Author Archives: Swany

Head cheese

Head cheese or brawn is a cold cut that originated in Europe. A version pickled with vinegar is known as souse. Head cheese is not a cheese but a terrine or meat jelly made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig (sometimes a sheep or cow), and often set in aspic. The parts of the head used varies, but the brain, eyes, and ears are usually removed. The tongue, and sometimes even the feet and heart, may be included.

Last smoke


Jean d’Arc of the covenant. It had the hallmark of the perfect crime, like the haymarket rackets and the october revolution; beauty is in the eye of the beast. The giant behemoth is the apple of the bride’s eye though he was fond of talking to himself under a bushel of leavings from the hayday of our culture.

In the days that are forgotten.

Strum und Drang

 

And if any man hunger, let him eat at home.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.

The homes of the natives are the woods and groves; they worship the gods severally and in congregations; all discord and all sorrow is unknown. Death comes to them only when, owing to satiety of life, after holding a banquet and anointing their old age with luxury, they leap from a certain rock into the sea: this mode of burial is the most blissful. More profound than Oscar Wilde. More wild than Johnny Profumo.

SaveSave

The Undertaking

I have done one braver thing
Than all the Worthies did;
And yet a braver thence doth spring,
Which is, to keep that hid.

It were but madness now to impart
The skill of specular stone,
When he, which can have learn’d the art
To cut it, can find none.

So, if I now should utter this,
Others—because no more
Such stuff to work upon, there is—
Would love but as before.

But he who loveliness within
Hath found, all outward loathes,
For he who colour loves, and skin,
Loves but their oldest clothes.

If, as I have, you also do
Virtue in woman see, 1
And dare love that, and say so too,
And forget the He and She;

And if this love, though placèd so,
From profane men you hide,
Which will no faith on this bestow,
Or, if they do, deride;

Then you have done a braver thing
Than all the Worthies did;
And a braver thence will spring,
Which is, to keep that hid.

Children’s Crusade

The variants of the long-standing story of the Children’s Crusade have similar themes. A boy began preaching in either France or Germany claiming that he had been visited by Jesus and told to lead a Crusade to peacefully convert Muslims to Christianity. Through a series of portents and miracles he gained a considerable following, including up to 30,000 children. He led his followers south towards the Mediterranean Sea, in the belief that the sea would part on their arrival, allowing him and his followers to march to Jerusalem, but this did not happen. They were sold to two merchants (Hugh the Iron and William of Posqueres) who gave free passage on boats to as many of the children as were willing, but then they were either taken to Tunisia and sold into slavery by the merchants, or died in a shipwreck on San Pietro Island off Sardinia during a gale. Some may have failed to reach the sea, dying or giving up from starvation and exhaustion. They were betrayed by some of the adults in their group.

A device whereby severall voyces of birds cherping may be heard

A device whereby severall voyces of birds cherping may be heard, by John Bate, 1634

John Bate. The Mysteryes of Nature and Art. Contained in foure severall Tretises, the first of Water workes, the second of Fyer workes, the third of Drawing, Colouring, Painting, and Engraving, the fourth of divers Experiments, as wel servicable as delightful: partly collected,and partly of the Authors Peculiar Practice, and Invention. Page 21. London: Ralph Mab, 1634. Library of Congress

Mountain Bride

The story of a luscious hill girl who started a feud when she gave her heart to a city man.  Rhonda Fleming and Joseph Cotton also star in other stories by Peggy Gaddis, available from Cameo Books in a plain brown wrapper.

Terminal munchies

They gave him gas, they gave him heartburn, they gave him headaches, but he couldn’t stop eating popcorn.

The autopsy revealed high levels of THC, a few crystals of ureic acid, and a receipt from a dentist in Tijuana for seventeen hundred bitcoins.

His brain was donated to the Brain Trust for an undisclosed tax receipt.

The odd relic of his half-remembered life was licensed to appear in an upcoming blockbuster.

His heart was donated to the Heart Foundation, beating all previous donations.

His feet, minus the baby toe on the starboard foot, were burned in effigies.

His liver was transplanted into former president Jimmy Carter, giving him a couple more years of life.

His balls were knocked out of the park when Paul Bunyan pitched a no-hitter.

His stick comforted the duchess of Glosterchershestershire in her bouts with depressions.

The whites of his eyes served as target practice during the American Revolution.

The CIA examined his sublingual proclivities, but they proved to be unsuited for any future needs.