Nice to see you.

Poet. Author. Videomaker.

Nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize. (more)

17 May 2015

Social Media Soldier


(A piece of Meant)

Sharing a meme
Does not mean
You live by its philosophy

Protesting online
Does not equate to
Any real action

Liking a status
Or comment
Is less than
Fuck all

Don’t swindle yourself

More Poetry

Next Post, 
An important new Video Poem well worth sharing, especially given the recent talk about violence against women.

01 May 2015

What did we do wrong

The excessive unjust

Overused terms such as devastation
Only serve to undermine the unseasoned
Terror, frustration, helplessness
Grief and anxiety
Being experienced by millions of Nepalese
With many more tomorrows
In the pipeline.

Who do you turn to
When there’s no aid much less guidance?

What do you drink
When there is no fresh water?
How to you stay dry and warm
With your house disintegrated?
Buildings on foundations shattered

Ready to break apart.

How do you stop your child from crying
With no promises of better hours?

How do you protect your loved ones
With chaos as bedfellow
And unpredictability as the norm?

How do you find the missing
With communications severed
And roads fractured beyond use?

Infrastructure shattered
Crops ruined
The future is blighted
Yet the focus must be now
Suffering demands it.

Please consider

Donate:  American Red Cross

26 April 2015

Muscles and skirts

Penny in the dollar

There are so many stories
In bars alone
Only slivers can be sought
But this guy charged on in
Muscled through obsession
And more than several syringes
(That much effort on your body
Has to detract from other pursuits
Such as intellectual ones)
And though I was quick to categorise him
I also had to acknowledge his expensive suit
(Though slightly too small
To accentuate his efforts)
So I figured that he must have something more going on.

A young woman hung off him
Dark skinned but blonde
With too much makeup
Yet an ass
Inside a skirt
Of upper stratospheric design
To make me forget her bestial companion
Along with other saliva leaking guys.

The problem was
That it was an inner city bohemian haunt
Full of hipsters and artists and fringe dwellers
Where I felt fairly comfortable
But I'm fairly certain the couple weren’t.

They went to the bar
He turned and propped his elbows on it
Staring out to the throng
As if to say
I belong here as much as you 
Try to do something about it.

I kinda got the feeling
That attention was what he was after
And with half the crowd
Pretending not to look
At his girl’s legs
He got what he came for.

After one swift drink
He forged his own path
Straight out of there
Light on conversation
But heavy on attitude.

Suddenly we were all united
As though the whole place sighed
Even the walls felt better off
Without him
He wasn't our kind
but he was a kind
and I found myself smiling
As who doesn't secretly admire
A well-placed
Fuck you.

x-ray-photography-nick-veasey-chicquero-middle-finger-fuck-you.jpg (800×961)

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16 April 2015

Hell beyond the doorstep

One Battle, Many Hostages

Battling tyrants is scientifically proven to have a higher success rate to battling teenagers.
Ninety seven percent of parents agree. Given inches and stolen miles.
Marathons have been run on less.
Often said, rarely pinpointed, hell on earth, lies alongside.

The Generation Gloom (not Gap). 

Are you a parent? Step-parent? Uncle, Aunt? You know the drill. It's a wave you have to ride out until it breaks upon the shore. Do you have a classic teen 'brat' story to share?

More Poetry

05 April 2015

Dwell in Exile

Bountiful lambaste

The insults will come
A dismissal
Misunderstandings – innumerable
And blind-sided putdowns.

They pinpoint emphasis
Augustine Kofine
On the reaction
So if I turn the other cheek
Does this create a more significant person?
If I comply
Be decent to all who cross
Does this improve my worth?
Will I rise tomorrow?
Sleep quickly

Who will hover
To mark my progress?
Who will promote my good deeds?

How I do I measure my contribution to society?
How will I know if it is enough?

And if deemed as such
Will it grant me peace?
Or bestow satisfaction
In a whirlpool of confusion
Where the selfish soar
And the righteous are punished
Too many times
For sense to subdue.

Haw Par Villa Singapore 'Ten Courts of Hell' - Photography by Raytoei

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26 March 2015

Self-serving plans, rewarded

An uneven rhythm

You can always tell a drinker
By the way they tackle the glass
No subtle sips
Only a life affirming gulp
As though they’re just been saved
Just as a light falling rain
Is devoured by plant life
Yet is wasted on concrete
Just as a half left glass
Is a crime
A simple scan around a restaurant
Reveals the ten percent.

I knew what she was
As I had been one (ever to be)
And was more aware of the signs now
Than when I’d been amongst it.

So we played the game awhile
I tested her, without letting on
And she danced
The dance
And while I knew all the moves
I forgave her
Those gracious faults.

As that’s all I had wanted
Without the lectures
From those who stand on columns
Gazing down
Eliciting acidic ventures
In return.

So I encouraged her to get drunk
Though it took only two short sentences
Giving her sweet freedom
And allowed her into my home
And soon,
Only because I knew
What she needed.

Had she not been
A drinker
The dinner would have
Ended with coffee
I allowed her
To take advantage of me
As it was affirmation
That she required
Made more powerful through booze
Though others
Did not see it this way
Or any other way
A charge
Difficult to shake
Impossible to undo
Though ultimately

Participants with other issues
And agendas
Came into play
Good deeds are lamented
And self-serving plans, rewarded
And I learnt                                                                     
That the game (or dance) is too fast
And complex
For any of us to comprehend
Let alone control.

By the time
The trial began
I barely knew a thing.

More Poetry.

The Drunkard's Progress - by Nathaniel Currier (1846)

14 March 2015

Sometimes... you gotta wonder

A non- discerning eye

The light bows out
For the mid afternoon
Clouds vomit trash
Convergence - Pollock
A cum-flagration    
Visceral to some

Indiscriminate partners
A row of hills
A road to horizon
A decaying house
A mother battling gusts
Child in tow
A fallen tree
Rubbish in a park
Ravaged oil streaks
Leaving Pollock style disarray
Little artistry
In this turmoil
Though beholder’s eyes do fall
Despite questionable taste.

Beauty in the eye of the beholder

Origin: I've had a lot of time to think about what constitutes a good poem or story or novel or film or art or music piece. It's subjective of course, yet some work wins prizes while others are ignored entirely. I believe many great works have never seen the light of day. (see Famous After Death)
I think Pollock's work sums up this argument with a view of any single one of his paintings. I mean, I quite like him, however...

Meanwhile, 50 Shades of Grey continues to earn shitloads of money.

More Poetry.

01 March 2015

Famous after Death #6 - Rachel Corrie

    Rachel is unfortunately remembered more for her death than for how she lived her life. Many people and groups have politicized her death to suit their own agendas. I'm not going to focus on the politics, and only a little on her final days. All in good time. I want to highlight some of the many things that made her so endearing and inspiring.

Rachel was an incredible writer. She wrote journals about her life, written in a style to put most literary fiction authors to shame. She has certainly made me feel insecure and this was from a girl of eighteen, nineteen. She never made it to twenty four so all of her writings are from a youthful perspective, yet she writes with such skill, confidence and passion. Her writing is entertaining, insightful, delightful, funny, abstract and beautiful.

Rachel also wrote a lot of poetry. Throughout her musings and analysis of her life is the appreciation she had for the life she had. She wanted more from her life but knew that many others had it far worse. She had been to Russia as a teenager which had a profound affect on her. She knew that there was a much larger world outside of America. She had that perhaps naive optimism that she could make the world a better place. She mentioned becoming America's first female president. She was certainly intelligent enough, capable of deep critical thinking about the issues that surrounded the world at the time (Iraq had just been invaded) and she believed that much more could be done to understand the many issues at hand, including media coverage, remembering at the time that the war had a lot of support.

Rachel studied and no doubt would have had a long and outstanding career in whatever field she ultimately chose. She wasn't just an activist. She was a complex She also spoke a lot about family. I've no doubt she would have become a mother in time. She loved people. She was a social worker. She was a humanist. She was an inspiration long before her final heroic act for which she is defined.

'I’m a good, strong word giver; I am a jealous guard of my own secrets. Freedom is the rule; I am hungry for one good thing I can do.'

I've read her book, Let Me Stand Alone. It's a collection of journal entries and emails complete with some sketches. She was a good artist too. I recommend this book, not purely as document to a young person who would not live to publish books (which I believe she would have-she longed to be a writer), but as a significant piece of literature. Her writing stands on its own. It truly is amazing. (there's also a passage where she seems to prophesies her own death, talking about a tank running her down).

Rachel was politically minded. She was a activist and was involved in many events prior to joining ISM (International Solidarity Movement) a pro-Palestinian peace activist group. She headed to Israel in January 2003 to protest the bulldozing of Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip. A month before her 24th birthday on March 16, one of these bulldozers ran her over. She was protecting the house of a family she had been staying with, hence her determination.

I don't want to go into detail. I actually find it quite upsetting. It's all over the internet so you can follow it up yourself though be warned, there are images of her corpse everywhere. Israel claims it was an accident, the family and other ISM members say it was deliberate. Extensive court cases in Israel led to no satisfaction for the Corrie family. Somehow, the story doesn't seem to be over. The Middle Eastern issue certainly appears endless. There are too many complexities to cover here, and as I've said, certain groups only see what they want to see.

Interview: Two days before her death.

Aside from several documentaries from various countries and perspective (ironically none from the U.S.), a British play was created, directed by Alan Rickman entitled, My Name is Rachel. It has toured the world. There's surprisingly few photographs of her online (almost all are here) and only a couple of videos. Yet there is something about Rachel. It's more than white woman syndrome. She cared about others. Her heart was honourable, pure and determined. She was intelligent, passionate and perhaps a little innocent, in the way that an idealist 23 year old is. * She was angry at her own government for the impending war in Iraq and the Israeli government for their treatment of the Palestinians, but she did not hate Jewish people at all. There was no hate in her heart. Her writings prove that. She's the type of person the world needs more of.

A great waste. A great tragedy. A great talent. A great woman.

Dove outfit - Peace protest - Olympia, USA


Further reading - court case
Her boyfriend's eulogy.
Long Seattle article from 2003
Private Jessica Lynch & Rachel Corrie

Previous Famous After Death

* Post note. She reminds me of myself a little, or perhaps its why I feel so much empathy with her. I went to apartheid South Africa as a 23 year old, (also Northern Island a few years later at not a good time) and went to a place I shouldn't have (black township) and once faked being a media photographer so I could get upfront shots of a huge rally. Clearly nowhere to the same extent as Rachel, but I remember that feeling of righteousness, and adventure and awe and fear. I knew that there were risks but didn't think something would happen to me. There's a belief that if you're doing the right thing, then you will be alright. Such is the thought processes of youth. Anyway, it got me thinking.