Can I have a cui bono?

Me: Whenever crazy shit, or stupid shit, or baffling shit, or shit in general, happens, I always ask myself, who is this good for?
Kid: Cui bono.
Kid: Cicero.
Me: I’m not the first one to think of that?
Kid: Uh uh.
Me: But I did think of it.
Kid: You did.
Kid: But.
Me: Why is it, everything that happens benefits either Putin or the Koch Brothers.
Kid: Beware…
Me: Or both.
Kid: Of nutty…
Me: Trump is nothing but a big red herring…
Kid: …conspiracy theories.
Me: …for the klept.
Kid: Quod erat demonstrandum.

One final question

Man: (refreshes his glass of Midleton) So, before you kill me, how did you find me?
Two strangers: (look at each other with puzzled expressions)
Man: I changed my identity ages ago. I went off the grid. Were you clicking through old bookmarks from days? Do you even remember that “last updated” feed they had? I’m still friends with people I found that way. That was the best.
Man: Or was it a random social media link?
Man: Or something more sinister?
First stranger: I did a search for facts about the grunion, actually.
Second stranger: Names for electric cars, here.
Man: (takes sip, says nothing).
Man: Ah.

They sit that way for a very long time. The strangers glance at the bottle of Midleton now and then, but the man ignores them. They will be drinking this soon enough, he thinks, when I am dead.

First stranger: Actually, we’re not actually here to kill you.
Second stranger: No.
Man: Ah.
Man: (Pours himself a fresh glass, and puts the bottle away)
Man: (takes sip) Then you will be going soon, I imagine.
Two strangers: (Shrug, look at each other)
Man: Before you go, I want you to know one thing.
Man: All I want is for you to be happy.
Man: That’s all I want. But I realize that just saying it is useless.
Man: I mean, there used to be people who wanted only for me to be happy, and it had no effect. I disappointed them and myself. Happiness is an elusive target, anyway. I suppose what they wanted was for me to achieve a situation, a mental state and social/economic situation conducive to self-actualization and a condition of agency in life, and here I am, the same lost bobbing cork as always.
Man: But I am content.
Two strangers: (Give each other puzzled looks. One glances at the glass in the man’s hand)
Man: I am sitting in a garden, petting a cat and waiting for death. I have not achieved all I dreamed, but it no longer matters.
Man: All that matters is that you are happy. That you attain a state of agency and personal power. That you can speak of yourself with honesty. (Drinks the last of the whiskey, sets glass on table.)
First stranger: (Licks lips involuntarily)
Man: (Looks at the sky outside) Now I wonder if, when someone told me “all I want is for you to be happy,” they really meant “all I want is for you to have a life of your own and get out of my hair”.
Man: If, when they said, “Do anything you want,” they meant, “do something.”
Man: Hrm.
Man: (Notices the strangers have left)
Man: (Pets cat) (Drinks the last drops of liquid in the glass)
Man: (To cat) I wonder if that is what I meant.
Man: (Sighs, begins typing fresh story)

Love, a play in one act. One scene, actually

Curtains open to reveal a kitchen.
Man: Dude, are you fucking your lettuce?
Tortoise: What? No.
Man: Cause it looks like it.
Tortoise: Erk, erk, erk.
(Woman enters)
Woman: Good morning.
Man: Good morning. Would you like a cup of coffee?
Woman: Sure.
(Woman sits down at table)
Woman: Is the tortoise stuck on his lettuce?
Man: That’s what I thought at first. Remember when he was little and he tried to walk over a leaf of lettuce and it rolled up into a cigar and he got high-centered on top of it?
Man: Here’s your coffee.
Man: But he doesn’t appear to be stuck this time, strictly speaking.
Man: I mean, I think it’s optional.
Tortoise: Erk, erk, erk.

2018 International St. Valentine’s Day Limerick Contest


This year’s contest is closed. Thanks to all entrants, and all visitors.
I originally planned to announce the winners earlier, but then I got busy at work, and when I got home I had to make a couscous/vegetable dish that seemed as if it would go quickly, but involved a lot of peeling and chopping so here we are.

The winners:
First of all, our sincere appreciation here at to everyone who entered. For the second year in a row (at least!) Eeveryone had sweet dispositions this year despite a few abrupt but unavoidable random (but mostly minor) rule changes, and there was no fighting or bickering, which was a big relief. So thank you, dudes, it was a lot of fun reading your poetry.
Before I continue: should the entry period be longer next year? It seemed to flash past this time, but maybe I’m just getting older, old people are always talking about how fast time goes by. Or maybe I was just busy (I was). Are two weeks Was an entire month enough? Would three weeks be better?

Ok, the winners:
First of all, to each entrant I say: we should get together for a coffee or a drink or something sometime. I know a bar where they open the champagne with a sword, for example.
By the way, when we were in Ireland two years ago early last year, my wife and I – my wife is investigating our ancestors and we hired a genealogy butler and she claimed to have found the village my Irish ancestors came from, a few miles outside Limerick.
Where else could they possibly have come from.
It felt like in that one movie where the cities fold up only it was generations of my family history, folding up neatly on themselves. <--- I have no idea what I meant by that.

Ok, anyway, the winners:
Oh, PS: do you think the creepy little clown drove people away How did you like this year’s banner? I still love last year’s creepy clown gif, but maybe it was a little too psycho, so I tried to keep it romantic this year. I thought it sort of captures the shadow side of the holiday, you know? But maybe that is better left to the limericks instead. I’ll try to have a more attractive graphic next year.
Here we are:
Honorable mention goes to Kimmy Alan. Thanks for participating!Cj for an autobiographical work about having Georgia on your mind. NICE TO SEE YOU AROUND AGAIN CJ!!! Have fun in Tbilisi.
Second place goes to KayO for five daunting entries spanning Wittgenstein, Amy Sherald, Oulipo and Stendahl among others. It was damn close this year, but…
Third place goes to TH who is apparently saving those worse limericks he was working on for next year’s contest. See you next year TH (if not before).
Dee gets the silver medal: three really fine limericks and hit a lot of the bonus themes as well. I was really happy to see you contributing, Dee.

Perry Iles takes first place this year, due only secondarily to one of the secret rules of this contest (“Perry always wins”) (Perry, it seems, has been winning since 1979, when the pre-Internet version of the contest was conducted in spray paint on Italian monuments) and primarily to both the quality and quantity of his entries, and his admirable ability to turn on a dime and incorporate new bonus themes as they arise, and also his occasional fucking with scansion, which made me LOL, especially, as KayO also mentioned, his Cormac McCarthy entry.
See you all next year. Thanks again!

Welcome to the 2018 edition of the International Limerick Contest.
Please leave your entries in the comments to this post.
Enter as often as you like.
This year’s theme: LOVE AND SEXUNCERTAINTY NON-ATTACHMENT AS IT PERTAINS TO ENLIGHTENMENT, plus bonus themes to be added as the contest progresses
All participants, young and old, are encouraged to consult the combined FAQ/rules below BECAUSE THEY CHANGE WHILE THE CONTEST IS GOING ON.
Like every year.
It’s just that way.


  • Does it have to be a limerick? YES. This is strictly enforced, and non-limericks will not be accepted. Google proper limerick form if you are not sure.
  • How do I enter? POST YOUR ENTRY OR ENTRIES in the comments to this post. Click on comment, or whatever is down there, and add a new comment.
  • When is the deadline? THE DEADLINE is 14 February 2018
  • Do you mean 12 midnight on the night of the 13th or midnight on the night of the 14th? And which time zone shall have seisin of jurisdiction? We have had considerably confusion in the past! NINE AM (CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME) 14 February 2017.
  • Is there a prize? NOT YET but that might change. YES THERE IS A PRIZE! I will send you the newest album of your choice by O’R.P, “Eidetic Memory“.
  • Is there a limit to how often I can enter? NO. Enter as often as you like. The more often you enter, the better your chances.
  • Can entries be bawdy? YES, absolutely. These are limericks, they can be bawdy, gross, you name it. It’s not required, but it is in the nature of the genre. ALSO: this is for St. Valentine’s Day so points awarded for love/romance/sex-related poetry.
  • Complaints will be deleted. There is no avenue of appeal. Decisions of the judges are final. Be nice, and have fun, and don’t take this too seriously.
  • Is there anything else I can do to be deleted? Yes. Besides complaints, anything else that is not a limerick will also be deleted, especially anything remotely similar to trolling, nastiness or disagreeing with me. That will get you deleted, and whatever else our technicians here can think up. This is meant to be a fun, light-hearted, non-political past-time.

Let’s see, what else? Oh yes.

  • Bonus points are awarded for any of the following (No limit to how many themes you may include, the more the better):
  • The Deep State conspiracy to thwart #45 (or aspects thereof)
  • Famous murdersThe best thing about being Perry Iles
  • Notorious criminalsAn okra recipe
  • Ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day
  • The first work of art to give you Stockholm Stendhal Syndrom
  • OzymandiasThe art of Georgia O’Keefe
  • Contemporary female artists
  • Philosophers of the 20th centuryComical misunderstandings
  • Conspiracy theories
  • OulipoHome depression cures
  • Current events
  • Musical genres
  • William Gibson, Cormac McCarthy
  • Disagreements over theoretical physics
  • What to do if you find yourself in the Bardo
  • Catholic doctrine
  • The worst thing about catsBeing Perry Iles
  • Sexual acts popularized by or associated with the 45th President of the United States
  • Sexual acts not popularized by nor associated with #45
  • (More themes to come, watch this space.)

By entering you grant permission to publish your entry electronically on, in social media (including but not limited to, and anything else) as well as in book form, although the latter is REALLY unlikely, without compensation (this is a non-profit venture, and any possible, although unlikely, book would be, you know, for charity most likely).

Deep thinking

Cat: (Takes hit of catnip) So — who would win in a fight, an accordion or a vacuum cleaner?
Other cat: (Engrossed in moving dot of sunlight on wall) Hrm. Hmm.
Cat: (Passes catnip) It might depend on the accordion.
Other cat: Yeah.
Cat: Right? Button accordion or piano accordion, right?
Other cat: Totally.
Cat: Not to mention unisonoric or bisonoric.
Other cat: And diatonic or chromatic.
Cat: (Takes another hit of catnip) And Mig’s has that extra button that makes the scary breathing noise.
Other cat: Mig’s could totally take a vacuum, hands down.
Cat: (Nods) I abhor…
Other cat: (Holds up paw) Don’t say it, dude.

Snake shirt man

Yesterday I remarked on FB that a co-worker whose monitor stands at an angle such that I cannot see it from where I sit was moving in such a way that I had to assume he was either watching K-Pop or had a snake in his shirt and of course someone (Ms. Jersild) asked ‘Why not both?’

Indeed, why not both?

Why NOT both?

This morning, snake shirt man has an earworm, apparently, because he is singing to himself and hitting the high notes like a castrato stepping over an electric fence.

Now he is eating cake and can’t sing and eat cake.

This morning, sitting on the stairs at home, I put a cat under my shirt, because of all this.

I guess an advantage of a cat is when you have a snake under your shirt you don’t know if it wants out or is just being a snake, but when a cat wants out you know.

Animals I have had under my shirt at one time or another:

  • Duckling
  • Puppy
  • Adult dog
  • Kitten
  • Adult cat
  • Tortoise
  • Spider, but not for long
  • Other crawly things, especially ticks
  • Chickens of various ages
  • Child
  • Adult human
  • But no snakes yet

Songs of Ruination

Gather round ya bastards
and I’ll teach ya a lesson
for pissing in all the corner
and pissing on my blinds
Yeah right snarf your food up
then it’s back out in the cold
cubic meters of litter
and ya piss on the toaster
too bad it wasn’t plugged in

Honey are you singing to the cats?

Um yeah


It calms them while they eat.

who pisses on blinds anyways?
who gets ideas like that?
only a cute little tuxedo cat.
who pees on appliances
on the stove, boiler and microwave?
it’s the fuzzy little grey psycho that’s who…
too bad it’s not snowing
and freezing with ice
i’d lock you out all day
it would make me feel nice…