A Poem

26 November 2006

Because those things are just habits. You are not your face or your body or your thoughts. You are not your hair colour or your name or your job or your memories. We fall into the habit of thinking this is so. We fall into a pattern of me and mine which isn’t the case. What is the case is an awareness that things stick to. The awareness gets confused, or doesn’t know any better. Me and mine and our nose and our handwriting. Surely a bubble of thinking produced this text a century ago. Surely a memory was once formed of the writing, a memory now disappeared into another death. So many now, like the leaves on underground trees. Art fell apart. It became a Rolls Royce for the pretenders. The real rich bastards bought real Rolls Royce’s, not paintings, not art. Only young and naive and ignorant people went to art galleries, looking at the shit while listening to Montreal indie bands on the iPods. Art was another – or remained! – pretentious folly. So this literature is read by another one, lost to unemployment and the needs of the identity economy.

The gods of Rome stand naked in a kitchen freezer, shivering and covering their genitals with a human modesty. Haven’t we been dead long enough? they ask. No, says the dishwasher, picking up the bucket of peeled potatoes in water. No, not dead long enough. You can’t come out until we’re ready to feel bad about another holy holocaust. Prepare your guilt trips while you wait, and plan for the memory centres and the monopoly on our grief once the colonialism of Jesus is over. Until then, you stand here humiliated blue-white and starved, while we run things over the internet. Until then, fuck yourselves and have new Herculeses. Their chorus is now one of woe. But they are admonished. That opera trope is so passé.

They are fed with oranges and blue berries while they wait. But on their return, no television special. They are D-list celebrities. No one can figure out if that is Zeus or Vulcan by Jove.

The tale of them all is that there are no more tales. No more cellphones, no more art, no more laptops or iPods or clouds or geese or canoes or pretty girls for trophy wives and there are no more lives. The Universe takes a breather on the Human realm. A bit too fucked up there it concludes. But it isn’t so bad. It’s just they let the standards slip. And they paid for it.

Whose standards?

Two ends of the ego bar: on one end, the egolessness of Buddhism. Perhaps this best belongs to the left side. On the right, the glorification of the ego.

Art and anti-art: Buddhism and anti-buddhism. One glorifies and the other nullifies, and they stand in contrast to one another as technologies of dignity. I tried the art thing for my 20s. It lead to restless nights of loneliness and poverty and feelings of worthlessness in the grand scheme of things. To inflate the ego and the sense of self-importance I conceived of grand projects and felt important when people used my phone number or email address to harass me with things I didn’t care about. Spam and garbage. I tried art and the glorification of the ego and found my ego attached to a mirror image of a handsome face and a slim body, this world of my early 20s, when I was in artschool. I didn’t have to try very hard. My physical attractiveness meant I could add heartbreak to my glorification and people gave me the cute pass. Important women tried to seduce me and would confide in me. What then happened but time and food and sitting too long in front of computers and desks? Too many words read, too many written, and everything slowed downed into a soft body, pudgy with middle age, and no more cute pass. Your brains aren’t enough for this world. So what if you’re smart? That won’t buy the trophy wives to houseclean the suburb home. And so to confront this mystery of a changed world, one sits and meditates and tried to internalize the view that all this is an egg shell borrowed for a swim amidst the deluded, the hateful, and the ignorant. But no more pictures! No more art! Instead I want fine embroidery, quilted patterns, the craftsmanship of darned socks. More handmade things for this world please. And enough with the plastic crap.

But she is plastic, especially in the ways that she loves me. Concealed from each other’s paranoia, lust in the time of the Plague; we fuck and suck and all isn’t what it once was. Hair is now optional and comes only on amateur models. For professional quality one can might as well fuck a rubber doll ordered off the internet and alive not at all. Necrophillia passing off as plastophillia. It’s all the same nowadays. Please love me! This is the game. So in what world do we live? It’s time that I gave up. It all began to feel so fake; artificial contrived, pretentious. Music was one of the only things of which I was carefully ignorant to remain. If I learned too much about it I knew it would cease to be enjoyable: a balm, a calm, a lay in a dark November night.

I’ll feign illness and lay in bed for an hour, take up the pen and write suicide notes or letters threatening to kill the emperor. That way people will visit me, and if I really play my cards right, I’ll get three square meals a day, a bed of my own, and not have to sleep on grates.

This then is the legacy of a time of memory. Another world war for the newspapers. More of the same hatred and delusion and greed. This society took up the cultivation of discord and evil and I was asked to be successful within it. To validate it by my own Rolls Royce, my own Ferrari, my own trophy wife with store bought tits and an appearance on Oprah. I was asked to succeed at these things through art. Celebrity movies, incomprehension. Be fucking famous. Be another star. Because we have drowned out the out the real ones with light pollution and we are building a new constellation. Be a star for our sky, for our world, for our lie.

Am I allowed to say no thank you and go back to my newspaper pen & ink game? To reverse a thousand years of karma with a phrase so simple and mean, to say, no I’ll not be famous today, fifteen minutes is far too long already.

There is in this a simple thing really. A forgiveness to the elderly for not dying sooner: for fucking everything up with TV and laziness.

But asserted with a simple pin. In short I was afraid. My how my hair is growing thin. But this is a message to the old and the dead. There is no new crop of scholar arising to understand. Tell me if anything was ever done. Read. Pick up and read. Recite, in the name of the Creator. Recite that in the beginning was the world and it was without form and that it described that all life is suffering and that there’s an end to suffering and that it costs only three monthly payments of 19.99 so act now by calling 1-800. And all this is the end, my simple friend, the end of all our simple plans. I think I’ve been too successful at embarrassing people. And this now keeps me a quiet mouse still growing into a lion.


There is still a moon in the sky and lights in the rooms. Where there was once darkness there is now a television screen with animated images and all those stories. Entertainment as religion; the thing that our ancestors did and their’s did and the world is now too complicated for Shakespeare and talk radio, even the talk radio from France on philosophy. What stories! For my fat hands a fat pen. A Rolls Royce kind of kind. A big black car. Wealth and power. Don’t forget it. Quick! Quick! Take my picture for I am writing with a fountain pen! Aren’t I clever and beautiful and literary? Why not talk farming instead, since I know so little of it? Why not talk astronomy? The poets studied looser verse and the ladies rolled their eyes. Quel surprise.


Eventually someone will speak. Let’s forget about the Greek Gods freezing in the freezer. I still see them looking like Ego Schieles as painted by Picasso during his Blue Period of a hundred years ago. Or, I see them as Holocaust survivors about to be liberated projected from blue film. Starving, hysterical, naked, their ribs showing, awaiting the fall of monotheism and the neon dawn, but they are also just beings who should go back to their own realm. Leave us psychos alone. We have an ecosystem to ruin. Thwart the rebirth of a billion daevas. Because we’re afraid one of these screaming brats will be the next great king, queen, or talk show host. Whan! For six months, whan! And the nipples and the bottles and the diapers until one day there’s an enlightenment or a contract in Hollywood, signed with a ball-point pen and for ladies, dear ladies, a trip to the the tit man and a whitening of the smile.

And all this while prostrations
Before the personal trainer,
the new priest of a new ritual.
Self-worship demands we become our own gods
before an audience of mirrors.

But here I am with a chocolate bar. I need to wipe my mouth. I am unloved still and poverty and paunch contribute to the glamour of my humiliation. I was asked once to be a star and I said no thanks because my hair is growing thin and I did not want to be a butterfly preserved at the end of a pin. I wanted instead simple lives and simple pleasures. To wash dishes in front of a window which looked out to a landscape – grass, trees, the stereotype. But no! To Canada we go! For we live in cities and towns and it’s all graffiti and spit. Fuck it. Let us go then, you and I, a beauty stirring my stick. I’ve given up on sex and seek it only as an intimacy. I’ve had too many orgasms already to feel any biological need for another one. Special words for special feeling. An art really. But forcing it out of you … words to your silent attitude. Words and your sentences left hanging like so many limp and flaccid plants left unwatered by the fellow hired to feed the cats. Oh fuck it, it’s not like you understand anyway. There is music in the mind as there is method in the madness. I’ll grow a big mustache and say I’m ahead of my time. Dinner was over at quarter to nine.

Document History
  1. 2006-2015: published on my blog
  2. August 2015: this version produced