Thursday, 31 October 2013



I will not reject
Nor regret love,
Be it irrational or sudden,
I will not hide it nor fear it;
And if I stumble, I stumble.
I will place no blame
On the resurrecting flame;

I will embrace it,
And welcome the evidence
That I, for one, am not dead:
This cadaver still has breath.

Manuela Cardiga

I want to go home

Dickinson said,
and I quote:
"I years
have been
from home"

I have been
a lifetime
and no longer
aspire to know
where it is
or when.

I am tired,
my feet hurt,
I'm afraid
My compass



Oh that bitch-witch
Sixth sense
And the too-who-who
Of the owl in the stew
The dancing and prancing
And the wild romancing
Of the bloody bats
In my belfry
They kept me up
And in a huff

Then around four am
(when I finally slept)
Some fool must
Have thought it cool
To send or unspool
A string of dreams
Or hopes and schemes
That kept me awake
Until it was light.


Manuela Cardiga

Wednesday, 30 October 2013


I was loitering
Down the aisle
Picking out
Some stuff
For a better day -
Dinner - DINNER,
I meant to say!
A tin of this,
A pack of that;
And there,
Pushed to the back
On the top rack
Was a tin
With a label
With your name on it
And it said:
"Bring a smile
To your table!"

I threw it in the cart,
And saw another
Claiming to hold
The sweetest kiss
Harvested fresh -
And there again
You name in
Extra Bold...

I mumbled
Quite crossly
As I fumbled
For my purse:
"Isn't it enough
To have you
Constantly in mind?"

I frowned at the girl
Behind the till
And snarled
"Must I also find
Every ingredient
On my grocery list
Is something about you
I miss or missed?"

Manuela Cardiga

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

MANscapes: Excerpt Chapter 8

She tottered back to her seat, eased past her sleeping fellow passenger, lifted the plastic blind and gazed down at the endless blue below her. It stretched to the horizon in a lapis lazuli expanse, with delicate shades of turquoise blossoming randomly, indigo depths plunging dizzily.

The sudden banking of the airplane pressed her forehead to the icy window. From under the wing shyly slid the island, banded in bracelets of opalescent blues and turquoise, a white dazzling necklace of white around a vivid green crescent.

The surrounding waters were so clear, the underlying sands so white; the boats seemed to magically levitate above their own shadows. The clustered wooden structures around the serpentine bay were bleached to delicate shades of salmon pink, yellow and palest blue.

The plane eased down ponderously, like a fat bottomed dowager dragging a train of lacy white foam, settled with an ungainly splash, and buzzed up to the silvery grey quay.

A gleaming white minibus, chauffeured by a young man in an intricately patterned bowling shirt, waited to be boarded by the seven passengers. The man greeted them with a broad grin and deftly loaded their luggage in to the bus, calling out to Clara standing hesitantly with her suitcase and her portable easel: “Here Pretty Lady, this be the transport for Paradise!” His dark eyes gleamed with laughter. “You a painter-Lady? You be like Gauguin? You paint me!”

“I’m not going to the resort. I was wondering, is there a guest house in the town? That you could recommend…”

The dark eyes studied her shrewdly. A slow smile, quite unlike his original cheesy grin, curved his full lips.

“A seeker! Well then, the only place for you is The Retreat.” The “island boy” accent was gone, replaced by the crisp enunciation and rounded vowels of an upper-class British accent. “Hop aboard, I’ll give you a lift. It’s on my way.”

The mini-bus stopped outside a wooden two-story with a pale blue picket fence. A flowery script on a swinging plaque proclaimed “The Retreat”. An air of gracious negligence pervaded the house. Rambling bougainvilleas sturdily climbed up the walls to peek into the windows of the upper story, shading the deep verandas with a riot of colour, in vivid contrast to the peach sun-bleached walls. There was a woman in the garden, moving slowly through a veritable forest of roses. Thick-trunks and knotted branches with viper-toothed thorns produced a riot of blowsy roses, the bruised scent pervading the warm, moist air. The woman looked up at the sound of the engine, placing one hand on her hip, inquisitively tilting her hat in the opposite direction.

“Winston?” A warm contralto, “What are you bringing me now?”
The young man slid the door open for Clara, helped her down with a warm, lingering touch to her elbow, and unloaded her luggage.
“A seeker, Mamma: a painter-Lady with pretty eyes!”

Manuela Cardiga


I cannot for the life of me
Solve resolve or reconcile
The pardox conundrum
State of mind,
In cold logic or in magic rhyme
The bewitching bewildering
Dizzy joy and vivid ache;
Of living with a full heart
And empty arms,
All at the same time.

Manuela Cardiga

Saturday, 26 October 2013

By special request by a Knight on a Quest I bring you da rest of da Epic Tale Of DaBump DaGrind and Da Holy Grail

Sir Da Bump and Lady DaGrind
Set off on a brave quest to find 
Da One and da Only 
Da Hale and da Holy 
Da fabulous fabled Da Grail. 
They travelled for miles 
Through wood, hill and dell 
No-where did they find 
Hide hair or bind 
Of da Holy da Hale 
Da One and da Only Da Grail. 

Now DaBump he was tired 
And Fate so conspired 
They should spy 
On da edge of da moor 
A very odd door 
Set low on a hill. 

Weariness inspired, 
So they knocked 
And DaBump later swore 
He heard someone snore 
Or swear 
He would not say which 
But he thought 
It may have been a witch… 

Now the door opened wide 
And standing inside 
Was a woman 
Both hale and hearty and bright 
“Come in” she cried 
“No need to hide! 
Dear Lady, and thou Sire, 
If thou be a Knight at Arms 
And not some frightened lump! 
Come thou in
And greet Da Hump!” 

Da two did timidly step inside 
And were royally wined and dined 
By their kindly hostess 
“Now tell me the purpose 
That brings you to this dell 
On a day so fell?” 
“We seek da Grail 
For we wish to partake 
As we heard that two 
That drink and sip 
Of that Holy Cup 
And da Liquid inside 
Shall never part 
Nor ever be 
Untrue at Heart” 

Now the DaHump 
With a grin and a wink 
Poured out yet more drink: 
“Why travel so far? 
Is da Cup not right here? 
Between the thighs 
Of da Lady Fair? 
You, Lady, know where... 
So pour in da Liquor 
And as to this task, 
Let not thy resolve flicker!”
“Da Liquor!” cried DaGrind 
“But where will I find 
Da Source or da Font?” 

Again did DaHump 
With jiggle and a thump 
On the table that made 
Da cutlery jump 
Laugh for their ignorance 
Tickled her fancy so! 
“Why Sir Knight,
Thou hast a spout! 
I’ll warrant that! 
Oh I’ve no doubt!
And that is 
The very fount!” 

And more and more 
Did  DaHump giggle 
And wrinkle her nose 
Even her toes wiggled. 
She leaned in close 
And whispered a word 
In Lady DaGrind’s ear 
Da Lady blushed I do fear, 
But bravely did proceed 
To lead her Knight: 
She bid goodnight 
To kind DaHump 
And took him inside… 

Oh in that bedroom 
Did DaBump sigh 
And blush himself, 
And moan and cry. 
But so determined 
Was Lady DaGrind 
That by sweet dawn 
Da Cup was full 
Da Spout quite dry 
Da Liquor drained, 
And all that remained 
Was to thank DaHump 
And go on home 
With a happy hop skip 
And DaBump. 

I must confess 
DaGrind’s distress 
When some months later
This steady diet 
Did play riot 
With her health. 
She grew quite full, 
Her belly high 
Her belt wouldn't tie
And only then did 
She perceive 
Da heady Liquor
From da spout 
Did seed and sprout! 

So in the fullness of time, 
Our Lady DaGrind 
And Brave Sir DaBump 
Produced a DaLump, 
A DaStump and a DaThump 
And finally one
Pretty maid DaGroin 
Our happy family did join. 

We now bid adieu 
To our sweet lovers 
DaBump and DaGrind 
Who bravely did find 
The secret to life 
Was held by happy DaHump!

Friday, 25 October 2013


We wait
On circumstance
To make or let it be,
(Or not be)
As the man said...

We are toyed with
By serendipity
And the capricious random
And I, for one,
Cannot fathom
The tranquility
With which I wait
For you,
Or is it fate?

Manuela Cardiga


I saw a woman last night
On the train
Her whole face
By despite
Thick bracketing
Keloids of pain
Trapping her mouth.
I saw her
And I prayed:
Never let me forget
How to smile

Manuela Cardiga


I knelt
And cannot now recall
Was I pushed or did I fall?
Or worse: did I kneel
Of my own free will?

I can't remember
That part at all
Only the struggle
To get up again
And stand tall.

Manuela Cardiga

Grounded Strength

Having been
On my knees
I deeply appreciate
Foundations and
All that sustains:
The fierce tenacity
Of roots
And things
That burrow
So we can
Rise again
And claim
Our wings.

Manuela Cardiga

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Excerpt MANscapes: Chapter 28/ 2

Clara’s inexperienced heart strove to sort out the bitter conundrum tearing her apart: she loved them both.
It was love she felt. Love for Walker and love for Winston.
Walker was the dizzy inebriation of first love spiced to irresistibility by the hint of the forbidden.

Oh the very promise of that agony was deliciously erotic!
A horrified scrutiny of her deeper feelings showed her this. Her immaturity craved the heightened passion of that pain. He was unsuitable, impossible, he had nothing to offer her. There was no stability there, nothing to build on; only that mutual fascination, the craving of two damaged creatures for someone who was the very same.

Winston, now. Winston was something else again.
There was a cleanness to him, an untainted tenderness - a calm warmth that enfolded her. She could look into his eyes and see no shadows of either remorse or waiting rancor. He made her smile.

She could not think, or see, or be with him without feeling a smile unfold her lips.
Late in the night, she’d think his name and feel an involuntary smile curve the cheek tucked under her hand.

Winston dancing in the market balancing a pineapple on his head; Winston quipping with a raised eyebrow; Winston naked, tucking a scarlet hibiscus behind his ear like an odalisque, his grin challenging her. There was nothing tortured or frightening there; no desperate need for assurances of forever.
Only a light-hearted complicity devoid of complication.
Only the promise of peace.
Only contentment.
Only now.

Manuela Cardiga

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Gushy Sentimental Crap

If you could come to me here,
If you could come to me now,
If you could love me real,
And let me love you back

I would fear nothing,
There would be no lack
Of trust in me, no doubt
Nor fear, that could survive
The simplest touch
Of your hands on mine

Manuela Cardiga

Oyster Woman II

There is a part of me
Where I am silk and
Hidden glow of nacre
Inside clamped lips shut
Tight and cramped with
Black fear of pain/again
Inside all tremulous
Pearl iridescent yearning
Inside where I hide
Yet long to open
To the salt tongue
Of a tender tide.

Manuela Cardiga

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Banking on Laughter To Save the World

I have this theory that monstrosity blooms in the hearts of the spiritually deformed - incapable of facing themselves as they are - but intelligent enough to realise that they are laughable.

Their solution is to drown their ridiculousness in fear, and so they do. Think about it. Most monsters start as buffoons.

If people had laughed at that ridiculous man with his floppy forelock, his erect forefinger, his squiggly moustache and his hysterical voice? then one of the greatest tragedies in human history would have been averted.
Laughter slays monsters, but only in their embryonic phase, before blood and terror fattens them to invincibility.

Laughter is deadly to the ridiculous.
I love laughter; true sincere laughter heals most pains and protects us from evil.

Here is the greatest speech ever delivered, by the greatest comedian that ever was. He proves that humour and humanism are inseparable, for humour tempers the fervour of humanism with a tenderness, without which it would become just another form of fanaticism.

After 73 years, please listen to the man.
Please, would someone FINALLY listen to this man?

Manuela Cardiga

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Meteorological Report

The bewildered
Stuttering heart
Tastes coming Winter
Yet feels 
Slow Spring stirring
In every part.

Manuela Cardiga


Satin ribbons binding
Bonds as bitter as chains
Twining grace, embellishing pains
Long after cold iron falls away
Silken constriction remains.

Manuela Cardiga

Friday, 18 October 2013

Tidal Charts as Read by the Broken Mermaid Academy of Bleeding Scales

You were sitting alone,
All light withdrawn
For a fleeting moment

Some sea-creature
Cast ashore
By a receeding
Wave of love.

Manuela Cardiga

Thursday, 17 October 2013


"There are two roads
In the woods",
I heard the man say,
And I see them too
Winding away
Between the trees
Slant wise from commonsense
So there is none to defend
One choice from another…

So I will wait
On circumstance
To show me the way:
The right road will
Itself unfold
And so resolve
My conundrum
With a kiss.

Manuela Cardiga

Manuela Cardiga

PART 8: Sad Sam and Sly Strange - A Serial by Grant Harbison and Manuela Cardiga

Here did Sly for the first time utter: “My love, my Wild child, Severina; I do perceive in this Lady something mild and kind. I warrant we can trust…though to be true that ability does rust unused in my heart for many a year. Yet now, I feel no fear. I will abide by this Lady’s lead. Me thinks it meet to do so. I ask you Princess dear, set aside your fear.”

“Fear?” Severina cried, then drowned her mocking laughter ere it issued from her mouth, for here the Troll’s daughter suddenly perceived the tender heart that in her lover yet lived. Should she spout her vicious prattle, his heart might shatter, and leave her behind. Oh evil day…Severina -wild and savage- should she wish to keep and not ravage the love that in for her in Sly did abide, would have to become mild and gentle as a child.

And so they did travel for two days and two nights, until the darkness gave way to an uncanny twilight. Sam tried to fathom this peculiar mosaic, staring back at the receding darkness, his head began to shake.

The Lady of Light smiled at his confusion and said, “Concern yourself not, young Sam. This be no illusion, and fear ye not any intrusion from vile things that prey, for those who embrace evil, have diminished power in the grey.”

The mysterious glint caused Severina to squint. Having spent so long in the dark, the glare was too stark. She closed both her eyes, and to everyone’s surprise, let out a succession of pitiful cries.

The Lady of Light shook her head and said, “Severina be hushed, your eyes will adjust. Your fake little cries do not fool I; for if you genuinely wept, your eyes would not be dry. Oh what a pathetic sight. How would you have been, if we’d entered the white?”

Severina was silenced, but her thoughts were of violence; wishing to tear at her throat, when she saw the Lady gloat.

The Lady read her thoughts, and although slightly distraught and a little dismayed, she gave Severina a look of tenderness, and for her silently prayed.

Barbon began to jiggle and then began to whine, “Dear Lady of Light, who is ever so kind. Please forgive me for asking this, but my hunger is fierce. When do we dine?”

The Lady stared at the picote with love and compassion. “Oh, my dear fellow, there be plenty of rations in my lovely cabin in the neck of the woods. We will go there immediately and cook us some food.”

When they arrived at the Lady’s retreat, she started a fire to cook the meat. She sent Severina and Barbon into the garden for herbs and vegetables and anything that was edible.

As soon as they entered the beautiful garden, Severina chased Barbon and he gave a hundred pardons. When she saw the wonderful seed, she knew it would fulfill her need. Her wicked notion, would only require a little of her potion.

And so did Severina return to the house and entered the kitchen. The ambiance was joyous, but the picote was twitching.

With a cordial smile and her hatred well masked, Severina asked, “Lady of Light, do you think that I might prepare these delights?”

“Oh, wild child, that be my task. But you can fetch the goblets and pour us each a drink from the cask.”

Severina did what was asked and when she filled the goblets with mead, she added the seeds, then from her pocket she took out a sweet smelling lotion and squeezed a few drops into each goblet to complete her potion.

“Oh, what utter deviance,” she said to herself. “With what I’ve concocted, I will have utter obedience. In exactly one hour, my wicked scheme will flower.”

When the hour came, everyone danced to her tune; including the picote, even though he was immune.

Severina laughed at Esprelotta’s vacant stare, and said, “Oh daughter of Slaughter, this feeling of power, nothing can compare. Now do as I say without delay. Start making tracks. To the dark you go back. When you get there, seek ye the Market of Despair. Surrender your liberty, be strong and be brave, for you will be a slave from henceforth till your grave.”

by Grant Harbison and Manuela Cardiga

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


I found unfolding
In my palm
A seed of wanting
The exact shape and
Taste of your smile

Manuela Cardiga

Monday, 7 October 2013

"Guilty Pleasures - The Food and Fornication Fables" by Manuela Cardiga

Manuela Cardiga's forthcoming Novel "Guilty Pleasures"!


Gorgeous, narcissistic, self-absorbed Lance Packhard is a sex therapist specializing in Awakenings, helping anorgasmic women find sexual fulfillment

Lance’s spare time is dedicated to the cult of his body-beautiful and writing a how-not-to book titled “Sensual Secrets of a Sexual Surrogate”. His personal life consists of Sunday tea with his grandmother, and a monthly night-out with his best-friend, George. Oh, and no sex, none whatsoever…

When a ruthless mother offers him an enormous sum to seduce and impregnate her 36 year old daughter, Millicent Deafly, a debt-ridden Lance hesitantly agrees.

However, Millicent is not into sex, and definitely not into him. She’s chosen the other end of the sensuality spectrum and is heavily into food. She is bright, bouncy and joyous, uninhibitedly plump and natural and completely dedicated to her palate. The only way Lance will get her attention is if he dabs garlic oil on his nipples...

Determined to get close to her, Lance creates an alter-ego - sweetly shy Wilfred Pecklise - and takes a job at her Dinner Club, Guilty Pleasures.

Guilty Pleasures caters to the flamboyant and the eccentric: super-models pigging out, trash-metal rock stars with penis-piercings and their loving grannies, the survivors of dead billionaires, and many more oddities…

Lance finds himself immersed in a sensuous world of scents, tastes, and color, and befriended by Serge Moreno - a homosexual black dwarf who was once a prostitute in Istanbul, a fluffer in skin-flicks in Vegas, and is now a celebrity Chef in London…

Ironically, Lance’s is not only failing to seduce Millie, but falling madly in love with her.

Balancing the two lives: his and Wilfred’s, his alter ego's; becomes next to impossible when his geeky best-friend George suddenly ups and marries a sophisticated French author, and decides to hold the reception at Guilty Pleasures.

Will the terrible truth be revealed?


Lance Packhard, sex therapist, the world’s number one G-spot sleuth and premier undercover man, was flummoxed. Never in his long career had he been faced with such a challenge.
Millicent Deafly—his mark—ignored him. Him. It seemed almost impossible. Instead of eyeing his magnificent body, Millicent was lasciviously fondling a cucumber. Her eyes misted. Her delicate pink tongue flicked over her pouty lower lip.
“Yes. Oh, yes!” she whispered. “Tonight, yes . . .”
Lance had spent the last hour following her through the local supermarket trying to get her attention, to no avail. Millicent ignored him at the fruit and vegetables section, and at gourmet cheeses he deliberately brushed up against her back, murmured an apology in his huskiest bedroom voice, and accomplished nothing.
Undeterred, he followed her to the wine section, where he attempted prolonged eye contact. Alas, she always seemed to be looking in another direction, and Lance found himself trailing her into the Seafood Court. There, he liberally doused himself with a powerful pheromone spray he usually avoided using because of the unpleasant side effects.
But again nothing happened. 
All he got was a serious skin rash from the pheromone spray and a multitude of lustful supermarket attendants—not all female—insisting on giving him a “hand.”
Lance should have known when he first saw Millicent that she was trouble—big trouble. In fact, he should have known before. He’d never been hired by a mother. Husbands hired him, lovers, concerned friends, even someone’s boss once, but never a mother.
Something in the almost always competitive mother/daughter synergy precluded a mother from fixing her daughter up with a man she fancied herself, and let’s face it, Lance was well aware that all women fancied him. From his dark, silken hair to his sinewy—and talented—toes, he was regarded as prime genetic material, and he had improved on nature’s bounty. He worked out four times a week—running for an hour each morning before sun-up—and rigorously watched his diet. He used a moisturiser, a hair conditioner, and carefully barbered his muscular chest and abdomen, while cultivating a becoming three-day scruff. All this was in addition to a six-foot-three lean and mean frame, a sculpted face with dreamy green eyes, and a sulky, sarcastic mouth.
Everything about him screamed absolute bastard and he came across as absolutely irresistible.

And what happens when an irresistible object collides with an indifferent target? Something’s gotta give . . . 

Look out for Guilty Pleasures from the 5th of December 2013!

On-line, in a book store near you, or in your own kitchen...

Sunday, 6 October 2013

THE INK BLOT GUEST SPOT: Depressive States, by Grant Harbison.

Life, the very force of my existence, pulls me from slumber.
I can offer no resistance to its nagging persistence.
I sigh, bleary eyed and dismayed
Instantly I realise that I’m still here for at least another miserable day.
I stumble out of bed and feel the throb in my head
Last night’s indulgence
Sometimes I wish I was dead
I feel the call of nature, but choose to ignore and got to the kitchen instead.
The coffee I make tastes bitter and I want to throw up
But I withstand the nausea and make another cup.
I reach for my cigarettes and light one up
As I take a few puffs, I feel my body sway
I take one last puff, and then throw it away.
I rush to the bathroom, for the need can’t wait.
What is it about my life?
What is it I hate?
When all is done, I look in the mirror and stare at my face
And admonish myself for being a fucking waste of space.
I run a cold shower to try and rid my self loathing
Then go to the spare room and look for some clothing
“When did this start?” I ask myself
“Am I too proud to ask for help?”
People don’t care, they’ll just point and they’ll stare.
I just need some kindness, not apathy and blindness

Did I ask to be born?
Did I ask for this torture?
I need love not scorn.
No, but if many could see what goes on in my brain
I’d lose many friends, as they’d deem me insane.
Why is this disease such a taboo?
No one knows the pain I go through..
The blank that I feel is a soulless void
In this Godless state I feel paranoid.
I wish my soul would burst from my skin
Finally give me peace and mercy within

Grant Harbison.

from "GUILTY PLEASURES" Cover Reveal pending; Launch December 5th!

"Tonight is going to be fun. An Irish socialite is getting divorced, and so she’s holding a wake! That crazy bitch had a coffin delivered with a portrait of the very-much-alive ex-husband painted on the lid. They’ll be delivering wreaths and condolences all day. She’s having a male stripper do the eulogy—dressed as a priest. We are bringing in gallons of green beer, Irish whiskey, and salted almonds, green pretzels, peanuts, and of course, pistachios. We’ll practically be doing nothing but watching the fun. I’m asking Millie to let us tend the bar.”
“A wake for a dead marriage . . . makes a kind of twisted sense.”
“Lots of lovely boozy sense. Except—this I’m not missing—she asked that the waiters be dressed like leprechauns. Can you imagine? Hendricks jingling around in Irish green and shamrocks? Lovely.”
“I suppose you won’t mind jingling yourself?”
“Nope, been there, and done worse. Plus I turn a good leg in green tights.”
“God have mercy.”

Late afternoon found them preparing great green tubs for icing the beers, setting out platters of aperitifs and numerous trays of delicate and colourful little hors d’œuvres.
A large three-tier venom-green cake with a black marzipan electric chair, complete with the condemned prisoner, was delivered.
Horseshoe-shaped floral wreaths and coronets came from supposedly close friends and well-wishers. The banners variously read BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME, I TOLD YOU SO, OOPS YOU DID IT AGAIN, U GOT DA BUCKS—NOW GET NEW BOOBS, YOU’RE TOO OLD FOR THIS SHIT, GET A SCHNAUZER NEXT TIME, and worse.
A costume maker delivered a truckload of green leprechaun outfits, complete with pointy shoes and hats. Hendricks arrived with his usual lugubrious expression, quickly followed by Millie in tasteful and sexy black, and a kiss-me-quick little hat with a deliciously flirty black lace veil.
Millie, Lance, and Serge watched fascinated as Hendricks returned shortly in sartorial magnificence, his scarlet face clashing horribly with his very short green tunic and shimmering emerald hose.

“Miss Deafly, I must object most strenuously.”
“Oh, my dear Hendricks . . . it’s astonishing how your innate elegance and dignity can overcome anything. I’m in awe of you, my dear, dear man. You are a true professional. An example, my dear Hendricks—a shining example. So much so, I will insist both Mr. Moreno and Mr. Pecklise don similar garb in solidarity, and assist you and your staff at the bar.”
The scarlet receded from Hendricks complexion, being replaced by a girlish wash of pink. “I’m honoured, Miss Deafly. We must show a united front in adversity. Yes, dignity and good breeding must overcome, I always say.” He wandered off happily, then called out to his staff to muster and dress up.
Lance stifled a snort of laughter.
Serge was giggling. “You are shameless, Millie, shameless. The man looks like a bilious morris dancer.”
“Serge, a happy, motivated staff is half the battle won. If I have to bend the truth a little . . . oh, all right, a lot, I will. Now, boys run off and get green.”

At nine thirty, the grieving widow arrived, her broken heart very much in evidence, in a very low-cut black dress. She was a voluptuous true redhead in her well-tended and tucked midforties. She was luscious lipped, with a luminous opalescent skin—flawless except for a dusting of freckles accentuating her generous cleavage.
Hendricks gaped at her. Rather, he gaped at her cleavage in lustful fascination. “Madam, allow me to extend my condolences, but also my felicitations, for a woman of such unique beauty must not be chained. Like a butterfly, she must flutter free, blessing countless flowers with her honeyed kiss.”
Millie choked while Hendricks bowed gravely in his green hose.
The ex-Mrs. O’Donnell simpered at him flirtatiously. Her delicate hands fluttered to her bosoms. “Why, sir, a gentleman would be most cautious of taking advantage of my fragile state, my loneliness . . .”
“Madam, my admiration is most sincere and most respectful.”
“Not too respectful, Mr. Hendricks. We are neither that young, nor the night that long.”
Hendricks leaned forward. “Alas, Madam, I confess myself overcome, for you bear upon your right breast the perfect representation of Cygnus, the Constellation of the Swan.” With truly astonishing dignity, he lifted her hand to his lips, while he visually ventured to boldly go where many men had been before.

Millie gasped as she entered the kitchen. “Good God . . . we have a problem. You two have to keep an eye on Hendricks. He and Mrs. O’Donnell are flirting and simpering at each other. I would never have believed it of him.”
“It’s the hose. See, they cut off the blood flow to your brain,” Serge remarked seriously. “I once knew this dancer, bloody Bolshevik ballet pansy, who couldn’t think his way out of a paper bag. All he did was dance. He had class six hours a day plus performance time; the poor man lived in them hose thingies—so constricting. One day, I peeled them off him, quick like, before he could complain. You wouldn’t believe it. He was so gifted. A genius, I tell you.”
Lance grinned.
Millie eyed him suspiciously. “You two go garb up, and I don’t buy that diminished capacity by dint of constricted blood flow to the penis defence, Serge, so watch it.”

Several hours and many barrels of strong drink later, the salon was awash in “mourners” devotedly drowning their grief.
Foremost among them was Mrs. O’Donnell, who availed herself of the comfort of Hendricks’s manly shoulder with distressing frequency. The leprechauns circulated with their trays of food and drink, while Lance and Serge manfully held up the bar and watched the festivities.

Serge served up two stiff drinks and toasted Lance, smirking lasciviously in the general direction of his hose. “Here’s to you, little, or rather not so little, Willie Wanker; here is to hot widows and cold drinks.”
They solemnly toasted each other repeatedly, with a great deal of respect for the dearly departed. By the looks of him, in all the glory of his full-length portrait, the “late” Mr. O’Donnell was a man of good looks, although somewhat florid of complexion. Someone had laid a wreath of garlic in the vicinity of his groin with the caption LEST HE RISE AGAIN.
Obviously rising to the occasion was Hendricks, unaware of the unabashed stare of several sour-mouthed grass widows.

“And himself not even cold yet, and that hussy’s already hoisting her flag on another mast,” a dear friend of Mrs. O’Donnell said.
“My dear, so would I,” mumbled another, downing a shot of vodka.
“His mast wasn’t that high, and I should know . . .” said a blue-eyed brunette with an impressive chest.
“Shame on you, Molly. She’s your best friend.”
“I regretted it—I did, especially as he wasn’t great shakes. Quick off the mark, he was,” Molly confessed, wiping a regretful tear.
Lance and Serge watched in fascination as the evening unfolded, and the guests’ collective grief continued unabated and inconsolable, oblivious to the glaring absence of the chief mourner and the maître d’.

“The wake must go on,” Serge said, solemnly. “Let this be a lesson to you, my boy. The death of love waits for no man.”

Right on cue, a “priest” in a dog collar approached the coffin to conduct the solemnities. “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to bid farewell and good riddance to our dear brother, Seamus O’Donnell. We wish him eternal rest, and should he indeed rise again, may he come quickly.”
The “priest” slowly gyrated out of his vestments—keeping only the dog collar—to the delight of the female mourners who hurried to tuck green carnations in his black lace G-string. He served up generous slices of the Execution Cake and drank Irish whiskey from several slippers.

This joyful ceremony was concluded by Millie firmly escorting the “priest” and two nearly nude “mourners” to the front door and forcefully ejecting them.
At three o’clock in the morning, Millie called cabs for the remaining guests, told the very drunk waiters in their green hats and hose to go home, and crossly berated Serge and Lance for their decidedly tipsy state.

“I can’t believe this! My entire staff . . . get a cab and go home, Serge.”
Serge waved happily and staggered outside.
“Will, you better sober up quickly! We have work to do.” Muttering darkly to herself, Millie brewed up a pot of pitch black, powder-keg Turkish coffee. She found Lance in the locker room, shirtless but still in his lurid hose, obviously much the worse for the wear. “Oh, Will, strong drink doesn’t agree with you, does it?”
“I’m fine, better than fine. I’m fan-bloody-tastic.”
“Yes, I can tell.” She pulled him to his feet, where he swayed like a young birch in a high gale. “Come along, then; to the showers with you.”
“No . . . no showers.”
“Come along now.”
He leaned forward and nuzzled at her neck. “I had an Irish grandfather, did you know?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Oh yes. I went to Ireland with him as a young boy, and got away from my bloody mother for two whole weeks. I saw the Emerald Island from end to end. Kissed the Blarney Stone, you know. Which is why I’m such a good linguist. The Irish are famous for the agility of their tongues. Wannasee?” Lance licked at her ear and staggered.
“Here, Will.” Millie pushed him firmly into the shower and turned on the water. “Nice and cold!”
Gasping and trembling, Lance shook his head under the icy deluge.
“Meet me in the kitchen in ten minutes for coffee, and you’d better be sober.”

Ten minutes later, a contrite and cold Lance shivered his way into the kitchen where Millie served him many tiny cups of truly horrid, scalding coffee.
“What on earth possessed you two to drink like this? Really, I expected better from you,” Millie said crossly.
“It just happened . . .” explained a shamefaced Lance. “We just kept toasting the dead, one after another. We didn’t want to leave anyone out.”
“The dead?”
“Well, if you extrapolate the concept, every ex is a dearly departed. We just kept remembering people. Some of these girls I hadn’t thought about in years. We decided to erect a monument to the unknown soldiers of the War of Love. Some names I never even got, but Serge said—”
“Disgusting. You’re like little boys comparing scabs. Well, Will, I’m going shopping on my own. You are in no condition to walk, let alone drive. Go sleep it off. There is a chaise longue in the small salon. I expect you to be up and about for the afternoon shift.”
“I’m sorry, Millie.”
“No, you’re not. But you will be.

from "Guilty Pleasures - The Food and Fornication Fables"
Manuela Cardiga

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Much Ado About a Lot of Da Bump and a Little Da Grind

Da Bump was a Knight on a Quest
For a warm place his great lance to rest,
He sought with a prayer for a year and a day
And thought he might seek yet in vain
Until he a high tower spied and a Keep
With siege walls both high and steep
He enquired and heard that inside
A fair Lady Da Grind did abide.

He rode to da gate
And with a cry he bade
“Fair Lady far did I ride
Oh open da gate
I just can't wait
So open it wide
And let me inside.”

Now De Grind she came to da wall
Looked down and later she swore
She never had seen a Knight so bold
With helm of silver and heart of gold

"My Lord," she cried
"I'd let you within
But woe is me
It cannot be
Da moat is dry
For I've never cried
And da Dragon inside
Will not let thee by!"

Now Da Bump it had been foretold
n Epic Prophecies of old
Was da very Knight both mighty and bold
With da wit to fill up the moat
Oh his cunning skill and strategy
Would surely end this tragedy!

Now this he knew to be true
Should the Lady cry
Da moat would flood
And da Dragon die…

So he ups with his lance,
Made his noble steed prance
And charged at da gate.
His target was clear:
He had no fear
He would fail at his mark
For it must be told
Da Bump was as bold
In da light as in da dark.
And such was his skill
That da Lady did sigh
And tremble and finally cry
For who could resist
Such a mighty knight
As Sir Goes Da Bump
In the night?

So da flood did rise high
As the Lady did cry,
The moat was a-bloat
As once was foretold-
And thus my dear friend
Da story doth ends
Of brave Sir Da Bump
And his Lady Da Grind.

Manuela Cardiga

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Sentimental Shit

Poetry is you heart tryin to pour itself out
Through the narrow slot of your mouth

Manuela Cardiga