Keats and Chapman, inter alia.

1121Keats and Chapman were in New York – ‘on vacation’, as they style it on that side of the Herring Pond. Chapman had always been a great lover of Italian food, and had heard that, outside Italy, the best Italian cuisine was to be found amongst the diaspora in the Big Apple. Consequently he dragged his companion around almost every trattoria and ristorante in the city, or so it seemed.

He declared himself more than satisfied with the standard of the food, except in one respect. Everywhere the companions dined, when Chapman asked for Parmesan cheese, it was served to him in thin shavings. He explained to Keats that he much preferred to be left a bowl of powdery fragments, which he could sprinkle onto his food with the aid of a little spoon.

Keats observed (and this took some time to sink in) that Chapman ought therefore to run for office, on the platform of “making America grate again.”


Detail from ‘The Hands’.

When I was young and pretty, lo these many years, I acted in a handful of erotic movies. We’re talking about the days of rather grainy, 8mm, reel-to-reel film. I told this to Consuela (my Tejana maid), and she asked whether my movies were hardcore or softcore. Well, back then most erotica was heteronormcore* anyway, but not my oeuvres. I remember little about them, except for two things. Firstly depilatory shaving was unheard of, we all looked like we had modelled for Paul Delvaux, and on 8mm I can tell you that meant that the secret grotto was well hidden in the forest. Secondly, I believe that the title of my most successful movie was I Love You, Alice B Topless.

Consuela said she couldn’t claim a similar personal history, but she did have an uncle who was a veterinarian. He specialised in the conditions that affect canine feet, and had written a learned book entitled Hard Paw Cornography.


*Yet another word I thought I had invented, but apparently not.

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