Viennese politics

Man 1: Apparently, to be considered a down to earth politician in Vienna, you have to be overweight and look half-drunk.
Man 2: So you mean I could go into politics?
Man 1: Your hair’s too long.

Guided meditation

Is everybody comfortable?
Tea okay? If anyone needs a blanket, just tell me. Or they’re over there by the window.
Is everyone comfortable?
Okay.
Namaste etc etc.
Relax. Concentrate on your breathing for a few breaths.
In through the nose, out through the mouth.
In through the nose, follow your breath on its journey through your body.
Trading those little oxygen molecules for those little carbon molecules or whatever.
Here is the scene.
You are a rugby player.
Or an American football player.
Big game.
Someone hands you the ball. You cradle it in your arm. Leap, fly over opposing players, crash into the end zone, ball cradled safely in your arm.
Score!!
However many points that is! Enough to win the big game, anyway!
Okay, except one thing: you’re not a ball player, you’re an old guy.
And it’s not a ball you’ve got cradled in your arm, it’s a tortoise.
Okay, and a few other things: it’s not opposing players you fly over, it’s a low fence you put up around the flower bed to keep the tortoise from running away. And you don’t crash into any end zone, you hit the slate tiles by the driveway like a ton of bricks.
Safely cradled, though: you bet. Tortoise looking at you like, my dude, wtf?
But he’s okay.
That’s important, because you had the old red cat put to sleep the day before and you don’t want to hurt any more animals for a while.
Okay, we’re not naive, Easter ham, someone gave their life for that, but you know what I mean.
Double check everything. Tortoise, fine, runs laps in the house. You: was I this sore before? Is the headache new? Did anybody see? Am I dizzy or just tired?
Breathe.
Or is it all the sugar?
Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth.
Let your mind wander.
Have some tea.

Following a fox into darkness

Morning, so early the only light is along the eastern horizon, and fog like the ground is breathing, the grass and pavement, warm earth breath condensing and a fox flashes across the street and I follow it as it flits from ivy into shadow along shrubs into darkness and I follow it into the dark.
In this neighborhood of mansions, it must have its den in one of the parks, the Sternwartepark is the most likely, it grows wild behind high brick walls, the other parks in the area are manicured.
The fox’s tail flashes one last time and it is gone and the darkness seems darker as if it’s not morning at all, or was morning but turned around and I wander through this odd night, Mercedes parked on the edges of the streets houses dark but it can’t be a blackout I hear music.
But then I don’t hear music.
This building is vacant.
This building has been gutted for renovation, outside walls, roof, load-bearing walls, stairs and floors. Windows out, everything out. Wiring gone plumbing gone. A crow watches from a window sill in back.
Someone rich lived here once, the place is huge and it will be grand again but first, insulation, paneling, wiring, plumbing, tile and floors, ceilings, doors, lights all that stuff.
Right now it’s just, who is the ghost here?
The ghost never thinks he’s the ghost, right crow?
Crow flies off to report back somewhere.
Still foggy out, no moon.
Still foggy out.

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 blogspot.com 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)

2018 metamorphosism.com International St. Valentine’s Day Limerick Contest

vc2018

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 metamorphosism.com 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.
Okay.
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.
Ok.
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 metamorphosism.com 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.

FAQ/Rules

  • 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.
  • HOWEVER ONLY ORIGINAL ENTRIES ARE ACCEPTED. PLAGIARISM RESULTS IN DISQUALIFICATION. No exceptions made for members of the First Family.
  • 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 metamorphosism.com permission to publish your entry electronically on metamorphosism.com, in social media (including but not limited to twitter.com, facebook.com 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).
AS ALWAYS, RULES ARE SUBJECT TO CONSTANT CHANGE DURING THE CONTEST, SO CHECK BACK OFTEN.

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.