A relationship with the vernacular

Let us also recognize
our own native
detachable snake-hips,
our rangy legs,

our educated feet.
Our arms and fingers
wave and snap
in a special way.
Our shoulders hang
as no other people’s
shoulders hang.

Taken from ‘Musical Myths of the American West’, by Stephen Brown, a review of two books in the Times Literary Supplement, 9 November 2012. The poem is a quotation from the writings of Lincoln Kirstein. Submitted by Rishi Dastidar.

A day without deference

Let the nation’s doormen do their jobs without smiling
Let waiters at suburban restaurants leave their flair at home
Let the janitors at Princeton mop no vomit from the dormitory stairwells
Let retail greeters of every description call in sick
Let the first-class passengers board at someone else’s leisure
Let the nation’s limo drivers require their passengers to open their own damn doors
Let the production interns at CNBC send the on-air “talent” to fetch the coffee
And, for just one day, let the talent ask their interviewees hard questions

From the essay Servile Disobedience by Thomas Frank, February 2011. Submitted by Rishi Dastidar.


“Eatin’s Cheatin’” echoes around the office on a Friday afternoon.
Women pick over their naked salads and extra extra light low fat
Philly on Ryvita. The preparations for ‘Rosé o’clock’ are well
under way.
They’ll grumble through the afternoon and suppress the urge
to be
‘naughty’ whenever anyone offers a biscuit, sweet or chocolate.

From Drunkorexia: A stupid name, but a serious problem on the Independent blogs. Omitted words: ‘as’ (line 1) and ‘their way’ (4). Submitted by Rishi Dastidar.

Live your dash

On your tombstone
you’ve got your birth date

and the day of your decease —
and you’ve got your dash.

Live your dash.
Hold still and watch the birds.

Like the hummingbirds —
why are there so many of them?

Taken from the London Evening Standard’s review of Werner Herzog’s Into the Abyss, 30th March 2012. A comma has been removed after ‘tombstone’. Submitted by Rishi Dastidar.