act tough until they run into somebody they know could whoop their ass. In the end, for these people, power results in victory, but survival is good enough.



Alberto L.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Snippet of something

I don't know why I wrote this, it just sort of popped into my head.

Within the first week of college, my writing skills hit an all time low. It wasn’t syntax. It wasn’t punctuation. It was spelling. With my mind thisclose to simultaneously exploding and imploding due to the stress and pressure of adapting to my new lifestyle, little space was left over for basic English skills developed back in elementary school. Consonants were added, endings were dropped, and “u”s were added in places that even the British would consider downright bloody well ridiculous.

For comfort, I now and then reminded myself of a concept I had learned in my introductory psychology class. Humans have the tendency to seek out evidence that supports a pre-constructed hypothesis, while ignoring perhaps equal evidence that supports the contrary.

You’re right, I told myself. You’re not even considering all of the words you are spelling correctly.

Excerpts from a poem I'm working on.

A man and a woman lay by each other in bed.
The man: “I love you. Forever and ever, I will.”
She blinks.

A woman and a man walk hand in hand through the park.
Woman: “I love you. Forever and ever, I will.”
Man: “Uh.”

In a 1939, a Nazi Gauleiter (District Leader) and his Jewish mistress lay together in bed.
Mistress: “I love you. Forever and ever, I will.” Then, the wife walked in.
Two weeks later, soldiers gassed the wife to death in a gas chamber.

A man eats dinner with his brother.
Man: “I love you, forever and ever, I will.”
The brother punches the man, and calls him a faggot.

A woman sits with her sister. Christmas.
Woman: “I love you, forever and ever, I will.”
Two day later, the sister removes $500 from the woman’s bank account,
and escapes into New Jersey.

A man and his foster son sit in the living room, and play a football video game.
The man: “I love you, forever and ever, I will.”
The Orphan later steals the foster father’s girlfriend.


They kneaded the thigh, their breaths heavy and warm and wet. Their breaths swirled. A cup of water boiled and the steam

waved over you. The touch was like a rag rubbed over your chest. His breathing, theirs--wet, from the throat. They moaned from the throat. They made little jokes, and rubbed, and breathed, and coughed, and moaned, and made another little joke, and breathed, breathed, breathed.

They washed their hands, and closed the door behind them. Your father played poker in the dining room. Your mother slept on the couch in the living room.


Our enemies kneaded us. They pounded us flat on a pan. They sliced us out with a cookie-cutter in the shape of people. They flipped us out and left us in the over for 9 minutes, temperature 350 degrees Fahrenheit. They left us to cool on a windowsill. They decorated us with icing. They gave me 3 eyes, and you five nipples. They gave you a frown, and rested a smile on my stomach.
Hours later, at 8:43pm, we plopped into the toilet.

You: “No!”
Me: “What?”
You: “Nothing.”
Me: “Please.”
You: “What?”
Me: “Nothing.”
You: “Please.” And then you began to climb out.
Me: “No!
You: “Shut up!”
Me: “What?”
You: “You going to hit me?”
Me: “What? No!”
You: “Then what made you angry?”
Me: “Nothing.”
You: “I’m leaving.”
Me: “No!”
You: “Why shouldn’t I leave?”
Me: “Please.”
You: “Why shouldn’t I leave?”
Me: “I love you, forever and ever, I will.”

Because what should be ours shall be ours. We’ve waited longer than a cold night in which our knuckles fall to white, chipped skin. We have waited so long that we ignore the beggar asking for 80 cents. We’ve been lonely for so long that we hope for others to live alone too. We bathe in our victories. We bump into people on the street and do not say “excuse me.” We curse when we get a problem wrong on the quiz, and punch the wall when a stranger calls us a “bitch” in the hallway. We count the times they cursed us, we write the number in our journals. We sigh because the Iraq War has yet to become WWIII.

We have forgotten the names of our aunts and uncles, and we refuse to call people we’ve only known for a week. We imagine people talk about us behind our backs, and we expect that tomorrow, the sun will emit yellow, and the moon will resemble a man’s face, and it will rain, or it will not. It snows, or the sun shines. Someone shoots someone else, or someone robs someone else. Someone emerges from the womb, and someone slips on the wedding ring. The news begins, and the moon dissolves in the light. The news begins, and the sun disappears behind the house. The stars hover in place for centuries. Shit smells like shit and flowers like flowers, and flowers dipped in shit smell like shit. The alarm will snooze.

Autumn Birth (a three-minute exercise)

The hanging fall sun is
nicked by billboards and weathervanes

and splits, a broken egg yolk
dripping thick golden glaze

on sugar-puff exhalations
warming worn-in bricks and lonely city trees.


(I like writing small simple poems about small simple things. Why yes, I am a Hicok/WCW fangirl, how did you know?)

what do we gain by blinking?

Here is a poem i wrote on a facebook wall, recently.

i heard you dripping out the corner of my eye
but didnt sound like tears
you ran down my cheek skipping and jumping
and singing and yelling
and no one but the cows heard
pushed aside the whiskers on my face
like so many sheaves of wheat or other tall grasses
ducking down it is so easy to lose yourself
amidst strange textures and windful tremors
the breeze brushed about
ruffling your hair like your father
moistening your eyes like your
mother and you
and i
and eye

~jss 11/29/07

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Psalm 4

On Your Appearance in Literature


You spoke to me some time ago
For some time.
You may be speaking to me still.
I don't mean that—
or any of this—
but perhaps – literarily.

I had just finished reading
Paradise Lost or His Dark Materials or
Some combination of the two—
Which the latter is already
(only ONE of the ways literature defies physics);
It was a dream;
Most things are.

You said to me: "Boy, look at me."
I looked at what I thought was You
Although the fact that I could
Look at You means it wasn't You.
I said: “I am here.”

You said: "Do


Look like someone who
Could be destroyed by a Subtle Knife?"
"You do," I said,
"But that's only because what
I see and what I know are different things.

"If there were such a thing as a Subtle Knife—
And there isn't, right?”
And here, I dart a worried glance
At You
Which You answer with a
Bemusedly indulgent shake of the head—

"If there were,
You would be
as much
its Substance
as its Creator.

"So even Paradise Lost
And its literary roots
Are just silly.
It's a foregone conclusion, sure,
But the fact that it’s a story at all
Means that it's not quite
A foregone conclusion,
The notion of which is absurd."

"People hit things when they're angry,"
You said, "even when they
Don't expect them to give."

"Since when do You use contractions?" I said.

"Since when do


Have a tail and whiskers, for that matter?"
And I looked and behold!
I had envisioned You as a giant housecat.

"I guess You‘re meant to
embody self-satisfaction,
but in an unselfconscious way,"
I said, "which
when you think about it
chokes on its own paradox."

"Everything does," You responded.
"Imagine how


Feel, who do think about it."
"Anyway, yeah. People hit things
when they're angry and that's as
close as You get to a
between lashing out and lashing in--"

"Raskolnikov and Tarquin take note," You purred.

"But," I continued
over Your interruption,
"The idea that angels have personalities
and such, like people,
is pretty Hellenistic."

"Well, maybe angels behave like people
The way


'm a cat,"

"But there are people who believe this shit like it was..."
"In the Bible?"

"You make me laugh, You know?"
"How else would You laugh?"
"Why don’t more people see this side of You?"
"Why don't you see every other side of me?"

"You're worse than Freud."
"How would You know?
Mind, you didn’t finish exhonerating
Milton in your mind,
which you were about to do.”

"Oh, like he needs me to
say nice things about him or he’ll cry?
Anyway, You're worse than
my mother, who's a Freudian."

"Again, how would you know?
No, he doesn’t, but the only way
you can read anything
is by making
it a part of your thoughts
and so by arguing with him,
you argue with yourself."

"And so I need to finish
the argument to reconcile
with myself? I have arguments
with myself all the time which
I don’t finish. Why should I treat
him-as-me better than I treat

"You’re worse than Proust."
"How would You--
oh, right."

Monday, December 10, 2007

This is the title of this post

Greetings phellow phlogers. I am posting in order to give some more visibility to the “field” of self-reference, which I find rather intriguing. After all, what is more human than the need to reflect on one’s self, for the brain to ponder its own existence?

One of the most accessible areas of this “field” is self- referential sentences. This, essentially, means any sentence whose referent is the very sentence itself. (“This is a self-referential sentence” is a basic, basic, example. They get better.) I have posted several of my own making below:

This sentence hardly has any adverbs.

This is a horribly written haiku.

This sentence may come up later.

Well, this sentence doesn’t like you either.


This sentence isn’t particularly funny.

Forget this sentence.

This sentence may come up later.


I realize that not everyone is as “into” this as I am, but on the rare chance that you are, I would recommend reading Douglas Hofstadter’s Metamagical Themas. Also, David Moser has composed an absolutely brilliant and hilarious short story entitled “This Is the Title of This Story, Which Is Also Found Several Times in the Story Itself” (found here:

Enjoy, and best of luck with your self-referential adventures!

This is the last sentence of this post.

~Sam :)

~ Converge! ~

To me my holy men!
Let us smear our souls messily
across the sky.
Dip in fingers and wipe
on tunics, modestly cut, revealing
only our crafty beauty.
We be not famous. We
slip unseen back to anonymous realms
like dolphins from their arcs of motion.
And yet We will live
forever & more for Death can not
silence the echoes of unknown caverns.
We burn, propulsory jets in
the stratosphere. We disappear.
We are never done.
We scamper down busy
streets. Desperation clinging to
every step. Raindrop eyes glance
off teflon men, and We go through
life unknown.
We yearn for contact,
the beauty of an earnest
embrace, or a deeply planted,
"fuck you."
We will travel to the end of time
and record every name.
We will never be remembered.
You will never be forgot.

~jss, 2/11/05

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A preface to "Humor, Facades, and Dignity."

This little article serves as my warm up for an essay about humor, how it ties into facades, and what role, if any, does dignity play into this relationship. As of now, the ideas are still coming together, so if you want more specifics, wait for the Bigger Essay…I have yet to know how it will end up, except for the overall tone and concept.

The first purpose of this post: to remind people that the Phlog is going to be updated on a regular basis, and that Mr. Schwartz’s poetry post is the beginning of a good thing. So, hello, bitches. For now…

The second purpose of this post: to set establish the context for the Bigger Essay. The following list of people includes a few things I want you to know about them. My main point: humor does not always come from a place of bliss. In fact, it often doesn’t.

(I may or may not reference these individuals in the Big Essay. You may read the essay and wonder why I even mentioned them here. Again: I just want to set the tone.)


George Carlin: In a recent televised performance, he said, “…I have absolutely no sympathy for human beings whatsoever…no matter what kind of problem humans are facing, whether it’s natural or man-made, I always hope it gets worse.”

Joseph Heller: Yes, his novel, Catch-22, is a comic-masterpiece, but after the half-way point, it becomes as somber as grave full of Holocaust victims. The use of humor can seem problematic and surreal (even disturbing) in the midst of death, rape, and all kinds of moral depravity. But, understand that Heller’s work shows an appreciation for life as sincere as Carlin’s disdain.

Dorothy Parker: A-class smart-ass. “I’m too fucking busy, and vice versa.” Also, attempted suicide thrice.

Richard Pryor: this man dealt with drug addiction, lit himself on fire, and let everyone know it. And he had seven marriages, and had (at least?) four kids. Also, one of the most respected comics ever.

Jonathan Swift: wrote an essay about eating Irish babies. Yes, he was only being a smart-ass, but just because he felt that the Irish were getting the shaft in terms of economics. So, like any A-class smart-ass, he shoved this fact in everybody’s face.

Mark Twain: hated a lot of people. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn seems like a kind-of-grandfather to Catch-22; full of murder, child abuse, and all kinds of moral depravity. Yes, it is funny, but any one who calls this a children’s book, thinking it’s like Barney, has not yet read it.

Kurt Vonnegut: tried to commit suicide. In World War II, witnessed the aftermath of the bombing of Dresden, and wrote a novel about war's traumatizing effects (Slaughterhouse-Five).


- Alberto

PS. Read more Phlog.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Chance Encounter

Do you remember the
day we met? You
might; it was not so long ago to forget
easy easy— isn’t it odd
how the more television we watch,
that our minds, once deeply crevassed
now become slick and smooth;
water beading, sliding off like a car
racing down a highway to more highway.
and your mind—it’s calm
only when the gears change
in that magical moment
peace while the world rattles
about you.

Do you remember how
on television, we watched
that day
temperature, hostage countdowns,
the national debt, baby counts—
all sorts of things rising.
While flipping the channels,
we noted how the world’s getting
faster, harder, scarier, deadlier,
but also so slick and pretty to watch
But as the windows proliferate,
the walls, they grow and grow,
SO high and so thick,
That we need to punch to embrace,
I need to kill to say hello.

Do you remember the
day we met? You
brushed my shoulder, knocking my coke
from my hands,
and I said I’m sorry.

~jss 6/07

Friday, November 23, 2007

Kilmer 2007: cum laude

"Umbrella" in Latin
by Miranda Elliot, CC '10

Ahuh Ahuh (Yea, Rihanna!)
Ahuh Ahuh (Mala fieri potest bona puella.)
Ahuh Ahuh (Cape tres...Actus.)
Ahuh Ahuh

In tempestas mei nullae nubes
Pluat, in mensam publicam hydroplanio.
Veniens cum Dowo Jonibus
Cum nubes venient, ivimus, Rocafella sumus.

Alte quam caelum volat.
Et G5 melior sunt, tu me novisse,
Anticipatio, praecipitato
Assulae cumulatae pluvo diu
Jay, Homo Pluviae, cum parva femina solis redit.
Rihanna! Ubi es?

Meum corem habes.
Numquam mundis seorsum erimus,
Forsitan in ephemeris
Sed stella mei tamen eris.
Infante, quod in obscuro lucidi carri videre non potes
Illeque est cum ibi me eges.
Tibi semper partis.

Cum sol lucat una lucemus
narravi te hic perpetuo futurus esse
dixi amicum tei semper futurus esse
Dejeravi, adherebo donec finis est.

nunc quod imber pluit quam umquam
Nosce nos tamen nos habituros esse
Tu stare potest sub umbella mea
ea, ea
e, e, e
Sub umbella mea
ea, ea
e, e, e
sub umbella mea
ea, ea
e, e, e, e, e, e

Hi eleganti rei numquam inter venturi sunt.
Pars entis es, hic infinitatis
Cum suum partem bellum cepit,
Cum suas chartas mundas dividit,
Si durus manus est, una tuum corem emendamus.


Tu currere in bracchia mea potes.
"Okay" est, ne consternare
Veni in me.
Nulla distantia inter nos amorem est.
I pluviamque pluas.
Ero omnis quid eges et plus.



O infante, pluit.
Infante, in me veni.
In me veni.
O infante, pluit.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kilmer 2007: The Third Runner-Up

For Abbot
by Jeana Poindexter, CC '11

spewing self-righteousness into the face of capitalism
Neo-libertarianism is the way of the future
and it looks even better when it’s written in a tiny four dollar moleskine that I bought from the bookstore as though this school doesn’t suck enough money out of the pockets of my rich—but liberal—parents who also graduated from here
with honors
a retrospective introspection into the expository proposition of the theoretical existence of a hypothetical combination of righteousness and wrong-ness…ness
and I’ve read some books so I know what I mean when I say that Darfur
is really bad
and veganism is a conscious decision not to propagate the instigation of agricultural desecration on a totally
you know,
organic level
So go green for fair trade and fuck Bush and buy a tiny journal
because everyone knows that writing about the issues in a really great way
while casually smoking a Marlborough Light and sipping a Venti half caff made with Soy milk, of course, is the only way we can like
change the world…
or whatever

Friday, November 16, 2007

Kilmer 2007: The Winner

My Husband Was In There, Like A Kumquat!
or, Explosion At The Poem Factory
or, 364 Days Without A Lost Rhyme Accident
or, St. Elmo's Fife
or, It's Definitely One Of These Titles, We Haven't Conclusively Determined Which Quite Yet, But Don't Worry, Forensic Poets Are Already On The Scene And We'll Be Sure To Keep You Posted
or, This Just In, It's Not The Fife One

by Amitai Schlair, GS '09

Poetry is like sausage.
Venison villanelles, saucisson sestinas, braunschweiger ballades, kielbasa couplets,
Pure pork pastourelles.
We simply go to the book-tcher shop and point to what we want:
"The summer sausage and the sunshine patriot ale..."
Some say it is best, for fullest enjoyment, not to know how our poems are prepared.
We hear the glorious end result and imagine the ink, the sweat, the blood, the eyeballs, the gizzards, the salvaged anuses
That went into it.
But only metaphorically.
Today we are reminded that it is all too real.
For today, in a quiet neighborhood unaccustomed to strife,
Tragedy has hungrily struck.

It is true that the great poems of canon are wrought by artists of the highest order,
Artists willing to sacrifice for every gleaming word their ink, their sweat, their blood
And occasionally their other stuff.
Yet those exalted poems are but a small sliver of the poetic ecosystem.
We could not have our teeming multitudes of lesser poems, were they wrought artis-anally.
Today, we must come full facial with the very real, very human, and very dead
Real humans who have given us so much.

In a bygone era we would have lost our local poemsmith and his trusty apprentice,
And would have relied on monthly shipments of scrawled parchment by horse from the Bronx.
A great loss, to be sure, but we would have overcome.
Changing economic conditions forced the poem manufacturing industry to consolidate
And outsource to former British colonies with proportionally fewer white people.
So it was a real point of pride when Amalgamated Verse and Strophe
Decided to build a poem factory right here in Morningside Heights
Despite knowing full well that a handful of conscientious objectors would vocally oppose the move.

In its first year, the factory brought jobs and economic stability to the area
And increased the quantity of mediocre multipurpose poem output by 47% without any statistically significant increase in quality.
Times were good for the poem industry and its industrious workers.
But this morning, for reasons as yet unknown, things took a turn for the bratwurst.

Right now, all we know is that the metaphor mixer malfunctioned,
Yielding metaphors well above acceptable purity levels.
The poem-production system was not designed to withstand this kind of artistic improvement
And the machinery failures cascaded catastrophically
Starting with the top-of-the-line Mephistropheles 9000.
The spring fell out of the sprung rhythm onto the shop floor;
The amphibrach broke;
The enjambment jammed;
The anacrusis, encrusted;
And the kenning ceased to ken.

The employee nearest the delivery dock, who operated the meter meter, observed the assembly line moving slow as molossus
And immediately knew something was a foot.
"Wait a minute," he says he said. "Iamb quite certain even our sweetest poems contain no molossus!"
And he drove off in one of the delivery trochees, a converted Nissan Stanza, moments before the factory's structural concrete verses shattered and splattered acrostic the shop floor.
If only his coworkers had had the good sestina to do limerikewise, perhaps more of them would be alitterive todouble-dactyl.

In this time of grief, we are left with many questions.
Could the tragedy have been averted?
What caused poem quality to rise so dangerously high?
What's molossus mean, anyway?
We may never have satisfactory answers to these questions.
Even so, we must honor the memory of those who died so that ordinary poetry might live.
I ask each of you now to recall a particularly empty cliché,
A tenuous metaphor,
A tenuous rhyme,
A repeated adjective,
A breath taken between lines
Where there was no intervening punctuation --
Or to conjure a new and inelegant turn.
Just something to recall the eminently imitable style of those who are now gone from us.
We will now observe a moment of silence for the deceased poem-laborers.


Kilmer 2007: The First Runner-Up

I Got a Post-Modern Woman
Or: I Got Ninety-Nine Problematizations, and a Bitch is One.
Or: Martin Heidegger? I Hardly Know Her!

by Everett Patterson, CC '06 (if a poem can be said to be "by" anyone)

I wish I could find an old-fashioned woman,
The kind I could bring home to daddy and mommy,
Who likes to read James Joyce and listen to Webern
And loves Jackson Pollock and Salvador Dali

I thought I had found her; I'd actually done it!
When I looked in her eyes, it was more than a feeling.
We met at a modern museum exhibit,
The kind where they hang hunks of meat from the ceiling.

I knew that this girl represented the Real;
Between Beauty and Truth there was not one disjunction.
The flesh incarnation of Plato's ideal,
Lemme tell ya', her form really followed her function! (wink)

No Schoenberg sonata could sing my felicity,
Until it was silenced by vexing perplexity;
When I mentioned a world of Socratic Simplicity,
She spoke of a matrix of sprawling complexity.

She's so fascinated with knowledge and power,
She evaluates me when I do something dignified.
We went on a date and I brought her some flowers;
Instead of accepting, she asked what they signified.

Our romantic dinners are so referential,
I have a hard time keeping up intellectually.
Her conception of love is a vast differential,
And to make matters worse, she's unsatisfied... textually.

Now I'm not Saussure, but I have my suspicions
My cunning linguistics do not satisfy her.
No matter how much we revise our positions,
I can't seem to ignite her sigini-fire.

The bedroom, like Jean Baudrillard, is depressing
And when we Foucault, there's a lot of confusion.
She often will still be rephrasing the question
By the time I have already reached my conclusion.

She creates simulacra of fake spontaneity
Whenever we're doing the Jacques Derri-deed.
I suspect she dissimulates simultaneity
(If you didn't just hear what I Edward Said.)

And during our interrelational forays
She grabs Mr. Wiggenstein, refusing to let go.
She screams "deconstruct me, you Whore Luis Borges!"
"I Immanuel Kant!" is my Umberto Echo.

Our love's metaphizzled; I'm not sentimental,
But I don't want a girl who's so purely performative.
She needs to acknowledge a few transcendentals.
I'm not asking for normal; I'd settle for normative.

I feel like a chauvinist racist imperialist
Since this whole non-Platonic relationship started.
Why didn't I date that dialectical materialist?
I must have been Jean-Francoise Lyotarded!

Got a postmodern woman, she treats me so mean (harmonica solo)
Got a postmodern woman, Lord*, she treats me so mean (harmonica solo)
She's the meanest old woman that I ever done seen (The harmonica solo never happened.)

*who doesn't exist except as a network of metanarratives

Kilmer 2007: The Second Runner-Up

the shape of my love
by Joshua Schwartz, GS '08

I would be a harp for you
that you may play your fingers across my strings
send shivering vibrations up my spine, an addictive fever
under the blankets of your warmth.

i would be sharp for you
like a knife, glittering ethereally in the night
like a brilliant question from the mouth of
a promising young student
or a delicious cheddar cheese
mmmmmm... cheddar
how is my love like a cheese?
well, cheddar cheese is hard... and pale yellow to orange,
and: after heating, the curd is cut into cubes
to drain the whey, then stacked and turned.

i would be a B-sharp for you
an impossible note, hovering over the staff...
of possibility.
why not just call me a middle C?
because i love you. that's why.

i would be a tarp for you
to keep you safe from the storm and the wet
to save you from catching a chill
and becoming ill
and while you sleep, i would look over you
while you sleep, all bundled up in your sleeping bag
while you sleep, i am watching you.
while you sleep.

i would be an Arp for you
an alsatian artist and poet who was cofounder of dadaism in zurich
noted for abstract organic sculptures...
and loving you all up on your body.

i would be a carp for you
a proud white fish
with scales gleaming like the rainbow
you could raise me in your bathtub, and
you could grind me up all sexy like
we could feed a hungry jewish family
because who doesn't think gefilte fish is hot?
no one doesn't think that. that's who.

I would be a Garp for you
the bastard son of a technical sergeant and a castrating mother
living a life of "lunacy and sorrow"
learning painfully from my sexual relationships
until you.
and the world according to me
would be one of our love.

but i would never LARP for you
because it's for nerds,
and i am one of the cool kids.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Whip Email: Meeting 4

Even in a great herd of cows and calves, the mother cow will recognize
the cry of her calf, above all others. Just so, the True Shabad [word]
resonates truly, and is easily distinguished from the false.
-Guru Granth Sahib [foundational text of Sikhism]

The indictment states that the group committed arsons with improvised
incendiary devices made from milk jugs, petroleum products and
homemade timers in a series of attacks in the five states. The
indictment alleges that the group claimed to be acting on behalf of
ALF [Animal Liberation Front] and ELF [Environmental Liberation

ALF? What the fuck kind of name for a terrorist organization is ALF?!
Oooh I'm really fucking scared. ALF. Gimme a fucking break. Did we
really run out of good names that fast?
-Everyone, upon reading the above

The PHILOLEXIAN SOCIETY invites you, cordially, to the FOURTH DEBATE

RESOLVED: Vegetarians don't care as much about animals as they say.

JD Satow room (fifth floor of Lerner Hall)
AT 8:30 PM,
ON Thursday, October 4.

Refreshments to precede the meeting--bloody, wriggling refreshments.
Old and new members welcome alike.

Be there or be consumed by Self Doubt (which, you'll find out, is the
witty nom-de-plume of a cannibal/serial killer who's been baiting your
local newspaper with letters to the editor about how he'll never be
caught). He's wrong--they catch him. Small comfort to you when
seeing his blood-bespattered visage gets your heart stuck in your
throat, a mere hour before it goes smoothly through his, washed down
by a fine Beaujolais.


...and that's DOCTOR Whippersnapper to you!

Also, please note the difference between complimentary and
complementary. People trying to get on your good side are
complimentary. Free toilet paper, unless it's somehow developed a
mouth (in which case, woe betide us all) can only be complEmentary
with an E. This message will remain on my whip-list until I see a
change or until another error takes its place.

Whip email: Meeting 3

It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point
out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a
half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.
-Dream of the Endless

Gone are the skin-centric, tummy-revealing and possibly private
part-exposing trends that Spears and friends like Paris Hilton made
ubiquitous. Instead, designers are embracing modesty, using sheer
fabrics and lingerie looks to [sic] subtly hint at sexiness. (AP

Man it's really hot under all this clothing. I wish I were naked so I
wouldn't be so hot.
-Preemption of BOTHERSOME CHILDREN intending deliberately to
misconstrue the meaning of the resolution (which follows).

The PHILOLEXIAN SOCIETY invites you, cordially, to the THIRD DEBATE

RESOLVED: Naked People are much hotter than clothed people

JD Satow room (fifth floor of Lerner Hall)
AT 8:30 PM,
ON Thursday, September 27.

Refreshments to precede the meeting.
Old and new members welcome alike.

Be there or that persistent nightmare in which you stand at the
podilectern, not wearing pants but not realizing it, and cringing at
the laughter around you, shame looming so large in your mind that
understanding cannot possible come in, will prove true--but also with,
like, wolverines and stuff thrown in, as well.


...and that's DOCTOR Whippersnapper to you!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Whip Email: Second Meeting of the Semester

Rest in soft peace, and, asked, say, Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry.
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such
As what he loves may never like too much.
-Ben Jonson

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.
-Christina Rossetti

The buzzards, they soar overhead
And poisonous snakes will devour us whole
Our bones will bleach in the sun
And we will probably go to (loud farting noise)
And that is our great reward
For being the-uh Ro-oy-al Canadian Kilted Yaksmen!
-Ren and Stimpy

The Philolexian Society invites you to the SECOND debate of the semester!

Resolved: Suffering makes you Legitimate

The debate will take place:
Thursday, September 20 at 8:30 PM
in the J.D. Satow Room (5th floor of Lerner Hall).

Refreshments to precede the meeting.
Old and new members welcome alike.

Be there or your cycle of depression and alcoholism, will yield, alas, not the publication of Sophie's Choice or Absalom, Absalom!, but rather, a small citation in a psychology journal dedicated to cases about (you guessed it) alcoholic depressives with huge dickfores jutting right out of their heads.


...and that's DOCTOR Whippersnapper to you!


Quamquam ridentem dicere verum, quid vetat?

The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water and breeds reptiles of the mind.
-William Blake

Whip Email: First Meeting of the Semester

I've got a lawsuit against Brown & Willliamson now. Because I have been chain-smoking Pall Malls since I was 11. And on their package they promised to kill me.
-The formerly-not-late Kurt Vonnegut (2004 in

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Oh yeah? Well sometimes it's a big brown dick with a fat, arrogant, white-collar business-criminal asshole sucking on the wet end of it."
-George Carlin (You're All Diseased; Atlantic Records, 1999)

"Let me attain no envied wealth,
let me not plunder cities,
neither be taken in turn, and face
life in the power of another."
-Clytaemnestra (Agamemnon; Aeschylus; trans: Richmond Lattimore)

The Philolexian Society invites you, cordially, to the first debate of the semester!

Resolved: The detrimental health affects of smoking do not out-weigh how cool you look doing it.

Come to:
JD Satow room (fifth floor of Lerner Hall)
8:30 PM
September 13
Refreshments to precede the meeting.
Old and new members welcome alike.

Be there. All the cool kids are doing it .


...and that's DOCTOR Whippersnapper to you!

Quamquam Ridentem Dicere Verum, Quid Vetat?
-Horace (Satires)

The Man who never alters his opinion is like standing water & breeds reptiles of the mind.
-William Blake (The Marriage of Heaven and Hell)

Friday, September 07, 2007

0th Whip Email of the Semester

"Everywhere we remain unfree and chained to technology, whether we passionately affirm or deny it."
-Martin Heidegger

“All progress depends on the unreasonable man. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.”
- George Bernard Shaw

"I envision a world in which people are so fat and lazy they will eat their own spouses rather than drag their comically large asses to a McDonalds to get more burgers. Can you feel it, my poppets? Life is so beautiful!"
-Ray Kroc; founder, McDonalds Franchise

The tomfool Philolexian Society invites you to the introductory debate of the semester!

Resolved: The 21st Century will be characterized by unceasing boredom.

The meeting shall convene on Thursday, September 6 at 8:30 in SATOW.

Old and new members welcome alike.

Be there or sit around with nothing else to do.

...and that's DOCTOR Whippersnapper to you!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What I Learned in Granada by Adam Katz, Age 11, part 4

Continuing on the same track we left off last time, we are going to talk about big red things.

Alhambra (alif-lam-hha-mim-ra-alif) means "the big red thing." No kidding. It is indeed big and red. It's like Clifford the Building. Legend has it that the hamsa (derrived from the word for 'five,' it refers to a hand-symbol qua good-luck-charm, common in the Middle East and therefore in Moorish Spain) which sits atop the main gates of Alhambra (which means THE red thing so the practice of calling it "la alhambra" or "the alhambra" is about as redundant as a divorcing an ex-wife) touches the key which sits further down, but on the same gate, and unlocks the secret door (stone can't move, I know) the arabs who have been sleeping under Granada will awaken and restore the beautiful silk-empire moorish city of old.

Sounds a bit far-fetched, I know, and while it's technically illegal even for muslim BARDS to resort to the sauce...WELL. If you were as confused as I am as to what the heck a hand is doing on the outside of a fortress (maybe to extend a friendly gesture: how do you DO, Mr. Invader?) you'd be tossing about for a Guinness or three, too. And speaking of Guinness, did you know that nearby Sevilla is home to the Guinness-book-of-world-records biggest-floor-space-of-any-cathedral cathedral?. It's huge. It's like Clifford the Cathedral only not really red. Why so big and more importantly, how did they know about Clifford back in the 14th century? Well, they had to show up the mosque they destroyed to build it (except for the minaret, preserved, as in many cases, but outfitted with a cross and bells). But even that--why was the mosque so big? Well, often they had to show up the Visigothic church they destroyed to build the mosque.

Round it goes. Where does it stop? The Jews, generally.

What? Too soon?

Monday, July 09, 2007

What I learned in Granada by Adam Katz, Age 11, part 3

In which we dispense with some misunderstandings and curiosities engendered by the previous two posts, have a cup of good hot tea with canela flowers, cardamom, and some spices that probably aren't poison (the blend as a whole is called país and is delicious) and find out why spanish women are so damn dignified-looking

Follar literally means to pump bellows (think blacksmith...or a way to make a girl's skirt go all "Marilyn Monroe"). Joder literally means to have sex. It's a tough life but someone's gotta conceive it.

Useful note: unlike in English there is no word that simply means, well, "fuck." (As Allen Sherman points out in his book The Rape of the Ape, the word is direct and unambiguous while simultaneously lacking the clinical feel of words like "coitus.") So they improvise. Joder has the literal meaning in Spain, but not in Latin America. Thus: don't fuck WITH me, rather than don't fuck me.


Chingar, joder, and follar are the principle ones with hacer el amor (to make love), enchufar (to plug into an electrical socket) and dormir (to sleep) being close behind. Hacer el amor (to make love) is the polite way of saying it but you wouldn't use it to tell someone off. That would be like saying: "go get a woman who loves you to massage your shoulders and pleasure you all night asshole!!!" Doesn't have the same sting. Chingar, in Spain, is now understood as "fuck" but once meant "bother" or "annoy" much like, ironically enough for us English speakers, "molestarse," which STILL means to "bother" or "annoy" (violar being the criminal act). According to a Berlitz book on slang, Joder and Follar are best understood in Latin America as "bother" or "annoy" (why they couldn't just switch? search me). I suspect that with the age of television and the rise of casual swearing, all three will start to have the same (or similar) meanings in place of the confusion.

And not to be upstaged: correrse means "to orgasm" but it's a really the tamest of all of them.

"Echar un polvo" means to pour out dust. You can fill in the details, I'm sure.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED: "Estar hecho polvo" means "to be bone-tired." They also say "estoy jodido," more colloquially, of course. Estar hecho polvo and Echar un Polvo mean VERY different things but sound similar. Let the buyer beware.

much love.
Next week we'll talk about why spanish women are so damn dignified-looking in bed.

Friday, June 29, 2007

What I Learned in Granada by Adam Katz, age 11 part 2

me cago en tu opinión - I shit on your opinion
me cago en la leche de tú opinión - I shit in the milk of your opinion (you might have noticed this one cropping up from time to time in FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS by Hemmingway...probably only if you read it, though).

This is something that has a bit of mystique surrounding it for me, because my mother, although she is proud of her occasionally foul mouth and new york demeanor, has never been this wicked. But if you really wanna take it out of the little bastard, this is a mother-to-child insult taught to my by the son of my host mother, when I asked him about "me cago en la leche..."

it goes:

me cago en la leche que te di - I shit on the milk I gave you

Another family insult comes to us from Mexican author Juan Rulfo's immortal tale "no oyes ladrar los perros" (you don't hear the dogs barking?)

"He maldecido la sangre que usted tiene de mí." - I have cursed the blood I gave you (this of course was after the kid killed his own godfather on the highway)

and he follows that little zinger up with

Que se le pudra en los riñones la sangre que yo le di! - may it rot your kidneys, the blood I gave you!

Burn!!! crabby old man 2, mortally wounded highwayman nothing! Fuck, it feels good to land a few punches (puñetazos)

I bet the little shit will think twice about murdering his godfather next time, huh?
Kids, huh? I tell ya.

Tune in next week and we'll find out why Spanish mothers are so freaking dignified-looking.

What I Learned in Granada by Adam Katz, age 11

Having completed my final exams (really! I'm awesome!) I feel I am somewhat an authority on enough things spanish, hispanic, latino, and, of course sephardic, not to mention mozarabic, mudéjar, moorish, morisco, and, fuck, why not, spick that I thought it time to do an educational piece.

These are the ways I have learned to tell someone off.

¡y una mierda! - yeah, bullshit

¡y un jamón! - same as above. The spanish use jamón for everything. It is simultaneously the diamond in the crown of their justifiably reputable cuisine (not that I fucking ate any of the smelly shite), the pejorative name given to Jews-in-hiding after the Expulsion ("marranos") the word for a badly dressed, unhygienic, or otherwise unpresentable person, and, as you can see here, a way to tell someone (politely) that he doesn't know his foot from a trotter. ¡viva cerdito!

que te dén - short for "que te dén por culo" i.e. "may they give it to you up the ass." I don't know who "they" are or if they're unionized, but Europe is pretty socialist, so I'll bet they get dental care, if you know what I mean.

véte a tomar por culo - literaly "go take it up the ass" but more appropriately translated (like the above) as "go fuck yourself."

chíngate = go fuck yourself, but more useful in Mexico than here.

fóllate, jódete = more appropriately peninsular-spanish versions of the above. Mind, in each of the three cases, the "go" is implied. It's not something one just does in the plaza (although they do everything SHORT of that in the plaza).

hijo de... - I've heard this is the best way to get your ass kicked: make a "your mother joke" in a place like andalucía where EVERY cathedral, and most large-enough-to-swing-a-cat-in churches are named after the virgen mary (madre del martirio, madre de las angustias, madre de dolores...she doesn't get a fucking break, unlike most spaniards with their 3 hour siestas).

still, popular variations include:

hijo de: puta, zorra, prostituta (she-dog, she-fox, prostitute; the first two are synonyms for the third).

¡coñazo! - pussy!
¡coño! - pussy!
¡maricon! - fairy
¡hada! - fairy

join us next time for the more literary side of the spanish middle-finger!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Lit Hum Final May 07

He went out; he reeled, he was overtaken with giddiness and did not know what he was doing. He began going down the stairs, supporting himself with his right hand against the wall. He fancied that a porter pushed past him on his way upstairs to the police office, that a dog in the lower storey kept up a shrill barking and that a woman flung a rolling-pin at it and shouted. He went down and out into the yard. There, not far from the entrance, stood Sonia, pale and horror-stricken. She looked wildly at him. He stood still before her. There was a look of poignant agony, of despair, in her face. She clasped her hands. His lips worked in an ugly, meaningless smile. He stood still a minute, grinned and went back to the police office.

Ilya Petrovitch had sat down and was rummaging among some papers. Before him stood the same peasant who had pushed by on the stairs.

“Hulloa! Back again! have you left something behind? What’s the matter?”

Raskolnikov, with white lips and staring eyes, came slowly nearer. He walked right to the table, leaned his hand on it, tried to say something, but could not; only incoherent sounds were audible.

“You are feeling ill, a chair! Here, sit down! Some water!”

Raskolnikov dropped on to a chair, but he kept his eyes fixed on the face of Ilya Petrovitch, which expressed unpleasant surprise. Both looked at one another for a minute and waited. Water was brought.

“It was I …” began Raskolnikov.

“Drink some water.”

Raskolnikov refused the water with his hand, and softly and brokenly, but distinctly said:

“It was I found teachers' notes to the Lit Hum final and robbed them.”

Ilya Petrovitch opened his mouth. People ran up on all sides.

Raskolnikov repeated his statement.

(with thanks to

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


For those of you who read this phlog but don't receive our emails (surely a scant few indeed, but we must leave No Child etc, etc, etc) KILMER WON THE KING'S CROWN LEADERSHIP AWARD FOR BEST EVENT!!!!! Not Glass-House Rocks, not Veritas Forum, not anything other than Kilmer! Fuckin' rock on!

It occurs to us, of course, that we're going to have to figure something out for next semester that rocks the socks off of the last contest. Go-go dancers, anyone?

-Admiral Meriweather
Whip of the Philolexian Society

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Meeting 1/18

"Americans eat more fat... [and] they eat more sugar... than any other people on earth. Americans also experience more episodes of acute hunger each day than any other people on earth – many [Americans] eat 11 times a day... and Americans do less physical work per day than any other nation. We ride more and walk less than other people. Could it be this combination that is fattening up Americans?... Is America’s romance with fabricated foods killing her by degrees?"
~Paul A. Stitt, MS, Biochemistry,

"You want to know the real reason we have declared holy jihad? Celebrity Fit Club."
~Osama Bin Laden, private interview

The luxuriously lugubrious Philolexian Society cordially invites you to a debate:

RESOLVED: Everyone Hates America Because We Are Fat.

Come and show off those voluptuous curves.

When: Thursday Jan. 18th
9:00pm snacks and schmooze
9:30pm (sharp) - the debate begins!
Where: Broadway Room (2nd floor of Lerner, next to the piano lounge)

Be there or you won't get the exercise you so vitally need.

~the will o' the whip

The Sensationalist Manifesto

The Sensationalist Manifesto

We declare that we are multitudinous in approach! We assume the role of many, the mind of the massive. We are tapped into the pulse of planet Earth, and we are only beginning to dig in our fingernails.

We believe in ideas and do not hold by beliefs. We are willing to defend what we believe (for the minute) to the death. We are willing to change any of our minds. We are desirous of having them blown.

We think the world is a macro-organism. We consider the emergence of a super-perspective. We know that brain cells communicate across a gap called a synapse, but nonetheless, they pass on information. We think we are neurons on a global scale.

We believe words only chip away at the truth. We think the truth is asymptotic. We recognize the inherent flaws in verbal and written communication. We consider words to be extensions of the ego. We love them anyway.

We believe in the truth of the singular experience. We think that numbers lie. We search for the kernel at the heart of subjectivity. We believe that everyone can understand anything, but not everything. We are eternally astounded.

We are vigilant for morsels of meaning. We see life as a canvas. We are blind artists with paint

We see beauty in the fields and in the city. We search and we search and can not find the unnatural. We believe in consistency and artificial authenticity. We think evolution is the only measure of time.

We are becoming more and more convinced that we are nothing and everything all at once.

As above so below.
As above so below.
As above so below.
As above so below.
As above so below.

We think we are right. We know we are wrong.

We will accept the voice of one. We revel in the voices of the many. We resist the voice of the masses. We believe we exist to transcend. We think we are only just beginning.

We believe we can do anything if we try real hard. We inject new meaning if we say it with feeling. We correct punctuation as vigilantly as we check our facts. We think a misplaced comma can destroy the world. We believe it can be created again.

We believe in the energy. We believe in the verve. We believe sincerity is a virtue. We believe in feeling everything until it hurts. We believe we can separate ourselves from anything. We believe the truth is too great to be a weapon. We believe it is like shooting the president with dark matter, the space between stars.

We believe everything until we are proven wrong. We believe in Nothing, as a state of mind. We believe You can change our minds. We believe in You.


Experiments in Experimental Short Fiction

!) once i was a strip of wallpaper that was listlessly saying hello to the door and goodbye to the window. i miss the sunlight even though it dried me out.

@) a red ball launched, rebounding, bouncing off doors and lockers. aglets of chuck taylor sneakers click clacking their way down to the principal's office. a ferret runs free in the hall.

#) bubblegum snapping and girls deciding who is in and who is out. black is the new orange they say. who made them god?

$) oncewheniwasyounger

%) his arms became fatigued earlier than he expected, and he starting getting short of breath. with every new lift of his increasingly heavy arms, he struggled to grasp those blessed vines. with the strength of atlas he managed not to ever ever look down to the ground where the little people lived. he had bigger dreams of the sky, but it was getting hard to breathe. the air is thinner in the clouds.

^) crash i never want to see you again whack bang thwok i mean it don't you ever step foor in this house again you bastard crash bang crash but i love you


Kilmer 2004

The Winner 2004:

(For Mrs. Henry Mills Alden)
or: deep thoughts on laundry
or: repeating random nouns and then attaching that same noun to some profound emotion is comedic gold, the gold of joy.
By Joshua Schwartz GS '08

Ahhhhh the taste of victory
I always imagined it would taste more like tiramisu
Or a cinnamon rugelach
Or the salty elixir squeezed from the saturated uniforms of the victims
Of my ring of white slaves.

Riding the roller coaster of love creates within my bosom
This pleasant buzz in my
Nether regions (the auxiliary nether regions I keep in my bosom)
Like if one were to sit on a blender
A blender of joy
Set on the puree
of bliss.
In my heart are the sprites of happiness and their laughter
Warms my cockles as only true love can
True love and microwave burritos.
Happy and bright:
Like the sun shining on the faces
Of my ring of white slaves.

While sitting on the dryer, I begin to
Meditate about death and the innate absurdity of life.
There is no hope and love is false, I cry
As I weep into the snuggles,
The snuggles of despair.
Like the despair that gives me joy that makes me curious that bit the dog that ate schroedingers cat
And killed god
when I see it on the faces
Of my ring of white slaves.

In deep thought, I return from the Laundromat of my soul
Where I pick up the blazer of my spirit and the khakis of my heart
And the afghan of despair
I realize:
I hardly knew my soul at all.

And he is Korean.


Runner Up

The Childhood Memories and Songs of Experience of George Prescott Bush, the Young, Half-Mexican Grandson of President George Bush the First, Nephew of President George Bush the Second, and Possible Future First Latino President of the United States
by Edward Rueda CC '05

I remember the house of mi abuelo,
my grandfather Jorge, a large casa blanca,
a house as white as the supper's soft, white tortillas
I see my grandfather Jorge
strong as a bull in a bullfighting ring,
driving the English springer spaniels across the front lawn,
like soft tortillas across guacamole grass
I see my grandfather in his aviator glasses
hard, unbending, quite unlike tortillas,
I see him wearing an enchilada suit
as he spoke in taco shell press conferences
in the red mole rose garden

I see mi abuela, my grandmother Bárbara
standing next to mi abuelo Jorge
in the red mole rose garden
I see her soft, white, curly hair
and her soft, white, round necklace of pearls
like tortillas, soft, white, curled
and stacked on top of more soft, white, round tortillas.
My grandmother's skin is like tortillas,
soft, round, made of corn and flour from the earth
my grandmother Bárbara has the strength of the earth
in her hands, as she lifts fine china,
fine, tortilla-white china filled with dinnertime tortillas.

But mi abuelo Jorge has hard news to tell,
hard like deep-fried tacos is the news of war
war that must take place in the land of the tostados,
war that he planned with my uncle, Tío Cheney
I see my see my grandfather talking to my Tío Cheney
Tío Cheney, dressed in a black bean black suit
wincing from the plaque in his arteries
thick plaque, hard and white, like old tortillas.
My grandfather says this war may be bad, and not soft,
But if every man fought in the distant land of sand so white,
Soon peace in our world would come around,
a peace we could all look forward to, like our supper, like tortillas

After the news conference, my grandfather Jorge
takes off his aviator glasses, hard unlike tortillas,
sets me on his knee, a knee like a burrito
and tells me, "nieto, grandson,
you may one day run this casa grande, this casa blanca
and if you lead this casa blanca into war,
remember: God has made you a Jorge Bush
you are strong and solid like a burrito,
you are stuffed with good inside, like a burrito,
you have a tough skin, like a burrito
but most of all, you have a heart
that is strong and pure and white and good, like tortillas."

Now my uncle, Tío Jorge, runs the casa blanca,
strong like a bullfighter in a bullfighting ring,
he plays golf on the green guacamole grass.
I see my uncle Jorge, who's as fun as a fiesta,
giving a speech in the red mole rose garden,
now he must share words as hard as deep-fried tacos.
War must take place in the land of the tostados,
war that he planned with my uncle, Tío Cheney
I see my Tío Jorge talking to Tío Cheney
Tío Cheney, dressed in a black bean black suit
wincing from the plaque in his arteries
thick plaque, hard and white, like old tortillas.
Tío Jorge says that war is good,
good for lands so hot with sand so white,
hot, white, sand all around, hot and white, like tortillas.

After the news conference, my uncle Jorge
takes off his baseball sombrero, to say to me,
"Sobrino, nephew, you may one day run
this casa grande, this casa blanca
and if you lead this casa blanca into war,
remember: you are a Jorge Bush
you are not to be evil, like the burrito
you need to be stuffed with liberty and freedom, like the burrito
you need an evil-repellent skin, like the burrito
you need God to continually bless you, like the burrito,
and most of all, your heart needs not to be evil,
but soft and pure and white, like tortillas."

These words, made of corn, made of earth, are strong,
like a bull: big, strong, white, pure, round,
like tortillas.


Runner Up

I Love Little Pussy
by Mike Ilardi CC '05 (With Illustrations by Edward Rueda CC '05)

What follows is a brief anthology of sequels to the 19th century nursery rhyme I Love Little Pussy, a piece intended to teach children proper care for their cats. Children today have all manner of exotic creatures in their care, so I felt it necessary to pen a few updated versions of the old classic. First, the original:

"I Love Little Pussy"
I love little pussy,
Her coat is so warm,
And if I don't hurt her,
She'll do me no harm.
So I'll not pull her tail,
Nor drive her away,
But pussy and I,
Very gently will play.

And now for the sequels:

"I Love Little Cock"
I love little cock,
His beak is so long,
And when I stroke him,
He does me no wrong.
So I'll not rumple his feathers,
Nor tug him too quick,
He'll come when I call him,
For I've named him Dick.

"I Love Little Beaver"
I Love Little Beaver,
Her fur is so wet,
And though she smells fishy,
She's so fun to pet.
So I'll not burst her dam,
If she gnaws on my wood.
Gee, little beaver,
you're always so good!

"I Love Little Bearded Clam"
I love little bearded clam,
Her shell is so tight,
And if I feed her,
she'll clamp down every night.
So I'll not pry her open,
I'll be kind instead,
I'll drape a pearl necklace
Over her head!

"I Love Little Trouser Snake"
I love little trouser snake,
He slithers up my pants,
And when I play my flute,
Trouser snake does his dance.
So I'll not tie him in knots,
Nor pull him too hard,
For my trouser snake
is nearly one yard!