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This report is taken from PN Review 199, Volume 37 Number 5, May - June 2011.

From the Bow-Wow Shop 4 Michael Glover
Rats

This morning a quorum of Oxford academics with full voting rights proposed that a deceased rat recently discovered in a sewer sixty-four kilometres to the east of Old Tom be nominated for the vacant role of Oxford Professor of Poetry, a position which requires any beast, whether living or dead, to deliver six lectures every academic year. Derek Walcott was not available for comment. His spokesman, a local fisherperson, said, quite categorically, that there had been no sighting of a rat on St Lucia for the past one hundred and seventy-three years.

photograph of a rat climbing
Photograph courtesy of Richard Deacon

Nevertheless, culturally aspirational rats are evidently on the increase. According to a recent issue of the London Independent, rat droppings were recently discovered in actors' make-up at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London's West End. Outraged actors persuaded Equity to undertake an immediate investigation. 6,000 manhole covers were raised within hours. It has also been said - though not independently verified - that a large, handsome rat in full morning dress had been seen either entering or leaving the Prime Minster's office during increasingly sensitive negotiations sur­rounding the Laureateship.


Neither Indoors nor Out of Doors

It was a day like many other days in the summer time in Lower Manhattan. The quality of the heat in that Vietnamese restaurant just off Fifth Avenue, just around the corner from Washington Square, where a hippy was happily beating ...


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