facing up to facts ; my god what have i done uninvented the wheel mislaid a chocolate orange ; spilt sump oil on paper; found still life in plaster cast contorted red onion; wearing no knickers show house trial ordeal; Post morteM Queries squirrels (part of a series they say; poor old dearies battle it out hard at war; halcyon daze escapes them; hangs 'em up high in the fatuous sun, no point quibbling over timespace; escape to the as was suntrap shed on sleepy rusty wheels; heliotropic heads turn waltzers ship alight fandango with a gypsy melody; lights on no ones in did you get in the bin and prod the lazy daisies; neither toil nor sow these days; shell shock of the toe I guess; either the way what's new? uncross your legs when I'm talking to you your making the place look tidy & that's quite enough of that they say if you don't use it you lose it so that doesn't matter if you suss you never had it in the first place Listen to me I'm talking to you who shut down the voices they were my only friends I do not have a mobile phone as I am static funny five minutes get over it think about Portsmouth beating a villain don't cross your legs I said as if you were watching telly downstairs day in day out self medicated to the spot or doodling in your picture books and playing with your paintset this is an almighty kick up the ass I am you giving while trying not to cross your legs like I said not to... I arrive in early January. Frustration has been building up in Portsmouth since the brief burst of anticipation that followed Myrtle Swinburne's assumption of the presidency in November. As the months went on and no obvious changes took place, as unemployment failed to fall and the currency swung wildly, the urban areas in particular grew increasingly angry. My mate Marmite, who works for an international organisation in Shiloh, said head riots were predicted before the end of the rainy season. The rainy season ends in April. The city didn’t even make it close. Portsmouth was both bully and victim, cruel and pitiable. He whipped his horses mercilessly, and sometimes his underlings too. He tortured his oxen, knocking them on their heads with an axe he had made specially for that purpose, and roaring with laughter when they bellowed in agony. Sticking frogs with the prong of a fork was another of his pastimes. Domestic servants he disliked were held down and forced to drink beer mixed with jalap and mustard, while others were fed with nothing but water-gruel and mustard for a week. He threw himself on one of his coachmen with such force that he broke the man’s leg. If a child who passed him in the street did not raise his hat, Portsmouth would order him to be slain. When the United Irish rebellion of 1798 raged around his Wexford estates, he wrote to an uncle that his tenants had been appropriately slaughtered and his estate laid to waste. All he seems to have cared about, however, was the impact of the loss of rent on his finances, which he used as an excuse for not helping his uncle out with a gift of money. From an Irish viewpoint, the Portsmouths were archetypal absentee landlords, a phenomenon that would contribute a century or so later to the ousting of that class from its dominant position in the country.