New Year’s Eve

To create something about just one moment
In a year that threw them
Like Zeus and his bolts;
We watched them bundle together
And shoot across the sky,
Becoming giant tumbleweed of fire
The minute the next status was posted.
To create something about just one moment
Strikes against the lash of time
And the lies we tell ourselves
About how flat and linear it is –
What a beautiful view, like the rolling hills
Or the lapping ocean that begs to the sand
For just one more moment on its skin.

To capture a moment – no –
We don’t resurrect the dead here,
We don’t offer ghosts a place at breakfast
Unless their lust for croissants is strong enough
To bring them back – just for a moment.

To create something of a moment –
How? When all were created surrounding,
All had hearts and lungs and backdrops
I could have never plucked out of the
Breadcrumb trail
Of my own history of moments.

We create in each moment
Breath, pause, the meeting of desires
Singing from the midnight pools
Of another astroturf of goosebumps.
I play not god,
For it is only memory of moments I can create,
And not them themselves,
And why paint the silver lining of a cloud’s belly
That has already passed.

This year was one not of moments
But of rhthyms,
From the sound of heels on cobbles
To the swaying hips of a Brazilian on heat,
From a laugh that circled
Much like Jesus’ crown
Above a group of friends.
From arched backs and the
Timbre of sweetness dripped
To the devils’ foreheads locked-
Even shadows move and promise never to stay
Once the sun has danced them on.

All of these rhythms rippled
Through not just one moment
But through the beat that bellows
From the brimming chests
Of those, who with others,
Dance their way home.

Give Yourself

Let’s not lose touch you wrote – isn’t it a strange thought that we still use such a phrase despite most of us keeping in touch with those we rarely, if ever, see in the flesh. So no, let’s not lose touch, but let us also travel to the root of that word and ensure some day our own have the chance to touch ears, carried on the lilt of our voices.

What is it that you yearn for? What is it that you dream of? How do you want to reaffirm your life – why do you feel that it has not been reaffirmed of late?

Do we need partners, really? I think there is a deliciousness in filling that caveat ourselves. Both of us chose to walk alone and thus so much space was created for a universal love, for fleeting and yet life-affirming meetings; when we do not chase after a special shadow we lift our eyes to find the sun.

The scroll keeper, you say. I see that guide as his inverse, the scroll unraveller – that which undoes and uncreates all thoughts and ideas we have had about life, about ourselves, about the very word love. The scroll unraveller holds us together as he slowly unwraps the bloody bandages of expectations that have kept us both resolved and infected. All must be allowed space to breathe for healing to occur, even that which out in the open we think will kill us; ultimately, our stories, especially those we tell ourselves.

And to emerge into a muscular embrace, why, is that not to stumble upon the power of your own beating heart?

Companionship, trust, partners, ying/yang, balance, unity, completion. How we crave to be seen. How we crave to allow ourselves to be seen.

For me love moves past that. Love is that ultimate power, a giant, external, autonomous being, a current that moves between us. Love, the most honest and life-giving love, is the love that we feel beside us, between us and that person, a feeling that does not come from within, a feeling without comprehension, without choice, without control, a feeling that tells us just how small we are, but how much power we can channel through that being, if only we invite it in.

That love is not because we desire to be seen, it is because we have finally seen it, seen the other, bigger, more beautiful, more wild than ourselves. An other that can create or destroy our own story, an omnipotence that has no hell or heaven, only the present. When that love envelopes us, and we send a shaking finger-tip towards it in a moment of incredulity, that is when all else falls away; it is the moment we feel the graze of someone else’s incredulity against our skin, the moistness of their surprise, and the warmth of their gratitude. But not for you, for the world, and for this blessing that fell upon you both by chance for a moment or forever and allowed you to see the light of every human, and not hunt for only one shadow. A blessing that moves with you as you move in her. A blessing so inexplicable its only reason is because we are human. And as you look into her perfect, flawed human soul, you are not afraid to show your own anymore.

What a woman does on her own

What a woman does on her own…

This one smokes.
This one listens
To the thrum of electricity.
This one feels the table cutting into her leg
And has no desire to move it.

This one looks at the corner of a space too small
Hoping the force of her gaze
Can thrust it outwards.

This one tries to feel,
Alone,
Alone she tries to feel.
And struggles.
But then
Is that not what a human does on their own,
Never mind a woman.

This one thinks
She should be thinking of her family,
She should be thinking of her job,
She should be thinking about eating a third meal.
She should be thinking.
And as she thinks she should be thinking
She wonders really what thoughts are
And if, when not guided by the invisible hands
Of all other judgements and perceptions and expectations
If thoughts really exist at all,
Because are not those good thoughts we qualify as expansive
Thoughts of other judgements, other perceptions, other expectations.

This one
Misses her lover in her body,
This one
Feels a loss
A lack

And wonders if that is love
And wonders if she is at all capable
Of doing anything
That makes her a woman
On her own.

Here coming

Clack clack
Slap slap
Flip flop
Tack tack
An echo always most poignant – loudest – when it leaves.

I heard him coming
She heard it coming
We heard her coming;
Our selves more than shadows
Because we hear them coming.

Against the flagstones we trot
Or pace
Or stomp or jump or run,
Gunshot rhythm
Of presence always coming-
A phantom’s story untold
And yet shattering the present
In its coming,

Yet….

(That moment between lasts forever longer)

Despite each individual’s marked footsteps
That pummel and stab
Or maybe even percolate
Like the goat’s skin pulled tight,
With the force of ego
(Who killed the goat)
Signalling arrival and passing –
Somehow, even though we are heard coming,
None of us know where those bodiless drumrolls
Are going,
Least of all when it is our own artilelry
Knock knock knocking against the ground,
Prepared for our arrival at a door which opens only
At the end,
With no route of how to get
Exactly there.

Circling

The circle of a belly is where love first nourishes life. The point of the artist’s brush is but the smallest circle. The circling of sounds became language. On our curved horizon birds circle the air; the predator circles the prey, the mother her child. Dancers circle the floor and paradise circles above our heads. But the very nature of a circle is its completeness; the last action of a coffee mug is the stained ring it leaves on the wooden table. We engage in the completeness of the circle by being utterly incomplete and separate from the being at the centre. And the centre point of everything is that which cannot be touched lest the circle’s round fullness collapses in on itself, and becomes a broken mutation of its birth.

How can two things designed to be separate become one? How can that which is born as singular become conjoined without damaging some part of itself? A hole drilled in a block allows for additions, but even as the newly born table stands proud and ready, the sawdust of its interior scatters the floor and renders it incomplete. That which circles is whole, but once the attraction is consummated, death occurs and the birth of incompletion, of necessity, of the loss of oneself buried or accepted in the other – sparks fly in the very destruction of oneness – invites two things to be the centre of something much larger than themselves. Like the membrane of a bubble, it glimmers and undulates around them. Entrapment, perhaps. Its skin unbreakable, unless the now unicells wish to fall out and become whole once more. How much more difficult to remember one’s own completeness after sparks have penetrated the armour we call self.

And for those who do not heal, who were created to be solid and cornered and welded to their purpose, how can they risk entering another’s circle together and meeting in destruction when the devil’s tongue promises to lick them to ash in this life? How can they know ash is free to circle and become, and survive even the passion of Vesuvius, who drenched in fire all who circled it. Love an impossibility for self-defined dimensions that burn in the flame of that which was the centre of all beings long before we became gods and decreed ourselves complete without.

Fuck ‘politics’ – we must create our own

Our understanding of politics is the most nocuous of evils that allows corruption and malpractice to flourish. It is the compost keeping alive this knotted and broken tree of ‘democracy’, only for it to fall its leaves of disappointment each cycle, made up of decaying ideas that politics is only for a type of person, the soil the cotton of the handkerchiefs they tote in their top pockets. It is the dialogue of professional speakers – for what else are they, as I see no action, only consequence – that spits a lexicon few understand and even fewer want to. It is the gated fences and spiked walls protecting those who are meant to protect us from us and our ideas. It is the inheritance of power transferred through family name and friends’ bank accounts. So is our understanding of politics, but it is not the definition of politics.

What Collins Dictionary has to say about politics is this:
1) it is the practice of the art of forming, directing and administrating states
2) the complex or aggregate relationships of people in society

I see no mention there of The Left or The Right or cut-glass accents or millionaires or Oval Offices or Lords or parliaments or government. I see no mention there of rivalries or fights or concepts being made more important than the people who spouse them. I see there art, relationships, people. This is the true definition of politics, this is what politics must become for the first time. And this cannot happen unless our generation become engaged in the fight to deliver the truth of the art of politics as empowering the relationships of people in society.

Our generation is so broken, so defeated, so tired – and yet, still angry. We are angry with nowhere to put our anger, because we have no faith in what we see to be politics – politicians, parties, the linear scale of a moral code. We must take this anger, we must take this anger and disembowel the falsities of our system, disembowel the crippling belief that change is impossible, or could only make our world worse. If we produce a real politics, a politics of the people in the vision of art, then there is hope.

Fuck the ideas of what it means to be a politician, what education you should have pursued and what party you pledge your eternal alliegance to. These parties aren’t good enough for us; the politics created by past generations that currently wreacks havoc on the world isn’t good enough for us. However, our art, and our relationships are good enough, they are the one thing we hold on to that keeps us breathing in the morning when we wake up in the dystopic present – and so they are good enough for our future, they are good enough to create ideas. They are enough to empower us as individuals every day, so let them empower us together as a community and effect change rather than shoulder consequence.

Everyone seems to be waiting for our Revolutionary, for our leader. What makes a leader? Humility, justness, fearlessness, open-mindedness, strength, belief. So, why is it we ache under the leadership of those who have no such qualities? I see those qualities in my friends, my colleagues, my students. I see those qualities in those who are willing to voice “No” at what they have been told to accept. I see those qualities in the young who are not so foolish as to be set in their ways.

Answers are not easy to find today, but even less so if we work individually, and I see so many individuals hungry for a solution but disempowered by the belief fed to us that politics is not for them. It is our nations, our communities, our lives, so politics must be for us. And if the current politics is not that, then we will make it so by creating a new and better politics. No more will the culture be created by the politics, but the politics will respond to the culture.

Fuck that idiocy that deems you have to be in the system to change it – we do not want to be tainted or maybe even tempted by such a system. We meet it with our own, one borne from ideas and modernity and community, not sullied by years of scratching backs and pulling teeth on the campaign trail. Let us destroy the old and thrust forward the new. Who or what are we waiting for? The Left or The Right to reveal a glimmer of hope in their antiquities? There is no time to waste, there is no more waiting to be done – as we wait, that broken tree of false democracy faces its final winter and its shadows grow long and frightening on the ground beneath our feet. Let us rake up the mistakes of the past that mould as repetitions in our present and discard them in history books where they belong.

Fuck the respect for the old when it has no respect for our future. We must gather, we must talk and we must fight for the right to act.

We must fight for our relationships. We must fight for our art. We must fight for our own politics.

Titans

The shadows were temporary nets
Sliced through by
A rhythm poured from that weaving pillar,
It wound itself around
Leaving skies of space for air
To light and strike god destroyers between.

Sinuous, molten,
Two animals given laughter
That roared the presence of
Stargazers and wanderers
No longer roaming.

The humidity of jungle air
Exalted by flashing skin;
A broken barrier, hero’s purple,
As charging chariots
Skimmed each other
With the grace of warriors;
Stripped free of weapons, titans appeared.

Wolves howled somewhere – perhaps –
As banks burst and desolated paw prints,
Leaving the strongest of cities
Weeping and needing.

Mountains laid their heads
On one another
And watched the winter’s cling
Avalanche from their shoulders
Revealing the roots of spring:
Delicate, new,
Shivering in the sun’s grace,
Forgetting for a moment
The bellies of lava
That birthed their dance.

Intermission

I have a question for whichever god
That chose me to see I more than eyes,
To know my lungs are only stage curtains
Hiding a stage with spotlights so many
My pupils gather black dots
To protect the surface lense.

I have a question for that god
Who gave us words enough to create his name
And fear enough to paint an image of eternity
Above our heads –
Truly an escape from the seconds hand
That swings around our necks.

Happy.
Such an ominous word,
One that could be summoned
By the beating of a duck’s bill,
If ducks were so inclined
To name the impossible,
As if naming creates a collar
That binds it to our home address.

The serrated tongue of a serpent
More acceptable than the patter of angels’ wings
Too soft to lay one’s head upon:
Clouds always run.

Neither snake nor messenger,
We instead are the crippling sight
That stitches awareness between our lashes,
Each blink a division of choices
– stage left – centre stage – downstage – backstage –
As we bleed ourselves into time
Just to try and stay awake – a little bit longer.
Each droplet a depletion of the energy
That twitches at fingertips
Begging to pull back the curtains
And peek at the empty show
That makes us so unbearably human,
And happiness a godforsaken intermission.

Roll up you gods and your orchestrated stages;
Your echo-free encore.

My clapped palms sting.

The Real Cute Kitten

[Rapped to the rhyme of The Real Slim Shady]

Y’all act like you never seen a cute kitten before
Jaws all on the floor
Like lil cats didn’t exist anymore
And you’d forgotten how the world was before
I melted your core,
Scratching the fuck out your furniture.
It’s the return of the — oh wait, no way, you’re kidding,
Scribbles didn’t just say what I think he did, did he?
And Mr Vet said –
Nothing you idiots,
The vet’s foreign, we can’t understand him.
Feminist women love cute kittens-
Cutie, cutie, cutie,
Cute kitten, I’m in love with him, look at him,
Running around licking his you-know-what,
Biting the you-know-whos
And he’s independent too!
Yeah I probably got a couple of claw-marks on your bedpost
But no worse than what’s going on when you play host,
Sometimes I just wanna sleep on your bed and snuggle close, but I can’t,
But it’s cool for that guy to try his utmost!
My bum is on your lips, my bum is on your lips,
And if I’m lucky you might just give it a little kiss,
And that’s the message I wanna deliver to little kids,
And expect not to throw me on the floor if I hiss-
Of course they gotta know that I endorse
Being petted all damn day-
Inbetween the times that I wanna play.
We ain’t nothing but mammals,
Well, some of us carnivores,
Who still look as cute as a herbivore.
But if you will feed me tinned tuna and so much more,
Then there’s no reason I won’t stay loyal when I play or I snore,
So if you feel like I feel, I got the antidote,
As far as other kittens go, I’m the cutest don’t you know.

Cause I’m cute Scribbles,
Yes I’m the real Scribbles,
All them other cats dribble,
There’s nothing to quibble,
So won’t the real cute Scribbles,
Play with string, play with string,
Play with string, play with string.

Puppies don’t gotta meow to get attention,
Well I do, so fuck them and fuck you too.
You think I give a damn about a canine?
Half of you critics hate my rhyme, let alone felines:
“But Scribbles, what if you fetched, wouldn’t it be weird?”
Why? So you guys could just lie while I bring shit here?
So you can sit me here next to your 10 beers,
Yo shit, this so-called man’s best friend better switch me chairs,
So I can sit next to wherever I want to choose first,
While everyone argues over who was sitting there first.
You’re fools if you think that you can train me:
“Yeah he’s cute, but he’s sitting in my seat, hee-hee!”
I should upload a video to damn Youtube
And show the whole world how you let Scribbles play with lube!
I’m sick of you little human friend groups, all you do is offend me,
So I have been sent here to remind you:
There’s a million of us just like me,
Who purr like me; who just don’t give a fuck like me,
Who jump like me, walk, play, meow like me,
Who just might be the next best thing – but not quite me!

Cause I’m cute Scribbles,
Yes I’m the real Scribbles,
All them other cats dribble,
There’s nothing to quibble,
So won’t the real cute Scribbles,
Play with string, play with string,
Play with string, play with string.

I’m like a head trip to listen to,
Cause I’m only giving you
Love you joke about with your friends inside your living room,
The only difference is I got the balls to take it from you all,
And I don’t gotta be false,
Or pretend I love you at all,
I just lie in your bed and purr it,
And whether you like to admit it,
I’m the cutest-
Better than ninety-nine percent of you kittens out there,
Then you wonder why these kids eat up these videos like Valiums
It’s funny-
Cause at the rate I’m going when I’m seven,
I’ll be watching all those kittens thinking they’re in heaven,
Scratching people’s fingers while I’m napping in the corner,
When I’m nipping everybody thinks my claws need a clipping,
And every single kitten is a fake Scribbles lurking,
They could be playing with your best bling, chewing on your shoestring,
Or in your baby’s cot, circling,
Meowing: “I don’t give a fuck!”
With his whiskers down and his tail up!
So will the real Scribbles play with string,
And sink your little claws into everything,
And be proud to be so cute it’s a crime, and outta control,
So one more time, loud as you care, how does it go?

Cause I’m cute Scribbles,
Yes I’m the real Scribbles,
All them other cats dribble,
There’s nothing to quibble,
So won’t the real cute Scribbles,
Play with string, play with string,
Play with string, play with string.

Guess there’s a cute kitten in all of us,
Fuck it, let’s all chase string.

Death revisited

Lifetimes have circled like vultures
Over this carcass memory since I was last
Perched on this bench, sweaty and defeated,
The bird of prey a morsel
Too difficult to swallow.

The air had claws at that time,
And my twenty-four metres squared home
Became an arena
– ropes of condoms, juiceless –
Squaring me against myself;
The lock became the sound of the bell
Crying one more round
As I spat in the sink – one more round.
The endless nights that bore childless dawns
Of pale ghosts boating down the river
More alive than I remembered how to be.

I put teeth against skin, and the rugged grin of steel
When I could not bare my own to fight
Against the reflection caught in its straight-arm.
Memories became little more than dustballs I collected
Only to discard and watch float, so peacefully,
From my storey.

Horizontal awareness lent itself to the idea
Of falling
Had I the accuracy to weave the thoughts
Into the only net that I trusted to catch me
And let me slip through its holes.
Such weightless reasoning seemed the only escape
For Atlas;
Weightless enough to have been carried away
By the wind that brought the dustballs back
And pillowed the strangeness of the Earth.