Airy Persiflage

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Archive for the 'spoken word' Category

The Cruel Sea, by Mr. Frank Key

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
spoken word, Weird Fiction, Humor | Comments

An unintended Frank Key double header tonight.. as Frank commented on Facebook that he would like to hear me recite THE CRUEL SEA, which is a long string of tortured adjectives from the Hooting Yard website.  Without further, ado, we present:


Ambrose and Signor Ploppo

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
spoken word, odd stuff, Surrealism, Humor, Sardonic Words | Comments

We've been missing the work of Mr. Frank Key here at Airy Persiflage, and the arrival of a recent Hooting Yard podcast suggested the perfect piece to perform with Young Gar.  With Mr. Key's kind permission, we present a dialogue between Signor Ploppo, a man of parts, and Ambrose, a cunning and curd-hungry member of the avian family.


Professor Panini by Matthew Grigg

Monday, July 18th, 2011
spoken word, Weird Fiction, Humor, Science Fiction | Comments


In this humorous (and cautionary) tale, Matthew Grigg spins a story of a man, a duck, a cat and a toaster, and what this all has to do with Buttered Bagels.   Enjoy

How the Old World Died, by Harry Harrison

Thursday, May 26th, 2011
spoken word, Weird Fiction, odd stuff, Science Fiction | Comments

How the Old World Died by Harry Harrison

A self-replicating machine is, as the name suggests, an artificial self-replicating system that relies on conventional large-scale technology and automation. Certain idiosyncratic terms are occasionally found in the literature. For example, the term "clanking replicator" was once used by Drexler[3] to distinguish macroscale replicating systems from the microscopic nanorobots or "assemblers" that nanotechnology may make possible, but the term is informal and is rarely used by others in popular or technical discussions. Replicators have also been called "von Neumann machines" after mathemetician John von Neumann, who first rigorously studied the idea.

In this short story, Harry Harrison depicts a future in a world transformed by Von Neumann machines.

Story: Harry Harrison published as This is how the world ended – and this is what will happen next! in the October 1964 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction.

Read by: Walter O'Hara

Illustration: Walter O'Hara

John and Abigal Adams, a Life in Letters 001

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011
spoken word, History | Comments

John Adams (1735-1826) and Abigail Smith Adams (1744-1818) were a couple that supported each other intellectually and emotionally throughout their long married life together.  Throughout John's long absences, first with the Continental Congress and then as ambassador to France and the Netherlands, they kept up an astonishing correspondence exchanging over 1,100 letters, beginning during their courtship in 1762 and continuing throughout John's political career (until 1801). These warm and informative letters include John's descriptions of the Continental Congress and his impressions of Europe while he served in various diplomatic roles, as well as Abigail's updates about their family, farm, and news of the Revolution's impact on the Boston area.

Some of this correspondence is archived and published here at the Massachusetts Historical Society website.  We will attempt to do this subject some justice.  Thanks to Julie Bellam of Pennsylvania for reading Abigal's letter.

In this letter, Abigal tells John about an excursion on a continental brig, and John mentions an upcoming Declaration that will become a major focus of his life.

I’m a Modern Man, by George Carlin

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011
spoken word, Humor, Sardonic Words | Comments

By George Carlin Read by Walter O'Hara

This is my rendition of the late, great George Carlin's excellent rant on the Modern Age, "I'm a Modern Man"Words viewable here, if you're on Facebook.

I can't do it justice, but I love the piece, so I'll give it a shot.  The backgroun music is once again the excellent Anne Farnsworth, "Coolage", available under a Creative Commons license.  Enjoy

The Golem by Avram Davidson

Thursday, March 17th, 2011
spoken word, odd stuff, Humor, Science Fiction | Comments

In which we read a wonderful short short story by Mr. Avram Davidson, giving us a new twist on an old legend.

The original is a bit long to quote here, but you can read along at the Art-Anima site which has been kind enough to quote the text in its entirety.

Alternative, you can visit SLIDESHARE for the PDF.

I had a fun (and difficult) time conjuring up the voices for this one.  Enjoy!

I Had a Hammer, by Frank Key

Friday, February 4th, 2011
spoken word, Weird Fiction, Surrealism, Humor | Comments


Once again, we visit the twisted world of Mr. Frank Key.  I had planned to do a reading of a dadaist writer that I much revere, but I kept blowing the pronunciation in rehearsal, so back to Mr. Key I went.  It seems fitting, doesn't it?  Frank Key always delivers.  Don't believe me?  Go visit Hooting Yard, you'll see!  Youuuuu'llll seeee!

In this piece, Mr. Key shows us a new twist on an old song.

The Arimaspian Legacy, by Gene Wolfe

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
spoken word, Weird Fiction | Comments

The Arimaspian Legacy is a short story by Gene Wolfe.  It is a fictionalized memoir of a friend, with a twist of an ending.


  • Arimaspians were a tribe of one-eyed bandits from Scythia
  • Gryphons were mythical beasts with the hindquarters of a lion and the head and torso of eagles.  Much used in heraldry.
  • " Haven't you visited Sumer? Hah! Or Akkad? What about Ur?" references ancient cities and modern archeological sites.
  • The story seems to reference this medallion, perhaps..
  • Background music is Kronos Quartet's DEATH IS THE ROAD TO AWE from The Fountain.

The Arimaspian Legacy is hosted online at Infinity Plus short fiction site.

How to De-Fang Your Venomous Serpent, by Frank Key

Friday, January 7th, 2011
spoken word, Surrealism, Humor, Sardonic Words | Comments

In which the humble narrator recites some sound advice from Mr. Frank Key on the issue of defanging venomous serpents of a particularly aggressive demeanor.