Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wake-Up Call

A poem in The Stare’s Nest. At the time I wrote it I used to go to Leeds quite frequently for work and usually, though not always, stayed in the Hilton hotel beside the station. Sometimes I stayed at the Holiday Inn. Oh those expense account days!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Shaving Mirror

When I thought on getting old
It was never about days
Of full sun and icy breezes.
I thought about wrinkles,
A small world in my shaving mirror.
But I used to say to myself
All this misery is just euphoria
In the bank, remember now,
And it was.

In a way it only took me five minutes to write that but in another way it took me forty years.
8 December 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Good morning, Autumn

Antony & the Johnsons playlist on YouTube, starting with Fistful of Love, River of Sorrow and You are my Sister. It's a blue grey morning and post-summer tristesse is upon me.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Story for Kindle

Everybody is dying to meet her. Literally. She scythes her way through the oddballs who answer her lonely hearts advert, who frequent singles bars or are merely fated to encounter her by chance. Still, it's no good to dwell on past misfortune, especially when it's not hers. (£0.77)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Churchill is asleep

It's a long story but I don't know how it starts. By the time I get to this place where a painter is painting on an easel in a big building, possibly a gallery, I must turn right before where the painter sits and there's a sort of passageway. It's almost completely blocked by a naked man, very broad in the beam, who appears to be waiting outside a door that he's facing. As I edge past his back I notice there is a sign on the door that says "Lav". I think to myself "Fuck that, I'm not going in there" and go to the next door along. The latch is sealed with a gold device threaded through, which I unhook. Inside is a small room longer than it is wide. Though I can only see the top of his head, I can see that Churchill is asleep behind the computer screen, so I will have to go back.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Events as governing points

As events happen and things move, at all times all of the relative views are calculable. All relatives hold true. But there is a governing point at the locus of an event. Each governing point is an event. The governing points are authoritative. Until the event occurs it cannot give any relative appearance to any other entity. It occurs once, establishing a governing point, a fixed authority. No other entity can gainsay the governing point. It owns inherent objectivity.

We cannot trap these governing points because they are evanescent and distant. Before we know about them they have already gone. We can't know them before they occur, can't know them at the same time they occur unless even if they are part of our own internal world, only after they have already occurred. Each container can hold within it innumerable transient events and each person as a container of thoughts has access to authoritative sources. The box knows what happened to Schrodinger's cat.


From where A stands, B looks one inch tall. From where B stands, A looks one inch tall. They are both sixty inches tall and N metres apart. A is right about himself and wrong about B. B is right about himself and wrong about A. Rightness is inherent in the entity itself. Each entity is its own truth but no other can know it exactly. That doesn't mean there is no truth, only that it's hard to know.

That takes care of what is outside. What is inside an entity is carried there blind and impervious to what's outside. The mind, being inside of one, is in its own world, the world of oneself. However, the mind has windows onto the outside, in the form of eyesight, hearing etc. We apply our minds to understanding what is outside and calculating what the truth might be.

It is a mistake to say that each viewpoint is equally valid, the prime example being whether A and B are dead or alive. It makes no difference what A thinks about B being dead or alive [or rather it doesn't help us know what is true]. It only matters whether B as B is dead or alive. B is the absolute authority on whether he is dead or alive. No relative impression has any authority. B owns the attribute "dead or alive". That is a governing point.


Governing points are start points and the world is continually emergent in the form of new governing points. All else relating to a point is governed by the point. It is instantaneous and transient. The traces it leaves are like ripples after a pebble falls in a pond, except that the pebble vanishes in no time. One nanosecond after the pebble strikes, it is a different pebble that continues to make its way through the surface of the water. We can hypothesize that like points in geometry, controlling points are infinitesimally small. We might call them events, except that the everyday sense of the word "event" creates a misleading impression. So I will call them points.

The world consists of continually emergent infinitesimal points, each of which is the authority on itself. The point governs its own existence. No entity can make any observation or conclusion about a point, until the point emerges. Because its existence is infinitesimally small, it is gone before any entity can exert any control over it. A point has power, it is authoritative and conclusive. But when it comes to knowing about governing points, we are all at sea. Truth is a moving target.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lines find a home

I'm very pleased that Staxtes magazine has published Winter Thoughts as part of its English Wednesdays series online, with a marvellous picture by Stratos.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Staying with the B.....s again

As we often do, or I do anyway, not always the missus, but this time both, we were staying with the B.....s. We're not quite well off enough though. There seems to be a shortage of clothes. And when we are out it's difficult to know which station, which route in the vastness of town, a way that will be within our means. Not enough coins to pay for a taxi to the airport. We end up in a street of small terraced houses. At first there's no one around and as we are naked, we lie down and she starts to suck me off. Then the youths and children of the street look on in amusement, so we have to leave and go back to the B.....s. I see old B..... He is a tall, ominous man, standing sidelong in a doorway across the space. He never says much but I'm afraid because, of course, a long time ago I killed two of his children, and so I try to hide.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

She's afraid of you

The kid in the tunnel is amazing. She has a way of cartwheeling in fractions anti-clockwise (or is it clockwise?) with her limbs holding her in place at the same distance on the walls of the tunnel. I want to compliment her in an easy, pleasant way. I say, 'Well done. You are the Spiderwoman!' But this other guy, whom I know fairly well, wants to join in. He tries to join with the girl in the tunnel tricks. He out-machos me. They have drifted further away and she can no longer see me. But he can't do it and they end up in a heap. He comes up past me after he has ruined the game and left her way back there on the floor of the tunnel. I don't know what to say. He says, 'She's afraid of you.'

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Naked driving (again)

I'm with two American guys and we're in a type of jeep, not a military one but not a particularly good civilian one either. The little guy driving has started to overtake a bus but there's not enough power. It's dangerous because we are too close to the side of the bus. Now of course the cops are after us, so we turn off somewhere and I say go there, up a ludicrously steep curve onto the forecourt of a large house with trees. It's impossible for anyone passing to see what's up on top of that curve. After little discussion we get rid of all of our clothes because the way to avoid being recognised by the cops is to drive naked. And so it's back out onto the road.

Monday, March 31, 2014


I'm trying to reassemble a small watch. It's a messy business. I can't seem to grasp and separate the necessary parts from a whole street full of rubbish. I'm nearly there but something slips and I have to get it back in my hand. My friend's parents are losing patience with me. They want to start taking all the rubbish away. I keep the small pieces and give up the large planks, which are immediately taken away, and a dirty oily rag. It had to be done, quick decision. I think I still have the necessary pieces on me and I continue trying to put the mechanism in place in the small watch. Interminably. But they are leaving.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Drumstick vegetable
Like most new things we hear about, it's supposed to be very good for you. The exterior is woody and inedible. If you make the mistake of chewing it, you have to spit it out. There is very little pith, but what there is is soft and sweet, a bit like parsnip. Other things in this picture: jackfruit segments and coriander.

Friday, January 31, 2014

From nothing to nothing

To realise that things we habitually say and do and think are actually wrong. You walk down the street, looking this way and that. You think you're a geezer. That woman's pants are too tight. You look over the railway bridge and you think somebody said something interesting.

Or rather you have no idea whether these things are right or not. Your consciousness is so thin as to barely exist. You are a watchman who tries to make sentences span the disappearance into nothing of the past and the nothing that comprises the future, to carry them over the line between those two nothings, an imaginary concept called the present. When in reality there is nothing at all because the past is always gone, the future is never here and there is no interval between them, no space where something can exist that is neither past nor future. And how can you carry something from nowhere to nowhere? What can persist across the line between two empty zones with no gap between them? But something does, apparently.


But there is no other copy in a different zone, is there?, only this one that keeps changing its configuration. Everything is still here only in different arrangements. Something about change. If nothing changed, time would perhaps not exist. There would be nothing to count it by. Counting could not occur because counting itself involves change. To count is to see different things. If you see different things, your vision is changing. It takes time to exist. No time, no time to exist. It takes space to exist. No space, nowhere to exist, no existence. And so what we have is existence because equally without the existence of something, and its somewhere, there can be no time and no space. What could time possibly mean without anything in existence? And without time, no space, no time for space to exist. We might just as well call time/space existence.

There is no past somewhere else. There is no future waiting in the wings. Only the perpetually changing present. In existence. Tumbling.



Time is not a separate thing with attributes. It's a measure of things. You can't get a bottle of time, just as you can't get a bottle of length. Things have length and things likewise have time. Therefore time is a property of things, the fourth dimension. We are not equipped to see the fourth dimension. If we could, we could turn our attention through past and future, just like we look at a huge ocean liner in port, turning to the prow, looking along the side with all its portholes, scanning along and looking down to the stern. We could look towards how it was last week, when there was no ship here, scan along as it sailed this way until it arrived here where we are now and by continuing to turn forward in time, we might see it sailing away again. But we can't!


Yet in a sense we can - by staying put and waiting. We get to see the ship arriving and departing. So perhaps what we see is whatever intersects with our own time. We see all of our time in a way we can't see all of other things' or people's time. We only see them when their time intersects with ours.



It's time that is passing through us. It changes and rearranges all, while we never move any more than a tree moves, or a pebble in a stream.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Willesden Green Writers' Group relaunch event

Looking forward to this on Thursday night. Maybe see you there? Free admission.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The third word

I am taking an exam that involves writing in response to three words. I can't remember the exact words but they are a bit like past, present and future. I keep trying to start but forgetting what the first word is, and my response never gets farther than a word or two, which I then cross out. I was sure I would get it done but I have started on so many blank pages now, I hardly have any pages left. Somebody who has already completed the paper gives me hints about how to tackle it but all I can think of is the original three words. The time is nearly up. Then the teacher/supervisor gives a little example of the kind of things I could write. On hearing that example paragraph I realise there is no way I can ever complete the paper because I only have the three words. I get the feeling that there is a first word, which I briefly know, but when I think about the second one then I have to think about the first one again and so on. The third word never even gets a look-in.