in the arsehole of diogenes

NEO-HERACLITUS_____________Qweir Notions in the arsehole of Diogenes: weBlog of a septuagenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Sunday, 31 May 2015

In St Kafka's Hospital

Villefranche-de-Rouergue
my name has subtly changed
from Weir to Weyr to Weyrs. 

Friday, 29 May 2015

Tantalus

Immobile
in the Saint Kafka Hospital
where They
like to put things away
out of reach.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

In Hospital

Why are there no cockroaches in Switzerland?

They're all in farms
beneath the mountains.
Their shit is Nescafé.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The eclipse of vocation.

In days now gone
impressionable and sensitive
young girls were called by God.
Now they wait unceasingly
to be called by mobile phone.

Nominal Anagrams

Wary thin one
Inane worthy
Tawny hero in
A tinny whore
In earthy Now
(Hot inner Way
to inner why
on winter hay)
A thorny wine
New yoni-rath
Into her yawn.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Nova Scotian

Elizabeth Bishop
believed that
'the art of losing isn't hard to master'
and thought poetry
an unnatural act.
Most people think loss is a disaster
more or less - from dropping
keys in a river to being a refugee.
Following a referendum in Ireland
homosexuality and marriage between
people of the same sex
is no longer to be regarded
as an unnatural act
in four fifths of the island.
The most unnatural act is shopping.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Peter the Great of Russia

used Pushkin's Ethiopian
great-grandfather's belly
as a pillow, because the poet's ancestor
was a present from the Sultan of Turkey.
But this is not the reason why
I always wanted to have beautiful skin
that unpleasant people would call murky.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Because poetry is not possession

or possessive
it cannot be taken
seriously or away.
To be enjoyable
would constitute
the most satisfying
quality possible.

"It slipped my mind"

is a curious phrase.
When you think about it,
it seems that a little preposition
has slipped from the collective mind.

Friday, 22 May 2015

There have been 29 Amendments to the Irish Constitution

since the entire Irish people voted in 1972
to enter (with the UK and Denmark)
the Common Market (now the E.U.).
Before that there were only five.

Today
most of the people
in most of the island of Ireland
will be voting in yet another referendum for or against
the marriage of people of the same sex
(presumably including non-sexual people of the same sex).
I (now a lapsed homo) have always thought
that the whole point of not being 'normal' and 'heterosexual'
was to be alternative, atypical, exceptional.
But so shocked are the people of Ireland
by the past activities of their priests
and even their uncles and their friends,
that they (bizarrely) will see this
as a way of, somehow,
making amends.

(It is notable that there is no provision for referenda in the American Constitution
This is for the simplereason that the Founding Fathers did not want to create a democracy (which they despised) but a republic with a monarchical president.)


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Work

is the inevitable function
of land-ownership.
Without proprietors
there would be no employment,
and very little poverty.
What is property
but theft of the environment.

In a bad society

the Good Life
is negative.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

My Mission Statement :

To continue to wallow quietly
and as elegantly as possible
in simple unearned luxury.

As one approaches Old Age


one becomes resigned to ‘Fate’, 
and, if one is lucky, 
one ends one’s life in an exquisite mist 
of ‘saudade’, which word, I see (below), 
seems not directly related to our ‘sadness’…
though surely it must !   
Maybe it was a Portuguese import 
from Visigothic saþs ….

Old English sæd "sated, full, having had one's fill (of food, drink, fighting, etc.), weary of," from Proto-Germanic *sathaz (cognates: Old Norse saðr, Middle Dutch sat, Modern Dutch zad, Old High German sat, German satt, Gothic saþs "satiated, sated, full"), from ProtoIndoEuropean *seto- (cognates: Latin satis "enough, sufficient," Greek hadros "thick, bulky," Old Church Slavonic sytu, Lithuanian sotus "satiated," Old Irish saith "satiety," sathach "sated"), from root *sa- "to satisfy" (cognates: Sanskrit a-sinvan "insatiable"). 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Liliaceous Pyrenean bulbs

(some of them edible)
have flowers that smell
of battalions uncountable
in viscid and ineluctible advance :
flowers whose scent
is that of men's semen -
which all smells the same
in its collective and progressive expense.

Monday, 18 May 2015

What was life ?


If it was or had been
worth living
it could not have been made up of corridors,
sordid dawns, sleepless nights, lightless labours,
form-filling, revulsion, routine, reputation,

slavery, cluster-bombs, torture
and devastation,
endless waiting, disappointments,
resignation.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Rise of the Robots, and the continuing Fall of Man.

"It used to be the case that we imagined that computers - robots - would take over the menial work in our lives...be our robot maids, doing the housework or whatever,leaving us free to enjoy our leisure. In fact, the reverse is happening. We have plenty of spare, unintelligent human capacity to do those simple menial jobs, often for very long hours and poor pay.  Instead, the humans that computers are replacing are members of the educated classes: translators, medical technicians, legal clerks, accountants, financial traders."

Robert Harris, THE FEAR INDEX, 2011.

"In the late 20th century, while the blue-collar working class gave way to the forces of globalization and automation, the educated elite looked on with benign condescension. Too bad for those people whose jobs were mindless enough to be taken over by third world teenagers or, more humiliatingly, machines. The solution, pretty much agreed upon across the political spectrum, was education. Americans had to become intellectually nimble enough to keep ahead of the job-destroying trends unleashed by technology, both robotization and the telecommunication systems that make outsourcing possible. Anyone who wanted a spot in the middle class would have to possess a college degree — as well as flexibility, creativity and a continually upgraded skill set.

But, as Martin Ford documents in Rise of the Robots, the job-eating maw of technology now threatens even the nimblest and most expensively educated. Lawyers, radiologists and software designers, among others, have seen their work evaporate to India or China. Tasks that would seem to require a distinctively human capacity for nuance are increasingly assigned to algorithms, like the ones currently being introduced to grade essays on college exams. Particularly terrifying to me, computer programs can now write clear, publishable articles..."

Barbara Ehrenreich in N.Y. Review of Books, May 2015.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

"Hardly any faculty is more important

for the intellectual progress of Man than ATTENTION.
Animals clearly manifest this power,
as when a cat watches by a hole and prepares to spring on its prey..."

Charles Darwin,  ON THE DESCENT OF MAN, 1871.

This observation is perhaps more revolutionary than the theory of evolution,
for the more than mankind progresses in technology, the more it regresses in Attention -
which word Darwin uses in the sense discussed at length by Carlos Castaneda, amongst others.

Because mankind progressively loses the power of Attention to the natural and real world, 

directing its ætiolated zombie-form to technology (which, being artifact, is inevitably and increasingly ephemeral, ultimately unsustainable), our species is doomed to be an evolutionary cul-de-sac,
perhaps not actually disappearing from the planet, but re-assuming its 'natural' status
of fragile hominid living in the few remaining small pockets of tropical habitat suitable for a hairless ape...

or...read about the aptly-named Mr Nagasaki >>>

Friday, 15 May 2015

New House

I have the odd feeling that I'm a squatter here
and perhaps the real proprietor
is a fairy-tale ogre (pædophile-cannibal baron)
inhabiting the castle of Caylus a hundred yards away.
Is there a Squat section on TripAdvisor ?

A great freedom

is the liberty of no regrets.
Another one (for me) is the
lifelong liberty of rarely sharing
my ample bed.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Mulch all the Scriptures


Cherish the trees
Steer clear of money
Remember that honey
is stolen from bees.,
Compost the theses
Turn them to fæces
Love every twig
Property's theft
All that is left
is desert to dig.

A Summary of Yesterday's Television News


 (adapted from a blog by Jindra)

The world is full of danger
 No one is properly dressed
At least one of your children will disappoint you
 The system is rigged
Your medication can kill you with side effects
and is lining the pockets of the pharmaceutical conglomerates
 Your house will never be completely clean
Almost all teachers are incompetent
 Your friends are not real
The environment is being destroyed
 Nobody is safe
Nothing is as good as it seems
 Things don't last
The world is in a terrible mess
 The United Nations is a sick joke
Every country is run by corrupt cretins
 Only fools care
Nobody is capable of paying attention

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Inevitability of War - in two sentences.

"There is no exception to the rule that every organic being naturally increases at so high a rate, that if not destroyed, the earth would be covered by the progeny of a single pair."

"...the struggle[for existence] almost invariably will be most severe between the individuals of the same species, for they frequent the same districts, require the same foods, and are exposed to the same dangers."

Charles Darwin: On the Origin of Species, 1859.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Every morning


I open my window
before (very slowly)
entering the world.
Every night
I close my window
before entering my bed
(very quickly).
Every morning, every night,
I adjust the window
having been nowhere.

Monday, 11 May 2015

At a Northern Irish crossroads


stood a prophetic
lonely, run-down pub
whose signboard had lost most of its name
to disrepair, neglect, decay.
"There's nothing here for anyone with brains,"
local people say.
RIEN*
is all that remains
of the name of
THE TRAVELLER'S FRIEND.

* French for 'nothing'.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

"She disliked gardening, thinking it an English affectation,


and watched with disdain as her husband struggled with the lawnmower.  In France, grass simply grew."
(from a novel by Sebastian Faulkes)

Alas!
No more does 'grass simply grow' in France.
Of course not.
Poisonous habits move from West to East,
and noisy sit-on mowers are irresistible to males,
even in France.
In Ireland the upwardly mobile and fat
even mow the roadside verges,
thus reducing more and more the hedgehog-habitat.

After reading of the deaths of two people

who were close friends with me at school
I was disturbed to note a certain triumphal feeling
in my belly.  Can this be normal ?

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The Gentle art of Prescribing Soporifics

In the Good Old Days
I could get pentobarbital
every now and then
and have amazing dreams
and feel wonderful the next day
with no come-down.
But by 1970 it had been added to
the list of dangerous, addictive soporific-hypnagogics
that were Not To Be Prescribed

Doctors then pushed
Mogadon (alias Nitrazepam,
for some a quick route to depression
and even suicide) -
then Temazepam
(alias Restoril and Normison)
which kids soon learned to take
intravenously, to their cost -
but now it's difficult
even to get Temazepam
so the sleepless are (utterly) lost.

Note: British doctors are now prescribing Melatonin
which can turn some people into jet-lagged zombies.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Our parents

make our "inner weather".
The culture decides the length of tether.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Representative democracy ***

Once in a while (perhaps somewhere today)
the prisoners are allowed to play the childish game
of electing the Prison-Governors.

*** True democracy is never on offer, for then there would be no prison.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Will Black ever become the new White ?


Introduced in the seventeenth century
the word 'pink' (from German: pinkeln, to piss)
used to mean straw-yellow.  In fox-hunting circles
it refers to scarlet coats made by Thomas Pink & co.
of London's Jermyn Street.
'Orange' came in with oranges around 1200
and comes from Arabic via Spanish (naranja).
'Maroon' used to mean horse-chestnut-brown
(marron in French), while 'mauve' and 'magenta'
are commercial inventions and refer respectively
to the mallow-flower
and a battle fought by the minor Napoleon in Italy.
In the same part of the palette
'puce' came much earlier
from the French for flea, and refers to
the tint (cf Spanish tinto meaning wine-red)
or hue of the crushed insect.
'Blue' comes from Norman French
for the bluish-grey of rotting corpses,
and has a Scandinavian root,
cognate with modern Danish bleg 
(pronounced bligh and meaning pale).
Italian has the word blu for 'royal' blue
as well as azzurro (azure)
for sky-reflecting Mediterranean waters.
In Irish the word glas means
the blue-green-grey of the green isle's surrounding sea.

I find that most people in this technicolor time
are quite insensitive to the sixty shades of green.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Tragedy of the USA

is that its constitution is based on optimism.
Optimists have no sense of tragedy,
and a disturbingly-limited sense of irony.

A new page

has been added to my website :

click the picture to read it

Monday, 4 May 2015

Our human lives are crammed with artefacts and art


- and ill-fashioned relationships which fall apart
because we're most ourselves when we're alone
(and beyond the reach of any mobile phone)...

"A Real Job"


is being stressed and overworked
and/or bored utterly
in unloved employment,
rather than doing what gives you satisfaction
'self-worth', and pleasure.
When I was young* we thought the future through technology would bring
greater, wider leisure,
but technology has brought only uncertain over-employment,
uncertain under-employment, certain over-expectation,
a more frantic 'rat-race' that no rats would ever run of their own free will
and ever more uniform and uniformed
'sport' for managed 'relaxation'.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Perhaps

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 almost wish he'd fallen in a ditch
onto a pile of corpses
and had lain there totally forsaken
beside the  road not taken.

Music and Food


are cultural traps,
especially for men.
Very few of us explore either
beyond our merely adolescent taste
and remain before them both
incorrigibly chaste.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Cooking


is just another kind of rotting.
Rotting meat
is perfectly edible,
but rotting cooked meat
can be fatal.
This uncooked poem
is metaphorical.

If it is true that "A couple is a conspiracy


in search of a crime. Sex is often the closest they can get",  
a non-interpenetrative triangle is more than a mere misdemeanour.

The quotation is from Adam Phillips, who also wrote:
"Believing in religion is like believing that adulthood is the solution to childhood.”

Friday, 1 May 2015

Little reflection on language.


The existence of a word
- for example 'grace' 
in the religious sense -
is separate from
its possibly-ungraspable essence.
Big Time ( कल्प  Kalpa in Sanskrit)
is nearly as difficult to get to grips with
as a Black Hole in Outer Space.

White Chinese Dragon


in a snowy Chinese field.
Divine self-effacement.

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