Thank You, Eve – Liberator of the Human Race

Smoke wisps from my cigarette enhancing my opium wash. As I’ve indulged in too much opiate consumption my guitar is unhappily in hock to provide me a few hours of endorphin high; judge me as you wish. However, it has led me to muse (being a musician it happens a lot :)) on something that happened in the days leading up to the Winter Solstice.

I went to a carol service over Christmas at my Dad’s old Oxford college. I have not been to a carol service for several years, being somewhat anti-religion. The choir was amazing. Truly, the human voice lifted in song is a sound most heavenly.

However, interspersed between the harmonic interference of male and female voices, we were forced to listen to readings from The Bible. I say The Bible, but perhaps I should say A Bible, most likely the King James version of the literal Word of God! Yes, there is a key word in there: version. I mean, there’s the original translation into Latin from Hebrew or Aramaic (which left out any bits Constantine didn’t want), then through, Olde and Middle English, to the King James Version taken as somewhat authoritative today. But still the literal Word of God… Honest!

Now, I’m something of a feminist and I couldn’t understand how if I, a somewhat modern and forward-thinking but still unmistakably – and unapologetically – male man, was offended by the brazen, derogatory sentiments being delivered with unashaméd, tranquil tones, then how on Gaia’s green earth could so many, one would assume educated (we are in a church on one of the most respected university campuses), contemporary women, no doubt with ambitions, aspirations, careers, and cares beyond being receptacles for sperm, rearing children and taking the blame for all that’s wrong with the world, sit calmly with bowed heads while such monstrous calumnies against their entire gender were dictated gently by various men and women of the church.

And how could these aforementioned dictators deliver these passages

A) with a straight face, and

B) without feeling hideously uncomfortable?!

I mean if someone asked you to stand up before a load of people and tell them that women were inferior, the reason for all the suffering of the world, and basically not worth pissing on if they were on fire, you’d tell them where to stick it, no? At the very least, if you did narrate the reading, wouldn’t you have the decency to avert your eyes and look a bit sheepish, rather than glaring meaningfully at members of the audience as if they shouldn’t have caused us all such woe by being born female?

Oh come on, man, it’s from the Bible; it’s part of Christmas; and you don’t have to take it seriously if you don’t want to.

Well, it fucking shouldn’t be part of Christmas. And, forgive me, but when I’m in a room and someone is reading something out with conviction I do take it seriously, because on some level, it’s trying to work its way in and poison my being with cruel, anti-human propaganda, and if that’s what it’s trying to do to me, then all the people who aren’t reacting are suffering that same poisoning without knowing it.

And don’t tell me I’m trying to ruin Christmas. I love Christmas, but I love it for what it is: a festival at the Winter Solstice, right in the middle of the harshest part of the year, when you get together with people you love, eat, drink, and be merry… and possibly sacrifice an animal or a virgin or something – or did I dream that one?

Anyway, who wouldn’t love that? And we had been doing that for centuries prior to Jesus even being born, so don’t tell me that it’s justified on the grounds that there wouldn’t be a festival if it weren’t for Christianity – FUCK RIGHT OFF with that one!

I mean – and I apologise for going off on one about this but it’s my blog so like it or bugger off – two thousand years and still people hear this shit without getting pissed off at the malignance being thrust on us by a fucking book! In fact, they tell me to chill out! It’s outdated. Either update it (like you’ve done for the last two thousand years) and join the rest of us in the 21st century or FUCK RIGHT OFF!

Just to show how outdated it is I’m going to attempt to look at this from another angle, just to see if I can’t speed things along…

There we were, the first man and woman, alone in the world, surrounded by the lush provision of Mother Nature. There was a tree – a metaphor for something else, of course, but let’s leave it as a tree for now – and there is a decree from The Gods (Elohim translates as Gods, plural): “You shall not eat from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil!”


Some might say that this was a foolish thing to say to a human. Immediately, one wants to eat those rosy apples!

But, whatever the reason – Jealously guarding the realm of the divine, suggested by the Tempter not more than a few pages later – we left the tree alone, for now. Hell, there were other things to be getting on with without having to worry about one tree. Shagging… that was lots of fun; passed a lot of time. Oh, and according to Milton, the seraph Raphael came and chatted to us for a while, informing us of a war in Heaven and of the casting out of Lucifer Morningstar, greatest and most glorious of all the angels from aforementioned Cloud City. Incidentally, Lucifer was the original angel of Music, and orchestrated the heavenly choirs.

Adam hears this story and takes it on face value. Let us imagine that Eve, being bright-minded and of equal but differently functioning intelligence, thinks a little beyond the face value and imagines that these Gods don’t like people standing up to them, people who get too big for their boots, and she files this little bit of information as a possibility somewhere in that little storage facility women seem to have for things like people you met once four years ago while drunk’s birthdays, and where you went to dinner that day when your father’s cousin came to visit your sister’s dog.

Now life goes on happily enough until this chap, Lucifer, – whom we could also call Inspiration or even Messiah, if we subscribed to Blake’s writings and were feeling charitable – comes into our idyllic sphere of existence and has a chat with Eve, supposedly with the intention of fucking up this little state of bliss.

But let’s look at that: bliss is a somewhat subjective term, no? One man’s joy is another’s grief and similar comparisons? I assume the same applies to women. And as there is no specific description of what this “bliss” entailed what are we to think? Also, there is the well-known phrase “Ignorance is bliss”. And I suppose it is, but I personally can’t see two intelligent people never beginning to question and philosophise, especially if there’s nothing to do but eat fruit and fuck! In fact, usually the only time I get any sort of deep conversation from a girl is after a good shag; y’know, lying there in the afterglow pondering things while passing a cigarette back and forth.

So could it be that Adam rolled over and went to sleep after five minutes, leaving Eve to seek out fulfilment elsewhere?

Enter Lucifer…

I’m digressing, and I’ve created too many threads and forgotten them again to create a coherent story out of this! In order to preserve spontanaeity I’m just gonna plough on to my point.

My point is I would be glad to have that knowledge from that tree. Even should the “blissful” state be lost, you can still fuck and eat fruit. To me the story shows a woman furthering the course of mankind, rather than ruining our happiness. Is it possible this parable on the power of the female has been twisted to suit the needs of Patriarchy?

I forgot! The worst bit I had to sit through: when God found out that Adam and Eve had eaten the apple he says to Adam “Didst thou eat of the tree?” or something similar and Adam points at Eve and says “She told me to!” I mean, really, how low can you get? And this Almighty, Omniscient God decides to be really petty and make the birth process long, arduous, and painful as a result! Yeah, ’cause two wrongs make a right, God.

In spite of all this, though, we are supposed to take away this message: He LOVES you…

Seriously? Straight face?

So what I want to say is “Thanks, Eve, for saving us from ourselves!”


Today I Fell Back In Love


It’s been four years.

All that time apart.

I thought I’d stopped being in love with her. I thought that the white-hot pain of separation and then the dull ache of yearning had matured into the love of memories: a friend, distant and precious; a lover remembered fondly; that one, true, soulmate, unique and perfect, but nonetheless a resident of the past.

A fire may look all burnt out but, even in the morning, embers glow, hot and passionate, desperate to be rekindled, to re-embrace the essence of their being… To blaze again.

I feel it as soon as I hear her voice over the phone disclosing her location not more than a hundred-and-twenty second walk from me: tension in my abdomen, irresistable pulling at the edges of my mouth, contractions in the back of my neck, a widening of the eyes, colours becoming vibrant, and a gallon of adrenalin coursing through my system.

I try not to run.

I think through the things to do to be cool: the line to say when first seeing her, exactly how I’m gonna hold her when we embrace. I pull my fingers through my long hair, desperate to tame it against the wild breath of the wind. I pull the sleeves of my jumper down to cover my hands, just like how she said she loved. My heart’s thumping so hard I’m sure it’s gonna snap my sternum.

I feel light. I feel joy. I feel like I’m so fucking glad to be alive this exact moment. Thank the gods that, against the infinite odds that our race defies by even existing and – on an individual level – the fair amount of near miss overdoses I’ve survived, we two nexuses of electrical impulses and carbon based molecules and great collections of remembrances and moments are coming together in this tiny little part of the world for the merest fraction of the blink of an eye of the universe!

Thank you!

I fling my arms out to the side and address the sky, uncaring of the slightly bemused looks from shoppers, and the giggling of a pack of teenage girls who I nearly totalled with my clothesline.

For me, for then, nothing else in the world existed. My years of misery, my fears of failure, my hopes and dreams, my isolation and my loneliness, my songs and lyrics, and even my memories of love and lust with her… Dissolved.

I was whole. And I was present. I was more here, on Terra, in my flesh than I have been for years, I don’t know how many.

And there, at Journey’s End, she appears, rising from the little round wooden coffee table outside the café, coming towards me, smiling, a perfect vision of radiance, scruffy just how I remember her.

She’s not changed a bit: she even wears that perfume that only she wears and, locked in her arms I’m transported back across a decade and over two-hundred miles to the coasts of Wales in 2005, walking hand-in-hand come rain or shine along those rocky beaches… Off our tits!! I will deign to put in a “lol” here to convey my feelings of mirth.

“Taste this,” she instructs after disentangling herself from me, handing me a staggeringly burnt excuse for an espresso in a paper takeaway cup.

“The years in France have spoiled you,” I quip, and she replies she’d rather have a proper drink anyway.

Off to the pub. I’m thrilled to discover she still smokes. We light up and talk on the way.

Over the next two hours and dry whites and pints, we talk, laugh, absolve each other of guilty regrets, catch up, reminisce, flirt and gaze, until it’s time to leave. One hug isn’t enough, and she comes back for another, risking missing her train.

I murmur in her ear, “Love ya.”

“Love ya, too,” she responds, before turning to get the train, our fingers lingering just slightly before letting go.

I walk away.

I don’t look back… But I’m smiling.

Elated, I fling my arms aside once more and give a “Hurrrh!” of satisfaction, again drawing slightly worried looks from hurrying commuters.

Sod ya!

Today, I fell in love again…

Happy 2014

The Shades of 4 a.m.

I’m inbetween.

A quotidian, Persephonic curse.

I inhabit the underworld – the land of the dead, though walking they still be. Though by some grace I’m still free to join society. Some people can’t tell; they can’t read the signs: tiny bruisings running along the path of veins, a certain paleness, a certain gait, the pupils, the irises; it’s all laid out for one who knows how to read. The fact that people don’t tend to look too closely means I can have been scoring, shooting-up, and enjoying a little death (not la petite mort, you understand, but it’s not dissimilar) of a morning, and be sitting in Fortnum and Mason’s with the family in the afternoon and no one’s any the wiser.

Now, perhaps, they choose to not see; my sister, certainly, finds my little anecdotes of life in prison and criminal rogue-ery (not sure if that’s a word but it suits) rather distasteful, wishing I wouldn’t bring up such taboo concepts up in polite conversation, whereas my father chuckles away and comments and questions, as though I’m one of his learned Oxford fellows, a scholar in criminal behaviour and the pschology of addiction. Yes, perhaps they choose not to see deeper; my sister not wanting to imagine her middle-class, picture-perfect fantasy of her family tainted by a heroin addict and convicted criminal to boot, and my father, so convinced he was a cruel, heartless father, is easily swayed by the part of me that is practised at putting on a facade in order to soothe and manipulate the hapless victim into handing over money, though I now use it to convince him that I’m recovering well and haven’t touched a needle in weeks. It pains me, but on the other hand, the idea of him thinking I’m a failure, and discovering that he really can’t help me is worse.

No one can help an addict. We are undead. Heroin addicts are like vampires. One even becomes addicted to the sight of blood in the syringe – the rush before the rush. We use the massive confidence boost tempered with care-free, laid-back cool like “glamour” to navigate social events and captivate the opposite sex, while, later in the addiction, we learn to sniff out targets, bleeding them dry of money, valuables, energy, and eventually, care, in order to feed our beast. And when the thirst is upon us nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will deter us from getting our next fix.

Similarity is uncanny, no?

You can see it with other substance abusers, as well…

Alcoholics resemble zombies mostly: lack of motor control, bad skin, terrible smell, and wandering around crying “Brains!” Well, obviously: alcohol destroys so many brain cells it’s no wonder they want new ones! They’re also prone to bouts of violence, against anyone and everyone who happens to be in range.

So, what does someone trapped between life and death do? It’s a form of cowardice: too disdainful of life, too despairing of death, I walk between. I would like to say that Love could break the spell, draw me out of the mire, but I just don’t know any more. One needs a reason, a fire in the heart, a voice urging you on to face any obstacle.

I have none.

Everything I touch, hope for, believe in, dissolves into dust. There’s only so many times you can rebuild… aren’t there?

What would I like this Solstice? A reason to live.



Dear slim, white, stick of rolled virgin leaves, crafted by mine own loving hands,

Shall I compare thee to a sunset evening? With your waxing-waning crimson glow, your warmth delivered within-without. Demure, you peer through smokey clouds, awakening my lust with your coy smiles, only driving on your own destruction, for I am promiscuous, and shall find another ere you are even half a sundial segment gone, and no tears shall I weep for our fleeting pleasure game: my new interest already at my lips.

But, surely, no grudge you bear me? What could be more unhappy than a smoke without a smoker? And though I am a fickle, crass companion, you never cease to yield up your sweet aroma hit: in my more egocentric moments, I should imagine you to be excited by my mysterium, my capricious promises while we spend this time together.

And, now, as your time is drawing to a close, and flecks of nico resin fleck your snow white gown, take comfort from the fact that, though you leave this mortal world, I have memorialised, immortalised you here, to live forever in my thoughts.

With love, dear Scarlet Lady Marlboro,


I did not stub out this cigarette: I let it burn out. All I can hear now is the screaming of someone burning to death. I can’t imagine stubbing it out would have been any more humane; that’s just being crushed, no? Inadvertently I may have just invented Cigarette Rights. Oh, God, and I was planning to smoke forever…



One way round the square.

In town , I wondered back the other way in a triangle.

Until I realised I was nowhere where I started. Lost, but not one to sit on my hands and shiver, I pushed off through the water.

Who knew that the sea would rise today, but I never talk to Who.

I started killing time, here, there, and soon a wash of blood was all around me. Anxiety set in… The cops would follow that like a trail of strawberry doughnuts. Perhaps I should hitch a ride on this passing rain cloud.

I bet he’s the one causing all the trouble, I thought to no one in particular, though several people replied, hypothesising wildly about faulty physics.

I took the reins, keen to get out of this strange place; I must surely need to breathe soon.

Above began to take on an orange hue, but he was sorely outclassed and beaten to a pulp.

In the confusion I escaped, and found myself coughing my lungs up onto a sandy shore. I decided to keep them on the outside – the prospect of getting them back in somewhat worrying; it was quite fun to watch them inflate anyway.

Swinging my lungs in front of me as I whistled a song about a cat, I trudged, dripping along the beach. It was hot and the rain cloud melted away in wisps of steam. I thought it must be time for tea.

I looked up…

Only to behold the bird’s-eye-view of a busy city, stretching away across what I thought was, ’til very recently, the sky. There were bowler-hatted business men, bustling along with brollys; whores in cat-suits prowling the curbs; wasters, winners, wallys, and weirdos; traders, tigers, traffic, and tarts.

Gravity took hold and I plummeted skygroundwards, somewhat annoyed that I’d missed my tea. Before annoyance could bloom into teeth-shattering rage, I landed – wumph!- on luscious, soft, blue grass, the kind that mother used to knit. I tried to draw in a surprised gasp, but I’d left my lungs on the beach.

“Hello, Stranger.”

I looked round. Then I decided I didn’t like looking round so I tried very hard to make myself look like me again. Meanwhile, the owner of the voice that had just addressed me slid into view. She was beautiful, with long dark hair, and a Mercedes called Alan. She beckoned me into the boot of the car which was cavernous and without limits.

We fell, twisting and turning, our bodies stretching and curling around each other until we quite resembled great dragons, spitting fire into the darkness and lashing the air with our wings. Intoxicated and aroused, we began to bite and claw at one another’s scales, reveling in ecstasy as creatures without predator or end.

Like falling leaves, our scales of gold and silver fell, glinting and sparkling in the fiery light of our communion. The passionate fires began to consume the very fabric of being, destroying and raging against the act of pure creation, until at the very peak of all, the spasms of our joy reduced the universe to tatters streaming in the wind of non-existence, churning, spiraling ever closer to the central cause. Then even our great forms began to evaporate, blistering in a heat that wasn’t there, before all, including us, vanished, like the dot of an old TV being turned off…

A drum beat, distant, tribal, inescapable; a faint light was seen by no one, and in that light a naked woman sat at the centre of everywhere… and began again.


The Desolate Plains of Limbo – A Lyric on Loss

The words you said stayed.

They echoed like an eighties movie moment,

Now tinnitant, except for when they rear,

Repeating, though receding, always near.

And for their fatal message, just a tear,

Drop solit’ry of undisguised emotion,

That none have seen for far too many years.

Perhaps that was the problem?

Gods, what I wouldn’t give to change,

The torrid path of history, Escape that tragic day,

Deny the crossing of our stars and Destiny’s decisive mastery.

But all too often it’s Euripides who brings us Truth:

The blazing, harsh, relentless torch of Real,

That chases out the shades of reverie,

And leaves me twice, and thrice, and still once more,


Somewhere, in long ages past, an idea came to be,

That men are hunters, warriors, with hearts of tempered steel.

Perhaps I am the flaw that lets the rest of life endure,

For as I am, the fairer sex’s graces long witheld,

Bereft of company, retreating deeper in my shell,

I wither, and I dwindle, though my grieving’s long since done,

So tired of being single, I’m the sky without a sun.

Suicide has been considered,

I chose to do it slow,

With intra-Venus Dream-Sand,

Subcutanaeous haema-flow.

She’s my silent, warming mistress,

But she has been known to kill.

What would you do if your love was ripped away against your will?

The last hope then, A final roll of Fortune’s loaded dice:

Is there someone there to save me from myself,

Or is it Poppy I was truly meant to wed,

To walk the shrouded aisle to gates beyond,

Where there is never any pain?

Optimism bleeds dry

I think I have a rage problem…


I think I have a rage problem...

Yeah, sorry, I would love to come to work but here’s the thing – Your fucking bullshit policy makes me want to fucking die so I’m just gonna go over here, sit in the middle of your parody of classy shop, amidst your downtrodden employees who’d rather vomit in your holier-than-thou face than swallow another of your fucking saccharine (wish it was morphine) laced, saint-faced constructive comments, rip out my own intestine to use as a tourni, and shove a spike loaded with acid-borne analgesic in my vein – yes thats right I’d rather disembowel and stab myself and fall into a coma than deal with you on your own petty level – until I suffocate in my own bile and convulse on your floor. How’s that gonna work out?

Oh God, sorry, did I say that out loud?