Because Students Should Stay in Libraries Where They Belong

A Yankee in Oxford
   gets nothing but scoff
She sits on a wall
    they tell her, "Get off."
She calls to the birds
    they think her a fool
While she thinks the English
     are painfully dull.


I swear I just got scolded by Professor McGonagall.  Ten seconds on the wall, and she swooped down from nowhere like the Guardian Spirit of Conformity.  So I had to write a poem to vent.  I don't really think you're all dull, my English friends.

Also, I'm not sure I consider myself a "Yankee," per se.  That's really more of a New England thing.  The more you know.

A Faded Flower

A faded flower is placed upon my desk
and I for far too long have watched it die
with fragrances of beauty and unrest,
but if I could revive it, how would I
preserve its every petal, or would try,
and every fleeting moment of delight
and every half-forgotten lullaby.
I'd nightingale a thorn, if such a rite
would dawn them all restored, new-blossomed in the night.

Above on shelves of dusty-honored age
a multitude of knowledgeable works
deplore my guileless fancies and engage
my thoughts with noble tugs and stubborn jerks
towards venerable heights, and promised perks
of pleasures wrought by words that might fulfill
my every mental craving, yet there lurks
the flower far beneath them, fading still.
The textbooks are my way, the flower is my will.

And so enjoined in mutual decay
I turn the page with ever-younger mind
while stem and stalk and eyesight waste away
and loves and lullabies are left behind.
I buy them in the market when I find
a worthy batch - I buy them, just a few.
Though dusty books will be here all the time
the fragile things of life are passing through.
Replace the faded flower, it's me that I renew.

Oxford Graffiti #1

Bathroom scrawls are a Oxford.  They never fail to amuse me.  Here are some that I've come across lately:

1.  "Why are Oxford boys such twats?"

2.  "What did the Mexican duck say?  Guac, guac."

3.  "D.H. Lawrence: What a cock.  Discuss."

4. "Why is there graffiti here? It's against the law."

5.  "Prove that I'm a lawyer"
"You are a lawyer.  Disprove it."
"That isn't how the burden of proof works.  Hope your finals aren't coming up."
"Where's the case?  All it is is a statement.  And burden of proof is different according to where it's being applied and regularly shifts."
"...Do something social tonight."

From the Vaults - JPG Artifacts #2

Today I say "meh" and revert to unicorns.


*click to enlarge*


It's Just That Kind of Place

Warning!  Mad blogging ahead!  I'll be catching up with my first year in Oxford over the summer, but at the moment I'm still trapped in the clutches of exam time.  "It's the most wonderful tiiiime...of the year..."

In the meanwhile, here's a picture of...a carriage on a truck.  They were filming a movie.  This happens quite a lot around here.  You're walking along, thinking about groceries, when suddenly Marie Antoinette or a man in a Pink Panther costume comes prancing around the corner.  (Fact.)

That'll be Oxford for you.  (Portland friends, you know what I'm talking about, am I right?)

From the Vaults - JPG Artifacts #1

In a moment of weakness, I nearly swear.

(click to enlarge)

Mr. Blogspot's Very Bad Day

Dear Blogger,

I hate your new format.

But "hate" is not a nice word.  Let me rephrase:  I deeply, violently dislike it, navigating through it in ways that explore new shades of frustration and hopelessness, my aesthetic soul shrivelling like burnt hair whenever I see its vast unused amounts of dead white space and its hospital-waiting-room color scheme and its infinitely useless button links that do things like "Insert Jump Break!"  I do not need a jump break.  I need a workable text window that fills more than 1/3 of the screen.  I need clarity.

Please get on that.  There's a great site you can use as an example of elegance and user-friendliness.  It's called Blogger circa 2010.

Thanks, signed-
Fifteen Feet.