Archive for December, 2011

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011


Happiness with problems. Unhappiness with problems. Sometimes one has the luxury of choosing between the two. Often one does not have that luxury. Happiness or unhappiness without problems is never a choice.  I woke up this morning knowing it was going to be one of those days, but I’ve already written a poem about Choice, and there’s no way I’m going to write another. Every day I think about the impossible.

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011






Half past 7

Just after midday



11.04 PM

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011


I’m expecting not to hear from you

so please surprise me. The last surprise I recall

was when you called me the last time you called

me. But lately I’ve been not drinking, and

I’ve also been not expecting you not to not surprise me —

but it’s not in the hope that I confuse myself into oblivion.

It’s simpler than that.

Monday, December 19th, 2011


Amasis, King of Egypt, having married Laodice, a very beautiful Greek virgin, though noted for his abilities elsewhere, found himself quite another man with his wife, and could by no means enjoy her; at which he was so enraged, that he threatened to kill her, suspecting her to be a witch. As ’tis usual in things that consist in fancy, she put him upon devotion, and having accordingly made his vows to Venus, he found himself divinely restored the very first night after his oblations and sacrifices. Now women are to blame to entertain us with that disdainful, coy, and angry countenance, which extinguishes our vigour, as it kindles our desire; which made the daughter-in-law of Pythagoras say, “That the woman who goes to bed to a man, must put off her modesty with her petticoat, and put it on again with the same.” The soul of the assailant, being disturbed with many several alarms, readily loses the power of performance; and whoever the imagination has once put this trick upon, and confounded with the shame of it (and she never does it but at the first acquaintance, by reason men are then more ardent and eager, and also, at this first account a man gives of himself, he is much more timorous of miscarrying), having made an ill beginning, he enters into such fever and despite at the accident, as are apt to remain and continue with him upon following occasions.

Michel de Montaigne, from Of The Force Of Imagination (1580)

Sunday, December 18th, 2011


I received a note from Chloë yesterday, asking me if I wanted to go with her tonight and listen to “the best jazz combo in town”. As far as I know there’s only one jazz combo in town, and they’re up on a charge of attempted murder after trying to slaughter a bunch of jazz classics the last time they played. My friend reviewed them for the local paper; it was quite a short review: “Hopeless. Full of cunts. Deplorable.”  Chloë adds as a postscript: “I so much enjoyed our last gig together.” I have no idea what she’s talking about. Indeed, I don’t know who this Chloë person is. I can only assume the note was delivered to the wrong address.

Saturday, December 17th, 2011


I don’t know

what the secret is. Perhaps

there is no secret. And if I knew the answer

to all those very difficult questions

I wouldn’t be here now.



look at the sky. It’s looming this morning.

I love it when it looms. Or do I?

Friday, December 16th, 2011




When tears roll down your cheek

it’s a sign

you’re mine.

Thursday, December 15th, 2011


As the peasant girl slips out of her smock

does her lordship’s desire fade

and the trees in the distance assume an alluring pallor?

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011


And attempts have been made to rescue the drifting and the lost. Hempen rope, magnet, rod and line, butterfly net, naked willpower – all as fruitless as an apple tree in winter, a simile as hopeless as the hopelessness it aims to represent. Imagine trying to catch an idea in a net: it’s like imagining a dream coming true.

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011


I see the sun on Sunday shining

but crave invisibility

Hide in the shadow

Shiver in the Winter wind


I’m sorry / seek solace

(the schoolyard is not for me / the scholar is not in me)


I sail a schooner

I schoon a sailor