Be[in]g a hu[man]

In man there are many sides to the question:

what we need,

what we want,

what we do,

what we waste …

only four sides to the question are these.


No multi-faceted diamond is



In man choice exists, but rights do not:

what we need,

what we want,

what we do,

what we waste …

only four sides to the choice are these.


In man love appears often, but struggling to rise:

above the desultory nature of dailyness,

above the weary nature of reality,

above the questions that nature poses repeatedly,

above the tiring nature of nature itself …

only four natures to love are these.


And in man it’s so common that in breaking the rhyme

of wordage and vocabulary and verbiage and time,

we discover the truth about ourselves:

in truth, in reality, in fact and right now,

we are forged of grand selfishness

and our memories do battle to support us in these views.


We are nothing but self-justifying tools of our

own weaknesses; our

own pain; our

own self-contained anger and even fury; our

own frustrations so awkwardly drawn up:

my lies serve only to justify my being …


… and my being knows only how to believe in itself.

short short story

Spe[aking] (on the purpose of writing)

By speaking he realised he could live, after all, without the physical affection he still would have clearly flourished round; even so, despite all, what hurt him the most was to talk about futures and find himself with people who found it so hard to do anything but look to the past that had haunted the ghosts of their ghosts.

It hurt him to think he could have another life, and maybe that life would not be just different but actually, objectively, better than now: but he had to limit himself to living in the real world where dreams cannot always fly as we’d like, and perhaps it was as well that this be the case: he had, in any case, hurt as much as he had been hurt, and the balance and credit of life could not be any other than this might indicate.

And speaking ameliorated in a way that ached slightly, for all his needs and the things he valued most disappeared in an understanding that people were worth more than the wants he had placed to that date at the centre of his life.  And if he could help others to realise themselves, in a sense he’d be realising himself.

And this was clear, and this was right.  And finally he realised, absolutely too, that he wasn’t half the man he had ever striven to be.

And this was clear, and this was wrong.  He still wished he could do far more than he had done.  But this wanting and then the doing traversed such an abyss that he felt to himself there was little he could do if it meant he was alone: without the support of someone, he really knew not where to turn.

And if his writing righted no wrongs at all, what was the purpose of writing anything?


An odd reality / Making love

It’s odd when love conquers all – not to gather

together but to spread out

our certainties: not to jealousy guard

a control over other but lead both the other

and one’s self by the long thin white hands of

kindness and love: oh, how I love to be touched,

I do.


I love the hug of odd reality, too: an embrace so

gentle and wondrous in its entity: where

those – around and about – do roundabouting

roads, and ways of winding

paths and forking junctions, and

fucking junctions that provide that

pleasure which we who do not gain a

leisurely stretch of agile body and passionate

soul and the rolling of sex like drugs of decades

way long past, find it so hard to

unharden our perspectives in time; find it

so hard to see that life is neither

truth nor untruth: for life does vary from

moment to curious moment: the reality may

become an entity which

becomes us all, or may quite sadly undermine

our [be]coming together, as fear of

what the next moment brings makes it

impossible to make love.


You can’t become yourself through another …

You can’t become yourself through using another:

you can become yourself, and then – through another –


l your promise.

This I promise you, and beg you to con-


a signature in SAD is wintry infirm-




little left to say but that a beautiful poem

of beautiful things is far better a

thing than my life or thoughts or self or desires

or brains or intellects or beings or ways of

seeing, doing, playing or mischieving …

… for I am without worth because precisely

I’ve become the person

I am and the people

I loved.


Ultimately I’m me –

and that is my challenge.

Not my peace nor my kindness nor my

awareness nor my love.

Just a hole in the ground which

useless economics would have us

go fill with bags of cash,

as if cash could justly solve

my problems now: I am predictability in-

carnet, identified and typed, as obvious a

cipher as any other man or woman out there

who knows far better

the life of living unconsciously; of

simple enjoyment and ignorance of

matters beyond the Ken of Barbies multiple –

and consumerists various.


A strange thought is that: I wish I were able

to love being predictable: but I hate myself truly

for being this thing which you see: for the problem is

precisely I am wholly me –

and how can you know me!!!

And how can that be!!!


And why the fuck six exclamation marks – especially

when these are questions of terrible import,

not answers of simple negotiation …


So this is why I am weeping inside, though outside I am

not, and the heat of the moment leads

me painfully to see: originality is not mine;

I am as plain as Jane, and unkind to boot.

Reboot me if you can; reboot this life of

mine.  Remind me of the places and people which

once made me so fine.


So the loneliest place in the world is this:

to be truly yourself you must find you-

self alone, without the people who make you feel about

yourself that goodness might be yours to

establish a start: to discover the

heart you never expressed; the soul always

trampled underfoot; the you which is the prison

you are.



Choice ain’t good when applied to people:

a person ain’t a widget to

be picked out of basket by first adopter,

and held up

proudly on high, with victory

salute upfront.

People can choose each other but

the process is distinct:

a convo first; a series of getting-closers;

a working-out whether love truly exists.


And without such freedoms, choosing people

ain’t nothing more than

rank imposition: emotional tanks brought

onto the killing-fields of play;

sci-fi ray-guns plus glamorous

Ray-Bans plus promises multiple to

confuse measured standings.


If you love me, and I love you, then

love together – and the choice this implies –

is wonderful, true: a quivering ‘hood of

cupid’s arrows hitting their heart-

tastic marks.

But if on the other hand, you love me because

I love you because you love me too,

then love is broken: an unconstituted packet

of tawdry formula: an unwelcome substitute

for real lives lived.


So if that’s the love you want to give me, it’s

not the love I want to receive.


Do you agree?


S[elf]-es[teem]* (I)

Elves and pixies are the cheekiest of creatures:

if only they existed.

If they existed, she would too.

She would do this life in a different way.

It wouldn’t be a bed of poses

or easy-going or lazy, but

it would be a bed in which she’d lay at night.

And affection would be hers, and lonely lights

would not sight her way.  Instead the dark would

hark her back to memories, shared with lovers

and others across the better parts of her life.

And in the end all she wants is a job and a chance

of making a go of what’s

left of the show: this is the reality of which

she finds herself talking; and

the skills she may have are too generous and kind

to be played with like this, to be taunted and

flaunted by people who know better.

And the test of the rest of this universal

frown undoes her very being;

makes her feel so bloody down.

They’ve achieved their goals: they’ve showed her

what to do in the presence of the already 

attempted: the next step she should take

she believes, sees, fears and no longer wants to


this is fuck, fuck, fuck –

and fuckety fuck for her.


And as a result, they’ll have to excuse her

if she chooses to ask, but the question does come

directly to her mind: why on earth,

why?  Why does any of

what she does these days

matter at all to anyone

at all?


* This poem, as you might imagine, is about the challenges of low self-esteem.  It’s a difficult one for many people, as it can affect their ability to achieve in life.  Achieving isn’t everything, of course: loving your people and helping them to achieve can also work fine as a course of action to be resiliently pursued.  But fulfilling one’s own promise is a kindly act of worship, even when one might not believe in any deity in particular.

trails of thought


One of the things I’ve discovered recently – discovered in the emotional sense, not intellectual – is that when, right at the start, you begin to blur the lines between what happened and what could have happened, and then again what might happen in the future – you discover a supremely powerful tool.  And like all powerful extensions of the human psyche, its power can overwhelm and terrify.

Lately (well, these past few days!), I’ve realised that whilst the job of the writer is to make absolutely credible everything they say, absolutely truthful even we might add, it’s not quite the same to go and do the latter as to be totally factual.

And the terror and horrifying nature of writing is when we immerse ourselves in the world of the author, sometimes quite despite ourselves, sometimes despite our better natures, and actually begin to believe and relate to actions we’d never – in our real lives – consider.

Now if this is possible for a reader to feel, imagine how the creator – wrapped up in the creative process for hours, weeks, months, maybe longer – gets to experience the realities slowly honed up into the credible truths I mentioned earlier (where not factualities).

So although I’ve been writing for most of my 53 years, I’m a very recent convert to the right of a writer to explore almost everything – without then feeling obliged to put it all into practice.

That is the dividing line which I always knew intellectually existed – but emotionally is only something which now I am beginning to properly appreciate.