Friday, 26 December 2008

An Open Letter to Marks and Spencer

Dear Sir or Madam:

RE: The Fate of unsold perishables

I write to ask you to explain your policy in regard to items as they near their “best-before” or “sell-by” dates. Are they “marked down” as the hour approaches (the better to seduce the low-lying and most clement slopes of the demand curve)? Do M&S possess (as I am told Pret do!) an heroic fleet of Robin Reliants ready to drive the leftovers through the stormy night to local and not-so-local soup kitchens and homeless shelters? I should think a feta and vine leaves parcel is a feta and vine leaves parcel, heroin addiction or no heroin addiction.

If commercial exigencies (which I should like to hear about – I mean it, it’s not just flirting! I heart commercial exigencies) render these measures quite impossible, perhaps you should prepare less food for sale?

I am not incurious since my friend Melody Wittgenstein and I witnessed what we first took for looting, in the branch inside Victoria station some recent Friday night, at around 11:00. Brave Melody remarked that it reminded her of the rotting grain mountains and wine lakes of the Common Agricultural Policy. For a moment, I wondered whether I was not on the threshold of some quasi-Heavenly “Land of Delicious Food,” as enormous clouds of sandwiches, gathered into plastic bags, were wafted past us on the shoulders of your tillmen and women into the waiting bins. Or perhaps a waiting fleet of Robin Reliants? Melody being near best-before herself hadn’t the luxury of such rapture and her fear for her safety was a factor in my resolution to write to you.

I mean we’re not just talking ropey sandwiches here, they were chucking away perfectly good cherry tomatoes.

Do not, I warn you, try to fob me off with a voucher! – for I will only convey it to the fingers of one of my homeless friends.

I apologise for what may seem the excessive background and combative tone of this letter, and ameliorate it with the old saw that companies always seem to be far worse than the people who make them up! But as your sector is one of the trailblazers in Corporate Social Responsibility, and as your brand melts in itself all the best qualities of English sumptuousness and commonsense, is not M&S positioned to show better leadership than this?

Yours impatiently,
Lara Buckerton

Monday, 15 December 2008

Blood-Soaked Tampon

Bard cud!

Melody Wittgenstein & I have been instrumental in the realisation of Posie Rider's latest artistic vision, the short "Blood Soaked Tampon et. al." [sic]. Will Hirstory thank us, Melody? Ze certainly won't forget us!


When like Melody I am old I shall warp purple, and I shall say things like this: "No I zhan't give you my autograph, because zat would be a forgery!"

(Aren't you . . . ?)

"Zat is beside the point: a zignature without a document, by law, is a forgery." (I don't know if this is true or if it will be then, but I will have got it into my head that it is). "For all I know my pet you're MI5, wanting to entrap and blackmail me for my assistance in dealing with a Caliph who has fallen in love with me, or thinks he has. I hold anyhow that tact in introductions, and honest purchases, are the better foundations of an autograph collection, and approaches of the illuztriouz in the ztreetz, odiouz."

Also I will be continually found lifting things far too big and heavy and have them taken off me amid the most soothing of protestations. Ooh I can't wait. I'll get busy. Apparently crack helps the process along.

Saturday, 13 December 2008


I have just begun posting Francis Crot’s exquisite MEAT-FILLED CHAPEL a.k.a. TALKING DONKEY BLOODBATH a.k.a. MALTON, ENGLAND.


In the end, we decided it was simplest to plonk it all on one page. Occam's bloadsoaked ex tempore bludgeon.

I have around 20 pages – Francis tells me that’s about half of what she’s written so far. She has planned it to be 200 pages. She promises it will be utterly autistic. In honour of the MMORPGy Urban Dead, London has become Malton.

I don’t want to spoil too much, let’s just say it gets very weird very quickly, and there’s a very portentous quality, almost Sophoclean. So make yourself a cup of tea & enjoy!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Twelve Collections


My review of Zivkovic's foxy TWELVE COLLECTIONS AND THE TEASHOP is now up at STRANGE HORIZONS. And lovely Niall kept in the thought-provoking bit about vom!

And vice-versa. BTW I'm just reading Without fear of wind or vertigo, by Vorts Viljandi, and I'm struck by the parallels with Zoran "Insert Symbol ... " Zivkovic's book. Too late to mention it, Zod's Law.

Personally I collect Zoran Zivkovics:

And in other crap, I embark today on a zock puppet-supported viral marketing campaign to zoom up the zocial penetration of my azzociative democratic poetry! Shall keep you posied. Is anyone out there? Frankly my lardlings I (published on the Internet potatoess) don't give a yam.