I’m listening to No Surprises 

by Radiohead and I can  

relate to the song, despite 

Thom Yorke’s terrible diction 

which verges on drawling. 

It’s like listening to a  

dirge-lullaby or a romantic  

funeral song, and I have to 

look up the lyrics.  

Yes, no alarms and no 

surprises, and I mean it,  

unlike those Insta-popular, 

histrionic, selfie-takers 

who champion it, but  

love the glory, adulation, 

and the 3 Michelin Starred  

meal that comes with them.  

I’ve led a depressing life,  

a lonely, ostracised one,  

reading non-fiction books 

on Modernism to kill time. 

What the hell is wrong with  

me? Why should I care 

if Hulme believed in human  

depravity, or if Eliot wrote  

something nobody understands 

using myriad characters and  

innumerable voices, or if 

Pound misinterpreted some  

essay on the Chinese alphabet. 

They were all anti-democratic, 

elitist snobs anyway.  

It’s not like I’m writing  

a thesis and even if I were,  

I’m not going to  

sit and read Ulysses. 

The only worse fate I can  

think of is doing it on  

the beatniks, those weird 

guys who stared at each other 

after they snorted coke or  

whatever and aimed at  

telepathically connecting  

or reaching some otherworldly  

realm. Yes, Eric Cartman, 

I hate hippies, too.

Anyhow, I’m exhausted  

and I’ve reached a stage 

where I’ve fallen in love  

with my loneliness.  

Or have I? I guess it’s okay  

as long as I’m euthymic, 

without some bizarre train  

of thought bursting forth  

like lasers fired, urging me  

to write, write, write,

or some despondent meh 

mood asking me to  

give up and yada yada yada. 

A constant strumming of  

a minor chord, filling me with  

ache until I eat,  

order a burger and fries 

and then pork chops  

and then mutton  

and then chicken  

and you get the drift…  

and yes, I’m unapologetically fat.

So yeah, no alarms and no  

surprises, and no batshit  

weirdness straight from  

the pages of Annihilation  

or some other Jeff VanderMeer 

book. We should replace 

Kafkaesque with VanderMeerish. 

Don’t you think the former is 

dated and redundant?  

While we’re at it, 

we should also ban the word 

petrichor. Ah! The sweet, 

pungent smell of the earth  

after the rain! How could you  

possibly ban such a beautiful 

word? Oh, I could 

list several words we 

should ban. Muse, poetess,  

beautiful, dusk and dawn

are a few.  

Anyhow, here’s me signing  

off. No alarms and no surprises 

or whatever the guy’s singing  

in a high-pitched, falsetto moan.




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