yet more haikai

by
Okami
Reedlake, Northern Ireland

Stormy winter night;
in between the isobars
last breaths of the old.

A winter morning:
the soap is crenellated
by the teeth of rats.

Snowflakes dancing down
on the men who are digging
another mass grave.

The summer dahlias…
The autumn chrysanthemums…
The world full of bombs.

Disliking people
I enjoy the cheerful caw-
cawing of the rooks.

Puma in the zoo-
bleak world of her cage – and Spring
is worse frustration…

Feeding my sadness-
there is no other meaning
to my existence.

Sixty-two years old!
Shall I now start going out
to dance with the moon ?

My rural dwelling:
anywhere I choose to piss
resplendent with plants.

A piss before bed
looking up at the night’s bright
navel in the sky.

Every bedtime
I look forward to dying
even with my dog.

A snakeskin dangling
in a cobwebby window –
another poem.

Butchery-counter:
I am reminded of dying
red camellia flowers.

Relentless blue skies:
the smug sameness of
hundreds of haikai.

My mother: her grave
and the neglected churchyard
sprayed with Paraquat.

Fantastic offer –
Western Values:
two for the price of one.

Amphisbæna:
making love is not an act
– but an animal.

It is night beyond.
The fat, yellow-bellied moth
batters the window.

Sa vieille maison;
le loup-garou derrière
arrosant une Pensée.

 Zen Pages

ON READING YET ANOTHER COLLECTION
OF HAIKU POEMS
(2004)


Floods in October.
I don’t ever want to read
another haiku.

more haikai by


okami

Okami
Reedlake


Stormy winter night;
in between the isobars
last breaths of the old.

.

A winter morning:
the soap is crenellated
by the teeth of rats.

 .

Snowflakes dancing down
on the men who are digging
another mass grave.

.

The summer dahlias…
The autumn chrysanthemums…
The world full of bombs.

.

Disliking people
I enjoy the cheerful caw-
cawing of the rooks.

.

Puma in the zoo-
bleak world of her cage – and Spring
is worse frustration…

.

Feeding my sadness-
there is no other meaning
to my existence.

.

Sixty-two years old!
Shall I now start going out
to dance with the moon ?

.

My rural dwelling:
anywhere I choose to piss
resplendent with plants.

.

A piss before bed
looking up at the night’s bright
navel in the sky.

.

Every bedtime
I look forward to dying
even with my dog.

.

A snakeskin dangling
in a cobwebby window –
another poem.

.

Butchery-counter:
I am reminded of dying
red camellia flowers.

.

Relentless blue skies:
the smug sameness of
hundreds of haikai.

.

My mother: her grave
and the neglected churchyard
sprayed with Paraquat.

.

Fantastic offer –
Western Values:
two for the price of one.

.

Amphisbæna:
making love is not an act
– but an animal.

.

It is night beyond.
The fat, yellow-bellied moth
batters the window.

.

Sa vieille maison;
le loup-garou derrière
arrosant une Pensée.

 

Breathing
is a religion;
there is no simplicity.

Asking myself
how to reach acceptance
I ruefully reply
There is no way.

In a world where nothing true is valued
I am almost happy to be not worth knowing.

“The sound of one hand clapping”:
The amputee applauding war.

“The sound of one hand clapping”:
Masturbation.

Zen is
what you’re sure it’s not.

THE UNMEANING OF LIFE

is that culture
is merely a distraction
from being.

RECENT RELAXING HAIKAI
2014

Even in winter
I send pictures of my garden
electronically.

Mouldy winter straw
makes me remember
old politicians.

Mothering Sunday –
hazy sweet memories
of bluebell woods.

Wind swings a window
and the countryside swerves just
before the rain comes.

Swallows from the shed
scythe through the gloaming to catch
the last daylight flies.

Fighting each other
old teazels and new poppies
embrace in the breeze.

In the bare meadow
after they harvested, the
hay-smell still lingers

They’re firing stubble.
Thus burn brief ambitions of
policy-drafters.

Gazing at brown leaves
perhaps I have understood
what haikai don’t say.

 

okami

 

Breathing
is a religion;
there is no simplicity.

Asking myself
how to reach acceptance
I ruefully reply
There is no way.

In a world where nothing true is valued
I am almost happy to be not worth knowing.

“The sound of one hand clapping”:
The amputee applauding war.

“The sound of one hand clapping”:
Masturbation.

Zen is
what you’re sure it’s not.

THE UNMEANING OF LIFE

is that culture
is merely a distraction
from being.

RECENT RELAXING HAIKAI
2014

Even in winter
I send pictures of my garden
electronically.

Mouldy winter straw
makes me remember
old politicians.

Mothering Sunday –
hazy sweet memories
of bluebell woods.

Wind swings a window
and the countryside swerves just
before the rain comes.

Swallows from the shed
scythe through the gloaming to catch
the last daylight flies.

Fighting each other
old teazels and new poppies
embrace in the breeze.

In the bare meadow
after they harvested, the
hay-smell still lingers

They’re firing stubble.
Thus burn brief ambitions of
policy-drafters.

Gazing at brown leaves
perhaps I have understood
what haikai don’t say.

okami

okami

okami

Breathing
is a religion;
there is no simplicity.

Asking myself
how to reach acceptance
I ruefully reply
There is no way.

In a world where nothing true is valued
I am almost happy to be not worth knowing.

“The sound of one hand clapping”:
The amputee applauding war.

“The sound of one hand clapping”:
Masturbation.

Zen is
what you’re sure it’s not.

THE UNMEANING OF LIFE

is that culture
is merely a distraction
from being.

RECENT RELAXING HAIKAI
2014

Even in winter
I send pictures of my garden
electronically.

Mouldy winter straw
makes me remember
old politicians.

Mothering Sunday –
hazy sweet memories
of bluebell woods.

Wind swings a window
and the countryside swerves just
before the rain comes.

Swallows from the shed
scythe through the gloaming to catch
the last daylight flies.

Fighting each other
old teazels and new poppies
embrace in the breeze.

In the bare meadow
after they harvested, the
hay-smell still lingers

They’re firing stubble.
Thus burn brief ambitions of
policy-drafters.

Gazing at brown leaves
perhaps I have understood
what haikai don’t say.

okami

*Orchids! The most liberating
admission: that you don’t
really like sex.

.

*The name of these flowers derives from the Greek for ‘testicle’,
which their bulbs resemble. Similarly, the Mexican Nahuatl origin of the
word corrupted by the Spaniards to 
Avocado (‘pear’) meant ‘scrotum’.

okami

.

haikai



from

ILLUSIONS
IN THREE PARTS
by

okami

Okami
Journal of a Twelvemonth, 1998

Drumlin Landscape, by Anthony Weir

The Northern Lights:
the old dog shakes himself.

.


A damson falling
brings leaves and wasps
down to earth.

.


After the Sauna
night-breeze on our nipples.
The Northern Lights.

.


Huge and friendless
above McDonald’s:
the Harvest Moon.

.


Pond beneath a moonless sky:
Start and finish of everything.

.


Every year the leaves
are deported by the wind
to the camps of rot.

.


Its last blood-red leaves gone
how stiff the creeper
on the graveyard wall.

.


Hoar-frost on the hair
upon the hot chests of the
[magic] mushroom gatherers.

.


In my autumn groin
mist and rain and river
are indistinguishable.

.


Dead tree slanting athwart the stream:
Ivy-stems entwine my life.

.


After the storm, apples pass
from wasps to slugs to me.

.


Another robin in my mousetrap:
few of us fail to give humanity
a bad name.

.


Superhuman sound:
a rat gnawing the steel grille
with snow-white teeth.

.


Wagtail on the roof:
the wise man combs his beard
with a fork.


Self-portrait as an old man


Seeming to do little
the fossil has survived
a hundred million years.

.


Full midwinter moon –
a new coalescence of
an ancient coldness ?

.


A winter morning:
the soap is crenellated
by the teeth of rats.

.


Snowflakes dancing down
on the men who are digging
another mass grave.

.


December foghorn:
yet another beckoning
from beyond the grave.

.


The weather forecast.
Millennia of wind and rain
and now people shave.

.


Snail-trails in frost:
‘A painter should study
the stains on walls.’

.

 
The crotch of a winter birch:
love, like the Unicorn
is conceived here.

.


The skin of the wino
is a beautiful silk palace for lice.

.


Locked ward
and sunless winter day:
Home is where the mind is.

.


Neat path. Neat lawn.
Neat visitors.
Neat concentration-camp.

.


The moon in a veil
as if it had coldly evolved an ego.

.


Frost Kings were crowned
again last night: my garden
is bedecked with lace.

.


Digging: a fine red worm.
Wisdom: to see everything
as from the grave.

.


Thinking about my death
I enthusiastically clean out
the septic tank.  

.


Dogshit on pavements:
the unconscious calligraphy
of prisoners.

.


Rotting leaves
lie on each other lovingly
in hecatombs.

.


Morning. My erection
does not belie regret
at my father’s.

.


The day in silence.
At night the telephone rings.
It’s a wrong number.

.


Winter solitude: gorse-bush
flowering in a muddy field.

.


Red sky at morning:
the blood of global greed
has reached the very clouds.

.


Between life and death
I am always hoping to climb
Out of myself.

.


Winter sunlight:
trying to pull my shadow
out of the shade…

Water on the knee –
Water on the brain – and now
Water on the moon!

.


With my dog: a cold wet day
is an oceanic experience.

.


Our lives intertwined,
Oscar and I check up on
each other’s fæces.

.


Community of luxury:
I drink the wine
while Oscar chews the cork.

.


Quiet rain. My dog expresses
so much silently – why must we
make so much noise ?

.


Every night, before
we go to bed – a brief
strip-show for my dog.

.


Ice on a puddle:
the brittle transience of wisdom.

.


Richly-ploughed field:
its beauty makes me weep
for the earth’s flaying. 

.


April in Ireland.
A field of mud. A black calf
licks a beige bull’s balls.

.


Zen of orgasm:
the not-having is more
sensual than the having.


Admiration, by Anthony Weir .

‘Soul’ is integrity.
Thus few humans – but all
animals – have souls.

.


Torn old coat-lining.
The April wind also nests
in a stained pocket.

A haiku: so what ?
So many haikai –
So what ?

.


Headless chicken:
creatures just as maimed think they’re
masters of the world.

.


Fighting for comfort
in front of a screen:
The American Dream.

.


Security camera
shows me my Other
going the other way.

.


Bluebottle in confessional –
not proclaiming its sins
but dying to escape.

.


An icy puddle:
It took me fifty years to realise
how shallow people are.

.


Moon – those who walked over you
are half in darkness
half in blinding light.

.


Full moon naked
above the naked tree
O for a naked mind!

A piss before bed
while admiring the night’s bright
navel in the sky.

.


The silence between wars:
The science that is false.

.


Visiting the psychiatrist:
like intimacy with a fridge.

.


Disliking people
I enjoy the cheerful caw-
cawing of the rooks.

.

Milky Way.
Stretching to infinity
the spaces between people.

.
A raindrop twinkles –
Betelgeuse upon a bush
for just three minutes.

.


Hunchback woman
with long wattle wistfully
appraises my long beard.

.

Selfportrait-metamorphoto

Our comfort: measure
of our disrespect for many creatures,
many things.

.

Amphisbæna:
making love is not an act
– but an animal.

.

“Aggressive Begging” –
a hundred times more gentle than
aggressive wealth.

.

 
Pulling June nettles
it is I who am living
in the wrong context.

.


In my summer garden
my only feeling:
how much longer.

.


Check-out. Capitalism:
the religion to end
all religions.

.


Miru tokoro. Places to see.
Kita michi wa The road I came
Hakkiri chigairu. Is clearly different

.


The joy of breakfast.
The best Java coffee-beans
pass through a feline.

.

Summer-night party –
the vomit on the grass re-
flects the Milky Way.

.

Renewing themselves
in spite of all they know
they gulp down the stars.

.

A trembling poplar.
A hen shakes out her feathers.

I think of winter.

.



Yesterday’s picnic –
only a bite away
from the grave.

.


Suburban evening:
the full moon in a frog’s eye
squashed by a jogger.

.
Autumnal thicket:
shitting on fresh-fallen leaves –
‘natural painting’.

.


Cobwebs in fog.
I can’t tell my end from my beginning.

.


An old man ploughing:
the blade cuts the last furrow
and his faint shadow.

.


Cotoneaster
berries fall in the moonlight :
blood-drops of winter.

.
Full moon, December…
pale men in a sauna look like
ice-creams ovening.

.


December mud:
from it the old potter will
create his last pot.

.


Dying: no longer
missing the boat in the dark
night of the soul.


Click for more recent Hailai by Okami.


Non-haiku postscript:
The Internet:
the greatest triumph
of form over content ?

click for more recent haikai by Okami

The snow falling
tells me to stop thinking…

home page

okami

WEEDS…FALLING RAIN

a selection of Zen Haikai by

Taneda Santoka

new versions by     the poetry-wolf

Santoka, Taneda lived from 1882 until 1940, and his life hinged around the moment that he was rescued from the path of an oncoming train in a suicide attempt, and brought to a nearby Zen temple. He duly became a Zen monk and devoted his life to moneyless pilgrimage (“walking Zen”) throughout Japan, existing in complete poverty and often in some squalor. Apart from a towel and the clothes he stood up in, virtually all he possessed was just one bowl: the traditional begging-bowl in which he received alms of food or perhaps money, and from which he ate and drank. Such a bowl would have been the most intimate friend and companion. Committed to Impermanence and Solitude, as his haiku indicate, he had a continuing, deep relationship with sakè, the rice wine of Japan.

It is noteworthy that the near-totalitarian régime of pre-war Japan tolerated a man who in the West would now be pumped with mind-numbing and body-deforming drugs at the very least. His haikai were greatly appreciated by the many lovers of poetry. Sent to grateful friends and acquaintances on postcards, they were never worked on or edited. He believed that they should spring freshly from the awareness of the moment.

They are nothing like the pretty pastiches, the smug pseudo-Zen observations, that pass for haiku in the West. Santoka’s haiku are spiky, raw, Stoical. Some (printed here in italics) even criticise the militaristic government of the nineteen-thirties for its annexation of Manchuria and invasion of China prior to the Second World War.

Unpleasant days:
days I don’t walk, days without booze,
haikuless days.

Sakè for flesh, haiku for soul:
sakè is the haiku of the flesh
haiku is the sakè of the soul.

Walking on and on –
my only course.

So this is what
he calls his “tea grove” –
one miserable bush!

No water but that
trickling from
the farmer in the dry rice-field.

The thistles –
fresh and sparkling
after morning rain.

At the mountain-foot
many graves resting
in the warm sunlight.

This road straight –
and empty of company.

Going deeper
and still deeper
into green mountains.

The sunshine freshly
reflecting from
my freshly-shaven head.

Begging: I accept
the burning sun.

One pot is enough;
I wash the rice.

Shining brightly in the sunshine:
my little bowl of rice.

Within life and death
snow ceaselessly falls.

I have no home;
autumn gets bleaker.

Worn and torn daily
and falling in shreds:
my cloak for travelling.

The giant camphor-tree:
the dog and I
completely soaked.

Nice road
leading to a nice building:
a crematorium.

Rain in my eyes:
I can’t read the signpost.

The sky at sunset –
a little alcohol would taste so good.

The long night:
made even longer
by a barking dog.

The louse I’ve caught
is warmer than I am!

Nonchalantly pissing
off the road
soaking the young weeds.

Painting by Anthony Weir


Winter rain clouds –
soldiers off to China
to be blown to bits.


Marching together
on the ground their feet
will never pound again.


Leaving hands and feet
behind in China:
Japanese soldiers come home.


Will the municipality
stage a banner day
for those brought back as bones ?

Metamorphoto by Anthony Weir


Baggage I can’t throw off
so heavy front and back.

In the calm stillness
after the rainstorm:
flies.

Slowly but surely
I adopt the vices
of my dead father.

Sweat:
collecting
in my navel.

Today’s lunch:
just water.

Breaking the dead branches
thinking of nothing.

Today again
no letters.
Only butterflies.

At last!
The mail’s arrived.
Soon ripe fruit will fall.

The leaves fall.
From now on
water will taste better and better.

A little woozy,
leaves fall one by one.

My begging-bowl
accepts the falling leaves.

Hailstones also
drop into my begging-bowl.

If I sell my rags
and buy some alcohol –
will there still be loneliness ?

Twilight – the sound
of a sad letter
dropping into a postbox.

Goallessly
I walk amongst tombstones.

Slowly, slowly
falling apart:
my final autumn.

I’ve become a real beggar now:
one towel.

The few flies that remain
find me familiar.

Pissing blood –
how long will I be able
to carry on ?

Coughing, coughing –
and nobody to slap my back.

No money, no possessions,
no teeth –
all alone.

My heart’s exhausted –
the mountains, the sea
are too beautiful.

Mountains I’ll never see again
fade in the distance.

When I die:
weeds,
falling rain.

Some life remains:
I scratch my belly….

.

SANTOKA’S BUTTOCKS

on the ground, staring up

and facing down the moon.

[Okami, 2015]

.

.

A COLLECTION OF HAIKU BY SANTOKA
TRANSLATED AND INTRODUCED BY JOHN STEVENS
UNDER THE TITLE MOUNTAIN TASTING
IS PUBLISHED BY WEATHERHILL, NEW YORK AND TOKYO.

Here is a famous poem by a contemporary of Santoka,

Kaneko Mitsuharo (1895-1975)
(translated by Anthony Weir)


OPPOSITION

When I was young
I resisted school,
and now
I resist employment.

What I most hate
are property and hygiene.
There’s nothing so inhuman
as law-abiding cleanliness.

Naturally, I contradict The Spirit of our Nation.
Duty and Social Function make me vomit.
I’m against all governments everywhere
and wave my smelly cock
at the cosy cartels of
Accepted Writers.

When I’m asked what my ‘Purpose In Life’ is,
I answer: To oppose.
When I’m facing Eastwards
I go Westward.

I do up my coat and shoes the wrong way round.
I wear my trousers back to front,
and likewise ride a horse.

What everyone else hates I like.
My greatest hate of all is
consensus, unanimity, received opinion.

So I believe that to oppose
is the only splendid thing in life.
To oppose is REALLY to live.
To oppose is to connect deeply
with the spirit within.

Santoka’s Shadow >

dissident websites

THE ZZzEN OF POETRY …… THE ZEN OF NON-ENLIGHTENMENT

.

‘The mind is the idea of the body.’

– Spinoza



‘A man can do what he wants,
but not want what he wants.’

– Schopenhauer

.

There is no-one who’s enlightened.
Thinking is a rotten tree.
Truth is thinnest of thin air.
Poetry is Look-at-me !

 

 

If your mind was like mine
I’d be yours.

Your mind is like mine
and I’m yours.

My mind is like yours
and you’re mine.

Only death can make us perfect.
There is no such thing as time.

 

I wasn’t born.
I wasn’t there.
The revelation
of the world is wildness.

 

Breathing
is a religion;
there is no simplicity.

Asking myself
how to reach acceptance
I ruefully reply
There is no way.

In a world where nothing true is valued
I am almost happy to be not worth knowing.

“The sound of one hand clapping”:
The amputee applauding war.

“The sound of one hand clapping”:
Masturbation.

Zen is
what you’re sure it’s not.

THE UNMEANING OF LIFE

is that culture
is merely a distraction
from being.

RECENT RELAXING HAIKAI
2014

Even in winter
I send pictures of my garden
electronically.

Mouldy winter straw
makes me remember
old politicians.

Mothering Sunday –
hazy sweet memories
of bluebell woods.

Wind swings a window
and the countryside swerves just
before the rain comes.

Swallows from the shed
scythe through the gloaming to catch
the last daylight flies.

Fighting each other
old teazels and new poppies
embrace in the breeze.

In the bare meadow
after they harvested, the
hay-smell still lingers

They’re firing stubble.
Thus burn brief ambitions of
policy-drafters.

Gazing at brown leaves
perhaps I have understood
what haikai don’t say.

.

HAIKU HAIKU REVIEWREVIEW

“Poetry in the Anglosphere seems to be taught as a medium carrying within itself deep meaning,
deep imagery, and abstract symbolism.
As a man who grew up in a Buddhist culture, it is quite counter to my inclination.
Intricacy in poetry seems to me to glorify attachment to meaning, imagery and abstraction.
Buddhists are realists. They say ‘my right hand is my right hand’ and ‘my shit is just shit’.
There is no meaning in meaningfulness.
There is no beauty in the merely beautiful ordering of words.
Fortunately, some poetry outside the Anglosphere seems largely to be free of this tendency,
often displaying admirable qualities of bare-bones realism.” –
Suchoon Mo


You have read nothing before this.

.


Life is a death-camp of distraction.

and this is a meaningless image

more zenpoems by anthony weir

.

A would-be disciple asked Teaching Wolf:
Please help me to still my mind.
Teaching Wolf replied:
OK. Just bring me your mind and I will calm it.
After a while the would-be disciple complained:
But I can’t find my mind!
There you are, said Teaching Wolf.
You have quietened your mind all by yourself.

and this is a meaningless image

IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND
THE REAL THING

I had a friend
who had a friend
who had a stone
for a friend,
for a teacher:
a master
of silence.

HORTUS DELICIARUM

Unemployability is Religious Vocation
I, a priest of egregiousness
cursing miserable wisdom
met the Buddha of Hairiness
as we loafed together in saintliness
in the Garden of Togetherness.

Some claim to have heard the Spirit
even to have seen the Spirit – but I have
smelt the Spirit in the Garden of Togetherness.
Spirit is smell of connection,
genderless but not sexless
odour of earth, beyond tired, trite
worlds of words.

I said to the Buddha of Hairiness:
The only people who know wisdom
are those who have never imagined
that wisdom existed – and those who have not
succumbed to consciousness
but conquered it.

He showed me twins floating
silently, helplessly
in a womb beyond world,
and one was the Buddha of Hairiness
and the other was the melancholy priest.
This was the answer:

Flow beyond language, the barrage of consciousness,
flow is in smell and (naturally) in noses.
Flow is a nose as well as a smell,
and flow is breath, and stone, and death,
and orgasm needs neither friction nor fountain –
and enlightenment is a cell.

MIND

is rind around desire
Passion:
ration of our fire
Soul:
a hole of consciousness
Life:
a knife to carve the emptiness

zenpoems

HYMN TO DIOGENES OF SINOPE

Mystical experience is
chemicals in brains.
God is dogshit on your shoe.
What’s so wonderful about living ?
Nothing that we’re told is true.

SATURN REFLECTS

How wonderful
are spectacles –
obstacles
so magical
they let us see
other obstacles
(which may not be).

Spectacles
like testicles
are usually a pair.
But spectacles
are appendicles
you can choose
not to wear.

 

GRAND STYLE (TRUE OLD STORY)

Millionaire
Gordon Bennett
bought a restaurant
on entering it

And before he left
he gave it to the waiter
as a tip.

THE QUEST FOR CONVIVIALITY

Many people look for
happiness
[and some for
enlightenment‘]
who don’t know how to like
their best friend.

 

Unhappiness comes

Like sperm,
from the pursuit
of happiness and comfort.

Reality is just
a little crack
in the façade

And the façade is made of cracks.

Control birth.

Combat normality.
We are as sperm
dying in
the rectum of reality.

Mind activates awareness
Insight transcends mind
Wisdom’s a puddle, decease is catharsis
Men are honest only as they
wipe their arses.

 

Love

is Soup Dream,
Life
is Dream Soup
.

Enlightenment

is really knowing who you really are:
an animal with pretensions.

Words are

the darkness speaking as light
pretending that comfort
is other than night.

 

TANTRA-MANTRA

Once you have understanding
throw that understanding away
and look for a new one,
like breath after breath,
for having is clinging.
True happiness comes
when you no longer hold on to happiness:
for the spirit needs desolation
as much as the body needs death.

 

AFTER A POEM ENTITLED “SLAVE BOY”
by Yusuf ibn Harun al-Ramadi (died 1022 CE)

They shaved his head
to make him unattractive,
for his beauty made them
mean.

They kicked out the night.
They abandoned him to dawn.

HOPE

Language is the opiate
from which the most
addictive drug is
manufactured by the brain.

MIDNIGHT AT THE CROSSROADS OF AWARENESS

Wisdom is the road to wisdom
The dust upon the road is love
The road is made of dust
Is unimaginably short
Wisdom unimaginably brief
Deep upon the road love lies
Burying the corpses of the almost-wise.

THE TRIUMPH OF CONSUMERISM

Now here:
nowhere.

In the sixth-floor café

of the Museum of Used Condoms
(run by the Anti-natalist, Anti-vivisection Society of Vegans)
(admission free – schoolchildren get a present from Santa)
I thought:
Every lament is merry
and every hurrah is sorry.

FOR SALE

on eBay
antique soul
travelled half-way
to hell and back
unwanted gift
no reserve
supplied with shadow

LIVING

is mystery.

Insight
is misery

as living is
for those and every
living thing
that suffers from
Man’s insightlessness.

PEACE

is the lull
between the lightning
and the thunder.
Language is
evolution’s greatest blunder.
Words
fall,
fail.

The happy bonobo’s unhappy cousins

gazed at god-droppings
and called them planets and stars,
then, ever tortured by restlessness,
decided to colonise Mars.

 

EK STASIS

In the soulzone
Conscious in the
Ancient armpit
Of the Unconscious
At every moment
And the beginning
And the end of time
Any tree is more wonderful
Than any work of art
And all that matters
Is awareness
That nothing matters
And fulfilment is
To fall apart.

zenpoems by anthony weir

‘You are what you eat.’
So much dead meat.

THESE ALSO

Are the Rights of Man:
To wear no clothes
To be illiterate
To have no name.

THE ZEN OF GRAMMAR

all objects are subjects.

COMPASSION
with thanks to Brekena Smajli

Compassion is flame
and the ashes of the fire.
Compassion is crossed fingers behind your back
as your shoulders hunch like a crone’s.
Compassion is the corpse floating in your eyes.
Compassion is the burying of stones.

THE NEAREST TO JOY

The nearest to joy
I have known in my fog
of awareness
was seeing
the happiness
of a dog.

HELIUM

Our planet is running
out of the second
most common element
in the universe.

 

ALONE, BY THE RIVER AVEYRON (after Tu-Fu)

The pain that beauty brings to me might seem to you
ridiculous, but I’m not half-crazed – not
with alcohol or cannabis, and not by madness
or by love. Springtime is frightening
as the biosphere ploughs on so pluckily to its doom.
I am lucky, I will die soon – none too soon –
but this gorgeous river and its bird-filled banks
will die slowly, become an ooze,
a miasma in its gorge.
Little buds, open carefully! The whole planet
is a grave already and will become another grave.
Stratum on stratum, grave upon grave the earth;

and we in our vainglory think our species is significant –
because we have dreamed up significance and worth.

NO PITY FOR THE YOUNG

My foreskin is a
cap upon a pen that writes
unbridgeable sighs.

Most texts are greater than the writer.


Moon-Man

BETWEEN THE CANDLE AND THE WALL

I walk among ghosts
for whom cleverness,
the lies of history
and education
are worth a whole world
more than wilderness
or mystery
or revelation.

DAYS

are for getting through
and then
forgetting.

THE WHOLE WORLD IS A
HOSPITAL
In memoriam Osho

Connection is the door
to the perfectly gentle sore.
Religion is a luxury and not a leap:
“You need a Master when you are
asleep.”

 

A PAGE FROM THE HANDBOOK OF HEARTBREAK

“Men have lovely bums,” you said.
Yes indeed, lovely bums,
hairy bums…
and their hearts aren’t far past
the diaper stage –
which is why I gave up
lust and rage.

BIG BANG

In the Beginning
God burst like a Balloon
Showering the World
With dirty shreds
Of indestructible Hypocrisy.


Full moon above the landfill-site:

Rubbish displays intelligence as trash.

 

Remaining perfect,

my dog failed to see
two butterflies on his bone.

A teeming ant’s nest –

mind, examining itself,
finds only matter.

ABOUT WISDOM

AFTER A PRAYER BY TJAGARAJA (1767-1847)
sung to the Rag Shri Ranjani

O wisdom – enchanter – was I greedy for fame?
Did I lie and deceive to gain reputation
as your greatest servant ?

Did I stoop to currying favour with worthless
people of position and power ?

Did I worry about status or money ?
For those who wish to retain their integrity
the only place to be is under your feet
and whether we wash or not, walk clothed or naked,
live or die
is of utmost irrelevance.

postscript

I studied seven years with
my Zen Master.
I learned the secret of life
as easily as falling off a log.
I learned to play
tug-of-war with a yard-brush.
My master was a Bodhisattva.
My master was a dog.

 

 Santoka’s buttocks
on the ground staring up and
facing down the moon.

.

Knowledge comes in bottles, wisdom in a dirty cup.

Drafts and jottings.

HAIKU

Winter and summer
up their well-worked arses:
the haiku-writers.

Barbaric Work in Barbaric Progress.

NAM POESIN QUÆ ADMIRATIONEM NON HABET NULLAM IUDICO

Combat Normality

“The more conscious we are, the more mechanical we become.”
– John Gray, in STRAW DOGS

“You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm.
Once you were apes, and even now man is more of an ape than any ape.
But he who is the wisest among you, he also is only a discord and hybrid of plant and ghost.”
Nietzsche, in Thus Spake Zarathustra

Because ‘intelligence’ is little more than self-flattery,
war is the only evolutionary means of limiting human overpopulation.

“School is ruining my life.”Sam Agar-Francis, aged 5.

_____________________________________

13b². ‘POETS’

who spend their time
trying to be published
and then established
waste their time.

The poem I dislike the most
is that famous one by Robert Frost.
It is so pat, so smug,
so done to death by repetition
by the self-congratulating rich
that I wish he’d fallen in a ditch
onto a pile of corpses
beside the road not taken.

.

3. TERROR

Happiness is
terrible
Happiness is
absence of desire
Fulfilment of desire is America
Desire is what the Mummy-Lords decree
Where is a child who is born free ?

.

5. WHAT

I know about beatitude
is that joy is surfing the void,
and love is the transcendence
of presence,
and happiness is just
the generosity of gratitude.

.

INNER AND OUTER

health-tip for men:
wank every week
even if you don’t want to
and wash twice a year
even if you don’t need to.

.

497². OUROBOROS WHISPERS

There aren’t enough zeros.

.

¾. TAKE THIS APPLE
(FOOD FOR THOUGHT)

There is surely no religion
whose priests and elders refused themselves
privileged sexual, often secret
access to the shameful joys
so easily available from pre-pubescent
girls and boys.

.

COBRA

Eye to eye
Serpent and I
Utterly harmless
Loving each other
Both of us mystic
Born out of myth
Encircling
Sexual
Insinuating
Each of us pulled
Invisibly
And ineluctably
Until we die
Eye to eye

.

THE MEANING OF LIFE

It is enough
to picture blind conspiracy
of molecules – of stuff
and anti-stuff.

The revelation of the world
is wildness.

Bibulous crocodiles,
the vacant eyes of adolescents:
people give drugs
a bad name.

.

THE SECRET OF CIVILISED  LIFE

is to choose the right drugs,
then the music and food and friends.
Everything else – including philosophy –
merely supports or appends.

Hot steel on a heifer.
A nation is not a country
nor a people –
but a brand.

.

Mystery
is history.
But dirt is always with us.
Poems are not even dirt.

.

CHOOSE A TITLE

.

11. ON WAKING UP

I never can get used
to constant resurrection.

Everyone else
seems to wake up dead.

I run the risk
of daily infection.

I wish they’d all join
a Cult of the Bed.

.

Dogs are the best in bed,
for they are happy
and don’t want more
or less than
happiness,
unlike humans.

23.

Of the states of happiness
I’ll mention one of three:
acceptance that you’re as
happy as you’ll ever be.

.

A COMMENT ON MONOTHEISTIC RELIGIONS OF SELF

Even if I had a soul,
why would I think it worth saving ?

Silence.
No mirrors.

.

347.

We are the only species
whose members
cannot size up each other
on sight or smell.

Is this intelligence ?

.

MIROIR-MOUROIR

Never
is where most
people live
in fatuous
endeavour.

Though I’m a
contemptuous
kind of
holy ghost,
I’m not so clever.

.

13. LOVE

is what we long for when we lack it
and stray or run from when we don’t.

Hence the love-racket.

IN MEMORY OF FERNANDO PESSOA

A poet is not respected
without parade.
A poet is not even acknowledged
without performance.
It is difficult being a poet
when you respect words
and meaning, and not performance
and not parade;
and not publication,
because soon the world will end
in famine, war and stultification.

.

999.

The cleverest people
are those clever people who
can make the stupid
less stupid.

If there have ever been any…

for stupidity constantly
cleverly
re-invents itself.

.

MADE TO FEEL

If you haven’t a house you’re made to feel homeless
If you don’t have employment you’re told you are worthless
If you don’t have friends you’re made to feel lonely
If you haven’t ambition you’re told you are aimless
If you don’t have children you’re made to feel childless
If you don’t have religion you’re told you are faithless
If you haven’t hypocrisy you’ll know you’re not human

.

33. SELF-PORTRAIT

I am not a person, but a place
of thistly thought. Like a disquiet
I write spiky silences beyond
the terrifying noise.
Life is just glue
between unmatching shards.
Grace is stone, fur, fruit, catastrophe.
Timid, perceptive, aslant, aloof, impetuous,
I find that only ‘grass’ and alcohol
make living seem a little less than fatuous.

.

LIVING BOOK-TRADE

The Human Library
has not recruited me as a living,
vegetarian, vasectomised,
trichophilous, cynophilous, atheist,
almost Irish,
poetical, dissident, misanthropic,
unhygienic Living Book with a beard,
a slim volume, never employed, or held
or beholden

who quietly cheered
when he heard that the hubristic,
crypto-totalitarian towers
of exploitation and greed and military-
industrial-economic-government terror
were blown up. I am, in fact,
unavailable for loan. I noticed that
the What Is ?  page of the
The Living Library of Unreconstructed Life
was inelegantly-expressed,
and had more than one spelling error.

42. ANGST
a poem in
TOKI PONA

Ijo li moku e mi.
Mi wile pakala.
Pimeja li tawa insa mi kon.
Jan ala li ken sona e pilin ike mi.
Toki musi O, antesona laso!
Sina jan pona mi wan taso.
Telo pimeja ni li telo loje mi, li ale mi.

Tenpo ale la pimeja li lon.

.

A NEO-BEKTASHI POEM
inspired by Boris Poplavski and Omar Khayyám

We saints reject immortality
We don’t want blessedness
We ignore fear and desire
We starve our sorrow
We despise prizes and punishment
For we and all are as beautiful
as rats in a sewer
and as individually perfect
as shit.

36. BECAUSE

we have language
as well as desire
sex makes liars of us all.

.

19. HYMN TO DIOGENES OF SINOPE
ON MY BIRTHDAY

Now I’m 66 and I have a travel-pass
and I don’t do up my fly
and my trousers smell of piss

and family and riches and career
have passed me by
and I’m sipping cognac by the fire
in France, composing this.

Alcohol’s a tender friend
if you treat her with respect –
like dogs – and unlike men
who’ll stifle you, unchecked.

Man is the cancer of the world
evolution turned to tumour,
mainly because he has an
undeveloped sense of humour..

55¼. BACK IN BED

When I called the Speaking Clock
I didn’t get a shock
on hearing:
‘TIME
IS MERELY PART OF YOU THAT’S DEAD’.

.

to Clive James in memory of Leoš Janácek and WB Yeats

The late sublime
requires a consciousness
ripened
not rotted
by corrosive time.

.

« Il est plus facile d’écrire un mauvais poème que d’en comprendre un bon. »
‘It is easier to write a bad poem than to understand a good one.’

Quotations from Montaigne
Michel de Montaigne

.

2. HOMELESS

God lived in a hotel
because he sent the architect
and builders of his mansion
down to Hell
before the foundations
were finished.

He died in his bed.
And everybody went on earning money.

Jesus said
friends are to respect
families to flee from.

The kindest cut
The kindest destiny:
vasectomy.

.

OVERCOMING CONSCIOUSNESS

Against Nietzsche’s
injunction to become
what you are
must be set Rumi’s
observation that
your life is not your own.

.

55¾. RUEFUL

Torturers get
very tired.

.

PROTEST SONG

Hey X (Hey Y, Hey Z…) – Damn you!
You’re like something I’d scrape from the sole of my shoe.
You…and your dribbly, knobbly dick…
your idea of ‘sex’ makes me laugh…and then sick.
You’re just another failed masturbator.
You dribbled and left –
and I had great sex with myself a day later.

1309.

Those hackneyed lines about
diverging roads
and ‘the one less traveled by’
make me sigh
and groan – for ‘I
did it my way’ and took
no road, no path,
but stood about
and sort of drifted
as a transcendental lout.

.

The art best cultivated

is the art of waiting
for the art of being still

or for the strength of clay
that can resist the potter’s will.

.

0.12341.

All the world’s Great Art
is merely décor for
degraded consciousness
.

.

INSPIRED (?)
by
the Lithuanian poet
SIGITAS GEDA

Poems
or
quasi-
poems
that
have to be
read like
this are
like
banal
and ugly
and totemic
sky
scrapers
which blot out
the light
and
turn those
inside into
zombies
and beckon
self-sacrificing
pilots
towards
a glorious
eternity

.

21. THE BIG

step to freedom
is to have no interest in what others think of you.
Or to cut off your feet.

.

Since we outbred

the Neanderthals
we’re unhappy about
cannibals

and insatiable.

.

WE KNOW ONLY -2% OF LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING

The Gap Between the Worlds
is the universe
of unseen mirrors.

.

20. SOME HOPE II

Enlightenment is just an
extreme form of resignation.

From the oppression of optimism
comes the emptiness of democracy.

.

This planet

is an amazing
conversation
which you and I
are stifling
to a sigh.

.

666. MY REVENGE

against my unknown father
is the silence of my murdered sperm.

7. THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA OF NOTHING

Work also is a drug
We will addict ourselves to anything

The workless
often sell their labour
and existence to the dealers
of heroin and crystal meth,
as billions are
employment-drugged

The less-perceptible dealers
are shopkeepers, teachers
(none are more suspect than those who teach)
social workers, poets…
terrorists of decency
beyond rational reach
behind tills and office-desks, computers,
X-ray machines and counters –

encyclopædias of emptiness

all with caves beneath their skin
which hold their first and their last vomiting,
the tragedies of Athens and every human sin,
the unconquerable violence
of nothing.

.

8. SOLITUDE IS A GREAT RESOURCE

Of all renunciations
the most difficult is grief
the most certain is life.

Winning
is childish.
The most childish
win.

Apart from dogs,

less than a handful of people that I’ve met
are better companions than my thoughts.

.

JUST ANOTHER RAPE ?

In waste-pain of ruin the lost jerk and squirm
and dissolve into nothing but ruin
and pain-waste of human connection
to world and to human…

The best of Man is his ruins.

Sperm doesn’t care
whose cock it dribbles from.
Shelves in the food-halls
of terrible towers
are stacked with prices and corpses:
“Le bonheur est dans le prix.
As famine hobbles and crawls
I am the nothing around which spins
the vainglory which I despise.
What I experience as suffering
is just the knowledge that
(like the spat sperm which forced me into life)
I’m floating in the sea of suffering,
and my contempt is nothing
but a drop of slime
upon the infinitely deep and crumbling
well-shaft of time.

Those who believe in gods or a god and paradise
think they’re not animals,
and freely force themselves to be
the zombies that the mummy-lords decree.

God knows:
wisdom is the opposite of love
(which is elaborate appropriation)
– and the instrument
most suitable for the operation
of writing poems
is a spade.

I saw God again
the other day
digging up bones
behind the slaughterhouse of right and wrong
in an old fur coat the colour of antique jade.

135. SOME HOPE I

I do not wish
to be more
than the whisper
of heart
before silence.

Death is the greatest gift to the living.

.

Non-penetrative ‘sex’

is to the cruder kind
as Dhrupad is to Opera.

.

26a

It often has been
(always will be said)
that buggery’s an
‘unnatural’ enjoyment
– and so it is:
just as unnatural as
‘paid employment’.

.

1. How wrong

that people
would rather be right
than be understanding.

.

13. AFTER ADORNO

Novels are anecdotal.
Poems get more trivial.

.

46. LINES TO SÉAMUS

A poem is a kind of rumour
that goes nowhere
unless you’re famous.

333a.

The only human artefact
visible from outer space
is the Great Wall of China.

The forests have gone,
the seas are sick,
the earth is a ravaged vagina
crawling with walls.
Such pettiness, and such insanity!
Fences and barriers define humanity.

.

LIBERATION SQUARE
for Hauke Hückstadt

It might be called Liberation Square
the terrible, teeming concourse where
two cheerful girls with Down’s Syndrome
and time-bombs strapped to them
were dumped at what is euphemistically
called Pets’ Market
to kill as many people as they innocently might.

It might well have been
a pitiful release
a mercy beyond measure
for the poor
starved, degraded
cowering, cage-fouling,
panic-stricken animals
tormented in the gulags of our pleasure.

.

Education:

When the blind
lecture the deaf

How futile
are the prophecies!

.

DAYS

My correspondent wrote:
“I hope your day is being good to you.”
He is American, of course.

Days are often good to me.

But am I good to days ?
Check out the Day-Abuse Website
to read about how horrible people can also be
to nice, harmless, passing days
which just want to go by quietly
without too much noise, except
(what can they expect ?) around volcanoes
which they learned about at Day School
from the Ancient of Days
who had a Santa beard, and was an uncircumcised
collector of foreskins,
and lived on top of cloudy pillars.

He’s dead now,
killed by Christians,
whom Jews might be justified in calling God-killers.

There is no Truth
There is no Oneness
There is no God

And the One True God is
Suicide.

.

CHILDREN OF AFRICA
(a homage to Hans Magnus Enzensberger)

There is more variety in vegetables than in people
and I can eat them
without risk of prosecution,
courtroom mumbo-jumbo
and life-imprisonment.
There are 4,119 kinds of cultivated potato,
but people all seem the same,

unearthy.

Hyænas love tanks
or more particularly their dead crews.
Hyænas eat up their dinners
and don’t think of the starving
children of Africa.
Only humans can be sinners.

.

SELF-PORTRAIT IN A WARDROBE

a rag
beneath an endless rail
of empty, clinking
coathangers

.

ALL BLOOD TASTES THE SAME

Men’s armpits in their natural state
have a range of smells
– fennel, ginger,
leather, horse, ripe date,
pipe-tobacco, damp logs –
but their balls
all smell the same

though maybe not to dogs.

CHRISTMAS

The illusion of giving.
The squalor of selling.

.

THE UNDERWHELMINGNESS OF EJACULATION

Sexuality and I have had
‘poor connectivity’.
I am not good at connection –
perhaps because I over-value
the illusion of autonomy.

The surrender of autonomy
is pain. Death
the permanent surrender
of mere consciousness.

.

HISTORY

To a greater
or a lesser
degree of other
people’s pain
all leaders
all desperate achievers
are insane

.

OXYMORONIC

Poetry
Workshop

.

A MAN IN JAPAN

conducted his
symphony orchestra

without his
cancerous
windpipe
(or œsophagus),

and received
a standing ovation
which lasted 10 minutes.

Japan also has
an unknown number
perhaps a hundred
thousand hermits,
drop-outs, solitaries

who conduct their lives
minimally –
all in their private
penitentiaries.

.

THE IMITATION OF DIOGENES

Avoiding breeders
meat-eaters
and hypocrites
that is to say
most people
my chief accomplishment
is to enjoy being alone

For this I am grateful
to plants
and dogs
and weather
and water
and stone

.

THE SECRET OF LIFE

Le secret de la vie
c’est d’être content
en la détestant.

We define ourselves
by allegiance, hatred
and religion.
We are the only hating species,
and if we were benign
we would not have
invented religions.

The secret of life
is to hate it
and be happy.

.

THE TRIUMPH OF CONSUMERISM

Now here
and everywhere:
nowhere.

TRUFFLES

There’s gotta be a reason
why the underneaths of
happy foreskins smell
of truffles.
And does Heaven’s Great Collector
eat them, or does he
just sniff His Great Collection
from age to age, yea, unto Eternity ?
Do Jews eat truffles ?
Or Muslims ?
As for me, I find, will find, have found
the perfume of my cock
not just more exquisite
but a helluvalot cheaper
than mere truffles
– and available – to hand –
all year round.

.

A WASHING POEM

The best thing about the Tuareg
is that they never wash their bodies.
I wash my hands several times a day
My face (briefly) twice;

My brain remains unwashed.

.

UNWASHED

At this point I will say
that the only time
I take a bath
or shower
is after I get
too close
to the deodorised
and hypocrites –

But I keep well
away

(and my lovers love my smell).

.

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF CONFUCIUS ?

At 20 I wanted to be a Philosopher.
At 30 I wanted to be a Poet.
At 40 I explored a tiny corner of the Empire of the Senses.
At 50 I entered the Grottoes of Angst.
At 60 I rose up from the Depths of Despair,
despising, but not necessarily disliking, human beings.
At 70 I hope I will be rotting in the thicket
where I planted many trees and avoided using shears,
and which by then I hope will be impenetrable.

If I live to 80, alas! I will not have got the guts
happily to end my superfluity of years.

.

POETIC ESSAY
(after listening to William Trevor’s
“Sacred Statues” on the radio.)

In Ancient Greece
men in their forties and older
had affectionate relationships
with teenagers – involving
genitals but probably not
arseholes. This, of course,
is perfectly natural where
it is not taboo.

In Ancient Greece
unwanted babies were put
in special places for the childless
to adopt or the wolves to eat.
Wolves are admirable animals
alleged to foster human infants,
especially twins.

Why cannot unwanted babies now
anywhere be brought or sent to a
recycling centre
for the childless and the lupine to adopt ?

‘Because they might be used for sex’
(you may reply) – which is rather worse
than being devoured by hungry wolves.
But in a culture where babies
could be swapped and passed on,
and mature men could have inductive,
pagan-godfathering relationships with boys,
our bogeymen would not be child-buggerers,
but perhaps the heartless people
who, in fact and in effect,
keep the debilitated old alive in limbos
of dead comfort, confusion and neglect.

.

THE GAP BETWEEN THE WORLDS

is the great consciousness between
truth and fiction
sleeping and waking
singing and talking
art and science
imagination and insight
sex and gender
love and happiness
inspiration and expiration
death and glory
desires and terrors
the left brain and the right –

is the universe
of unseen mirrors.

.

789.

I dreamed I asked Diogenes
What is the most evil thing on earth ?

You mean, apart from
human sperm and Devil’s Turds ?

he laughed.
My answer’s obvious, ironic:
words.

.

WRITING HOME IN 2058

Nothing
to write home about.

.

I’M ALWAYS HAPPY

when I feel I’m dying.

.

HAIKAI

White Chinese Dragon
in a snowy Chinese field.
Divine self-effacement.

White Chinese Dragon
on a snowy Chinese field.
Divine self-effacement.

*

Winter and summer
up their well-worked arses:
the haiku-writers.

Humans are horrible.
Humans are vile.
But they’ll all be
gone in a while…

more in my blog >>>

.

PERHAPS…

a poem to be read aloud
before a crowd

.

PERHAPS

truth is the first casualty of culture.


PERHAPS

a truth is a truth
only until it is
accepted.


PERHAPS

what we call ‘intelligence’
is Enhanced Stupidity
(or do I mean cupidity ?) –
for if mankind was better than dysfunctional,
had true intelligence,
and was not obsessed by gain,
he would have devoted it entirely
to sensual pleasure and being beautifully
happy, rather than 
to trashing a world
that he truly filled with pain…


PERHAPS

the most wonderful 
word I know
is
I N T E R I M


PERHAPS

sharing
is better than
just caring.


PERHAPS

I am because
you are
and I don’t know
who you are.


PERHAPS

I am not a person, but a place
of thistly thought.


PERHAPS

a poem’s a small echo
heard through deadly noise.


PERHAPS

the most destructive liberty
is calumny.


PERHAPS

a good sexual partner
is someone who can do and enjoy
more than two things at a time.


PERHAPS

it is only when people are out of harmony
with themselves and others
that sex assumes grotesque importance.


PERHAPS

we are hungry ghosts,
all equal
in our emptiness.
Perhaps 
‘enlightenment’ 
is elegantly-doing
nothing.


PERHAPS

what the hungry ghosts call
life
is merely virtual
for the very few who
live.

PERHAPS

the more you know
the more you do not know.

PERHAPS

marriage is the ashtray
of romance.


PERHAPS

their ‘crimes against humanity’
are nothing compared with
our crimes against nature

every day.


PERHAPS

true soldiers
shoot themselves.

PERHAPS

the most terrifying cliché
is
“while / where there’s life there’s hope”.


PERHAPS

the greatest achievement is
stillness.

PERHAPS

we are our genitals
(to a large extent).
Men— rigid, wilful
driving home intentions,
points and arguments
to prove their prime;
Women— pliant,
generous, fluent, subtle
(at least some of the time).


PERHAPS

love is the most
expensive way to learn humility.


PERHAPS

to love solitude
is to know happiness.


PERHAPS

respectability
is the worst kind of
corruption.

PERHAPS

gentleness
is preferable to
kindness.


PERHAPS

‘god’ is in each of us,
armpit and arsehole,
foreskin and vulva,
cancer and pustule,
dandruff and fæces –

while ‘the devil’ is in
words and theses.

PERHAPS

religion is
at best
the politics of the supernatural,
and
at worst
the economics of superstition.

PERHAPS

the best thing about the Tuareg
is that they never wash.

PERHAPS

education
acts on the mind of a child
as a Trojan virus does
on a computer.


PERHAPS

the logical materialism of our civilisation
owes much more to materialism
than to logic.

PERHAPS

progress should be measured by
the diminution of the self,
not the world.

PERHAPS

poetry is not ‘the best words
in the best order’, 
but the tautest expression
of the fiercest thoughts.


PERHAPS

life is
piles of trivialities
until the last supper
intravenously
way beyond hope.


PERHAPS

as knowledge of minutiæ increases
wisdom declines.


PERHAPS

a tombstone
is attachment
petrified.


PERHAPS

the earth was formed
from the smashed womb
of the Angel of Suicide.


PERHAPS

in the Beginning
was no word,
for words
are outcry
of absence.


PERHAPS

the hair around my heart
was always grey.


PERHAPS

a genius is someone
born with exactly the right psychoses
at the right place
at the right moment.


PERHAPS

people who miss people
really miss themselves.

PERHAPS

the only vacuum
is the space between people.
The rest is connectivity.

PERHAPS

deep down
most of us are
shallow graves.

PERHAPS

only cruelty is more despicable
than self-promotion.

PERHAPS

the culture of capitalism
is the decoration of greed.

PERHAPS

because humans
live like humans
inhumanely,
animals
can’t live as animals.

PERHAPS

the most liberating freedom
a person can enjoy is 
the freedom from wanting
the approval of others – an attitude 
which, of course, depends on
freedom from oppressive family
and the fear of solitude.

PERHAPS

in the end
everything is food
and death.


PERHAPS

the personal
is the political
only
when the personal
is just for show.


PERHAPS

‘the intelligentsia’
is a mafia because
none of them is
intelligent enough
to be dissonant
or dissident.


PERHAPS

purpose is the last religion,
(whose chief and murderous god is money).


PERHAPS

no philosophy
is worth expressing.


PERHAPS

even the poor
have more money than sense


PERHAPS

it is enough
to picture blind conspiracy
of molecules – of stuff
and anti-stuff.

PERHAPS

consciousness
is a wound.

PERHAPS

the first step towards wisdom
is to cut off your feet


PERHAPS

it’s not what’s going on that matters
but what’s going off.


PERHAPS

nothing that is guarded
is worth having.


PERHAPS

without God
or gods
we would still be in Paradise.


PERHAPS

silence is the truest
depth within us.


PERHAPS

opprobrium is more 
trustworthy than praise.


PERHAPS

it is a blessing
to gain the hate
of the hateful

who are legion.


PERHAPS

obedience is 
not humility.


PERHAPS

thinking is not doing
but refracting.


PERHAPS

thinking about thinking
is becoming.

PERHAPS

the Evil Empire is not capitalism
but the family.


PERHAPS

some of us aren’t born 
with a vacuum inside.

PERHAPS

happiness comes
not when the unfillable hole is blocked
but when the wound is healed by licking.


PERHAPS

the core of confidence
is humility.
Or, to put it another way,
true confidence is humble.


PERHAPS

poetry is not
‘the best words in the best order’,
but the tautest expression
of the fiercest thoughts.


PERHAPS

philosophy is distraction
from distraction
by distraction.


PERHAPS

it is because anger
is the most genuine emotion
that it is the one
least countenanced.


PERHAPS

time 
i
n the toilet of the restaurant
at the end of the universe
is very sick.

PERHAPS

the only art
to have much improved
since prehistoric times
is the art of war.


PERHAPS

the most addictive video-game is
sex.


PERHAPS

sex is better on your own,
since nothing that you do is false.

PERHAPS

what most people think is
social harmony
is just inertia.


PERHAPS

optimism
is never more than
shallow.


PERHAPS

most human activity is needless –
– except the prevention of human activity.


PERHAPS

the finest human achievement
is the undoing of human achievement.


PERHAPS

the best of man is his ruins.


PERHAPS

Life is
Death masturbating.


PERHAPS

dying is when everything has gone
except the feeling of going.


PERHAPS

every opinion is smug
– even this one.


PERHAPS

marriage is the ash-tray
of romance.


PERHAPS

testosterone
has wrecked a million
times more lives than heroin.


PERHAPS

the most destructive drug
is work
.

PERHAPS

we were all ‘Best Before
we were born.

PERHAPS

the worst thing
that can befall a writer
is to be published.

PERHAPS

the Coca-Cola of love needs to be tasted
before the wine of friendship can be fully appreciated.


PERHAPS

it is kinder
to be a pædophile
than to be a
meat-eater…


PERHAPS

…kinder still
not to have children.


PERHAPS

the keenest Christians
and Muslims have always been murderous.


PERHAPS

what is sacred
is secret –
which is perhaps why holy books
are no more
and no less

than literature.

PERHAPS

success
is a lead balloon
for airheads,
while failure
is the comfort
of philosophers.


PERHAPS

children don’t know they are
plans
and adults don’t know they are
ruins.


PERHAPS

the object of Democracy
is to ensure that everyone
practises
‘decently’
the same hypocrisy.


PERHAPS

the greatest evil
is its celebration of itself.


PERHAPS

the greatest evil
is the most basic
desire.


PERHAPS

the world is ruled
by strengthless dead
in dodgem cars.


PERHAPS

the greatest power is
no-power:
a molecule of air.


PERHAPS

love is the other side
of a coin.

PERHAPS

‘soul’ is just a fancy name
for misery.


PERHAPS

Osama bin Laden
was a most interesting
latter-day fusion
of Agamemnon
with Odysseus.


PERHAPS

the best that one can be
is useless.


PERHAPS

wisdom
is dark.
and stupidity
is blinding light.


PERHAPS

mind, too
is shit.


PERHAPS

it is the trivial people
not the serious
who need to ‘lighten up’.


PERHAPS

every ‘middle-class’ value
is false.


PERHAPS

the basic Human Problem
is that human imagination
is not compatible
with possibility.


PERHAPS

sex is silly –
though sometimes it seems
majestic.


PERHAPS

the biggest mistake
one can make 
is to take
oneself
seriously.


PERHAPS

Anglophones
are good at catching shoplifters
because they are always looking sideways.


PERHAPS

shadows
are the illuminations
of the secret.


PERHAPS

desire is what the Mummy-Lords decree.

PERHAPS

Christian Heaven
is as sterile
as a hospital
without a single animal.

PERHAPS

Never
is where most
people live.

PERHAPS

The Good Life is
doing nothing
disgracefully gracefully.


PERHAPS

there is nothing to understand
because meaning
is meaningless.


PERHAPS

who is dead, and who’s alive
is often mere opinion.


PERHAPS

war can be abolished
only by abolishing armies.


PERHAPS

most people would rather
be entertained than wise
– or happy!


PERHAPS

the only humility possible
within our culture
is anonymity.


PERHAPS

the only good property
is the property nobody wants.

PERHAPS

only nihilists
can be happy
in an urban culture.


PERHAPS

words corrupt
everything they seem
to describe.


PERHAPS

you are an egg
waiting to be hatched.


PERHAPS

the madness
of mass-murderers
is unexceptional.


PERHAPS

even the brightest
of us do not know
what to do with
our intelligence.


PERHAPS

to call someone ‘negative’
is 
a fairly negative thing to do.


PERHAPS

only some beggars
are not corrupt.


PERHAPS

all frontiers are sordid.

PERHAPS

the most powerful word
is not Exterminate!
but
but.


PERHAPS

our minds are ruled by stories,
and perhaps every story is false.


PERHAPS

the process of embalming
starts soon after birth.


PERHAPS

the brain and the heart
are houses without air.


PERHAPS

for those who are into self-harm
and guilt,
Jesus is a Godsend.


PERHAPS

more love is involved
in planting trees
than ‘having sex’.

Why do human babies cry ?
PERHAPS

because human life
is such an outrageous
imposition;
or because human consciousness
is a kind of
continual drowning…


PERHAPS

I am
a bubble of being
outside the bubble
of breeding, of meat-
eaters – almost
a ghetto of one.


PERHAPS

knowing
is just another form of
having –
a substitute for
being.


PERHAPS

the more that humans achieve
the emptier they become.


PERHAPS

apart from our turds
(which dung-beetles like)
and our corpses
(which vultures value)
and our blood
(which nourishes leeches)
and our bones
(which dogs love to bury)
the only good thing that humans produce
(and which few other animals appreciate
is music.


PERHAPS

Grace
is stone, fur, fruit
catastrophe.


PERHAPS

God is disease
of idea.


PERHAPS

God is a tree.


PERHAPS

life is
the cheapest thing on the planet.


PERHAPS

the only freedom from
is the freedom from desire
(including the desire to live)
– and the only freedom to
is the freedom to die happy.


PERHAPS

religion
is Jihad
against sanity.


PERHAPS

Original Sin
is taking yourself
seriously.


PERHAPS

terrorism
corrupts terrorists
just as consumption
corrupts consumers.


PERHAPS

the only desire
not trivial
is the desire for death.


PERHAPS

the world is turning
into desert
and cities.


PERHAPS

we are encyclopædias
of emptiness.


PERHAPS

‘intelligence’ 
is just a fancy word
for ‘pathological cunning’ –
and against it we
and the world
have no defence.


PERHAPS

life
is a knife
in dying air.


PERHAPS

dissidents
are just the few and only people
who dare – or bother – to think.


PERHAPS

war
is peace on the rampage.


PERHAPS

what unites most people
is the refusal to see
the pity of things.


PERHAPS

memories
are the scabs of consciousness.


PERHAPS

truth
is something more lost
than gained.


PERHAPS

music
is in the instrument not made.


PERHAPS

for a dog
god also is a smell.


PERHAPS

oil, not tears,
issues from the eyes of Islam
(which perhaps is pissing blood).

PERHAPS

every institution
defeats its purpose.


PERHAPS

you are truly alone
when you have no-one
to say Good-bye to.


PERHAPS

God and Love
are disease
when joined together.


PERHAPS

evil prospers
because comfort corrupts.


PERHAPS

the Garden of Eden was
WILD.


PERHAPS

passion
is the friction
between doing
and being.


PERHAPS

death
is the
Museum of Enlightenment.


PERHAPS

‘enlightenment’ is just an
extreme form of resignation.

PERHAPS

sympathy is just a little
more than an extension of
self-pity.


PERHAPS

of all renunciations
the most difficult is loss.


PERHAPS

this European culture that we treasure
is just the gulag of our pleasure.


PERHAPS

the secret of life
is to hate it
and be happy.


PERHAPS

death is the greatest gift to the living.


PERHAPS

housework
is better done in the dark:
it’s so much easier
and leaves the day free
for sleep or the tending of plants.

PERHAPS

the same is not so true for sex.


PERHAPS

the worst invention of all time
(apart from writing 
and the measurement of time itself)
is the Water Closet – the start
of a sewage treatment system
that wastefully, expensively
breaks down, disperses
our excrements, thus squandering 
one of the world’s
most renewable resources.


PERHAPS

as rare as the Unicorn
is the believer of good faith.


PERHAPS

the stupidest thing
about The Only Stupid Species
is that, unlike really
successful animals like rats,
cockroaches, spiders
and many other beasts
of true distinction,
we refuse to eat our dead.


PERHAPS

depression
is a trick
of consciousness which
we take too seriously.


PERHAPS

God has a terrible defect:
like Stalin, He hates intellect.


PERHAPS

rot is not death
– but life everlasting.


PERHAPS

because I talk to Death
and not to God
the latter says I am a fraud.
The former kisses me
on bended knee –
I hold my breath.

PERHAPS

marriage
is an early symptom
of senility.

PERHAPS

’empowerment’
is just an easier kind of
enslavement.


PERHAPS

everything human
is corrupted with desire.


PERHAPS

only through grief
will happiness emerge.


PERHAPS

in wishing the worst for humanity
I wish the best for the world.


PERHAPS

to be single is not a curse
but an accomplishment.


PERHAPS

it is way too late
for us to have a future.


PERHAPS

it’s not ‘love’
that ‘makes the world
go round’ –
but the seizing
and abuse of power.


PERHAPS

those who most complain
about rain
are those who are trashing the planet.


PERHAPS

the meaning of
catastrophe
is the catastrophe
of meaning.


PERHAPS

humility
is really knowing
that you are
the only kind of animal
that sneers.


PERHAPS

real people
don’t shave.


PERHAPS

true intellectuals
have no friends.


PERHAPS

life is a foreign language.


PERHAPS

death is a smile.

PERHAPS

we each live in a nutcracker
between the outrage of employment
and the insult of entertainment.


PERHAPS

religion is
more an attempt to
justify the unjustifiable
than to explain the inexplicable.


PERHAPS

love is
estrangement’s
distorting mirror.


PERHAPS

description
turns ‘reality’
to ‘fiction’.


PERHAPS

a true atheist
is truly hard to find.


PERHAPS

to loaf
is the secret
of life.


PERHAPS

Western democracy
is the dictatorship
of hypocrisy.


PERHAPS

the morality of conformity is immorality.


PERHAPS

the poetry of government
is the fear of revolution.


PERHAPS

if ‘Free Spirit’ came with a T-shirt
there would be no T-shirts.

PERHAPS

what for you is squalid and nasty
is the beauty of my life.


PERHAPS

between the breeders and the homos
and the home-owners
are those who
might be the
independent few.


PERHAPS

money makes no-one happy
because it is only a means
to the impossible satisfaction
of infantile desires.


PERHAPS

happiness is unconsciousness,
and the nearest thing to happiness
is an erotic dream.


PERHAPS

Zen is
what you’re sure
it’s not.


PERHAPS

the purest poem
is the humble
mumble.


PERHAPS

in a society
where nothing true is valued
I am not worth knowing.

PERHAPS

my writing suffers badly
from my lack of imagination.
(‘All my words come back to me
in shades of mediocrity.’)

PERHAPS

yet
but
so
then
and
though

nevertheless


PERHAPS

you write a poem,
stop. Then silence.
Perhaps the silence is
a better poem, and
the rest
(as Verlaine wrote)
is merely literature.

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