The Marvelous in Nature:

An individual silverfish can live as long as two to eight years. Think about that. If you moved in the last few years, there might be silverfish in your house that have lived there longer than you have. Fortunately, they’re not that prolific; a female may lay fewer than 100 eggs in her lifetime. And a healthy household population of earwigs, spiders and house centipedes will also help keep their numbers down.



I still don’t know what form the Wuppertal experience will take, but writing this post has made me curious once more about this unusual city and my encounters during the visit. I went there to watch Kontakthof, a performance about meetings between people, but I came away with the feeling that I was in such a performance, and others were watching me.

Rat ghazal

Stoney Moss:

Could I tame the creature that steals birds’ corn, could I
cage her, set a wee wheel in motion for the rat?

Who can harm such industry, close her bright brown eyes?
I set bait, hope the lure doesn’t take my brown rat.

Attila József

George Szirtes:

I have translated only a little. That tone is hard to strike as well as keeping form. It is colloquial, romantic yet firmly rooted in realism. […]

Fat drops of rain on the roof,
          metallic pit-a-pat.
Cluck on old hen, brood me time,
          hatch me some of that.

On hacking and writing

I, Reader:

If books are being reinvented today, it is not because digital technology has permitted their liberation from print. No, quite the opposite, digital technology is built on text. As always in the human story, imagination and writing are the instruments of creation.

Dickens today

Alison Brackenbury:

I heard a comment on the radio that very little survives of Dickens’ London. Statistically, I am sure that this is true. But I was once walking South of the Thames when I passed under a wet, black bridge and was suddenly struck by a panicked sense of evil. I almost ran out into the daylight. By a set of dripping steps, I saw a plaque. Here, in ‘Oliver Twist’, Dickens set the murder of Nancy, by Bill Sykes. So some of Dickens’ places do remain.

Dickens’ descriptions of London are, of course, not photographs, but selections, from Dickens’ roving eye. What would Dickens see today? He would see Canary Wharf, but he would also see the immigrant workers with no papers, sleeping in the streets behind Victoria Coach Station. I do not think he would be impressed – perhaps appalled – but still, fascinated. And blogs? He would have had six of them.

New wine or bitter herbs?

the cassandra pages:

His left eye was completely gone. The skin around his right eye hung in deep folds beneath it, the lower eyelid stretched and turned outward, weeping, a dark red color– the same deep red as the stone we had just bought. Out of that horrible socket, though, his eye slowly focused on my face as I held onto it with my own gaze. Bonjour, Monsieur, comment ça va, I said softly, and watched the light in his eye brighten ever so slightly. It was as if he — the man inside this ravaged body — were swimming up from a great depth, having almost forgotten how. We looked at each other, and something like a smile formed on his face. Merci, he said. Merci.