in the arsehole of diogenes

NEO-HERACLITUS_____________Qweir Notions in the arsehole of Diogenes: weBlog of a septuagenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

I'm not sold

on the idea of time
as other than an illusion.
One of the (not so many) wise things
that Bertrand Russell said was that
the Universe started only five minutes ago.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Why Joseph Conrad wrote so well.

MFK Fisher recounts that
he learned English as a sailor on night-watch
by reading a page of the King James translation of the Bible,
tearing it out and lighting his pipe with it,
and then reflecting on it (probably in Polish)
for the rest of the watch.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

If we are no longer

the sole possessors of empathy, altruism
and even language, perhaps all that we can uniquely claim
are vengeance, hate, religion, complaint, hypocrisy....and apportioning of blame.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Blame

is something we should hurl only
(but frequently) at politicians,
bankers, businessmen, religious leaders and the powerful,
not something we should throw at each other,
not even occasionally.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Crime & Punishment.

Mary, a five-ton circus elephant who killed her new trainer,
was hanged for the crime by heavy-duty construction equipment in 1916 in Tennessee.
Topsy, another.wayward circus performer on Coney Island in New York,
was fed poison, electrocuted and strangled in 1903,
the execution of true justice filmed by a crew from Edison Studios...

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

“The Germans are not human beings.

"From now on the word German pierces our hearts and is for us the worst imaginable curse.
We shall not panic. We shall kill.
If you have not killed at least one German a day,
you have wasted that day [...]
for us the greatest of all joys is a heap of German corpses.”

- IIya Ehrenburg, Russian propagandist of German-Lithuanian-Jewish extraction.

Monday, 14 August 2017

On Writing Historical Fiction.

'You need to know ten times
as much as you tell."

- Hilary Mantel

This is surely also true of biography
and autobiography, which are themselves
forms of historical fiction.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Most Evil Empire.

Churchill and Christ in a gunboat! 
Make the wogs walk on water,
set fire to their villages.
Grab whole continents
and sub-continents.
Smash factories,
destroy societies,
take all resources,
make them grow opium,
make them smoke opium,
divide and rule,
let them starve,
deliver hundreds of thousands
to firing-squads and concentration-camps,
wipe out more 'lesser breeds' than Stalin or Hitler
- and award yourself a permanent seat
on the cynical UN Security Council.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Really ?






















It's just what an aircraft dinner from the 1960s
was for The Great Unwashed who travelled by cheapo charter flight -
and who now get even worse.





Friday, 11 August 2017

Reality

for most people
seems to be banality.
But real reality
(as every earwig knows)
is surreality.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Five Haikai

The brandy finished -
time to get down to business
and admire the moon.

         *

Having sucked my blood
the horse-fly dismounts and sits
on cow-parsley head.

         *

From the same corruption
emerge a stink-horn toadstool
and a violet.

         *

Ten million sperm
dripping on the book-jacket.
Words are waste of words.

         *

A brief urgency -
my bare arse is caressed by
the April nettles.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

I wish I had written this...

WITHOUT CAMOUFLAGE
by Eric Chaet

I didn’t choose camouflage or invisibility.
I’ve tried, all along
to make what I think manifest
to behave as I think I should
however contrary to custom
to let everyone who wished
see that I was pursuing goals
they believe are unattainable.

But I was only one
& how I appeared was discounted
as an imagined figment
or temporary insanity
or an instance of this or that
doomed religion or political movement.

Without shaving my beard
or changing into more conventional clothes
I find myself allied with brown sparrows
who duck out of sight
among shadows, leaves, & branches
with rabbits, mice, deer
& timid boys & girls
& intimidated subordinates everywhere
engaged in every occupation
with all who have failed
or feel they’re failing—
& the stampeding so-called successes
talk clever bullshit on TV
& allocate resources
to maintain the current
& develop the next round of outrages
as tho' I’d never struggled or spoken.

You see a bit of me here & now
but soon you’ll be otherwise occupied.
If you remember, then, what you’ve seen
& decipher (which is easy) what it means
I’ll gladly be of greater service to you
than those blinded by what they expect
can imagine.


[more by Eric  HERE]

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Another Sign of Senility.

I turned on the car radio the other day
(it's pre-set to boring and talky France-Musique)
and was amazed to hear some superb Arab-Jazz fusion
which turned out to be Jan Garbarek with Anouar Brahem and others.
Finally! I thought, somebody has got the message
that there is music beyond post-11th century Europe.
But when I got home, I couldn't find it on the listings,
so went to the car to check what station I was on.
I had been playing one of my own CDs.
So it's back to mainly-baroque boredom on France-Musique.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Language, Truth and Logic

If the offspring of a cat
is a kitten,
I think it highly likely that
the offspring of a mat
is a mitten.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Haiku

Horse-fly's shopping-trip:
from dog-turd to me, and on
to someone's dinner.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Epithalamium ?

On the 14th of June 2017
we (aged 75 and 55 respectively)
had our platonic,
same-sex and boyish,
sweetly intimate
relationship
of over 20 years rewarded
for a modest fee with an official
and embossed
Civil Partnership certificate.


Thursday, 3 August 2017

A Reply to Adam Zagajewski

poetryfoundation.org/zagajewski

Of course we should praise the mutilated world -
but we should rage against its mutilation.
Let us not praise in any way
our mutilating selves,
our self- and world-mutilating creeds,
'values', 'ways of life'.
Rage against the deserts we call 'gardens',
our cynical and criminal misuse of water,
our making the poor ever-poorer, rare animals rarer,
our destruction of trees by farms and fancy furniture and paper,
our pollution of the oceans through sheer greed,
our servicing of cities by continuous slaughter
which we drown out by night-club laughter.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Before there was glass

in church windows
there was thin but untransparent
alabaster.
The hovels of the poor
had the caul-
like skin of a cow's stomach
stretched and dried
over a hole in the wall.

Monday, 31 July 2017

The gloriously controversial

Slavoj Žižek gave a lecture entitled:
Under capitalism 80 percent of the population are simply disposable. 
Ultimately, he's right, but the notorious "checks and balances",
not to mention committedly rebellious folk
will ensure (short of nuclear war)
that 80 percent is not actually disposed of...
except, of course, the unimportant people in Syria
and at least 80% of the world...

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Passchendaele

Mud three metres deep...
     The horses, the poor horses!
and the dead England- and Empire-resenting Irish
     mortar-bait
who fought allegedly for "plucky little Belgium",
and for whom no sickly-sanctimonious war-memorials
would be erected in their half-Free State.

[The three-month Third Battle of Ypres, fought around the village of Passchendaele (now Passendale, NE of Ieper/Ypres),began on the 31st July, 1917. 
The bodies of 35,000 soldiers on the Allied side,
drowned in mud, were never found or never identified.]

Saturday, 29 July 2017

A nice (if awkward) little rhyme

from Aleister Crowley.

"Blot out mankind - and give the beasts a chance!
 Nature may in their inheritance grant
 Some semblance of a race
 Less infinitely base."

Friday, 28 July 2017

When I smoke weed

I happily imagine
that I lose my identity
and become
Old Man With Dog.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

The most ancient Conundrum.

How was it
that co-operative creatures
constructed the Pandora's Box
of private property ?

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Deep down,

I suspect that most people
are the opposite of what they seem.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Why I have so few friends.

I did not know that I concurred with and followed William Blake's instruction:
























(Most of my friends are women.)

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Unlike Emily,

I would rather my poetry
and my paintings, my name,
became known after my death than before,
thus enjoying the frugality of isolation
and avoiding the horrors of fame.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Ironic

that we borrowed the term joie-de-vivre
from the French,
who are somewhat dour and surly
compared with the Italians.

Friday, 21 July 2017

The poetry of great prose.

"Above him the great dome made a lonely tumour above the ogre-king."

on the tomb of  Tamerlane or Timur in Samarkand, by
Colin Thubron in The Lost Heart of Asia.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Some mediæval 'Holy Women'

claimed that the foreskin of Jesus
'materialised' in their mouths -
like old rubber bands, perhaps,
or with the texture of a pre-latex condom -
but what did they do with it ?
[insert answer here]......................................
.................................................................
- and at least one Italian church
has a relic of St Joseph's Breath...


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Art

which began as a kind of homage to nature
is now an insult,
being like gold taps in a bathroom
without running water and no WC -
or like the donning of a sable coat
in winter with nothing underneath.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Monday, 17 July 2017

Infinity

is as ridiculous an idea as Heaven
or Yahwe/God/Alla'h,
yet, like them, is what our civilisation is based on.
In an infinite hotel
which is fully (infinitely) booked
there is an infinite number of vacant rooms
- or so I'm told.
This sounds like sophistry
of the most outrageous, religious kind.

(My dog, Asterix, however,
who had seven years of irregular
under-feeding, when he spent
his days in a cage, and his nights
alone in spooky warehouse dark,
tells me
that he
understands infinity -

because it is located in his belly...)

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Thinking (yet again) about Syrian refugees

arriving in Greece
land of Clytemnestra, Œdipus, Antigone, Elektra
...and Diogenes,
I wonder
what's so marvellous about survival ?

Friday, 14 July 2017

For Malcolm

I feel so privileged
and humble
eating your gorgeous
gooseberry crumble.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

I am a Peculiar Person

who talks not only to himself
and to his dog
but also to his delicious
gooseberry crumble.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Afterlife

appeals to two opposed categories of human beings:
those who cannot imagine that their self-importance is temporary,
and those whose life is so wretched that their only consolation
is that a life-to-come might be a compensation.

Monday, 10 July 2017

The only route

to emotional independence
is by avoiding peer pressure.
This is especially difficult
if you're a parent, so if you want
to be emotionally independent
it is necessary to avoid peer pressure
by not being a parent.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Although I am certainly not an admirer,

I would venture to say that the main reason
for the widespread dislike of President Trump
is that he is incapable of hypocrisy.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Being so downright,

I don't think I have ever been upright
(as in upright citizen)
except in my teenage, year-long, religious phase,
when I was a sickening prig - polite,
and, very up-tight.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

We are coming down with stuff -

but have hardly room to breathe
or laugh -
and so we seethe -

bothering only to study stuff
rather than our situations
or our mass, crass motivations.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

I guess I'm too late.





































In 1979 (aged 27) I was living with my German Sheepdog
as a part-time gardener on the 9,000 acre estate
of the Earl of Caledon, on the Irish Border.
I had read Jean Genet and Dostoyevsky,
but I don't think I knew anything about cocaine
apart from Cocaine Blues and a 1920s blues
that I cannot locate, but has been re-interpreted
by Jackson Browne.
I guess this is typical of a white middle-class nerd!

(listen also to the wonderful Memphis Jug Band's
Take a whiff on me.)