In which I manage to discuss the poetry of Emily Dickinson, cosmic horror, Superman, Morrissey and Steve McQueen without exerting myself unduly.
Recently I was perusing a laughable book about- well, it’s hard to say exactly. Just sort of general things that might be called inexplicable or mysteries if anybody actually gave a shit about them or they weren’t clearly the result of somebody suffering from a bout of delirious, drunken stupidity or mental illness. Like Fortean Times, but even more random. Is there a turkey in the Bayeux Tapestry? It’s not really a mystery if nobody cares about the solution.
It’s the sort of book that usually costs a few pounds in a remainder shop, or is for sale in what my esteemed colleague Kid Carpet calls Mystical Shit shops (Seriously, I am a huge fan of Kid Carpet. Download his song Mystical Shit for a start), alongside dream catchers, rag rugs and crystals to unbung your chakras. My local library has loads of these books, for some reason. And a very comprehensive but never used section on things like irritable bowel syndrome, drug induced psychosis, anorexia and whatnot. For obvious reasons I’ve never made any effort to befriend the librarians.
Anyway, there was one interesting thing in the aforementioned book: an account of some strange jelly that apparently fell out of space in 1819 and landed in Amherst, Massachusetts. It seems not to have occurred to the author that this (at the time very small) place was the lifelong home of the poet Emily Dickinson and her family, although she wasn’t born for another 11 years. Continue Reading