Pop Surrealism


Dino Valls



Prick Teaser!


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A general definition of Prick up your ears is “to begin listening attentively” – Listen hard! Listen up! – and derives from the ability of dogs and horses amongst other animals to lift up their ears, to make them stand erect, in order to hear more clearly.

Francis Bacon used the idiom in 1626 in his Essays on Fame:  “Look how many feathers she hath, so many eyes she hath underneath; so many tongues; so many voices; she pricks up so many ears.

The allusion to the erectness of, shall we say, a gentleman’s paraphernalia and the similar Cock an ear are the source of the slang terms ‘prick’ and ‘cock’ for penis.

It’s fair to say that Penis up your ears doesn’t quite work and it’s only when the Dutch word for penis is introduced (Pik) do we begin to get somewhere close to the gist of the matter in hand – Pik up your ears!

Pik = Penis = Prick

Now, having got the definitions straight, I must say that the word Prick is, I believe, much under-used.  In my view, when it comes to profanity, Prick is up there with Cock, Fuck and Bollocks, all of which, incidentally, have a Dutch flavour to them.

So.  Let us resurrect this ancient term of derision and contempt!  Let us scatter our profanities willy-nilly upon the ever growing number of deserving candidates: Trump? He’s a prick. Cameron? He’s a prick too.  Merkel?  Now that’s a hard one.  Oh go on then, yeah, she’s a prick.  Obama? An incidental prick, maybe.  Assad? Evil prick.  Netanyahu?  Out and out evil prick. . . . etc. etc. etc.

I think the point is made.


Here’s some reviews of my latest book:  Swell

(C) Rivenrod 2015
Music: TubThumping by Chumbawamba    Picture:  “PrickPig” by WhoTheFuckCares


Skyscape I


At a time when, for the majority of us, life has been made dysfunctional and disquieting, I am becoming increasingly fascinated by the power and majesty of the natural world.

We can learn a lot from the sky, not just from its ever changing vastness and the fact that it’s the skin which wraps the Earth but also from its tranquility when chaos reigns beneath, on Earth.  It is an amalgam of such magnificent beauty whilst it sails over so many landscapes ruined by humankind’s ignorance and greed.

Above all, I think, the sky enlivens hope in humanity.

Painting by Rivenrod in acrylic and oils on cotton canvas.  (C) Rivenrod 2016

Finding Captain Jack

Impotence: A metaphor for the modern age

RustyColanderCharlie wanted it loud. Loud enough to jump start the city, startle it back to the life he thought he could remember.
He cupped his hands over his ears and worked his lungs like industrial bellows, sucking every last molecule of oxygen from the space confined by those dripping walls until his head seemed to invert. Yellow worms escaped to the drains, darting in disorderly zig-zags from bloody black burrows drilled into the brick and stone. He sucked. His sinuses whistled, his eyeballs slipped anchor and slowly began to gyrate, swimming in warm vitreous tar, scuffing the rims red. When there was no more capacity for air within his jaundiced frame, he juddered. Bones, unsettled, clanked. Shoulders and arms unhinged, stripped of muscle, twanged and vibrated like plucked rubber bands, with increasing speed. Displaced blood forced through narrowing canyons dashed against tendons and hummed to a skidding, rising crescendo.

All around him was silence. Amongst those crowding him, those who breathed to live, and they were few, gnawed at what remained of the thick, hot air, harvesting as much into their burning lungs as they might hold.

Charlie pursed his lips – “any second now, boys” – came a still small voice from the crowd which heaved like a poisoned monk vomiting into a toilet bowl. Charlie flung out his arms – “Here it comes!”  He arched his back and, for all he was worth, gave vent.

But, and the BUT was a mighty full-stop because when it came the yell was no louder or more impressive than a fly’s fart in an egg cup.

(C) Rivenrod 2016

The Stone Faced Fish


I sketched as she told me of her dream:

the cup of tea,
the stone faced fish,
the mulberry leaves set to fall…
my colours were chosen for her alone
but I know she will sigh
then speak slow words like these:
yours is a life lived without metaphor,
guileless you offer me your shoddy
as if it were a gift to give.
I could never love you.
At that point I will cry
then freeze those tears to use on some other woman.

A poem by Paul Tobin  (Visit MagpieBridge)

Trumped up!

Tomato#webThere is an expression in the English language – “trumped up” – meaning false or unsubstantiated.  A “trumped up” person is a jackass, a person who foregoes no opportunity to broadcast the image of superiority they have of themselves.  A loud-mouthed twit with notions of their own competence way above their capabilities.

The moniker “Trumped up” seems to sit easily with this Donald Trump character we read so much about here in the UK at the moment.  If you didn’t know, he’s one of the Republican prospective Candidates for the Presidential elections in America (sigh!). Continue reading

“Sine cera!” So much more than a painful Brazilian

SineCeraWords, how can we not love them?

We give birth to them whenever we open our mouths and speak. Since before recorded history they have been with us, laughed with us, cried with us and grown old with us. They are a large part of what differentiates us as sentient creatures, as a species, as different races from many ethnic origins.

Passions, needs and desires were the first expressions of universally understood words whilst it is thought that the first written words were devised to communicate laws and instructions for living. Over time, words have become one of the most significant and most efficient means of controlling large numbers of people.

Single words can pertain to something unique while two words conjoined often impart meaning greater than the sum of parts. Two such words are sine and cera. Sine from the Latin (sin) meaning without and Cera which means waxwithout wax.

At least two derivations may be gleaned from the joined words. Sine cera, in one sense has come to mean authentic, real, faithful and original. Whilst also in another sense it pertains to honesty, trust and sincerity.

In ancient times, Romans described their most precious works of original art as being Sincere (Without Wax).  This derives from a technique employed by unscrupulous dealers to increase the value of marble sculptures.  As marble ages so tiny cracks appear in the patina which would be filled with wax to make them indistinguishable from new and thus command higher prices. Ironically, in the 21st Century, classical works which have not been tampered with and which are consequently cracked and uneven tend to be considerably more valuable.

A further meaning of Sine Cera is derived from letter writing and the safe, or trusted, carriage of documents. In days long gone, letters and deeds of trust were sealed with wax, this seal to be broken only by the recipient. The contents of these documents were private and the carriers, being mostly strangers, should not, as a matter of honour, break the seal (break their trust).  On the other hand, a document without a seal of wax, often signed Yours sincerely (Yours without wax), implies that those entrusted with its safe delivery, as well as the recipient, were sincere, trustworthy and honest.

The new book by Rivenrod: Swell in digital and paperback formats available everywhere . . .

SwellWebSiteWidget(C) Rivenrod 2016