Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions, an uncommonplace-book from the Armpit of Diogenes, binge-thinker jottings since 2008 .

Monday 31 December 2018

A small reflection on the narrow mind of Emile Cioran.

"I eliminated word after word from my vocabulary.
When the onslaught was over, just one word had escaped:
Solitude*. I woke up in a state of euphoria."

* translated from the French, in which language Solitude can mean loneliness, isolation or solitude.
In English loneliness and solitude are very different things.

We think only because we have language. 
Language - not place, territory, tribe or kin -
is (as Cioran pointed out) each human being's only home -
and a very fragile, rickety home it is!
Some fortunate people have several such homes, but they are rarely rich.

(Languages are becoming fewer year by year, 
and now the only truly 'international' language is English Bureaucratic - 
a language ideal for making statements and 'marketing'
rather than suggesting the subtleties of process, mood or sensation.)

Without thought, hence without language,
we would not be leading the planet into its Sixth Extinction.

Cioran reduced the significance of language to the single solitary word.
I, more generously (or more fatuously ?),
allow two in order to make the only song, the only poem, the only novel, the only dirge:


But beyond our mere consciousness-through-language
(and our mere solar system)
what is 'catastrophe' ?

Only the business of being born and 'socialised'...
which (ironically and uniquely) we
can lighten with a sense of humour,
an amused acceptance of the ridiculous vanity of being
- à la Beckett.
Emile Cioran took himself, his birth and his death so seriously as to be ridiculous.
Hence his cogito, ergo glum appeal to other solipsists.

*  *  *

This is the last post of my blog, begun in February 2008.

Sunday 30 December 2018

'Inspired' by Wallace Stevens and Jalal-ud-Din Rumi.

Although I know hardly anything
about What Is Going On.
ever aware of much, too much,
and much too much,
I no longer dare to care
about such and such and such...

Saturday 29 December 2018

Homo arboricidens,

pompously self-entitled
Homo sapiens,
is (alas! alack!
for woe is us)
quite obviously
(but to whom ?)
an evolutionary dead-end,
impasse and cul-de-sac.

Thursday 27 December 2018

Wednesday 26 December 2018

from the ill-dressed man with a beard.

After the last simpering,
whimpering Yes, maybe,
almost certainly, comes
the magnificent No,
the glorious non-human
beyond glory;
and inside Never
lurks, sometimes, always -

existence is only a story.

(after Wallace Stevens)

"One of the reasons for the bankruptcy of the European Left

was their failure to realise how deep were the mental roots of class distinctions.
They thought they could treat as mere prejudice
what in reality had come to be a conditioned reflex of mankind."

Arthur Koestler: Scum of the Earth, 1941.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Tuesday 25 December 2018

As the Three Magi might have said,

travel should not merely broaden the mind,
but utterly change it, so that further travel
is pointless..

Monday 24 December 2018

Sunday 23 December 2018


depends on

I am learning to fall,

trusting and delighting in my heaviness.
Falling is the essence of  human being
as darkness is the essence of all this light.

Saturday 22 December 2018

The self

is largely composed of the lies we tell ourselves.
One of the biggest is that we are not, every one of us alone.
The family
is a conspiracy to create and reinforce this lie.
DNA testing is now showing that the family
is also a lie.

On our accidental, sole appearance

we, smudgingly and often grudgingly,
disappear amongst the disappearing
into the blank transparence of the disappeared,

so we should never be despairing
of the transient disconnection
which is our being,

but try to revel in the pure vibration
of proper desire properly to be joined
to all that went before,

though shallow hope
just deepens hopelessness,
and we are guilty
precisely because of all innocence.

(a post-Rilkean sonnet)

Friday 21 December 2018

Being or living

in the moment
has much less to do
with time or place
and much more to do
with attitude.

Thursday 20 December 2018

It is not the direst poverty

for a family of eight
to share one pair of shoes,
or for refugees to find water
only in the footprints of cows.

Just as knowledge is
the processing of information,
wisdom is just
the bleak processing of knowledge

from the distance of the poor.

Wednesday 19 December 2018


is usually much more numinous
than the sect
of the religion
that it serves.

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Monday 17 December 2018

Through the blindness

of our good intentions,
through the deafness
of our greedy delusions,
ghosts multiply inside our heads.
Quickly, all monuments look sad.
World's End is not a place.

Sunday 16 December 2018

Like most people,

I have got to be where I am
   (and, in my case, want to be :
   close, but not too close
   to the bottom of the heap)
through moral cowardice.

Saturday 15 December 2018

Everything we do

(including the writing of aphorisms and apophthegms,
and little or majestic poems)
diverts our attention
from what we are
(as well as what we will become).

Everything has been said
in many different ways.  Words fail.

All religion, all civilisation,
all human progress,
the human condition,
is sounding brass,
bombs and tombs
and jangling cymbals.

Friday 14 December 2018

Religion attacks thought;

thought attacks Nature.

DBC Pierre

famously wrote:
"Wealth makes you less nosy."
Mainly because you are less connected.

And, curiously, the richer you become
the drabber you get.

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Monday 10 December 2018

Saturday 8 December 2018

From sharp stones to smart phones.

We (and almost every organism on the planet)
are inevitable and ineluctable victims of our crass technology.

Friday 7 December 2018

Thursday 6 December 2018

The problem with 'wisdom'

(which is only a concept)
is that the human mind
seems to have been designed
to block it.

Wednesday 5 December 2018

An Astrophysiotheological Question

[after Hafiz]

What would happen if God leaned down
and gave you a big wet
Kiss ?

Assuming that there was ever
or would be a God-the-Creator
with body and lips,
who would want to,

you would surely start blabbering
all day, unceasingly
devilish poems
even more shocking than this.

When you are open

a lot of doors shut in your face.

Tuesday 4 December 2018


is a release
into another enclosure.
is another kind
of letting go.

This side

of suicide,
the best that one can hope to be
is in the world, but impossibly
not of it.

Monday 3 December 2018

'Theory of Mind'

It is very much easier
to "read" a dog
than a human -
but very few humans
bother to "read" dogs.

Sunday 2 December 2018

What I learned at University:

was that I absolutely didn't want
to be an achiever,
or even employed.

I like being "a loser",
and now, in happy senile solitude,
I make witty remarks to my dog
which my mother would have enjoyed.

The problem with Hamlet

is that, like most of Shakespeare's characters,
he's shallow, self-regarding, and not very bright.

Friday 30 November 2018

On Prayer.

Most people
especially kids
pray for good things
to come to them:
prayer as metaphysical and venal tool.

I prayed only
for tuberculosis
so I would not have to go to my odious semi-private school.

(I also stood on the shed roof below my bedroom window on winter nights
shivering bravely for as long as ten minutes as a time,
in the hope that I would get pneumonia or rheumatic fever,
which I never.)

The Invisible Hand of The Market

holds millions of people
by the throat.

Thursday 29 November 2018

The Homosensual

is a man who discovers
that his penis is more antenna
- or ground -
than receiver.

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Cheese and Music.

Ireland produced no cheeses -
but a lot of good music,
especially Slow Airs.
France produced hundreds of cheeses
but very little good music.
French peasants
were too busy making cheese to make music.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

The choice

for most of us, it seems,
is to dissemble
or be disassembled.

for Édouard Louis & Didier Éribon

Monday 26 November 2018

a first line by Wisława Szymborska

There is no debauchery worse than thinking.

Nie ma rozpusty gorszej niż myślenie.

Belief > doctrine

Doctrine > dogma
Dogma > cant
Belief in Democracy,
in Western Values,
is not as rational as we imagine.

Sunday 25 November 2018

What is Art ?

Art is one or both of these:

artefacts that you appreciate;
artefacts that make you think
often by engaging the emotions.

Music, dance, ceramics, painting, writing...

Art exists largely because
language is so inefficient,

Saturday 24 November 2018

The Possessed.

Most men are islands -
women, too, I think -
though claiming to be peninsulas at least.
We are too complex to be able
to relate to one another, so we like magnets,
compulsively connect to things instead:
a tragic species-specific love-affair with property.

Friday 23 November 2018

What's so wonderful about courage,

'pushing yourself to the limit',
and overcoming all sorts of adversity ?
I'm content to be a cowardly and petty
(if stubborn) resister of Authority.

Tuesday 20 November 2018

I don't claim to know anything about Love -

but I guess it must - at least - be like
a Romantic trio - by Beethoven, Schubert,
Brahms, Chausson - or a Nocturne by Chopin.
But less repeatable.

Monday 19 November 2018

When does dog-shit stop

and become just mud...

and mind ... ?

Nelson Mandela asked his grandson

(who had come to Robben Island to see him)
what he (the grandson) wanted to do when he grew up,
the boy answered: To go to prison.

Saturday 17 November 2018

Even as we extinguish them,

animals are mercifully unaware
of our intentions.

How can anyone be "free"

who has been stultified and desensitised
- if not turned into a zombie -
by an "education" system ?

Freedom can be achieved only by the utmost stealth,
and thus is nearly as precarious as it is precious.

Friday 16 November 2018

Thursday 15 November 2018

The Movies.

As a child in Belfast in the 1940s and 1950s
I didn't much care for Cowboys and Indians,
I hated circuses, Disney, Tom & Jerry
and all loud, violent films.
I particularly hated Tarzan
because he was grotesque
and hideously white.

I guess I fancied Kirk Douglas in "The Vikings",
but of course I had to be in London to see
my first non-American film, the first to show me cinema as art
and as true as poetry:
Bergman's The Virgin Spring.

Since when I have seen rather few American movies.

For a misanthrope

love is,
simply and purely,
the absence of dislike.

Wednesday 14 November 2018

"This world

is a comedy to those who think,
a tragedy to those who feel."

- Horace Walpole, English Historian.

For us who think and feel,
this world is, of course, a tragicomedy,
or, if you prefer, a plutonian joke -
Elektra written by Aristophanes.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

The rich man who looks at the sole of his shoe

is checking for dog-shit;
the poor man is checking
that the sole will get him home or to the hostel.

Monday 12 November 2018

Spirits and demigods

are celebrated with joy
and wine and flowers. 
All-powerful gods need blood.

Sunday 11 November 2018

Having a go (Joe)*

for Antony Beevor

Glorious Hitler Weather
on the Leader's last birthday,
the cruellest, enclosed month of 1945.

From corpse-tattered gardens,
through burnt-out ruins
where no-one's left alive,
the sinuous scent of lilacs
insists its sweet, voluptuous dance
upon the evening air
with the languorous impassiveness of plants.

Then Lenin's birthday.
Then Shakespeare's on the feast-day of St George
(patron saint of Moscow, Georgia and of England).
Then all Berlin collapses into void,
the city split between destroyers and destroyed
as soldiers spend their seed and energy
in drunken gang-rape -

and rush to the next starving, recently infected woman,
the next stinking ruin wherein to re-engorge.

* 'Have a go' was a BBC programme popular near the end of the war in Europe and afterwards.
   During the Third Reich, a warm, sunny spell was called Hitler Weather.
   There are references in the poem also to a famous Paris café-bar popular with surrealists
     and once frequented by Lenin,
   Eliot's Waste Land, and Baudelaire's Harmonie du Soir.

Cent Ans Après : Remembrance = Glorification

Military parades
commemorate only militarism.

Saturday 10 November 2018

There's always a dictator

at hand to fill a cultural-philosophical vacuum,
just as there's always an urinal
to put in an art gallery.

read on >


cannot, of course, be what we're told,
but what we find out.  Which is why
so few of us live it and in it. (innit?)

Friday 9 November 2018

Civilisation is the symptom

of the implosion of human consciousness
- from the visceral to the virtual.

Thursday 8 November 2018

I have found it sadly surprising

how un-sexy 'actual sex' is,
compared with certain music,
dogs, beech-trees, paintings...
and having my back scratched.

It is almost impossible "to speak Truth to Power"

unless you have some power,
in which case you have lost
some of your grip on truth.

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Two splendid Americanisms

from one of the best novels of the nineteen-thirties:


[Zora Neale Hurston - Their Eyes Were Watching God]

And two more from the magnificent Zora:

illegal alcohol smuggled during Prohibition in the trousers/pants of 'coons' (African-Americans).

Tuesday 6 November 2018


what "...we now preposterously call
any way of life
whether it has style or not."

- Alistair Cooke, 9th September 1977.

Every army is a blasphemy.

Every victory is absurd.

Monday 5 November 2018

Sunday 4 November 2018

Here in smug middle-class Europe

we crassly thought that the 45th president
of the United States was a tasteless joke -
but no : he's a poke
in the eye of reason,
and not just for a season.


At the moment of death, the springbok
raises the long white hairs on its spine
like a fan, which is unfolded for a minute or two
before slowly closing on the animal's extinction.
This fan was also unfolded in the springbok's
happiest moments, as when playing
and acrobatically displaying.

Saturday 3 November 2018

Nose to nose at midnight.

The most comfortable bed-fellow
is a dog. (Very light
snoring to my right.)

What is it about settled societies and minorities ?

Everywhere minorities are threatened,
(Roma, Jews, Ingush, Albanians, Kurds,
Vlachs, Rohinja, Forest People,
Desert People, Cherokee, lepers, hunchbacks,
witches, inverts...hundreds more...)
by rampaging and irrational majorities
who have nothing to fear from the oppressed
but much to fear in themselves.

Thursday 1 November 2018

The past. The future ?

In 1945 an estimated 100,000 women were raped
in Berlin alone.  Of these, around 10,000 died,
mostly by suicide.

The death rate was thought to be much higher
among the 1.4 million who had been raped,
often several times, often by gangs of Russian soldiers,
in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia.

[source: Berlin: The Downfall 1945, by Antony Beevor]

Wednesday 31 October 2018

"All well-bred persons lie -

"Besides, you are a woman:
"you must never speak what you think."

- William Congreve: Love for Love.

Tuesday 30 October 2018

We think we are the Pinnacle of Evolution -

but, beyond its boundary,
we are - each of us - unnatural and no more than
merely mindless weapons.

Monday 29 October 2018

Foot-fetishism ?

I told a very boring 'friend' that I got cruised in the big park where I take my dog, Asterix. 
By quite a sweet guy who told me I was handsome and kissed my hand.
My acquaintance said:
"I suppose getting cruised in the park by a sweet man made your day."

I said: yes, a bit, but unfortunately I have got to despise men so much
that I am well beyond having my day improved by a small,
not to mention mere,
sexual advance. 
I'm pretty sure I won’t hear from the handsome chap who cruised me.
 But I’ll let you know if I do. 
He reeked of chemical product.  That would have to go
before "intimacy" could "take place"
or occupy emotional-sensual space.
What makes my day is sniffing Asterix’s feet in bed. 

I’m going blind and deaf and feel all the time
that I'm slowly dying. 
But there’s always Asterix’s feet to buoy me up
and save me from senile sighing.

Sunday 28 October 2018

Not until my seventy-eighth year

(and going blind with retinal blotches)
do I learn that silk is not by silkworms spun
but boiled off them while they are alive.
I should have been told this when I was five
and already examining little girls' crotches
and watching rabbits fuck in hutches,
just out of curiosity, and just for fun.

Saturday 27 October 2018

An Englishman was recently sent to gaol

for suggesting a National Punish-a-Muslim Day.
Poor guy!  He was, of course, on the right track,
leading to
the Neo-Fascist Castrate-Your-Neighbour Week,
and my own (superior, Nietzschean) call  -
not for action, but reflection -
The International Ashamed-to-be-Human Year.

Thursday 25 October 2018

If freedom were ever to exist

in settled societies whose populations were not enslaved
by mobile phones, mad aspirations, Christmas,
binary attitudes to almost everything
from gender to God
(male, his opposite: the Devil, also male),

then anyone could walk undressed
in suitable temperatures,
and natural, nubile or wrinkled,
wherever she (or he) wanted
without risk of rape or arrest,
or even being particularly noticed,
just as now anyone can (and many have to) walk around
insanely, stiflingly over-dressed.

It is absurd that our behaviour is controlled by
merely religious and repressive taboos,
endorsed by political parties
and governments to the bitter end.

Wednesday 24 October 2018

My dog

is emBARKing on a book 
called Rude Recipes for Cultured Canids.
including Kitten Tartare amongst other
tantalising treats for toutous. [Fr.]

We are considering Crowd-funding.
Anyone know a good Agent ?

Tuesday 23 October 2018

“Good enough”

is an alien notion to the far-from-perfect people of the West. 
They oppress themselves and the world
with the blasphemous notion,
the virulent infection,
of Perfection.

Monday 22 October 2018

Theseus was, of course, a racist bully.

But perhaps a bit of his common-sense violence could be applied
to those aspirational middle-class parents
who actually stretch their "too-short" children by surgery,
as Procrustes did to his victims.
The middle classes are already oppressing themselves
even more than the underclasses.

Sunday 21 October 2018

It seems obvious to me

that literacy precludes 'wisdom'.
So, 'Books of Wisdom' are bogus,
though not books which help you
overcome the handicap of literacy.

Saturday 20 October 2018


much more thought goes into a
than into a pregnancy.

It's a pity there is so little thought
amongst so many people.

When I was a bit younger

I pissed in all the holy-water stoups I passed,
whenever possible.  Now, however, I visit few churches
(having finished my researches into 'marginal' motifs),
so I piss instead into the conveniently-placed
letterboxes of the ever-odious bourgeoisie.

Friday 19 October 2018

Two (of the many) things I hate:

Machismo (except self-ironically)
and the grotesque, false femininity it has created
and relies on, like Pharaohs
on pyramid-builders.

Thursday 18 October 2018

"The Damaged

will not politely go away."
   - William Trevor

Civilisation makes sure that we are all damaged
to a greater or lesser extent.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

A bit of heavy entertainment.

For those with an antique idea of a gay man,
this is a Pansy/Faggot looking for friends online.

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Monday 15 October 2018

Dog born without hind legs

walks on his front ones.

Socialists of the world - wise up !

Margaret Thatcher famously, and rightly, said
There is no such thing as Society.
There is no such thing as The Working Class,
much less the Urban Proletariat.
All is flux, always.
The appallingly-ground-down English workers of Engels' time
bear little relationship to those of today.
The Russian workers of Lenin's time
had little in common with the German workers
celebrated by Brecht and Käthe Kollwitz,
or to the English workers cast in concrete by Hoggart and Lawrence,
or the American ones celebrated by Woody Guthrie.
The French working-class of today is very different from that of 1950,
and from the American underclass,
and from the Chinese factory-workers,
and from, worst of all, "illegal immigrants"
and the Indian Untouchables.

Bourgeois anarchists like me and Prince Kropotkin
and Peter Pan
tend, however, to inhabit the same Never-never-land.

Sunday 14 October 2018


On the one hand,
scientists, the World Health Organisation
and governments are ensuring
that there will be no more Great Pandemics
like the 1918 influenza outbreak -
which killed more people than World War One.

On the other hand, they criminally ignore
that we humans are already
the most dreadful pandemic so far.

Saturday 13 October 2018

Being queer

was fun with a pal
when it was illegal.
Now that it is pretty well normal,
and nasty right-wing, racist Christians
claim to be 'gay',
I have become happily asexual.

Friday 12 October 2018


are fools by definition:
wisdom is not more lovable
than inanition.

Thursday 11 October 2018

Dogs and children

(such as Wendy and Flush)
are the first to suffer
when the machine of capitalism
comes and starts to crush.

Wednesday 10 October 2018

The real Gay Liberation

is primal,
is freedom from the Male Gaze -
the compulsion to look at women in general
as sexual objects of greater or less merit.
Instead, queer men, male gays
exhibit a rather more selective and discreet
tendency to appraise and appreciate
certain types of men whose manner
and allure appeal to their gonads via their eyes,
as flies are appealed to by meat.

Tuesday 9 October 2018


is, by definition, irrational;
and 'faith'
(as the great rationalist Nietzsche wrote)
is fraud.
is God.

Monday 8 October 2018

Sustenance through food, and oblivion through alcohol.

Throughout History
and ten thousand years before,
'Women were concerned
with the immediacy of survival,
while men needed escape
from the consequences of their war.'

Antony Beevor: Berlin, the Downfall 1945, p. 310

Sunday 7 October 2018

One of the main reasons I left Ireland

was because within my lifetime
I witnessed the inexorable decline
of flora, fauna, mushrooms and fish
through that mean little island's
unwholesome agricultural devastation.
In my last years there in rural solitude,
earthworms  had given way to flatworms,
Agaricus campestris had vanished utterly
and, although I still saw the robin and wren
in my garden, and heard the blackbird sing,
I heard no cuckoo, no lark (though I'm going deaf)
and no swallows came to my barn in spring.

Agaricus campestris  (Field or Meadow Mushroom)

Saturday 6 October 2018

I hardly noticed that I had no father,

and I think I have been most fortunate
in not having one (except for one primordial, unfortunate moment
which cost my mother dear).

But here are two poems by a great Irish poet
who seems to have revered her father.

My Father, Long Dead

My father, long dead,
has become air
Become scent
of pipe smoke, of turf smoke, of resin
Become light
and shade on the river
Become foxglove,
buttercup, tree bark
Become corncrake
lost from the meadow
Become silence,
places of calm
Become badger at dusk,
deer in the thicket
Become grass
on the road to the castle
Become mist
on the turret
Become dark-haired hero in a story
written by a dark-haired child



My father,
a most gentle man,
fed the leavings of the table
to nesting crows
that screamed and whirled
in a nearby stand of trees.
From a branch of sycamore
that overhung
his newly-planted drills,
he suspended
by its gnarled legs
one dead crow;
for weeks
the wind-jigged carcass
swung there
in a crazy parody of flight.
My father,
a most gentle man,
appeasing the dark gods,
their appetite
for sustenance,
for blood.



Friday 5 October 2018

Thursday 4 October 2018

Freedom, for a man,

is primarily spatial
and, secondarily, sexual.
Which is why we have spread over the globe
in our billions,
and have made so little emotional progress.

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Tuesday 2 October 2018

No sacred texts required.

My "religion"
is tree-worship.

Trees are "the soul of the world"
and grow through deep sorrow.
We are still cutting them down
so that there'll be no tomorrow.

Monday 1 October 2018

My dog's favourite place to lie

is on my Immortality gabbeh.
which depicts a peacock on the Tree of Life.

This might be symbolic
but, more likely, is because
(apart from my bed) it is
the softest place in my sweet house to be
and close to me when I am tapping quietly
(as now) on my computer.

Sunday 30 September 2018

On Politics.

One should not ascribe to malice
that which can be explained by stupidity.
But, on the other hand,
one should hesitate to ascribe to stupidity or ignorance
that which can be explained by malice.
And never attribute to coincidence
that which can be explained by corruption.

Saturday 29 September 2018

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

 ὁ ... ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ
To examine one’s life one has to be informed.
To be informed one has to take trouble.
To take trouble one has to take life seriously.
To take life seriously one has definitely not to take oneself seriously.
Our civilisation is horribly crammed with people who take themselves seriously.

Friday 28 September 2018

Thursday 27 September 2018

Premature births

often occur.
But premature deaths ?
No-one is informed enough to tell.

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Wolves are wise enough

to advance at the pace of the slowest of the pack.
Humans, on the other hand...

Tuesday 25 September 2018

When I was a little boy

in the 1940s,
I took an interest in
bizarre things such as asteroids,
beetles and dinosaurs.
This was partly - no, largely - to emphasise
my difference, and was not unconnected
to my love of spiders, ogres,
and the dark that other children feared -
and my understanding
that it was not Rapunzel's hair
that Rumpelstiltskin climbed up -
but her beard.

Monday 24 September 2018

The huge problematic of Christianity

is the belief that humans are perfectible.
From this, and the fatal Neolithic fantasy
that Nature is improvable,
arise most of the evils of our time.

Sunday 23 September 2018

"The mind

has no inherent capacity for joy...
It only imagines joy."

- Osho (Rajneesh; born Chandra Mohan Jain)

Saturday 22 September 2018

Virgil on happy, exciting moments (neatly put):

Forsan et haec olim
meminisse iuvabit.

Perhaps one day
we will be cheered up
by remembering them.

(Aeneid, Book I)

Friday 21 September 2018

A Suicide

is perfectly able to take an interest
in the future in which he (or she) has no
intention of inhabiting.

Thursday 20 September 2018

Wednesday 19 September 2018

More or less stuck

at a happy emotional age of about six or seven
I am very fortunate not to be stuck, as most men are,
at a dark emotional age of twelve to sixteen.

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Clothes can be beautiful

and interesting, even stimulating
in different ways -
though when you are even slightly aware
you tend to see only their majesties'
fake tan underneath.

Sunday 16 September 2018


like mindlessly-repeated teasing,
is rarely less than verbal aggression -
which is why I always avoided
men in groups
and the intimidating pubs of Britain.

Saturday 15 September 2018

"The blood of martyrs

is the seed of the Church,"
wrote Tertullian, famously.
But not of the martyrs of fertility:
half the population of the world.

Friday 14 September 2018

Human brains

smell sweet
but manufacture a foul bitterness
beyond all understanding.

Thursday 13 September 2018


is too much reality for some
but the only reality for all of us.

Wednesday 12 September 2018

There is something about

perfect and (often frighteningly expensive)
American teeth
which is more than a bit unwholesome.

Tuesday 11 September 2018

My mind is now even more boggled :


ObL ad phasmam.

You made the typically-male, typically-western mistake
of being too ambitious, over-reaching.
Instead of mere symbols of greed and power
and wage-slavery, you should have struck at the roots:
the prestigious private schools of the USA and England.

Monday 10 September 2018

Not many people know

(certainly few of the French)
that France has one of the worst rural bus services in the world.
This is partly because of a national railway monopoly
(ironically and largely controlled by its
unbelievably-cosseted and often-hereditary or nepotic employees)
and partly to boost the car industry -
so that it is now extremely difficult to live in the countryside
without a car.  Second-hand cars are extremely expensive
and thus, often extremely old.
And so the rural economy and population
continue to decline
despite the (largely benign)
influx of foreigners.

Sunday 9 September 2018

The Capitalist Work-ethic

cannot tolerate leisure
unless, in its totalitarian scheme of things,
it "provides" people-cogs with jobs.

Saturday 8 September 2018

My blogs begin

as words on scraps of paper.
I refine them
and then "post" them
as virtual scraps of paper
in the vast gutter of the world-wide web.

Friday 7 September 2018

Human sleaze.

How wonderful to learn
that our beds contain more parasites
than the nests of chimpanzees!

Thursday 6 September 2018

Almost as inquitous as the ubiquitous,

outrageous, Christian declaration that God is Love
is the Buddhist trope that All is Suffering.
The suffering of some (creatures) is a good deal
less apparent than others.

Wednesday 5 September 2018

Tuesday 4 September 2018

When you feel that you're starting to decay,

there is some satisfaction
in getting to the end of the day.

And writing a blog
(even if nobody reads it)
is an excellent way
of collecting some thoughts
- and throwing them away.

Monday 3 September 2018

Are plants rather 'cleverer' than we think ?

Scientists from around the world are claiming that plants cannot just sense,
but communicate, learn and remember.

In an experiment in Australia, plants appeared to learn to associate a sound with a food source,
just as Pavlov's dogs linked the sound of a bell with dinner.

In Israel they've found that plants communicated a message from one to another,
and that the information was then used to survive drought.

In British Columbia and the UK researchers have shown that trees pass information
and nutrients to each other through an underground fungal network.
This happens more with closely related trees or seedlings than with strangers.

And in California it turns out that sagebrush shrubs have 'regional dialects' in communicating...

(Food for thought, from the BBC website.)

Sunday 2 September 2018

I have the unoriginal - yet visceral - feeling

that we humans, all of us,
are zombies, the living dead
punishing the Earth
for its beauty and exquisite
(but temporary) balance.

Saturday 1 September 2018

Rimbaud's account of his gang-rape (aged 16) by sailors (?) on the road from Charleroi to Paris. Or else a masturbation fantasy.


My poor heart's dribbling at the stern,
my heart covered in nicotine:
they squirt soup onto it in turn,
my poor heart's dribbling at the stern:
beneath the quipping unconcern
of sailors raucously obscene,
my poor heart's dribbling at the stern,
my heart covered in nicotine.

Ithyphallic, loutish, crude,
they and their jokes have tainted it.
In the wheelhouse there are lewd
graffiti - ithyphallic, crude.
O let my heart be cleaned, renewed
By wondrous waves immersing it!
Ithyphallic, yobbish, crude,
they and their jokes have tainted it.
When they have chewed their quids to pulp,
O plundered heart, what shall I do ?
Drunken hiccups, sniggers, yelps.
When they have chewed their quids to pulp -
my guts (if I can only gulp
my heart back) will be churning, too.
When they have chewed their quids to pulp,
O plundered heart, what shall I do ?
translated by Anthony Weir.

Thursday 30 August 2018

We members of the comfortable bourgeoisie

barricade ourselves
(as Baudelaire said) into
"an oasis of horror
in a desert of ennui"
or, indeed, anomie.

Wednesday 29 August 2018

"Non, je ne regrette rien."

How could anyone regret nothing ?
Not even a broken toy, or telephone
relationship, marriage,
broken health...or a sudden decision,
reaction, temptation, caprice ?

All the same,
regret is hostage to blame.
We blame both ourselves and others.
I blame my existence.

I regret my regrets.
Though they are few,
I would like to dump their slight drag,
their slightly depressing effect.

I don't want to push my regretting
out of proportion,
but I chiefly regret having been the result
of an unpleasant coupling
and an unsuccessful abortion.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

We are not our faces

or names, or bodies, or souls -
just presences, briefly,
consumers, chiefly.

Monday 27 August 2018


When I was young
girls and women had to prove that they were not incompetent,
by becoming teachers or nurses or excellent secretaries.
Men and boys, on the other hand,
had to prove they were incompetent.
My mother must have been disappointed to discover
that I was incompetent at an early age,
compared with my mechanically-minded, mathematical
well-behaved cousins.

Like my mother,
I find that as I get older
and tireder
life gets colder.

Sunday 26 August 2018

In the past

 people asked each other
(and children) for permission to take a photograph.
Now, the endlessly-photographed
complain about lack of identity.

Saturday 25 August 2018

Capitalism, the global swindle,

depends on hierarchy,
which is much, much older.

There is no "app." for equality,
and those for "generosity"
are as self-serving as The Lord's Prayer.

Friday 24 August 2018


is the degenerate state
of being prepared to junk all decent feeling
for the Greater Good of making money
or acquiring power.

Thursday 23 August 2018

The difference between French and Irish history

 is that the French collude to agree on a version as solid as a Gruyere cheese,
while no two Irishmen can agree on any version of any event in the island's past.

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Most of my life

I have felt, in the words
of the late, splendid Philip Kerr
"like a goldfish in a toilet-bowl"
- relatively safe from predators
if not from the onslaught of turds.

Monday 20 August 2018

One of the least-mentioned of our many addictions

is Trading: buying and selling on
(usually) the same stuff, items,
commodities, information,
animals, people...
It is safer than gambling,
but for that very reason
'has reached epidemic proportions'.

Sunday 19 August 2018

Having only recently even heard of him,

my favourite hero is now
Benjamin Lay,
one of the few true followers of Diogenes
 - a man of conscience who ended up in the Pennsylvania colony
and is surely the 'greatest American' known
(but largely unknown) to History.
He hasn't even been celebrated with a postage-stamp,
much less a national holiday.

(read here his book condemning slavery)

Saturday 18 August 2018

My future

(if any)
lies not, I hope, in old
but in deep age,
the result of contextual
rather than linear thinking.

But even Old Age
is better than New Age:
now that really is mind-shrinking!

Thursday 16 August 2018

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Many people think

that they are warm and fluffy.
But their fluffiness comes not from wool
but from glass fibre.

Sunday 12 August 2018

America First!

was a slogan of the Ku Klux Klan
who tried to patent it
in the 1920s.

The American Dream
was not, originally, an aspiration
to unbridled wealth amidst immigrant poverty,
but the dream of democracy
triumphing over monopolist capitalism
- which resulted in anti-Trust legislation.

Friday 10 August 2018

The neat thing about Zadkine's sculptures for churches

is that he manages subtly to lose the Christianity,
as in this Pietà:

and this Christ (either crucified or springing up to Heaven).

Thursday 9 August 2018

In celebration of International Doodle Day

My Canine Companion writes:

I am the Never-Never Dog,
who never gets a walk,
never gets fondled,
belly-rubbed or fed,
and never meets other dogs,
nor ever chases cats
and never gets to lie
on his cruel master's bed.

Wednesday 8 August 2018



we love our possessions
for reasons of status, comfort
or even æsthetics,
but are forever proclaiming
greater concern for our

Tuesday 7 August 2018

I think I am missing

the Take-Yourself-Seriously gene
which so many men have - in spades.

Sunday 5 August 2018

I have never 'visited' a prostitute,

nor 'had recourse'
to financially-agreed intercourse.
I never even considered it.

But when I was in a hotel in downtown Bangui
(Central African Republic, then ruled by Jean-Bedel Bokassa)
a beautiful, unpainted, small-breasted chambermaid
came to my room and hesitantly offered herself to me
(naming no price) under the ancient, rattling air-conditioner.

If I had been raised in Africa, or even Southern Europe,
I might never have ended up attracted almost entirely to bearded men,
because unpainted, small-breasted, dark-hued women
take my breath away. 
Perhaps if they had had beards or moustaches as well,
I would have floated up in ecstasy to Paradise
to sit at the right hand of the Hermaphrodite Polymorphously-perverse Creator.

The Gbaya chambermaid was somewhat disturbed
by my request for her to sit on me and receive my willy slowly,
from below,
while we massaged each other's nipples gently. 
It was, she was, beautiful for, to me. 
It was safe for her (since I had had a vasectomy).
I did not ejaculate.
I don't think she "experienced orgasm"
- but the encounter was tender and (for me) delicious,
financially-rewarding for her - and not to be repeated.
Neither of us was up too late.
Neither was regretfully depleted.

Saturday 4 August 2018

The essence of civilisation

is clamour, hubbub,
din and commotion,
discord and repression.
We'd all be better without it.

Thursday 2 August 2018

As a result of the White Men's urge

to change régimes in other people's countries:

"Sold as sex slaves for a few hundred pounds
to Libyan brothels,
the Nigerian girls were raped several times a day
as payment for their future crossing to Europe..."

(The Times of London)

Just knowing that this is happening
should be enough to make us impotent -
or become Skoptsy.

Wednesday 1 August 2018

He prefers war-zones, of course.

The reason why an old church is peaceful and calming
is that it is the last place where God is likely to be.

Tuesday 31 July 2018


is just a form of Christianity
with even more
sickly sentimentality -
but without the gore.

Monday 30 July 2018

Separating and segregating people

according to genital apparatus
is one of the stupidest habits
of Homo cretinus -
no more intelligent than
dividing people, actions and animals
into clean and unclean,
halal and haram,
kosher and treif,
superior and inferior,
human and inhuman...

Life on earth
is a vast, multi-dimensional spectrum
wherein even the categories of
sane and insane, deluded
and sensible cannot sensibly be established.

I used to think that I was intelligent and male,
but now I enjoy uncertainty.

Sunday 29 July 2018

I am much more tolerant of dogs than of humans.

This is because of my Neanderthal Genes.
Neanderthals cuddled up to wolves and bears
(because they had not invented fire),
while Homo "sapiens" hunted bears and wolves
and anything that moved, including male Neanderthals,
whom they ate - after raping the Neander-females
who were subsequently kept as the most menial slaves.

This habit has been repeated until recently
(when eating people came to be considered
as uncivilised behaviour)
by dominant "sapiens" groups, alliances and sects
against weaker ones (and individuals, of course)
and will shortly resume after the withering away
of the last golf-course.

Saturday 28 July 2018


...is an anti-depressant which can cause
yawning and concomitant orgasm/ejaculation.
I think it would be more pleasing
if it induced orgasm with sneezing.

(but not more than once a day)

Read more >

Friday 27 July 2018

In the Kingdom of the Netherlands

one can have a really cheap cremation
with a paper (not even a cardboard) coffin.
In France, however, the cheapest means of disposal of one's corpse
is by paying 450 euros for one's cadaver-donation.

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Unreliable Wikipedia.

In its entry on the phrase "To call a spade a spade"
Wikipedia tells us that the French equivalent means "To call a cat a cat".
However, the "chat" in Appeler un chat un chat, meant
in the 18th century what "chatte" (feminine) means today:
"pussy", "beaver", "muff", etc.
Moreover, the word "chas", meaning "crack", "fissure"
or "eye" of a needle,
is pronounced exactly the same.

So, as is often the case, the French are much better
at calling a spade a spade than are the Anglophones -
unless "spade" was once a slang term for "penis",
for which I can find no evidence, beyond that
it is cognate with "spada", Italian for "sword".


When people talk of 'progress'

they usually mean comforts
and conveniences
brought to them through greed.

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Monday 23 July 2018

Many people

mistake thirst for hunger
and become fat.
Many people also
(not necessarily the same ones)
confuse desire for intimate communication
(beyond the low level of language)
with desire for 'sex'
(usually penetration).

Sunday 22 July 2018

A Great Epitaph.

Nihil sed bene feci.

(I did nothing but did it well.)


And if you can’t shape your life the way you want,
at least try as much as you can
not to degrade it
by too much contact with the world,
by too much activity and talk.
Try not to degrade it by dragging it along,
taking it around and exposing it so often
to the daily silliness
of social events and parties,
until it comes to seem a tedious hanger-on.

Constantine Cavafy
translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard.

Saturday 21 July 2018

Death and Grief.

I would like to think that,
had I died before my mother,
she would have displayed no grief,
but, as I did when she died, demented,
felt a little sadness and much relief.

Friday 20 July 2018


(formerly Calcutta, capital of Bengal)
has more theatres than London and New York combined.

Molière was translated into Bengali
before his plays were rendered into English...

Thursday 19 July 2018

The Quality of Paradise.

Hedonistic - not to say highly sensual - behaviour
condemned by Islam in this world
are offered by Islam in the next.

Wednesday 18 July 2018

American homelessness.

On a legal (federal) minimum wage,
the average American worker needs to work 117 hours a week
for 52 weeks a year
to afford the rent for a two-bedroom apartment or house.
Not even two people living together
each with a federal minimum wage
can afford a two-bedroom rental.

But if you're not in a Northern state
perhaps this would be OK ?

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Throwing up.

In the 12th century
the word noise meant the same in English and French. 
But the meaning of the French word evolved to 'loud dispute' or 'row' (as in rowdy). 
The Latin origin of the word is nausea - 'sea-sickness'. 
Vomiting can be a noisy business.

Then there's the verb to bruit,
which is related to the modern French for 'noise'
and means 'to let something be known' -
such as that your fellow-passenger
barfed over your mobile phone.

Monday 16 July 2018

A problem for women.

A big problem for women
is that so many of them
look at themselves through
predatory men's eyes
and make themselves pornographic.
The problem with men
is that most of them fetishize women
and especially their parts and appendages.

Saturday 14 July 2018

The Fourteenth of July:

The Big French Lie.
Equality and Fraternity
can't co-exist with the Family,
which is, moreover,
not too keen on liberty.

The family is a competitive unit
inside and out.

Two deathless Limericks I penned in 1974.

A gravedigger from Malin Head
was dismissed for not burying the dead.
Said he, with a grin,
"They're all in the bin.
I planted potatoes instead."

A mortician from Southern Viêt-Nam
ended up in a bit of a jam.
He had coffins galore
piled up in his store
and nothing to fill them but Spam.

Friday 13 July 2018

As for throwing out

the baby with the bathwater,
my dog suggests that you
eat the baby and drink the bathwater.

Thursday 12 July 2018

Monday 9 July 2018

Wrong way round ?

When I had many friends
my expectations of them were high.
Now that I have almost no expectations,
I have almost no friends.

Sunday 8 July 2018

The Neo-Liberal Creator speaks.

not from a burning star,
but from my Great Black Hole beyond all skies
I send you just one commandment:

Saturday 7 July 2018


the Great Panopticon.
The bigger the data
the more limited
and fragmented our freedoms.
The freest humans
have zero social
and monetary capital.

('Progress' is
oppression by numbers.)

Friday 6 July 2018

On Overcoming Adversity.

I am proud that I have never,
in my accidental life of ease,
overcome adversity,
but let it wash over me,
or just slunk away
to return only slightly diminished
instead of being guilty of hubris.

Thursday 5 July 2018

Historical, hysterical...

Hyæna's feet,
saltpetre mixed with honey,
the urine of menopausal nuns:
down the centuries,
women have tried amazing strategies
to combat "barrenness"
(which might not have been theirs).

Tuesday 3 July 2018

I have never understood

why people are so guarded.
To protect themselves
from being found out
as emotionally retarded ?

Sunday 1 July 2018

They prefer us to be passive.

Isn't it mean
that, to relieve pain,
doctors freely dispense morphine,
but not cocaine
to combat tiredness of the brain ?

Saturday 30 June 2018

An uniquely human whine:

"a little more time",
from those who feel they haven't lived enough.
But enough time before a death
is the very first breath.

Thursday 28 June 2018

It should be obvious to all,

and to every general
that there has never been
an undefeated army,
and never will be.

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Most novels

involve sexual 'betrayal',
a phenomenon which incurs more opprobrium
than shopping one's neighbours
to the secret police.
We betray each other all the time
in more-damaging ways than the merely marital.

Tuesday 26 June 2018

On 'The Modern Novel'.

Many modern novels describe the fracturing of families
in societies which are being deliberately fractured
by 'capitalist enterprise'.
I am lucky in that I never had to cope with a 'normal, nuclear' family
but was brought up by intelligent, independent-minded women. 
I am lucky in that I was encouraged to read novels at an early age.

If men read novels, they tend to be thrillers
with frequent mention of breasts and guns.
But they tend to prefer 'factual' books, usually historical.

Good novels are, however, social-anthropological
(which women excel at)
and it is a great pity that they are treated as entertainment,
categorised as 'literature',
and not publicly recognised as Narrative Collections of Insights.
Since the collapse of poetry (in English, certainly) they are now
the only (necessarily oblique) accessible source of  wisdom.

Sunday 24 June 2018

Back in the USA,

"Back in the 1960s, [New Economics Guru Milton] Friedman
envisaged a society in which we’d all be wealthy, thriving entrepreneurs.
What we got in reality was a pay cut, reduced holiday or sick leave,
a chronic skills deficit, credit-card debt and endless hours of pointless work.
If anything, the story of human capital theory in Western economies has been about
divesting in people, not the opposite."

continued in AEON >

The result is a fragmented, polarised society of loners
who are obsessed by the ethos of self-serving competitiveness.
Blindly attached to money, insecure and paranoid - no wonder
so many are so unwell today.

Saturday 23 June 2018

Bordeaux (where the wine comes from)

is starting to collect via dinky street-ashtrays
the 200 million cigarette-butts/ends
that have been dropped on its streets every year.
At present, however, they are being stored in a warehouse
until the authorities decide whether to use them entire as fuel,
or to divide up the components for separate recycling.

From Northern Ireland to Istanbul

a spectre is haunting Europe:
the spectre of neo-Fascism.

Friday 22 June 2018

On Tortured (and torturing) Genius.

With great talent
comes great stress.
At last I realise that I am fortunate
in suffering from neither.

Thursday 21 June 2018

Found in my Midsummer Cracker:

Capitalism is also totalitarian.

The manipulation of the masses
through the manipulation of debt
is so much subtler
than concentration-camps or the Gulag.

'Grip and Grin'

is, I have discovered, the neat term
applied to important public handshakes,

and not to the 'genital grab'
practised by some societies - men to men
and women to women - and, like the handshake,
signifying friendliness.

Kids quite like it,
but not hysterical American mommas
who would, of course, associate it with
a sinister kind of fake friendliness,
or with President and Commander-in-Chief Trump.

Nor is it the same anthropological phenomenon as
the grabbing of one's own crotch to ward off bad luck.

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Two Haikai

Any time of year
full moon is like a disc of
pitted human skin.

Fluttering fly-past.
That old raku bowl is a
pleasure to drink from.

raku = enjoyment, fun, entertainment, comfort...

Monday 18 June 2018

On YouTube

the animals are much more beautiful
and life-enhancing than the humans.

Sunday 17 June 2018

On the mystery of the disappearance of the Neanderthals.

I don't think that they were all butchered
by homines 'sapientes' (and/or eaten),
but simply 'absorbed' (under pressure of rape, etc.)
by the craftier species - thus, perhaps, providing
an anti-ambitious, anti-competitive, unobsessive
(opt-out/dissident) gene, which, unfortunately,
is far too recessive.

Saturday 16 June 2018

I tend to think

that anyone famous
must be bogus
- but there are and have been
some exceptions.

Friday 15 June 2018

Starry Night

- a grand galactic
and multi-galactic
moonlit party in the sky.