Friday, April 30, 2010


News of the World:

  • I'm flying to Canada on Monday for a month of idontknowwhat. As such, the past few weeks haven't been very productive for me on the PK front (I'm sure you've noticed), although I would refute Chicken Mart's accusation that I've been making "garbage posts*." It's just that I have had bigger fish to fry; by "fish" I mean bottles of whiskey, by "fry" I mean drink like there's no tomorrow. Half-kidding aside...

  • I now have a license to drive in Korea and an international license to drive in Canada, my home und native 땅. In short: I failed the course test twice, passed on the third try; I "failed**" the road test once, passed today. That's the simplified version. Seriously, I could write a book about my past four yearsmonths of marriagedriving torment. Speaking of which...

  • Psychedelic Kimchi turns five years old near the end of May. As a vanity project and testament to -- for the most part -- good writing, as well as a lesson to expat blogs that it isn't what you write about where you live but how you write about where you are, I'm proud of what I and my cohorts have accomplished. What I'm starting to focus on now is what I can accomplish outside of the PK sandbox. Psychedelic Kimchi is a hobby that became an obsession that needs to become a hobby again, for the greater good of my success as a professional writer. It pains me as much as it pains you, Constant Gardener, but as the man said, get busy living or get busy blogging.

  • I saw Iron Man 2 today. It rocked my world. A few days ago, I re-watched the original film for what must have been the sixth time, and while I still feel it to be the superior film, Iron Man 2 expands Tony Stark's story -- and the Marvel Movie Universe© -- very deftly.

    I love the original for its Rockyesque buildup. Tony Stark's character arc coupled with his creation of the Iron Man armor and his subsequent testing of it is what makes the movie for me; and while the climax is somewhat of a letdown, it's an origin story, which I'm partial to. I like Star Wars better than The Empire Strikes Back, The Godfather more than Part II, Gang Hyejeong circa Oldboy, before she had surgery to look plain and sacrificed her unique beauty. You get the picture. And while time will tell whether Iron Man's sequel will hold up as well as the first installment, it has a lot going for it. For one, the action is ramped up in a very organic way. There have been complaints that the movie gets bogged down by character moments, but with all the newly introduced characters such moments are necessary and meaningful. If you're not invested in the greater Marvel Universe storyline plan, "your mileage may vary***," because while Tony Stark is the hero of the film, he kinda takes a backseat in the second act to allow SHIELD to make its mark. For me, Iron Man 2 was a blast. It's not as self-contained as its predecessor, but, keeping in mind what is to hopefully come, it's a perfect bridge. It also trumps the first film in several ways, namely (in no particular order):

    1) ScarJo as Black Widow (I'm not usually flustered, but Mrs. Ryan Reynolds flustered me. I'm only human.) 2) the terrific dialogue 3) Happy "Hulk" Hogan 4) Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell**** 5) the Captain America shield/SHIELD gag 6) I could go on, but...fuck it 7) the opening music 8) the flirting with the Demon in a Bottle storyline 9) Justin Hammer's little-brother complex and his presentation of first his arsenal and then his military tech10) how War Machine becomes War Machine 11) Jon Favreau and RDJ's symbiotic knack for making back-and-forth dialog scenes and buying strawberries compelling 12) the second Stan Lee mistaken-identity cameo 13) Ivan Meets G.I. Joe 14) Fin Fang Foom.

    I'm kidding about that last one, but the more I think about it the more I love Iron Man 2. It will stand the test of time. Most of the negative reviews blame the film for not being as much of an individual character piece as the first film, but that isn't its intention. An interesting movie probably could be made about the six months between the first and second installments in the Iron Man oeuvre, wherein Tony Stark privatizes peace, but it's unnecessary; we learn that Stark is Top Dog in a few economically written and well-placed sentences early on, then he gets his comeuppance, from foes then friends. Stark rejects being part of a team, and by movie's end, even though he has had an epiphany (one of many), he gets rejected. Iron Man 2 works as a stand-alone sequel, but in terms of the Avengers film, it works perfecterly. Stay after the end credits for additional Avengers goodness. I did, despite Legs's protestations that there was no end-credits scene and that the cleaning lady wanted us get-gone. It's there. And it's divine. And Legs owes me one million dollars for betting me it wasn't there.

  • You know what didn't work in Iron Man 2? Don Cheadle as Rhodey. Terrence Howard actually appeared to be Tony's friend; here, Cheadle delivers a cute nod to the casting change then proceeds to act like a cardboard box for most of the remainder of the film. He redeems himself in his last line, however, one of the film's many great dialog exchanges. Still, Terrence Howard would have made the Iron Man-War Machine tandem that much more resounding. Odin weeps. And I seem to be the only one Sam-Weirded out by DJ AM spinning at Tony's birthday. In case you didn't know, DJ AM has terrible taste in music.

  • It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

  • This is my final Psychedelic Kimchi post.

  • I love you all. And I'll see you later in another incarnation.

    Unless you see me first.

    * because I always make garbage posts!

    ** I failed that test like Al Gore lost the 2000 election.

    *** an actual quote from the movie

    **** Shame my father's last name wasn't "Rockwell." I'll admit, Forbes rolls off the tongue nicely, but it's nothing compared to Rockwell. I'm as jealous of Sam Rockwell's name as the character he plays in Iron Man 2 is jealous of Tony Stark's legacy.


    Thursday, April 29, 2010

    I Love Editing

    After clicking "Done" you can change your prognosis and publish to your cancer.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    Six Shots till Summation (2010 Reboot)

    Birdemic: Shock and Terror

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Moviepiphanies, Vol. 1, Issue 4

    Shlock and Terror

    A little over a week ago I postulated that Birdemic: Shock and Terror would change my life and indeed it has, yet the shift was so monumental that I am, as of today, forty-eight short hours removed from the experience, still unable to adequately coalesce my thoughts and emotions into any tangible prose. Yes, the film is just that impressive (to say nothing of its profundity), though to proclaim such things and have you believe me without having experienced the cinemagic yourself is, understandably, a tall order; your patience in the matter is appreciated greatly (although you've only yourself to blame if the trailer hasn't inspired you to acquire the film immediately).

    While I'll temporarily abstain from an attempt -however futile- to pierce the unfathomable mystery that is Birdemic: Shock and Terror, I do feel it is in our collective interest to briefly introduce and discuss the driving force behind the film, enigmatic writer/producer/director/financier/stunt choreographer James Nguyen, a man whose IMDb profile picture (dated 2003) differs suspiciously from the picture shown below (undated, but one should presume that it's more recent given the release date of Nguyen's masterwork). Suppositions notwithstanding, the guy has aged disastrously in the seventeen years since the IMDb photo was taken. One can only presume that such premature decomposition* is the direct result of pouring one's heart and soul into a 'romantic thriller' centering around a glorified telemarketer, his foxy girlfriend, and a swarm of birds on the warpath.**

    From interviews like this, film buffs, aspiring filmmakers, and laymen alike can glean the very nature of the craft itself, as well as the nuts and bolts of low-budget productions.

    James Nguyen on the films which influenced him:
    "...The Birds is very prophetic. It was made in 1963, but it dealt with very prophetic issues, the environment and all that."

    James Nguyen on the inherent flaws of romantic films:
    "But romance alone—a chick flick—is not just enough. I’m not interested in a chick flick. It’s gotta be a mystery, suspense, a thriller."

    On his place within the directorial pantheon:
    "...and I figured at least I’m a master of this genre I believe."

    Nguyen on how to get noticed at the Sundance Film Festival:
    "I went to Sundance, decorated my car with blood and a giant bird and drove up and down Main Street blaring bird noises out of a loud speaker."

    If this smattering of quotes doesn't convince you of his skill, nothing will, though to truly understand the man, one must partake of Birdemic: Shock and Terror in its visceral entirety.

    Watch it. Watch it now. Watch it before the next Birdemic post, damn you.

    * Known from this day forward as Nguyentegration.
    ** We've all been there.

    Moviepiphanies, Vol. 1, Issue 3

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    Pulp Fission

    When I was a kid, the movie that frightened me most -- more than An American Werewolf in London, Friday the 13th, or Children of the Corn -- was Testament, a 1983 film about a Bay-Area community trying to survive in the aftermath of a nuclear assault on the United States. Maybe you've seen it. It featured William Devane, who, to further bolster my fear, starred in The Missiles of October, a TV movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis. He played John Kennedy.

    A child of the 80s, I grew up during the denouement of the Cold War; yet the society in which I was raised, specifically as it pertained to media, left lasting fears of global annihilation. The news, late-night talk shows, Watchmen, fucking Cracked Magazine: they all managed to entertain and scare me in equal measure with alarming stories and gallows humor. Testament was the icing on the cake, and in that sense it affected me more than any horror movie ever could. The damned triumvirate of Jason, Freddy, and Michael Myers had me sleeping with the light on, but even then I knew there really wasn't anything to be afraid of. Nuclear war, though? A possibility. A scarce possibility, perhaps, but a possibility nonetheless.

    So it's odd, then, that I chose to live in South Korea, a nation that was still technically at war with their neighbors to the north. Initially this did bother me. But I only planned to stay in Korea for a year or two before returning home for good, and I imagined that luck -- and the geopolitical climate -- would be on my side.

    Luck. As luck would have it, I ended up falling in love with a Korean woman. We had one child. Four years later, we divorced. I got custody, she got my DVD collection: a win-win situation for me because that bitch never appreciated Capra, Welles, Meyer. Two years later, I married another domestic product, and since then, through all the threats, violence, and one-upmanship attempts (I'm talking about North and South here; my current wife is as calm as an earwig hiding behind a bookshelf), I began to think that my luck, by order of Probability and Time, might be wearing thin.

    Ten years is a long boat ride. Seventy in dog years, to be exact.

    When the ROKS Cheonan sunk in April of 2010, it was thought, quite obviously, that its sinking was due to a North Korean attack. Forty-six soldiers died, most of them in their early 20's. The South Korean government received plenty of criticism from the public for quarantining the ship's survivors and taking too long to determine what caused the Cheonan to sink. This was a tricky issue, though; a unique situation, if you will. Militaristic retaliation could lead to all-out war on the Korean peninsula. A total embargo placed on North Korea was thought by pundits to be the better option. Then it became increasingly clear that the Cheonan, in disputed waters, was indeed sunk by a North Korean attack. The military determined the cause first; a day later, the government confirmed their findings. The weapon deployed was a matter of debate. Some said a torpedo, others a strategically placed naval mine. One ex-marine even hypothesized that a limpet mine might have been used via a trained dolphin.

    I don't know the exact details. Not then, not now. I've never bothered to check. I had more pressing concerns then, and so do I now. That former is an understatement, the latter a small lie. Then, I had to flee for my life; now, I have to go back to exhume the most traumatic memories of my past. By Grace, it's only my mind that has to go back there, not my body. My psychiatrist believes this is for the best. I hope she's right. She usually is.

    This is my story. This is my testament.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    I Want to Beat a Dog to Death with a Steel Cane

    Free the West Memphis Three.

    Moviepiphanies, Vol. 1, Issue 2

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Tons of Guns

    RIP, Keith E

    Beltonic Backbite

    On rare occasion I've been depicted as having exceptional taste in music; and while this attribution is truly flattering it is nevertheless inaccurate, insomuch that a more apt description would consist of me having considerable exposure to music, which is another way of saying I've listened to a wide array of tunes in my time and, by virtue of sheer probability, some of the aforementioned plethora isn't utter shit.

    With said knowledge in hand, it stands to reason that, having routinely exposed my once-dainty ears to excessively loud live performances as well as equally-deafening headphone jaunts, my hearing isn't exactly what it used to be, yet I'd be lying if I were to propose that my ears have ever been sonically adept appendages, though I suppose genetics share an equal amount of blame with choices made. The men of my family have a long history of inadequate auricular endowment (to say nothing of a profusion of ear wax) best exemplified by phrases such as What? Huh? One more time? My penis is about to explode! and whatnot, thus it's safe to assume that misunderstandings are the norm when it comes to this chap's listening comprehension skill, be they linked to instructions, conversations, jokes, or lyrics.

    Sometimes this growing disability is amusing, at others infuriating and, most commonly, perplexing to anyone engaged in conversation with me, such as when I'm in a crowded supermarket with someone and said interlocutor feels like looking away as he (or she) provides some terse commentary regarding a disagreement between the two of us. In the given situation, the individual's comment would -in all likelihood- be astute since I'm all-too-often full of crap, but for you readers (and Retards), be pals and remember that I may be unable to ascertain your message on account of the fact that I have atrocious hearing, a condition further hindered by you facing away from me, whispering amidst an ocean of Korean voices and mercantile noises.*

    Moving on!**

    As stated previously, lyrics are a total bitch, too. The following examples are a tad dated, perhaps, but they illustrate my handicap admirably:

    1) Honest to god, the first time I listened to U2's Angel of Harlem -via FM radio, no less- I thought Bono had been crooning the phrase 'Angel of Hard-Ons' during the chorus. In a way, this gratuitous misattribution makes the song much better than it's ever been and I'd be lying if I said it hadn't increased my appreciation of the band exponentially, but even so, it's just silly.

    2) 1990's Groove Is in the Heart (courtesy of bullshit wonder Deee-Lite) will forever be known in my heart as 'Roses in the Heart' because that's what it sounded like to me, and as idiotic as it may seem, I daresay it's a reasonable mistake for a lad to have made. It was 1990 for fuck's sake! My mind was still addled by Tim Burton's Batman and my ears were merely following my brain's lead.

    Moving on yet again!

    Speaking of 1990, something that I most definitely heard correctly was a crude joke told to me by this dirty old bastard who lived in a white-and-red brick house down the street from where I grew up. Some details are hazy, but I do recall that the guy delivered bread for a living, yet his truck never once graced the interior of his garage because it was full of pornography, and I don't mean "Yeah the man had a shelf devoted of Playboys", I mean this old man's garage was stacked to the ceiling with smut, and old-school, I-had-to-scour-the-earth-to-acquire-this-shit smut at that. The guy was fucking married, too. Once in a while my mom would proffer a gem such as "I don't know if she's aware of her husband's habit" and while I can endorse the occasional bout of denial, the dude's garage was full of motherfuckin' pornography! How could this knowledge have slipped by her in any way, shape, or form? Again, I'll grant that denial is a powerful force indeed as hs, historically, the (unfortunate) necessity of women around the globe to turn a blind eye to what men do behind closed garage doors, but damn. Then again, my own mother claims the woman may have been genuinely ignorant of all the dirt, so I shan't point too many fingers. 

    Anyway, I'll post the creep's joke here, if only for the purpose of potentially negating everything I've said regarding hearing problems by highlighting a case of selective hearing (and retention):

    One day a five-year-old girl walks in on her mom taking a shower, and she stares at the hair under her mom's arm.
    Girl: What's that, Mom?
    Mom: That's armpit hair, honey. You'll get it when you're older.
    The girl then looked at the hair between her mom's legs.
    Girl: What's that, Mom?
    Mom: That's pubic hair, honey.
    Girl: When will I get that?
    Mom: You'll get that when you're older, too.
    The next morning, the girl walks in on her dad taking a shower, and she stares at him.
    Girl: Is that armpit hair, Dad?
    Dad: That's right, sweetie.
    Girl: I'll get that when I'm older, right?
    Dad: Yes, sweetie. 
    The girl then looks between her dad's legs.
    Girl: What's that, Dad?
    Dad: That's a penis, sweetie.
    Girl: When will I get that?
    Dad: As soon as your mom goes to work.

    That's the 'joke' as told to me by Mr. Dirty Bastard. (No shit.) As one may suppose, I was bewildered to say the very least, at which point Mr. DB slapped me on the back, laughed heartily, gave me a novelty pen (you know, the kind where a woman's dress disappears when you tip the pen in a particular direction) and told me to head on home.

    Apparently, my ears only perform dutifully when emotional scarring is likely to occur, and that's the most perplexing aspect of it all.

    * To reiterate: I'm wrong about many things and my hearing sucks balls. Not the best combination.

    ** I'm talking big now, but I'll receive a savage beating for my insolence shortly.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    In Rainbows

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Thirty-Six in a Karate Class

    Last year, despite my tepid reaction to 2004's To the 5 Boroughs, I anticipated the release of the Beastie Boys' eighth studio album*, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 1. Nostalgia's funny that way. From 1986 to 1998, through highs (too many to cite) and lows (Ione Skye), the Boys were incredibly consistent while at the same time(s) pushing the envelope creatively. Six years after Hello Nasty, however, Misters Rock, D, and A delivered Boroughs, an album that partially succeeded in its attempt to mimic the back-and-forth fun of 80's hip-hop but failed overall because it lacked one key ingredient: youth.

    Like punk, hip-hop is the sound of the young. When it isn't, it's pretty much a joke. Rappers age like NBA players; they start to lose their step around their mid thirties, and by the time they reach their 40's, it's time to retire. Nobody wants to see a forty-plus-year-old NBA veteran take the court except for nostalgia's sake or to win an elusive championship, and no hip-hop fan really wants to hear the MCs they loved back in the day try to reclaim past glories. You need look no further than the twilights of Michael Jordan and KRS ONE's careers to understand how legacy damaging they were/still are (in the Blastmaster's case).

    So when it was announced last summer that -- due to MCA's salivary gland cancer -- Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 1 was delayed indefinitly, I was more concerned with Yauch's condition than I was about hearing a new Beasties record. Not to sound callous, but that's what happens when you age -- ball players suffer nagging injuries, middle-aged folk get ill. Your career no longer requires your services.

    Which is unfair. If you do something well, something such a small percentage of the world's population can do, of course you're going to spit in the eye of time. It's why so many child stars end up screwy, because by the time they're twenty they can't portray a six-year-old anymore. I want to live forever myself**, but once you reach a certain age, it's time to be honest with yourself and hang up the sneakers, drop the mic. You will never recaputure that magic. It's folly to try. The world has moved on.

    Ad Rock (43), Mike D (44), and MCA (45) will never have the impact they achieved in their youth. They can make good music, yes ("Too Many Rappers," featuring Nas -- an artist who has for a decade struggled with his own legacy -- is one example), but they'll never hit with the force they used to have. The same goes for boxing and boners.

    It sucks to grow old, but what sucks more is an artist/group denying the closing window of their artistic existence. The effort is noble, but the results are so often shitty.

    We all have to stop breathing sometime.

    * Their seventh if you discount 2007's The Mix-Up. I do.

    ** Sincerely, I never want to die. It's what has kept me alive for so long.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    South Side

    I've been told that teaching, let alone reaching Korean teens is a tough job, and at times it can be an arduous task indeed, but you know what makes things easier? The chance to see Moby at the local grocery store. Korean teenagers go gaga for Moby, and by 'gaga' I mean they haven't a goddamn clue who the guy is.


    Earlier this afternoon, while perusing my home page (seeing as how I'm so terribly busy these days) I came across the link to a film that will, invariably, have the utmost impact upon this otherwise prosaic life I lead.

    For those with weak constitutions, no forewarning is necessary; as there's no blood whatsoever in the preview (let alone much else),* you needn't be apprehensive about watching what is surely one of the dumbest previews you'll ever have the pleasure of enduring.

    Expect a PK response to Birdemic sometime soon.

    * No: children slaughtered, brushes trimmed, semen swallowed, circus clowns, women raped, men circumcised, dogs deflowered, virgins sacrificed, Christopher Lee singing, ice cream consumed, Modest Mouse, or students dated. I realize the absence of that last one will turn some of our mature, well-educated readers away, and I apologize for any discomfort this may cause them (even though I had no hand in the film's production).

    LCD Soundsystem, This is (not) Happening (a review)

    Some music critics might tell you that there's no such thing as a perfect album. Luckily, I'm not a music critic, at least not by profession. And so it is that I can state, without any potential career-murdering backlash, that LCD Soundsystem's new album, This is Happening, is perfect. Absolutely perfect.

    Maybe it's too perfect; for whereas 2007's incredible Sound of Silver grew on me to become an album that I still keep on my prehistoric iPod's playlist (and I make it a rule to have only five albums on my iPod at any time), I've listened to This is Happening three times today already, and listens four, five, and six -- so says my Magic 8-ball -- read "Signs point to yes."

    This is Happening is euphoric.

    Argument for This is Happening being better than Sound of Silver: Murphy sings a hell of a lot better, there's no "New York I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down," it just is.

    Argument against: "Drunk Girls," even though I love "Drunk Girls" and drunk girls.

    I love this album so much that I want to marry it.

    6/5 *_*

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Solomon's Folly

    Let it be said, here and now, that the Ars Goetia should have contained a description of seventy-three demons, and due to King Solomon's frivolity, mankind has suffered through countless indignities.

    Beware the Beast, dear friends, lest you find yourself trapped within its salivating maw.

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    The PK 27 -- Game No. 13

    Sometimes nostalgia is a beautiful thing, like when it elicits all manner of vivid memories otherwise inhumed deep beneath the surface of a depressingly mundane daily grind; at others, it simply revitalizes that which should have remained dead and buried.

    With movies, Tim Burton's interpretation of Batman comes to mind. I understand the rationale behind so many people's undying adulation of all things Burton, Bats, Jesters, and Elfman, yet that does nothing to deflect the obvious: the 1989 incarnation of Bruce Wayne's shadowy alter ego has aged horribly. It's just not that fun to watch, especially given Nicholson's hammy performance (not hammy in a positive way, just hammy), to say nothing of the absurd costume designs and piss-poor use of one Billy Dee Williams.

    Hey, listen. Listen, baby. I know you want me to like the Burton Batman, I do, just as I know how much you want to like it as well, but you can't deny the stupidity of the Batdance, which -incidentally- epitomizes everything that's wrong with the 1989 blockbuster.

    With comics, the phrase 'aged horribly' applies to Rob Liefeld's career, be it his art, writing, or any disastrous concoction of the two. As a sage once said, Liefeld's "a grilled-cheese sandwich without bread," and whatever that's supposed to mean, I couldn't tell you, but what it should mean is that there's as little substance as there is style within his work, unless you hold a favorable opinion of gargantuan legs, virtually nonexistent feet, exaggerated musculature, snarling faces, and huge tits on all characters, be they men or women. Have I mentioned that each of those characters had to be equipped with forty-six inefficient melee weapons and short-range firearms? If not, I just did.

    I wouldn't know if Rob's a nice guy personally, as I've never met him; but if we're talking about the quality of his work, then it's safe to assume that anyone past the age of fourteen (or not trapped within the folds of a never-ending 1992 time loop) is less than impressed with his productions, and for good reason.

    Speaking of 1992 alongside things that have aged poorly, why not get to the thirteenth game of the PK 27, yeah? Back then, the notion of a digitized voice providing play-by-play commentary was, well, if not revolutionary, certainly noteworthy, as was a camera zooming in on the immediate action; Joe Montana II: Sports Talk Football (Sega Genesis, 1992) had both in spades. I won't lie: Sports Talk Football wowed me with its presentation and like many players, I was initially keen to forgive its flaws, of which there were many. Poor controls, choppy animation, next-to-useless defensive maneuvers, superfluous offensive plays (in practice, more akin to selecting a Hail Mary followed by...Hail Mary!), worthless computer AI (at times you could, literally, waltz from one end zone to the other with little difficulty) and more plagued this mess of a title, but hey, I didn't care about that shit in 1992. That a cartridge could verbally inform me that the ball had been dumped at the twenty was all it took to pop a boner, and that's what really mattered.

    But no longer!* You've failed me for the last time, 1992! You too, 1989, and especially you, Nostalgia. What are you looking at, Hamburger Helper?

    * Okay, so erections still compel me, but you know what I mean.

    Weldable Help Set (April)

    What had been a long day for David Broussard was looking to turn into a longer night. He hoped it wouldn't.

    After clocking out at his usual time of six, he took the subway home from his office in Samsung-dong to his riverside apartment in Yongsan-gu. Nine stops, one transfer, a five-minute walk. The train was -- as it tends to be when the temperature jumps from minus zero in the morning to past ten degrees in the early evening -- much too hot for his attire (Paul Smith suit, Armani overcoat, Roberto Cavalli scarf), but the ride was brief, and he planned to take a shower as soon as he arrived home, anyway.

    One of his many habits -- what friends, lovers, and acquaintances past and present preferred instead to call neuroses -- was showering twice daily, regardless of whether or not it was necessary. It usually wasn't; David himself would admit as much. But sometimes, as in cases such as today or during the suffocating humidity of late summer, it was; and, sometimes, even two showers were one or two too few. A slim man on the cusp of turning forty, David Broussard's sweat glands betrayed his weight, as, too, did the acne clustering his jawline betray his age.

    The doorman, by nescient proxy, would ensure that David would enjoy neither his after-work shower nor his usual, peaceful night at home -- one typically spent these days drinking Czech beer and running through his collection of Kurosawa films (tonight was supposed be The Bad Sleep Well; not a personal favorite, but at least it had Mifune).

    "Mr. David," the doorman said a second before David could push the elevator button, "there's a delivery here you need to sign for."

    A delivery? David wasn't expecting a delivery. Still, he supposed someone from home office had sent over specs or some other similarly non-pressing document. If it was urgent they would have called.

    "Who's it from?" he asked the doorman, Mr. Cho, an amiable fellow in his mid to late fifties who, save for a few linguistic quirks (to wit: "Mr. David"), spoke English very well. None of the apartment's three other doormen spoke it at all, at least not to David.

    "Ah, I'm not sure," Cho replied. "Let me get it for you."

    He stepped out from around the front desk and fished in his pocket for the key to the storage closet which housed stacks of packages undelivered to absent residents, of which there were legion. He unlocked the door and emerged from the closet moments later holding a white plastic shipping envelope. "Looks like it's from an online auction site," he said.

    "But I haven't ordered anything," David said. "Are you sure it's for me?"

    "Well," Cho said with a confused look that resembled David's own, "it has your name on it. I can hold on to it if you think it might be some kind of scam, though. Those fraudsters can be damn clever."

    David considered this briefly but decided to sign for the package. He was careful to a fault in some respects (driving, food preparation, birth control), but his curiosity won out. He hoped it wouldn't ultimately get the better of him.

    Mysterious, unsolicited delivery in hand, he bid Cho a good evening and took the elevator to his apartment on the sixth floor. There, he stripped down to his civvies; and although he badly wanted to wash off the itchy film of dried sweat that clung to his skin from brow to foot, again his curiosity took precedence. He sat on the living room sofa and punctured the package's plastic with his index then tore it open.

    Inside was a white wool coat. David took it out and lay it on his lap. It was without a doubt feminine in design. He checked the label. A brand called Lazarus Fish, made in Cambodia.

    I hope this doesn't entail a chase across Mount Rushmore or torture at the hands of a Nazi dentist, he mused cynically, tossing the coat aside and heading for the bathroom.

    He showered and shaved (also for the second time today, for he loathed five o'clock shadow, AM and PM). Throwing on a pair of grey Adidas sweatpants and a navy blue USA Basketball tee, he then went about preparing a simple dinner: bowtie pasta simmered in Ragu with a dab of ketchup for sweetness. Simple fare, sure, but it tasted good, and you could eat it with a spoon, from a bowl. Fine dining for overworked bachelors as far as David Broussard was concerned.

    Just as he was about to sit down at the kitchen table to rejoice in his pedestrian meal, however, he noticed something alarming on the back of the Lazarus Fish coat. Splayed front downwards on the sofa like the molted skin of a drowned man, the coat had four numbers written on its back, in red. Dumbfounded, David could see them more clearly as he approached his ill-gotten bounty.

    1004, written with what was unmistakably a Sharpie Magnum.

    A chill ran down his spine and spread to his extremities. The numbers meant nothing to him, but the sheer weirdness of it all made him nervous and terrified in equal measure.

    "That joke isn't funny anymore," he evoked in a whisper.

    Those four numbers, loud and angry, weren't the only ones written on the back of the Lazarus Fish coat, David soon realized. Underneath them, in black, like an ironic postscript, was a mobile phone number of eleven digits. Presently more panicked than curious, he fetched his Blackberry from the living room coffee table and input them.

    Instead of a dial tone he was treated to "Spanish Flea" by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. He let it ring for over a minute until a computerized service-provider message prompted him in a language he didn't understand to leave a voice mail. Frustrated, he hit CANCEL.

    Immediately thereafter, two things happened concurrently. David's Blackberry began buzzing like a mating cicada, and incoming Skype message prompts started plinking on his laptop. In unison, they sounded like a latter-day technology apocalypse orchestra.

    He checked the messages on his Blackberry. Fourteen and counting, they all read the same: 1004, NO REGISTERED CALLER ID. He took out the phone's battery to stave off what he believed would lead to increasing madness. Is this what Chinese water torture is like, then? he wondered.

    The other sound remained. Plink, plink, plink, still coming from his laptop like an infernal piano key with a slack wire. He sat at the kitchen island and shook the mouse to refresh the screen before him.

    What he saw defied logic. One thousand and four messages, all from one user, lazarus_1004.

    lazarus_1004 wants to add you to His/Her Contact List

    Fed up and determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, David added lazarus_1004. It wasn't long before he received his/her message.

    lazarus_1004: First of all, congratulations on getting this far.

    he_shoots_scores71: I have no idea what you mean. Just what is going on here?

    lazarus_1004: Fear not. You have been selected from a large pool of candidates to compete for a significant prize.

    he_shoots_scores71: Excuse me if this sounds rude, but what the fuck are you playing at?

    lazarus_1004: A large intrigue, of which you are to play a minor yet very important role ^^

    he_shoots_scores71: Quit fucking with me. Tell me what your game is.

    lazarus_1004: You have been selected to participate in Coca-Cola's "Follow Where the Money Goes" sweepstakes! Our first prize is a weekend trip for four to the Spanish island of Ibiza!

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Psychedelic Kimochi

    Death Tax

    U-S-A! U-S-A? U-S-A.

    A Load of Stalloney

    The votes from the most recent poll have been counted, re-counted, double-checked, cross-referenced, digested, regurgitated, fried, lathered with Vaseline, put on display in the local red-light district, and declared sacrosanct by the LDS Church. Long story short, the results are in and it's official: Stallone + Sausages = Stalloney. Sylvester or Frank? you may be wondering, and to that query I have nothing to offer. Either way, we're all winners here, and though I voted for Frank Stallone's music career, I can definitely -nay, graciously- accept defeat to the few individuals who rigged the contest by voting from several different computers for one contender.

    I am humbled, sirs or madams!*

    Jejune disbelief notwithstanding, it's been a fine week here in the dong that Sparkles built and, if I may be so bold, I daresay that everything's been coming up sausages!

    A short while back I mentioned a meteor hurtling toward Earth, one that carried with it the twenty-sixth Constant Retard (CoRe 26 for you MTV Generation readers), and wouldn't you know it, the sexy bastard came crashing down on Stallone's watch. (Watch out, Bundang!) Without further ado, the final Retard of the Godzilla franchise: Christopher K. as Monster X as Christopher K., monster with the mostest. He's not what he seems, this one, though you should be equally concerned with what he appears to be, which, all told, is hard-core video game mastery encased within a tight, mildly intimidating, proudly unshaven shell, replete with gravity beams of death!

    Chris K: just don't ask him to shave!

    This evening marks the end of an era, so to speak, but I will not shed a single tear, for the setting sun merely heralds another chunk of Stalloney, and hope pees eternal.** Just when I thought my favorite peninsula was doomed, a new breed of hero arose; a man amongst men, the paradigm of three-minute rage, a shiny suit amidst a sea of shiny suits. Blah, blah, blah! This Retard needs no gratuitous introduction! It's Eamonn Ashe as Ultraman as Eamonn Ashe, svelte defender of Earth! As the picture below (taken during a routine encounter with a predictably incompetent E-Mart employee) aptly demonstrates, Mr. Ashe is a man of both flash and substance, as well as having impeccable taste in futuristic (circa 1970) attire. Evildoers (esp. Apple users) beware!

    "15,000 won for a box of oatmeal, you say?"

    Some of our more zealous readership may be concerned with the shift toward an even shittier Japanese television series, but fear not, dear freaks friends. Ultraman has officially been dubbed Outraman, on account of his being the only worthwhile aspect of that horrendous example of all that's wrong with kaiju today. You won't see any of his rubber brethren in the near future. Inhale. Exhale. Relax...

    ...As you prepare yourself for the titanic terror that is Zombie Zady as (Zombie) Gamera as Zombie Zady; and you have to ask yourself just what it is that this particular lady can't do, because that's much less important than what she does regularly, which happens to be dabbling in titillating photography. Her fascination with all things zombified may not be your cup of tea, but then again, if you're reading this blog it probably will be. If you can't handle plasma fireballs, you'd best be wary of her prowess yet be in awe of her acumen nevertheless, lest you be consumed (literally).

    Zombie Z: devouring humanity since 2010

    Did I mention that everything's been coming up sausages? I'm pretty sure I did, but I'd like to cement this fact by reiterating Sparkles' proclamation that Iron Man 2 will hit Korean theaters a solid week before its release in North America. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

    Sparkles: Looks like someone needs a ticket for the Bitter Bus. Allllll aborrred!
    Chicken Wire HHA: Fuck the ticket. I'm driving that piece of shit.

    ** Holy mixed/broken/idiotic metaphors, Batman! What can I say? I'm not the brightest knife in the drawer.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    Fraction (Hyperlink Remix)

    Julian sat huffing against a cinder block, holding a paper bag plump with chestnuts. His erstwhile companion, Toews, lay dying in the street adjacent, where he was shot in the head at close range.

    Presently, Anton came running. His feet beat fast, alternately, upon the pavement like the sound of palms slapping water.

    There was no one in pursuit, small miracles.

    "Jules, I saw it!" Anton whisper-screamed. "Five guys. Two white, two black, and a Chinese. He looks like a squashed grape. The blood even looked purple! I've never seen..."

    "We have to get the fuck out of here," Julian said, standing up. His legs were numb, unresponsive. Too much running. "How much money you got? We have to find a place to stay."

    "Eighty-seven dollars. Is that gonna be enough?"

    "Maybe. Barely. Or not. I have a fiver. If I hadn't lost my fucking jacket!" He spit and punched the invisible ghost of fate.

    "And we have that bag of chestnuts. Don't forget that," Anton said with a smile meant to placate but which further enraged his partner in crime.

    "You idiot, ninety-two dollars plus a bag of chestnuts is still ninety-two dollars." To demonstrate this logic of finance, Julian poured the bag's contents onto the side of the road, where they showered for a brief moment like the world's shortest and least destructive hail storm.

    Somewhere in the cobwebs of his brain -- a lifelong affection for and addiction to heroin will do that to a man -- Anton understood.

    They would have to have to rob another store, this time without guns or like weaponry.

    "Pick up those fucking nuts," Julian commanded as he started toward the beachfront. "We might not have another thing to eat for awhile."

    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    Of Gold


    What I talk about when I talk about exctasy.


    Breathe. Dream. Love. Live.

    Friday, April 09, 2010

    The PK 27 -- Game No. 26

    Baseball Simulator 1.000
    Culture Brain
    (Yes, you read that correctly. Nothing says premier developer like the name Culture Brain, and just in case you were prone to forget, the appellation was plastered all over the place within the game itself.)
    Nintendo Entertainment System
    Reasons for Making the List

    1) For a game that touts itself as a simulator, you'd think there would have been a preponderance of settings, endless statistics, beat-you-over-the-head realism, and meticulously designed artificial intelligence, but you'd be completely wrong! The game's Ultra League option allows pitchers to throw 'ninja balls', batters to go for a 'missile hit', and outfielders to 'super jump' (to say little else of the players' opportunities to engage in superhuman feats of strength, speed, and stamina). The game itself is fun, sure, but the fact that it's labeled a simulator is the money shot.

    2) License? We don't need no stinkin' MLB license! Give me the Seattle Mushrooms vs. the St. Louis Cockatoos over genuine teams any day of the week.

    3) It takes a real man to endure Baseball Simulator 1.000's horrendous background music for a full nine innings, let alone nine minutes and twenty-six seconds of this fucking widow-maker,* and by Loki, we're men of mythological proportions.*** Sparkles himself holds the PK record with an astounding sixteen hours on tape, filmed during the honeymoon of his first marriage (the only marginally-positive result from that sad, grueling affair, I might add).****

    4) I've never owned this game, which is to say that I'd borrowed it for extended periods of time, yet not once paid for the pleasure of slamming my missile ball into another man's glove, ramming him to the wall in full force.*****

        Once upon a time, a friend named Andy brought Baseball Simulator 1.000  (in addition to a copy of Mega Man 3) over to my house so that we could enjoy a lighthearted match between friends. Afterward, he left my house to go swimming at the Y.M.C.A. much to my chagrin, seeing as I was stoked to keep playing the aforementioned baseball 'funulator' till the sun went down. Kismet, for all her cruelty, occasionally graces her wards with a smile, and on that day, she beamed upon the two of us. Unbeknownst to me, young Mr. Schumacher had, in his hurry to do some laps, neglected to pack BS1.000 into his bag. Needless to say I was one happy boy, and though you may be tempted to accuse me of taking pleasure from a friend's mistake, there's more to the story. What ended up happening was that someone broke into Andy's locker at the local Y as he swam the good swim, pilfering his bag for any valuables, Mega Man 3 included. A crushing blow to be dealt a lad, certainly, but a panicky phone call to my residence later that evening assuaged some of his angst; he had not been eternally deprived of Baseball Simulator 1.000, after all! I had it, and as we all know, I'm preferable to your run-of-the-mill thief.

    As to what that silly vignette has to do with, well, anything pertaining to the game, the answer is simplicity itself: absolutely nothing! Welcome to the PK 27.

    * Ladies are more accustomed to putting up with and/or sitting through stupid shit, so no accolades for you!**
    ** That's an accolade in and of itself, so don't you fret.
     *** Except when we're not men heroes.
    **** That he brought a Nintendo Entertainment System along for the ride is merely common sense, for it's guaranteed to put out.
    ***** Psychedelically innnnapppropriate description!

    Thursday, April 08, 2010

    Flush It

    [7:03:14 PM] Spark: Listen to Big Boi's "Royal Flush" when you get a chance. Andre 3000's verse is amazing.
    [7:04:55 PM] Spark: Speaking of royal flush, the toilet got clogged this afternoon. Normally I'd go downstairs to borrow the plunger, but it's been clogged so often these past few weeks that I get tired of going to the basement and having to return the plunger later, so I went to a hardware store to buy one.
    [7:05:52 PM] Spark: I do a lot to make myself not stick out any more than possible in public, so walking home and going to the convenience store while carrying a toilet plunger was a tad embarrassing.
    [7:07:34 PM] K: No way.
    [7:09:00 PM] K: In said situation, folks merely recognize that you're akin to a B-52 Bomber.
    [7:09:14 PM] Spark: Heh.
    [7:11:28 PM] K: "Stay out of his way."
    [7:11:33 PM] K: 선미루의왕
    [7:12:24 PM] Spark: To be honest, I rarely shit huge logs. With my diet, I'm more about volume.
    [7:12:32 PM] K: Plus it lends credence to the myth that foreigners do everything big.
    [7:12:34 PM] Spark: My epitaph!
    [7:13:26 PM] Spark: BTW, I can't watch black guys in pornos. Does that make me racist?
    [7:13:58 PM] K: You should start walking around AK Plaza with that plunger acting as a pimp cane by proxy
    [7:14:11 PM] Spark: Ha!
    [7:14:28 PM] K: Curved handle, per chance?
    [7:14:31 PM] Spark: The one I bought has a handle like a cane!
    [7:14:33 PM] K: lol
    [7:14:43 PM] K: Oh, Jesus
    [7:14:53 PM] Spark: I thought it was a walker for little people.
    [7:15:48 PM] K: I'm posting this conversation on PK.


    I used to love Outkast. From 1994 to 2003 Big Boi and Andre 3000 created some of the best Hip-Hop* music we'll ever hear, and boy was it a great run. Five classic albums, dozens of great songs; I've compared Outkast to The Beatles before, and I still stick by my comparison Ford. Big Boi and Dre are to hip-hop as John and Paul are to...well, pretty much every music genre.

    But things came to an end in 2006**, both in terms of Outkast's winning streak and my unabashed love for them. Idlewild, a barely mediocre soundtrack/album for a terrible film, killed my affection for the duo. The less said about that album the better***, but if you want to read/reread my pain in real time, hop in the throwback machine.

    Four years later, hope exists. Big Boi, whose first solo album (haven't the last two 'Kast releases essentially been solo albums?) has been in label-related limbo for over a year, recently signed to Def Jam, and by all accounts Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty will drop in May****.

    Normally I'd be skeptical. But one subpar album in a catalog containing five classic ones is far from a slump, even if it has been three and a half years since Idlewild burned my ears. The four tracks I've heard so far have gotten me more excited about hip-hop than I've been in a long time*****. Big Boi, out of the game for far too long, still has his fastball.

    Here's hoping the four tracks embedded below -- in order, from first to fourth, of my love for them -- are a harbinger of greatness and not analogous to film trailers that only highlight their movies' big moments to mask the suckage, sorta like how spurious Korean barbecue joints slather rancid pork in hot-sauce marinade.

    Dre hasn't lost a step. What an incredible verse. Epic. Did Big Boi call for Obama's impeachment? I love how Rae has switched up his flow each time he's guested with Outkast.

    "I'm shittin' on niggas and peeing on the seat"! A Soul II Soul reference!

    Too Short! George Clinton! Boi's second verse is Evil Otto.

    Not a huge fan of this, but it's still a good track******. Predictably, Pitchfork gave it a 9, probably because those contradictory pretendsetters love Gucci Mane and tend to embrace/appropriate mediocre rappers whose careers won't achieve jack (see: The Clipse, Cam'ron), much in the same way instant-expert hipster NBA fans overrate certain players. (It's called the Free Darko effect, and, yes, hipsters have infiltrated NBA fandom.)

    * KRS ONE told me to capitalize it.

    ** The Miami Heat won a title in '06, but, man, 2006 was a shitty year for me.

    *** More proof that I have battered husband syndrome: I listened to the album for free on Outkast's Myspace page, realized it sucked yet still bought the CD when it was released a week later, and just last year I downloaded it because, Idlewild, why don't you love me?

    **** Know what won't drop in May? Iron Man 2. Instead, it's opening in the ROK eight days earlier than its North American release of May 7th. Score one for the home away from home team!

    ***** I really like Cuban Linx 2, but it's like the NBA in the years after Jordan retired for the second time: the talent pool is so small that, by current standards, it sticks out more for being a very good album surrounded by dookies on wax than for being an all-time classic. (See also: Robert De Niro in Ronin.)

    ****** When Legs called me a few hours ago to ask how my day was going, I told her, "I'm up on my grind, shawtay." So it has a cliched Bill Murray quote from Caddyshack.

    Wednesday, April 07, 2010


    Julian sat huffing against a cinder block, holding a paper bag plump with chestnuts. His erstwhile companion, Toews, lay dying in the street adjacent, where he was shot in the head at close range.

    Presently, Anton came running. His feet beat fast, alternately, upon the pavement like the sound of palms slapping water.

    There was no one in pursuit, small miracles.

    "Jules, I saw it!" Anton whisper-screamed. "Five guys. Two white, two black, and a Chinese. He looks like a squashed grape. The blood even looked purple! I've never seen..."

    "We have to get the fuck out of here," Julian said, standing up. His legs were numb, unresponsive. Too much running. "How much money you got? We have to find a place to stay."

    "Eighty-seven dollars. Is that gonna be enough?"

    "Maybe. Barely. Or not. I have a fiver. If I hadn't lost my fucking jacket!" He spit and punched the invisible ghost of fate.

    "And we have that bag of chestnuts. Don't forget that," Anton said with a smile meant to placate but which further enraged his partner in crime.

    "You idiot, ninety-two dollars plus a bag of chestnuts is still ninety-two dollars." To demonstrate this logic of finance, Julian poured the bag's contents onto the side of the road, where they showered for a brief moment like the world's shortest and least destructive hail storm.

    Somewhere in the cobwebs of his brain -- a lifelong affection for and addiction to heroin will do that to a man -- Anton understood.

    They would have to have to rob another store, this time without guns or like weaponry.

    "Pick up those fucking nuts," Julian commanded as he started toward the beachfront. "We might not have another thing to eat for awhile."

    Kimchi Footie

    From the Wikipedia article on medieval (mob) football:

    These archaic forms of football, typically classified as mob football, would be played between neighboring towns and villages, involving an unlimited number of players on opposing teams, who would clash in a heaving mass of people struggling to drag an inflated pig's bladder by any means possible to markers at each end of a town. Sometimes instead of markers, the teams would attempt to kick the bladder into the balcony of the opponents' church.

    Don't get me started, Retards. Don't. Get. Me. Started.

    Tuesday, April 06, 2010

    Ennui (He do the Police in Different Voices)

    The Waste Land

    by T.S. Eliot

    Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis
    vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent:
    Sibylla ti theleis; respondebat illa: apothanein thelo.


    APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
    Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
    Memory and desire, stirring
    Dull roots with spring rain.
    Winter kept us warm, covering
    Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
    A little life with dried tubers.
    Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
    With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
    And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
    And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
    Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
    And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,
    My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
    And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
    Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
    In the mountains, there you feel free.
    I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

    What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
    Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
    You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
    A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
    And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
    And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
    There is shadow under this red rock,
    (Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
    And I will show you something different from either
    Your shadow at morning striding behind you
    Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
    I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
    Frisch weht der Wind
    Der Heimat zu.
    Mein Irisch Kind,
    Wo weilest du?
    'You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
    'They called me the hyacinth girl.'
    —Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
    Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
    Od' und leer das Meer.

    Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
    Had a bad cold, nevertheless
    Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
    With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
    Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
    (Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
    Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
    The lady of situations.
    Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
    And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
    Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
    Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
    The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
    I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
    Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
    Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
    One must be so careful these days.

    Unreal City,
    Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
    A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
    I had not thought death had undone so many.
    Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
    And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
    Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
    To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
    With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
    There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying 'Stetson!
    'You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
    'That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
    'Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
    'Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
    'Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,
    'Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!
    'You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!'


    THE Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,
    Glowed on the marble, where the glass
    Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
    From which a golden Cupidon peeped out
    (Another hid his eyes behind his wing)
    Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
    Reflecting light upon the table as
    The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,
    From satin cases poured in rich profusion;
    In vials of ivory and coloured glass
    Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,
    Unguent, powdered, or liquid—troubled, confused
    And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air
    That freshened from the window, these ascended
    In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,
    Flung their smoke into the laquearia,
    Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
    Huge sea-wood fed with copper
    Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
    In which sad light a carvèd dolphin swam.
    Above the antique mantel was displayed
    As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
    The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
    So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale
    Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
    And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
    'Jug Jug' to dirty ears.
    And other withered stumps of time
    Were told upon the walls; staring forms
    Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
    Footsteps shuffled on the stair.
    Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
    Spread out in fiery points
    Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.

    'My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
    'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.
    'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
    'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'

    I think we are in rats' alley
    Where the dead men lost their bones.

    'What is that noise?'
    The wind under the door.
    'What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?'
    Nothing again nothing.
    'You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember
    I remember
    Those are pearls that were his eyes.
    'Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?'
    O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag—
    It's so elegant
    So intelligent
    'What shall I do now? What shall I do?'
    'I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
    'With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
    'What shall we ever do?'
    The hot water at ten.
    And if it rains, a closed car at four.
    And we shall play a game of chess,
    Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.

    When Lil's husband got demobbed, I said—
    I didn't mince my words, I said to her myself,
    Now Albert's coming back, make yourself a bit smart.
    He'll want to know what you done with that money he gave you
    To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there.
    You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,
    He said, I swear, I can't bear to look at you.
    And no more can't I, I said, and think of poor Albert,
    He's been in the army four years, he wants a good time,
    And if you don't give it him, there's others will, I said.
    Oh is there, she said. Something o' that, I said.
    Then I'll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look.
    If you don't like it you can get on with it, I said.
    Others can pick and choose if you can't.
    But if Albert makes off, it won't be for lack of telling.
    You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.
    (And her only thirty-one.)
    I can't help it, she said, pulling a long face,
    It's them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.
    (She's had five already, and nearly died of young George.)
    The chemist said it would be alright, but I've never been the same.
    You are a proper fool, I said.
    Well, if Albert won't leave you alone, there it is, I said,
    What you get married for if you don't want children?
    Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,
    And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot—
    Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.
    Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.
    Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.


    THE river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
    Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
    Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
    Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
    The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
    Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
    Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.
    And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;
    Departed, have left no addresses.
    By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept...
    Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
    Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
    But at my back in a cold blast I hear
    The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.

    A rat crept softly through the vegetation
    Dragging its slimy belly on the bank
    While I was fishing in the dull canal
    On a winter evening round behind the gashouse
    Musing upon the king my brother's wreck
    And on the king my father's death before him.
    White bodies naked on the low damp ground
    And bones cast in a little low dry garret,
    Rattled by the rat's foot only, year to year.
    But at my back from time to time I hear
    The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring
    Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.
    O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter
    And on her daughter
    They wash their feet in soda water
    Et, O ces voix d'enfants, chantant dans la coupole!

    Twit twit twit
    Jug jug jug jug jug jug
    So rudely forc'd.

    Unreal City
    Under the brown fog of a winter noon
    Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
    Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants
    C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
    Asked me in demotic French
    To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
    Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.

    At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
    Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
    Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
    I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
    Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
    At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
    Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
    The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
    Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
    Out of the window perilously spread
    Her drying combinations touched by the sun's last rays,
    On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
    Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
    I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
    Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest—
    I too awaited the expected guest.
    He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,
    A small house agent's clerk, with one bold stare,
    One of the low on whom assurance sits
    As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
    The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
    The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,
    Endeavours to engage her in caresses
    Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
    Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
    Exploring hands encounter no defence;
    His vanity requires no response,
    And makes a welcome of indifference.
    (And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
    Enacted on this same divan or bed;
    I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
    And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
    Bestows on final patronising kiss,
    And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit...

    She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
    Hardly aware of her departed lover;
    Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
    'Well now that's done: and I'm glad it's over.'
    When lovely woman stoops to folly and
    Paces about her room again, alone,
    She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
    And puts a record on the gramophone.

    'This music crept by me upon the waters'
    And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.
    O City city, I can sometimes hear
    Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street,
    The pleasant whining of a mandoline
    And a clatter and a chatter from within
    Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls
    Of Magnus Martyr hold
    Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.

    The river sweats
    Oil and tar
    The barges drift
    With the turning tide
    Red sails
    To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.
    The barges wash
    Drifting logs
    Down Greenwich reach
    Past the Isle of Dogs.
    Weialala leia
    Wallala leialala

    Elizabeth and Leicester
    Beating oars
    The stern was formed
    A gilded shell
    Red and gold
    The brisk swell
    Rippled both shores
    Southwest wind
    Carried down stream
    The peal of bells
    White towers
    Weialala leia
    Wallala leialala

    'Trams and dusty trees.
    Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew
    Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees
    Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.'
    'My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart
    Under my feet. After the event
    He wept. He promised "a new start".
    I made no comment. What should I resent?'
    'On Margate Sands.
    I can connect
    Nothing with nothing.
    The broken fingernails of dirty hands.
    My people humble people who expect
    la la

    To Carthage then I came

    Burning burning burning burning
    O Lord Thou pluckest me out
    O Lord Thou pluckest



    PHLEBAS the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
    Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell
    And the profit and loss.
    A current under sea
    Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
    He passed the stages of his age and youth
    Entering the whirlpool.
    Gentile or Jew
    O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
    Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.


    AFTER the torchlight red on sweaty faces
    After the frosty silence in the gardens
    After the agony in stony places
    The shouting and the crying
    Prison and place and reverberation
    Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
    He who was living is now dead
    We who were living are now dying
    With a little patience

    Here is no water but only rock
    Rock and no water and the sandy road
    The road winding above among the mountains
    Which are mountains of rock without water
    If there were water we should stop and drink
    Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think
    Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand
    If there were only water amongst the rock
    Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
    Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit
    There is not even silence in the mountains
    But dry sterile thunder without rain
    There is not even solitude in the mountains
    But red sullen faces sneer and snarl
    From doors of mudcracked houses
    If there were water
    And no rock
    If there were rock
    And also water
    And water
    A spring
    A pool among the rock
    If there were the sound of water only
    Not the cicada
    And dry grass singing
    But sound of water over a rock
    Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
    Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
    But there is no water

    Who is the third who walks always beside you?
    When I count, there are only you and I together
    But when I look ahead up the white road
    There is always another one walking beside you
    Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
    I do not know whether a man or a woman
    —But who is that on the other side of you?

    What is that sound high in the air
    Murmur of maternal lamentation
    Who are those hooded hordes swarming
    Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
    Ringed by the flat horizon only
    What is the city over the mountains
    Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
    Falling towers
    Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
    Vienna London

    A woman drew her long black hair out tight
    And fiddled whisper music on those strings
    And bats with baby faces in the violet light
    Whistled, and beat their wings
    And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
    And upside down in air were towers
    Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
    And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

    In this decayed hole among the mountains
    In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
    Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
    There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home.
    It has no windows, and the door swings,
    Dry bones can harm no one.
    Only a cock stood on the rooftree
    Co co rico co co rico
    In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
    Bringing rain

    Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
    Waited for rain, while the black clouds
    Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
    The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
    Then spoke the thunder
    D A
    Datta: what have we given?
    My friend, blood shaking my heart
    The awful daring of a moment's surrender
    Which an age of prudence can never retract
    By this, and this only, we have existed
    Which is not to be found in our obituaries
    Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
    Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
    In our empty rooms
    D A
    Dayadhvam: I have heard the key
    Turn in the door once and turn once only
    We think of the key, each in his prison
    Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison
    Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours
    Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus
    D A
    Damyata: The boat responded
    Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar
    The sea was calm, your heart would have responded
    Gaily, when invited, beating obedient
    To controlling hands

    I sat upon the shore
    Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
    Shall I at least set my lands in order?

    London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down

    Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina
    Quando fiam ceu chelidon—O swallow swallow
    Le Prince d'Aquitaine à la tour abolie
    These fragments I have shored against my ruins
    Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo's mad againe.
    Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.

    Shantih shantih shantih