Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Submissions Portcullis is Open’d!

The portcullis of THE FLEA Broad-sheetes is now rais’d, and Yr Horrible & Obedient Editor is entertaining poetic Submissions during the next monthe or there-aboutes; therefore, Authors wishing to submit poetic Effusions of a somewhat metaphysical complection for Editorial consideration may consult the Principles of Submission, situated at this address on the Ætheric Inter-nette; viz.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Timely Announcement

The submissions Portal of THE FLEA will swing creakily open on 22nd December 2010, that being one Yeare and a Day since it laste faste clos’d. THE FLEA expecteth to remain open to poetickal Submissions for at least one month past that daye of December 22nd; thereafter, when Yr Hmble Editor may opine that sufficient worthy Poems have accumulated to keep this Metaphysicalzine a-hopping and a-popping for the next few terms, the Portal will again slam dustily shut. Poems accepted during this reading period will not necessarily be publish’d in the very first Broadsheet of 2011, but will appear in various issues over the first six Monthes of that year.

THE FLEA calls for no enforc’d Theme in workes submitted to it. It prefers to dine on formal verse, but does not revile well-crafted vers libre, in the style favour’d in the Virginia colonies & among some Continental versifyers. The tiny Insecte’s own Proboscine Instincte for what pleaseth it well, must remaine, as from its very inception, its principal Criterion in chusing meete Verses to exhibit within these Broadsheets; but Poetry which toucheth happily on matter or style congenial to our late glorious Elizabethan Age, or to our modern Jacobean reigne, will invite the keene attention of Yr Hmble Bug-Ey’d Editor; as moreover, for the general, will verses that do not resile from complex Allusion, unexpected Imagery, or darkness of poetick Style. THE FLEA ever strives to chuse poetry which shines with exuberant Witte, daring Conceites, & fine intellectual Play, & which is express’d with exquisite imagistic & emotional Modulation. But no doctrinaire Orthodoxy may be discern’d in THE FLEA’s selection regime; merely the sharpe glimmer of the sotte-weede sodden Editor’s capricious Whim and consider’d Judgment.

THE FLEA has been justly endors’d and celebrated by Poets, Criticks & Wittes, from our far-flung colony of New York, even unto Shepton Mallet, and beyond! It boasts an extensive & gentle Readership, having published numerous widely-fam’d Authors, epical, lyrical, mediatative & metaphysickal; shining Luminaries of the vary’d Poetickal-Celestial Spheres.

Therefore, Ye Poets, Bards, Vates, Native-Wittes, University-Wyttes, Gentlemen, Lords & Ladies, Clerkes, Scriveners, Roaring-Boyes, Roaringe-Girls, Tom o'Bedlams, Abraham Men, Upright Men, Dells, Doxies, Cony-Catchers, Bawdie-Baskets, & all the vary’d ranks & degrees of the Canting Crewe — take up your Quills! Invoke the Muse, and cunnyngely compose, with an Eye ever fix’d to thys bright Portal of Poetickal Opportunity!

Yrs &c,

Paul Stevens B.A. (Hons), Dip.Ed, Fellowe of the Royal Society of Alchymists & Astrologers

Friday, December 3, 2010

Robert Hooke, Micrographia: Of a Flea



Physiological Descriptions







By R. HOOKE, Fellow of the ROYAL SOCIETY.

Non possis oculo quantum contendere Linceus,
Non tamen idcirco contemnas Lippus inungi.
Horat. Ep. lib. 1.


LONDON, Printed by Jo. Martyn, and Ja. Allestry, Printers to the ROYAL SOCIETY, and are to be sold at their Shop at the Bell in S. Paul's Church-yard.


Observ. LIII. Of a Flea.

The strength and beauty of this small creature, had it no other relation at all to man, would deserve a description.

For its strength, the Microscope is able to make no greater discoveries of it then the naked eye, but onely the curious contrivance of its leggs and joints, for the exerting that strength, is very plainly manifested, such as no other creature, I have yet observ'd, has any thing like it; for the joints of it are so adapted, that he can, as 'twere, fold them short one within another, and suddenly stretch, or spring them Schem. 34. out to their whole length, that is, of the fore-leggs, the part A, of the 34. Scheme, lies within B, and B within C, parallel to, or side by side each other;
but the parts of the two next, lie quite contrary, that is, D without E, and E without F, but parallel also; but the parts of the hinder leggs, G, H and I, bend one within another, like the parts of a double jointed Ruler, or like the foot, legg and thigh of a man; these six leggs he clitches up altogether, and when he leaps, springs them all out, and thereby exerts his whole strength at once.

But, as for the beauty of it, the Microscope manifests it to be all over adorn'd with a curiously polish'd suit of sable Armour, neatly jointed, and beset with multitudes of sharp pinns, shap'd almost like Porcupine's Quills, or bright conical Steel-bodkins; the head is on either side beautify'd with a quick and round black eye K, behind each of which also appears a small cavity, L, in which he seems to move to and fro a certain thin film beset with many small transparent hairs, which probably may be his ears; in the forepart of his head, between the two fore-leggs, he has two small long jointed feelers, or rather smellers, MM, which have four joints, and are hairy, like those of several other creatures; between these, it has a small proboscis, or probe, NNO, that seems to consist of a tube NN, and a tongue or sucker O, which I have perceiv'd him to slip in and out. Besides these, it has also two chaps or biters PP, which are somewhat like those of an Ant, but I could not perceive them tooth'd; these were shap'd very like the blades of a pair of round top'd Scizers, and were opened and shut just after the same manner; with these Instruments does this little busie Creature bite and pierce the skin, and suck out the blood of an Animal, leaving the skin inflamed with a small round red spot. These parts are very difficult to be discovered, because, for the most part, they lye covered between the fore-legs. There are many other particulars, which, being more obvious, and affording no great matter of information, I shall pass by, and refer the Reader to the Figure.