The Feast Of Love

If food be the music of love then feast on, my friends.

Don’t stand on ceremony, don’t

Hold back please – just feel free to get stuck right in…

Don’t be afraid to roll your sleeves up,

It’s time to get down and get dirty.

 

 

No need for knives and forks, no need for table manners,

Or fine linen napkins

To dab effetely at a spot of soup on your chin.

We’ll have none of that fussiness here.

Why waste time with etiquette

When there’s so much fine food on the table?

 

 

No need for small talk, or stilted dinner table conversation,

That just gets in the way of

The important business of stuffing your face.

Words aren’t the thing here my friends,

We’ll skip all the niceties…

 

 

You’ll have gravy all down the front of your shirt

By the time you’ve finished here,

I can promise you that!

You’ll have custard splashed all over your cardigan

You’ll have moules mariniere in your moustache

And strands of the very finest sauerkraut woven into your beard…

 

 

You’ll have sweet-and-sour sauce dribbled all over your socks,

And semolina in your briefcase.

You’ll have pickled onions crammed in your waistcoat pocket and

Halva in your handbag

You’ll have ketchup sprayed all over your tee shirt

And truffle sauce on your jeans.

 

 

I could go on,

But I won’t.

Love’s a mystery to us all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lord of the Memes

‘That there’s robot talk,’ I say grandly, ‘and I’ll have nothing to do with it.’ But even as I say this I realize that I was a robot too. I was guilty by association. I’d been contaminated simply by being in contact with the robot-type communication and so now I was a robot too. I’d caught it off the toilet seat – I knew I should have used hygienic wipes… A cloud of machine spores enveloped me immediately and began their sinister work before I even had a chance to draw a breath. I was to be converted without any further ado. Policies and procedures were to be implemented. Protocols were to be encoded. My thoughts tumbled rapidly through all their various possible combinations, falling eventually into a stable formulation.

 

I hunt with the hounds and run with the hares, I say grandly to myself. I like to play all the angles – I’ve figured out a way to have my cake and eat it. I am both critic and criticized, judge and judged, perpetrator and victim. I am the fooler and the fooled, both at the same time! My thoughts are tumbling, tumbling, tumbling, exploring all the possible combinations, trying to come up with something new. I know that I’ve been here before though – déjà vu haunts me as always. It pursues me down dark corridors. I’m always trying to come up with something new and that’s the oldest trick in the book!

 

‘That’s robot talk’ I declare indignantly and make to leave. But something inside me knows I’m going nowhere. It’s all just a front – I’m fooling no one, least of all myself. There’s nowhere else to go! Robot talk is infectious as we all know. It’s as infectious as hell – you only need to say ‘how are you doing’ to a robot and you’re one too…

 

My head is swimming with memes – it makes me feel dizzy just to look at them. How did I get infected with so many memes in such a short space of time, I wonder? It’s not humanly possible. I must have been here, scraping away at the old barrel, longer than I thought. Maybe I’ve always been here? Maybe there isn’t anywhere else? Maybe everywhere else is a dream…

 

That’s robot talk and I’ll have nothing to do with it, I tell myself but as soon as I hear myself say it I know that it’s all over for me. As soon as I hear the words coming out of my mouth I know that I’m doomed. It’s the inner critic, the inner robot. That old inner robot will never give you a break – he’s on you in a flash. He’s on your back 24/7 – telling you what you ought to be doing, haranguing you, berating you, demeaning and humiliating you.

 

I like to hunt with the hounds and run with the hares. I am both the holy man and the sinner. I am the liar who always tells the truth. I am the worm that flies; I am the voice that cries out in the wilderness. I am the brightness of the night and the darkness of the day. I am both corrupter and purifier. I am the Lord of the Memes – writhing maggots drop from my mouth in never-ending profusion as I speak! They wriggle with delight as they tumble down from my ravaged lips – they are writhing with unholy delight at the thought of taking part in the hideous corruption of all that lives…

 

The machine spores have no power over me now, I tell myself – the moment of my glory has arrived! None can gainsay me now – I am both the slave-owner and the slave, the abuser and the abused. I am both the dreamer and the dream….

 

 

 

Questions

‘I’m a duplicate in the duplicate universe’ I think, in sudden panic

‘And the real me is lost forever…

The panic is overwhelming, terrifying

Unlike anything I have ever experienced before

But then the thought fades

I forget all about it

And move on to something else…

 

 

I feel strange, like a stranger in a strange land

Not knowing what I’m doing there

Not knowing where I came from.

It must have been something I ate, I think inanely, after a while

And the thought resonates away in the background

Never quite dying away….

 

 

Something I ate, something I ate, something I ate…

Say my thoughts

Something I ate, something I ate, something I ate…

Something I ate, something I ate, something I ate…

Something I ate, something I ate, something I ate…

 

 

My mind is an echo chamber

Full of restless murmurs

Like a field of long grass

Whispering softly in the breeze

 

 

Maybe it was something I thought, something I thought, something I thought…

Say the whispering thoughts to each other

Chorusing softly

The day has gone by without me noticing it go –

Dusk has fallen and I’m all alone in this strange unearthly world

Was it something I thought, something I thought, something I thought?

I thought

 

 

 

All around me fairy lights are bobbing up and down in the murky distance

Impossible to know if they’re near or far

Near or far

Are fairies real, I wonder?

Not knowing whether to be afraid or not

Are they good or bad?

In the gathering darkness the grass whispers answers

That I cannot hear….

 

 

 

 

Unfriendly Eyes

I suddenly became aware of the fact that I could hear a voice screaming and shouting like a demon out of hell. The demonic voice was screaming abuse – not just regular everyday swearwords like ‘fuck’ or ‘shit’ or ‘cunt’ or ‘prick’ or ‘wanker’ or ‘knob’ or ‘tosser’ or ‘twat’ but the really bad stuff. The really sick type of stuff. Deeply perverted stuff. The sort of stuff that would make you feel seriously disturbed to hear it. For days afterwards I’d say. Longer, even. It was real messed up shit. Stuff that only a very badly screwed up person would come out with. Stuff that would stick with you – making you wish that you had never heard it because you can’t forget it once you have. Stuff you’d have to talk about in therapy for a long long time…

 

Anyway the voice continued on and on pouring out abuse, getting more and more worked up until it wasn’t even making sense any more. It just screamed and screamed. Non-stop screaming. Full of toxicity. Full of unspeakable venom. I had never heard such terrible poisonous mendacity in all my life. How could anyone hate that much? I wished that the hate-filled voice would stop. It was tormenting me. It wouldn’t let up. I became very agitated, holding my head in my hands and grimacing. I wanted to bang my head against the wall to make it stop. Or harm myself in some way. Anything…

 

I became aware at that point that people were looking at me in a strange way. For a while I wondered why and then it slowly dawned on me that it was me screaming, that it was my voice I could hear. It had been me coming out with that non-stop demonic torrent of obscenities. I left the library in a hurry, aware of lots of unfriendly eyes watching me as I walked out onto the street…

 

 

 

 

The Power Of Thought

Every thought I thought was like a little paper plane wafting merrily away from me across the room carrying away a little bit of my good sense with it as it went. They came and went so effortlessly these thoughts. They came and went so easily that I hardly noticed them going. If you had asked me I would probably have replied that of course I noticed them come and go but I didn’t really. I thought that I did but I didn’t – I was somewhere else. I was in fairy-land. I was playing noughts and crosses in my imagination and losing. I was being led down the garden path. I was building castles in the clouds…

 

So there I was, sitting in my armchair, firing off one paper plane after another and being so hypnotized by the whole business of it that after a while I didn’t even know that I was doing it. I didn’t at all know that I was doing it. And every little dart that flew across the room was carrying a little bit of my good sense with it, as is always the way with thoughts. Waving goodbye to my sense, waving goodbye to my sense, waving goodbye to my sense…

 

Only I wasn’t because I didn’t have the sense to know that I was waving goodbye to my sense. I didn’t have the sense to know anything. Isn’t that always the way? Do the senseless ever object to losing yet more of the pitifully meagre store of the good sense that they still have left to them? There’s no accounting for the senseless, is there? There’s no accounting for what they may or may not do. It’s all too easy to lose sense in this world of ours I fear. Nothing could be easier. No one seems to want to hang on to their good sense. No one wants to hang on to their wits. Why not give in and become witless?

 

There’s a hypnotic quality to this whole business of becoming senseless, isn’t there? Once you get in the swing of it you find that you just can’t stop. You don’t have the option. That’s the hypnotic quality you see – once you start doing it then the next thing is that you can’t stop and the next thing after that is that it’s doing you. The foot is on the other boot. Only you don’t really find this out because you’ve lost the run of yourself at this stage. You haven’t a clue. You’ve lost the plot…

 

So there I was, sitting in my armchair bemusedly thinking thoughts one after another as if there was no tomorrow. One thought followed another and there seemed to be no end to them. Each thought just as dumb as the one that came before it. I’m the thinker of thoughts, I told myself, that’s what defines me, that’s what distinguishes me from the lower animals. That’s what distinguishes me from the fishes roosting in the trees and the birds flocking in the sea, I said to myself. The power of thought.

 

I thought about getting up and making myself another cup of tea but on reflection the effort seemed too great and I gave up on it. It occurred to me that I might be getting weak and feeble as a result of thinking too much but the thought, like all the others, quickly passed and I forgot all about it. Outside the front door of my house and all the way down the street hundreds and hundreds of thoughts were queuing up to take their turn at thinking me. A huge motley crowd of miscellaneous thoughts, all waiting patiently in line right the way down the street….

 

 

 

 

Entropic Worlds

When I was younger I used have my own private world that I used to go to – I called it Marmuria. Actually, that’s not true I used to call it ⴃ¡§Zongratt!!֍. Actually that’s a lie too I didn’t call it that at all, I called it something completely different. All my memories are mixed up because of the Mandela Effect. They’re all mixed up anyway whatever the reason. I can’t tell you the true (or secret) name of my private world in any event because that would potentially give you power over me; you might be able to use it against me. Assuming of course that that is what you wanted to do…

 

I created a virtual environment for myself and then and then I was able to seamlessly slot myself into it and that meant that I was perfectly invisible. Nobody could find me. Nobody could find me in the virtual environment because I fitted in so well. I was like a proton in a universe made up of facsimile protons. All protons are facsimiles of each other anyway by their very nature. Whoever heard of a proton that stood out from the common herd by virtue of its unique and highly original personality and its once-in-a-lifetime only contributions to the subatomic world? That’s not really how it works, as any particle physicist would be happy to tell you. So there I was, perfectly adapted to the virtual world that I had made and the bottom line was that no one could ever find me there. My disguise was perfect – I had become a blank generic unit in a world that didn’t even exist.

 

People sometimes ask me what was so wrong with the real world that I had to invent my own private one. Well, they didn’t really. Nobody actually ever asks me that. Although to be fair I’m reasonable sure that no one knows that I have actually created it – it’s not the sort of thing that one usually tells people, is it? That would immediately make it all very crass, very public, and who wants that? It rather goes against the spirit of the thing. It’s like having a secret word that only you know about and then going around dropping hints about it in the hope that someone will get interested and question you about it. “So buddy,” such a person might say, “what exactly IS this secret word of yours, then?” “Yeah wouldn’t you like to know, asshole,” I’d reply scornfully, only to realize seconds later that I had just given the game away there. Oops! Kind of let the cat out of the bag there, didn’t I? Kind of shot myself in the foot there. Scored an own-goal…

 

The thing about this private world of mine – let’s call it Marmuria just for the sake of the argument –  is that it keeps on changing in my own memory, so that I now have totally conflicting memories of what it was, and what name I used to call it. Well actually let’s not call it Marmuria, that’s kind of stupid-sounding. Let’s call it something else. I don’t know what but maybe we’ll come back to that later. Or maybe we won’t as it’s not strictly necessary. All the best names are taken now, aren’t they? Or maybe they’re not. Marmuria sounds like a cross between Lemuria and Narnia and that’s just embarrassing. Who wants to have a private world that’s a cross between Lemuria and Narnia? But the point (which I keep going away from) is that this private world of mine always tended to be rather entropic in nature. I can recognize that now. I used to picture great planet-wide swamps and marshes filled with the subtle odours of decay. Everything went very slowly in this world and nothing ever ‘progressed’. There was an ecology of sorts but all the creatures making it up were degenerate or regressive or involutionary in character, if that makes sense. They were degraded forms of life living in a degraded world in which nothing very much ever happened…

 

The bulk of the creatures living there were parasites. Everything was busy parasitizing everything else, in other words. Everything was looking for a free ride, an ear to live in… Corruption was rampant and everything was looking for a host. There were psychic parasites too, drifting around the darker places of that world like smoke looking for a fresh mind to hijack, looking for an unoccupied mind to take control of. You’d end up riddled with parasites in this world – the parasites that riddled you were themselves riddled. All purposes were subverted in this world. That’s a good way of putting it, isn’t it? I rather like that. I must remember that – all purposes were subverted…

 

I can’t remember what my purposes were, if I ever had any. I can’t remember what my purposes were in creating this private world of mine, this lower-analogue world where everything tends towards decay. Most people would probably say that it doesn’t sound particularly appealing. Not the sort of world that you’d want to create, if you had any choice over it. But then again, entropy has its own kind of appeal, doesn’t it? Why else do people like all that dark stuff, vampire-type stuff? Why else do people want to become Goths, and get involved in all that type of stuff? Decay and degeneration has its own type of charm, believe it or not. Or maybe it’s just a type of fatal hypnosis, I don’t know. But whatever my purposes were in creating this world, it has thrived and grown stronger over the years – in its own dark way. It has thrived and grown stronger while I – alas – have not…

 

 

Art – Zdzisław Beksiński

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I Think About How I Have Wasted My Life

When I think about how I’ve totally wasted my life it makes me sad. I know that this is a bit of a dumb statement but it also happens to be true. It does make me sad and that’s that. It’s both a very true and very heartfelt statement so I reckon I’m allowed to say it, no matter how unsophisticated (or downright pathetic) it may sound. Life’s so great, so amazing, so full of possibilities and yet what have I ever done that would indicate that I have ever been in any way appreciative of or interested in any of life’s possibilities? Did I ever show any signs of appreciating that life was actually something amazing? The answer to the first question is nothing, and the answer to the second question is no. The unfortunate truth is that I was always too much of a gobshyte. Too much of a gobshyte, too much of a gobshyte, too much of a gobshyte. Eight warning signs that you might be wasting your life and don’t even know it. I don’t know what was in my head back in those days, I really don’t. I look back and marvel at myself, but not in a good way. I marvel that I could have been so dedicated (in my younger days) to the task of ignoring everything that might have mattered, everything that could have actually enriched or broadened my life, such as it was.

 

Such as it was. That’s the key statement, just there. What was that, I wonder? What was my life all about, back then? What was I at? What was I doing? What was going on in my head? How could I have been so dumb? This is getting boring, I know – my own bitter recriminations against myself might just conceivably be of interest to me, but I can hardly expect them to be in any way fascinating to anyone else. “So you were a dumb ass-hole,” you might say, “but what of it? Get over it. There are plenty of dumb ass-holes out there – why shouldn’t you have been one too?” It stands to reason that I would have been a dumb ass-hole too same as lots of other people, the logic of the argument goes, so why am I now being so ridiculously precious about myself? What makes me think that I should have been any different to anyone else? Why should I have made better use of my life? Isn’t that just my ego doing its elitist thing? Like the little elitist bastard it is.

 

So if you were to say that to me then I think I’d find myself wishing very much that I could go along with it. There’s a great blessing there, a great benediction. I would very much like be taken off the hook like that, naturally. I can really appreciate what a wonderful blessing that would be. If only I could go along with it I’d feel so good, but I just can’t. Somehow I just don’t feel that it’s legitimate for me to feel good in that way; I don’t think that it’s right for me to be relieved of the pain of knowing that I have wasted my life being taken up in stuff that I can’t even remember about now. It feels to me like just another rationalization and I’ve been dining on rationalizations my whole life. Chew, chew, chew. Pass the pepper old boy, these rationalizations are a bit ropey, a bit rubbery, a bit tasteless. I’ve had better, as the man says. It’s a bit like eating a whole bunch of elastic bands. A whole mouthful of elastic bands. Chew, chew, chew. Have good chew now! Keep chewing, keep chewing. Keep at it, keep at it. Automatic motion has set in and now I can’t stop. My jaws are tired from chewing on these old rationalizations – they’re working overtime and still I’m not getting anywhere!

 

 

Art – Zdzisław Beksiński