Lostness (6) 1977
Blue sky, but the moon is already up. An unutterable stillness cut into its second. Beauty I live for, yet cannot reach.
Do we ask what play is for? Why ask what art is for.
My life was a performance without an audience.
What karma have I been paying? Perhaps, one day, I shall manage to forgive myself.
Happiness is not my vocation: I leave it to others. Life is a wince through the bones.
I resent meaningless toil, unless unavoidable. Better to confront the problems of freedom. We need a utopia to see if it is bearable.
Creativity as rebellion against death? An art of mind improvising itself?
This time I tried to play the game their way
but the big machine had painted my ass with cement.
Pretending to be normal is a full-time job.
Footprints wind toward the horizon. My own trail, stretching out before me.
Death has no morality. Nothing can be asked of nothing. Or a universe seen as oppressive neutrality.
Toothpick fingertips of a word
Lostness (5) 1977
History could be shown as a struggle against knowledge, not just for it.
Logic’s appeal can relate to the pain of feeling.
Are we the only animal that needs lies to go on?
The cult of despair. A refuge from dreaded banality?
How well I torment myself. I am an expert in something, at least.
Is nothing worth dying for? “I’m going to die for it anyway,” says the nihilist.
Today revolution. Tomorrow repression.
Philosophy seen in a necessary quest after the impossible; or is that art?
Only subjects have objects.
Words lead to others, like a broken waterfall over the page.
Lostness (4) 1976
Rain patters in an upturned dustbin lid.
One street ruptures into another.
Which way next?
What to do with freedom when you have no money?
An alien walks into a crowded cafe. Its internal organs are visible through transparent flesh. People stare.
I shout: “Hey waiter! Get me one of those.”
A laugh goes around.
I wake up saying: “They really do have a ‘special’ for today.”
Lostness (3) 1974
The loss of art
Picking a flower kills it. Art has wilted on my fingers. Something missing inside me. No motivation. No flow. Took up my old sketch-pad, but could not get anywhere.
My mind lets me loose in dark waters. An artist can lose his light.
This head feels like a pillow of blood. Yet so much left to express.
Viewer: “What does it all mean?”
Message from psychobureaucracy
Good neighbours need no fences. However, in your case, steady soul-erosion spreads until only fearful and angry ghosts of you are permitted to wander, alone, through estates of north Bristol. Then, one day, it is over. A last gasp as helpless as the first.
Regretfully we inform you that the reason for this correspondence has been forgotten.
Please do not reply to: Department for attrition of the poor.
With age scorn will come. Under the smile: the teeth.
Though from women’s eyes I see myself extinguished by a blink
or skewered on vibrant thorns of laughter
still I hope love may visit me one day
after life spent arguing in its favour.
Lostness (2) 1973
Am I ever to draw again? My ability seems lost. All that lies between this hand and the paper is effort.
I think I lack talent. Which is tough for a dreamer. I fail to see a way for art or writing.
Living has no appeal.
The window is open. Sounds of night through shifting curtains.
Death wins over life. In the end. Perhaps evil wins over good?
There is no justice in the world. Justice only comes from us.
Suffering continues everywhere.
The foetus hears a cry
in its red lair.
Notes of a teenage dropout
Part 1: 1972
We move like pieces on a darkened chessboard.
Chess is a good game.
It will wreck your life and drive you mad.
Never is always
Atoms hum in dispute
driving shapes through flavoured air.
along the snowline
of a body.
Like a ghostly patch
where a mirror had been.
And his mind was there
settled under the trees.
Perhaps we will arrive in Greece
several thousand years too late.
“Daily Notes” (“Attempts at a journal”)
Began in 1978. Consisting mainly of various thoughts, ideas, questions and opinions. Some are just sentence-length, others a paragraph or more.
Fragments from the years 1972 to 1978 will be posted first, for the sake of completeness.
I give these notes the overall title “Lostness”.
Since I fell ill, in 1987, almost thirty years have gone by. Now I am slowly and painfully typing-out my writing in the hope that, rather than being “lost”, it may actually be found, by a few people, while I still exist.
Put my last poem on this blog a week ago (5th May 2017) .
Felt sad afterward. At least it had a chance to be seen, before sinking back into obscurity. (Though only one view, so far. Illness saps my energy to interact with others or gain readers.)
I have been sorting through old notebooks and papers: working on a transition to the prose. Thought I would start at the beginning: when I left school in 1972, age 16.
Art was my main interest. But then I tried writing.
It has been downhill ever since.
Weak as a dribble
and too ill for sex
on another unwelcome morning
one look then
doorways to nothingness
open in my mind
over absent possibility
wishing I was once more alive
through city nights
with chance to be preyed upon
just unfriendly dawn
blurred across the pallid sky
while this clock ticks
few neurons fire
temper’s flame burning lower
malady forms its closed sphere
I feel squashed there
like a bug.
I dreamt about distance.
To lie suspended
over the face of waters
cold as infinity.
Perhaps time would spiral
and I might go on sleeping
like a single entity.
Once cerebral storms parted
for an instant
this mind seemed clear
just entrails of images
still coated with anger
tunnelling the head.
My hand could feel a rifle
I was not quite dead.