Peels of Fury – Clinton Hill Pizza Insanity

What in the crusty cassock of Pope Boniface IX is going on? Just saw Gothamist’s Top 18 Pizza Restaurants in New York and three of the eighteen are within skipping distance of Bell End’s stable doors. And a fourth gets an honorable mention – our belovéd Franny’s. What has the world come to when Franny’s is reduced to an also-ran and Saraghina doesn’t get even a squeak? Is Clinton Hill the new Napoli? I hope not, because a rat once ran over my shoe outside the front door of Brandi, the putative birthplace of pizza margherita. Apparently when people arrive in New York the second thing they want to do (after exposing themselves on the C train) is eat pizza. Well, Bell End facilitates both. The Clinton-Washington stop is just round the corner; then zip up, light a cigarette, you’ll be stubbing it out just as you add your name to the interminable waiting-list at any of the following (words courtesy of Gothamist):

EMILY

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Newcomer Emily opened in Clinton Hill just this past January, but it’s already more than earned a place on this list. Chef Matt Hyland – who runs the restaurant with wife Emily (get it?) – whips up spectacular thin-crust pies in a wood-fired oven, with outstanding offerings including the $19 namesake pizza made with mozzarella, pistachios, truffle sottocenere and honey. The Colony ($17) is another worthy pie—made with red sauce and mozzarella and topped with pepperoni, pickled chili and honey—as is the carnivore-friendly pepperoni, sausage and ham-topped RM3! ($19). Prices are steep here if you go beyond the basics (some of the plainer pies run $14-and-under), but the pizza’s made so lovingly you can taste it. Save room for dessert—the Hylands make a killer marshmallow and chocolate S’Mores calzone ($10).

Emily is located at 919 Fulton Street between Waverly and Clinton Avenues in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (347-844-9588, pizzalovesemily.com)

SPEEDY ROMEO

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It’s hard to award points to a pizza style from a flyover state, but fine, we’ll give Speedy Romeo’s delectable Saint Louie ($16) its due. The St. Louis-style pie comes on a cracker-thin, yeast-free crust, topped with Italian sausage, pepperoni and picked chilis, along with Provel cheese sourced straight from Missouri. Speedy Romeo has non-Midwestern pizza types on tap too, of course, (The Kind Brother is a must-have) but this pie is so good it may settle the “NYC Pizza Is The Only Pizza” debate once and for all. Don’t worry, pizza still sucks in Los Angeles.

Speedy Romeo is located at 376 Classon Ave between Greene and Lafayette Ave in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn (718-230-0061, speedyromeo.com).

• MARGOT

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Pizza expert Adam Kuban has set out to bring the bar pie into the pantheon of NYC’s great pizza varieties with his pop-up pie shop Margot. Like Lee’s Tavern, Kuban bakes up crisp crusted pies unadorned with toppings beyond sauce and cheese or fully loaded like his Love Supreme, with chunks of seasoned sausage, thinly shaved red onion and finely chopped bits of bell pepper. Shroomheads should absolutely seek out the Funghitown, with a scattering of mushrooms and some truffled sottoecenere cheese. Kuban operates his pop-up inside Clinton Hill’s Emily for now; catch him while you can. (Nell Casey)

Margot is a pop-up held intermittently at Emily: 919 Fulton Street between Waverly and Clinton Avenues in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (347-844-9588, pizzalovesemily.com).

September 18, 2014  • Posted in Announcements  •  Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  •  Leave a comment

Elle Decor Korea – Kissing the Rosetta Stone

Three weeks with our nose to the grindstone of language learning software and we think we’ve cracked it. Elle Decor Korea’s piece on Bell End.  See below.

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Life Differently 1!

Got changed in a multi-stall environment!

Home life is different if he is different. Here, in the space of his house he break away from the typical story of his own.  Six different genders he introduce to the lifestyle.

JULIAN RICHARDS stables converted in a multi-space.

Photographer Agent him, New York

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His entrance is wide open, the way his people are going to come to look at his Bell End. Panoramic living room. His tops are made ​​of wood taken from bowling alley in business no chance.

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Decoration refrain as much as possible making him unified, modern bedroom concept. All bedding is Ignorance.

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I recently moved to his lodge, second in country. Awful child, pully hair and noise maker. Not in Korea would tell ‘shut rude face’ stab with fork. Bell End for photographer agent Julian Richards and only sex.

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Things from every day seen in the more special because of his vintage wood has been used a lot and a bit worn out. Reminiscent of the shape and height of the window stall is Julian ‘s idea.

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Three bedrooms with stairs that float to the second floor without exception, even hanging children.

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Kitchen just another brick wall with white paint to paint otherwise feel my jellybean trembling.

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Nearly 4 metre long dining room and kitchen, he is flaming and open. Place is perfect for hoopla.

As agents in photographer Julian Richards is big Bell End, born two-and-a-half years ago with friends (Bell End). Real estate at the time of the suggestion was with a friend who was doing any number of photographers. Can be used for many purposes and create a space. “In the past, where the stables used because I got old and dirty. Garage doors are very large differences in the use, or completely abandoned, but not dogging. We’re here to New York and visit the agency converted into series of parties and events belong to artists, gallery show, I created a naughty space for progress. ” Julian is the most focused part of the building.  Have a unique story to maximize space atmosphere that was optimized for dirty party, his passage was wide and open. “Usually the gate is my entrance and the Bell End have several visits inside, but when you open it up that brings out the pedestrians are walking around India.  If you leave my entrance hanging open in the summer people would blindly come home and poke about. Take photos of the hole and inside. What they think it takes, I guess.” All of a sudden the house is located, the port is green and ‘second Williamsburg’ is called as The Bell End. Every visit it emerged as Brooklyn. These days, young people gather around it very often, try the handles than what transformed the space into living and attracted the attention of people because of the history. Stall doors that open on both sides is reminiscent of a large number of bets through a tiny window. That’s Julian‘s idea. “All the nice girls melted into one, I think that is the most attractive area. To show off my big personality and space character in a geological way (if you want to talk).” Scratch marks in the left side of his entrance go to the first floor, a table appears in the room with a leather sofa set, dining table on the other side of yen whopping. 4 metres in length and bench, island cooking, open fireplace, decorated party room is perfect for a monkey affair. Huge. Then dining table is removed, the building was renovated and there go all the old woodentops. Up to the second floor for you and a three bedroom experience. Each has a hand job, Tivoli Audio, minimalist modern concept of light and ignorance as to the unity of bedding him.  Upstate New York have a villa Julian has also played with a restaurant there and his bell end of that second house was just a long table full of regret. Fell in love, but not a bell end into the melted part of the story. Because it was already his.

May 28, 2014  • Posted in Announcements, Reflections  •  Tagged with:  •  Leave a comment

… And We Thought it was Moisturizer

I know we called it Bell End but that wasn’t meant as an invitation.

May 5, 2014  • Posted in Reflections  •  Leave a comment

Baker Street Station Buffet

Early Electric! With what radiant hope
Men formed this many-branched electrolier,
Twisted the flex around the iron rope
And let the dazzling vacuum globes hang clear,
And then with hearts the rich contrivance fill’d
Of copper, beaten by the Bromsgrove Guild.

Early Electric! Sit you down and see,
‘Mid this fine woodwork and a smell of dinner,
A stained-glass windmill and a pot of tea,
And sepia views of leafy lanes in Pinner –
Then visualize, far down the shining lines,
Your parents’ homestead set in murmuring pines.

Smoothly from Harrow, passing Preston Road,
They saw the last green fields and misty sky,
At Neasden watched a workmen’s train unload,
And, with the morning villas sliding by,
They felt so sure on their electric trip
That Youth and Progress were in partnership.

And all that day in murky London Wall
The thought of Ruislip kept him warm inside;
At Farringdon that lunch hour at a stall
He bought a dozen plants of London Pride;
While she, in arc-lit Oxford Street adrift,
Soared through the sales by safe hydraulic lift.

Early Electric! Maybe even here
They met that evening at six-fifteen
Beneath the hearts of this electrolier
And caught the first non-stop to Willesden Green,
Then out and on, through rural Rayner’s Lane
To autumn-scented Middlesex again.

Cancer has killed him. Heart is killing her.
The trees are down. An Odeon flashes fire
Where stood their villa by the murmuring fir
When ” they would for their children’s good conspire. ”
Of their loves and hopes on hurrying feet
Thou art the worn memorial, Baker Street.

JB

May 3, 2014  • Posted in Announcements  •  Tagged with:  •  Leave a comment

Stinging Nettle Soup – The Revenge of Four Eyes

For skinny boys with big teeth and Joe 90 specs, danger lurks in every crevice.

When, at age 11, your antecedents pack you off to a boys-only, military boarding school, perched atop the tempest-scorched White Cliffs of Dover, unmanaged by gerontic pederasts and indifferent sociopaths … well, life instantly blossoms into a spastic sprint across a minefield under heavy fire carrying giant balloons of urine dressed as the mascot from El Pollo Loco. The odds of ending up head-first down a prewar toilet with one’s underpants round one’s ankles are about the same as having one’s breakfast sausage taken hostage, rubbed up-and-down some boy’s ass-crack then returned to one’s blazer pocket with the portentous warning that it should be consumed right here, right now, in front of everybody, unless one wants to end up head-first down a prewar toilet with one’s underpants … etc.. Year-in, year-out, across eternity; an infrangible Möbius strip of leering, juvenile savagery.

These are the fables Selwyn Lovely regales us with as he cackles over his steaming cauldron at Table on Ten every Thursday.

Four-Eyes, Specky. 1st Form, Kitchener House

Expunged from Dante’s Inferno at age 18, Specky Four-Eyes is fated to spend the rest of his life wandering the desert of low-grade post-traumatic stress syndrome, flinching at burly men being boisterous in public spaces, avoiding lavatories and breakfast sausages. Given this pathology, it is unsurprising that when Nettle Soup was mooted at a Tuesday ‘what to foist on the public’ huddle, the following exchange was witnessed:

Dutchy : Eh, what’s about Nettle Soup?
Lovely : (one eye twitching) You don’t mean … stinging nettles … right?
Dutchy : Eh? Yes, yes, stinging nettles, they’re in season right now, Katrin’s mom have whole bushes up at Valley View … eh, you okay?
Lovely : (gripping the slop sink with white knuckles) Whole bushes … of … stinging nettles?
Dutchy : Yeah, once of a sudden they are everywhere. I can made nettle pesto too, for special pizza, eh!

But Selwyn’s eyes had fogged over, he was no longer hearing the lilting shh’d s’s, as he vortexed backward down the time-tunnel of his past; to Andy (Bagger) Bowers behind the cricket pavilion after third-form Latin:

Bagger : Three Benson & Hedges after chapel tomorrow or you’re going in the stinging nettles.
Four-Eyes : But Bagger …
Bagger : Don’t ‘but Bagger’ me, you four-eyed cunt. Three Bensons or the stingers. And no trousers n’all.
Four-Eyes : But I don’t smoke …
Bagger : No underpants neither. By the end of Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer. Three. Bensons. Or you’re going to be scratching your knackers with a cheese-grater for a fortnight …

Oh. Those burgeoning, raggéd bushes-upon-bushes of horrid, bottle-green angiosperms. Vast oceans of them, obscene in their fecundity, their awful urchin abundance. With their bristly stalks and hairy leaves, evilly fringed by pinking shears like the snarky mouths of halloween lanterns.  And the fiery plains of white, weeping bumps on one’s buttocks and, oh, the itching, itching, itching …

~•~

STINGING NETTLE SOUP (with a nod to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who looks the kind of boy who might have ended up stuffed in a gym cupboard amongst the medicine-balls with a stalk of stinging nettles protruding from his urethra). Or ~ an opportunity to wreak pyrrhic revenge upon life, by hacking, ripping, scalding, boiling, liquidizing and ultimately eating one’s childhood enemies.

Nettle Soup. You complete bastards

A moment’s food-for-thought: on the sage advice of Catskills foragers, nettles harvested for fresh use (as opposed to being dried for future use) should be picked young, ie before the plants flower. After that they undergo chemical changes which can lead to stomach complaints in people not blessed with dreadnought intestines.

2 full Price Chopper bags of wild stinging nettles – go for young, green growth and for fuck’s sake wear gloves
3 yellow onions, chopped
6 small leeks, washed, chopped into thin roundels
4 sticks of celery, chopped
4 or 5 cloves of garlic, sliced fine
6 tablespoons white long-grain rice
3 litres good (maybe home-made) chicken or vegetable stock
fresh thyme, fine
a little fresh tarragon, fine
plain yoghurt to finish
chives or parsley to garnish

Keeping the gloves on, pluck the nettles and top buds and discard the central stalks. Sluice off the dirt and bugs. Melt the butter, sweat the onions, leeks, celery and garlic together until soft (15 minutes). Add the stock, then the rice.  Bring to a low boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the nettles, thyme and tarragon … it’s going to look like a lot, but nettles wilt theatrically, like spinach, and end up coiled like a dense rope in the broth.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Season well with salt and cracked black pepper. Cool, blend to smooth, carefully reheat, add large dollup of yogurt and a few chives or thin chopped parsley. Serve with hearty, ripped bread.

Revenge, whilst not exactly sweet, is wonderfully robust, green, spinachy and earthy with a unique nettly tang.

January 28, 2014  • Posted in Reflections  •  Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  •  1 Comment

Pastblast – Jerusalem Offertory – Nor Shall his Pork Sword Sleep in his Hand

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

Jerusalem Old City from the roof of the Austrian Hospice

November 13th – shuffled sheepishly through Israeli immigration, enduring a 30-second staring down by an unnervingly Aryan young woman in army fatigues. Last time an attractive girl looked at me like that I was wrapped in duct-tape, breathing through a piece of conduit. Why do I already feel like an imposter on this journey? That at any moment somebody will point and bellow ‘what’s that idiot doing here?’ and the whole grim crowd will turn …? Last night’s ElAl adventure was disconcerting, as if I had boarded the wrong plane: the regular one, in which people watched movies, slept and read books had departed from a different gate. I’d stumbled onto the one where everyone got tarted up like the Nativity, strapped boxes to their heads and vanished under sheets to bob and mumble like citizens of Bedlam. No sign of my special-order bacon-wrapped-scallops and only a sad shake of the attendant’s head when I inquired about Lexi Luvavich’s She Fiddled Me On The Roof, absent from the in-flight entertainment menu. What’s First Class come to? Grey beef like a poached hand, spheroid potatoes scalded into floury eyeballs, ashen green beans that dissolve on the tongue. Syrupy wine redolent of prunes. Almost made me feel guilty for having coerced 200,000 frequent flyer miles out of Micheal McLaughlin, spinning tales of mercy-missions to cleft-palate godchildren in Tegucigalpa sweating under the yoke of pig, bird and ass flu. He would scoff at these Zionist beanstalk-seeds, bartered for so many points, being accustomed to the pan-seared Bengal Tiger and complimentary analingus of China Air’s Tycoon Class. Minibus to Jerusalem was little better, squeezed into the wheel-well by a gentleman whose panoply of loin-fat threatened to overwhelm the entire van, like something from a John Carpenter film. By the time he was levered onto the sidewalk his food vacuole had begun digesting my hand-luggage. Finally expunged from this mobile body-odour laboratory a half-mile shy of the Old City, I sniffed around what gradually revealed itself to be Palestinian East Jerusalem, grimacing, waving off assistance lest my sparrowy chassis be rendered into baba ganoush before I’d squeezed my buttocks through The Damascus Gate. Eventually found rest at the Austrian Hospice, funereal guesthouse-come-convent with high notes of Berchtesgaden, scampering nuns and a drizzle of pallid Christians in teal fleece. Appealing floppy-haired desk-clerk – clearly straight off the seilbahn from Innsbruck – with missionary zeal in his eyes; might have tried to unholster the Lovely Brothers’ 5D but I suspect the Lord would have come between me and the lad’s tumescent weisswürst, staying my trigger finger like Abraham’s over Isaac. And wasn’t that Tomorrow Belongs to Me he was humming as he photocopied my passport? Second floor cell gazing out at a wall. Bed, upright chair, 60-watt bulb. Larkin would grin; though not at that bible, squatting like a toad. Succumbed to godless and lamentably sober exhaustion.

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5.30 am – What in the Aching Arse of Allah is that!?! Black as pitch outside and in. The crepuscular silence is shattered by sudden but sustained metallic wailing, not unlike John Lydon in his Flowers of Romance phase. But so much louder. And more enduring. Did I set my iPhone to Muezzin Shriek last night and accidentally stuff it in my ear? Listening more carefully, am able discern the presence of a second, similar wail, more distant, then another … and another. I lie on my nunnish bed in the dark, picking out each ululation as it weaves in and out of the whole; breaking, recovering in a kind of soaring, plaintive harmony. Part lament, part din, part incantation. I’m kaleidoscoping fragments of Paul Bowles dancing with Scheherazade on the back of my eyeballs. I want to hubble, I want to bubble, to ride camels across dunes with Debra Winger in nothing but a winding-sheet of diaphanous muslin. This is Jerusalem. Alone in a Christian Sanctuary built on Jewish bedrock listening to the Muslim call to prayer. Then just as the voices staggered one-by-one into being, so they cease; the song quieting by degrees to silence. The first blush of dawn rinses the walls of my cell, and I ooze backwards into the ragged embrace of jet-lag.

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Late Morning – Totter shabbily down the steps of the hospice and almost derail a caravan of pilgrims advancing in an imperious pavane down the Via Dolorosa. These are resolutely not the pilgrims of yore, clad in reverential sackcloth-and-ashes: these are Americans in cargo shorts and XXL Sweatshirts that proclaim Jesus Died for MySpace in Heaven and iGod – Who Are You Listening To?. Their taxonomy neatly bisects the pink/porcine and the sallow/bespectacled/studded-with-acne. They are united by the omnipresent fanny-pack and that aspect of pug-nosed sanctimoniousness culled from The Evangelist Handbook on How to Look Pious. At the head of the group is a buttery fatso wielding a mighty cross, doubtless a talisman for warding off unclean Arab traders who line the route trying to flog pairs of plastic praying hands to the suety flock. If there was an inter-faith stylathon played out on the streets of Jerusalem the Christian Evangelists wouldn’t lumber over the first hurdle. Those willowy, fast-moving Hasidic boys in their sharp frockcoats and fedoras leave these asthmatic pachyderms jiggling in their wake.

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The Fourth Station of the Cross, where Jesus purportedly bumped into his Mum (an encounter sadly absent from the Bible) is conveniently situated opposite the door to my hostel allowing me to watch the burlesque whilst munching on the end of an awful croissant. A puddingy hermaphrodite with ginger comb-over edges to the front of the group and falls to his/her knees, blubbering ‘We adore you O Christ and we praise you!’ over-and-over whilst attendant manatees nod in agreement and massage his shoulders as if commiserating with him over a lost pencil. This behaviour is neither alarming nor distressing, merely morbidly embarrassing. Regathering his sullen composure, he is assisted to his feet with grimaces of sympathy and treacly mutterings of ‘bless you, bless you’. It is the kind of infantile exhibitionism that causes one’s innards to spontaneously jellify. I find myself trying to make eye-contact with nearby Arabs to apologise with my eyebrows for Christianity; but they seem unperturbed. They have seen this idiocy before and are impervious to it. I fall into line as the lardy procession trundles up the street to Station Five (the otherwise unheard-of Simon of Cyrene asks Jesus ‘Can I give you a hand with that?’), Station Six (Jesus asks Veronica for a turkey sub) and Seven (Simon the Lisper reveals the sandwich-maker hath no turkey, will a tuna melt do?). The whole thing is, naturally, an utter fiasco. There’s as much chance that Jesus plodded down this mediæval alleyway with or without half a tree on his back as there is of Golda Meir being retroactively elected Pope. But the theatre is delightful and the trinkets are going like hot cakes! I disembark the Ship of Fools and head straight to Station Ten which naturally – it’s where Jesus had his underpants pulled down – turns out to be in a Catholic Chapel within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre itself. To get to this point one is forced to dodge gaggles of peroxided Russian women hurling themselves on all fours, snogging the Stone of Unction – an unctuous slab of hanky-panky set in place 1800 years after the Good Shepherd was purportedly oiled-up on it.

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If the fictional melodramas of the Via Dolorosa seem a bit bananas, the constellation of doolally that litters the Church of the Holy Sepulchre renders them bastions of Kantian Reason. It’s a complete, wonderful fucking nuthouse, my dears. Cave upon cave of sanctified fabulism and goggle-eyed voodoo. We have yer actual Rock of Golgotha, guv’nor, fingerable through a greasy hole in the glass: we have a hunk of yer authentic True Cross, now under lock-and-key since the ever-kissing pilgrims starting nibbling off pieces to take home under their tongues. For those leery of ecclesiastical herpes we have yer verifiable Adam’s Tomb, ooh yes missus, that Adam, handily situated directly beneath the spot where Our Lord was crucified. And if you look carefully through that little window there you’ll see the crack made by the earthquake that spontaneously erupted at the moment of his passing. There’s even a suitably Hogwarts Treasure Room, not in this instance filled with gold doubloons and a parrot squawking ‘Pieces of Eight’. Instead sweetmeats less lurid: St Agatha’s toenails, for instance: the tongue of the infant St Barnabus: John the Baptist’s loincloth: the knobbles of St Galagnus’s scrotum. It is nothing less than a phantasmagorical pre-Renaissance Christian theme park, complete with creaking sound-effects, bizarre pyrotechnics and splendidly costumed and bearded attendants. One almost expects to ride the water-flume into a fiberglass depiction of the Immaculate Uterus. Furthermore, it suppurates and crumbles under the weight of centuries of neglect and internecine rancour. Each pocket of this rotten old Christmas cake is under the rabid protectorate of a different orthodoxy and is jealously coveted by all the others. The Greeks loathe the Armenians who scowl at the Franciscans who kick the Coptics who piss in the chalices of the Syrians. The poor fucking Ethiopians have been exiled to the roof, where they subsist in a cluster of lean-to’s. I swear as I passed through their diminutive chapel I heard a monk whisper ‘you wan’ buy ganja, man?’. The Copts have set up what appears to be a fleamarket booth, glued to the rump of the Holy Edicule, fashioned from wrought-iron gates, brocade curtains and plastic sheeting. It groans with liturgical tchotchke, manual typewriter bodies, Home Pong consoles and those rubber shower attachments that fit onto bath faucets. Inside squats an ornery witch, hacking and passing gas. One false move by any of the bewildering array of combatants and all hell breaks loose. As recently as 2008 the Greeks and Armenians went at it in full vestments over the issue of a monk loitering in a funny way. In 2004 the Greeks and Russians tag-teamed the Franciscans because somebody left a door open. Both cases involved the exchange of ecclesiastical kicks and punches, throwing of artifacts, blood-letting and police intervention. Most wonderfully, in a 2002 reinterpretation of the Christian precept do as Thou wouldst be done by, the Ethiopians opened a can of whoop-ass with the Egyptian Coptics on the church’s roof after a monk moved his chair into the shade on a sunny day. Iron bars and paving stones were put to canonical use, resulting in several hospitalizations. In the run up to the 1989 Feast of the Holy Cross it was rumoured the Armenians had engaged the services of WWF’s Jim (The Anvil) Neidhart in false beard and cassock, to man the dodgy corner by the stairs to Calvary.

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All the competing attractions within the Church, however, pale into insignificance in the face of the eponymous Holy Sepulchre itself. TripAdvisor gives it four-and-a-half thumbs. At the core of a peculiar, dusky, public lavatory-sized crypt – not unlike a rococo rendering of Doctor Who’s Tardis held together by metal girders stamped Bombay Metal Company and isolated at the centre of a chasmal rotunda – lurks Jesus of Nazareth’s one-and-only, honest-to-God tomb (not to be confused with his other one-and-only, honest-to-God tomb, half a mile away, imagined into being by General Gordon of Khartoum whilst sipping Singapore Slings at the American Colony in 1883). Within its marble confines, Gentle Pilgrim, beyond its Hobbity doorway, lies the final resting place of the Lamb of God. Well, that’s not strictly true, what with him hopping that moonbeam to the stars and all … but still … the ultimate, sacred repository of his corporeal self. Christianity’s innermost sanctum. Having diddled the Rock, licked the walls, made out with the floor and sniffed St Sebastian’s leathery foreskin I’ll be damned if I’m leaving without a trip inside Christ’s Big Kahuna.

And so I fall in line behind a beautiful girl and await my turn for rapture. As the queue shuffles forward I cannot help but cast repeated sidelong glances at her. She really is beautiful: clear, unpretentiously elegant, radiating calm and poise, her hair pulled back from her face and tucked sweetly into a headscarf. Albanian? Azerbaijani? I’m already envisioning under-the-table no panty shots when I am struck by a dreadful realisation: that isn’t a headscarf. It’s a wimple. She’s a nun. I’m about to duck into Christianity’s Holiest of Holies and all I can think about is a nun’s vagina? As I crouch to pass through the doorway, she turns, smiles and places her palm on my head, shielding it from glancing contact with the stone lintel. And I want to weep. I’m inside the Holy Edicule with an actual saint and my mind is just one, vast stinking reservoir of turd. I’m sure they can smell it in Tel Aviv. I want to beg her forgiveness and retreat from the crypt, but the space is miniscule, she’s facing away from me and there’s a leopard-printed Ukrainian stabbing at my buttocks trying to get her camera-phone to work in the funereal gloom. A couple of seconds and we are propelled forward through the low gap in the antechamber wall … and we’re in the tiny, candlelit Sepulchre itself, three of us squeezed together like pilchards. My heart is pounding: this is all wrong. And she’s down. Down at my shins. Crumpled, on her knees, her cheek on the small, smooth slab, her hand tenderly stroking the stone, eyes closed, lips mouthing little supplications; pure, transparent, radiant ecstasy. A hundred-thousand secular, snorting mockeries evaporate in an instant. And I am an enormous, hapless Stinkosaurus, annihilated in the presence of such Love.

January 19, 2014  • Posted in Reflections  •  Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  •  Leave a comment

Villanelle

You are the dogshit pressed into my shoe,
I wander down each path and you are there;
At every turn my foot encounters you.

Each day your nasty smell recurs anew,
A fecal bouquet wafting through the air;
You are the dogshit pressed into my shoe.

Every fucking useless thing you do,
Charming as encrusted anal hair;
At every turn my foot encounters you.

I wish you’d fuck right off to Timbuktu,
Be mauled and eaten by a grizzly bear;
You are the dogshit pressed into my shoe.

A rotten piece of bread in the fondue,
A desiccated cat turd on the chair;
At every turn my foot encounters you.

Suppose I took a tub of louse shampoo,
Massaged my life with penitential care;
You’d still be dogshit pressed into my shoe.
At every turn my foot encounters you.

July 9, 2013  • Posted in Announcements  •  3 Comments