Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions in the Armpit of Diogenes by DINGO the DISSIDENT binge-thinker here since 2008.

Saturday, 23 September 2023

Double reality.

Since double glazing
has been ubiquitously installed
the ghost of myself
that I see sometimes in windows
now has a Doppelgänger.

And behind him a far reality.

Thursday, 21 September 2023

from Karl on Facebook

Walking down the road this morning
...a guy leaning over his wall starts talking to me.

I'm from Palermo, but I hate it!
Full of Americans, Germans, nothing but tourists,
McDonalds, Pizza Hut everywhere!
Totally Americanised. 
I want to see Mafiosi, but they've all fled to the hills to hide!

Air Pollution in Europe.

The only pure air is in the white areas.
Inhabitants of North Macedonia,
Central Poland and Lombardy
are breathing in four times the 'safe' level
of toxic particulates.

Wednesday, 20 September 2023

Physicists say

that electrons kiss
and remember forever.
It's more likely
they bump into each other
and never forget.

My book

on marginal mediæval sculptures was originally published (in 1985)
by a small specialist London firm called Batsford,
which was taken over by Routledge, (formerly Routledge & Kegan Paul),
which was taken over by Taylor and Francis,
which has been taken over by Informa UK Ltd,
a subsidiary of a German firm.

This is the first royalty statement I have had in four years.

Monday, 18 September 2023

From wide to narrow : deprive and deprave.

The more that sheople
(especially testosteronal males)
are deprived of,
deflected or 'educated' away from
the sensual,
the more they will gravitate
towards the sexual.

Sunday, 17 September 2023


Since gardens are deserts
boringly pretty
it was no wonder they took
their pet snake and their rue
and their pomegranate seeds
to what they hoped would be
fresh fields and pastures new.

Civilisation is built on the lie

that human life, uniquely,
has unique worth,
and is more than the destructiveness
to death from birth.

Friday, 15 September 2023

The confusion

of the sensual with the sexual
parallels that between the spiritual
and the merely religious.

Thursday, 14 September 2023

Conspiracy theorists

compulsively conspire.

There is only one true freedom:
the freedom from desire.

from today's newspaper

"Most waste-water created by flush toilets
(more than 80% world-wide)
goes directly back into the environment
with no treatment."

Wednesday, 13 September 2023

On the Frontier of Dementia / A la frontiêre de la demence

I was not-so-slowly
(but with almost-admirable elegance)
descending the escalator*

and I said to myself:
Don't worry,
Be happy.

Go for it in the pleasant no-mans-land !

*Moving stairway is a much less
pretentious term. This may have been
part of the same sweet socialist
that took me from school
to university without the slightest
effort on my part. Then effort was required.
It took no effort at all to jump off.
Even less than is required
to abandon the rusty cruise-liner of life.

Monday, 11 September 2023


the terrible conspiracy.
Philosophy: a panoply
of conspiracy theories.

Sunday, 10 September 2023

from The Dissident Dictionary


an evolutionarily-degenerative but natural process whereby natural behaviours are suppressed and aggression is targeted.

New meanings to old words.

Many of these are due to mis-hearing
and let's face it, poor literacy.

Thus coruscating (sparkling, brilliant)
has become confused with excoriating
(literally: ripping the heart out of)
and now has two very different meanings
whose context may not provide enlightenment.


Saturday, 9 September 2023

Perhaps the greatest crime of Christianity

(and hence of 'western culture')
is its relentless and continuing
sexualisation of sensuality

which mirrors the Jewish demonisation
of pluralist Græco-Roman culture that led
to Masada and the Second Exile...
and, ultimately, the Shoah.

Friday, 8 September 2023

Information and knowledge

may be new,
but wisdom is very old
and hasn't changed.

Forget the false distinction
between 'saints' and 'sinners'.

The biggest 'losers'
are of course the 'winners'.

Thursday, 7 September 2023

BBC Radio

like the whole world (and the moon)
has become terminally infected
by the United States. 
Documentary programmes
now have interfering musak.
More and more contributors
are American, and are gabbling
twice as fast as contributors used to,
and, having been asked and paid
to appear on 'shows' (which is what discussion
programmes with some intellectual weight
are now called) insist on thanking
the presenter for 'having them on the show'
as if they were Lazarus at Dives' gate.

Wednesday, 6 September 2023

The verb makes all the difference.

The American imperative
Have a nice day!
is a mis-translation of the French
Bonne journée,
which means no more than
I hope you have a good day.

The imperative makes all the difference.

Tuesday, 5 September 2023

Homo stultus.

It has taken thousands of years for stupid humans
to realise that other animals are intelligent and
in different ways more sensitive.

If it weren't for climate change
it would probably take a few hundred more
for self-stultifying humans
to realise their own stupidity,
but of course that same stupidity
will largely wipe humans out long before.

Monday, 4 September 2023

Ignorant immigrants.

Few of the rich foreigners
(mostly from England and Holland)
who come to live in France
have read Ronsard, Villon or Montaigne,
or Zola, Balzac, Maupassant, Prévert or Verlaine;
nor do they know anything of French social history.
So 'French attitudes and behaviour'
are to them something of a mystery.

Sunday, 3 September 2023

Saturday, 2 September 2023

Silly Emily!

Feathers are not necessarily cuddly
unless they are plucked:
I have said it before, and I'll say it again:
Hope is a vulture pecking out your brain.

Friday, 1 September 2023


that the English language had no word
for one of the commonest, most universal
and essentially human emotions: Schadenfreude.

But then, despite the over-lauded Shakespeare,
English doesn't do emotions
like French, German or Arabic.

Diesel, diesel...

photo by Sean Rayford


In Atlanta, Georgia,

42 people have been charged by prosecutors with “domestic terrorism”
for trying to save the city’s last green canopy in the Weelaunee forest. 

Local police are trying to raze part of the forest to build a military-style police training academy, colloquially called “Cop City”, that already resulted in the first police killing of a climate activist in US history.

more >

Wednesday, 30 August 2023

An academic question.

Does generic, essential human evil
come from generic, essential human stupidity –

or the other way round ?

Or are they, perhaps, coterminous ?

Monday, 28 August 2023

Jacques Derrida

opined that a totalitarian state is one in which no one is allowed secrets, as in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four
Like many pronouncements by French intellectuals,
this is a silly remark,
since there are totalitarian states which actually encourage secrets
in order to employ people to ferret them out.  e.g. (notoriously)
the German Democratic Republic.

Another kind of totalitarian state is one
in which the consciousness
of everyone is composed of secrets;
in which other people are entirely enigmatic. 
This is the one I find myself in.
Everyone and their gods move in mysterious ways.

I am on the outside looking in
at the secretive people on the inside
who never look outward, nor up, nor down,
nor sideways, nor even inward
except in narcissistic reflection.

I am also looking in at myself
appearing to be a tiny loose part
of the state and status quo.

Identity is only appearance
both from without and within,
is only what is on show.

Saturday, 26 August 2023

Thinking about a painting

that combines the parable of Lazarus
with the myth of the Minotaur.

Is the Minotaur licking the leper's sores
while Dives dines and debauches upstairs in his palace ?

Or is the Minotaur himself the embodiment of wealth
carousing in his moral Labyrinth
while Lazarus lies at his gate ?

Or is the Minotaur languishing alone with his sores
or displaying them for passers-by ?

Certainly this latter would be the easiest
for a painter primitif to try,

though since I want the Minotaur to have
a human or male-Gorgon head upon an otherwise
abattoir-ready bull's body

the weeping sores would present
an insurmountable difficulty.

Friday, 25 August 2023


in the choked sewer of civilisation
where we are all turds,

the best I could ever say about people
(including myself)
is that they are not intentionally evil –

but these are just words.

Thursday, 24 August 2023

'Post-natal Depression.'

'Are you a man who has suffered from PND?'
asks The Guardian newspaper.

I (and millions of others, both male and female)
have suffered bouts of post-natal depression
ever since I was born.  It's basically a result
of entering this world of misery, trauma and grief.
A primal form of PTSD.

Wednesday, 23 August 2023

The Entropic Principle.

I love the universality
of the phrase SET UP TO FAIL.

It can be applied to anything –
from a poorly-funded local bus-service
to The (overfunded) Internet
to Democracy
to Christianity
to  'Western Civilisation'
to the evolution of Homo sapiens
to Life on Earth
and the existence of
anything and everything.

Monday, 21 August 2023

More than a jot.

You wanted to kiss
and not confide.
I wanted to confide
and not to kiss.
A kiss means little.
A confidence means a lot.

Sunday, 20 August 2023

The 'solutions' devised by humans

for problems created by humans
usually cause further, greater
problems for the biosphere.

Probably, the only 'clean' solution is
Nuclear War.  Unfortunately,
the opportunity for human (and my)
annihilation for the betterment of the planet
was missed in 1962.

Recycling has been promoted by the plastics industry
as a key solution to the growing problem of plastic waste.
But a study has found that recycling itself could be releasing
huge quantities of microplastics into water and the air.

Saturday, 19 August 2023

Dicks are hilarious.

Vaginas are mysterious.
Both have been afflicted
by psychotic taboos,
mainly by disconnected
male Muslims, Christians and Jews.

The best experience

at the multi-exhibitor
outdoor art-show today
was the smell of new-mown hay.


Friday, 18 August 2023

Valentine Prax

(1897-1981) was the Algerian-born wife (of Catalan-Sardinian extraction) to the Belarussian sculptor Yossip Zadkine.  They married in 1920 at Bruniquel, a beautiful village in the lower Averyon Gorges, now famous for its Magdalenian cave and Neanderthal remains on the other side of the river.  Bruniquel has an impressive 12th century castle (largely intact) and various sculptural details such as this fine spout.

from www.beyond-the-pale.org.uk/zxBruniquel.htm

They then went to live at Caylus, about 20 km north.
In Caylus, Zadkine carved his massive Crucifixion
of the naked Christfrom a single chunk of elm,
which was placed in Caylus' 12th-13th century church in 1954.

(It is very difficult to photograph, and should be seen in situ.)

The couple then moved farther north, and on to Paris
where he was a friend of Henry Miller in Montparnasse
and was represented by the character Borowski
in Miller's Tropic of Cancer (1934).  During WW II
they lived in Manhattan.

Valentine, of course, is under-appreciated.
Though some of her paintings are, frankly, not very good,
others are very fine indeed.

Here is a selection.

(I apologise for the imperfect arrangement. Google Blogger uses extremely old and clunky technology of around 2004, and it is extremely difficult to arrange photos as one would wish.)

Un dimanche sur la terrasse.


L'atelier du menuisier.
(The joiner's workshop.)

L'ivrogne (The Drunkard).

The Drunkard, other way up.


Portrait of an unnamed woman.

The basket of fish.

This last, superb, picture was sold for a mere 3,250 € a Christies in 2017.
I could just have bought it with my savings at 3,500 €,
and treasured it for the rest of my life.

In her Montparnasse studio.

Thursday, 17 August 2023


people repeat mindlessly that despair is useless.

But hope is worse : it is destructive.

Persistent Prudery.

Yesterday I went for an ultrasound scan
of my 'waterworks', because of my need to piss
every two hours.  I shocked the young woman
who operated the scanner (which is just like
the old roller photo-scanners of the 1990s)
because  (in the 30° afternoon temperature,
in this time of pervasive pornography
and genital transplants)
I had no underwear beneath my colourful,
baggy, aerating Nepalese pants.

Wednesday, 16 August 2023


might be the (or a) container of the universe.

The English polymath Priestley thought it was an omelette.



My friend the Minotaur
lurking in the palace.

photo © Jamie E Murray

Tuesday, 15 August 2023

A Manichæan Rhyme.

Dr Devil and Mr Jehovah
enjoy the game of
You Move Over.

Roll over, sweet Satan!
Roll over, Jehovah!

There they wrestle
on the cosmic sofa

which is now in poor condition,
soon to be cast unto perdition

along with the moths and skin-mite shit
that we are, in the thick of it.

The latest borrowing

that I've come across
from English into French :

Un food truck assurera le repas de midi.

Imagine a 16-wheeler providing a mid-day meal
for patrons and friends of the Animal Shelter
to which I give my unearned money.

But probably it's just a van with a hatch
offering tasteless quiches
and bits of dead animals reduced to 
acceptable nothingness.

I'll be giving the SPA* Open Day
an unpatronly miss.

*Society for the Protection of Animals
in one of the most animal-unprotecting
countries in the world.

Monday, 14 August 2023


There are some people who are so sane
that they make sanity totally repugnant.

Sunday, 13 August 2023

A publisher's blurb on the Bible

composed by ChatGPT :

 for those looking for their next self-help read:

The ultimate guide to life, love, and eternal salvation! With enough drama and plot twists to rival Game of Thrones, it’s sure to keep you entertained for thousands of years to come. Laugh, cry, and gasp in awe at the epic stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, and Jesus and his miracles. Don’t miss out on this divine masterpiece!


Saturday, 12 August 2023

Unpopular Opinion.

Doctors are encouraged
and like to think that they,
generally speaking,
are Doing Good.
But, viewed globally, they have,
through medical industrialisation,
catastrophically increased
the planet's destructive
human population.

We all know to our cost

that invention
is much easier
(and much less successful)
than prevention.

Friday, 11 August 2023

'I have never taken any exercise,

except sleeping and resting,
and I never intend to take any.
Exercise is loathsome.
It cannot be of any benefit when you are tired –
and I am always tired.'

Mark Twain (S.L.Clemens)

Kissies and Huggies.

I didn't come from
a kissy-huggy family.
We were Presbyterian.
But there was no lack of love.

By the time that I was twenty
I had kissed (erotically) just one
a damaged (female) Dane.

When I was nearly forty I visited
a wonderful, big Dalí show in Paris.
There, in the Centre Pompidou,
by a broken towel-machine in the cramped
and crowded ground-floor excretory facility
I met a man who introduced me
to man-kissing. He was bearded...

I can kiss men only if their mouths
are framed by hair. Like cunts ? 
But I don't remember much kissing there
when I conformed to sexual norms.

Depending on individual histories
sexual predilections can take many
(and many less cuddly-kissy) forms.

Thursday, 10 August 2023


 The hair on the Great Gorgon's scalp

was composed of cheerfully-active snakes.

Her piercing gaze 'turned men to stone'

or froze their hot testosterone'.

My serpents wriggle inside my head

they'll keep on trying to get out - or help -

until I'm dead.

Even Big Brother's pants

are watching you.

Wednesday, 9 August 2023

At this very moment

you are connected
to the Narcissinternet, 
and poised to read
a very Bad Blog indeed:

Jesus (probably asexual)
unwittingly gave birth to a greedy
and violent cult of blood and sacrifice

while Satan was thinking of the needy
and pleasuring himself
with a devilshly clever onanistic device.

(But maybe you have read worse
 in equally spavined verse...)

Tuesday, 8 August 2023

Translation traps

of words that look the same in different languages
might be counted in their thousands
or tens of thousands.  I occasionally read
Danish newspaper-headlines. Today
I found a subtle, funny
little language-trap :

'hvidvask' [hvid=white; vask=wash]
does not mean whitewash
but laundering (of money).

Monday, 7 August 2023

On Hindsight.

(All animals look good from behind.
Many humans look better from behind
than from afront.)

Foresight would be a nice thing to have. 
Maybe that was what the Straight Male Jews
were hoping to get
when they offered their foreskins
to the unmentionable Yahwe
in a classic Jewish bargain –
which turned out to be
the Notorious Jehovah-Swindle
and a futile religious rite..

(Then there is the dreadful, sometimes dubious
transparency of second-sight...)

from my American-British dictionary.

Bullhorn = Megaphone.

This is unusual, because American terms are usually more sensible than British ones – e.g. sidewalk vs pavement.  

Sunday, 6 August 2023

In the good and bad

old days, people wrote letters
with pens (latterly sometimes ball-points)
(or, in my case, with typewriters)
on paper – some times several sheets
of paper, which they folded, and placed
in envelopes on which they had written
or had typed an address.

A stamp was put on it, and it was posted.
The addressee, on receiving it, would know
where it was posted, and, almost always,
where it was written, because people wrote
the place (if it was different from their home-address)
and date at the beginning of the letter,
or, sometimes, at the end. 

The sender usually knew where the letter
would arrive, and could easily imagine it
(however inaccurately).

The problem I have with 'personal' e-mails,
as with cell-phones, is that the transit is obscure.
Communications are sent from and
received in unimaginable places –

and we have become
crypto-entities in cyberspaces.

Saturday, 5 August 2023

An uncalled-for thought on the endemic thought-control,

otherwise known as Brainwashing.

"...overwhelmed by depression, she took her own life." 
(Granta 105, page 161, my italics)

This is NormalSpeak for
She was overwhelmed by life and killed herself.

But she might actually have taken it back for a refund
which might (or might not) in some shape or form,
been forthcoming.

That Day

when the first Great American Bomb fell (or was it hurled ?)
was when American Conformity was loosed upon the world.

for the Great Willie Yeats

Friday, 4 August 2023

From an Ancient Scroll.

There are many Species
of the Non-entity called Death :

Mad March

Spot the dog

in this picture of a sunflower field
seen through a windscreen in rain.

Thursday, 3 August 2023


I haven't got fatter or thinner since I was twenty.
So it's not astounding that I have a plenitude
a grand chamissitude of shirts,

one dating back to 1975 (when I was 33),
all of them second-hand,
except for one my mother made for me
on her treadle-machine in the front room
of her house in Clonlee Drive, Belfast.

She used to say (with only a little irony)
that she felt as if the next shirt or blouse
she put on would be her last. 

I won't live long enough to properly
enjoy all these shirts –
unless I behave like modern folk
and wear each just for a day –
and then, without a second thought
just throw it away.

(That gives me another month...)

The brambles are winning.


Wednesday, 2 August 2023

Trolley with removable tray-shelves.

Bought on Sunday at a village street sale
for 25 euros. Found to be too fandangly
as a plant-stand for my house – and too small;
passed to my friend the antique dealer, 
who sold it on Wednesday for 70 euros.
So I got my money back.

The trays/shelves were originally glazed.

Since the Beginning of Time

there have been more words than humans.

Roma Holocaust Memorial Day.


Tuesday, 1 August 2023

A Diogenean Syllogism

in memoriam J-P Sartre

Though it probably doesn't exist
Hell is presumed to be Bad.

Humans are Evil
and too many of us exist.

Ergo: Hell is Too Many People
and must be bad.

Monday, 31 July 2023

A question of Functionality


Reading buyers’ reviews (as I do, often after rather than before buying a Major Item, I came across this comment on the now-considered-basic fridge-freezer which I bought online – but of course not from amazon.fr – perish the thought !

idéal pour une personne seule ou un couple fonctionnel

ideal for someone living alone or a functional couple
so…to be avoided, I guess, by dysfunctional couples.


Pausing from my reading and looking down I took this photo.

Friday, 28 July 2023


(too long ?) at the spider on the ceiling,

I am a sponge too full of unshared feeling.


Below is a Météo-France weather-alert graphic
indicating nothing-worrisome weatherwise
on two Caribbean islands,
Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy,
one-and-a-half of which
belong to France.  The other half (in blue)
is the Dutch colony of Sint-Maarten,
for which the French meteorological service
wlll not provide predictions.

'Land of the Free'.

Mississippi, USA.

A money-making seal-embosser.

used to authenticate medieval indulgences
which were a profitable way of reducing penance for sins.

According to The Guardian,
each indulgence authenticated by such a seal
reduced the buyer's time in Purgatory by one year and forty days. 
Of course, one's time in Purgatory might last hundreds if not thousands of years...
The metal stamp or matrix is shown on the right.

Found after spending 500 years buried in a field.  

Thursday, 27 July 2023

Not drowning yet,

and certainly not waving,
I am swimming in a sea
of human stupidity.
The only lighthouse
is a glimmer.
I always was
a hopeless swimmer.

Tuesday, 25 July 2023

"Old age sure ain't for sissies"

pre-dates Bette Davis.
I'm sure that Henry Ford was not the first
(by a few thousand years) to declare
that The greatest thing in life
is to keep your mind young

– maybe a greater thing even than becoming
a greedy production-line millionaire.
When and where the mind goes, you go, too.
There may or may not
be lots of time to sit and stare.

Monday, 24 July 2023

Someone I despised

admired my paintings
I got an uncomfortable feeling.

It's probably just as well
that few admire my writing.

Today's splendid neologism :


– Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
or As You Will, circa 1601.

Sunday, 23 July 2023

A drinking song.

I drink cow's milk

sheep's milk I

used to drink goat's milk I

have drunk Bull's Blood I

don't think I ever drunk

my mother's milk

maybe a wet-nurse's

maybe a bottle I

was farmed out for a year

pasteurised not sterilised 

I have on occasion drunk

Liebfraumilch and

as I said Bull's Blood

and cock's milk

which may or may not be

of human kindness

but as far as taste goes

is a bit of a dud.

Saturday, 22 July 2023

The sanest behaviour

in this insane world
may be to behave
as the only sane person
on a space-ship of fools.

Friday, 21 July 2023

Random ( & apposite) lines

from Shakespeare's As You Will
(alias Twelfth Night, because it was first performed
on the Feast of Fools at the beginning of the 17th century)

Infirmity that decays the wise
doth ever make the better fool;

Methinks I have no more wits
than a Christian or an ordinary man has;

For I myself am best when least in company.

In other words, Combat Normality

“I think we need to start another movement.
This one is so simple: Stop Ableism. That’s it.”

- Rosie Jones, comedian.

Thursday, 20 July 2023

'The Rise of Voluntary Celibacy.'

  ‘Most of the sex I’ve had, I wish I hadn’t bothered.’

I think millions would agree with you, Ms Saner.
Most of the 'sex' I've had wasn't worth the emotional effort.

But erotic games are something else: they are fun.
Alas! playmates are hard to find; impossible when you're old.

Her most treasured possession.

Dahlia flower preserved in formaldehyde.


She photographed everything she owned.

'This is the way the world ends...'

Tuesday, 18 July 2023

Two kinds of people

rule the world:

the arrogant ignorant
and the ignorant arrogant.

Good Advice.

This summer...

     leave this          ...          collect that.

Monday, 17 July 2023

On deceleration

or the slowing-down :
when it takes more than two seconds
to find the word or phrase
the conversation dies.



A small marble head recently found in Rome’s Piazza Augusto Imperatore.

Sunday, 16 July 2023


is an insulting term
that seems to have fallen out of use.

I propose a new one:  RedBull-neck.

Saturday, 15 July 2023

Dear Autists,

Something that you will rarely hear
Normal People say
is that they are blocked
and terrified of giving themselves away.

Friday, 14 July 2023

La Fleur du Mal.

the quasi-religious system of Demonic Possession
based on the anti-Christian concept
of material success,

is a failure by its own economic reckoning.
It is will inevitably fail,
marching to environmental ruin
and dictatorship through divisiveness.

Note: Two million citizens of the desirable USA
don't have running water in their homes.
One million are in jail.

Thursday, 13 July 2023

The Dictatorship of the Proletariat

never happened. What we've had
was the Dictatorship of dictators
and Dictatorship of the Product-
manufacturers and marketers.

And Socialism was a little blip, a fad.

A socio-political statement.

No stupidity is as frightening
as the stupidity of the clever.

Wednesday, 12 July 2023

seXX - seXY

One of my double-x chromosomic friends
asked me which had been better for me,
sex with women (xx) or with men (xy).

I didn't hesitate to say that the lovemaking I had
with the One Woman In My Life was more fulfilling,

but the best frolics I had with
maybe half a dozen men
were more exciting.

Last Week

I visited a friend from 1965 in Ireland
who built himself a stark, half-million euro/dollar
mansion which looks like an old Police Barracks,
the windows too high, the bleak rooms mostly too large;
ugly and shapeless outside, the inside comfortless
with random, clashing clutter. 

Over the years he had cadged over 15 of my paintings
which look like sore thumbs where they've been placed
on walls.  Some had long since been put in the loft.  I asked
for one to include in a small show in my French village. 
Titled Lecale Landscape, The Ulster Way,
it features a derelict cottage (long since demolished),
a modern bungaloid monstrosity,
the Mountains of Mourne under cloud - and a crucifixion
of a refugee wearing a crown of horns.

He declined.

Not my best painting, I would, of course have improved it
as I have done with many I have kept.  Only yesterday
I made little alterations to one I painted in 1989...

Here is a seascape of mine that he has, entitled The Fall of Icarus.

And the portrait of another friend at breakfast.

Tuesday, 11 July 2023

Funding Sought

to print a very limited
and elegant
English edition
of the King James version of the
Old Testament of the Bible,
on rag-paper,
in which every instance
of God is replaced by Dog.

This would be known (of course)
as The Dog Bible,
and would become immensely valuable.

"Dear Mr Musk...
...Looking forward to hearing from you.
Dissident Editions
publisher number 9520451..."


My teenage interest in painting
was ignited by the self-portraits of Van Gogh,
followed by those of Rembrandt.
I have daubed several myself.
Good photographic self-portraits are,
I think, much rarer, because technology
often gets in the way of originality.
(The more complicated the equipment
the less interesting and 'authentic' the result.)

This modest example is by
famous American photographer Eve Arnold.

It can be compared with this one by the great Vivian Maier...

...though neither is half as interesting as a Rembrandt, Van Gogh
Otto Dix or Alice Neel self-portrait.

Monday, 10 July 2023

All autocrats

go mad  – some very quickly.
This is the best argument for democracy,
or at least for regular autocrat-replacement.

Sunday, 9 July 2023

Saturday, 8 July 2023


was a word (used in a 1938 song by Lead Belly*)
meaning aware, vigilant. It now, like fascist,
has been debased to signify
almost anything and nothing.

*Huddie Ledbetter,
whose recordings  I listened to in the 1950s. 

I am one of the wokest people on the planet,
keenly aware of the inherent evils of Civilisation,
Big Religion, Big Capitalism, Big Agriculture...

Friday, 7 July 2023

It is strange

that, since the 1960s, thousands of films
have had pumping, heaving, moaning sex-scenes
(though, admittedly, not in penetrative detail)
– yet very few have shown men pissing discreetly
or women sitting on a water-closet seat.

'Leading Expert Says'

AI likely to spell end of traditional school classroom.

Prof essor Stuart Russell says that the technology could result in
 ‘fewer teachers being employed – possibly even none’

And thus will come totalitarian education.
Teachers, arise!

*  *  *

Also from today's newspaper:

Disasters that we once called
are now normal.

Thursday, 6 July 2023

A Recommendation.

Sufferers of fronto-temporal dementia
may experience a decline in personal hygiene.
That means that they are too apathetic to wash
or change their clothes,
and thus they start to smell.

To counter this I suggest sprinkling two or three drops
of essential oil (such as fennel, chamomile, patchouli
myrrh, vetiver) on the smelly bits of clothing.
Their aroma will blend nicely with old-body smells
and avoid embarrassment for one day, at least.

Wednesday, 5 July 2023

When men,

especially in Abrahamic cultures,
are asked or made to strip naked,
they immediately and automatically
hide their genitals behind
their hands, a towel, or a sock.  

I, on the other hand,
have always folded my thin arms
to hide my chest,
because I never had pectoral muscles,
but (it seemed to me)
an unexceptionable cock.

'Human Progress'

Most new technologies
increase inequalities.
Then come schisms,
new mentalities,
social unrest, power-grabs
(usually called Revolutions)
and the imposition
of new inequalities.

Strange lacuna in BritEnglish.

When you thank an American for something,
s/he will say 'You're welcome'.

In French one will courteously say Je vous en prie
or, charmingly, A moi le plaisir. 

But the BritIrish have no response other
than to mindlessly parrot Thank-you,

not even emphasising the you

Tuesday, 4 July 2023

The Human Equation: P+p=C²

 Purposiveness + proliferation
= Catastrophe*.

*Or if you prefer it, Devastation...

Monday, 3 July 2023

Attitudes to Technology.

In English
the word digital implies
nimble or caressing fingers.
The French word, numérique
lets us know that we are controlled by numbers.

Sunday, 2 July 2023

I look away

when there is film-footage
of sex and guns.
Deep in my snowflake mind
they are as one.

Saturday, 1 July 2023

Most people

want what other people have.

Many people want
what others do not have.

A lot of people have
what others do not want.

Some people have almost nothing.

A few people want nothing much.

Even fewer want for nothing
– apart from such-and-such.

Friday, 30 June 2023

Two thoughts about a religion.

"Why thou shalt not kill ?
Killing someone is doing them a favour
and God hates that sort of thing."

Our Lady of the Assassins (El Virgen de los Sicarios),
   Colombia, 2000.

Jesus (or maybe it was Judas) said
There is too much patriarchy.
Peter had him crucified. 

Thursday, 29 June 2023

After Ghalib.

Breathing is madness.
It is hard to stop.
But, unlike the rain,
once stopped
it doesn't start again.

Wednesday, 28 June 2023

Since 'Tin-pan Alley',

so many songs:
the same banal melody,
hackneyed (knock-kneed) lyrics,
hothouse emotions
of childish girls and boys,
a parasitic industry
and much empty noise.

Tuesday, 27 June 2023


is a statue shat on by birds.

 – Our Lady of the Assassins (El Virgen de los Sicarios),
    Colombia, 2000.

Monday, 26 June 2023

I agree, Mirza,

that some of what I write
is hard to take.
But if I wrote acceptably
it and I would just be fake.

Sunday, 25 June 2023

Like Italians of 1500 years ago,

and the English and the French of 150 years ago,
Americans fearfully believe (and promulgate
to all Barbarians and Lesser Breeds)
that they are the world they dominate.

Friday, 23 June 2023

Thursday, 22 June 2023

Book in a Box.

A chap wrote to me
asking if I would send him a signed copy
of one of my books, published in 1985.
I don't have spare copies, of course,

but I looked online to check on prices, and found
this picture of a $60 first edition (unsigned).

Below this curious and awkward image, however,
was a neat synopsis, which I have copied 'for the record':

Sexually explicit sculptures may be found on a number of medieval churches in France and Spain. This fascinating study examines the origins and purposes of these sculptures, viewing them not as magical fertility symbols, nor even as idols of ancient pre-Christian religions, but as serious works that dealt with the sexual customs and salvation of medieval folk, and thus gave support to the Church's moral teachings.

NOT The Banshees of Inisherin.


A county Donegal cottage 1978 by Le Garsmeur.
According to my memory around the same time
an authentic photo, but the dog is missing.

Wednesday, 21 June 2023


No animal knows
how limited it is.

But most animals know
their limits,

unlike humans
who become more limited
as they become more powerful.

I languish in the no-mans-land
between language, feeling and the world.  

Tuesday, 20 June 2023

'Mother Country'

My mother was not a country
but a 'fallen woman'.
Ireland, at best, was a distant
disapproving cousin.

I first saw this twelfth-century sculpture

in 1976, on a Romanesque church in the west of France.
I thought it was a representation of drunkenness
amongst other depictions of sins particularly condemned
by the moralists of the 11th and 12th centuries.
I was (of course) wrong.  It shows a sinful man,
but he is not a drunkard.  He is a musician, a category
loathed by the Christian Moralists because, to them,
music meant dancing, and dancing meant sex.

Corbels on the outside of churches often showed
Unchristian Behaviour and Spectacle,
and featured acrobats, contortionists, dancing bears,
exhibitionists, mummers and actors, lascivious animals
(pigs and dogs being the most common).

This corbel*, on the parish church at Givrezac
in western France, shows a Dolio-player,
not a man drinking straight from a barrel.
Because non-religious music led to sexual immorality
he is shown with diabolical (pointy) genitals.
He is also wearing a horned cap, such as an actor
or jongleur might wear,
to emphasise his devilish unacceptabliity.

Hundreds of such corbels can be seen on French and Spanish churches.

The consumption of alcohol was not discouraged
because weak beers and wines were the only liquids
(apart from milk)
that could be drunk safely, especially on the busy Pilgrim (Religious-tourist)
Roads to Rome and Compostela, along which monasteries
(mostly Benedictine) ran canteens and dormitories
and hospices and mortuary (and probably insurance) services. 

In the twelfth century over a million Pilgrims (Religious Tourists)
crossed the Pyrenees on their way to Santiago de Compostela.
and so it goes

*a corbel is a bracket support for an architectural weight,
in this case the weight of a barrel-vaulted roof
resting on a beam of stone or wood laid along the wall of the nave of a church.
The word derives from the French for Raven
(corbeau, corbie in vernacular English)
– don't ask me why!  Perversely, the French for this type of  figurative corbel is modillon.


Monday, 19 June 2023

After Ghalib.

Let the hypocrites,
the voluptuous ascetics,
drone on about the Paradise Garden,

victim of the spade
and heavenly herbicide.

Sunday, 18 June 2023

When all your memories are sad

you'll know that you have reached old age.

On the sinking of yet another refugee boat.

"Journey's End.

How hard we try to reach death safely,
luggage intact, each child accounted for..."

Linda Pastan, from Selected Poems, London 1979.

Saturday, 17 June 2023

On Eavesdropping.

I discovered that most conversations contained
small, almost unnoticeable lies.

Henning Mankell

A present I received today.

A wonderfully-insane corkscrew for my collection.

Friday, 16 June 2023

The curse of literacy

gradually diminished human consciousness,
by shifting it from an internal
location in sound
to external artefacts
which we had, expensively,
to learn to read –
a process which sucked out and reduced our minds
while we were being programmed to depend upon it.

Printing, cinema, television and smartphones
have all contributed to the Great Diminishing
of human consciousness,
which has been so restricted and enfeebled
that it can now be encompassed and expressed by robots.

Thursday, 15 June 2023

Wednesday, 14 June 2023


we are not only allowed
but induced to become
angry vegetables.

Tuesday, 13 June 2023

All you, you all out there

don't seem to realise
that all the Aliens in this galaxy
were deported – or perhaps they flocked –
to Planet Earth
to miscegenate and multiply
in regenerating misery.

After their tusks were ripped out

male African elephants were generally left to rot,
though their ears were sometimes used as plates.

Monday, 12 June 2023

I wonder why

in the theomanic USA – where there are so many churches,
and so many tax-exempt businesses
calling themselves churches –
that there is no Church of the Cosmic Antichrist ?

All contributions gratefully accepted
in the Holy and Cosmic Campaign
for the establishment of the True Religion
of the Future and Infinite Zeitgeist.

A Great Leader

 more honest than most.

Sunday, 11 June 2023


As empires become larger, more transient
and more destructive, the miasmic empire
of the USA strangles and corrupts, pollutes
and dehydrates the planet
with its puritan, prurient consumerist morality

while it collapses bleakly into the category
Failed Experiment in Individualist
Majoritarian Democracy.

Living, laughing,

loving, leaving –

how felicitous the English language!

Saturday, 10 June 2023

Christianity vs suicide : theologic.

The reason why most Christians consider suicide
to be worse than murder, mass-murder or genocide

is that it is impossible to repent after killing yourself.
But if you tried,
mere verbal repentance before a priest
is enough to exonerate you – if you haven't died.

To be poor is misery.

To be a poor Palestinian
is a calvary.