FTMT's Favourite Five Top Tenets

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A body cries

Why does a body cry out for milk (or salt)?
The cancer of laziness threatens my sanity.
Amicable and fair divorce: She got the house and all inside it, you got everything outside it.
When asked to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, do it. You’ll be a mile away and you’ll have some shoes.
Who was it that beat up the beaten track?
A black hole in the sky not visible from the earth but only via radio signal (eh?).
The driver now has a tracker unit in his van and so cannot tell a lie.
There is no victimless crime, or is there?

A cry in the dark heard only by the deaf.

These spaces are too large for their relative size.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dangerous levels of you

Dangerous levels of you
A recipe is coming through and through
Intensity is reading past the blue
Contaminated cannot stay immune
Dangerous levels of you.

Intoxicate and breathe again
A crawling pain, seals in my skin
The fingers curl, the end begin
The love tugs more, a voodoo pin
My level best, I’m breathing in.

Dangerous levels of you
Dangerous levels of you
The course of nature on course, rest assured
Dangerous levels of you

Monday, November 19, 2007

Box of sleep

Box of sleep

Join me in this box of sleep

Heaven’s just outside

And we’re in deep.

Join me in this box of sleep

Take the long step down

Build the complete.

Build the complete, box of sleep. Build the complete, box of sleep.

Build the complete, box of sleep. Build the complete, box of sleep.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Facts, artefacts and things to retract.

I pick up the oddest items on my singular travels and triangular journeys, do you?

A metallic green Nissan Primera that once belonged to Eric Clapton.
A pair of New Zealand moccasins that once stood next to Princess Margaret at a grand opening ceremony.
The dried up red rose that Bothwell placed (romantically) in the bum crack of Mary Queen of Scots one warm night.
A short break.
A Mars Bar wrapper from the waist coat pocket of Mark Twain.
A box of sky collected at lowest cloud level on the Island of Skye.
A bag of frozen chicken and onion rings stolen from Dobbies in Dunfermline.
A lucky black cat bingo pen that allegedly belonged to Leon Trotsky.
An American Express card dropped in a Detroit Seven Eleven by Gore Vidal by the pizza counter.
Mozart’s special rag for wiping down his keyboards after a gig.
Edible chalk mined in the Andes.
A tearful denial from a guilty man with the gift of duplicity.
The swear box from a Royal and Ancient Golf Club and debating society in Dubai.
Tall tales told by medium sized dwarves in the Catacombs of Rome.
The deeds to a house not ever owned by Chic Murray.
Loose talk from the crush hall outside the main chamber of the Spanish Senate.
The notion that love will come around.
Coca-Cola bottles held prisoner by the Japanese for sixty five years.
Fossils picked up and then discarded by a tired Angelica Houston whilst doing the West Highland Way.
Distinctive farmyard smells captured and held in a golden phial.
Used crossword puzzles retrieved from a bonfire (just).
Sneeze clouds from the whispering gallery in St Paul’s Cathedral.
A snatch of clothes pegs sold in Falkirk by a young and inexperienced Sammy Davis Junior.

Please note that the final shape of your journey will make a significant difference to the items you collect both in number and quality. Plan carefully and make the best use of the time, angles and the relative bits of posturing you have left. Love will come around.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Oreo Worship

Why is there no monument to Oreos in this land?

If they’re good enough to eat, then they’re good enough to stand.

In every town and dull estate, in every street and thoroughfare,

A shrine should rise for Oreos, all round and never square.

Apologies (again) to Spike Milligan.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Now that it is night, the dark can cover.
Now that I am in the night, I pass with the eyes of a cat.
Dark and it’s namesake darkness are my friends.
Like Simon and Garfunkel or Rodgers and Hammerstein
But not like Mussolini and Hitler or Brown and Blair.
The wear black cloaks and read from black books,
They avoid my gaze but return black looks.
At seven I watched the six o’clock news, by eight I had read all the movie reviews
At ten I saw the nine o’clock episode of “It’ll all end in tears”
And on Gold I saw something I’d not seen for years.
(I must have missed it then).
Time and a word and a day and a week, the pouring of time flows and the numbers repeat.
Everyday the numbers repeat.
With every number the days repeat.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Not to be confused

No obvious idols here.

Apart from the big stone heads on Easter Island there are no idols worth worshiping. I have to admit that following the Easter Island heads and whatever their significance or path to glory might be, isn’t so easy either. So make it simple and have no idols, models, heroes, gurus or anything like it. Respect, enjoy, appreciate, admire and support your fellows but don’t idolize, it gets you nowhere and never has a beneficial effect on civilisation or society anyway.

Not angry or to be confused with the Marx Brothers.

Growing older is at the same time a great cure for latent anger and frustration but also a source of whole new areas of life to become angry about. You can get angry about young people, stupidity where ever it materialises (because you are older and wiser) and most importantly with yourself as you forget, muddle about and become increasingly hypocritical in all you say and do. Why in a few short moments I can veer from super soft libertine and hippy seer to absolute fascist and despotic governor of the police state of West Lothian and the barren lands and cultural vacuum that surrounds it. Who would have thought that various extremists, Greens, Muslims, and Americans, the FT, cartoon characters and Socialist politicians could all say such wise things about the same things all at different times? I’ve also been told that only a Sith deals in absolutes and mental upholstery repair work.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mona Lisa look

Now the she’s got a decent alarm clock, no hangover and fired the strange boy from Brechin that used to warm the bed, Mona Lisa has enough time in the morning to put on a little slap, because as any icon will tell you "I'm worth it”. All in all it could be a picture perfect day down at the big studio and Leo can just have all the temper tantrums he likes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The helpline is live

One idea.

It’s good to save up post until you are in exactly the right mood to open it. Why not collect it, take a pile to work and dump it in your office bin unopened? This advice is not really recommended if you are planning to lead a normal or responsible life but it may just be the liberating experience you need to push you over the edge and into a great and wonderful adventure that you can easily fictionalise and turn into a successful novel.

Another idea.

Find the source of fluff and snuff it out. If you can prevent fluff then there is no need for noisy and irritating vacuum cleaners, for the activity of vacuuming and for getting tangled up in the vacuum cleaner’s power cable whilst trying to clean a twisting staircase. This may not result in much directly earned money for you and may result in bankruptcy for a number of electrical companies but it will provide you with deep satisfaction and more useful spare time which you can squander by simply looking out of the window.

Medical advice.

Starve a cold. Feed a fever. Strangle a pixie. Don’t cut your toe nails with a razor blade. Don’t use the shared changing when at the swimming baths. Don’t forget about essential oils. Speed up your metabolism with a portion of Wheatabix coated in peanut butter. Warts go away eventually so don’t try rubbing them with a dead toad. Shaving any part of the body requires some lubrication. A warm cup of tea soothes a headache (press cup against head vigorously). Coca Cola does cure a hangover as does a trip to the loo with a Sunday Supplement. Baldness is a result of irritability. Don’t eat a raw Beecham’s Powder, dilute to taste. Bloating in the lower intestine is not eased by the rubbing on of yoghurt. Staring at the sun makes you sneeze.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wooden insects

Wooden insects try hard to confuse their real brothers – those not made in China.

Writing anything requires staying focused. Any tiny drift when writing, to the right or to the left can result in immediate blockage and closure of the creative doors, like a portcullis dropping on an invading army. You can also flop from your chair or even worse bruise your forehead on the brittle plastic keys of your keyboard. As Aldous Huxley might have said if he was ever remotely concerned about it “This is where the white rain comes on, but don’t believe me and you had better not ask him he’s an Epsilon, O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beautious mankind is! O brave new world that has such people in it!".

I didn’t really over hear this at a bus stop nor was I told it by a taxi cab driver.

“It’s not that I can’t read properly. It’s more to do with the way that I tend to skip words, assuming that I already know what the draft is saying and thereby, quite accidently obtaining an altogether incorrect meaning from the actual text. Then when my version of events and what I believe that I have gleaned from reading is shared with a fellow reader and non-conspiritor, sparks fly and general confusion follows. Drawing the wrong conclusions is a recipe for disaster, most of the time”.

This is the end, fairweather friend so turn the music down and check the spellchecker.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

White Towels

Preaching what you practice

White towels are fine in your own house but in a holiday home they present the owner with significant laundry problems.
People on Myspace playing their own tracks to up their play count.
The National Health Service is a marvellous theoretical concept.
Recording television programmes onto a hard disk with one touch is the best thing ever (sadly few if any of these recorded masterpieces will ever be viewed).
Running out of coffee forces a man into drinking Southern Comfort.
If you seriously want to me a millionaire then don’t just give up at the fifty first obstacle.
Closing your eyes when playing the guitar (in effect letting go) produces the best playing.
Robert Plant told Alison Kraus just to moan when she couldn’t sing the parts, has there ever been better advice given?
We’re going to Portugal to do very little, but not quite yet.
Christmas will be routinely chaotic this year but the weather will be bearable and firework friendly.
I’m fed up with 180 spam emails a day.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Random is as random does

I was thinking of breaking out, I was think of breaking down. I was thinking other random thoughts and reciting the words to Bruce Springsteen songs, over and over with tap on the elbow to accentuate those other drum beats. After a while I decided that all these things were pretty pointless so I sat at a bus stop and decided to get the first bus that came along. Eleven minutes later a bus drew up, I disliked the number so I ignored it and noticed no protestations from the driver driving, begging me or otherwise to get on. As it moved off into the night I stood up and walked the long walk home via a handy short cut in the space time continuum, always a better way to travel in my humble opinion. Once home I relaxed with a good strong drink, a nasty not so strong one and a flourish of battle hardened digestive biscuits. I could live like a king on this kind of diet if I could be bothered. The remote is now lost down the couch so I’m stuck on ITV4 until the hoover comes along. Typical you may say but that’ just how life is. At about 6.30 I finally fell asleep.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Five day detox

Five days of five fruits

Something is undecided about its nature, a mixture of pulp and seeds, flesh and inner marrow, unsure whether it should hang or drop, or to stop it being whatever it can. Good for the digestion and eyesight, ask a question about intestines and dynamite. Fruit flavours the worried part and you must believe it makes it right. The subtle shifting of the diet, the mash that moves and heals in quiet determination, inside and out, the easy meal and wrapped delight. The drug that calms you in the night. So once the detox is complete you can relax and soothe the memory of the headaches, suck and orange dry, scoop and hollow the avocado, squeeze a lemon into drip dry glass and watch the sparkle as the goodness comes to pass, through you.

On the fifth day...

All was well in theory but I craved a rush, a rush that fruit and perseverance cannot give. The rush I need to live. A life long poison, poison is for me in any form that comes with sugar. Why isn’t sugar a fruit? Why does it grow in a rich climate next to melons, coconuts and palms, pineapples, grapefruit and yams? Sugar is so discredited; from out of all the recipes it’s edited. Replaced and relaxed, cut out and waxed. On the fifth day I gave up on the brilliant but glum fruit all trees and supermarkets offer. The ugly pills I’ve discovered are the best, they pass the sweetest test. You can rest and try out any current mixture, smoothies concocted from and kiwis and grapes and for a short time you feel a little richer.

On the sixth day...

I gave up and had a coffee and a chocolate muffin.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

White Angel

The white angel.

Well, it’s obvious to me that the cat mentioned below is indeed the Angel of Death, the chosen angel who often visits this world in the form of a cat, a blonde woman (a nurse), a doctor (usually Asian), a family member (the closer the better), a truck driver or an alligator. He has also been known to assume the shape of a hoodie, a policeman, a fireman or till assistant in Tesco. Of all creatures cats are best placed and qualified to attend to the near dead in an “angels in an animal / angelic form”. I’m trying to remember how it is you summon up the Angel of Death (not a routine party trick), I recall learning the incantation as a teenager, (I had some odd friends). It involved the number three and a repetitive piece that, thankfully escapes me. The exact form that the angel would take when summoned up this way I don’t know. We didn’t specify animal type at the time. Like many things in life, your ongoing relationship with the angel of Death rests in a somewhat uneasy balance, how could it be anything else?

Some where in New York: He is a two-year-old cat and looks innocent enough. But at the nursing home where he lives in the US state of Rhode Island, Oscar has developed a reputation as an angel of death.

Since being adopted as a kitten by staff at the advanced dementia unit of Providence's Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre, Oscar has revealed a rather morbid tendency to pick which patient is going to die next.

According to David Dosa, a geriatrician at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, Oscar makes regular rounds, looking in on patients and giving them a quick sniff, before either moving on or settling down for a cuddle.
So accurate have his predictions been, that as soon as the white and tabby harbinger of death curls up with one of the patients, staff immediately start summoning family and clergy to the soon-to-be deathbed.

"No one dies on the third floor unless Oscar pays a visit and stays awhile," Dosa wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"His mere presence at the bedside is viewed by physicians and nursing home staff as an almost absolute indicator of impending death, allowing staff members to adequately notify families," he added.

"Thus far, he has presided over the deaths of more than 25 residents."

Dosa did not offer any explanation for Oscar's uncanny powers of prognostication, which patients were not yet believed to have spotted.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Not bright, not pretty

Some sad day.
The Fisher King and the King of Swing met with me and my armadillo.
We bought a tent, just to save the rent but the cash was spent, on trifles.
“I played the field, you did not yield and my fate was sealed”, said the maestro.

A Time Bandit stole, the half then the whole, the fire and the coal.
So we carried the bags and allowed things to sag. In the name of soul. In the name of soul.
I am hidden now for I took a vow of silence. That means silence.
There was a white van. I recognised the man, he worked for Reliance.
So the story goes, so I may wear clothes, and you may suppose.
My punctuation sucks, like a chicken clucks and a fuck wit fucks.

I drink to forget, everyone I’ve met and that works for me.
If you need a lift, if you want a gift, then God gives them free.
If your cheerful and cheap, if you drive a heap and can be discrete.
You are loved.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Short Dictionary of Spammers.

Miles McCopeland: Viagra and various concrete products from Hong Kong.
Northeast Western Virtual Banking Company: Specialists in not giving out any money but sucking in the funds of others.
Lusty Sparrow: Existential Opera.
Vi: Amateur penis enlargement (for amateur penis use).
King Henry: Illegal burgers made from extinct buffalo.
The Sods: Free Brazilian MP3 downloads crippled with out of tune viruses.
Charlie Boy: Young pretender’s relatives.
Drug Free: Free Drugs for $5.99.
Love Drags: Free imprisoned drag artistes.
Easy Travelling in Space: Interstellar travel agency.
Johnny Snob: Private School Dormitory scam.
She will love you: Love 4 sale.
Ironic Bionics: Confused comedy robots.
Mgbumd D’Jembe: Nigerian Business Community.
Mgbumd Blair: Nigerian political bomb factory.
HNOT: Fake bank.
PayPalNeedsYourNumbers: Russian Mafia contact list.
Mgbumd Brown: Lecherous Nigerian business excellence model.
Ka Ka: Pornographic Parrot and squirrel.
KI KI: Pornographic budgie.
KOO KOO: Pornographic Blue Tit.
Vi_Vi: Amateur penis enlargement made from extinct buffalo.
KaoKai: Pornographic Parrot made from extinct buffalo.
Tastes like chiken.com: Parrot made from extinct buffalo.
Shy will luv yer: Love for sale in Romania.
White Smile Mile: Ivory trade tooth implants.
Tormento O’Toole: Warped Irish Wooden puzzles.
Vagabonds: Paid vagrancy.
Fjala Mescaline: Acid puppet show.
Scuba Duh: Dog with aqualung fetish.
Chain_Snapper: Fish walking and student programme
A loan is waiting alone: Money.
Soma Coma: Mild sleeping drafts under ill fitting doors.
Bored Silly: California Activity Holidays.
TSHIRTSQUIRT: Hilarious water squirting T Shirts.
Jazz Bomber: WW11 Aircraft owner’s club and money launderer.
KUKU McNabb: Wino from Greenock.
Squiffy the bean: Ancient comic hero now with dementia.
Kalahari: Compilations of desert meats and pies.
Opiates&Oil: Bush family retirement fund.
Setthecontrols.com: Gardener from Cambridge selling weed.
Srceamsetters: Red dogs who type.
MyBuffyHat: Vampire Milliners and wannbees.
ViagraSales Ltd: Cocoa growers from Zambia.
SmileInc: Oral fillings.
SwishyDisco: Music downloads and habberdashery.
She_wants_two: Shopping webring.
Cheese_akimbo: Dutch Disco Anthems.
BillyMacFish: Confused goalkeeping legend.
Shewillscream4more: Hammer Horror sex toys.
Shewillscreamforless: PORG chat room.
Shewillscream4sugar: Pony club site.
Shewillscream4brownsugar: Rolling Stones fanzine.

Loose decades

Decades & random pics.

In the fifties I was born but I don’t remember much and there are few photographs and the world was monochrome. People without memories can only recount what didn’t happen and that can be so tiresome. All I ever wanted was a straight story but the Masonic Lodge had signed me up for a career I knew nothing of, still they stalk me with that all-seeing eye, a pyramid and a burning scroll in their clenched fist. Austere.

In the sixties I was too young to care but I was aware that something or nothing was taking place; I was still growing in a damaged way. I gave way to the bully boys who told me which way to go as I crossed their bleak landscape. Education was not all it’s cracked up to be and people generally spoke from the side of their mouths. I was confused about sex and music because of a criminal lack of raw material and up to date text books. My first period was a disaster and there was nobody to run home crying to, potatoes and margarine, every day. I blame Fife Education and my Irish upbringing. Scratch a Fifer’s skin and you’ll find the flesh of a potato. I think that the Flintstones are some kind of tractor. Hallucinogenic.

In the seventies I grasped at lost causes, championed failures, cults and premonitions, I chopped down trees and buried the bodies of people I didn’t kill and none of the drugs ever worked. I hurt my friends, my family and myself, I listened to the wrong voices, and they prevailed. Grave illness was all around and the coal fires burned late into cigarette and macrobiotic evenings, relatives are dying but if you’re wise you won’t ask why. The smell of hospital lingers in my nostrils and I am the subject of new and fresh abuse, always welcome in the modern lifestyle. Are punks something to do with Munchkins, DC Comics and Top Cat? Everyday I fall in love with someone else and go home and write them a whole book before I fall into peaceful and blissful sleep that only underpins my recent awakening with its wonderful dreams. I had the potential to be beautiful but some spoken sentences, uttered idly but picked up by my radar-like hearing tore into that magic and killed it. At the cremation I remained controlled and composed. I reasoned that some parallel universe would allow the play out of the correct script because God is always available for parties and brief encounters at numerous omnipresent places and appointments. A complete waste of time some said. Desperado. Shotgun.

In the eighties I still could swing an axe but most of the time I aimed it at my own head. I drowned in the shallow end and swam on an ocean a thousand miles deep peeking below the surface from time to time. I didn’t like what I couldn’t see. I discovered garlic and wine and talk and when not to talk, I was singing but out of tune. I am cold and running down an endless grey motorway running out of fuel. A crisis in the wider world would be welcome as a respite from the chase and being the quarry. I have the blackest fingernails because I drove them in so deep at the time, I suck the dirt out but it does not shift; there is no decay in this universe, only the hardening of the concrete. Deep inside I acknowledge that for me, time must pass. I am sitting on a stool, dressed in black. There are cartoons all around that blur reality just a little. Brittle.

In the nineties I was numb, dumb and drunk, I stopped caring, I fell through the mist and landed in more mist, the mist was likely to strangle me, or so I thought. There were bolts and rivets everywhere, pining me down and holding me down. Everybody meant well (they said), but to this day I don’t really know what they meant. If I travel I get no where, if I stay at home the bills mount up, I give money away because it is a nuisance and what difference does any of it make because you can’t buy friends. My good works are noted by various well-spoken Caucasian angels, the text book type of course. To add to no troubles at all my Grandmother’s house is looted and eventually burns. I don’t cherish these particular memories. For a brief moment the world made no sense at all, as I recall. Morning, noon and night. Reptile.

Now it’s the last seven years and the universe is still a torn place, it’s a Bob Dylan lyric writhing in the realm of all great and forged incorrectness, it’s neither political nor animal, it’s the burned out anger that takes no more and rolls itself up. It’s all about expression and no substance. I’m sniffing out and searching for the substance but where? I am reminded of my animal past and grudgingly I embrace it. I become aware of the power of deceit and multiplication and the weakness of ownership and jumping to conclusions. The world is as it always was whatever you make of it. People are something else however. In conclusion you must find love, but it is well buried and you need a deep spade with a long handle. Everything we do is old. Desperate.

Today I can say that I am older and I am aware of the things I can do, the things I cannot and the things that I used to do that I cannot do any more. So what.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Queen of the New Year

She wanted politics, she wanted fuss,
She wanted that Saltire flag to fly all over us,
She promoted much debate; she’d divide and rule,
She brokered peace and war, nobodies’ fool.

She’s into finance and prudent stewardship,
She cracks the walnut’s shells, she cracks the whip,
She plays her cards right and works the widest room,
She spins; she moves and drugs you with that sweet perfume.

She’s the Queen of South Queensferry,
Princess of Aching Hearts,
Royal feet float down the Royal Mile,
Won’t see another like her, anywhere around these parts...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Grim truths

Getting to know myself

Like a ship approaching through a fog I am starting to appear. If this seems an odd statement then I guess it is and must be. The truth is I spent a number of years not being me, this was not easy, can never be easy and I’d not recommend it but strangely many people live their whole lives not being themselves and I, for a time was one of them. Of course even when nor being myself I still was myself but in a different way, a contrived and constructed way that fitted in with my surroundings at the time. Of course I knew all along I was not being true to myself but I some how accepted, for a time that this was not important. Anything for a quiet life. I have since learned a valuable lesson, all time is precious and being true to yourself is the most important thing you can do. You are whatever you are and the realisation and protection of that individual status is vital, I think.

So this moment of revelation should probably be marked by a list of “things I am (?) and things I like and things I stand for” but I can’t be bothered right now. Perhaps one of the main things about me is that I’m neither a list person nor some one who will ever achieve or be in a steady state. I quite like that; previously I would have been big on certainty, absolutes and principals. Now there is nothing I have to do at all with any of these things, except in moderation - wrong already! (Ok I know that they are necessary or if you happen to be running a country or something). So in closing , individually I’d always go for a more open and flexible strategy for life.

Grim truths

Age is a problem, aches and little odd creaks and cracks, tiredness and stilted vision also prevail (that’s actual eye sight and imagination). Seeing everything creative as a “job” when it should be so much more. There are still a million and one challenges to take on, the only limits are those self imposed ones – (this process is so uplifting) and I’m hurdling each barrier with vigour and some sharp pains around the shin area.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Top 10 almost

Book of lists.

Fairytale Management reserves the right to think the best and do the best (though sometimes fearing the worst and the excessive use of inappropriate brackets). So moving on from anything too creative and anything too much like a list here is an actual list that is of some practical use for list followers. The question is how will you read it? Will you read it all and absorb it? Will you quickly scan it and make a snap judgement on its value? Will you read the bold print only making the assumption that you know what is coming next? Will you read it and pick one or two points for action or follow up? You may of course not read it at all perhaps thinking you know better or you have a superior list already or you simply can’t be bothered. So here is something that is out there with all the other good advice in the world...”I have box of lemons and they all taste the same”.

10 things that make up a ten point list.

Stop taking so much notice of how you feel. How you feel is how you feel. It’ll pass soon. What you’re thinking is what you’re thinking. It’ll go too. Tell yourself that whatever you feel, you feel; whatever you think, you think. Since you can’t stop yourself thinking, or prevent emotions from arising in your mind, it makes no sense to be proud or ashamed of either. You didn’t cause them. Only your actions are directly under your control. They’re the only proper cause of pleasure or shame.

Let go of worrying. It often makes things worse. The more you think about something bad, the more likely it is to happen. When you’re hair-trigger primed to notice the first sign of trouble, you’ll surely find something close enough to convince yourself it’s come.

Ease up on the internal life commentary. If you want to be happy, stop telling yourself you’re miserable. People are always telling themselves how they feel, what they’re thinking, what others feel about them, what this or that event really means. Most of it’s imagination. The rest is equal parts lies and misunderstandings. You have only the most limited understanding of what others feel about you. Usually they’re no better informed on the subject; and they care about it far less than you do. You have no way of knowing what this or that event really means. Whatever you tell yourself will be make-believe.

Take no notice of your inner critic. Judging yourself is pointless. Judging others is half-witted. Whatever you achieve, someone else will always do better. However bad you are, others are worse. Since you can tell neither what’s best nor what’s worst, how can you place yourself correctly between them? Judging others is foolish since you cannot know all the facts, cannot create a reliable or objective scale, have no means of knowing whether your criteria match anyone else’s, and cannot have more than a limited and extremely partial view of the other person. Who cares about your opinion anyway?

Give up on feeling guilty. Guilt changes nothing. It may make you feel you’re accepting responsibility, but it can’t produce anything new in your life. If you feel guilty about something you’ve done, either do something to put it right or accept you screwed up and try not to do so again. Then let it go. If you’re feeling guilty about what someone else did, see a psychiatrist. That’s insane.

Stop being concerned what the rest of the world says about you. Nasty people can’t make you mad. Nice people can’t make you happy. Events or people are simply events or people. They can’t make you anything. You have to do that for yourself. Whatever emotions arise in you as a result of external events, they’re powerless until you pick them up and decide to act on them. Besides, most people are far too busy thinking about themselves (and worry what you are, are thinking and saying about them) to be concerned about you.

Stop keeping score. Numbers are just numbers. They don’t have mystical powers. Because something is expressed as a number, a ratio or any other numerical pattern doesn’t mean it’s true. Plenty of lovingly calculated business indicators are irrelevant, gibberish, nonsensical, or just plain wrong. If you don’t understand it, or it’s telling you something bizarre, ignore it. There’s nothing scientific about relying on false data. Nor anything useful about charting your life by numbers that were silly in the first place.

Don’t be concerned that your life and career aren’t working out the way you planned. The closer you stick to any plan, the quicker you’ll go wrong. The world changes constantly. However carefully you analyzed the situation when you made the plan, if it’s more than a few days old, things will already be different. After a month, they’ll be very different. After a year, virtually nothing will be the same as it was when you started. Planning is only useful as a discipline to force people to think carefully about what they know and what they don’t. Once you start, throw the plan away and keep your eyes on reality.

Don’t let others use you to avoid being responsible for their own decisions. To hold yourself responsible for someone else’s success and happiness demeans them and proves you’ve lost the plot. It’s their life. They have to live it. You can’t do it for them; nor can you stop them from messing it up if they’re determined to do so. The job of a supervisor is to help and supervise. Only control-freaks and some others with a less serious mental disability fail to understand this.

Don’t worry about your personality. You don’t really have one. Personality, like ego, is a concept invented by your mind. It doesn’t exist in the real world. Personality is a word for the general impression that you give through your words and actions. If your personality isn’t likeable today, don’t worry. You can always change it, so long as you allow yourself to do so. What fixes someone’s personality in one place is a determined effort on their part—usually through continually telling themselves they’re this or that kind of person and acting on what they say. If you don’t like the way you are, make yourself different. You’re the only person who’s standing in your way.


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ashes, the rain and I

Ashes, the rain and I.

Not as quick as I’d like to be, not so vigorous, knowing and understanding that my motor is running down but not accepting it. Oily fish and garlic might do the trick, beans pulses and rhetoric, saunas and brisk walks.

Having the appetite but not the stomach, having the desire but not the muscle. Rain blows in your face and the sun plays aging games and autographs your skin with the fine lines of experience.

Healing takes more time, scabs live a little longer on the dead skin, hacks and rubbed areas and abrasions, moles and spots to irritate and make a messy road map across your back.

Thin hair that doesn’t quick know how to behave despite its certificated age and is of no particular colour you’d recognise. White pepper and exposed patches from annoying patterns.

Having seen it all before you should know the script by now but are none the wiser. Ink stains masquerading as writings and signatures, dates and times and places where weeds grow well.

Peering into newspapers and books, all print is small print and the other drivers are all going too fast and taking risks I’d never take. You say.

Fiddling with things and packets that will neither open nor work. Designed and bar coded only to be sold, no real or actual use is ever intended. You’d have to be able to understand the instructions to do that.

Silly joyful giggles and looking back but finding things were not that funny and nobody really got the joke. What were we all laughing at in those black and white and mono days? The heads are down.

A thunderstorm breaks some where overhead and close by. I lay down, my face turned to the grey clouds and the white, bright rain. Water pounds my face and closed eyes, closed eyes remembering inside, the hurts are all healed now and the plots concluded and resolved. There was no conspiracy; there was no plan or twist. This is it, alone in the rain. The ashes. The way it should all be.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Box, smoke, mirrors.

Box clever
I pinched this mind boggler from Normal Lamont’s superb web pages (link via impossible songs if you will), all I can say, in the words of Graeme Mearnes (who you should know) is “Lock me up in your black and white box; we’ll stop the clocks tonight”.

Deep in the basement of a dusty university library in Edinburgh lies a small black box, roughly the size of two cigarette packets side by side, that churns out random numbers in an endless stream.
At first glance it is an unremarkable piece of equipment. Encased in metal, it contains at its heart a microchip no more complex than the ones found in modern pocket calculators.
But, according to a growing band of top scientists, this box has quite extraordinary powers. It is, they claim, the 'eye' of a machine that appears capable of peering into the future and predicting major world events.
The machine apparently sensed the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre four hours before they happened - but in the fevered mood of conspiracy theories of the time, the claims were swiftly knocked back by sceptics. But last December, it also appeared to forewarn of the Asian tsunami just before the deep sea earthquake that precipitated the epic tragedy.
Now, even the doubters are acknowledging that here is a small box with apparently inexplicable powers.
'It's Earth-shattering stuff,' says Dr Roger Nelson, emeritus researcher at Princeton University in the United States, who is heading the research project behind the 'black box' phenomenon.
'We're very early on in the process of trying to figure out what's going on here. At the moment we're stabbing in the dark.' Dr Nelson's investigations, called the Global Consciousness Project, were originally hosted by Princeton University and are centred on one of the most extraordinary experiments of all time. Its aim is to detect whether all of humanity shares a single subconscious mind that we can all tap into without realising.
And machines like the Edinburgh black box have thrown up a tantalising possibility: that scientists may have unwittingly discovered a way of predicting the future.
Although many would consider the project's aims to be little more than fools' gold, it has still attracted a roster of 75 respected scientists from 41 different nations. Researchers from Princeton - where Einstein spent much of his career - work alongside scientists from universities in Britain, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. The project is also the most rigorous and longest-running investigation ever into the potential powers of the paranormal.
'Very often paranormal phenomena evaporate if you study them for long enough,' says physicist Dick Bierman of the University of Amsterdam. 'But this is not happening with the Global Consciousness Project. The effect is real. The only dispute is about what it means.' The project has its roots in the extraordinary work of Professor Robert Jahn of Princeton University during the late 1970s. He was one of the first modern scientists to take paranormal phenomena seriously. Intrigued by such things as telepathy, telekinesis - the supposed psychic power to move objects without the use of physical force - and extrasensory perception, he was determined to study the phenomena using the most up-to-date technology available.
One of these new technologies was a humble-looking black box known was a Random Event Generator (REG). This used computer technology to generate two numbers - a one and a zero - in a totally random sequence, rather like an electronic coin-flipper.
The pattern of ones and noughts - 'heads' and 'tails' as it were - could then be printed out as a graph. The laws of chance dictate that the generators should churn out equal numbers of ones and zeros - which would be represented by a nearly flat line on the graph. Any deviation from this equal number shows up as a gently rising curve.
During the late 1970s, Prof Jahn decided to investigate whether the power of human thought alone could interfere in some way with the machine's usual readings. He hauled strangers off the street and asked them to concentrate their minds on his number generator. In effect, he was asking them to try to make it flip more heads than tails.
It was a preposterous idea at the time. The results, however, were stunning and have never been satisfactorily explained.
Again and again, entirely ordinary people proved that their minds could influence the machine and produce significant fluctuations on the graph, 'forcing it' to produce unequal numbers of 'heads' or 'tails'.

According to all of the known laws of science, this should not have happened - but it did. And it kept on happening.
Dr Nelson, also working at Princeton University, then extended Prof Jahn's work by taking random number machines to group meditations, which were very popular in America at the time. Again, the results were eye-popping. The groups were collectively able to cause dramatic shifts in the patterns of numbers.
From then on, Dr Nelson was hooked.
Using the internet, he connected up 40 random event generators from all over the world to his laboratory computer in Princeton. These ran constantly, day in day out, generating millions of different pieces of data. Most of the time, the resulting graph on his computer looked more or less like a flat line.
But then on September 6, 1997, something quite extraordinary happened: the graph shot upwards, recording a sudden and massive shift in the number sequence as his machines around the world started reporting huge deviations from the norm. The day was of historic importance for another reason, too.
For it was the same day that an estimated one billion people around the world watched the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales at Westminster Abbey.
Dr Nelson was convinced that the two events must be related in some way.
Could he have detected a totally new phenomena? Could the concentrated emotional outpouring of millions of people be able to influence the output of his REGs. If so, how?
Dr Nelson was at a loss to explain it.
So, in 1998, he gathered together scientists from all over the world to analyse his findings. They, too, were stumped and resolved to extend and deepen the work of Prof Jahn and Dr Nelson. The Global Consciousness Project was born.
Since then, the project has expanded massively. A total of 65 Eggs (as the generators have been named) in 41 countries have now been recruited to act as the 'eyes' of the project.
And the results have been startling and inexplicable in equal measure.
For during the course of the experiment, the Eggs have 'sensed' a whole series of major world events as they were happening, from the Nato bombing of Yugoslavia to the Kursk submarine tragedy to America's hung election of 2000.
The Eggs also regularly detect huge global celebrations, such as New Year's Eve.
But the project threw up its greatest enigma on September 11, 2001.
As the world stood still and watched the horror of the terrorist attacks unfold across New York, something strange was happening to the Eggs.
Not only had they registered the attacks as they actually happened, but the characteristic shift in the pattern of numbers had begun four hours before the two planes even hit the Twin Towers.
They had, it appeared, detected that an event of historic importance was about to take place before the terrorists had even boarded their fateful flights. The implications, not least for the West's security services who constantly monitor electronic 'chatter', are clearly enormous.
'I knew then that we had a great deal of work ahead of us,' says Dr Nelson.
What could be happening? Was it a freak occurrence, perhaps?
Apparently not. For in the closing weeks of December last year, the machines went wild once more.
Twenty-four hours later, an earthquake deep beneath the Indian Ocean triggered the tsunami which devastated South-East Asia, and claimed the lives of an estimated quarter of a million people.
So could the Global Consciousness Project really be forecasting the future?
Cynics will quite rightly point out that there is always some global event that could be used to 'explain' the times when the Egg machines behaved erratically. After all, our world is full of wars, disasters and terrorist outrages, as well as the occasional global celebration. Are the scientists simply trying too hard to detect patterns in their raw data?
The team behind the project insist not. They claim that by using rigorous scientific techniques and powerful mathematics it is possible to exclude any such random connections.
'We're perfectly willing to discover that we've made mistakes,' says Dr Nelson. 'But we haven't been able to find any, and neither has anyone else.
Our data shows clearly that the chances of getting these results by fluke are one million to one against.
That's hugely significant.' But many remain sceptical.
Professor Chris French, a psychologist and noted sceptic at Goldsmiths College in London, says: 'The Global Consciousness Project has generated some very intriguing results that cannot be readily dismissed. I'm involved in similar work to see if we get the same results. We haven't managed to do so yet but it's only an early experiment. The jury's still out.' Strange as it may seem, though, there's nothing in the laws of physics that precludes the possibility of foreseeing the future.
It is possible - in theory - that time may not just move forwards but backwards, too. And if time ebbs and flows like the tides in the sea, it might just be possible to foretell major world events. We would, in effect, be 'remembering' things that had taken place in our future.
'There's plenty of evidence that time may run backwards,' says Prof Bierman at the University of Amsterdam.
'And if it's possible for it to happen in physics, then it can happen in our minds, too.' In other words, Prof Bierman believes that we are all capable of looking into the future, if only we could tap into the hidden power of our minds. And there is a tantalising body of evidence to support this theory.
Dr John Hartwell, working at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, was the first to uncover evidence that people could sense the future. In the mid-1970s he hooked people up to hospital scanning machines so that he could study their brainwave patterns.
He began by showing them a sequence of provocative cartoon drawings.
When the pictures were shown, the machines registered the subject's brainwaves as they reacted strongly to the images before them. This was to be expected.
Far less easy to explain was the fact that in many cases, these dramatic patterns began to register a few seconds before each of the pictures were even flashed up.
It was as though Dr Hartwell's case studies were somehow seeing into the future, and detecting when the next shocking image would be shown next.
It was extraordinary - and seemingly inexplicable.
But it was to be another 15 years before anyone else took Dr Hartwell's work further when Dean Radin, a researcher working in America, connected people up to a machine that measured their skin's resistance to electricity. This is known to fluctuate in tandem with our moods - indeed, it's this principle that underlies many lie detectors.
Radin repeated Dr Hartwell's 'image response' experiments while measuring skin resistance. Again, people began reacting a few seconds before they were shown the provocative pictures. This was clearly impossible, or so he thought, so he kept on repeating the experiments. And he kept getting the same results.
'I didn't believe it either,' says Prof Bierman. 'So I also repeated the experiment myself and got the same results. I was shocked. After this I started to think more deeply about the nature of time.' To make matters even more intriguing, Prof Bierman says that other mainstream labs have now produced similar results but are yet to go public.
'They don't want to be ridiculed so they won't release their findings,' he says. 'So I'm trying to persuade all of them to release their results at the same time. That would at least spread the ridicule a little more thinly!' If Prof Bierman is right, though, then the experiments are no laughing matter.
They might help provide a solid scientific grounding for such strange phenomena as 'deja vu', intuition and a host of other curiosities that we have all experienced from time to time.
They may also open up a far more interesting possibility - that one day we might be able to enhance psychic powers using machines that can 'tune in' to our subconscious mind, machines like the little black box in Edinburgh.
Just as we have built mechanical engines to replace muscle power, could we one day build a device to enhance and interpret our hidden psychic abilities?
Dr Nelson is optimistic - but not for the short term. 'We may be able to predict that a major world event is going to happen. But we won't know exactly what will happen or where it's going to happen,' he says.
'Put it this way - we haven't yet got a machine we could sell to the CIA.'
But for Dr Nelson, talk of such psychic machines - with the potential to detect global catastrophes or terrorist outrages - is of far less importance than the implications of his work in terms of the human race.
For what his experiments appear to demonstrate is that while we may all operate as individuals, we also appear to share something far, far greater - a global consciousness. Some might call it the mind of God.
'We're taught to be individualistic monsters,' he says. 'We're driven by society to separate ourselves from each other. That's not right.
We may be connected together far more intimately than we realise.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The way we live

The way we live.

Our lines are open 24hours a day.
Press option one for services.
All our operators are busy.
We play you Vivaldi.
Press option four for customer service.
We play you Vivaldi.
We are currently experiencing high call volumes.
We are doing all we can.
Why not call back at a more convenient time?
Please continue to hold.
We’ve changed the music to Chopin.
A phone rings in the distance.
A connection is made.
We play you Vivaldi.
Key in your card number.
Key in your date of birth.
Thank you for choosing this service.
Key in your card number
We’ve changed the music back to Chopin.
Your call and custom are important to us.
Our lines are open 24hours a day.
There may be a short silence while we make your connection.
I’m sorry but that number is not recognized.
We play you Vivaldi.
All our operators are busy.
Can you spell that for me sir?
Can you repeat that for me sir?
Key in your card number.
That is not your correct password.
I’m sorry, that is not your correct password.
We’ve changed the music back to Vivaldi.
Can you give me the first line of your address?
That is not correct.
Can you spell that for me sir?
I’m afraid I’ll have to place you on hold for a few minutes.
We’ve changed the music to Kenny G.
Why not call back at a more convenient time?


I’m not bored; I have many things to do, places to go,
Cupboards to explore and drawers of papers to sort,
Music to mix and balances to calculate.
Clothes to iron and fold and put away and wear (eventually).
I have grass to cut, shelves to put up and fences to erect.
I have nose hair to clip, coffee to drink and phone calls to make.
My windscreen washer fluid is a little low and my inbox is filling up.
I have a number of DVDs I’ve never seen and a good film is on Film 4 right now.
I need to wipe the fridge and feed the cat and redo the thing I did incorrectly with the drawers.
Clean and hoover (a little).
I have to put up a sign and make screw holes.
I have things to measure and then I’ll make a list.
I have to try that recipe but I need to set a date for you to come around.
My nails need to be clipped and I’ve that thing to superglue.
My phone needs charged and there is an article I’ve got to write and a review.
I’ve got to check my performance indicators, take my vitamins and then text arrangements for the weekend.
I need to get a birthday card and some washing powder.
The flat pack we bought from IKEA needs to be returned but I’ve got that other one to build.
There are weeds I need to strim and a few folk I need to visit before the meeting, just in case.
I have to put a comment on there and make sure I reset my alarm.
I have to put my feet up.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Tricky little job at the chippy

Beatrice at the counter & some fish and chips that were made earlier.
Friday Nights:
It is a tricky job to slit the cellophane on a still living pizza with a modeling knife. Jeremy could easily do it if Beatrice actually did it for him. It was at times like this that their eyes met, over the counter, the sink and across the great vat of oil that is like the Middle East of Moray. “Fishers Fish Bar” is what I wish we had called this bloody place instead of “Jeremy Fishers’”” says Jeremy with too many inverted commas. Well you can’t always get what you want can you?

When it is hot in a fish bar it is very hot, condensation pours, fans whiz, expelairs suck and swinging doors breathe in gulps of cold night air and release chunks of fried flavours into empty streets. Salt n sauce, salt n vinegar, closing time at the pub, a coach load of football fans, old ladies on a jaunt, white stretched limos full of country girls in shiny black dresses and stilettos all getting oil on their artificial nails. Customers are a rare and strange breed, almost human at times say the friendly fascists.

Everywhere in the village there are villagers, hungry for tea and dreams of Camberwick Green and Trumpton and being made of sponge rubber. Jeremy feeds the reckless, feckless dreams and deep fries the past. They return to bungalows at length but without height. Some park cars in driveways or with up to two wheels upon the pavement. Homes without a proper post code.

If you put your nose into the fish freezer or the haggis cupboard chiller it gets cold, red at the end and numb. Jeremy likes that feeling and enjoys taking stock, even when he doesn’t have to, even when he knows all is well and that the supplies are in. The cold nose thing is a treat and measure.

If you ever drive through Wipeourasses and I expect you will, these words will come back to you, you will stop, you will buy, you will enjoy. The rich fare of the JF establishment and its garish soft drink selection straight from the lemonade factory in Buckie via the cash and carry awaits even the most casual of visitors. Sleep well / eat well.

Jeremy Fisher

Jeremy Fishers’ is a fish and chip shop situated in rural Aberdeenshire in a small Lego built town called Wipeourasses. Kurt Cobain was born but a few doors away. The speed limit is a little over thirty five, Jeremy is about 38. He may have spoken in class at one time. Jeremy’s secret recipe for deep fried pizza was also well known as the blinking neon sign proclaimed to all passers by and those who chose to observe the speed limit. The signs themselves were wind powered but worked quite well in flat calm, on days of hysteria they worked really well. The fathers of Wipeourasses were also puzzled that their small town remained small but were glad that Jeremy’s shop was in some people’s eyes successful. Cars would stop in town, particularly on Saturday evenings and Friday afternoon, the occupants would get out, or maybe only the driver and they or he or she would enter the fast food bar. Inside a wide range of tasty, tempting foodstuffs were on display, some behind glass, and some in fridges and described on white boards and some in plastic dustbins. All in all and enthralling experience for the hungry and reasonably well off.

Every day the place was ignited by a single spark from the spark gun that sparked the gas burner that ignited the fryer. “Like the space shuttle taking off” said a local who had recently seem footage of a NASA launch on “Good Morning Scotland” on the radio (810 medium wave), (81000 Mexican wave). A precise program of events was always being planned but no quite arrived at and so it goes that Jamie Oliver had never even heard of the place. The Mars Bars were however not battered until required as per the hand written recipe book.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Nothing really to do with the fine art of Fairytale Management and all it's complex, quirky and misunderstood processes. I just like this photograph. It was taken by Norman Lamont at last years FerryStock II. An event we ran in order to a) promote the local arts festival and b) promote ourselves.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jack the Knife

Winter wonderland

A lorry jack knifed on the A9
With a cargo of cigarettes rolled in a factory in Russia
Virginia slim pickings for Highlanders and the displaced of Indo-China
90 degrees in the winter road way, cut by a jack knife
And some thing else to explain to the wife
This is Jack and this is your life.
So the cars queued and the blue lights flashed
Bright hi-viz jackets and a quiz
About what you did wrong.
Too fast, too greedy
Too much, too needy
And the driver swore to himself and thought about what might happen next
To him and his vehicle and his load
90 degree turn around in winter on the grey and slippery road.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A lonely place

Lonely Place

Men fight over land only to be buried in it or to have their ashes scattered over it. Men fight over ideas as if they were measurable and meaningful only for those ideas to be misunderstood, written down and then burned on bonfires. Men make laws to control situations only to find that they never did really understand the situation in the first place. People go out for a drink after work to chat and make friends and climb social and business ladders and each one appreciates the pretence and the posturing and then they all go home alone. Lonely people put advertisements in the paper or on the web so that they can meet other lonely people, then they will at least share their loneliness with some one else. Confused people go to churches or join religious or political groups looking for answers. Some answers are satisfactory; some not so, some require a certain suspension of belief or rational thought. Some call for a commitment that is heavy and unreasonable but some people take this on gladly, for they have found a reason. Some people learn to Salsa and have fun, these people are quite lucky. Some people make a cup of coffee, light up a cigar and blow smoke into a clear sky while their internal processes and thought connections rest and recuperate. These things are sent to try us.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Greater expectations of a gold, silver and diamond digger.

Sweet potato and chicken curry.
Pinot Grigio
Working your way through a fat city.
Taking in a flight to Dublin.
Trouble in.

Walk talk cigar, big cock.
Stroll around the block.
Make it and shake it.
Stepping into how it feels.
Red high heels.

Sweet and sour expectations.
Indifferent vibrations.
The wealth and sweat of the nations.
Here comes a vague opportunity.
Give it to me.

Cheese grater expectations.
Garlic bread revelations.
Bleak house of Oliver pasta twist.
Show what you could resist.
The pain that didn’t quite exist.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cat photo

Vegetarian Manifesto

The animals were created and named and like the fresh clay and crumb and butterscotch that they were formed from, craved a free life. They fled the confines of swirling imagination to inhabit this wide, green world. Crawling, running, flying, creeping, swimming, burrowing, trotting and slithering to it’s ends and beginnings. Some tasted good, some tasted bad, some were poison, some wriggled too much, some needed a good deal of seasoning, some needed a jar of Uncle Ben’s. So creation rung it’s earnest bell loudly across the land and bonfires were duly lit to celebrate. Barbeques were the next big invention as well as sharp things to cut logs. Women and few men grew to love their fur coats, however fish scale coats and ant-skin shoes never caught on, but fashion is a fickle and petulant mistress, mark my words.

By the time the sons of Adam had opened their first restaurant a buzz was beginning. At first the bees were blamed but as it turned out it was other people from over the hills that nobody had ever bothered to tell the brothers about. As the first to benefit from a customer charter, these good people enjoyed the fine wine and fresh meats the brothers had killed and prepared. No one around the table ever dreamed that they were sitting in the spot that would one day be Poland. The early geographers were of course only learning the basics of their trade at this point.

I’m not sure but once the first meat course was eaten, it seems that a fellow from Nod decided that a dish of salad would be nice, as an alternative to the goose and pineapple curry. Of course the fresh salad, plucked from the slopes of the slowly forming Himalayas and washed in icy waterfalls was a roaring success, especially as it was served upon a marvellous crocodile skin platter. The diners were lost for words and the brothers never looked back.

It was the kangaroo god who first wrote down this tale, as a warning, a lesson and a piece of romantic food and drink fiction. If a god had to start writing about anything it might as well be food – most other topics are a bit tedious. So keep the masses well fed and a little in debt and they are far less likely to man the barricades or hit the cobbles. Why only the other century a hot-dog stand in East Berlin was closed down due to public health concerns and other various but unproven complaints about cooked meats and hard bread rolls. Nothing to do with a cat photo either.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Keeping Mum


I’ve stopped trying to figure when things first went wrong
When the rails were ripped up and trains stopped running
When the holidays still happened but passed me by
When the wars ended but replayed on in a endless loop
When the tiny becomes huge and the valuable is squandered.

So you’re stuck in 1939 or in the Empire Hotel or somewhere
A world so small you have to crawl to get around
Those Sunday school picnics and crowded harbours
Scrapping and watching and seeing the passages of time.

Exhibitions viewed dimly through wire rimmed glasses
And no sense of worth because of their education
Systems that were corrupt but better than nothing
No sense of loss or ever real expectation.

Inside a hollow place of butcher’s boys and loaves and bicycles
Living in a village and trapped in a bottle.
The blame’s in the name and the crushing thumbs
Of elders and betters and ministers and nuns.

How can you not know that a few miles away other things were happening?
Farmers were working sixteen hour days; coal miners were black and trapped
Mills ground down men and machines, hot rivets popped and cracked
Journalists with Brylcream and cigarettes tried to capture it all in their best learned English, with ink.
Starched politicians of the hour blinked at brown box cameras and blind, foggy lenses.

No work or mixing or anything for over fifty years
A growing disconnection and a deepening illusion
Here come the home helps and carers
Here comes the doctor, the nurse and pall-bearers.

The shock of the new washes over you
The shock of the new magnifies you
The shame of the past cripples you
The tiny fragments of steel live in you.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Blind Faith

As tall as a young god

The kangaroo god is puzzled today. In a letter written in 1969 a young student from London, England, has drawn together a powerful case for saying that the hitherto unreleased "Gospel According to Barnabus le Shark" is in fact an early version of the second side of the Beatles LP Abbey Road. Barnabus le Shark it seems has written credible versions of “She came in thru the bathroom window” and “Carry that weight” that can now both be dated back to the first century AD. Quite how the drumming of Ringo Starr and the guitar work of L’Angelo de Mysterioso can be recognised I’m not sure. I strikes me as a very similar set of circumstances to those highlighted by Wee Willie Harris in 1964. He claimed to have written the “Heartbreaker” guitar solo on Led Zeppelin II following a vision, a good telling off and an envelope he’d received from the Angel Gabriel. The kangaroo god remains puzzled by all these heavy matters. Knowing everything and seeing everything is all very well but age-induced memory loss can cause the fudging of certain issues and the blurring of visionary boundaries.

The young girl featured on the Blind Faith album cover was causing yet another dilemma for kangaroo god today. Was she really discovered in a taxi or was she an evil spirit released to savagely undermine the album cover design culture and the newly emerging rocket and star ship science of the late sixties? Another question that perplexed nearly everybody on the team was “who had been the tallest member of Blind Faith?” Not really a pub quiz favourite but a profound question none the less,
(The answer is or may be below*).

The Cinderellas were, by now fed up with the lack of progress being made and fully expected a new initiative to begin. Indeed there were plans to get them hitched but unfortunately no budget or proper allocation of funds had been made. This led to a number of handsome princes heading over to Russia with a view to obtaining their own princess who would, without the burden of finding a costly dowry, be more readily available . The course of true love seldom runs smoothly or so much out of steam.

When Western culture meets Eastern culture it is common practice for men to build a canal.

*Ginger Baker.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Queue for God

A dispute over forever

As usual I’m trying to get kangaroo god to listen to me and provide advice. Today of all days, he’s on some state visit to a neighbouring heaven, shaking hands, drinking ambrosia and opening old people’s homes. The minister, never usually friendly towards me, has agreed that I can wait in an anti-room and read magazines and talk to the others in the queue until he returns.

The magazines were not very interesting; their main subject matter was about hobbies and celebrities in heaven. The administration had a real enough situation here, living forever and staying “on message” was altogether a problem. The early Cinderellas had been fine, they were few in number, knew one another and pretty much towed the party line. However a few hundred years ago a more argumentative and feisty group had entered. Whilst they participated in all the basic chants, dances, worshiping and candle-lighting things they did them with a less than perfect attitude. Some said that they had become bored with their duties and were, despite their exhaulted position looking for a little more to do. It seems that early on, perhaps in a moment of weakness, kangaroo god had promised them some responsibilities. They wanted to rule over something, they wanted a little more power.

In response the kangaroo god had increased the worship schedules to take up the slack within the day and introduced religious hobbies as a diversion and a means of control. It worked with some but others, a small minority, felt they were not being fully utilised or actualised in their promised roles. This group would complain about always being expected to peer down into hell to watch friends and relatives squirming and in pain when they could be controlling them, they’d also moan about the clothing allowance and the climate. Kangaroo god was fed up with them. “Why on earth do they take things so literally? I didn’t promise all that stuff did I?”

I busied myself with the magazines while the Cinderellas bickered on amongst themselves about what seemed to me to be trivial matters, candlesticks, hair, make-up, torture and purgatory. I was naturally much more concerned about the entropy of the universe, sun spots and the great Australian volcano. I had made up a list of substantial things for urgent action.

Of course when the big cheese returned from the neighbours he was in no mood to talk about anything, it turned out he had a headache and the gifts he’d been given were, as he put it “total, thoughtless, glitzy crap”. His office door slammed and I slid the magazine down from in front of my face and placed it neatly in the rack. Some of the Cinderellas were very upset; some were in tears, others puffed out their cheeks in a red and pink rage. A few handsome princes arrived but really it was beyond their limited abilities to do anything. We’d all have to wait till tomorrow, which in the scale of forever isn’t really so bad, it’s just a shame that the Cinderellas had managed to lose all concept of time when they signed up for heaven.

I shuffled out of the office and down the pale corridor, their cries ringing in my ears. Funny how despite planned and apparent peace, harmony and perfection, just getting a little undivided attention can cause so much of an atmosphere and disquiet.