I am…not that into me, either


I am Van Gogh’s emasculated ear

Severed to diminish feeling I died before I became real

Comprised of stories no one wants to hear

And rendered out of print, like an old fashioned picture book

Disproportionate in words and imagery

When I speak, the herd turns its heedless back

I blame them not, for my voice sounds sweeter when gagged

By those who hear only sounds

Transcribed by waves that are fluid, loud and clear

Shedding emotions, like translucent onion peel

I try to moo aloud

But no one answers back

Thus, as I sit alone in a crowd of crushing pain and fear

I raise my hands to my head

But find that it has disappeared

This poem was inspired by circumstances I experienced only yesterday. I joined a writers group because I wanted to improve my writing. But, when I sat passively listening to the group’s critique of one of my poems, I realised that I perceived my writing as not a projection of my consciousness, but as myself in a textual form. Thus, whilst I fully accepted, even welcomed, feedback about my use of language and how engaging they found the poem, I felt crushed when the critique disintegrated into an attack on the ideology and thought processes behind the poem. In a sudden revelatory flash, I realised that it matters not whether my writing is, “good” or, “bad.” I write for myself and if other people like it, I am blessed. To what extent the critique constituted a personal attack on me, I do not know. But, it saddens me to think a group formed to encourage people to write, should conduct itself in such a manner. If this situation had happened to some one else, I would have felt the same. I shall not go back to the group, but I shall always write.

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Would you get into Bed with a Tory?


It was announced today that, Margaret Thatcher, Lady of the iron heart, had vacated her mortal coil and moved to pastures new. Whether these pastures caress her soul in eternal fire or cleanse her spirit as the purification of redemption, will remain unknown to those left behind; left behind to gather the remains of a country undermined by the politics of selfishness and free market ideology. A country, whose downfall I would trace back to the 1980’s, when she resided as Prime Minister and the devil incarnate. I would like to believe, however, in the existence of divine justice; what goes around, comes around. She who shits on beauty will drown in her own detritus. Thatcher shat on the values I hold dear, her legacy remains in the fragmented Britain of 2013.
Her death could not have been more useful to The State than if the Conservative Party, themselves, had planned it. For, it diverted the country from the much more pressing political issue of today, the introduction of a new welfare benefit to replace Disability Living Allowance. I mentioned benefit cuts in a previous post and their effect upon sick and disabled people; significantly, this was my least viewed post. Disability is not cool or sexy…and neither are politics. Politics, however, determine the nature of social reality, which we all re-produce-even those, like myself, who have denied its existence. Thus, I believe, that we should activate our ability to choose and opt to build a better, more egalitarian State, led by the will of the people and not a political party, which represents bad faith.

Morrissey’s ill: Why I Care


I learned a few days ago via The NewYorkerTimes on twitter that pop laureate of the welfare generation, Morrissey had cancelled his U.S. tour. Subject to bouts of ill health, he had been denied insurance to continue his onstage performances. It is not without irony that a music icon famed for his vegetarianism and anti-drug stance is confronting a physical demise, when other musicians, like the Rolling Stones, who have embraced a more traditional rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, are blossoming, even, into old age!
Before becoming immersed in the works of Woolf and Joyce, I discovered the lyrics of Morrissey and a human truth; that the pen is a sharper tool than the knife. In the Thatcherite 1980’s, when British popular culture was ruled by the escapism of the new romantics and the ideology of greed, Morrissey represented an attractive “other.” He was an anti-hero, whose counter-cultural credentials reached beyond his sartorial inelegance to the cultural references presented in his lyrics and “The Smiths” record covers. Like his shirt, his image did not quite fit. I was a teenage outsider with only my imagination and a record player for friends and, when I heard Morrissey sing I felt less alone.
I saw Morrissey perform in 1991 and although it was not a classic performance, the image of him trying to sing whilst drenched in the bodies of boy fans eager to touch genius, will always remain for me a definitive statement about the life I lived at that point; a symbol of willowy beauty destined to fade. Get well soon, Morrissey and I shall watch you perform again, zimmer-frames ready!