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Dec. 7, 2017 11:56 am
This is my last post to BESTTHINKING.COM. My new Blog piedpiperphilology.com is now on-line and receiving visitors. I want to end my my almost eight-year association with BESTTHINKING.COM by thanking Robert Butler and his colleagues for all that they have done, displaying herculean effort and abiding good-will. When they write, "It hasn't helped that we have entered an age of...  Read More
Dec. 5, 2017 9:12 am
For those who may remain interested in my poetry and prose, I have initiated a Blog on WordPress: https://piedpiperphilology.com and I will develop this and related sites over the next year. My thanks to all who have encouraged me in my work. Al  Read More
Nov. 29, 2017 2:48 pm
Ribs of white break through banks of rusted clouds Like bones of an ancient animal fossilized Among the stars and sedimented eons ago Where they can do most to question theories of life. You might not exit the car at 90 mph, But you can leave life whenever you like: All you have to do is look up to see The lightening’s lashes ... then mouth your curses.  Read More
Nov. 19, 2017 6:43 am
Manichee America “I still thought that it is not we who sin but some other nature that sins within us. It flattered my pride to think that I incurred no guilt and, when I did wrong, not to confess it... I preferred to excuse myself and blame this unknown thing which was in me but was not part of me. The truth, of course, was that it was all my own self, and my own impiety had divided me...  Read More
Nov. 16, 2017 9:06 am
Let me not take from someone who will not give. I know now that this is no way to live. Let me not give to someone who will not take. I know that life is too short for his and my sake.  Read More
Nov. 12, 2017 1:55 pm
Readers of bestthinking.com who remain interested in my work after the 12.31.2017 cessation may visit my personal webspace. Here -- EROTROPE by R. Allen Shoaf -- I include poems and essays and works in progress. Readers who would like to see particular pieces posted originally on bestthinking.com may email me their requests and I will load PDFs of those pieces to my webspace. Thank you, ...  Read More
Nov. 4, 2017 12:01 am
I knew she was special when I first clapped eyes on her on level 1 of Da Nang’s Ho Motel 2. I had been the premise’s unofficial ‘writer in residence’ for the past month, having elected Da Nang as my location to knuckle down to some week’s solid writing in the midst of a four-month long trip to Asia. “Excuse me. Do you mind if I sit there while I check something?” I lifted my gaze from the...  Read More
Oct. 21, 2017 12:16 am
Translation of the Horacio Quiroga short story Los Inmigrantes The man and the woman had been walking since four o’clock in the morning. The weather, broken down in the asphyxiating calm of a storm, made the nitrous vapours of the swamp even denser. The rain finally stopped and the couple, soaked to the skin, proceeded obstinately. The water stopped flowing. The man and the woman then...  Read More
Oct. 20, 2017 8:16 pm
Peter saved the day, as we drank our politics away in The Vic, later I threw up my tension: love/homesick. I have tried here, failed here and now I am alone once more. I chose the road, but maybe not the vehicle; the critcal hammerings, the lies, gossip and cant. I miss nothing of my fictive pasts created by lunatic committee, those middle class harpies dragging me onto their...  Read More
Oct. 19, 2017 7:54 am
I have only anger left. Left in a mind filled with fear. Fear of the self, fear of the other. And yet not. I still laugh, though it is hollow and husky. i spit venom at the toilet bowl, bile on the pavement. It has been a savage and boring life. Misadventures, visited violence, Petty jealousy. and now waiting, waiting impatiently for an end to it all. A terminal point, or indeed...  Read More
Oct. 11, 2017 1:11 pm
When one is thrown a hanging curve-ball, should a batter ever care about the politics of the pitcher? My guess would be: "No!" So if one advertises - presents oneself as a "fierce political moderate" one would expect that a picture of Bill Clinton and Harvey Weinstein together would generate all sorts thoughts of the many things which a caricaturist could do with such a photo. One would think a...  Read More
Oct. 11, 2017 1:06 pm
Often one observes the righteous vigor with which a certain sentinel-of-the-insincere and caricaturist-of-the-port - incessantly opposed to all forms of cant* - espy's and then portrays his hypocritical subject (any number of denizens of the social-political Right) with comical, and often venomous, caricatures. And most of the time his drawing is accompanied with a haranguing missive through...  Read More
Sep. 24, 2017 12:41 am
The relative smallness of the world in which we lived was a truism oft brought home to me even as a veteran traveller. Shaheem, the manager of the Kaafu Huraa guest house I booked into for the duration of my visit to the Maldives, met me upon my arrival at the airport in Male and was quick to point out his family’s close connection to Australia. Raheema, his wife, who accompanied him that...  Read More
Sep. 23, 2017 10:02 am
I came from the depths, fathoms beneath, depressions and deprivations, Upper Street highs, and arthritic lows. And then there was you; Us. And now we dance. I swam to the surface; gulping down Renfrewshire ozone and Dublin black beer, getting to you was easy; at least on the physical plane. The rest will/is taking time; time is all that I have. I graft, weaving words, making...  Read More
Sep. 9, 2017 4:30 am
What cost manners? That was another spur on the way along the road; the overheard husky voice; upbraiding a custoner. I at first scared, then relaxed, when a perfect Guinness arrived accompanied by friendly compliments. It's not easy being me, sometimes it evens out and this was one of those occasions. A first meeting, the first of many, many I didn't expect, which has made it all...  Read More
Sep. 7, 2017 4:37 pm
Your name, Germanic, means entire. Apt, In unwanted exile, I put my best intentions out on the wing. Magic is hard, when it's been raining for 5 days solid. It's not reigning in my heart though; you are.  Read More
Sep. 6, 2017 9:32 am
Well yes, I'm home, birthing place. The origins are here; Though my heart is in Walthamstow; the guts were seeded here. Paisley: Original and quirky. John Byrne had it right. It takes an artist's brush and the mind of an uprooted Irish soul to capture its unique essence. Me, I'm just on a hiatus. The Autumn is on its way swiftly, Emma.  Read More
Aug. 31, 2017 4:56 am
It was the hands; sensuous, dangerous, as I was with another. The voice was rich; east end landlady meets Central England. Alan Moore abides. I waited a long time. And the sparks flew, the inferno was lit. Where it goes from here is anybody's guess. One fact remains; Amor omnia vincit.. at least that is what those Roamin' dudes are tellin' me!  Read More
Aug. 10, 2017 2:59 am
Buen provecho! That is, enjoy your meal. Or, more literally, take good advantage of it. So goes the pre-chowing down salutation in Guatemala. Additionally, more often than not, when a person finishes at the table he gathers his utensils and while rising utters muchas gracias to no one in particular. But those still partaking of the meal, if they are on cue, respond with the aforementioned ...  Read More
Jul. 26, 2017 2:19 am
We observe that as a guy, most of the time Fox News can be appreciated muted, but moral responsibility requires that one be somewhat informed about what goes on in the Nation. Given that one has a finite amount of time available to pursue knowledge regarding the notable events of the day, one couldn't select a better source for quasi-objective (Fox News, is left-of-center, but strives to be...  Read More
Jul. 5, 2017 10:45 pm
The founders of the Malaysian based literary journal Anak Sastra borrowed a leaf from their own book when it came time for the commemoration of issue number 25 toward the end of 2016. Though it was decided to mark the occasion differently, ie, not with a themed issue as such but rather an anthology of work, the resulting book On the Back of a Motorbike (Literary Concept, 2016) offers the...  Read More
Jul. 5, 2017 3:38 pm
His purring we hear no more Nor scratch in litter box Doth he wait in yonder wood for critters which he stalks? No fur balls scattered across the floor Nor tattered armchair dug No concern for flea or tic If one lies upon the rug No longer he lies b'neath the sun Nor naps near the loaded gun No tail to step on, although it's fun! Alas, Whiskers is a stiff. So...  Read More
Jul. 5, 2017 6:08 am
Distortion. City symphonies of sheer pomp. Hard to take.Hard to defy. The flow of my walk is stilted, wobbling on the tarmacbursting with the anti-matter of nature. I surrender to the pain, the ageingcorpus keeping time with the other bodies drifting through the energies of thecity. I am freeing my spirit from the inner space of the now. What you see isnot what is reality. It is merely a trip...  Read More
Jul. 1, 2017 2:43 am
The last verse of Baker Street, struggling to remember it and getting mild hungover neurosis about fading memory cells. I needn't have worried, I had remembered it. It took a pint in The Carpenters Arms to jog me from my self-critical bubble. Charlie Boyle further grounded me in the moment by reminding me of my worth, should I have needed it, his kindness and good humour floating on the aether...  Read More
Jun. 30, 2017 10:30 am
It was the next day. Thursday. Checking my pulse in the shower as my head reels. 3 bottles of Beaujolais with Posh Willie and Maddie, plus the feed of Guinness I 'd tipped into my skull the previous afternoon. Quantum of hangover. Wholly self-inflicted. Celebrations. The rising panic, shortness of breath. I'd been here before. Quite a few times. Worse than the 'flu. No one to blame but me. ...  Read More
Jun. 28, 2017 2:18 pm
Press Obligation Brian Karem (reporter - The Sentinel Newspapers) in a tête-à-tête with Sarah Huckabee Sanders took umbrage with Sanders because she and her boss - President Donald J. Trump - do not give the Press the due deference that Karem thinks the Press warrant… The Press – Media – is quick to claim their 1 st Amendment Right. It is true that the Press has such a Right, but their Right...  Read More
Jun. 28, 2017 10:16 am
On a precipice, there are simple options; jump or step back. Same with water, there is no walking on it, Christ notwithstanding. I still believe, despite gnawing doubt and science. I'm far too indoctrinated to refute what feels comfortable. On the drugs regimen I favour, I am wrapped in a god blanket (small g, not sure the capital helps my case). There is moment, about 1 hours into Tramadol...  Read More
Jun. 26, 2017 1:02 pm
Slipping beneath the duvet, as the illness works its arcane magick. Sick of being sick; the tautology is not lost, tired of being tired. London is draining, though not as much as the hometown, the one I seldom visit. The bittersweet reailisation that I've reinvented myself, something I never expected to do. Never copped on until I was given permission, mostly from the self, that...  Read More
Jun. 26, 2017 12:52 pm
The words flow, but most seem useless, after they've hit the page. Impostor syndrome. Hard to erase, after a lifetime of dodging flak, hiding behind personas, stances, stanzas.  Read More
Jun. 26, 2017 12:47 pm
Online trolling as a morbid pastime, wasting time on the people that are best avoided. Sometimes I can't help myself, in spite of the glee that ensues, getting reeled in by the professional bully; safe, removed, never face-to-face, never a truth of any reality spoken. I retreat to The Victoria, Guinnness slipping down nicely, friendly barmaid with a ready smile and a good...  Read More
 
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