Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Diary of an unborn writer #39 - Power goes in waves and finds nodes to seep through

I've been thinking of Copenhagen and a supposed failure of the world to do what is right. I have been thinking fo the interests involved and find it surprising that many heavy weights are launched behind environmentalism. This does not make them our allies, beloved friends, remember who they are and what interests they present.

Remember Al Gore and his niche as political saviour all the while touting the establishment of a mechanism that distorts the flow of money from development to God knows where. I am referring here to the $4.3bn that was raised for $100 bn of on the ground projects.

And this before the fact we consider the hypocrisy of using a market to cure something that is essentially market-created.

The trading of carbon of done because it is easy to measure and has diffrentials of output around the world. If we're going to get environmental, let's a make a fast busk of it. Or else, create labyrinthine structures so obscure no one knows who wins. I pick Gore because he was one of the chief proponents. I am sure he's not alone: this is a mechanism bigger than any he could propose.

What happens in a carbin market is that the those with excess supply of carbon (equiliberally defined) and excess demand for carbon will not lose. The market creators will. The financiers, and traders and advisers on policy who...

just happen to have funded the election of Barack Obama. His creation by the people is a myth. His record on small sum donations was worse than George Bush.

Barack Obama had no interest in forcing through a deal at Copenhagen, even if the US Senate had granted him the privilege. The goodwill generated by Copenhagen, though temporarily thwarted, will be used to take the next best (though first best for his funders) route: carbon trading.

As George W. Bush made a party for his friends in Iraq, so will Barack in the upper echelons of high finance, with marginal benefits for the environment.

I don't blame Barack for this, he's doing as any president has done in the past and most in the future will but let's clear the bubble of expectation if it has not already popped. His interests are not yours, not are they aligned to the common good of humanity.

As if to underline my point, the Yemenis are receiving his special forces help. Overtly it's for training the army of the near to failed state but likely they'll be cooking up some juice of their own.

And why? This is part of the Pentagon's Long War. No brain child of Obama's but published by the Pentagon in 2006. Rahm Emmanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, did however devote a whole book in favour of the topic. It is the 21st century's equivalent of the Project for the New American Century, but in place of Shock and Awe they have Stealth and wealth.

By providing security to many vulnerbale countries, Barack will have them in his pocket and his markets under his belt. By reiterating the myth of the war on terror the scene is set for an endless war against an unseen enemy. And special forces escalations in supossedly vulnerable countries will create a fast-reaction network of awesome power and incredible global reach.

It's the ultimate zeitgeist - out of sight and everywhere - and the man's still being praised to high heaven because we don't know where else to put our hope.

It's not that I want to create fury, just to dispel a lie and I am sick to the hind teeth of people making excuses for a charlatan with big words.

Wake up for yourselves, change your selves, transform your communities. Don't waste years clinging on to the hope of another idle dictator and use your inspiration to benefit each other not the short-termist ambitions of another desperate emperor.


China too has been in the news, on Western front pages for the lock up of a human rights activist who was too outspoken about political freedoms in China. The issue of Len X__ is not an issue, but the way it is reported is.

Of th west's remainign ideals, democracy is unquestionable. It does not matter how contrived, how influenced or how much it is controlled, we are able to trot out the doctrine that democracy is best. At risk of sounding like Churchill, it probably is, but not with the dismal levels of participation and transparency we currently enjoy. However, the Times can get haughty about it and don't forget those free voters are free consumers and freer markets can be overtaken as surely as day becomes night.

It is a universal truth, the desire to be free and no doubt China will one day open its doors to another grade of governance that better expresses the will of its people. But it enrages me to think of a haughty Western press, lazily comatose in their superior vision of the world, thinking that our system is free from control. It is deep and embedded in constructs just outside of your vision to make you think you're making a decision. In the large part it will be happy, but repetitive so collectively we choose to be over-entertained and underwhelmed by the lack of what is important. The real wealth: conditions for a good life, so its peaceful happy accidents can happen. This is the business of governments but the psychic deluge we're subjected to is nothing more than to comfort us with an uneasy peace. And cloak us from what's really going on. Which is...

more than I am succinctly able to say or understand. Whenever I've gone down that track I find myself embedded in folk-lore and at straws to explain gross conundrums. David Icke and his kin give much food for thought and occupy space the other outlets ignore. But in as much as they inspire us to question that what is presented is unlikely to be what is going on, I am happy to go no further, just relay my impression of the tide of forces as I see them.

I'll try not to be so political next time.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Diary of an unborn writer #39.4 - midlife crisis

You're better as a mystery, you tell yourself after wondering for the 15th time what to do next year.

You're better as a mystery and excuse yourself for inaction, disregard and getting knocked off balance by unanswered questons.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Diary of an Unborn Writer # 38.2 - Happenstance

The artist is arrogant because he has seen what it is to do nothing and be beautiful.

But at some point the spring ran dry and artist was left doing nothing and drinking with his friends. The friends that inspired him less than the old ones and required more drink to tolerate.

He needs to do something now, not to tolerate but to find again his spring of non-wishing that when it sprang gave him more than the world could ever need. It ran in rivulets on canvas spreads and writing books.

But now he's drinking with his friends and they take less and less notice of him.

Picture courtesy of Hesq. Thanks.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Diary of an unborn writer # 38 - The worst named decade of the century

The herd was loping in a muddled indescript kind of way.

We were keeping close together and trying hard against the light, not to see it. The plain was wide but we stayed close together and winds blown up by gods aided our ensemble.

'Masanga' the close-by tribesman would say.

And then they began to drift apart.

Though the wind was strong it was possible to turn aside and see the plain from a different angle. The herd was moving, slowly and gently to a cliff. So we began to make a noise, but mistaking it for breeze the herded ones closed their eyes again, folded their ears and kept moving on their way.

The breeze was one of many colours. Sights, sounds, swirls and tastes. Thought streams ushered past by the Gods and in order to not relent, in order to keep the move afloat the herd had, as one, shut down its sense.

But the cliff was coming near and a few spied themselves long enough to jump out the way and others saw their friends and did the same and all of us, right now, pulling ourselves back from a hideous collapse of our species because we stopped looking for too long.

This is not climate (only). This is not capitalism (only). Nor is it social degradation or direst poverty existing, nor all powerful corporations, nor the inter-corporate and governmental bodies that decide our fate (only). Its not biodiversity plummetting (only) or another war fought for geo-politics and the fate of precious housewives' fears before the hundreds of thousands lives in another country.

But weaving through all of this, has been the stream. The wind. The vast god-blown edifice that is the information deluge that our decade more than any other has been subjected to. We're colouring it, you and I, with our blogging and gentle protest chants and our conviction that correction can only come from inner realisation that these colours are our friends.

We're getting better at decoding, deciphering the swarm around. Cherry-plucking inspiration from the dirge and the misery and the stink that suffices for entertainment and the news. We're singing in the rain, telling funny stories again and in candle-lit corners serving organic food, our play is taking shape.

It's a play of longing, of desperation looking again to the stars and not the belly. Feeling in the depths of your very soul that all that was and has been told could be woven right now with a stroke of your pen, or brush or love caress or question to a politician that things might not be as he sees, jaded as he is, becoming the more grey. They deluge hit him most and now governments are starved of ideas, abandoned by their populi who looked elsewhere.

The edifice is crumbling.

They thought the banks were our masters and Barack he thought the same - withholding poverty reducing measures to keep his friends in play. The Tobin tax has a way to put things right by shaving off small sums from vast transactions it forces folk to stop and - heavens, no! - think.

But Barack knows who put him their and on whose noose he will be hung. Another saint goes the way the devil's lure. He made a bargain after all and will keep it until the blood runs dry in Afgahnistan and mothers of victims of vultures screams ask what they saw in him. Again.

The Bush was the one who catapulted our age from OK to disaster with the flick of a retributive switch. We cannot know what was in his mind but it missed important aspects of us and blew up ones we'd rather have seen away some time ago.

Blair in Britain, meanwhile, did his dismal damndest to subject the state to more control and shovel up welfare in the hands of a few. A Labour politician we were told. He certainly made sure those who voted for him kept working beyond reasonable suspicion of his tricks and now hospital parking lots and other frauds charge where before they let you. He corporatised and villfied free thinking. And yes, backed a war that may not have happened if he said no. The long game, said his press secretary. And now Barack whispers about the long and silent war executed by CIA drones and conscripts of terrorists for the cause. Like his grandfather and great grandfather presidents before him. Will we ever learn? Maybe. We're just coming on a little slow.

The Strokes were a happy dawn and the Kings of Leon still sing on. In amongst them Mum and David Syvian have graced this ones ears and pleased while he was doing something else. We had TV shows that addicted more than before, brought raw our social disgraces and made them circuses of the carnal, the stubborn the ashamed. Contests for talent, for before we couldn't find any and home cookery to sophisticate and make social entrepreneurs of its stars.

We found in books and seminars that the system was not there for your benefit, but for you to become afraid. Entertainment was OK because it made you relieved and didn't see the stinking creep and it avalanched into wars and dining tables - ignorance all round.

Sing it quietly while you can but the revolutions come already, it's happening all around. Each time you see a man stop, or a child look puzzled or a free star looking up from their sofa bed and asking why did you have the right to film the murder of my mother, then you'll know it's happening.

The gentle waking up.

The crash.

The unfolding.

The heart's sweet answer to all the mess that it, and not that, is what is permanent. Not the lying, not the rules, the law or the sacrament. The fear, the dying, the wishing and the hope. Not the rage, and not the answer, not the devil's tainted rope. Not you and me, though we're included, as has all that's gone before. And recognising with sweet smile that we're not OK. We're fucked. And dancing in the cracks of that earthquake realisation, we'll find our way to be free.

In this the worst named decade of the century, perhaps we've slowly found our way.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Diary of an Unborn Writer # 37.3 - Bill Nighy

"In the theatre, there are always a couple of shows where you just forget. Somehow you turn off that part of your mind which is out to get you, the bit that undermines you, the self-conscious bit, and everything happens by magic, everything flows, everything's good, every single action you perform, every word you speak, every time you react to something, it all seems to fly. That's the holy grail."

(Picture courtesy of Nicola Dove)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Diary of an unborn writer # 37 - could it really all be music?

Life's moving in confusing streams.

There are connections made and unmade.

And most of all a warming, satisfying lull in the pit of my stomach that insulates against the swarm.

I found myself on Sunday night with my arms around a girl I had fallen asleep thinking about the previous week (entry #36 for those with close attention!). Andrew Bird was on stage holding a violin, the second time a maestro has made it into an entry this early. He was magnificent - like a court jester tipping his toes on electric pedals, looping violin threads and in a suit. He had no shoes on, just socks so he could accurately loop and swoop layer upon layer of strings, plucked or played, though I am not sure if he played a Stradivarius. No one was around to tell me this time

Except B. a little bug in front of me and swaying to Andrew and his support act Jesca Hoop -a damsel of lightning her self. Our cups of red wine resting on the stage and blowing the smoke from our joint into the feet of the crowd to avoid detection in the smokeless venue, lit up by lights and music, Andrew's charm and the notes he plays covering everybody in a satisfying silk.

Andrew was the end of a successful weekend. Successful because it was chaotic and exhausting, involved deep interactions with around 45 people, wine, women and a great deal of joy. I was in Edinburgh - the Mother - whose broad arms from Calton Hill to Arthur's seat (the left) and the Pentlands (the right) embraced me for five or more errant summer's and I dare say some Winters too but we spent those mostly alone and in doors and you never did come round unless I called. There have been a few experiences in Edinburgh and the ghost streets murmur up the names and yesterdays and chorus song of forgotten lovers - on this trip you met 3 - and drinks with old time friends. Warm whiskey in the belly, heart full and futile with conversation. These kinds and their crews you gave up hoping for, for a time - the you that is I, I'm playing with perspective, it hangs looser like a thread - but now back in front of you, their cares, their pleasures merge again in your own, and you find yourself moving from Doctor's pub (where your ancestor's name is written in brass) to the Royal Oak. The belly of Edinburgh where few dare to tread. Your rocking along Infirmary road and a muted jazz trumpet beckons you through the half open door - packed wall to wall with four copies of the Declaration of Arbroath (which made you chill to admit your English-hood) hang on shapes that revealed the tobacco stains when they took the pictures down four years ago for the ban. The ban that drove conversation and the smokers out on to cold streets, except on busy nights like tonight when the band sits in a corner, guitar violin and muted trumpet and you're handed a whiskey glass (painfully loaded with ice) before you make it to the bar and the room goes silent as a man begins to sing the lines of Galway shawl you've heard in the passionate, raw, shrill voxicon of that room a dozen times before.

The evening blurs and you merge with it to return to your host's house for cheese and bread before the plane trip home.

A sleep, a dash and tram ride and you're at B.'s house. The night unfolds and Andrew is sublime and he turns the two of you in to each other and out again. She takes the tram home and you head back to Braam. This is new, this is easy and like the weekend, flows in an undertow of melody.

Could it all be music?

No. The next 9am sees you back at your desk. The grey penetrates the gold little by little and you pour yourself a third cup of coffee to survive.

It's warm.

Today will be OK.

Diary of an unborn writer #33.1 - Could it really all be music?

Sitting at your desk it is Monday and you're humming to Jesca Hope who croons and swoons through one ear and the dirge of office is around.

OK - it's not a dirge. There are good people here and they want good things but the contrast is a little much. Contrast with what?

Dear reader, listen?

Last night you were dancing with B. as the Master Andrew Bird delivered a performance of vurtuoso proportions. You saw him three months ago and this is entirely different, except the joy is the same. He has a suit on and is standing proud with violin under chin and shoes off - the better to press pedals with his feet. He loops sample after sample and cascades over with swings of that fine violin bow. The room is stilled and wonder surrounds the lit up faces from lights reflected off the stage.

You share a joint with B. and surreptitiously. There's a ban in here so you blow the smoke into the floor. She's short, so there's no problem for her but you need to crouch over her shoulder as you take a tug andd the room settles into its comfort a little more. The music swirls around your head a little more and red wine sits in a plastic cup and trickles richly down your throat a little more easily than before.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Diary of an unborn writer # 36 - a night's escapade

There's creativity in Amsterdam. You can feel it walking down any canal, or nosing up against the window of small holding art sellers, massage therapists, pipe shops and saunas. Even the red light district with its ancient cathedrals to sin speaks of craft.

(Photos kind courtesy Morten Årstad)

There are some moments, though, when the creativity scoops all of us and dumps us in a room, a mini-festival curated by a man who played violin from the top of Sydney Opera House on the millenium eve. Even now, in yellow pumps, a dress and a trilby, he sports a Stradivarius violin, with brown zebra stripes criss-crossing the chestnut wood. He's not the main show, though and 30-40 people are listening to a sitar player being accompanied by a slam poet, Brazilian be-dreaded, whirling his hands around a face in a kind of trance and uttering syllable beats you can only just catch before the next ricochet phrase takes you again a comet-space trip.

The man could dance and have a whole room slapping thighs to words. Weaving colours he's accompanied by a backdrop of wine boxes the inside of each has been made into a tiny work of art and placed on display. The audience is dressed in the suits, dresses, wooly jumpers you would expect of bohemia; glitter in hair and faces radiant with the art they look upon.

It is so honest, so open, so receptive and beautiful that performance can be witnessed in this way. Unjudging. To be more deeply felt.

Our performer with his little band claims in conversation after, still sweating from the show, to be from the poetry lineage of Saul Williams . These men are mystics parading with words and weaving an elevated language of the cosmos and experience to give us an idea of the kind of what we can enjoy if we let it all drop and....


There's plenty of love in the room tonight. To the sides, on a the adjacent wall to the myriad wine boxes filled with : sheep's hearts in resin, toy story wonder shows with cotton wool clouds, bric-a brac pastiche charades of purses, letters and golden painted nails; Buddhas in contented pose, Sri Ramana Maharishi*

, ballerina, paintings and newspaper clippings, strings dancing in coils and little flashing lights, like I say all on one wall. On the adjacent one is a table with hot soup, served with turkish bread and butter and bacon. Next to that a simmering pot of gluwein and fridges of beer and happy people serving them. The environment is a blissful space to spend time, perform and be performed to.

I get a little chance at this reading some small poems which the audience enjoyed. More than that. Listened to. Quite a thing to be listened to, I recommend it any time and you can feel these simple words words weaving -again the weaving - through all of us. Happy little dance rhymes uniting and exploding joy wheels in tiny cells and hearts full, eyes shining, they are listening again and ask for more.

What a joy after thirty minutes of effort, a little more to edit and ten minutes on a stage offers such a reward. People are genuinely moved, as I have been by their attention and well the gift that keeps on giving is running through all of us and enjoying itself once more in our tiny little cells.

We move on in a parade of bicycles. Actually I got waylaid. Walking through Amsterdam with a Norwegian-looking man who is thorughly Norwegian, though in a three piece suit; and a dazzling Bulgarian with brown eyes like darts. I got lost. I was being led and completely lost my way. I was walking through and led down streets I had never been before and pointed to cafes and coffee houses sparkling in a way I had not seen. Mother Amsterdam opening her arms a little wider to an errant son who had been wandering a little lost for most of his first year here.

We wander into a cocktail bar and there are flames jumping up against the back wall. A couple sits in the corner, amidst black lights and neon illuminations, fire dancing on their faces as they caress and touch each other, fuelled by martinis and the heat. They are in their mid-40s and it is not a pretty sight. We are a littel less hot in our corner but the shots and tall glasses flow stacked with ice and fruit and combinations of tonics and spirits and coloured, spicy sugared rims. We talk in one of thise huddles as if the world has ended. We connect and share and a happy evening delves a little more glowier, a little more satisfiedly along its lines.

They depart, the soon-about-to-be lovers, and I head along the way. Praising Amsterdam and its sweetness, its electrifying antiquity as old houses and new shop frontings co-mingle with the night and bar goers and stealers from the red-tinted windows, faces huddled in jackets until they are at least ten steps away.

I've been directed to a club that the bohemian parade has moved on to. It's an old squatted place where a password is required at the door. It used to be a sauna for gays. Along a back wall in a back room, after being led through the smoke and folk swaying to minimal beats from the bass - mercifully, they sell prosecco - there are bays set aside in which to have sex. The middle one has a sticker plastered across the door with a warning 'Safe Only' and inside there are shelves to lean up against and black vinyl paint for easy clean hygiene and a convenient space between the walls and the ceiling to look on at other couples. They are empty when my self and an Australian Jim take a tour and it may have been the ultra violet lights on black vinyl paint, but you could not help feel that the walls and floor were sticky. How about some cushions, a bit of incense to make this more of a zone for love than fuck?

Holland never fails to deliver.

We dance and rub shoulders again in the happy pack, there are dancers and fashion designers and people with big hair and it's difficult not to get distracted and amazed by the beauty on show. I talked to quite a bit of it. A French girl throws her arms around me saying she 'LOVED' the poetry and it's authentic. We're not wishing we're something or trying to be a different show. We have been genuinely moved in a room together and take our togetherness and stack it on streets and wall filled with wine boxes, and insignificant ex-gay sauna back room clubs with lights that dance across chests and faces and glittered hair and dance in the bubbles of prosecco I nurse in a glass talking to Elaine, who's trumpet playing boyfriend is out of town. She handles a beer mat like a cock and keeps me at arm's length, kissing me wryly on the cheek as she says goodbye, flirting more heavily because of her unattainability. The single lady never plays like that... damn the sheilas and their games.

I dutifully accept a joint as the evening turns past three and it involves later a mistake when I jump into a taxi howling which way to my home town; 40 km away in the early hours. This brings into focus the tightness of decision, and the need for survival and the instict when you are stoned. He takes me to the station where I plan to sleep on a bench until 5.30 for the first Sunday train but in the warm car his persuasion that he take me to my front door and the removal of so many steps between myself and the train, the train and my bed, does not seem to be an over-priced choice when he quotes me 70 euros for the task. "OK, OK" I relent "but I need food first. Take me to a kebab".

As a Turk, the driver knows the best place to go and I get special service through a window the drivers have stitched up with the restuarant. The taxi driver yells instructions to the man shaving meat from a skewer and I get my sandwich in double quick time, as I stand swaying in the breezeless steet lamp lit night, beneath the sky of a clear moon. A nice warm meat and garlic sauce and salad, dutifully sprayed in my lap to the concern of the cab driver and we're on our way home. The warm of the taxi and the food sitting heavily and comfortable in my belly knock me out and I wake up outside the front door of my house with 103.60 glowing in red digital numbers on the meter.

Scheming bastard must have kept it running while I was getting the kebab, and then pressed the 'Executive' button while I was asleep. No matter. I hand the cash over and giggle to myself as I lie in bed with the clock not nearly at 4.30 am. Perhaps it was worth it all the same. The escapade, the night, the food and the contented rustle of the voice a girl named Britney shuttle through my thoughts as I sleep.

(picture thanks to Lotus)

Friday, 6 November 2009

Diary of an unborn writer # 35a

We sat down together and it was fine. And her son rolled up on a yellow BMX and asked if this was the one that had been out with Evelyne. She probed you gently for details of the tie but easily you replied that she was sweet and that it ended some time ago.

Evelyne, it seems, had gone on speaking about it for a while.

The spilling of emotion from one to another and over again. Missing each other and breaking apart and along. Misaligned. It was not the time Evelyne for you & I to shine.

But she was a pretty one. Beautiful to her depth and it made you think at the time that you could not tolerate anything so pure. You also wanted more of your weekends free and in little over a month together had cheated on her once. Errant soul. She read the blog entry reporting so much and cried and let it pass.

So you are on the bench and she's offering cake that by chance you had in your hand when you sort of accidentally stepped into the organic shop where she works and observed her weighing cheese. She looks up and pretends not to be startled and you pretend you didn't notice and you both grin like fools.

You catch your nerves jangling and hope you don't pull out the reserved Englishmen persona that entertains but is so safe, but it comes out all the same. She just sparkles away in that method that she has and says she'll be free in five minutes. You browse amongst teas and soy-based things and she continues to enjoy looking over to where you stand, and you the same.

You have twenty minutes together, and it's punctuated by her son and no sparks fly, no desperate longing revealed and it's fine. And with a normal kiss goodbye, you feel the glow of her cheek softly fading on yours as you walk into a grey Autumn afternoon swiftly becoming night.

You're having dinner next Thursday. She booked a babysitter. And it's fine.

Diary of an unborn writer # 35

The days are falling back in free flow kind of way. I generally enjoy them.

Work and music. Music and drinking. Drinking and watching the Wire online. Friends, colleagues and UK bands in Amsterdam (singing Hey hey hey hey! GM baby I don't know if that's OK! to expert chord plunges and reawakening my excitement in punk) flitting in and out of view. Daily ambitions living and dying, a lot of good food, Buddhist texts, stolen bikes, large appartment, 7 types of tea in the cupbaord, ideas for a novel disappearing, disappearing if I don't catch them fast...

It is a happy, quiet, busy period. Plans for travel in February and finally getting together a collection of these scribbles playing mostly on my mind.

Oh, and a women. But she'll remain unspoken of until she knows she is being spoken of and then it'll be too late for y'all to ruin the surprise.

The collection - hitherto a floating ramble - is, I promise, coming together. The chief prompt is Dostoyevsky, who else. I am hauling myself through Demons which I find alternately turgid and delightful. Fyodor, I wish to say, I'm yearning for your depth of insight to start crackling in 150 pages time but must we spend hours prattling around Russian society with a trail of in jokes that ran out of steam circa 1870?

We must says Fyodor, and in the arrogance of death, refuses to change a thing.

It was the serials what done it. Former writers earned their crust through publication in monthly editions of high brow magazines. The more serials, the more money and so they would drag out hilarious social commentaries and set pieces revealing of human nature over pages and yards and years, planting seeds that would fully sprout in 570 pages time by which time their army of readers were hooked and revelling in every whim, wit and blemish of the characters on show.

A lot like my beloved Wire. Though that has 47 writers each week. Fyodor was alone and took years.

I am having dream-talks with Dostoyevsky, trying to get tips on how to wade through the trough of his wit and still barely past page 71 up pops Stephan Tromfimovich and the complains that he has all the necessary materials to begin but just cannot sit down to write...

I shoot up from my chair, carefully balance the morning's choice of tea and realign a weekend, otherwise spent idle in the countryside, around the furious tapping of keys.

No one is to be spoken to. All long over due projects will again be postponed.

And this is my joy. Words are flowing, they are funny, they are clever, they are planting seeds that will not be discovered until several diaries time and even within the same entry I am discovering parts of myself I never knew existed. I can be morose. I can veer wildly off track. And no one is waiting with a big stick or lamp to persuade or show me where the track is or admonish my morosity.

I begin to compile my oeuvre piece by piece. Making sense of two years of random word spilling and cohere it into a work. I read sometimes in rapture, sometimes in thrilling self-disgust at what a self-involved tosser can produce. I make it a duty to pre-wince before my readers can, to somehow draw their sting. Although, it mainly brings me down.

I can otherwise surprise myself at the profundity and wit that glistens and goes over the head of 90% of the reading public. This is my fury, this is my castle to cast from and destroy the naysayers, the ferry boaters, the whimsicalists and the blog fiends whose surfing time is so precious they will not have made it down this far (there are only three blogs I have ever spent more than 3 minutes on so I hold them in perfect understanding but, still, contempt).

In looking for pieces to put into the book, I continue to get distracted by those parts unwritten. Those I can perfect. A phrase pops into my mind, and I find myself 714 words later reeling to allow a particular text to flow back on track.

I am now contented that it has.

Dostoyeksky will be my goad, and you, dear reader are my runaway bride running threw the sheets I have cast aside like tissues from a lonely morning spent too long in bed.

It's good you stuck around. Make it back again, you know, for coffee and a rehash.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Diary of an unborn writer # 34

(thanks for the pictures goes to ECS Wong - the writer of an amusing travel article - and the Dakota Voice which publishes a horrific story - Celebrating the Earth - The Right Way - thanking God for Man's use of His resources. Joyously randomly ironic it found its way into this entry, tying several of its themes in an orgy of descriminating Godhood . Thanks also to our overmaster Google, for making all of this possible. Dakota Voice has yet to celebrate that. Ahem...to business...)

Something must be done

Outside the central station amidst the Saturday throng, a cello player throbs strings to the sound of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, stopping to thank the passers by that reach down to drop coins in his instrument case. Close by, but far enough to not compete, a squat Chinese lady in a puff body warmer parades around with many signs:

“Only Jesus saves”

“Pray or be damned”

“God never meant it to be this way”

In the cat squeak of her countrymen she aims to enthuse passers-by with her own gospel rhythm: “No wife do it for you, no cigarette; only Jesus, hear me!”

With each ignoring glance her pitches rises in greater thrall to the divine and the Church-speak continues – concatinations of manipulation and the misunderstood drink it like envy and sow its hot humiliating tones on the pedestrians of Amsterdam.

The rainforest is withdrawing at an unprecedented rate – half of it gone in the last thirty years. Beef and soy products – one feeding the other – clearing swathes to feed further bellies to feed grief and anger over a lost heritage we decided wasn’t there for a time. The scope of the disaster is roared out through misplaced headlines and aghast conversations at dinner party tables, consecutive lines daring to out-horror the next in grim sophisticated knowledge of just what is going on.

More species have died in the last century that at any time since humans took to the Earth. We were born into abundance and see it now as torn sacks before our eyes, breathing pity on the disaster we’re too horrified to see. This is not animals or plants or a tragedy for science. It is you and I and forgetting our nature. Of that the Chinese lady at least was aware.

The horror lies in scars as large as your Mother’s forehead, macheted across before she was raped. It lies in turnstile behaviour, the furrowing of crowds down lines others saw fit to imagine for them and have nothing whatever to do with joy. It begins in want and ends in disaster, your Mother may cry but soon she’ll be rid of you, if you turn out the same.

Teenage protestors in long flower dresses stand in hate lines before police and believe their’s is a more sophisticated hunger, a purer sense of anger than that which they are struggling to rip free. Mother weeps as the crowds struggle to defend themselves. Pepper sprayed across the face, arms whipped with batons by servants of the peace. Joanna’s gut curdling shriek that this cannot go on, reported as she peels the label back from her third bottle of the night. Flourescent lights dance across her face and she’s in rage at what she terms the ignorance of police.
She despairs that it will never be enough but knows that trying is all that she and the rest have left. Olive skin glistening on summer morning battle lines. Furious letters sent. She glows in experiences – the dancing, drinking, pleasure in colours kind – loves deeply, cares sincerely but can’t shake the hunger that shakes it all adrift.

We’re in horror at the passion play of a ball set off before our time, how our Mother’s face was ripped and pissed upon, now anxious to make things sane. The anxiety of a million screams for relief, spilling on their Mother’s face yet more guilt and anger and putrid fumes the same that they protest against, by battling the beast they confirm his existence even more.

By battling the beat they lose the rhythm that spoke them free.

If we’re looking for solutions, find a treasure chest to open or walk an unfamiliar way. Because this shattered destiny fix – this horror show make shift and all things better we’ll have ourselves drift in is a treachery of alternative, manipulated by interests we’re not wide enough to see. One empire builds itself in the ashes of another and the builders care not for us, or our Mother, or fairly traded coffee nicely but not too much because you'll bring all of us crashing down. The pillar tipped the moment we forgot that there is more than our survival or summer holidays at stake.

Obama’s smile the better to slash our Mother and waste yet another vain hope cemetery of years.

If we’re looking for solutions as to how all this was begun, please give up that desert cry – the kind that baby-boomer anxious whines dismiss and cry about. That politicians lament over as they create and crucify with cogent blood stain sweeps. And Mother cries the tears that they would torture immigrants to speak.

If we’re looking for solutions as to how all this was begun, please give up that desert cry – the kind sweltering over coloured orphans and off-shot on tourist photographs, marvelling at the intensity of experience poverty provides to our over-privileged, under cut and insufficiently satisfiable lives -

If we’re looking for solutions as to how all this was begun please let’s give up that desert cry

As all that is lost was once won

Please let’s give up that desert cry

That something must be done

Something must be done.


Diary of an unborn writer # 33

He’s sitting down to write at a desk. It’s the weekend and gazing at himself a year ago, quite a lot has changed. He has written yards and yards of more and less worthy text but looking at the desk is all you need to know about where he’s at. It’s clean. It’s 5pm and he’s not wearing a dressing gown. A picture of his friends back home sits on his desk a pile of book he’s beginning to type out for the long-waited-for collection he’s been promising to get done.

He’s drinking a glass of vitamin juice – the fizzy kind you dissolve in glass. He works eight or nine hours a day as a coach, urging people to get fit. He spends evenings exhausted reviving himself with TV and the occasional cigarette. He has a garden and lives by the countryside. His apartment, all to himself, is large enough to house a few of his past others. He is just beginning to get used to being alone.
He takes walks in the forest, is less alienated by housework. Finds the company of a few friends is enough. His colleagues don’t exhaust him as much as they used to. His manager finds him a little less frustrating but still can’t work him out.

He reads the Guardian online every day. He surrounded by stories of substandard writers and is amazed that something as important as the news is frequently conveyed by entertainment journalists, although it keeps him reading all the same. He turns to Dostoyevsky from time to time, delights in a few passages but finds its length a dirge. He’ll have loved it by the end and grins that it is so juxtaposed to blogging and quick fix stimulation of an internetted life. Though it gives brief happiness from the other dirge of his working day.

In that he’s finding more. Learning to shrug pressure and still engage with daily tasks. He asking himself if he needs to think about the future quite as much, or will it all happen for him. He thinks it’s somewhere in between.

He misses friends and dearly-loved ones but is frightened on seeing them that they are remote from what he values – or perpetuate the same valued things ad infinitum and without variety. He is told that this is what constitutes living, and guiltily concedes that his own life is the same and berates himself this is the case.
He likes to ponder. Loves to write but kills himself that inspiration doesn’t come on demand. He cannot figure out how to construct a life that is useful while still receives the pearls when they come. He’s even more confounded as to how to make it sell.

He loves God, he never knew he did so much until one day he found himself talking like a Jehovah’s witness to a scared wide-eyed friend. He is touched by the infinite and can’t use words to describe how each day is relieved, blessed and inspired by the knowledge that his is a discontented drop in a wide ocean of bliss, and that the latter will sometimes provide a glimpse.

His head sometimes feels like a glass jar with a rubber seal around the edge and experiencing the moments of the glorious let go – when the lid pops and breath surges into the lungs is almost worth the pain of being confined.


He would rather write than go to church.

He would rather cry than laugh along.

Cruel jokes seem funnier in the end.

Simple things perplex him mostly.

Long days frighten him so much that he cannot find anything to do.

He is paranoid of living in a trench though berates himself for not jumping in.

His favourite day is a breakfast and meditation and sitting to write at his latop where inspiration flows like waves and focus does not waver for a second. He hopes to touch the hearts of many as he writes, and could not bear to think that this is a tapestry of his own self-indulgence. He tells himself he must illuminate himself before the world gets his rays.

He’s disappearing down a deep and desperate hole.

He knows it’s the best thing for him and happily...

He relents.

He is taken by a wisdom that the least control is the way to get ones way. It’s merely a matter of knowing that getting one’s way is not at all what you think and should rather be surprised by instead of determining the next steps. The organised ones live in a pit of non-surprise, rationalise in terms of their own responsibility and therefore sink or float of seas of guilt, provided for them by those that hope they can be controlled.

There is no control. The tall ones just sit and let the other conrol themselves, then sip on the fine juices of guilt and money spent on its relief. It’s a sick game really and we’re all so blind to the fact that even those that pull its strings believe that they do it for the best of all. Puppets, puppeteer, puppet-maker all locked in a swirling embrace and no one can see that it’s just a play.

He wishes he didn’t take himself so seriously, or that others did not try to do the same to him.

He hates to be treated as a joke.

He loves that he can laugh as others wince and laughs that others can love through so much pain.

Love presents to him enough pain on its own, without the need for a face.

His scars are perjuries to the tomorrow he would like to carve. He needs to feel its pain before he can open into clear blue skies of flying. Otherwise he’ll have trouble leaving the ground.

He skims across the lives of others, cannot bear to feel them as deeply as his own.
Arrogance is a defence against despair at other’s lost-ness. Mirroring his own, his preference is to keep quiet and not be impinged upon or fall over so he may impinge.
He can talk and a whole room can fall silent, until he realises he’s being listened to and stumbles on his words. Amazing that such a thing should be so feared.

He’s a slave to an unspoken past but in speaking makes him feel like a spoiled brat.
It was too much and never enough. Congestion of social intercourse gives him pain in his chest.

He grants that not many see him as illumined as he sees himself though he feels that this is because they do nit listen and in not listening to them, he only ignores himself the more. He is both cursed and bathed in social company.

He would like to be seen as non-complex.

He is preferring to get used to not wanting to be seen. It’s like an itch that he must not scratch.

He would like to write a novel and can see it is being written. He wonders if he’s lazy in not having written more. It’s set in Amsterdam and lasts for twelve hours. It is about him, and friends and fantastical scenes that slip into the sides of every day. He has a feeling he has seen some things because he sat around long enough as others moved on, though realises that others saw as much in moving, or would do in their time.

He finds that wisdom is breathed. Talking about it also gives him pain.
Many people find him five years older than he is.

Others five years the other way.

He has wrinkles under the eyes fro too many computer screens stared at for too much of each day. When he’s at home he feels relaxed and without need to do anything.
Except housework, which he is less alienated by.

He is confused that he writes in an American accent.

He withers in self-pity and rises in joy.

He has stepped in dog shit too often in the same place for a young man
He is only now beginning to smell his shoes.

He will enjoy your company but please leave as you sense his mood begin to change. He will not ask you but merely roll his eyes inwardly at everything you say and cut himself with mental taunts that he doesn’t like you just for now.

When he’s vague he’s thinking. If he’s thinking he’s avoiding and if it’s self-disgust it’s better you were not around.

Writing this is giving him pain throughout his body.

He wonders if a life lived for any reason is enough. Even experience lost its shine the last time he was in France drinking wine and walking in the sun, cooled by the breeze. Dark clouds in his writing could be easily obscured when you talk to him. That’s when he’s being vague.

He’ll be light and forget himself. In times with you and serried others. He’ll embrace you in smiles and steer conversations to benefit all assembled at risk to his own pride. He wonders if it’s possible to make these occasions happen or if we should accept them like gifts.

He wonders and ponders and still the thing’s not done. He’s alone at his desk, in mercy he’ll be found...

Found away and remorsed in himself. Remorse given a place in long fields and covered by the insights he's seen fit to place aside. Warm sun on his face he's realised what they said in great works was true.

There is nothing but love

And nothing but you.

And in this you he likes to type and tell a story that he hopes will touch another's heart. For this comes deeply from his own.

He is only just beginning to trust.

Trust in the power of words to turn a being this way and this. Trust not that it is OK, but that it is deeply wonderful, in ways he can’t allow himself to see.
This writing around the outsides of himself is helping a little bit.

He feels it’s like a slope down which you must keep dead-centre as you ski. The slope is always moving and it’s not clear how to stay on your feet. But you do as long as you keep moving down and don’ look back or you’ll tumble into nonsensicality which may be entertaining for you but it frustratingly obscure.

Still, Beckett got away with it, though that kind of jealousness will keep him at the desk and miss what Beckett held and allowed to flow through him, in spite of any inch of himself.

Sacrifice, he's finding, is a good way to stumble through the haze.

Friday, 16 October 2009

would it be ok if you went away for a time

all of you

don't speak

don't breathe

i'm fine here

it's better i had never sad anything

or you felt the need for a reply

it only made things worse
I fell into something last week. The idea that things could be a certain way and having it torn away is more painful than many experiences i can remember. I am naked in the wind and words lose their grip on me.

She was sweet, but she bit like an acid rose.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Diary of an unborn writer #32

On the way to the Neverending Cafe

He was running around in Leidseplein with large gun in his hand. Red nose and a beautiful costume - shoes like planks and makeup fringing on burlesque with curves and eyes and swirls> Wide yellow and black checked bow tie and paisley shaped eye make up around in each eye - one sloped up the other sloped down. A tear fell from the downward sloping corner of the left eye, so delicate and intricately painted in white and blue you could see the swirls of oceans and eddies of sadness curling on his cheek, that would swell and fall with the clown's expression.

He was swirling on one foot, with the other leg standing at a right angle and even in those boots he made it a ballet. The gun would fall to his side, point haphazardly at strangers and swirl around with his dance, which was slow at first. Arcs of feet and hands and a head: now looking through legs, now curled on the end of the neck and twisted round to the back of him. He was a snake under those comedy clothes - red and black squares on a puffy suit. The face and intricate make up would sneer and grimace and laugh and swirl almost like the eddies in the tear and in morphing it was seamless. Not one followed by another but one endless changing expression.

As the dance progressed the gun whirled faster and face kept up its gnarled then joyful then passive then remorseful poise, whirling in and out of legs the gun changed from hand to hand he's holding it now like a cop, now against his head and now BANG@! he lets a shot off at the crowd. They jump at the blank. The whirls intensify and the shots ring off in stacatto bursts, he's shouting now, the clown and the mania isn't funny any more, or beautiful, except in its most abstract and you want to turn away as the grotesque overreaching arms take the man in folds and contort him ripping off his clothes ripping off his suit, his hat, though makeup and shoes left intact. The gun has fallen to the ground.

He's standing in white all-in-one underwear, belly pouting to the breeze and crowds, half in horror, half scared and the mix challenged as to what will happen next. Will you save us with your act dear clown? Or leave us hanging in the reaches of paralysed despair - your arcs our enemy and your pastiche the frustrated whirls of our every day?

Sadly, he's standing. Challenging the breeze, challenging the whispers of the crowd, challenging each to move away or meet him with a gaze and the gay man, the happy sad man with an outward pouted lip, red nose and eddies on his face flops his upper half to the ground and picks up the gun. Tears springing - really - from his face, smearing swirls - white paint stained with a clear tear and posing, pouting places the gun to his head. Parents take their children away. We watch stunned.

But he doesn't pull the trigger. He just stands waiting until he becomes a standing shows, passers-by remarking on the clothes scattered around and the funny tragic man who's showed us our destiny for a time.

Dear man - you walk away. The next day he was gone.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Diary of an unborn writer #32

"You are not the centre of the world and there are some things in life you can't control"

He said.

I asked him about spirituality and he said that.

You know the big great all absorbing thing.

And he said that.

He's a Spanish man with a bigger being and more sparkly eyes than many care to notice. Humble to the extreme and deeply confident while shy. He was a monk for six years, following the order of Mother Teresa before skipping off in Manchester to work in a prison there.

Now he's landed in a large multinational with a goal of reaping profits from the legions of the rich.

There are whispers, whispering that the New Time has come but that was over a beer and we were way too tired to head out dancing so slept until noon. The Spanish man forgotten, Pixie's red hair falls across my chest.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


She was like a window on a blessed soul that had chosen to engage with you for a time. Joycelyn, the red hair, fair skin angel of a woman. She coloured your life in February, stayed through MArch and by June you were virtually inseperable. An easy, easy time. She would nibble you knuckles as you cupped her hand around her chin, a jaw line delicate enough to break. She had eyes like sapphire, impossible to describe and evry time you look at her you get the shock that she's really there. Joycelyn, waiting for tonight at the black lagoo. Angel face, fire hair, a lady to collapse your soul back in on itself.

Beauty never came so rare and for the time it poured onto your life, you've been a happy sailor that ever spilled rum on to the sea. The pure salt soaking up the alcohol until all that was left was calm.

Fluffy said

Hollywood, my love...

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Diary of an unborn writer #31

I feel like I'm stretching wings but finding it difficult to leave the ground. Current social contacts I have with friends and co-workers have evolved in a way that keeps me down and redressing these takes a lot of energy. I don't feel my voice is equally heard at work and I'm puzzled as to why this is. Part of this is my sensitivity to being challenged. It knocks the confidence and the forum in which this is done makes it difficult to get subtle ideas across, and less space to defend them. Everything is safe, stable and uncreative. Hugely uncreative actually, which gives me little room to fly. I am considered a cage rattler and comments greeted in this way instead of being something that can benefit the group as is intended.

Coupled to this, I have a defense mechanism that kicks in whenever challenged. I jump into retreat rather than defending ideas. I have an innate belief that my point of view is shared and find it difficult to find a way to share ideas without being dogmatic. Confidence seems to be the key. Nevertheless, in this conservative setting, radicalism is not encouraged.

Emotionally the group is also a little low level and working together seems more about protecting each other than moving on the combined interest. There's not much of a perspective on what indeed is the combined interest - it's very narrow - and offering ideas perceived to be without its scope - ie broadening the field of view - are often shot down. Again, this has to do with improving my confidence in ideas put across.

I place a lot of importance on my ideas. Why? I think they are very good. I am able to see things that others aren't but often lack the quickness to describe this scope of detail beofre the point is shot down.

Meetings that are less like bunfights would help.

As would a change of situation. I'm not sure serving the wider corporate interest is my field. Especially on days like today

But your know what - I am damn tired of walking. I feel like I've been strugglig for weeks. Things keep happening - positive and negative - that shake me to my bones. I need some stable ground as time after time - I feel like I'm losing the plot.

I feel exceedingly isolated also. My mission is to become a big strong independent man, though at present I feel like an ice house. There is not one person that can relate to the things I experience except my guru - who is often out of reach.

I feel at sea and tumbling out of control often and rather than taking positive steps, I feel inclined to roll in a ball until it all fades away. I have expectation that this is not enough and that life demands my participation, but the burden of this crushes me more.

I feel my spiritual aspirations weigh more heavily than they enlighten. This is not quite true but I certainly apply more pressure to eevry day tasks than is necessary.

I wish I knew that there was some progress on the score of enlightenment. It's impossible and the psychological disintegration it involves is desired but makes for a wild ride.

I try not to dramatise as I write and intuitively, I know this period of wobble is flaking away uncertainty to stand in something deeper - that is the hateful-to-the-mind reality of absolute uncertainty and it's this I'm coming to understand. Until I get there though, I would like to record: the aches in my stomach, the whirling in my head and the mistrust of virtually every individual that I know.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

The word was influence she used and it ran through you like a hollow brick.

"I'm worried for the influence she has over you" referring to your Guru, which of course meant lack of influence from her. This is perilous for a woman seeking a relationship with a man. more so if she prided herself on immovability previously. There was a zone of yours that was beyond her reach and love seduced her to want to own it, though it was not necessary. He would have her, as totally as she would allow, though she could not accept that in him, lay all her passions and desires and to not be allowed to control them was for her the deepest self-betrayal.

Love left it quietly for a time, he softly whispered to himself, musing over a cup of coffee, alone in an apartment on a regular Sunday. Love left it quietly and then in loud thunder clashes made itself obvious to both of us, that in our deepest yearning, we find it impossible to break free.

Though more love, more peace than you have ever felt anywhere, and with her makes it an impossible goodbye.

Plot wagon #1

A world-wide millisecond tap on the world’s internet bank transfers siphons off billions of wealth disappeared to public eyes and resurrected in good will housing schemes worldwide.

Diary of an unborn writer # 30

The year was fire – this much is clear now and each of you burned up in different clothes, the scent of previous incarnations. The guise was studenthood – an impossible cliché of martyrdom for the cause of intellectual religion. Hygiene, morals, factual bases were sacrificed for the sake of the ideal. The ideal that smouldered in bones, was forever talked about but hid.

To the outside you were variously scum, oddballs, misfits and mysogonists and while each could well be applied these were masks for the embarrassment that somewhere three people gave a shit beyond overtures to fair-trade and recycling runs and allowed authenticity to shine as deep as cess pits of empty wine bottles and showers left standing with nine months of scum accumulating, magazines for toilet roll of gravy streaked across the kitchen wall, testament to abuse and profundity that saw beyond the daily chore.

The chores took the form of cigarettes and conversation, reading and painting. Each young man taking his course to its natural conclusion. The year was fire and burning though the pages of their learning, new lives were emerging, old ones falling into ruins. The fire burned anyone that stepped through the door, hence the nicknames and accusations of pretentiousness. If only they knew how seriously all of this was took. Drug dealers, psychopaths, trails of women of more or less mental composition. Each was fascinated, most revulsed and a few stayed along for the ride until it became too sincere to carry on.

Herman was the live wire, the devil with a hot poker to stick the behinds of any. Rowan was passive, seeing life beautifully but dwelling in a pit. Stephen had taken a conservative route until then, captivated by alternative living he had found it to be a husk. He was – with girlfriend and degree coming to an end at a loss to the motivation in his life and there took his tentative steps towards religion. All three were mystics in fact, as Rowan would later observe. Life moved for them in patterns and was coloured by swirls. It was not the box sought to be ticked, nor was it satisfied by kowtowing to imagined futures. This realism and recognition of uncertainty was central to the psychosis, and while escapism seemed to be the symptom, it was realism that made each understand that the ground beneath their feet had nothing under it to stand on, and they let themselves be shook.

In doing so they lived in praise of a glorious future – the present being a daily-written hand note to advise their future selves, and placed in the freezer to be come across accidentally in months and years to come.

Rowan spent much time in bed, reading and listening to dour female indie artists from a small £15 portable hi-fi placed on the floor by his mattress in his box room. Curtains frequently closed the man in semi-somnolence. He would leave the house each day for around three hours, go to explore Leith and chat with old man in forgotten pubs. He knew he was a writer, a novelist and had a reading list of contemporary fiction that you weep for its depth and obscurity. Reading and lying, in sober grey silence, he spent a lot of time away, taking depression and literature on its natural course, the year was burning up his studenthood of writing, ready to begin him in a year on his first novel. Like the others, the education outside the classroom providing exactly what he needed.

Stephen was a quiet soul. A straight type with a steady girlfriend that mis-matched the explorations of the other two. He took a few of his courses semi-seriously and enjoyed getting blind drunk with Herman and discussing philosophy for hours. He had an interest in going nowhere. In each previous location he had done the same. He did enough to pass his degree, stayed sane but devoured his own ability to be strange. It was so obscured by the other two. The man tried and failed to match them but, like a fragrance, the fire left with him with more than enough food for future development. He was to write, also a year later, in smatterings of faltering poetry. For the year, though, he was the watcher and having gone in with a delight for novelty, sincerity and the intelligentsia, he left it with a yearning for God and merging with the divine. Of the three, his final personality would be the most changed in three years time – or at least he would observe.

Herman – the fire brand – was a whirl of chaos. A deep hearted man whose drinking inflicted his deeply-felt pain on his environment like breathing. He was a scolder, a tempter, a confessor, a priest. At the end, Stephen and Rowan could scarcely bear the sight of him but this did not stop his extraordinary seductive powers bringing them along on many misadventures. The three probably experienced some of the most joyful times of their lives together and some of the most hollow.

Sundays were the fine days. The chicken would begin cooking at 3pm and it was the linchpin of civilisation. Rushing round Lidl for the necessary poultry and vegetables provided the backbone of the week’s diet. Friends would always attend, though oddly they received only two invitations back. Wine and carving, cigarettes and philosophy. The occasion was often a stage for the three to parade their philosophy, brotherhood, tomfoolery and irritation before assembled guests.

Discussions were often heated but frequently convivial. The evenings would end with warm feelings in the pit of stomachs and hoarse tobacco burns at the back of mouths. These were the glowing fine times.

As the year wore on, each became more focused and frightened about his future. Stephen retreated into a curious New Age approach, reiki symbols haunted his dreams and the people around him less and less a pastiche of the life he would like. He carried on and burned it up to its end. On graduation taking to drugs and drink like there was no tomorrow – the way each of them preferred it.

Herman was drinking himself into oblivion and fading in and out of psychosis. One episode involved him slitting his wrists in front of female company claiming he was proving the separation of body and mind.

Rowan fled soon after this. Nether he nor Stephen knew how to deal with this suffering nor pain, close as it as to their own. This was becoming clear at the beginning of Summer and through it all jollity remained – just like the thread of the year – these months were made of many coloured ropes. To call it desperate was to dismiss the happy smiles and generous attitude of each toward each other. To call it convivial was to ignore the weariness the three had for each other’s company. To call it sad was to allow that each felt a despair for a life in mainstream society and was seeking strategies to cope.

You had a feeling, sitting on damp sofa cushions, gazing on the brown stained carpet, that this flat was on the edge of things. There was genius and desperation, sunlight came in through windows and wine bottles were thrown through them. The communist manifesto sat in the loo and lifeless clocks hung whimsically from lamp stands. The bread knife was used to chop kitchen roll in half to serve as loo roll and kitchen counters a more frequent home for dishes and sauce pans than the cupboards, whose doors hung off their hinges.

Every once in a while a flurry would ensure the house was clean and another two months could follow before anyone lifted a finger again. Each bill was two months over-due and wasn’t considered worth paying until headlined in red. Pencil-written comments, poetry and cartoons flashed on the walls, along with Herman’s paintings, a step ladder sat by the door (“For safety” said the landlord pursuing regulations with relentless obscurity), tripping them up if bin bags full of glass bottles didn’t (“for recycling” Stephen would promise through pursuit of ethics rather than motivation to follow it through) and a hammer (“for security” said Herman demonstrating how intruders could be serenaded with blows and not be allowed to make it past the kitchen. A paranoia demonstrated that was rarely ever escaped).

The blink at the end of the year saw them fade in different directions. Rowan went first, to China and optimism, a year of bed-laying coming to an end. He had an idea for a novel and skipped away with packages full into the back of his mother’s estate car. We felt good for him and he could not wait to see the back of us, Stephen recalled. Herman and Stephen invited Thomas in. Something of a magician, drug’s counsellor and music expert and so descended the summer for three of them into limitless dust and oblivion. Stephen lost one girlfriend and found three more ones, Herman descended and ascended as his glory would, wowing and confounding but all i his inescapable whirlwind of a life.He is Brahama and Shiva with Vishnu presently obscured. We still fear whether he’ll make it through. He left the apartment and slept on couches got fired from hotel jobs and left Edinburgh three months later to return in another year homeless and wearily making a life as successive doors would close. Stephen stayed on in Edina for two more years. Ringing parties and hippydom, the manifestations of a quiet untroubled life, left to his own anxieties that caught up with him in the end. He had two successive break downs 9 months apart and kept few close to him as his own train wreck righted itself. He was becoming a writer, a healer and philosopher of discontented wisdom and while the trail moved as slowly as his own desire for obsolescence would allow, he chased acceptance and poetry and let these come and go.

He fell for God more than anything and tracing those steps he found a guru and could no longer separate between break downs and openings, each sliding seamlessly into the other. He found peace in India and desired to spread it back home, which slowly, slowly he’s more and more able to do. Anxieties fade, wisdom dawns and the friendship of the other two his most treasured of possessions.

Brotherhood could not stand such times as these without coming out sober and clean and relaxed in knowing that whatever would come, they’d already been through and seen to the edge of glowing and to it’s sister edge despair.

Each of the three has yet to settle on a course.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Diary of an unborn writer #28.5

Why don't we live in those open fields?, you said You know the ones that happen at the end of films when the hero finally arrives. Do we have to cast a few notches on the tree trunk of life before sweating gloriously with our backs on bare grass and allowing rain to mix tenderly with ginger beer and dames coming round with trays. We didn't hire the, they just came to be here, lucky dames, feasting off the crowd and off of you in the pasture time and likely shades of growth that we began to forgive on.


Pasture times and pretty few get to live them. And if they do, they forget how the grime of city slicking made them who they are.

This and other thoughts torment my days. The pasture times haunt as a reminder of what you're still yet to become.

Picture courtesy of Bonnie Mincu. Buy it here!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Diary of an unborn writer #29

So you're sitting for the third cosmology lesson for the week as Richard - the fine-pointed nosed man, steel-rimmed specs speaks with his nose close to the table. He's looking for the fine lines in the wood and seeing where the grain rhythmically pursues itself again and again. "It's fractal" he says with some definition, the infinite repeat somehow forming into his view.

It makes sense to him like this, the lines and repetitions a way his mind can grapple with disorder "which it empahtically is not" he says indignantly. There's so much order around us, it's arrogant to think there isn't.

"Possibly a projection?" you counter. "I mean you've found a higher state of order, one that can cope with dynamics but at some point you're imposing stasis. You're recognising it everywhere but just as surely as economists assume equilibrium, you're assuming fractals. They blow you're mind and you see them everywhere precisely because you're putting them there. It's an expansion and mesmorising for that but finally, my man, the order melts in on itself.

He grudgingly forgives you the point.

Diary of an unborn writer #28

There are dimensions in which everything is a sphere, others in which everything is a donut

...and since all experience is a form of some kind there are dimensions of pure love, pure intellect, pure orgasm....

Indeed , Cantor's infinity of infinities, different rhythms and colours and equations of infinities. We compartmentalise it to get by but real understanding needs to include limitlessness at every step.

I wish there was a way we can do that with economics.

Would be good. So phase space is a way of seeing everything just as you want it, spheres, waves or otherwise. Once imagined in phase space the most complex situations can be imagined and manipulated. The space is showing you what's going wrong and demanding you make a tweak.

So these inner shapes are actually imposed?

It's difficult to know which is which. I like to think of it as perception lending itself a hand.

Relic opportunity

Just pack your things and go, no time to ask questions, just run. You're to go now to Portsmouth, pose in front of the relics of St Therese and pretend she got you pregnant. Your Mum will kill me otherwise....

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Diary of an unborn writer #27

She gave me peace, you said, and it shocked the listener accustomed to tales of love and emotion coursing through breastplates and armour sworn to protect suddenly melting away. This way, you said, I have no feeling for her, only knowing - a devil to detect.


And a barrage of projections aimed to make your situation clear. This was the disaster clarity that sweeps all event s aside and makes plain the world dies on its axis each day. Breathes a cacophony, then dies. We the breathtakers cough, laugh and dance and get destroyed. Blessing to rise again if we'd only be granted the gift. Tight times rhyme and ride and you're passing like thick spaghetti through a cheese grater - the edges getting worn (see 16.09.09) and humanity found laughing at your sides even I pass beyond its reach.

The whole time the mad man kept quiet until silence popped, Earth breathed a tremendous exhale and he flew a precision dart through the gap, the trap that man had made. Damn near didn't make it but the song he sang came out in purple wisps and some stopped to listen and admire the haircut.

Tepid fools.

The picture basked and sang with him. It was a Balinese woman with lips and headress of an African, Orange and supposedly reflecting sun. It was a dry day but a tidy one and the mirror mentioned in passing that he wasn't looking too formulaic. Rather like a tree, but Guided Man said his way was unknown to even him so he'd better put up with the lesions on his face. He simply had no choice and Grace, darling, would surely show the way.

It just might be that this coffee time conversation ran a little wild. He was glad to write like this. It gave him the impression that in the ordered mass of efficient things some edges were still a little woolly, he wouldn't bandy in the shallows of the explainable but could express the inexpressible depths the ordered failed to trespass.

Damn Few, he thought

Damn few of us and the others so ready to lay blame.

Diary of an unborn writer #16.09.09

He called it "the essential typology of life".

"It came to me while I was studying Chaos theory and came across the idea of phase spaces. A phase space is when you combine variables on a graph to depict wider trends in behavior. So you can combine in a single portrait speed, position and time. The pictures come out quite beautiful and that the depiction of a straw circling down a plughole can in certain phase spaces to be seen exactly like a cube. They show another truth of the event, one you wouldn't otherwise see, but no less valid.

"It occurred to me that there was an ultimate phase space - one in which all events occur and this gave me some comfort relating the musings of science with ultimate reality. At some point they connect. At some point everything connects and it's nice to know science is not excluded from that."

Once you start seeing the world as shapes, patterns become evident. I don't mean the geometrical breakdown of a sunflower or even fractalising it to perfect its infinitely repeated pattern. What I'm interested in is some kind of inner geometry - the soul of the thing. Numbers too. Once you see dates as a swirling combination of shapes patterns, as I say, become evident. The connections between Barack Obama, the date 12/09/09 and an old lady doubled in rags bringing a Mercedes Benz to a screeching halt on your bicycle journey to work become clear if you just looked at the shapes involved. We're all just flows, frankly. Looking deeper, the shapes are not representations of the thing being witnessed. They are that thing. And sometimes I think a truer expression of what is there than at point blank."

You're a little stunned and ask him for an example. You're grasping at the corners of his possible psychosis, grappling for a foothold as the phrase "the space in which all things occur" ripples through your mind. The profundity and inanity of it equally tortuous your head's spiralling up so you lay the concern aside. He's still speaking and you've missed most of the last bit so you ask him to illustrate. On a napkin, pocked with traces of grease and salt he draws:

"September 2009 was a powerful month. 09/09 is enough to ring alarm bells if you're not British and don't see the ninth day as code for the emergency services. It was a very urgent day the 9th. Urgent in a way that folk were on their way to something. I spoke to a man desperately seeking new employers with a Finance degree. Myself I was calling all the international high schools in town looking for a new job. There was a lot of running, not to get somewhere, just make sure we're on the right way."

He draws the shape 1-16.09.09 and somehow it's obvious. The laser beam, the womb and the projectile. It was a trumpet of a little over a fortnight sending us on our way. "Things had to change in those days" he exclaims "and it's been like that ever since Pope Gregory said the calender had to be a certain way.


"You see here how 16 brings it all to harmony".

It's a relief to hear and you ease into coffee conversations and the mill of politics. The shape of things just done merging into talk of disappointed girlfriends, news of home and the racket the people make in the appartment under you on a Thursday when for another week, the dole cheque did not come through.

Monday, 7 September 2009

there's a day when you're so delicate

a sentence could break

into something you hadn't seen for a while

"you look wrecked" came the American Voice

Lady sledgehammer transparency

shot through

help shake out the dew

dreamy afternoon

word spilling

black coffee

lisa hannigan

avoiding any excuse to work

lyric for a song

We can go all ways


My dying

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Lady with the Blonde sparkly, catlike eyes.

I'm not speaking to you yet. There's a game to play a foot to follow. You're too intriguing to brashly ask out for walks or wine. I need to live up to your easy mystery that's still startling me days hence. Keep me in mind, though, I'm communicating softly.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The Golden Door

The golden doorway leads to a room with lavish coaches and a blonde with a cigarette holder blowing a soft stream of smoke upwards at 45 degrees. Her left hand hangs over the couch with an absinthe at an expensive tilt. Knee bent, foot resting just next to a bald black man with corduroys and a waistcoat - no shirt. He's looking down at his shoes.

A lady with expensive perfume takes your hand and leads you to a corner, introduces you to artists and performing types, illustrators and magazine writers. Creatively employed but right now in pursuit of the art of nothing.

The room is green and you have arrived.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Diary of an unborn writer #26

If you ask a mathematician how he sees number - he will be unable to describe the wonder and imagination a linear row or matrix can fulfil in him.

What looks like a humble number line to you and I, speaks to him of nothing less than the rhythm and mystery of the universe.

So too with spirituality for me. Compassion, love, Truth and infinity rub up againist and codify each other, unlocking in an endless pattern until finally each is undone. There is nothing unmagical about this endless embrace and the more we see it in one area of life, the more we see it in all aspects of the cosmic surprise.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Diary of an unborn writer #24

I was recently asked:

‘What do you stand for?”, and, “What proof within your daily life demonstrates this?”

and felt moved to answer.

I stand for love

and its penetration of into every corner of my life motivates me to move more and more deeply into it. Accept loves challenges and emerge...



Nurturing of Truth.

Day by day I pit my wits against my fears, aim to acknowledge and release them. Some days overwhelmed, others shining and inspiring others to do the same. Many days of shining, though, are met with derision and lack of understanding that things could be another way.

That diligence may be sort after but work - the meaningless oppression of masses - need not rule our lives.

I find that the more respect I have for myself, reveals others lack of respect for me and how I kow-towed to it, bowed under and washed over by it, believing it to be a balm or elixir, rather than a strangle hold it has since been shown to be.

I am a slave to my fears - the tiny ones, the petty ones, that scream louder than all the others. The deep low rumbles that I am truly astray stay well out of sight, lost beneath a chattering cloud of starlings.

I yearn for silence but am shit scared of what I see when I am even close. I lose myself in nothing much at all, but in nothing much at all I find the greatest peace.

I am torn between ambition for man and woman to be the greatest they can be and realising this ambition is what tore us in the first place.

I would like to walk in the arms of society, be a brave illuminator of her faults, but I get pulled in, she's showing me again what I need to see and it's a big breath and

pah! under, gasping glad, sometimes horrified at what I had failed to see until this particular moment.

How stupid I have been, how forgiving I must now be and how I must not conceptualise the lesson so to create another stick to beat us more.

These, friends, are deep times and we're being shown everything we need to see. The trauma will not stop until we down tools and take up branches loving arms to cherish each other and clear eyes to help each other out when we're astray.

Let each be a shining light unto their own destiny. In the hope that each can fulfil his and her purpose, there is this prayer:

Throughout all realms of experience


Essential nature, illuminating existence

Is the Adorable ONE

May ALL beings perceive

Through subtle and meditative intellect

The magnificent brilliance of enlightened awareness.

This is the song sung by Mother Gayatri and is said to be the first prayer humans ever sang. I join my prayer to hers, for each day that any of us have privilege to walk upon this Earth and beyond, to the depths beginingless time, to the rapture of unknowing awakenedness.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Diary of an unborn writer #23

He fell in love this man, to wit: discarded piles of poetry some of which made it to the Bush.

A delicate thing a poem, sometimes too precious to greet the air, you've verbalised something but is it robust enough to take another's breath?

But it's good the poetry flow and the writing flow, though apologies for not typing so much onto here. I've written half a book since the last entry with lines like:

Living is pain

But you're a dream I'm willing to follow

and folk songs too:

Could you glow again, lady

Like the time you did before

When it was just us and the universe

Lying on the bedroom floor?

I tried to say something

I just remembered what it is

You took me away babe

Never to return

..and so on. As I say there's a pretty pile of it and some it may make it on here if I find the time and attention to type.


The world's been good to me these last months. Slightly more in debt than I'd like to be, a little more exhausted than I'd like to be and if I'd paint the perfect picture a certain half Filipina/half Irish Californian lass would be in slightly closer company: this heavenly being not seeing fit to be seduced by poetry. Funny how the failed embrace leaves a feeling of guilt, as if trespassed uncalled for. A pity in any case because she'll leave the town soon and advances could well have ruined the friendship. dwell dwell dwell.

Lifting eyes above the tarmac, to the unfolding spring, it sings of luxurious nothing much to do but walk around and soak it up. I've had a few visitors which leads me nicely to the next, never-typed-before text.


Alex has been here, the wide-eyed wonder boy with a line in delight like no one else; a line in depression also, but now lying more easy - allows it to permeate rather than overwhelm.

We spent the weekend drinking, entertaining ladies with stories of time misspent together in university's final year. It was the two of us and Herman - three romantic idealists fending off with fantasy all claims from the world.

It was a crazy beautiful year about which much could (and has!) been written, laughed at, cried over and appalled by. Alex and I did just this, mostly in a haze of drink and dazed by Amster's fertile spring: women, blossom ad brotherhood shining as it should: uncomplicated, free with the odd squeak of philosophy.

In a busy, busy bar early summer evening:

"Look here, Simon" (he calls me by my former name) "This table is true. I mean it's not about to turn into a cat"

He's spent the weekend having me believe he's dropped all philosophical inquiry ("So self-indulgent") but now he's let some slip and I've got him on the ropes. Hid voice rises above the hum as he slaps his palm onto the dappled red formica table to confirm its ontology, rattling our colony of beer bottles, glasses, candle stick in centre complete with unlit candle.

"Depends how you define about, a certain interval of time that could stretch for aeons. If the table were be burned, the ash used to fertilise a tree, the tree were to grow acorns which were eaten by a squirrel, itself devoured by a cat, then in a sense the table has become a cat."

"But right now the table is true"

"Not if it's subject to change"

It's Plato v. Aristotle, Hume v. Kant in an inconsequential bar on a young summer night

"I admit nothing is absolutely certain..."

"Which is to say it's infinitely uncertain"

"That's not the same"

"Simple swap of logical operators"

"You can't bring logic into it - logic doesn't make it true"

"But if we were to use it you can see how you've admitted that everything is infinitely uncertain - straight equivalence"

"Simon!" (my old name again). He's on his feet now glaring his Marty Feldman eyes and roars a final palm down onto the table like a baptist screeching Hell Fire "THIS. TABLE. IS NOT. A CAT!"

The bar falls silent, I hit the floor laughing, we learn nothing and the evening moves on.


The power is in man, and his forgetting is his greatest fear. That he could inflict in his forgetting so much pain torments him until all pain and all suffering forces him to remember:

that he has never been forgotten not in the face of his wildest protestations - not that others could ever be forgot.

Sitting in this happy forum, time melts, and he sees. Like a November morning, spring but for the chill. Skin prickling against the cold and sun tentatively warming the face. The winter's just a passing, masking the eternal spring.

These thoughts and others comfort him in depression or otherwise turn into oppressors themselves. The comfort lost, he journeys on in pain and darkness - forgetting that he even breathes - that his very cells love with their easy function and eyes turned inward perceive only the divine. In him, in all.

And so the journey begins again.

Tomorrow is the full moon and I wish upon her majestic beauty that I'll find full comfort and rest this night, and full comfort and rest in whatever the day may bring.


Full blog archive at The Never Ending Teacup.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Diary of an unborn writer #22

There were moments of jealousy in the time honoured way of matrimony – when the bonds are that tight you would expect a little give. And we gave - enough to hurt the other, make a game of fighting, ignoring, daring the other to make up first or realise it was a crash course we were on, each of us pushing our togetherness closer to the brink.

And I must say it was a wild ride for a time: we would erupt in huge conflagrations and passionate love making – the kind to make our downstairs neighbours chandeliers shake. There was also throwing things and laughing at each other because the aim was off and a frying pan sailed like a dove, unswerved by the window pane as it serenely crashed through. The frying pan was our comedy saviour that time but we mostly found something to cool the instincts and recivilise.

The passion was exhilarating and gave us both something to live for. In the early twenties there’s a lot to be frustrated about – the whole ground is shifting and you’re working out which way to best ‘make your life’ – nothing too extreme, we weren’t about to join Hamas and fight the Israeli occupation (though I know some who did) but radical enough to make a contribution. She chose human rights; I chose bohemia.

I decided to fashion myself on the whet stone of art. This was tricky. The most I had managed to that point were a few love letters and a faltering student drama career – becoming known as the competent supporting cast but never enough to land the lead roles. There was quite some talent there and members of the student company have gone on to quite some artistic and commercial success.

Jewel had always known a life in development was for her. With unswerving attention to the unfoldment of her plan she executed a path that in my dreams I had most wanted. The difference was that while I was dreaming – really imagining a future for the two of us as best I could, she was busy doing – scoring an outstanding degree. My degree was creditable, but lucky. And my carefully nurtured political rhetoric hardly correlating with the unforgiving reality.

Art was kind to me: showed me an area I could unfold, a tolerant crowd to express my attempts to define and describe the world. I joined a small drama group at the Forest Cafe – a community of alternative souls that also sold organic sandwiches and coffee. It was run not for profit and fulfilled its task diligently enough. There were times there that were pure dreamspell, others when the drudgery was depressing. The Forest Cafe fulfilled a need: the need for sensitive and caring people to express themselves, it therefore had to fulfil the need of sensitive and caring people for rigid social hierarchies and the complete avoidance of reality. I say this lavishly, and with the qualifier that I have known some of my most joyful, vibrant times in this place - filled with papier mache sculptures, murals of swirling comedy and political protest - but if the community had its downside this was it, and it eventually became too much. I mean seriously, the politics of the playground prevailed as they do everywhere and the tyranny of the popular dictated social discourse as much or more than concern for the well-being of fellows. If the latter was expressed it was shamefully superficial or else so mired in personal circumstance to be suffocating. This form of conversation, opening and sharing, was to show the other they could trust you. In practice it was merely dumping and I became as good at it as anyone. Hearing people’s problems became a kind of affirmation, amongst cups of coffee and vegan chocolate cake, that friendly conversation was tense, seeking an entry when the other would break so problems could be resolved, recycled and played out all over again. It was not the place to be emotionally mature but it did indulge a romance of freedom and creativity that I have seldom felt nourished elsewhere and if my judgment is overly harsh, it is because the Forest fulfilled its dream as nearly as you could wish.

The drama group was lead by a man named Ras Babi. Ras was Sudanese, who, by way of thirty years of travelling had made it to Edinburgh and become a rallying point for the lost souls. He would inspire with his very presence, never do what you expected but frequently astounded and beautified his surroundings. A man of the Rasta faith Ras Babi spoke every inch of his being as authentically himself. He cried for the home country and injustice in the world and in doing so, taught us to do the same.

Tuesday night’s drama club would begin with Ras Babi standing up looking to heaven and words emerging that would set the scene for the evening. From this, stories action and poetry emerged with stunning spontaneity and prepared pieces too. Folk trying to get to the core of things – at least fleetingly. It became a group healing in a very real sense and its cast of colourful – woven jumpers and torn trousers colourful – became people I respected and admired.

Each month we would put on a show, with such colours and rich imagining and also a descendent chaos that was beautiful to behold. The drama itself was backed by a band that could play the reggae of Kingston, the blues of Chicago and the bristling funk of Lagos. These were the highh times, what we lived for and sweet until divisive posturing and spearated ideals took us in different directions.

Jewel arrived back in Edinburgh when the Forest was still my social hub. She had come from far out of town – after a year in Chile and expected somehow for my life not to have moved on at all. In fact, every element of a life developed away from her was resented. Evidence of her non-presence and it hurt her as much as it hurt me that I couldn’t understand the reasons at the time. All I could see was isolation and miscommunication, a couple of glimpses of a love we had previously known but otherwise formalised and expectant. We were going through the motions and allowed none of the feeling to get in the way.

She had been in Chile working for Amnesty International. An intern in their office, she organised campaigns and made friends with young idealistic types – a beautiful crowd who were much like the Forest crew except willing to DO something about it. It’s just occurred to me while writing that maybe the Forest’s job was to show to me the outcome of dream-dreaminess rather than something more engaged after which I was ultimately to yearn.

Jewel came to my Edinburgh scene a year more mature and womanly. She was beautiful beyond my remembering and now with slight care-worn wrinkles around the eyes and a smile that killed, even more when it didn’t occur.

The move to Edinburgh was ostensibly an internship position but had the undercurrent of bringing us back together, making it year 5 of an enduring relationship – about the only constant I had known since snapping the umbilical cord at 18. I’d passed through a dozen groups of friends, theatre groups and debaucherous incidents and she had remained calm and ever herself. Fun-loving, wise, and did I mention?, beautiful. It was the long brown hair and strike of her hips, always at an angle. A voice fashioned from worldwide residence since the age of five that you’d have down as lilting American – though she’d grimace at the suggestion and describe with pride her East European roots.

But I’m straying from the chronology: she was back in my life when I was hardly in it myself. She’d returned as I recovered from depression, heard my whines of a life grimly lived and wondered how the one she’d left had wound up in this situation of denial, despair and constant self-criticism – sprayed liberally onto others if they came too close to cracking the shell.
How could she, trying to come to terms with the situation, not become closed? There was more. Her lover in years gone by had found another stream of devotion – he’d gone and gotten himself a Guru and spoke of her with obsession, as if it were the only part in his life. Dear lady, what else could she do but close.

Simon had yet to rise to the heights of compassion where he could see the closure and not take it personally. He cajoled his sweet heart into communication, knew she was holding back and wished for a second she would be honest with herself and him. It was a dangerous time of expansion: having been released from misery’s clutches, he was a wild animal uncaged and not as sensitive as he might have been to the needs of his lady-love. Indeed he was more interested in his own.

Awakening to him was everything and at the time, in fact still, anything seen to be getting in the way had to be thrown aside. The trouble was that anxious girlfriends in need of attention attracted derision rather than sympathy. It was the mental lock of a mind that’s telling itself it is not there – the height of arrogance that can only thrive in spiritual circles when everyone’s busy reassuring each other that their ego is not there, in fact murdered or subject to thirty years intensive labour. Our will to succeed was such that we could not admit we were all dreadfully mistaken, and a terrifyingly long way from home.

Jewel was more at home – through this she was a constant, although necessarily anxious about where the future was taking her. I admired her bravery, courage at taking the steps necessary. It was a while until I found my vacation in bohemia was a way to escape the problems of the world. Though, depression aside, I had quite a merry time along the way.

Beauty that tender and that fragile can only get derision from the arrogant mind. I couldn’t admit she was right and I couldn’t either see how much she loved me and her restraint was nothing but a fear of not having that loved returned. If anything, her love ran deeper than mine or was more honestly expressed, whereas mine was the kind that expected results and not knowing they would come, ultimately walked away.

This fragility of temperament did us in. Though I’ll admit from the other side there was jealousy, resentment and expectation that felt to me like so much baggage I could do without. There were things emerging in me that I could not express while around her. She hated to read my writing, mention of my guru was snuffed out and what I was discovering was written off as the ramblings of a crazed-obsessive. Not least because a) they were and b) they were taking me further away from her.

So you see now that not a single frying pan was thrown, though I wish it would, maybe dissolved our castles for a second, allowed for parlay and gentle company.

Soon after I was gone to India, had a romance with a Dutch lady; in what I was convinced was true love. It was certainly true passion or true openness – a love that closes up again once its consequences have been appreciated (you mean I have to share all their shit too?!). But that was not until we’d met up again in Edinburgh. I had decided in meditation on the banks of the river Ganga that Jewel and I were over. In fact I had decided the night before I went to Edinburgh – Jewel deciding that my taking twenty minutes in the shower was more important than a final night spent harmoniously. I was raging. Our final week had been horrendous. I had wanted to share in the grief of leaving but Jewel, as was her custom had turned to rigid stone. There was no give, no introspection and from this I concluded that never could we be together if she could not accept and forgive me for following a deep passion of mine.

As you can see I was at the height of arrogance, though I felt, well-reasoned at the time.

In India it was more reassuring myself I had made the right decision. She had become so catty. While I had retreated into bohemia, she had gone the way of cosmo chic. She had developed a Sex & the City twang and referred to me as another accessory to her lifestyle, a handbag or career path in the knowing superficial way our culture finds so sophisticated but disguises a deep disgust of its own insignificance. Of course this was a young lady finding her way in clothes society provided and she tried to make fit her. Shame that the clothes were ones I had ideologically arrayed myself against. I described her friends as corpses and couldn’t understand why she got upset.

In my meditations – supposedly diving into Truth – I was working out which woman would be better for me, my new-found Holland gem, or the Jewel. Sticking in my mind were two things. One, we had trudged to the train that would take me to the plane to India, moodily resenting the other, I for her brooding, she for my leaving. Abandoning her really, when she had come this far for me. What emerged as we left was a kiss that would knock the hind legs off a donkey as if our love rose up to remind us what was really going on. In my resentment, this first event baffled. The second was a repeat event, the blank tape that was re-recorded every night when we went to sleep. Whether sex or not, argument or not, loving understanding or cool miscommunication, nights were our haven and falling asleep and waking I was always more in love with her than with anything ever – our bodies glowed as one being, hearts fallen into synchronised rhythm over night. This wasn’t the outcome of time long spent together. I cannot remember a time when we were not like this.

If only we had been more faithful to this feeling during the day.

Returning to Scotland I was as free as the wind and going only where footsteps took me. I had felt as though karmically released, a history thankfully washed clean and a road that would go in the only direction I was going.

I finished things formally and finally with Jewel and enjoyed liaisons with a couple of other women, walking away as soon as it became inconvenient, including the one I had undyingly fallen for on the banks of the Ganga. I was rolling alone and getting quite a kick out of it. I would mourn for Jewel and know it was just symptom of our passing. We enjoyed intermittent meetings that were as passionate and loving as any time we could remember together. Unfettered by the chains of wondering whether or not we had a future we could be completely there for one another. It was then I realised how much she loved me and I her, but I was strong in the conviction that our time was up and different pastures awaited us both.

This galled her and she wept for months. Stranded in Edinburgh alone, at times she would refuse to see me. All through this I was certain I was doing the right thing. I still am. Though on the day of her leaving Edinburgh – ostensibly out of each other’s lives for good – in a moment of self-doubt I drew a tarot card to see if I was doing the right thing. On it was a shadowed mourning figure with a one word below it: ‘Alone’.

So now the wheel has turned and I’m imagining a life with her once more: desiring it profoundly – how can I rationalise that I was ‘right’? The move to leave was necessary to uncover and remind ourselves what lay within us. The pattern of resentment and jealousy in which we had ourselves locked needed somehow to be released, to be seen for what it was – deep fear that we could ever be apart. These tender loving hearts had become so scarred by being apart, they were tentative in coming back together and for all my prostestations of openness, I was as closed and scared as she was. For this we had to break.

And what opened up? Devotion, passion, living, immediate, uncomplacent, unexpectant, true real, thrilling love. It washed us clean and allowed wounds to heal, be opened up again and sluiced out. Bruises reborn, flesh unscabbed and hot flowing love to course through, renew and heal.

Of course it hurt but if we ever get back together these will be the times, of renewal, of hope, that sowed the seed of our re-imagining.

Which is what I am doing. Writing songs about contented suburban life, poems more romantic and erotic than I thought my sensitive, filthy brain could surmise. I want to grow old with her, be boring with her, go off the rails with her, find a way back to ourselves with her.

I want to share in ruins and mistakes and take on most of hers too. This is not the love that needs or possesses but demands total commitment from both sides to honesty, truth and love. A passion for our combined unfolding. Spreading wings and flying high all the while growing deep roots to shade each other and others, little saplings sprouting round.

The poems you’ll see from time to time on the Rosebush, but mostly they’ll be just for her. Sent in packages from unknown addresses with notes to spark and flame, bring my lover back again. I'm done with the searching, hoping, wishing. This is the end game. She'll be here by Autumn.
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