Clean Start
sometimes when I think
about giving up, it strikes
me how much effort
has gone into my life.

to start from scratch--
no, more likely, give it up
seems colossally inefficient.

but if clean starts could be
made--if one could start
over with a fresh page
and all the ideas intact--

but then, if we could do that
(if it was actually possible)
why doesn't everyone?

Deep Blue Soul
Deep blue soul
a vision of an inner self
and the serenity that knowing brings
seeing yourself gives you power
to control your own reactions
and ultimately your destiny.

Some say that souls have
no colour; I say they have
no melanin, but brilliant
colour, all the colours, the spectrum
is wide open. Souls are energy
power is energy, light is energy
colour is light.

I want to know my soul colour.
If I could choose, I would pick
deep blue, a radiating indigo royale.
Not dingy seawater or too-pale
sky or even fancy peacock; no,
I want a deep blue that
doesn't exist in nature
but that can exist in ourselves.

Over Extending A Few Metaphors
Dedicated to Germaine Greer, in her infinite wisdom and
ability to open my eyes and wonder why the hell I've been
walking around blind-folded and most importantly, how I
haven't managed to walk into a lamp-post like this.

I'm looking at magazines.
They've gotten me thinking.

Thinking about magazine women
all of them, plus-sized models,
minus-sized models, even the "real" people
who only went in for the free make-over.
It got me thinking about women,
and women's beauty in general.
(careful, this is free-form.)

pulled down, teased up,
pushed together, spread apart
told to behave itself indefinitely
permed, brushed, fluffed
plucked, waxed and shaved,
shaved, and stubbly, too
yet no more bristly than a peach
which is quite a bit furrier.

Such are women, in the media
and in ourselves, unfortunately,
too tall, too thin, too short
too fat--oops, I shouldn't have said that
fat being the new f-word now-a-days.
They're not overweight they're under tall
as though there is some perfect height and size
lurking behind and around you, like a shadow
"slinking" being too suggestive a word.

And yet, the women who are not too--
too short, too tall, too skinny,
too broad-shouldered, too large,
too whatever, and especially not too
fat--there I go again, using that goddamned word,
you must pardon my vulgarity
the women who are (for all intents and purposes)
fine they way they are...
are what? are admired and appreciated?
Don't think so. Look closer, look deeper,
and tell me what you see.

Ah, beauty. Beauty is fine, beauty's okay,
as long as (and this is the kicker)
beauty doesn't have brains on its side
or worse still, ambition
for beauty and a purpose can only mean bad
things later on
femme fatales are always beautiful and always
They cheat The System, using their beauty to
distract and their brains to plot and their ambition
to go somewhere in life and everyone fumes.
Femme fatales = evil. They're the bad guys.

There's nothing worse than a woman that knows
what's she's doing, where she's going, and
what she plans for when she gets there
It's survival of the fittest, babe,
and don't you forget that
but if they use beauty then it's cheating
no fair and in the wrong
(two wrongs don't make a right,
but three lefts do)
So, you could say, the fewer brainy beauts there are
the happier every one is. Right?
Uh huh. I thought so.

So perhaps women, when they make themselves
look as fake as possible, are not
afraid of being ugly--
they're afraid of being really beautiful.
Beauty has consequences. Truly homely people are jealous
(and appearently jealousy is a terrible thing.)
Beauties get manhandled on buses, bars, wherever
there are less mannerly men. Talked down to,
gossiped on. And of course, nothing they do is
ever taken seriously or is thought of note
"oh her, she just slept her way to the top".
It's much safer being ugly. Best of all, is being
average and blending safely into any crowd.

Then why is so much time spent on padding
and poking and prodding and dying and colouring
and falsifying and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera
when all we have to do is show our true beauty and
dazzle them all senseless ("them" being those in power)
and then rush in and whack them over the head with
our handbags and purses and seize the reins?

This, I still haven't got an answer to.
I'm a writer, not omniscient. I know Germaine Greer
knows, the trick is getting an answer out of her in
three chapters or less.

Every answer that I think I get
(which, admittedly, is few)
I am left with more questions.
Fortunately, the questions (myriad and all)
seem to boil down to something simple, so that
if I could solve this little one,
I'd have the key to it all, and fame
and glory and a book circuit would be mine
(although not necessarily in that order)
(of course there is a but, and on a line by
itself, too, naturally)
the question doesn't appear to be that
easy after all. It's sorta kinda like
opening a door with a credit card or bobby pin--
it looks easier when others do it.

Here's the question. If you can answer
correctly, you win today's quiz.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?
who beholds us?--ourselves... okay,
you're still with me so far...
good, good, you're doing fine, and now
for the skill-testing question:
if we are the beholders, then
why don't we see the beauty there?

God Logic
I have trapped God.
The Big G. The Thing Out There
that pretends not to exist.
(for simplicity's and grammar's sake
I will simply call it Him.)

To trap a Heavenly and Divine Presence
one must have only one weapon:
That is how I trapped God,
in a logic puzzle. A maze
in which there was only one route.
The Shroedinger's box of divinity.
I now contain all that belief creates
within a single word. Therefore.

From a word came creation, and
from a word came the truth.

Here is the part where I must,
embarressingly, become technical
and abandon the high-handed
metaphors and lyricism, etc. that
I do enjoy using but, when telling
a story (as opposed to an idea)
become rather cumbersome. I'm sure
you agree. Here is my tale, stripped
down for the purists among you
(and among myself)...

I have a neighbourhood print shop.
Being a graphic designer, I frequent
this location, so that they all know me
by name and ask about my projects, etc.,
and it's all very friendly and so on.

I have a problem with my computer.
It dislikes Macs. (As do I, truthfully,
although I would never say so to their face.)
Every time I have tried to hand in a project
to be printed from a PC disk to a Mac computer
something has gone a'gley (which means
wrong, for the non-Scot-quoters out there,
although I'm sure you could have guessed that)
and I have had to rush to correct
this grevious formatting error and panic
has set in and it's all very frustrating.

Then, I had it.

Simply put (as this is the purist version)
there was nothing that could go wrong any more.
I had a list of all the problems. And I know
that they were all the problems, because each time
I corrected them, the project worked out fine.
Therefore, there could be nothing wrong,
as long as I followed the checklist.
All you engineering types are snickering, I know.
But the thing is, the crucial piece of vital
information that makes this poem accurate
as opposed to meaningless drivel
is that I had documented proof that nothing
more could possibly go wrong with out divine

Aha! The plot thickens.
That's right. In order for a problem to present
itself, God would have to do so first.

I handed my Mac-Formatted disk to the printer.
I had created the file on a Mac. I had saved the fonts
as outlines. It was all complete.
The printer opened the file.
Of course it opened. I had done everything right.
Ah, I thought. Finally, everything will go according to--

The computer crashed. No reason given. No error
message. No blackout. No lack of RAM. One moment
the Mac was putting along, and then the next--

You see? This proves everything that
I have been saying. Everything
that you believe yourself--God is out to
screw things up. And I saw the proof,
before my eyes, as though the angels descended
on a fluffy cloud to point and laugh.

I trapped God. I forced the hand, I called
the bluff. If nothing can go wrong without divine
intervention then there is only two alternatives
possible. One, that everything will work out, and
two. Two, that it won't. If it doesn't,
then it proves that I am right.
And I am. I trapped God within a word.

Not that it means anything, naturally.
He's still capable of turning the computer
off every time He feels like it,
or when it's most inconvenient,
but at least I have the satisfaction
of knowing that it is personal.

oh save me
I want to be rescued
I know that my pride
won't let me
I know that it comes
with a price
I know that shining armour
and gallant steeds don't exist
I know this and I know
that I still want
a rescue.

Return Trip
I'm on the way home
it's like I never went at all
only I remember it all
but that doesn't mean it happened
because I remember dreams vividly too.

The only reality is the present,
everything else is potential or past
and perhaps the past hasn't happened.

Maybe we are continually dreaming
and waking in every instant
the black space between film frames
happening so quickly as to be a blur
and undetectable.

Truth is the ultimate lie
misleading and seductive
its entire purpose is to lead one astray.
Truth is in everyone, there
is only your truth, only
your story and you cannot
be told anyone else's.
There are facts and then
there is truth: the plot
and then the story.
Whoever tells it adds
themselves, and so truth
is flavoured by everyone who
touches it, like greasy finger
prints - soon you can't see
out the glass.

Thought Channels
How can I say what I mean?
Is this word right? Is the idea
one that I should be saying?
Perhaps I should keep it too myself.
It's too silly. No point.
You'll think worse of me for it.
Best to forget I mentioned anything at all.

The words that we strive for
are the ones that express not ideas
but feelings, captured emotions
that we can vocalise but not verbalise.
How are articulate are humans
when monkeys can say it better than we can.

Ode To Grace's House
I was in Grace's house today.
I haven't been in ages.
And it felt like I never left.
As I walked up the stairs
I expected to see my belongings--
well--belonging. But the room
was just Grace's.
Coming downstairs, hands on
the bannister, the clock chiming,
I had never left there.
Here. There. It seemed that
the rest of my life was a dream
and on that stair I had woken.
Going into the kitchen,
wondering how I could be
thinking of other places
when only Grace's house exists.
All else is the illusion.
It is a bubble, a photograph,
the image in the mirror--
its own reality, in time and space.

I was in Grace's house today.
And I wish I had never left.