Painful / Saneful

On the one hand, painful couldn’t get more.

On the other, saneful couldn’t get less.

And maybe, guess what?

Maybe, I’m not good enough for you:

But I’m better than she now deserves.


And on the one hand, painful couldn’t get worse.

And on the other, saneful couldn’t get better.

And maybe, reset me this?

Maybe, I’m not the man you thought I was:

But I am the man I myself can believe in.


And whilst on the one hand my daughter praises me, kind,

On the other, you disgrace me all the goddamn time.

And whilst my daughter says all the shit I went and did right,

You inform of all the shit I did wrong.

But I am the man I myself can believe in.


I am that good man, for sure.


poetry, trails of thought

#Pride [in] #BelfastPride, #Belfast

I repeat myself and

find myself and

see myself so happy.

And as I successively saw

on the streets of the city of today

the generations and recreations,

and genial joes and

junior gals, and

toes and legs and smiles and eggings

on, with nothing lost and nothing

gone, I realise now

why life itself I find in the

wondrous of


of all its land

and once sorely banned.

Above all else, I see at last how true

will be

the sexuality of any gender cool,

conceived as it should be in utter liberty:

and how such an inception must necessary

lead for

thee and me

and you and we, and

such as now,

to wisdoms of all our realities.

For the freedom of the few

never is freedom for the few;

for the only freedoms worth fighting for

are the core humanities

of liberties for all.

And only when we each may fuck

the duck we cherish

and love in luck

will heaven on earth replace

the hell they asserted – so

bald and crude and

lewd, you know! –

as future punishment

and awful threat;

and yet, in truth, reserved

quite wilful for current

hell and spell.

No surprise they wish

to impose

regime as hasty as they deny:

when all is done and seen, the love they reclaim

only maims and resigns

the kindest of moments for the bitter

and the broad of hurtful guilty read;

of all that terrible instead,

in fact.

And when all is been and dreadful said,

and time it is for head – yessir! –

and evening sex

and morning told

and afternoon romp at office desks

sustain our desires

to pursue so grand the wisdom of those fires

so fab

which drive us all this




remember this thing and remember it fine:

I prefer to admit how I covet your ass

than be an ass myself!



trails of thought

Fictional Us / Decency’s Place

I mentioned the idea that I have a wonderful skillset: to keep tons of data in stasis over a long period of time, until it settles logically into a pleasing or useful arrangement:

I have special skills, this I realise now: a dear person close to me lightly described them recently as being akin to a kind of Sherlock Holmes mind: I curiously maintain in stasis so many apparently disparate pieces of data – sometimes for months – until they suddenly settle into a puzzle-resolving pattern that resolves this puzzle thus laid out.




I’m not saying I am as good as Sherlock Holmes in any way at all – Holmes was after all an invention of fiction, and I find it difficult to conceive I am a fictional character (except where the things I do are influenced and nudged by the events around me: in that sense of character, we are all being bent out of shape; we are all fictional beings to a greater or lesser extent …).

But I do do similar things.  And it’s exhausting.

And I’d like it to be less exhausting.  Which is why I need the release of physical love and affection: the joy, the friendship, the amiableness even.  Just at simple, day-to-day levels.




Can you all understand that?

And in that, like Sherlock Holmes I am not – although I do have a brother much wiser than me with a very particular name; and who may indeed do stuff I have no idea about.  Weird tangential relationships with women have flitted through my life too: again, these mysterious beings have remained mysterious to me.  And in the round, and overall, my life is full of puzzles: the only thing I’ve never done, nor ever wanted to do, is drugs – where not prescribed, you understand – which I get the feeling Holmes found necessary in the absence of an appropriate affective and intimate relationship with anything more than data.

But a final point I’d still like to deal with today, before I finish.

That word “stasis” is defined by my Google (at least) as:

a period or state of inactivity or equilibrium.
“long periods of stasis”

But also in quite a dramatically opposite sense:

civil strife.

How on earth can this be so?  How on earth has a language come to describe within the same space such diametrically opposed concepts?

Does civil strife – not just societal but also marital – come from long periods of inactivity?  Is that what we are learning here?

How the absence of change changes us for the worse.

And if it is the case, what can I do?  Do I need to impose – is that fair or kind?  Or should I continue to run the risks of falling ill again in the presence of sad jealousy caused by childhood trauma?

I want to help, but when you reach out to help and here you are also rejected, where on earth can a decent solution be found?  Where is decency’s place in this whole damn mix?


short short story

stuff she did + stuff she doesn’t [+ dispersed crude oil and water]

She’d wasted a whole year, a whole year’s full of cash and doubt and crass hesitation, pretending to her SO that she was important when she wasn’t.  And the things she did were foolishly imaginary things; the stuff she imagined was foolishly incoherent madness; the men and women she met were wildly outside her scope – out of the scope of her way of looking at the world, which in itself was rarefiedly stratospheric in the thinness of air, that right up there she’d been breathing so idiotically.

The problem wasn’t even her past.  The problem was how the behaviours of the past weighed so heavily on the soul she would be; on the being and ways of doing which her humanity not only had exhibited but might one day in the future.

And sometimes she wondered if it was her inhumanity too.

And she’d wanted so much to be loved in a way that didn’t mean she would fall ill in the first place.  And she really couldn’t understand why her SO loved to touch her hand when other people were present, but not when they were alone.

Was she that fearful a person in her character and manner?

Was that the problem right there?


So that was when she finally vowed it was time to be kind even to people she knew made her feel all toxic and cruel.

For these kind of people had their own story to tell – and if they were refusing to tell their stories, maybe their stories were even heavier than hers.  She didn’t know any more; she wouldn’t – shouldn’t – say.

And she guessed she simply had to stop talking to people; simply limitedly revert to the writer she’d been for so long; simply accept that when two good people are toxic together, that maybe like dispersed crude oil and water, the mix can never be undone.

If only he’d got into the good habit of letting her undo a button or two; whisper nothings in his ear; give him the pleasure he was obviously unable to receive …

If only that were possible …

If only that were real …

short short story

“Hermit or dragon-slayer – which shall it be?”

She’d always rather fancied the idea of being a hermit, though without delving deeper was rather uncertain as to whether “hermit” – the word, she meant – applied only to men.

Perhaps women weren’t afforded by linguistics the right, obligation or freedom to be an officially solitary soul.  Women did the solitary thing all on their lonesomes: they married into solitude, they brought up their children in solitude, they grew to old age in solitude, they looked to spend their final days quite alone.

Maybe not all women.

In her case, for sure.

And now she had a choice: a difficult choice.  She could either become the hermit her husband demanded she be – or slay the dragon he’d become.

“Hermit or dragon-slayer – which shall it be?”

Maybe just invisible zero.

Maybe that was her fate.

Or maybe, even at this very late stage, there was still time to square circles she’d long looked to square.

In a sense, she already knew this was pretty damn impossible.  But even so, quite foolishly she still held out hope.  Hope had been a terrible guiding light in her life: the oncoming train, etc etc.  She wished she was a hopeless person, in the sense not of being useless but of being without hope.

It’d be so much easier, it really would.  So much easier to be without hope.

And how could she achieve her goal?  That’s what she really couldn’t see.  She had very few means; none at all really.  Everything was morally, and rightly so, in the hands of her dragon-husband.  It was all his property; she, meanwhile, was just about disabled (though not so you could exactly tell); and if not hopeless, and in the absence of any job certainties at all, then bordering on the fairly and unhappily useless already.

She guessed where it was all going to.

She could see what would happen.

Like so many women of her middle age, love would be subtracted from her daily existence; joy would be a minus on the balance sheet of emotions; and pretence (ie our marriage is just about perfect, my dear; our holidays, oh you can’t believe the emotion) would become a pretty clear fixture in the mix that was life, for just about all the rest of her life.

Hermit, then?  She imagined it would be so.

A life of contemplation.

A contemplation of lonely soul.

And there was nothing to escape the sadness of her fate.

Nothing at all.

No one left to save her.

Unable, even, to save herself.

short short story, trails of thought

Stale-mate (not as in chesssss – as in food you’d never touch!)

He’d realised a long time ago that life wasn’t like chesssss.  They often said it was, but it wasn’t.

Chesssss was a game, where the rules were clear, limited and defined.  Life, on the other hand, had far more rules – even as the permutations were severely reduced compared to the former.  That was the curious thing about life: it could be done in millions of different ways but, weirdly enough, the outcomes were just three:

  1. birth
  2. life
  3. death

Within each, of course, there were sub-stages which reminded one of a PowerPoint when outlined in similar ways:

  1. birth
    1. happy and beloved
    2. sad and deprived
  2. life
    1. happy and beloved
    2. sad and deprived
  3. death
    1. happy, beloved and well remembered
    2. sad, sordid and poorly recalled

Compare and contrast that with chesssss, though.

He refused, of course, to even contemplate the process any more.

He realised, too, that the mate who was stale in the equation wasn’t his significant other: she seemed perfectly happy as she was: sometimes despairing of his inability to gain any kind of employment, but otherwise toddling along quite nicely it would seem.


It wasn’t her.  The problem was clearly him.  He was the stalest mate a woman could ever (not) hope for.  And in his stale and ageing condition as was, he refused to grow old with the grace she was able to summon up.

His destiny was clearly to be lonely cups of breakfast coffees, and chat about the latest news, and discussions on the subject of house-hunting and food programmes, and stuff like that, and stuff he didn’t give a shit about.  And that was his problem: he was far too demanding.  He wanted to enjoy life, after all; wanted to stretch himself; wanted to wake up not knowing what’d happen or be achieved that day.

Yet inertia imposed, and failure defined, and life’s juggernaut of casual insignificance rode its merry way.

And so he ended up with neither the gumption to change matters significantly nor the bravery to end it all by ultimately resigning himself totally to a diet of comments on Jamie Oliver’s haircut.

In such a limbo did he discover his destiny.

And there was nothing he was now able to do about it.

poetry, trails of thought

Wot / Hau / Wai [from the home that did you so much harm]

The Scream.jpg
By Edvard Munch – WebMuseum at ibiblio
Page: http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/munch/
Image URL: http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/munch/munch.scream.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37610298


So OK, you say, you’ve said all along:

they were right and I was wrong, and so many

wrongs you never righted lie unrighted

like ship, already mentioned,

under levels of grave water: muddy as hell.

And the bell rings out like a soulless creature

I never forgot by the bedside I hid from

as child in thatched cottage of anciently

fearful time, with big white mooning face

over my face: and my whole damn childhood

is a scream, you know: not a scream of lovable

moments of joy but a scream, like the scream

you see in the art of the galleries which

display the terror of the mind you and I never

shared completely, nor even tried to.

And all I strive now to know is wot happened

to you as child.  What happened to

me is irrelevant any more: I once loved

another, and although I did badly, and still I

do badly to still love her much more than

anyone else I ever will touch, I can’t

help myself, she’s a white angel of

love who made me feel good and bad

about life and sex and stuff, and you didn’t

do that, but your fear and wot and stuff

escaped my temporary detection, and all I

know now is your wot and your hau

will end up destroying what little we have

left, unless you or someone can say some sort

of wai you found it so hard to enjoy physical

affection, even before I shrugged you off for

the love of my life.


And I wonder if it was me, or you – or us both.

And I wonder this big wai we could give love so

gorgeous to the children we brought up as we

did (admittedly, in rather curious and solitary privacy);

and who love us so finely, and who’ll achieve in their

love and passion and endeavours the exceptionally

fabulous drama of personal grandeur.

And that independence I so begged from you

we’ve given to our children – stepping-stone by

stepping-stone by stepping-stone by


Frog-leapt people who croak not to die but to

sigh and rise to higher climes

than you and I

will ever reach now.


And whilst I know the wot: a life where you found

yourself incapable of loving me with the touch

of your hand in joyful communion, in pleasure

and life … and whilst I know the hau: this existence

of cold steely fearsome “correctitude” on my part

as I resisted the instinct inexpertly to demand,

and as I find myself naturally unable to beg any more

you coercive collaboration in the pleasure

I yearn for, the simple pleasure of skin against

skin was all I asked for … and so I am

led to my final straw: I can no

longer continue: the wai of your life is quite beyond

me at last.  And all I can say and all I can do is admit

we have nothing we can do or can say.

For I asked you if you think my problem is work

and by answering affirmatively, you affirm that

your love is no longer – if ever – a matter for

negotiation.  And though nothing for the moment

shall happen at all with

your wot,

your hau,

your wai,

all so bewildering … I still do find myself asking the

final questions: wot, hau and wai in your

upbringing or background did hurt you so much that

a human being like myself should be considered

by the world, in the company of your presence,

not a gentle soul of lovable instincts but, rather,

a violently mistaken paranoid schizophrenic?


For if my condition is considered to be final and cut

by the drying tick-boxes of psychiatric manual,

and my problem in life is because I don’t have a job,

and my reality and my two-facedness that

you suggest is my being has nothing at all

to do with your leaving me solo, without your

easily given touch (if at all you had wanted to)

during decades of life together, then all I can say


what could have happened if we had been lovers

in much the same way as lovers of grand


Would I really have fallen ill?

Do you really think I would have done?

And is the spell which I’ve really fallen under

the gorgeous four days of love with my lover

that time we never discuss now,

or the weirdest thirty years that have driven

me to madness; to sadness; to badness; to

baldness; to mistrusting people I easily find


Is the siren my dear K – or has it been

you all along?

And did you really not speak to the man in

the white coat – or was something

slyly indicated to break any chance I had

of escaping a diagnosis that destroyed my

whole life as you drew me back home for

such terrible reasons wai

which I only imagine might have

hurt you so badly that the real paranoid

soul is not the man you see before you but the


you now see –

as I do more clearly –

behind and about the mother and wife I never understand once more?


And ultimately I do need to find out that wai:

and ultimately you know this, I know:

and ultimately you refuse to find out that wai:

and ultimately I’m sad in my love of your being –

and fearful, as you surely are, of what

may be dis-

covered from the past you run so fiercely away from:

from the home that did you so much harm.