Horror Films

March 21, 2016


We’d discuss our favourite Hammer classic,
Agreed about The Ring – the remake

Nowhere near as scary as the Japanese

Original. You thought video nasties
Had charms, especially those from the mid-80s

Like Driller Killers. Our love of them

Filled every lunchtime and teabreak,
As if the dreary office paperwork

Were splattered with blood, shocking us out of

Our half-asleep day. It lasted a year,
Then I got a job somewhere else. Soon after

You did the same. A few pints, some e-mails,

Then we lost touch. Years now. Our shared passion
For those films wasn’t enough on its own.

We needed more than the power of

Dracula, Wolfman or the Mummy’s Curse.
We needed the power of file, invoice,

Fax, paperclip… Such dull ordinary stuff.

We don’t notice its influence on our lives,
Dismissing it like that strange noise outside,

The one we tell ourselves is just the wind.

Steven Blyth


I invite you to consider
this pot of broth.
Neither meal nor beverage,
it side-steps categorization
with a gentle, but jaunty slop.
Mistress of disguises,
it can sometimes be
stew, chilli, gravy.
Good soup is not made.
It evolves
slowly, lovingly
after multiple simmerings and stirrings,
plus surgical removals of the skin.
Tasted, sampled, consumed,
re-heated and augmented,
absorbing equally
the old and the fresh,
the abandoned and the rediscovered.
Soup can last a lifetime,
granting hope
to cast-aside dinners,
rejected repasts,
the forgotten vegetable hiding
at the bottom of fridge or freezer,
unnamed, unadorned animal parts
your grandmother knew intimately.
Tended, it is a flavour
that keeps on giving, a heritage
of choices and second chances,
bubbling with life
and hidden secrets
and of such potential longevity
it is almost
primeval, eternal soup.
Who knows what
it may become next?


(J.S.Watts is a UK writer. She has published three books: two poetry, Cats and Other Myths and Songs of Steelyard Sue and a novel, A Darker Moon. Her second novel, Witchlight is came out in 2015. See HERE)

Without Goodbyes

March 21, 2016


(for Karen)

An eternal white corridor;
my mother retreating,
leaving me with a too-large bed
with medical-mint bed-spread.
She blurs to a Lowry figure.
The corridor cuts and incises
then magnifies her stiletto sounds
to a music I still hear.

Bethany Rivers

(Bethany Rivers has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Cardiff University. She has previously been published by Cinnamon Press, Bare Fiction and Scintilla (USA). She is currently working on her first full collection of poetry, and teaches creative writing.)




The shorter man put his lips to Gust’s ear. ‘Pain,’ he whispered. ‘You got any idea what pain is?’

‘You bet,’ said Gust. ‘It’s like bad breath or an old pouf, and it hangs around too long the same way you do.’

Derek Raymond
Brand New Dead


Yet another Mind enriching post from:
Peedeel’s Blog
smut, literature,
voodoo, hoodoo &
so much more!

Jeanne Mammen-Karneval

Diary 21st March

Almost every year the Government of the UK spends more than it raises in tax. Currently the “deficit” is £1.56 trillion. This equates to 81.58% of total GDP. The interest the Government has to pay on this debt £43 billion.

There is much confusion between the above National Debt and the Government Budget Deficit. The current Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne has pledged to produce a budget surplus when the economy is growing. Any reduction in the Government Budget Deficit will not impact on the National debt as outlined above, which is set to continue to grow over the next few years at least. This Government Budget Deficit is a snapshot of how the country’s finances are doing in any one year. The National debt takes into account what has happened in the past.

If anyone, politician or otherwise, tells you “the debt has fallen” they’re lying or mistaken. It hasn’t.

An easy way to compare debt levels across different countries is to express debt as a percentage of total economic output, or GDP, which is why you’ll hear commentators regularly talk about the debt-to-GDP ratio. Obviously this has risen sharply since 2007.

Currently the UK’s National debt expressed as GDP is lower than France’s, Germany’s, Belgium’s, the Netherlands, Italy’s or Japan’s…So, yes, our debt is going up, but it’s still lower than it’s been for many years this century, and it’s a damn site lower than in many other similar sized economies. Just 6p in every pound of spending went on paying off debt last year, compared to 8p in 1996.

Certain politician’s like to compare the UK’s budgetary arrangements to an individual’s household management. This, of course, is crap. If, for example, a householder cuts down on their supermarket spend, they don’t have to worry about what happens to the supermarket. But if the government decides to economise by cuts in the building of new schools and hospitals, they don’t simply get a straightforward saving. There are knock-on effects that can be more damaging to the economy than the benefits of the cut to the public finances.

What is certain is that cuts in public finances will reduce economic growth. So the best way to cut the deficit is to encourage growth, not cut benefit payments to the disabled or disadvantaged. Which is not only wrong, it’s morally reprehensible.

Why is the UK government doing this?

The real reason has a lot to do with ideology: the Tories are using the Government Budget Deficit as an excuse to downsize the welfare state. But the official rationale is that there is no alternative to this, which is, of course, bollox.

Another deficit myth is ‘the burden on future generations’ – ‘we leave this huge debt for our children to repay’. More bolloxs. Provided the debt is mainly held by British citizens (as it is currently), there is no net loss of income from any debt repayment: “it is a matter of future taxpayers repaying future bondholders.”

Thus endeth the lesson.
“Right-of-centre think tank Policy Exchange has called for an £800 road tax levy on diesel cars…”

(taped laughter)

Ha ha ha…Good luck with that one, mates!

‘Air pollution is overwhelmingly a diesel problem,’ said Policy Exchange’s Richard Howard. ‘On average they emit six times more NOx than the latest petrol vehicles…’

Yeah, I know and I wouldn’t own a diesel car if you paid me. The EU are looking at the problem and no doubt will come up with similar proposals. But it’ll be a bloody brave UK government to whack-up road tax to 800 squid!
Madonna’s in the news for exposing a fan’s tits at her Brisbane concert the other day. At least she didn’t show off her own. We should all be grateful for these small mercies…