his dragon, his wings

that wasn’t my bell it was his,
it was his, his bell, his smell,
his line, his tab of acid,
his line of cocaine, coke, his coke,
his glass of coffee, his exquisite corpse,
his sick meta-writing, it wasn’t mine,
it was his, his, it was never mine,
Nevermind, all those boys, chanting,
all those men, boys, that
Dancing with Wolves Avatar hero,
flying in on a dragon or on
his own wings to save us all,
     but not to save me, they weren’t
     my wings they were his, his dragon,
     his wings, that wasn’t my bell it was his,
and I am so sick of all his names for things

so i can see

“Tourist Trap”, a photomontage by Thomas Barbèy

the asphalt street takes women
children hats trams fences down
between the buttresses
of a rainforest grandmother tree
with thick spreading arms
Dali signs the brain
of the artist who Photoshops
so I can see
the entrance
in game worlds
with laws of physics
set by a programmer
my son meets his friends
on his Surface he makes a city
with lights in shop windows
hangs lanterns
meticulously over the square
using the tip of his stylus
Dali signs the brain
with thick spreading arms
the asphalt street takes women
at a workshop in a room
with purple walls
orange tables
and lime green couches
with laws of physics
I feel sick and take
a walk outside
the entrance
so I can see
the rainbow

Ten sentences about atoms

1. We say I’m made of atoms.
2. When we say I it means my body, brain breasts belly legs feet.
3. When we say atom it means some neutrons and protons and a vast space with a few bits in it.
4. To get a sense of the vastness, focus on the nucleus.
5. Why must my awareness be focused in this little nucleus?
6. The electrons are so far away, like stars.
7. Does the universe have hardware, or only firmware?
8. David Bohm thinks space and time are emergent properties of a deeper level.
9. Does the body have hardware, or only firmware?
10. Hardware, firmware and bits don’t make it a box.

0. We put in the zero once we had made the other numbers.

-1. Counting to zero is quite something.
-2. Counting to -1 is something else.

In IT slang ‘box’ means a computer, a machine.

A ghost in the world

I stand on the doorstep.

What do you want to see? says the sky.

     I don’t want to see anything.
     I’m tired of seeing, moving, searching.
     I want to sit somewhere, be still, listen.
     Somewhere no-one will expect me to talk.
     Somewhere I am no-one.
     A ghost in the world.

Zhuangzi says chasing even that
is not the Way. You’re chasing an object:
something outside you that always recedes.
The quiet place is inside you
in all the sounds of space.
What do you want to hear? says the sky.

     No more questions, I say.
     I want to hear the lap-slap of wavelets at the edge of a lake
     I want to hear a dove coo / and another answer
     I want to hear a car pass without being afraid it will kill us all with its carbon
     I want to hear a man whistling / as he walks to his place / of work
     I want to hear the ten pm train / without wondering / in what year it will cease to run
     I want to sleep / without dreaming / that all the butterflies die at once and are not reborn
     Without dreaming / of a strange sour land / too hot to inhabit
     I want to wake up without that / in the back of my head

     People carry on
     as if death will never come
     Making five year plans, ten year plans, investing
     People carry on as if death will arrive tomorrow
     Eating, drinking …

In spacetime, says the sky,
or in Hawking & Hartle’s imaginary time,
every moment, then now when,
You can carry yourself
as if death has / already come
A sadhu, a monk, a ghost in the world …
Or just a practitioner
of wu wei:
not here,
not anyone,
exerting no

First published as part of “The Dream”, in my PhD thesis, October 2018