Saturday, 3 December 2011

A Self-made Male Estella

My secrets run deep -
Or allegedly so -
An ocean to plummet;
An endless knowledge to know.

What can you promise
A lover
But the key to that door;
The map to that labyrinth -
The depths of the soul?

Here, take this crowbar,
Take this screwdriver,
This clawhammer,
This jimmy, this pick,
And use it to prize
Open my head
Or bust into my heart.
We’ve always been hazy
On where’s best to start.

And here lies my mystery,
Here lies the truth:
My truth is my emptiness,
My truth is my void.
The rhetoric of romance
Is all in my voice;
A slight of the hand,
A castaway glance,
A mirror that of habit
Can’t help but flatter.

I’ll bare your delusions,
I’ll hang on your wall -
Suit any interior; impress all your friends,
I’ll awaken your fantasies,
Embody them all,
But I’ve not the substance
To weather their fall.

For as good as things look,
For all of their promise,
I’m not sure I really
Feel a thing.
My hidden depths
Are on constant display.
There’s not a thing to me
But bone, hair and meat.
No soul, no spirit,
No emotional core here -
Just chemical signals
Encased in a cranium
And balanced by chance
On top of a spine.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

My Friends, My Grievance

It’s funny the relationships
That we carve out.
My best friend Jack
I’ve known since
I don’t know when,
And we’ve been best friends
Since I was nine
And he was eight -
The year behind in school,
Almost but not just quite.
If you asked me what we talked about
Or what we had in common then,
I couldn’t give the vaguest clue.
But I loved him then,
I love him now;
I hear his voice in all I do,
He passes judgement on all I meet -
A brother,
If a brother was a man
Who always lived within your head,
Whilst also out there in the world;
Who you don’t need to hear or see
To feel his friendship constantly.

My other friends
(I have a few):
A girl I was in love with,
But couldn’t have;
Another who I thought I was
Who never knew;
A guy I knew for years and years
And never took the time to talk to,
Until our friendship grew and grew -
Grew while others I once had valued
Faded out or I gave up on
As wastes of time or pointless prattle.

The most recent friend that I have made -
If Jack’s the best friend to the child -
He’s the best friend to the adult.
We’ve not been friends that long, I s’pose,
But the history that I share with Jack,
With him lies all up ahead there,
In the future.

So that’s the list - it’s not exhaustive.
I chose the ones I did
There is a link that ties the few
And privileges them to presence
In this poem:
They’re the ones to whom I feel
I don’t need to say a word.

And now we get
Round to my theme:
I love these guys because
It’s words that really busts my gut.

It might be me and me alone
(I’m sure it’s not)
But I’m really not that good with words.
I make them do all kinds of things -
I’m pretty good at that, it’s true;
But not even I,
With all those GCEs, those A levels,
AS too, and a degree,
Can make those fuckers
Mean a thing.

I talk to people; tell them things,
But the trouble is
I can’t believe a word I say.
It all sounds great, I know -
It’s fun to make it sound that way.
Some sounds crude and some sounds fancy;
Some even rhymes and some’s romancy.
But what I fear, and sometimes feel
I know is true,
Is that words can never, never
Be sincere.
I feel that I should warn the people
That I know:
All words are poison,
Not just mine,
Yours are too.

The problem is
That words are really all they give you
To reach out there and know a person,
And that seems tragic
If the same is true of you
As what is true of me.
I’m a simpleton;
My mind’s a blank -
My body is the only
Part of me that’s ever frank.
The ones I value,
The ones I truly love,
They know it deep within their core:
I’m not complicated,
Nor are they.
But that’s not something
Most people like to say.

I much prefer your simple side,
Whoever you may be,
And however complicated
You might think you are,
Because I am so simple
I don’t believe a word -
Not one of yours, not one of mine.

So if I could make the world
As I’d like it to be,
I’d flush away complexity
And set the simple free.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Let's do this Right

I’m not certain and you’re not sure.
We’ve both loved people
We wish we’d never met before.
I’ll try not to be one of them,
But I can’t promise even that,
And what I feel now
May one day be
A memory I’m just angry at.

But sure, why not?
What the hell is there to lose,
But time and patience, self-respect and independence?
Aren’t those things all just second prize
For people with nobody by their sides?
I don’t believe that
But if you do,
I’ll lie and say that I do too.

Let’s do this right or not at all.
Let’s do this right and just admit,
Neither of us think the other is a perfect fit.
We know we could find someone better;
Someone smarter, someone slimmer,
Someone like her from off the telly,
Or like him from in that book I read,
Or maybe just someone who’s not too proud,
To get down there and give me head.
So let’s not feel we have to settle;
If we’re not happy now,
We won’t get more so -
Let’s just not bother after all.

And if perchance you should feel lonely,
Just remember this one thing:
Happiness never was a door
Marked “couples only”.

Friday, 22 April 2011

The King

Out for a walk in the woods one day, I heard a peculiar noise coming from the undergrowth. I made my way towards it, and as I grew closer, it became apparent that it was somebody singing. Eventually I saw its source. Nestled amongst a hedge, lay a King. One had just to look at him to know that, just as certainly was it that he was a King, so too was he mad. I’ll not bore you with details of his appearance, but his beard was overgrown with bits of foliage caught in it, and even the odd twig. His missing crown and sceptre were indisputable evidence to the case that he was indeed a mad king.
“Your majesty,” I said, for a king is still a king, no matter how disturbed, “Your majesty, what throne is this for you?” The monarch ceased his song and fixed his fierce black eyes on mine. So terrible was his stare that I felt forced down on to one knee as if by powerful hands. Knelt in a bow, the king would now deign to address me.
Through his deranged mumblings, he told a tale of usurpation and exile; of mutiny and bloodshed, subterfuge and plot. It seemed he had once been the ruler of a small kingdom, just two stops from King’s Cross on the Northern Line, that was most highly revered for its ancient lineage, and for its philosophers and urbanity it was surpassed by Ancient Greece alone. Long had he been a wise and just king over this kingdom until one day a band of vicious troglodytes, tired of the dank of their humble caves, rose up against the king and his people. The troglodytes came fourth in great numbers, driven by envy and greed. The king’s knights fought valiantly, but being all poets and philosophers, their might was that of lame men, and beneath the furious weight of the troglodytes, they fainted all of them away. Those subjects who were not slain by the troglodytes were forced to flee their homes, the king only narrowly avoiding the wrath of the invaders by escaping his besieged palace via a secret passage to the forest where I found him.
“Sire,” I said, “my allegiance is yours, and I would die many deaths to see you restored to your throne and your noble kingdom re-established. I am no knight, yet gladly would I spill blood for you, both my own and that of your enemies.” This pleased the King mightily, I could see, for he sprang up and put his arm about my neck. I thought this behaviour rather low for a King, but he had endured much and I did not begrudge him his excitement. However, his excitement eventually began to chafe my neck and made it difficult for me to breathe.
“Your majesty,” I said, (for to wheeze would have been disrespectful) “your majesty, I cannot breathe. Would you condescend to release one who stands, beneath your glory, a mere peasant?” After some minutes more of troubled breathing, I am delighted to report that he did condescend, though I really feel I was unworthy of the kindness. I commented that exile could not greatly have diminished his kingly strength and his was the might of many men.
And then, glory of glory, honour of honour, that noble monarch proceeded to knight me. Of course, he had no sword to conduct the ceremony as would have been proper at court but, demonstrating the quick-thinking and innovation that come so naturally to one of his grand station, he took a tree branch and laid it upon my shoulders, dubbing me a knight of his realm. Obviously, this ceremony was one he had once much enjoyed and now missed, for he performed it a number of times upon me with increasing enthusiasm and force. Were it not for the slight bruising he had so jovially adorned my neck with earlier, I should not have been at all aware of any discomfort from this repeated ceremony and would have enjoyed it unreservedly, but I must confess that it did cause me some pain after a while. A true knight, I am sure, and not one such as I, should have felt nothing at all, but I felt inclined to beg him to cease this honour and to draw to a close the proudest moment of my life. Oh impudence! How I regret it now. I, unaccustomed then to the conduct appropriate when conversing with royalty, was to learn the consequences of assuming to criticise the way a king carries out his duties. Profuse was my beating, profuse was my bleeding, yet even more profuse than both of these was my pleading for the forgiveness of that monarch whose retribution for my impertinence fell so heavily and so honourably upon my unworthy head and shoulders (unworthy of his presence that is, not the punishment, which I so sorely deserved). When he deigned my sentence served and cast the tree branch away from him, he began to teach me the customs and traditions of his kingdom. He told me that the place in which I had found him was sacred to him and his kind for the great chestnut tree which we stood beneath was something of a deity. He told me that if I wished to serve him and count myself amongst his people, I must climb that tree, hear its voice and learn of its wisdom. This, of course, I did.
Up amongst its branches, I heard many things and learnt much.

-Trust is the key it said trust your fellow man, yet trust him not.

-Truth is the simplest of all things to find. Your search need take you no further than silence. Listen to what the silence of the world has to say, and there will Truth, in soft melodic tones, speak to you.

-There can be no knowledge but the knowledge of ignorance. Learn only from he who preaches ignorance, for his words contain the only wisdom worth having.

-Observe the squirrel. He buries what he treasures and his path home takes him always upwards.

-The owl opens his eyes only in darkness. What use is vision when all is clear as day?

The tree then fell silent. I could tell that it felt it had taught me all it could that day. I showed my gratitude and respect in the manner which the King showed me, which I would record here but do not feel it would be proper to leave such noble traditions and ceremonies open to the ridicule of the ignorant, to whom they may seem absurd. They may once have seemed absurd to me, but that was before I learnt something of what the wise old Chestnut tree had to teach.
Dusk was beginning to fall upon us, so I thought it best to leave the King to his slumber and return home to my bitch of a mother where she would supply me with my supper. I promised the King I would return the next morning, when I would begin in earnest my service to him. He seemed sad, in his noble, reserved way, that I should leave him, and I too felt the pangs of parting and confess I showed them a lot more openly than he. But through my tears I explained that my mother was truly a bitch and that I had no choice but to return home to her, and took my leave.
As soon as I walked through the door, that bitch began with her false affection. She asked me where I had been that day and I perceived immediately that she was in league with the troglodytes and sought to find out my new master, the King, and run him through as he slept. I resisted her interrogation and reminded her of the vast extent to which she was a bitch, and worse besides. When she asked me what had happened to my jacket and shoes, I created an elaborate story about having been robbed rather than tell her the truth that I had presented them as gifts to the King after he had shown a liking for them. I took my supper in my room with a chair against the door so that the bitch would not watch me with her repulsive eyes and then sat up late into the night planning the campaign to take back the King’s lost land.
Early the next morning, I returned to the sacred grove in which I had met the King. He was not there. I climbed the mighty chestnut tree and implored it to tell me where the King had gone, but now it would nothing say. I realised that the reason the tree, which yesterday had treated me as a friend, was silent was because it was suffering from a broken heart. Its heart was broken, you see, because the troglodytes must have found the King in the night and there, beneath the shadow of the tree he loved so well, they had murdered him. Openly I wept and, amidst the torrents of my grief, I told the tree how I wished that I had not left the King so that I might have died along side him in glorious battle. I begged the tree to strike me down then and there as punishment for my desertion, but it answered me in neither word, nor deed. Evidently it intended me for some greater purpose. However, I could neither bare the trees judgement, nor the site of my sovereign’s demise any longer, and, grieving, skipped away.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Current Affairs

It’s pretty rare that something happens in the news that moves me. Usually, I’d write a long list of things from the news that don’t move me, and it would all be controversial stuff that I’d say doesn’t move me - like bombings, paedophiles, natural disasters, rapes, murders, cot-death – and I say it didn’t move me just to seem outrageous and cynical. Well I’m not going to do that this time, because this time I’m being sincere. All that stuff might be moving and it might not be, but it is predictable. But here’s one thing that isn’t and it does move me.
Some time over the last week, I’m not sure when, a seventeen year old jumped off of the Golden Gate Bridge for a dare. He only got a couple of bruises. What are we dealing with here? A pro. What we’re dealing with here is a pro. A lot of people jump off of that bridge – approximately 1500 since 1937 – and 98% of them die when they do it. Sure, this guy’s a pro because he takes on those odds and comes out in the winning 2%, but the main reason the guy’s a pro is because, like I said, he did it for a dare. Here's a some of the media coverage:
A lot of people come out of puberty thinking that a dare doesn’t mean anything, that there’s nothing wrong with not doing a dare when you’re dared to do. But if you ignore a dare; if you pretend that you are above a dare, what are you proving? You’re proving that you have no sense of honour, that you have no principles, that you’re afraid you’ll be thought immature. All I can say to people like that is that if they fell off the Golden Gate Bridge, they would be in the 98%. This guy wasn’t because he stood up for something; he proved himself a Man and was rewarded for it. And I’ll bet he didn’t endure the shame of being double-dared to do it either.
This kid’s name doesn’t seem to have been disclosed, but if it is revealed I will remember it in case he runs for president or leads a revolution. This is the kind of guy who should be in charge of things. Maybe you could say that doing a dare is just giving in to peer pressure, and that that kind of person is just a mindless drone, but if you say that then you don’t understand the nature of the dare. A dare is a challenge. There aren’t any consequences to refusing the challenge because if the dare is set by people who respect the dare, a refusal ends the matter as unequivocally as an execution. That’s because a dare is not a test to see whether or not you’re a pussy, but to see whether or not you’re a Man. The only consequences of not proving you are a Man is knowing you are not a Man. The only kind of person I trust to lead me is someone who has proved to himself that he’s a Man. Someone who can honestly say, “Yes. Every dare I ever got dared, I did.” A person’s politics or ideology is of no interest to me if they’re living in fear that their secret will be exposed – the secret that they are not a Man. I don’t know about you, but people like that don’t fool me. I spot them right away. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with not being a Man – for some people, it’s just not their cup of tea – but to try to convince people you are one when you know you’re not…well, that’s as low as you get.
Sometimes though, you will be dared to do something that is beyond your abilities. When we were kids, my brother dared me to look at all the boobies in the world. He might not remember it, but I do, and I’m trying, bro - but that’s a tough dare. I knew it was a tough one at the time, and now I know I’ll never do that dare - and let me tell you, there is no shame greater than the shame of a dare unfulfilled – but I am grateful to my brother for daring me to do that dare, because even though I will carry the shame of the dare not done to my grave, that dare defined me because it made me respect the dare and all the dare stands for. And if I didn’t respect that I may as well have taken that dare to the grave the minute my brother dared it.
So going back to the kid who jumped off that bridge, what is so special about him? The dare he got dared wasn’t a particularly hard dare - pretty much anyone in the world could jump off the Golden Gate Bridge – but that isn’t the point. It doesn’t matter how dangerous, how ridiculous, how pointless the dare; all that matters is that you do that dare. This kid is special, at least to me, because he went ahead and did that dare in an age where people no longer respect the honour of the playground. We believed in it when we were kids - just like we believed in right and wrong when we were kids - so why can’t we believe in it still?

Friday, 25 February 2011

A Day is the Life of a Mayfly

The mayfly awakes. It’s still dark, but he knows he’s got a lot to get through today. His mind says,
-there’s nothing for it. You’ve got to get up. But his body says,
- just sleep. Both are compelling arguments. He sits up in bed and lets them bring their cases. His mind has dozens of very sensible, very sober reasons why it is absolutely necessary to get out of bed right that instant and the mayfly, being a rational sort of guy, can’t help but respect his mind’s proactive attitude and, as far as he can tell, it’s reasoning is flawless. Yet there is something beautifully simple in the body’s argument: just sleep. What could be more perfect in it’s clarity; so direct and, in it’s own way, so absolutely rational?
-Yes, says his mind, I see the body’s point: one is tired so what could be more rational than to sleep? Certainly any other action would seem counter-intuitive. But this is assuming that rationality is objective, whereas I would put it that rationality is simply a means to an end and is therefore situation-dependent. The mayfly finds the phrasing of his mind’s argument a little pompous, but cannot dispute it. Still though, his body counters:
-just sleep, and the concept seems still so beautiful.
-Well, says his mind, beauty is a fluid concept with no useful or satisfactory definition. Quite frankly, I think we are above such sensory indulgences.
In the end, the mayfly gives into his mind, and ironically he does so for the greatest merit of his body’s argument: it’s simplicity. His body continues to say to him just sleep, but his mind has shut up now, and if the mayfly has to put up with one nagging voice all morning, he’d rather it be the uncomplicated, cheerful voice of his body than the sombre, highfalutin voice of his mind. All the debating, sadly, has bitten severely into his morning. A dull terror of being late for work propels him through a hurried wash and a dry, unappetising breakfast.
He works all day, not even stopping for lunch, and drags himself home exhausted. He is far too exhausted to put any kind of thought or care into preparing food and has the first thing he sees in the kitchen for his dinner - this may or may not be the same thing he had for his unrelished breakfast. He hates to give in and let his day be consumed entirely by work, but he has to sleep. He gets into bed, and as he snuggles down in the sheets and begins to fall asleep, he says to himself,
-thank god I don’t have to get up tomorrow.

Friday, 10 December 2010


Whilst reading an improving book, I came across this delightful verse and am sharing it here in order to broaden the horizons of my nauseatingly devoted fan-base.

I rise at eleven, I dine about two,
I get drunk before seven, and the next thing I do,
I send for my whore, when for fear of a clap,
I spend in her hand, and I spew in her lap;
Then we quarrel and scold, till I fall fast asleep,
When the bitch growing bold, to my pocket does creep.
Then slyly she leaves me to revenge the affront,
At once she bereaves me of money and cunt.
If by chance then I wake, hot-headed and drunk,
What a coil do I make for the loss of my punk!
I storm, and I roar, and I fall in a rage.
And missing my whore, I bugger my page.
Then crop-sick all morning I rail at my men,
And in bed I lie yawning till eleven again.

by Some Olden Days Dickhead