Goat Notes

Journal of the Goat in the Machine

Nature's Bounty
(This poem is brought to you courtesy of one too many forage enthusiasts being Wrong on the Internet about the merits of nomming on random bits of black nightshade, which totally hasn't killed them yet - how do you like them beans, Mr Fancypants So-Called Expert!?!?)

Nature's Bounty

The food we find in hedge and ditch
Is not to everybody's taste -
But still, it forms a treasure which
The Wise will hardly want to waste!

If okra you cannot afford
But mucilage be your delight,
The common mallow, much ignored,
Boils down to slime, so that's alright!

Or if the nectar of the vine
Is something that you've lately missed,
The daisy makes a kind of wine,
And that will also get you pissed.

Ah! Now the daisies drown your brain,
And mallow lubricates your guts,
On Nature's aid you call again!
(I'm sure I heard you cry out, "Nuts!")

So why's a Wimpy in my hand?
Because it's natural, right and good -
And this the Wise will understand,
'Cos I just found it in the wood!

This entry originally posted on Dreamwidth at http://caper-est.dreamwidth.org/101131.html - comments preferred there, if you have a foot in both camps.

And Dream of Sheep
(This actually, or at least oneirically, happened the other week. No sheep were harmed in the production of these Zs. May contain traces of poetic licence.)

And Dream of Sheep

I swam to surface, from the deep
And dodgy currents of a dream
Which I fell into, counting sheep
To rustle later by the gleam
Of moonlight on the haunted moor...
(The honest count was such a bore!)

...I dreamed my mafiosi kin
Had come to sponge a sandwich lunch.
They plotted sheep-related sin
While we spread peanut butter crunch
And whetted knives to carve the beef,

Who kept distracting me from what
I absolutely had to do -
To write a fairy-story, that
Would necessarily come true,
And overthrow the Government,
And crown a King who wasn't bent.

I wrote it up between the beers
And sandwiches. The sequel came,
And so I joined the mutineers
Who rose in the Republic's name!
I would have left it there and then,
But I'd already sold Book Ten...

...To daybreak's edge across the moor
I ran from fifty feral lords
Who wished to dunk me in my gore -

Since this has come of counting sheep,
I'll try a nightcap, next, for sleep!

This entry originally posted on Dreamwidth at http://caper-est.dreamwidth.org/100952.html - comments preferred there, if you have a foot in both camps.

Waiting for Download
(Disclaimer: This poem is a work of fiction. Any actual or fancied resemblances to real people, products, events, phenomena, or yawning voids in the very fabric of customer service are purely coincidental. I WISH!)

Waiting for Download

I buy a game, or just a tool
From someone on the internet -
And very shortly, you can bet
That I'll be flustered like a fool.

There's first the purchase to get through.
Because the checkout from the site
Is modelled on an all-in fight
With hordes of monkeys throwing poo.

At last to take my cash they deign,
And then I have to verify
That I am not a Russian spy
And promise never to complain

In case their download steals my stash
Before my promised bits arrive.
"I do!" The wires have come alive!
I'll have my program in a flash!

A big downloader! Whoop-di-do!
It upsells me the Brooklyn Bridge!
"Fuck off!" I cry - and hit the fridge
For pizza while the bits crawl through

The lines, like ants on treacle trails.
I eat the pizza, read a book,
Write twenty sonnets, catch a crook,
And fall asleep. The download fails.

I talk to umpteen helpline drones,
And do it all again, upon
The chance I knew not "Off" from "On".
Their best advice is "Roll the bones

Until by lucky chance you win!
Our server runs on MS-DOS,
And no-one knows, or gives a toss,
What kind of state it's gotten in.

"Thank you for calling!" "Thanks a lot!"
I write a script to roll the dice,
And come back home, to this advice:
"Get stuffed. We know you're just a bot!"

I take a month's vacation time,
And type in captchas all day long,
Until - this hour shall live in song! -
THE DOWNLOAD ENDS!!! And so, my rhyme

Shall end! ELEVENTY, IN LIGHTS!!111!!!!
I've got it! - Oy! What's this? "Please wait:
Godot.com needs to update.
Downloading: Ninety terabytes...."


My avatar called from the Moon
To say my app is starting soon.

This entry originally posted on Dreamwidth at http://caper-est.dreamwidth.org/100698.html - comments preferred there, if you have a foot in both camps.

The Gardener's Rubaiyat

The Gardener's Rubaiyat

The garden's getting brambleful again.
The Rat Command has launched its Spring campaign.
I bring out my machete and my cat -
And then the clouds deliver this month's rain.

Where once were roses, now their rambling kin
Rise up to hug me, kissing cheek and chin
And leaving bloody lip-prints, which my wife
Is wont to cite as evidence of sin.

These doghouse days deserve a manly shed,
To keep my tools, and (at a pinch) my bed.
Alas! It's been co-opted for a lair
By That from which the Fighting Rats have fled.

The floods flash past, and leave but dust and drouth,
And memories of moisture in the mouth.
The Shed-Thing humps my building on its back,
And shambles off to seek the shady South.

My corky cactus tells me what to do,
And sails to seek the deserts, where it knew
A kind of loving in those five-year storms -
I storm, "Screw this!", and build a barbecue.

The slugs have found the Stella. Kenny Brown
Is chucking drunk. The Rat-King wins renown
By rustling all the grill-steaks while we row.
The cat applauds. The heavens burst. We drown.

The garden's full of brambles, bine and all.
My wife and I discuss our plans for Fall.
What beds we work on won't be out of doors!
The careful toads build ramparts on the wall.

This entry originally posted on Dreamwidth at http://caper-est.dreamwidth.org/100400.html - comments preferred there, if you have a foot in both camps.

The Bridge to the Bridge of the Night
three katherines of allingdale

The Bridge to the End of the Night: 475 words of, eh, bridging passage, summarizing a long and often hair-raising afternoon's conversation, whose details I don't want to dump upon the reader beyond giving the general context and flavor.

The voice of this story, like many others in the Kateverse, comes out rather more archaizing in the first draft than it probably ought to be on completion. There's a quote with Katy talking overly like Katy-from-her-own-legend, and I'll want to amend that on the first-pass revision I'll perform on the Prologue once I've finished it.

The theme of the uttermost bridge pervades this tale in various guises, and I think the climactic scene I'm leading up to here is going to contain its first appearance, or at least its strong foreshadowing.

This entry originally posted on Dreamwidth at http://caper-est.dreamwidth.org/100251.html - comments preferred there, if you have a foot in both camps.

There's a Skunk at My Picnic, What Am I Gonna Do?
three katherines of allingdale
The Bridge to the End of the Night: 750 words, and the second scene finished. Prologue is now three scenes. Selkish politics has been talked. Katy giving advice to people determinedly loyal to their lords is always going to be the skunk at the picnic.

Now I've set up what's about to happen, all I have to worry about is writing the pay-off.

This entry originally posted on Dreamwidth at http://caper-est.dreamwidth.org/100032.html - comments preferred there, if you have a foot in both camps.

Feconomics! A No Shit Manifesto
"These revolutionary posts will change the economic platitudes of a generation!" - Daily Stenograph

In these recessionary times, there's one thing that's never been in bigger demand - armchair economic punditry! Whether it's cutting through the forest of futilitarian facts with the trusty machete of timeless folk wisdom, or whomping up a super sciencey argument for why Master should be counter-intuitively congratulated for giving the dog a good kicking, we are living through a paradigm-asploding age of unprecedented economic explaininess! Could this unquenchable public demand for Genuine Knowledge Advantage™ ironically become the very consumer-spending kickstart that bumps our anxious society out of the surly slough of a quintuple-dip depression!?!!!

Sadly, nope.

"What is this shit?" - Ickenham & District Sciolist-Intelligencer

And that is why we need a new kind of popular economics writing - I call this Feconomics, with an eye to the failure of popular oeconomics writing to occur anywhere anyhow ever. It absolutely ought not to be confused with any other movement which may sound accidentally similar. The subject matter of Feconomics!!eleventy!!!™! is divided, like my arse, into two parts:

(1) Such economic notions, simplifications, and slogans as make useful foundations or provocations in the academy, and thereby make the roses grow; but in the workaday world serve no purpose except to foul the turbines at which they are projected. These are mostly deployed to make complex problems sound trivial.

(2) Processed economix food product - real, pure, clear-quill Frankfurtian bullshit. This is mostly deployed to make a complex and intractable problem out of the fact that some bastard is kicking your dog.

"This Goat Thinks Your Economic Clichés Are Killing You" - Clickbait Platinum Preferred Reviews

So. There may be a few posts coming along with this tag, as I happen across the raw material from time to time.

Feconomics™. Because we're up to our arms in it...

This entry originally posted on Dreamwidth at http://caper-est.dreamwidth.org/99808.html - comments preferred there, if you have a foot in both camps.

Nor Back Into Storyland Giants Have Fled
three katherines of allingdale
The Bridge to the End of the Night:  1,150 words.  It seems the Prologue is two scenes, not one - problem propounded, problem resolved, or at least problem resolved to be attacked from a newly promising angle.  Well into the second scene now.  The long summer evening is paling over smoky-tenemented Sellawick, and Katy's partner is showing us his mettle.  Even I sometimes forget just what he is and can be: I've seen him in no such mood since that day on Maltby Edge, two dozen years in his future, and two years ago for me.  I do believe I've missed him.

This entry originally posted on Dreamwidth at http://caper-est.dreamwidth.org/99450.html - comments preferred there, if you have a foot in both camps.

The Stardust She Shook from Her Shoes
three katherines of allingdale
The Bridge to the End of the Night: 590 words.  Katy is annoyed by astrology, and we get our first hint of how much even the 'happy' part of her genuinely happy 'ending' cost her.  There are reasons she is so adamantly defending the fairly nice life she has against the fairy-tale fulfilment she walked out on at the end of her Deed.  And I'm beginning to see another reason she is going to do the decisive thing she does at the end of this Prologue.  It's not in her nature to refuse this particular call for help - but she can't afford to get sucked back into any of this ichor-and-starfire nonsense, either.

Which is why she is going to set up this story - and ultimately be more affected by it than she can now imagine - without actually being a part of it, beyond this section and the Epilogue.

Hard set-up is hard.

This entry originally posted on Dreamwidth at http://caper-est.dreamwidth.org/99258.html - comments preferred there, if you have a foot in both camps.

O, Weary Wull's to Katie Come, the Deils at His Heels
The Bridge to the End of the Night: 500 more words last night, of the bookend-story which comprises the Prologue and Epilogue. A respectable merchant's wife of Sellawick finds out what two uninvited visitors want from her. It is not exactly insignificant. There may be no rest for the wicked, but there seems to be even less leisure for the good. A rough draft of a tense and dangerous conversation, which I shall certainly redraft as soon as it's finished. At the moment I just need to get it all out onto the page. It's good to be working with old friends again!

This entry originally posted on Dreamwidth at http://caper-est.dreamwidth.org/98947.html - comments preferred there, if you have a foot in both camps.


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