Magazine watch – Dog Ear

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on July 23, 2013
Issue 4 of Dog Ear. A magazine. No. A bookmark. no. A magazine...

Issue 4 of Dog Ear. A magazine. No. A bookmark. no. A magazine…

Dog-ear — or Donkey-ear if you’re German — or Pig-ear if you’re South African — is a bookmark that thinks like a magazine, or a magazine that can used as a bookmark. Either way, like the equally wonderful Matchbook Stories, it’s a object that proves the maxims “more than a mouthful goes to waste” and my favourite “a simple idea done well”.

Nine panels, each with a cherry picked short story, poem or illustration to stop you folding the page down. I eat with my elbows on the table. I drink cappuccinos after eleven. I have even poured white wine into a glass that previously held red. But the line is very firmly drawn at creasing the page corner over. Thank you Pete and Joe.

It’s free from stockists listed on the site, or being egalitarian a printable pdf is provided to make your own. The Tattered Page Liberation Front starts here.

For those wondering, Matchbook Stories is the creation of Kyle Petersen who publishes a super short story of not more than 300 characters inside a matchbook cover. I would be a very happy literary arsonist but it’s impossible to get a book unless you live Stateside. No mailbag fires and Fedex wont ship matches.

My story “Foundation” was short listed for Issue one, read it on the site.

If we’re being inclusive I ought to give a shout-out to Stack, a service that posts you a fresh independent magazine once a month. The wonderfulness doesn’t stop there, like a tangerine in a Christmas stocking they are prone to popping a present into the bottom of the envelope. Which is where Dog-ear raised its head. Stack will be solving my present list come December.

I sense a new game… Bookmark, Matchbook, Rack.

Nothing But The Truth – a Tumblr magazine

Posted in caught by juliobesq on July 8, 2011

Jimmy Gerrard is a photographer who makes me think of a bastard son from Richard Billingham and Terry Richardson. He’s one of the reasons I like being on Flickr.

Ben John Smith is a poet from Melbourne. You know when you ask a literary friend to help write a poem to woo a girl with? He’s not that sort.

Together they have started a Tumblr type magazine thing called Truth. There’ll be pictures (quite a lot of naked girls) from Jimmy and words from Ben. And perhaps stuff from other people. What I like about it is: it’s a joint venture mixing different things; it uses a ‘lazy’ magazine format of Tumblr; the logo.

I think more people should share their portfolio with from someone from a different medium. I don’t care for poetry a great deal (except Anne Baker’s but I’m biased), however without Jimmy’s photography I wouldn’t have found Ben’s poetry. Here’s the first thing I read and it struck immediate bone.


If my best friend became retarded, I wouldn’t know what to do about it all.  I mean, like, if he was injured in a car accident or had a brain haemorrhage and was permanently – mentally impaired, I’d like to think our friendship wouldn’t change.  Maybe if we went to the movies I could buy him an ice cream and he could wait in the bathroom while I watched the film.  What if you had to go to a party but you wanted to get drunk and fuck some fat chicks.  You couldn’t cause he would always be around acting retarded and shit.  If he needed to poop you would have to take him and wash his butt and shit like that.  You couldn’t act different because his mum would get mad at you and every one would think you’re shallow.  What would his Facebook profile be? The old him or the new him?  What if I became retarded?  This growing old and doing shit scenario is a bloody big waste of time if you ask me, I bet your retarded friend wouldn’t even want to hang out with you he would just be doing cool imaginary things inside his retarded head and it would be way wilder than hanging out with you or watching movies and fucking fat chicks.

I actually think I’m going to buy a book of poetry, Horror Sleaze Trash from here

You want to be visiting here –

Sub sole nihil novi est

Posted in caught by juliobesq on November 25, 2009

More digressions, but read on for there will be murder, sex and swearing.

Times change, and nothing changes.

I am an advocate of Freecycle and when an attic’s worth of sixties poetry books were put on offer I reciprocated, thinking them a suitable gift for my darling who spins a rhyming pen. Amongst the gems, which included humourous poems for vicars (a niche market), was ‘Other Man’s Flowers’ by Field Marshall Viscount A. P. Wavell, later Lord Wavell, I marveled at the title. That times have changed and such a title would not past muster today without a marketing strategist pointing out that ‘Other Man’s Flowers’ may indeed have homoerotic connotations. As an aside I still marvel at the beautiful typesetting of the title.

Further down the pile lay ‘A Treasury of Ribaldry’ which promised gay and robust reading. Oh the times really have moved on I thought. And took a look inside. To find a song called ‘Frankie and Johnny’, which follows…

Frankie and Johnny were sweethearts, O Lordy, how they could love!
Swore to be true to each other, true as the stars above.
He was her man, but he done her wrong

Frankie she was a good woman, just like everybody knows;
She gave her man a hundred dollars to buy himself a suit of clothes
He was her man, but he done her wrong

Frankie and Johnny went walking, Johnny in his brand new suit.
“Oh, good Lord” says Frankie, “don’t my Johnny look cute?”
He was her man, but he done her wrong

Frankie went down to Memphis, she went on the evening train.
She paid one hundred dollars for Johnny a watch and chain.
He was her man, but he done her wrong

Frankie lived in the crib-house, crib-house had only two doors;
Gave all her money to Johnny, who spent it on parlor whores.
He was her man, but he done her wrong

Frankie went down to the corner to buy a class of beer,
Says to the fat bartender, “Has my lovingest man been here?”
He was her man, but he done her wrong

“Ain’t going to tell you no story; ain”t going to tell you no lie;
I seen your man ’bout an hour ago with a girl named Nellie Bly.
If he’s your man, he’s doing you wrong.”

Frankie went down to the pawnshop, she didn’t go there for fun;
She hocked all of her jewelery, brought a pearl-handled forty-four gun
For to get her man, who was doing her wrong.

Frankie went down to the hotel, she rang that hotel bell.
“Stand back, all you chippies, or I’ll blow you straight to hell.
I want my man, who’s doing me wrong”

Frankie went up to the parlor, looked over the transom so high;
There on the bed was her Johnny a-lovin’ up Nellie Bly.
He was her man, but he done her wrong

Frankie threw back her kimono, she took out her forty-four,
Root-a-toot three times she shot right through that hotel door
She was after her man, who done her wrong

Johnny grabbed his Stetson, “Oh, good Lord, Frankie, don’t shoot!”
But Frankie pulled the trigger and the gun went root-a-toot-toot.
He was her man, but she shot him down

“Roll me over easy; roll me over slow;
Roll me over on my left hand; for the bullet is hurting me so.
I was her man, but I done her wrong”

Oh, bring on your rubber-tired hearses; bring on your rubber-tired hacks;
They’re taking Johnny to the cemetery, and they ain’t a-bringing him back.
He was her man, but he done her wrong

Now it was not murder in the second degree; it was not murder in the third.
That woman simply dropped her man, like a hunter drops her bird.

“Oh, put me in that dungeon. Oh, put me in that cell.
Put me where the northeast wind blows from the southwest corner of hell.
I shot my man, ’cause he done me wrong.”

Frankie walked up the scaffold, as calm as a girl can be,
And turning her eyes to heaven she said “Good Lord, I’m coming to Thee.
Her was my man, and I done him wrong.”

This story got no moral, this story has got no end.
This story only goes to show that there ain’t no good in men.
He was her man, but he done her wrong

Reading through I was struck by the modernity of it, how they would not sound out of place being spat of the mouth of Nick Cave, who indeed covered Stagger Lee written a few decades later. Perhaps I am being naive but I was surprised to learn that these lyrics were composed in 1850. The song is thought to have been penned about Frankie Baker, no relation. If you haven’t heard it, a word of advice – don’t. It’s awful. I made that mistake and sought a copy to discover it’s a horrendous upbeat clippity clop affair.

Instead create your version, perhaps as the indubitable Mr Cave might croon, below is ‘Obvious is Obvious’ by The Dirty Three. A group featuring Warren Ellis on violin who moonlights as a Bad Seed. If the music appeals to you may I also recommend Cave and Ellis’s instrumental soundtrack to ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’, but I digress. Hit play and interpret a true rendition of Frankie and Johnnie. If it’s a hit remember to invite me to the aftershow party.

Of course I should not have been surprised by the age of this tale of sex and murder, for they have a pedigree and heritage as old as humanity. During a visit to Pompeii I was struck at how little cities have changed in 2000 years – for clearly visible were signage for both bakers and brothels. In fact the Frankie ballad pales into an insignificance suitable only to amuse a vicar in light verse compared to this ditty by Catullus, composed in Latin circa 79 BC

I will bugger you and face-fuck you.
Cock-sucker Aurelius and catamite Furius,
You who think, because my verses
Are delicate, that I am a sissy.
For it’s right for the devoted poet to be chaste
Himself, but it’s not necessary for his verses to be so.
Verses which then have taste and charm,
If they are delicate and sexy,
And can incite an itch,
And I don’t mean in boys, but in those hairy old men
Who can’t get their flaccid dicks up.
You, because you have read of my thousand kisses,
You think I’m a sissy?
I will bugger you and face-fuck you.

If times have not changed, the meaning of the odd word may have, for now if you were offended at being called sissy, which in terms of insults is usually on the gay axis, you probably wouldn’t threaten to bugger them.

Having said that, when I read Catullus’s ode to verse and anal rape on Synthetic Pubes (a wonderful tumblr, whose denizen scours Flickr daily for beautiful erotica: tough work I know but they are doing for us, so be thankful) – I knew it would be a suitable candidate for the Monday morning dirty poem from Bookkake. Moral compunction forced me to email the editor a link, who kindly thanked me and enquired whether I had heard of it via

So, apart from Mr Lowe then. If you are thinking of laying into someone in Latin maybe a different cuss? I recommend where I cribbed the post’s title from.

Visit to read more poetic filth or subscribe for a start of the working week email literary lubricator.

Speaking of marketing strategists and book titles I am surprised no-one raised their hand during the publishing meetings for this.

And the picture of Billy the Kid has no real relevance to any of this, I just think it’s rather superb.

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Sky ray lolly

Posted in caught by juliobesq on August 4, 2009


Sympathy for the art gallery alerted me to the work of Dutch photographer Qiu Yang and his series based upon the common symbolic props used by Playboy between the 50s and 70s

This work is a visual study of the iconographic value of certain objects and items, which would repeatedly appear in Playboy centerfolds between the years 1950 and 1970. I focused exclusively on the constructed language of the recurring use of them and restaged these details. Each photograph is titled after the month of the original centerfold.

Ice creams, obvious. The apple being the original icon of sin. What surprises me is the omission of the rocket lolly, or the be exact the Sky Ray 3, a 70s classic from Walls. You may not have ever licked one but when you think about suggestive lolly sucking, in your mind you are seeing a Sky Ray. In much the same way that when asked to draw a tap, it will have the classic cross handle design, even though you probably haven’t used one in years. I would have thought that Qiu given the chance would have photographed one so I can only surmise that Playboy didn’t favour it’s phallic flavour. (Actually it’s raspberry, orange and lemonade). But their loss is my gain, for no prizes in guessing my next series of photographs.


See what I mean? But the potential of the Sky Ray lolly is perhaps most famously enthused by the poet Fiona Pitt-Kethley, who indeed named her debut collection and the title poem after it. I was brought a copy of it for valentines a few years back. I just googled it hoping to find a copy of it online with a creative commons license and not only is there one, but serendipitously it is published as part of a collection by Salt Publishing, whom I eulogistically urged everyone to buy a book from as part of their JustOneBook campaign two posts previously. So why not make it “Selected Poems”.

Sky Ray Lolly

A toddler on a day out in Herne Bay,
on seeing an ancient, civil-servant-type,
I held my Sky Ray lolly — red, yellow
and green striped, pointed, dripping down between
my legs and walked bandy. My Ma and Pa
(old-fashioned innocents like Rupert Bear’s)
just didn’t notice this and ambled on,
that is, until they saw the old man’s face,
jaw dislocated in surprise. They grabbed
that Martian’s willy from my little hand.

The world still sees me as a nasty kid
usurping maleness. A foul brat to be
smacked down by figures of authority.
All things most natural in men, in me
are vice — having no urge to cook or clean,
lacking maternal instincts.

And they would take my pride, my rocket
of ambition, amputate my fun and geld
my laughter, depriving me of colour.
And smirk to see my little lolly melt,
me left with a stick.

Copyright Fiona Pitt-Kethley, reproduced (with permission I hope) from Salt Publishing. Back to serious matter of ice cream (yes, it is serious, I’ve spent the last week perfecting my caramel chili recipe) and the erotic potential of confectionary, the 70s must be halcyon days even without even Cadbury’s Flake advertising. The astute eyed will spot in the adverts below that Walls had a variant called the “Kinky”.


Our modern age is not without it’s frozen thrills, may I recommend a Daniel Craig swimwear scene lolly, no, seriously.

Tiny Poems

Posted in caught by juliobesq on February 4, 2009

I write tiny fiction, so how could I not send out a big shout to Tiny Poems. OK then, a tiny shout.

Poems on post-it notes. Hiakus for the felt tip age.

via: design crush

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