Author Archive

San Diego Comic Con 2015: And Here We are!

Press Release



1886_lWomen that like to dress their men

Liked to play with dolls

As little girls.mZ4DECgEKf0KaeeQ_bwk71Q-1

As little girls will.

But boys who do not know how to dress

Themselves as dolls

Will be dressed by little girls grown

Who know exactly how to dress their dolls.50722-L -font-b-Doll-b-font-accessories-girl-toys-Chiristmas-gifts-font-b-black-b-font


A New poem revised.

The Poesie of Igor Goldkind ––– Reciting Truth to Power

We who are hiding in our second bedrooms,

Licking the silver from the backs of our screen,

Are living in a differently timed zone

Of insomniac awareness.

Sometimes 2, sometimes 3, sometimes 4 or more

Lives are lived and lost each night.

In our rooms, by ourselves

Sitting too close to the edge of our beds.


This is our legacy 

The lasting  perpetuity of our sensory species:

The glow that contests the light that once shone from our eyes,

Right up to the razor’s edge of our understanding of

What is not yet known.

The un-utterable.

What can barely be thought , much less said and

Yet still dances these words so merrily across this page.

In the ballet of silence that surrounds them.


Who are you reading this?

What perturbs your eternal sleep-walk into the night?

Are there questions you are pondering?

Or are you merely waiting for the screen to pull…

View original post 32 more words

The Making of “A Day In The Life”

This turned me on…

The Cruise For Beatles Fans

A Day In The Life

A Day in the Life is one of the Beatles most influential, powerful and impactful songs in the history of popular music. I’ve read many different accounts of this song’s creation and decided that for my website I would compile and consolidate as much of this information that I could find. My sources for this article are numerous but need to be acknowledged. It starts with Geoff Emerick’s book “Here, There and Everywhere- My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles” (one of my favorite books about the Beatles, insightful, humorous and exciting at times…I’ve read it numerous times and find something new each time I do) and then moves onto “Many Years From Now” by Barry Miles (if you want to know what Paul remembers and thinks about every Beatles song, this book is for you), “All You Need is Ears”

View original post 3,889 more words


There’s an emptiness at the heart of any space:
The air that escapes a room; an unanswered echo,
a vacant womb.
There’s an emptiness in my heart
That reminds me that
All of my ideas are empty.
Floating leaves from a fumbled folder.
Coloured streams falling from the sky.

This emptiness reminds me
How slight my desires really are 
How gently they fall from the sky 
A confetti of mercy and discarded emotions,
They are in the end
Compared to nothing, 
Merely the litter from an emptied mind.

No, I do Not Live in an Imaginary Universe



Mindfulness, A Reminder

~the intentional, accepting and non-judgemental focus of one’s attention on the emotions,thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment~


Crime Against Our Own Humanity

People have been asking me why I chose the risk of first publishing a book of poetry before publishing my collection of short stories THE VILLAGE OF LIGHT and my first novel, THE PLAGUE.   Why launch a writing career on the back of such a neglected  and unpopular form of literature?

My first answer has been that as a keen admirer of the actor William Shatner, I wanted to emulate his career; first as a starship captain (in my mind), and second, as a genius of the Art of Spoken Word.

But the non comedice9f8b2ee6b99179e492b099e5d15cdc9 reason is worth explaining here: throughout every major epoch of human achievement and civilization,

Poetry has maintained a major position in the spectrum of human arts; true across society, cultures, oceans and centuries.

Until now.

This dawning century of technological, scientific and artistic achievement; this era we currently reside in, is the exception to the human rule.

We have exchanged our ability to appreciate Poetry for other more comfortable and lascivious sensations. We have unlearned the sensibility to immerse ourselves in the healing waters of an art that we, as a species have grown like a medicinal herb in the human garden, to salve the pains in our souls and our minds .

By turning our backs on those warm healing waters we have damaged ourselves. We are all in dire need of rehabilitation.

And that is exactly what Poetry mystically, delivers.

Poetry sets you free, for free!

If you know how to notice and pay attention to the subtler colors in the spectrum of your mind’s cognition.
Which is a Poetic thing to say in that it is both metaphoric and literal at the same time.

Poems allow the mind to synthesize (reconcile), apparent opposites and to understand the deeper resonances of our human experience, in the simplest of terms, arranging words like pebbles on a dry river bank and in the broadest, to enter the harmonic rhapsody of our humanity and its sense of rhythm in this universe.

That rhythm is the breath, which is true to us all who are living. Poetry is the sound of our breathing in this world. If you want to know who a people strange to you are, read their Poetry; the words they have chosen to express themes, that persist for us all: Birth, Death, Love and the swirl of illusions inbetween.Teimur_Amiry_Candle_Enlightenment

Poetry is a drastic intervention meant to make you better. Not just feel better, but actually see, understand and *be* better than you are, which may feel strange at first.

Only bad poetry is comfortable. Trying to be the best that you are, to overcome ones self, may take more than one lifetime to achieve. But so many Poems offer roadmaps of the soul. Guidebooks from which you can detect what is universal about humanity, about the human subjective experience, and your place in this present.

So that is why I chose to launch my writing career, with my current publisher (Chameleon), with a book of Poetry:

You can order a signed and dedicated copy of my book IS SHE AVAILABLE? directly from PayPal Here

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

I chose to publish Poetry first specifically because it is the form of literature that has proven to be least popular at the moment, as this marketing study details.

I’ve always stood up for the underdog, be it in life or publishing. I stood up for Comics when they were largely looked down upon as adolescent drivel. I just never thought to myself in all my years on this earth, that I would need to stand up for Poetry, because it had now succumbed to more dominant dogs.

This is a great shame to me, as a reader of great Poets from virtually every culture and time period. I mean with Poetry it really is where all of humanity meets, outside of time and space. The very center of our collective space, where language is. Each one of us is both here and there: at the edge of meaning. The words of the poem are are written by and read by the singular mind that spans all of us to that edge of comprehension.RumiCallig-250x431 Poetry is the very understanding that we seek, in our selves and in others.

It is passive crime against our own humanity to let this art subside, due to laziness, neglect and superficiality.

So do your soul a favour and read a poem. Not just mine, any poem will do. Any Poem will set you free, for free; or at least at the modest cost of your attention.

In My (always) Humble Opinion, ofcourse.

Igor Goldkind

Author, Igor Goldkind

Breathing Time

I am not a connection.

I am a conjugation of every verb you have ever uttered,
Before the action you took, just now.

Hidden and mistaken
Slipping between your shadows,
Your ideas,

And a Reality that long ago,
Left you way behind:

The moment you thought you were in.

I am not your connection,
I am your conjugation, So
Stop spitting out your words

And start breathing in time.


IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition


We who are hiding in our second bedrooms,

Licking the silver from the backs of our screen,

Are living in a differently timed zone

Of insomniac awareness.

Sometimes 2, sometimes 3, sometimes 4 or more

Lives are lived and lost each night.

In our rooms, by ourselves

Sitting too close to the edge of our beds.


This is our legacy 

The lasting  perpetuity of our sensory species:

The glow that contests the light that once shone from our eyes,

Right up to the razor’s edge of our understanding of

What is not yet known.

The un-utterable.

What can barely be thought , much less said and

Yet still dances these words so merrily across this page.

In the ballet of silence that surrounds them.


Who are you reading this?

What perturbs your eternal sleep-walk into the night?

Are there questions you are pondering?

Or are you merely waiting for the screen to pull through for you?

Into your own quiet, private world,

Where  things that count never change.

And no one is dreaming you, but your mother

Who has left you now for another child.

© Alex Grey: Insomniac Awareness by Igor Goldkind

Pillow Thought

Who has left you now for another child.


Igor Goldkind


I am the Resurrection.

Every morning I drag myself from my bed. 

Rolling away the heavy sheet I wrapped around myself

for comfort,

All night long.

Jesus, where’s the fucking coffee-filter? 

Jesus, you don’t have the muscle anymore

that it takes, 

To roll the weight I’ve been rolling away, every day 

From the mouth of my cave.

Here we are again . . .

Awake, but blurry-eyed,

Look at the lives we’ve each brought back from the dead:

From the cave of shadows, 

From the dancing on the walls.

Fire animates the walls

(There is fire is in the whole).

But the bad impersonation of the sun

These dancing flames assume

Leave me adrift.

Floating in a sea of my own shortcomings.

Who are you, reading this?

And who do you suspect this voice to to be ?

You and I?

We are just meeting here by chance.

Somewhere outside of time

Somewhere in these words.

Somewhere near the entrance

Of this cave that each of us, 

So gradually emerges from.



Date: March 31, 2015 at 21:38:22 PDT

Subject: To my friends: THIS is What We Have Done – Is SHE Available?

From: Amy Sterling Casil , Chameleon Publishers

I can honestly say, this is like no other book we have ever seen before; we think perhaps – like no other you may have seen as well.uc

31 March 2015

For Immediate Release


Southern-California based publisher Chameleon Publishing releases its first major publication: Is SHE Available? by Igor Goldkind April 1 via the iBooks store.

What We DoIs SHE Available? pushes the edge of what is possible with present EPUB3 technology and how books are created and made. It is not an App, it is a true book that marries pop art, comics, avant-garde, jazz, spoken word poetry, video and animations, and type design. Its creative journey was more than a year in the making, growing from the collaborative work of artists, musicians, editors, and designers on two continents.

The poet, Igor Goldkind, is a San Diego native who lived in France and the UK for two decades while promoting the work of today’s most notable comic and graphic novel authors and artists. As a teen, he was one of the co-founders of San Diego’s legendary Comic-Con.

According to Bleeding Cool, “It was Goldkind who popularized the phrase ‘graphic novel’ with the media and found that gave them permission to cover the previously-considered childish medium of comic books . . . . Now, Goldkind’s vision of what graphic novels could be, is returning.”

Is SHE Available? was produced using an international collaborative model, but the book is one man’s voice and one man’s story.  Goldkind’s words and voice inspired the art of over 26 internationally-known artists, including cover art and interior illustrations by Eisner-winner Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra Assassin, Daredevil and more), additional interior Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_76illustrations from other graphic novel illustrators and award-winners including Glenn Fabry (Hellblazer, Preacher), David Lloyd (V for Vendetta and many others), Liam Sharp (Judge Dredd/2000 AD/Madefire), fine artists and illustrators Lars Henkel, Mario Cavalli, Mario Torero, Wendy Farrow, and many more.

Music and spoken word were recorded in New York with UK Jazz Album of the Year winner, author and ex-Israeli Gilad Atzmon. A US-based jazz and spoken word tour is scheduled for July 2015.

The type design and hardcover book are created by the eminent London-based designer Rian Hughes (2000 AD, Vertigo, Dan Dare), who includes an afterward about the collaborative design process. E-book production, incorporating Madefire animations, audio and additional animation, were provided by Chameleon Publishing in Southern California.

Due to the inclusion of video, audio and animations, and fine type design, it is playable only on Apple devices, and available only through the iBooks store. The hardcover (without music, spoken word or animationAdvance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_20s) will be published July 15, 2015.

Other “enhanced e-books” have been produced with budgets of $100,000 or more, and few have sold well. The “wisdom” is: poetry doesn’t sell. Enhanced e-books don’t sell. Most jazz doesn’t sell, either. Comic and graphic novel artists struggle to show their fine art to the public. And what publisher would take on a completely unknown poet whose claim to fame was selling fancy comic books to grown-ups and co-founding a big comic/media/scantily-clad women-fest like Comic-Con?Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_39

Twenty percent of North Americans regularly buy and read books. Nearly a hundred percent can read. Chameleon’s mission is to make books for everyone, not just a selected few.

Is SHE Available? Yes.

by Bill Sienkiewicz and Rian Hughes   ©2014

by Bill Sienkiewicz and Rian Hughes ©2014

Published April 1, 2015, in honor of National Poetry Month.



For more information and to obtain a copy of Is SHE Available? eBook for review (EPUB3 only on iOS devices – iPad, iPhone and Apple computers) or an advance reading copy of the hardcover edition contact the publisher:

Amy Sterling Casil

Chameleon Publishing Inc

YES, I AM AVAILABLE . . . . . . for a price . . . .

OK, you can buy it now.

My book that is, the one I have been going on and on about on these pages for the past 9 months.

It took awhile, a little longer than I planned on.

Igor Goldkind

Author/Poet/Producer   Igor Goldkind

But it’s here now: SHE IS NOW AVAILABLE!

My apologies to everyone I have kept waiting, but I think you’ll find that the end result was well worth it.

You really haven’t seen anything like this before.

Somewhat in recompense, my publisher is offering a SPECIAL INTERNET OFFER to my FB and blog followers:

As of tomorrow, you’ll be invited to pre-order the 164, fully illustrated Hard Cover Edition designed by Rian Hughes featuring an original cover by Bill Sienkiewicz for the regular price of $24.99 and

Get the eBook Download RIGHT NOW FOR FREE.

This offer starts tomorrow for a limited time only. The hardcover edition ships this month and will be available in May. This is your chance to get a copy before your friends can steal theirs from the library, for a LIMITED TIME ONLY.

This is a book of Poetry and a book handcrafted by love, tears and the visions of 27 artists, musicians and animators.

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

Poems are a way to talk to a side of ourselves we cannot talk to and a way to take pictures of things that we cannot take pictures of. But like a picture, it also holds moments in time. It works in the space between words, where connections are made, meaning is formed and the poem is ultimately owned by the reader.

And still, for so many of us, you only notice poetry when you need it.

Read poetry.

Because while all the poetry in the world might not be worth as much as one good doctor, if there is a reason we are alive, if there is a reason we’re here, it can be found in poetry. It is the barest bones of the human experience and it captures the soul in flight.

Kind Regards, and please may I ask that you share my words with your Friends.

BUY IT NOW! Even the Truth is For Sale

Even the Truth is For Sale


The book is finally ready.the-foolI’ve seen it, played it, read it, listened to it so many times it’s near driven me mad.

The act of creation is an explosion, a maelstrom of emotional energies seeking form, vying with their own legacy of fragile structures, to Break Through to Something New.

That is the goal.

But the monotony of honing the perfection; wherein the hot metals cool and adhere to the cast,  is the labour that seems unending compared to that first ejaculate of inspiration.

So we toil as we complain.

But there never really ever was any turning back

And now there’s no looking back, because the book is uploaded and now for sale on in iTunes, the Books Online Directory and the publisher’s own site: Is She Available?

If you’re reading this, you can get a special discount offer on the website; a kind of 2-4-1 deal.  The kind of incentive that is supposed to get you to read my stuff.

The official release is Wednesday,  APRIL FOOL’S DAY, which I consider entirely appropriate.  A day like any other day, displaced by a change in calendar; a recalibration of our instruments that measure time makes fools of us all when we forget what the calendar really measures:theFoolDetail

our own steep descent  in running out of time.

So like you, I am a Fool

I took the  opportunity to be published and turned it into something more; something different, something that I felt should have been tried by now.  But it hadn’t been.

So I did.


Doing something new.

Whilst the  machinations of publishing both print and online, grind into gear, releasing steam and a rumbling thunder, I prepare for my flight from the north to the south.

I will be in the air when this book lifts off from its pad.

I hope it flies.

I hope it flies high enough to break this orbit.tarot___the_fool_by_marmot_art

With your help, it very well may.

Thanks, Igor

After Scrutinizing the Content for Possible Obscenity, Apple Approves My Book for iTunes. Download Friday!

Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_45March 27th.

It’s coming!


This moment is dead.Momentum
But your life is momentum.
It’s the only life you know:
Everywhere you look
Is exactly where you’ll go.

(Paying attention like a fine,
Sniffing out the muddied footprints of the divine.)

This ticket that you’re riding,
Fare-less and Free,
Is merely the impetus of your Desire
Conserved, unaffectedly
By any other force or swayconservation_of_momentum_7
Upon your singular trajectory through time.

For Tatiana Iosifovna Doubro  who is ejected from planes and recites Pushkin by heart as she is flies through space.



Edward Gorey

Illustration by Edward Gorey ©

Death protects us from burning in the Sun
Light that surrounds our momentum,
Or from drowning, faces upturned in the rain.
Decades like minutes whip us by.

But Death will protect us from the sting in the wind,
She’ll huddle us close in the folds of her midnight dress.
And when it’s time to go; 12 bells the toll,
She’ll insure that all her children are aligned and tenderly accounted for.

YES, SHE IS AVAILABLE! OUT NOW !!!!! How Exciting.

I am posting this to announce the official publishing of my book IS SHE AVAILABLE? On April 1st, 2015.  the ebook will be available for download on a variety of commercial websites; not least of which is the official website where you will be able to both download the book and pre-order the hardcover edition. 

Cover Illustrations by Bill Sienkiewicz; Design by Rian Hughes

Cover Illustrations by Bill Sienkiewicz; Design by Rian Hughes

Please, tell your Friends.

“Friends”: how strange that word now seems to me given the dilation of its meaning over the past what 5, 10 years?   I recall using the word in reference to a small circle of familiar intimacies; varied in nature and personality but common in values and how we choose to pass our time.

Of course now my Facebook tally shows that I have somewhere near 2,000 such Friends, comprised mainly of people I have never met, with whom I have exchanged a few words at best; and yet in that exchange of Words, have widened the circle of that meaning: Friendship.

Which is why I have come to not so much to write poetry (I started when I was 13), as to publish it. In a form that suits it’s purpose: to reach out to as many people as I can, the Friends of my Friends (and their Friends too), through the channels that will reach them across this sea of data, signs and meanings our attention now spans.

But even the word ‘book’ now seems to have acquired a fluidity of meaning that transcends its original reference. My work is a tangible, page-turning book designed by maestro Rian Hughes; an electronic book with music and animation, a CD of 15 music tracks by the musical enfant adorable Gilad Atzmon; a portfolio of art prints and a selection of Poet-T-Shirts, bearing a selection of fine art images and illustrations from my dozen collaborators on this book.

The Revolution in Only 2 Digits by Jeff Christensen  © 2014

The Revolution in Only 2 Digits by Jeff Christensen © 2014

This ‘Book’ is also a live spoken word/jazz music tour in the US this coming this early summer and a UK tour this Autumn.

I apologise to my Friends who have been hanging on, hearing fragments of news, awaiting the date they can hear less about it and more what it says.                   I confess, like many things,

it was all my fault.

Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_42

The Birth of Fire by Margarita Zuniga © 1959

The inception of this project dates back nearly a year to March 2014, when the author/publisher Amy Sterling, after a long dialogue about writing on Facebook, suggested that her nascent publishing company CHAMELEON Publishing Inc. would be interested in publishing my work. Chameleon Publishing Inc. was a new, next-generation publishing company based in Southern California that’s opening new market channels for books with new readers, mainly for and about women. When I first mentioned my sole discrepancy in this area, Amy replied casually with the second greatest compliment a woman has ever paid me: “But your sensibility fits”.

And I’m thankful that it has, because without the efforts of the women who have supported this project, it would not have come to be. From Eleanor Brooks my firm, caring editor, to my daughter Olivia Goldkind-Brooks, to Addie Kaplan my business manager, this vehicle is powered by a uniquely feminine drive. Since the start gun fired, I have been on an unimaginable roller coaster ride of magical serendipity, dazzling disappointments and a severe lack of funds. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that the career of a writer or any artist is easy; sure you have more freedom, but freedom costs what money can’t buy: time, effort and persistence.


WHAT PETER SAID TO WENDY by Wendy Farrow ©2014

I had hoped to announce the publication before Christmas, then the New Year. But the practical demands and hurdles involved in this kind of innovation and creation (thank you, Adobe!), persists with its own priorities, own issues to resolve. I also encumbered myself with the urgency of my mother’s impending demise late last year. I had to unburden myself of the notion that I needed to place a copy of my book in her hand before she passed. It wasn’t practical it wasn’t possible and in the end, it wasn’t necessary.

The personal is always constrained by the impersonal.

Now we are resolved.

First Page of THE FARMER AND THE SOLDIER comci strip by David Lloyd  © 2014

THE FARMER AND THE SOLDIER by David Lloyd © 2014

My persistence on this project, (some would add, against all reason), is about to see fruit. Whether the fruit is sweet or bitter (or both) will soon be for others to determine.   What I can tell you is that I have put all of myself into this this deeply confessional, personal work. All of my sweat, all of my anger, all of my love, all of my hatred, all of my blood, sinew and bone into the making of this creation.   My intent is to connect with you, with your emotions, your experiences and your sense of your self by sharing the most personal in the most universal way I can. I believe, at the depth of our selves, in our own most solitary, private existences is where we find each other gathered, maybe huddled, in the same exact corner.

It will not be to everyone’s tastes, I’m sure.  But if you care to take a look you will find a work that endeavors not to entertain, nor offer safe refuge from harsh truths; but rather to be that truth in Word, in Image, in  Music and in Movement.

Because . . .

When you stare into the Abyss long enough,

the abyss will stare back at you;

and if your gaze remains unflinching,

the Abyss will speak to you

And this is what it says . . .

THE DARK CLOUD  Typographic layout by Rian Hughes

THE DARK CLOUD Typographic layout by Rian Hughes


But I was,
Between 11 and 12.
I was a Vulcan
Ruled by Logic
Disdainful of the soft, mere humans
Who surrounded me.

Who had invaded my planet
Polluting my atmosphere with emotions,
With indomitable desires,
With their fear and their envy
And their illogical conclusions.M-spockA


Life goes on without you
and within you:
shiney-wet-pebbles-bubblesRound pink pebbles
Polished by the constant flow of
Bubbles that burst like dreams
Just above the stream.
All I am is the movement in between:
The pebbles and the burst-bubble dreams.


Rainbow Bridge

You know I owe it you my friends, those of you who have been generous in your thoughts for the loss of my mother to tell you something: Although it has been a long, arduous road from my mother’s first diagnosis of dementia 4 years ago to her leaving my world 2 weeks ago and in spite of the struggle (not least with the authorities), to see her way clear to a happy death; it has been an extraordinary, indeed enlightening experience.

I’ve been distracted so much of my life by shiny, trivial things and this last year certainly, has brought me into a focus and permitted me insights into things I had never known. The most pedestrian insight being the sorry regard our institutions have for the aged, the infirm and the demented. We don’t treat our weakest very well and I’m afraid that is because

we really don’t treat ourselves very well either.

The insight that I do want to share or at least attempt to convey is what I did feel this past month observing my mother’s diminishing capacity to engage with her surroundings first socially then practically. I had a tactile, visceral sense of an arc of a life; a universal trajectory from birth to death, as something that comes and then goes.

(The Rainbow in Norse mythology Yggdrasilis the bridge to Asgard and Valhalla, the hall of fallen warriors.) I have no experience of the supernatural.

It’s all natural to me. But I did feel a deep and distinct tone, like the pealing of a bell resonating beneath my feet in her passing.

Between the last evening that I saw her, held her hand and spoke to the steady light in her eyes and the morning I visited her room from where life had been so recently evicted, I knew I had seen a life depart and the place in the world that it had left. I did not catch a glimpse of death.

I saw life very clearly as it fled my mother’s corpse.

That thing, that is everything, that same thing that still animates us all. Until our clocks wind down as well or are tragically, shockingly shut down. I saw life leaving me behind as it disappeared  around some bend and I saw the life that was me, within it’s own place, on its own trajectory of escape.

I saw the light in the eyes that created me, that cherished me; fight, fade and extinguish.

I know that I will go there too, following her footsteps and those of my father’s before her and my sister’s before him.  A  death parade towards an unknown horizon.   I don’t know where they went, I just know that they are no longer here; nor any where I will ever be again.

No ‘where’ to go to. Just end. Just stop. Just no longer being.

And these fingers tapping on my keyboard are tapping out time too.


The Crashing Wave

dive! dive! dive!112-9851-I-G28

deeper than your heart can beat.
deeper than your soul can breath.

dive dive dive. 

down deep beneath the swell;

deep beneath your feeble gasp.
dive before your heart is crushed
in the curled fist of the crashing wave.



Folded Paper by Simon Schubert © 2014

I folded my mother up

Into a creased peace of paper 

I folded memories into intentions,

Flattening the dementia of unstructured emotions,

Into a neat, file-able document.

We  arc this abyss;  tightening ropes  over time.

Folded Paper by Simon Schubert © 2014

We are not our worst intentions,

but we are the acts that follow.

Like clobbering footsteps tripping

over broken pavements of Being.

Folded Paper by Simon Schubert © 2014

Folded Paper by Simon Schubert © 2014

We are not the  sum of our categories 

Nor the crimes that we have witnessed.

But we are the balance 

That keeps us falling forwards without stumbling,

Over our own shoelace sense of time.



I cannot escape my devices.

They are the chains that link me but hold me,

in place.

A tethered cloud that can no longer drift afield,

off field


image by Bill Sienkiewicz 2014 ©

Towards the horizon, unbound,


Without the cord that ties me to the ground.

the radar is much too low to keep below,

these days.


Yes, Available. and Woman Branch pencil


Yes, I am Available Now!

Yes, Available. 1267915_10152977966392755_3846847922395520293_oMicrosoft Word - New Poem-THE BORDER IS YOUR MIND.docx

DAEDALUS AFRAID TO FLY; Illustration by Mal Earl

David, you bastard, you’ve left me

Understanding here alone,

With only these words falling out of my hands

When it is yours I want to hear again.

Words of your mastery, not mine.

So what was all the swearing about then, David?

What were all those Northern fumes really burning from?

I told you the songs of Yorkshire would never play in LA,

or London for that matter:

Two cities equidistant from your Yorkshire mother.


Tell me David, why didn’t you just sell out?

You could have bought yourself a much better pint of beer

With all that money for old knotted ropes and

Still have coughed up the phlegm to laugh at us all.

Is death some kind of joke?

Illustration by Mal Earl

Illustration by Mal Earl

Did you finally track down the film rights to Malcolm, David

And cash them in?

Are you really, secretly living in Barbados,

Making beautiful women miserable?

To think of all this wasted sorrow and

Empty glasses of beer.


You did say that you always wanted to visit other places.

But Daedalus, you were afraid to fly.

If you had been born upside down in America

You would have been a southern writer living in some Northern town.

Spilling your southern drawl over a rum and coke in a New York City bar.

Sitting elbow to arm with Williams, O’Neill, Baldwin and them all.


Your America was always an America of the mind.

So why fear the flight?

Your America David, was where Charlie Parker was forever sharp shooting pool with Humphrey Bogart in some room behind a neon-splattered bar

Where Chet Baker never jumped or fell but flew, man!

He just flew away.

Like you.


So you’re off then, David?

Back up the bumpy road,

Turning the corner round the Little Egyptian cottage

Navigating the reeds of Isis, Long past the close of time.


A brown duffle coat ship, bobbing on an unpaved surface,

Weaving a few thoughts into your

Captain’s cap.

Can you tell me David :

Were you X-Centric, or

Merely Eggs Essential?


How about this time I tell you, David:

The spark was always there.

But not like Daedalus, like Prometheus.

The living punishment of Truth,

Chained to your bar stool,

That eternal pint of Carlsberg lager gnawing at your liver.

Like Prometheus,


The spark is always there.


For the late David Halliwell, Poet, Dramatist, author of Malcolm’s Struggle Against the Eunuchs.

The only man I knew who could drink Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter under the same table.

I can only miss you when you’re gone.



Love is an Angel.medusa-on-the-sofa_for-Evan copy What is this thing that you can’t speak of?

This flirtation that will not hold its tongue but would rather hold yours between its teeth

And bite the thwarted anticipation of your mad fear’s confusion.

for fuck’s sake, what’s to choose?

Your body has already chosen for you

I hear it calling me on the telephone it anticipates my touch

it intakes your breath

it recalls my lips onto yours this tongue wets a damp crevice and summons the river

and it flows like no other desire from phone to train to bedroom

a churning current that carves out cliffs on the shoreline on the way plowing across the months and years exposing the bone and sinew of yes,

pure lust  


Pure Beautiful Carnal Longing

that is the truthful stench of black damp earth pregnant with all of life;  pregnant with who you and I will become

when One again.

 When turning and churning, unraveling and raveling the bed sheets again.

The furious spinning of uplift resisting all gravity.

There’s a vertigo to our desire but no, I will not let you fall.

Recall, hear my cries of consummation in your arms, rising and falling, dancing between your upturned thighs

Recall your gasps of surprised delight

As the wings of a fallen angel unfurl to take in the return to paradise. You can feel this all again with me, baby.

There ever, ever was anotherLove is an Angel copy.                I’m just waiting to take you again.

Paintings of Medusa by Nancy Farmer © 2014  for the Poem in the collection IS SHE AVAILABLE?   (Chameleon)

THE DARK CLOUD by Igor Goldkind; illustration by Bill Sienkiewicz; music by Gilad Atzmon; Motion by

Deviant Art

Motion Book

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Cover.logo copy 2

PLATO’S RETREAT by Igor Goldkind; Illustration by Rian Hughes


I want to be just like Socrates,

Grow a long beard and

Do what I please.

And be asking you allot of questions….

For a living.

I want to be just like Socrates

And not know for sure
 If I’m really real

or merely an altar In Plato’s temple.

I want to be just like Socrates,

And stand in the forum all day.

In the blazing sun that surrounds us,

Under the azure Athenian skies.

And philosophize,

To anyone who bothers to listen….

For a living.

I want to be just like Socrates

Corrupting my own youth in a hemlock cocktail

Every Friday night,
 2, 4 1 before 7 ….

For a living.

I want to be just like Socrates,

On a Saturday night

Asking, “hey you, at the bar”:

What is justice?

And where can I score some tonight?

After hours

Long after the widening sliver

Of your mind’s eternal dawn.

THE WHEELS OF HATE by I. Goldkind (illustration by Mario Torero, muralist, teacher, poet)


  • The Wheels of Hate
  • The Wheels of the Bus go round and round, round and round, round and round
  • The Wheels of the Bus go round and round, all day long.
  • The Wheels of Hate go round and round, round and round, round and round
  • The Wheels of Hate go round and round all day long.
  • The Wheels of Hate put niggers in the back of the bus, niggers in back of the bus,
  • Niggers in back of the bus!
  • The Wheels of Hate put the niggers in the back of the bus
  • Until we said: No Fucking More!
  • The Wheels of Hate go round and round, round and round, round and round
  • The Wheels of Hate go round and round all fucking day.
  • The wheels of the hate touched up the woman, touched up your woman, touched up our women
  • The Wheels of Hate touched up all women until they said: NO MORE, YOU DICKS!
  • The Wheels of Hate exploited the Latino, exploited the Latino, exploited the Latino
  • The Wheels of Hate exploited the Latino until we made the union strong.
  • The Wheels of Hate burnt all the Jews, burnt all the Jews, burnt all the Jews
  • The Wheels of Hate burnt all the Jews and now burn the skins of the schoolchildren of Gaza.
  • Those same Wheels. . .
  • Ohhh, the Wheels of Hate dug all the Killing Fields, dug the Killing Fields, dug the Killing Fields
  • The Wheels of Hate dug the Killing Fields until there was nobody left to kill.
  • The Wheels of Hate beat the Muslim woman, beat the Muslim woman, beat the Muslim woman
  • The Wheels of Hate beat the Muslim woman because she covered her face.
  • Yes, the Wheels of Hate took me for a fool, took me for a fool, took me for a fool.
  • The Wheels of Hate took me for a fool until I said:
  • Enough is Enough!
  • The Wheels of Hate make us all hate each other, all hate each other, all hate each other.
  • The Wheels of Hate make us all suspect each other because this way we are easier to rule.
  • The Wheels of Hate go round and round, round and round, round and round.
  • The Wheels of Hate go round and round until we make them . . .
  •  STOP!

Sedition of the Innocent

What was said was dead before it was spoken.1066

These are the laments of the old and the pale

But these here, are the moments eternity has flung at us.


We must not waste time…

we must not waste time…

we must not waste time…


ChildrensCrusade04-lThose are the echoes of ancient voices waiting to be quelled,

that call to us from the farthest shore.

They say: “Hey Buddy,


Keep on swimming, keep on dreaming your better self.

Keep your head well above the water,

and remember… to breathe”.


thanks to….for reminding me….to breathe.

THE DARK CLOUD by Igor Goldkind; Image of The Dark Cloud by Bill Sienkiewicz (for the Cover of IS SHE AVAILABLE?)

Because of course I like this, the best thing I’ve written to date.

The Poesie of Igor Goldkind ––– Reciting Truth to Power

Raven and Woman Branch pencilI






































































































Strangled in thin air.






the Darkness.




the Meaning



Which is








the physics

You think

you matter?

Am the Matter,

Dark Matter!



View original post 258 more words


IS SHE AVAILABLE..? by Igor Goldkind A Collection of Poetry, Art, Music and Motion in eBook, Hardcover and CD Spoken Word Editions COMING FOR THIS XMAS!!!


On this page you will be able to order the book directly in time for Xmas; Download the eBook; pre-order the Wall Print Portfolio and the Music CD IS SHE?  




by BILL SIENKIEWICZ  © 2014Copyright Bill Sienkiewicz 2014 for the collection IS SHE AVAILABLE? by Igor GoldkindI






































































































Strangled in thin air.





the Darkness.




the Meaning



Which is








the physics

You think

you matter?

Am the Matter,

Dark Matter!







Entropy is my mistress


fuck her every day!












am what comes to you all.















Who you are anymore.

am the Darkness.

am the Darkness.

am Oblivion.

am the Meaning of meaning,

Which is Nothing!







Stop loving and living and dying.

Come with me now.

Come with me now.Raven and Woman Branch

Come with me now.








What you’ve known all along.

I am the Darkness.

I am the Darkness.

I am Oblivion.

I am the Meaning of Meaning,

Which is Nothing!




There never was.

It was always


YouMan pulls cloud are just trick of the

lights that


You are nothing,

You are the 


You are me

You belong to


Now come quietly now,

Come take my hand, now.

Out of the darkness,

Out of the darkness,

Out of the darkness,

Out of the darkness,

Where you belonged.

Out of oblivion,

Out of the Meaning of Meaning,

Out of the darkness,

into your Light

And come


Sedition of the Innocent

What was said was dead before it was spoken.

These are the laments of the old and the pale

These here, are the moments eternity has flung at us.


We must not waste time…

we must not waste time…

we must not waste time…


These are the echoes of ancient voices waiting to be quelled,

that call to us from the farthest shore.

They say: “Hey You Bud!


Keep swimming, keep dreaming your better self.

Keep your head above the water!”

(and then, you remember, to breathe).













Igor Goldkind © October 13th, 2014


Basking in the Broken Down Casino of Americana the grated dead reside in.scan0015

Reading the Bones of old contentions…looking up at primary  school-lights; the ones that never change…looking down at the floor tiles; an endless sea of wrinkled faces….too many people to breathe in…

where’s the Exit Jean mentioned?…



Go You Sun of a Gun!

Locomotive train thunders through your head…groping… stumbling…tripping forwards into that warm glowing rush of the great unknown.  There’s a tunnel!… there’s a tunnel…there’s a tunnel up ahead.  We’re goin’in…we’re goin’in…we’re goin’ your head!

Watch: Your Head.

 Gone!   Washed away under the Lowest Bridge:

The consummation of illusion onto the lockjaw of your reality.

Still falling forwards…forwards with time…moving…with no body…no mass…no mind…beating…truckin’…making that Bend-On-the-Road…past the Dooh-Dah man….Right turn….left turn…back turn…back-where-you-started-from turn…It’s happening man…all around you…all the time…with you…without you… more…no-you-no-more….KNOW-MORE-YOU!..Don’t look left…don’t look right…don’t get scared…

Dawn follows the Night…head straight into the Light… up ahead…right where you came from…another train comin’ down your track…Head On Tight!grateful_dead_skeleton__pencil_by_frozenpinky-d2ek9j0

One More Stop….

Farther Down the Road.

Just keep on truckin’… don’t fall ahead and do not fail…one…two…onetwo…want-to… want-to …onetwothree..….chugga-chugga-chugga-chew-chew…One-Two Three….chugga-chugga-chugga-chew-chew



you’re dead.

For shaky kane,  you better watch your head…




Great tan.deus-ex-icarus-effect


IS SHE AVAILABLE?…………………………………………………………………………………Even the Truth is For Salecropped-10689672_732000606836698_9129833884739632966_n-1.jpg




461169_345102268859869_704018313_oIS SHE AVAILABLE?  

Chameleon Business Plan May 1 2014_Page_01The New Debut Collection of Poetry, Illustration, Music and Animation

by Igor Goldkind and 20 other Artists461511_335891136447649_1992636895_o


 This Christmas Make Your Gift Poetry.

IS SHE AVAILABLE ?  1601138_732002420169850_8147971876015536004_nEven the Truth is For Sale



We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future.

We have no present.

Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation.

mindfulness callifgraphy~ Alan Watts



I first met Liam Sharp in the editorial offices of 2000AD when he was a young jobbing artist. He had hair back then. He also had a journeyman’s attitude that stood out and distinguished him from the parade of amateur portfolio-ed artists who regularly hung out in the 3 floor reception of Greater London House, in the Camden of early 1990’s North London, where comics were being published.495

(We all worked in the neighborhood that Amy Winehouse grew up, sang and died in.)

Liam made his debut in the late 1980s drawing Judge Dredd for 2000AD, where I was working as the marketing manager in order to promote 2000AD and launch 3 new comics titles onto the newsstand market.   These were the days that a comic like 2000 AD sold 100,000 copies A WEEK. (80% newsstand sales!) I met many of the young guns at the time like Liam who later, established a deservedly high reputation in US comics.     At the time, I had the fortunate vantage point of being a “suit” that actually valued the artistry and narrative of the work being produced for a mass-market audience.

When Liam came to Greater London House, both Richard Burton, the then editor of 200AD and Alan Mackenzie, his deputy would meet him at reception, usher him in and introduce Liam to others and myself. This was, I observed at the time, special treatment I only saw on display for Grant Morrison on his frequent visits and Alan Moore on his less frequent ones.   So I knew that editorially, Liam was a VIP and it was when Richard gloated to me about Liam’s apprenticeship with the British comics industry version of Jack Kirby: Don Lawrence that immediately drew my attention to Liam.

Liam copyWhen I met and had a pint with him, (an essential communications tool in Britain: the pint), I discovered a young, working class man with a gift for art who had won both placement and scholarship in a reputable middle class school; and who had then chosen to askew an equally merited University placement in order to work instead, as an apprentice to Don Lawrence.

Don Lawrence was admittedly considered the finest British comics artist of the time, but still! This was not so much radically different as radically traditional. Liam chose his own path as a student and as an artist.   Regardless, one thing was crystal clear to me: Liam Sharp had balls.Old_Dredd_pin_up_by_LiamSharp

Liam later moved to Marvel UK, where he drew the best-selling Marvel UK title ever, Death’s Head II. Liam then was at the crest of the wave of British artists and writers invading the offices and comic book shelves of the US comics industry with books as diverse as the X-Men, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Venom, Man-Thing (for Marvel Comics), Superman, Batman, and The Possessed (for DC Comics and Wildstorm), Spawn: The Dark Ages (for Todd McFarlane and Image) and Red Sonja for Dynamite comics.

The pre-comics-fame Liam I met was a young, muscular Northerner from Derbyshire with a broader-voweled accent than his southern, countrymen. Liam and his ilk (English people from anywhere north of Birmingham; or as we used to call, the rest of the country) had a different style, a different way about them. More plain spoken, self-modest and more eager to share a laugh, than their southern counterparts, the Northern British seemed to have crossed a border from another country, sitting in the reception area of Greater London House on Euston Road.

It was a different time:

Alan Moore was still talking to people; Neil Gaiman was in perpetual leather-jacketed, Lou Reed mode,  Grant Morrison was shy and Warren Ellis actually seemed scary to me. And everybody seemed to be on the same side: you were either publishing comics or you were writing or drawing (or both) comics.

Hard to describe to comics fans these days. Comics writing, drawing, publishing, selling, collecting has always been about

LiamSharp1 money. But in London, because of it’s New York-density, spread out over the land area of an LA; everything wound up affecting everything else. Comics did become the new rock and roll. Comics’ design and styles infiltrated the print media. Comics characters costumes, the street fashion scene, comics stories (Halo Jones, Watchmen, Judge Dredd) were injecting the music scene and this was 10 year before the comic book movies.

I first met Liam in the wake of what seemed, to all of us at the time, a unique cultural explosion. Comics had infiltrated every corner of popular fashion. Just as in the 60’s, London record companies were overwhelmed by young English songwriters and bands; the office of British comics companies in the at least the first long train journeys from Newcastle, Glasgow, Birmingham and of course Derby hoping for a commission.   It was in the middle of this flurry of excitement, 3 new weekly and monthly comics being launched and work was on offer. It was the comics equivalent of a gold rush.   The impact was also felt in the aesthetic migration of artists from all media to the sequential, to the narrative textures of images.

Painters like Simon Bisley and mixed media artists such as Dave McKean were pushing the envelope on what was considered acceptable art for comics. I remember pages of artwork that were so densely painted or mixed up with objects that the printer could literally not bend the page around the drum needed to shoot the film. Layers of film had to be shot to turn these new, thickly, painted canvasses into comics pages. Experiments were being tried and barriers were being broken.

But 20 odd years later, Liam is still a working artist. More importantly, he has mutated into that essential modern mold, that survivalist camouflage, of entrepreneur. The smart businessman/artist/producer, all artists working in the popular arts, (not just comics), need to be in order to earn a living with their craft.

Liam Sharp is again at the crest of a new wave of artists who understand the entire cycle of creation, production and dissemination of a creative product to a market.

With the founding of in Berkeley, California, in 2011, Liam took his Northern English, working class creative drive to the edge of the medium again. Motion books are moving narratives, in both senses of the term and Liam continues to further his artistry both visually as an artist and producer, but also as a writer in his current ground-breaking Motion Book for “Captain Stone is Missing” written with his wife Christina McCormack.Capt. Stone and the Tyrany of the Ant Women (color)

Liam’s critically acclaimed first novel GOD KILLERS: MACHIVARIUS POINT & OTHER TALES was published in 2008 with a second edition in 2009.

Liam Aliens graphic novella Aliens: Fast Track to Heaven for Dark Horse, which he both wrote and illustrated, has been critically acclaimed.

Liam Sharp is not just a successful artist, producer and now publisher, he uses his expertise and now sizeable experience to not just accumulate money (and rare bourbons), but to generate new work, to create value that engages; which is after all, the duty of an artist, is it not?

If it is an artist’s duty to advance the medium they craft in, then Ladies and Gentleman I present Liam with my imaginary, CGI Medal of Valor beyond the call of duty in the field of creative endeavor.

“For Chrissakes, Liam! Keep your helmet on; that’s live ammo they’re using out there!”



A better draft is the gift of a windy day.

The Poesie of Igor Goldkind ––– Reciting Truth to Power

Sometimes I just see patterns.

The field of endeavor; the day-to-day rhythm of endless steps towards complacency becomes too much for me.

Screens and chimes and pleasant bleeps lull me into mindless, not mindful sleep.

It’s then that the field breaks down.

into shivering, electrical abstract shapes.

Form with no narrative other than energy.

Images that just to seem to connect remote dis-relations into pattern and recognition.

The patterns, the connections; look for the connections.

Like Borders.  Lines.  Fences. Walls.

The bricks that must be removed one stone at a time.

In Gaza, along the Mexican/American frontier;

Borders seem to define.

Here’s my line:



by Igor Goldkind


The Border in your Mind,

The dividing line,

Between you and you

and you and me.

The Borderline we hide


The crying child on the dusty road without clothes,

Heading toward you,

Reaching out to you


View original post 40 more words


Sometimes I just see patterns.

The field of endeavor; the day-to-day rhythm of endless steps towards complacency becomes too much for me.

Screens and chimes and pleasant bleeps lull me into mindless, not mindful sleep.

It’s then that the field breaks down.

into shivering, electrical abstract shapes.

Form with no narrative other than energy.

Images that just to seem to connect remote dis-relations into pattern and recognition.

The patterns, the connections; look for the connections.

Like Borders.  Lines.  Fences. Walls.

The bricks that must be removed one stone at a time.

In Gaza, along the Mexican/American frontier;

Borders seem to define.

Here’s my line:



by Igor Goldkind


The Border in your Mind,

The dividing line,

Between you and you

and you and me.

The Borderline we hide behind.


The crying child on the dusty road without clothes,

Heading toward you,

Reaching out to you;  Is you.

Don’t you see?  

Can’t you see?

What causes all this misery?070312-A-6950H-002:


The Border in in your Mind.

That’s the only dividing line between

You and you and

You and me

And me and me.





THE GODS by Igor Goldkind


th-1In the trees, in the trees

I can feel them in the trees!

The Gods, that is;

The ones who prepare us for the Passage Out of Time.


We are Osiris, you and I,

Scattered fragments of Life’s desire;

Long ago recovered from the deserts shifting sands,

     One hour glass at a time.

 We are nothing but our longing, my friend.

We are merely the sum,

The cost of our own yearning

To be tethered to the Whole.


Meanwhile, Isis reassembles her lover,

Carefully locking fragments of memory back into time.

Interlocking the broken puzzle of our lives,

One piece at a time.


I Once Knew A Woman Thrice; in Santa Cruz, Paris and Philadelphia

recently returned some poems I had sent her from far, far ago when we ere young and in lust and barely able to bare the sight or scent of each other without fainting into reverie and floating together; clouds that had long since let go of their rain.

It is a gift to visit ancient ports and distant shores.

Time is as big as the world it passes by.

So it is with words:

mad dog

hiding in the rain.

sharp stone

never show your pain.

some kind of innocence

is nourished in your fears.

you don’t know how much

I’ve tried just to hold you near.

(there is no way out-

-there is no way out).

the poet earns his keep

from reading the pain in others eyes

while his eyes are fountains

of tear drops and shattered sunlight.

Igor Goldkind 1983

You love me, I know with your own hands

For I am faithful to your fingertips.

When you pierce me with your wide-eyed glances,

I am stilled.

The earth grows roots around my calves,

And my body is made of branches.

Your gaze shivers their leaves like an Autumn breeze.

Igor Goldkind  1977


you are

the vessal

made usefull

by the emptiness


Igor Goldkind late 70’s

And then Paris,  1986:



The last we knew of our hero, J.R Protagonist, he was trapped in David Cameron’s constituency in NW Oxfordshire, trying to find a pub to celebrate New Year’s in that hadn’t turned into a private party with pre-sold tickets. Newly determined to have a pint (regardless of the fact that only moments before he realised he couldn’t have one), he wasn’t really bothered, our hero treads the wet pavements on the outskirts of Witney manor. And lo and behold his stubborness is rewarded with the only open pub in Witney: the New Inn, the town’s biker pub of course.

But the door is always open in the most unsavory of haunts to the most unsavoury of clientele and our hero is guided through the door by a vision of badges of real ale casks as surely as his vessel is guided by the north star, across the lounge to the wooden bar propped up by the bent elbows of bikers .

The Liverpool Organic Brewery stout looks familiar and tempting but he settles on the Doombar ale from Cornwall where the pirates call you lover before they slit your throat and burn down your cottage rental. The pint is poured by a young raven-haired barmaid, still enough to be preoccupied with her own presence and thankfully largely oblivious to the rows and sets of cartoon eyes leering at her every move from my side of the bar. “You’re the only pub in town that’s open to anyone without a ticket”, I volunteer, as a way of saying something somewhere more than a grunt upon getting my pint.

“I know, it’s a shame”, Millie answers; as I later learn her name to be.

“It used to be nice when the parties were just parties, you know and everyone was welcome. These days, it’s got so, much more . . .” “Exclusive”, I finish her sentence.

“Exactly” is Millie’s reply and under her raven hair I detect the universal youthful look of recognition that bleats: ‘help me, I so hate my job; I am bored out of my mind’.

“Where I’m from, a party is more of an inclusive idea”. My remark is punctuated by a sharp elbow in the small of my back as one of the regulars takes off his jacket. By accident, intentionally.

“oh sorry, mate, did I get you there?’ The long haired man snorts as if he were Stephen Frye. Our hero shrugs to cover the offense as much as the pain form the jab and now that he knows he’s trespassed this far, he strides ever forwards.

“Yeah, last year you see, I was in Barcelona”, he lies. In fact he had returned to Liverpool before the New Year, but time means nothing when plotting revenge. “Now Barcelona knows what a party means”. Millies’ pupils widen.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Barcelona, you know I’m doing my degree in art and design and I just would love to see the streets, the museums”. “But of course!”The rest of the conversation is a series of holiday snaps as I cover the ground between La Rambla and Quartier Gothica. By the time I wax lyrical on Gaudi

“Who is Gaudi?! “You must go to Barcelona right now just to find out. You cannot understand design if you haven’t seen Gaudi”, the daggers streaming from the sets of eyes on my side of the bar have become sharply deadly. I realise that not only have I trespassed, I’ve pitched a tent and am selling sausages. I smile at Millie who now tells me her name and I wish her a Happy New Year.

“Oh, what are you going to do now?” she asks a little emphatically,

“I’m off shift now”, she adds

” and if you’ve got nothing better, why not tag along to this party I’m invited to, just over the road”. I fix Millie with a smile and a gaze that I only blink once during as I know my life is now at risk from the eyes at the bar. Like some kind of twee but pregnantly lethal episode of Doctor Who. I must beg off,

“Oh, thanks; that’s ok, but I think it’s an early night for me. You go on and have some fun”. Millie extends her hand across the bar.

“My name is Millie”, Millie says. And I am catapulted to the purple heathered hills of Snowden in the presence of my now gone friend Millie, the nun’s company, stradling rocks and mine entrances and talking about God and Man and Being. I smile again at raven-haried Millie and squeeze her hand knowing that age is not just a matter of a number.

Age is where your mind dwells.

Where you’ve spent your time.   PortMahonWhilst Millie’s mind races ahead to the parties she should and would go to, mine is perched on a Welsh boulder in the past: the memory of my noble seated Millie framed against the wet green and purple hills, surround me. I smile my good bye to both Millies and the eyes on the bar surrender and disappear.

CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY PART II: Context and Clairification

I had recent occasion to make public comment (below),  that was taken slightly the wrong way by someone close to Alan Moore, with whom I had worked briefly with back in the early 90’s, promoting his seminal mainstream work: WATCHMEN. In fact, it is not bragging too much to say that I played an instrumental role precisely in making WATCHMEN a mainstream success. (Note: ‘mainstream’ means not just in comics shops.)

But that’s not the point of my comment.

I have had good cause to stay out of the comics industry over the past 21 years and it is with extreme caution and trepidation that I re-enter this particular snakes bit of malicious gossip and traitorous greed.  And look, I’ve already put my foot in it!

I’ve had to raise my voice because I have wares to sell to the comics audience.  But not just the comics audience. What I do   want to at least try is to let comics afficiandos know that the medium is capable of greater things beyond which revamp of which new animal-totem character is about to appear from which of 2 or 3 media companies.

I really don’t like comics, as they are and were. But I do love comics, telling stories with pictures, for what they could be . . . in the right hands, with the right voices.

alan-moore1Alan Moore is one such voice; and at times appear to be the only voice working in comics that isn’t hampered by its own sore throat.

I’ve generally avoided talking about Alan directly or publicly  up til now mainly for two reasons: I worked with him only briefly in the early 90’s and although we weren’t ‘friends’ so to speak, we shared friends and I very quickly developed a great personal admiration, not just for his writing but for his human nature.

So I guess discretion is the sincerest form of respect.

Secondly, because the myriad of interviews and gossip orbitting around Alan, the man as opposed to Alan’s work, really reveals the bitter face of the comics industry.

Much has been made in the comics fan press of Alan’s apparent self-exile and alienation form previous colleagues and people he has worked with. I count myself among them; but that’s an issue of personality and disposition. Alan’s behaviour and response to the commercial machinations of the industry is no more bizzare’s that J.D. Salinger’s or Picasso, for that matter. Both of whom openly despised the commercial aspect of their art.

In another sense, who cares?

What I  care about is what Alan writes next.

Because that’s what he is:  a writer and damn good one.

In print however;  Alan’s remarks regarding his experience at the inception of the ‘new comics’ of the early 90’s did cause me to take issue with some of the nuance he conveys in his acount of the inception of the Graphic Novel and  I take no umbrage at his avoiding referring to me by name in his interviews when commenting on the integrity of the term and concept of the Graphic Novel, as it manifested in the late 80’s.  Not all of us were on the Time/Warner payroll

Hence my blog entry entitled CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY, the title taken from a verbatum quote of Alan’s that I read recently.

My aim was get the recounted record straight; one that was brought to my attention by a proffessional in the business asking me my opinion of Alan’s printed comments regarding Graphic Novels since,  I was (supposedly) there.

But in doing so, I may have provoked a misunderstanding as to my intent.

So, equally to set the record straight, let me make absolutely clear that when it comes to the oeuvre of Alan Moore, both in comics and out, no other single writer to date has made a bigger impact not only in the comics medium but in drawing attention to the value and merit of the medium than Alan Moore.  Without Alan Moore, I literally couldn’t have done my job back in the late 80’s   Or at least it would have been a lot tougher without the evidence he backed up my hype with.

However, I do not consider Alan Moore to be a comics writer, although that’s how he started. Alan is an auteur with not only an incomparable mastery of the horror, fantasy and SF genres; but effectively a game changer, in persistently pushing the evelope artistically, always rattling the cages of convention.  In fact, I would not be at all surprised to find that some of his worse experiences  in dealing with the American comics publishing industry has been due to ideological differences as much as financial ones.

When I knew him, Alan Moore was an avowed  Socialist/Anarchist, who has no truck with the contemporary power structures that feed us information and entertainment (as well as food, water, fuel and employment, btw).  And he’s right and if it ever comes to it, I’ll be standing on his side of the barricades.  But I wonder if Alan’s  reputation comes under attack

not so much because he’s an Socialist/Anarchist who threatens the status quo, but because he’s an extremely articulate  Socialist/Anarchist which is even more threatening to the status quo.   

 I have never really heard anyone, much less a N articulate the reasonable necessity  of a socialist state  in common sense terms better than Alan Moore, (with the one exception of the late Tony Benn whom I also had the good fortune to hear  articulate his politics  in a social setting).

But I’m meandering off topic now.

I recall in the early 90’s, speaking to the editor of  the Economist when trying to pitch him a feature on WATCHMEN, I compared Alan Moore to Charles Dickens.

Not in terms of the craft of his writing, but as someone who had seen the implcit value of a neglected medium (Penny Dreadful, newstand periodicals in the case of Dickens; comics, in the case of Moore), exploiting the social tendance to overlook ‘trash’ culture to deliver new,  revolutionary work.watchmen-logo-550-1

I still stand by that comparison.

THE SEED by Igor Goldkind

I’d like to take a pause from buying things.

Not that I don’t like things; or buying them,

I like things, lots of things.

Not lots, but many things.

But I’d like to take a pause from buying things,

The Seed by Pawel Jonca © 2014

The Seed by Pawel Jonca © 2014

Or borrowing the money for the many things I must have

That I will never really own.

I ‘d like to take a pause from buying things,

Take stock of what I need;

I need to check my bank account and count the monthly leeches that I feed.

I ‘d like to take a pause from buying things until I know exactly what I’ll need.

Hey, would you like to take a pause from buying things,

Just to measure what is real?

Go ahead, take a pause from buying things;

Till you’re certain you have enough ground

in which to plant this seed.


My work in the late 80’sand 90’s in the British publishing industry led to the engineering and successful marketing  of the Graphic Novel genre; a new format of  hardcover and trade paperbacks of graphic fiction that bookstores would stack on their shelves.  It was my job at Titan Books to do so, for which I was paid some £7,500 a year by my employer Nick Landau, to do.

After I was given a raise by Titan Books to £8K per annum , I learnt solely by chance, that my work had increased the revenue for my employer by some 7 figure sums and that the rest of the publishing industry were all cashing in on the work I was doing in promoting 9-5, the new publishing category.   Cashing in, but not adhering to  to the implicit quality standards the likes of Moore, Gaiman, Morrison, Speigelman and other auteurs were actively pursuing.

The Medium, as we used to call it back then, had failed to live up to its own promise.

So I got out; for that and personal reasons.

Now when I read the interviews with my former partners in CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY crime in the press complaining that the industry had failed and that the term Graphic Novel  was just a manipulative tool wielded by the Moloch of Comics Publishing932f83ea7108237da3f82c1b8ec82261

(Batman in MOLOCH!  Wonderwoman in MOLOCH!  The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galazy, Superman and the Xmen are all drowning in the vomit of MOLOCH!)   

Which I believe, the premise of the new cross over series written for DC by Grant Morrison.Tree-Man-A-1000x1000

The most admired (and crafted), writer in comics ever, in particular; (someone I worked with closely with on the presentation of his seminal forensic crucification of the American superhero genre to a mainstream audience, refrains from even addressing me by name in print when he lambasts the CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY that still pays him a living), has repeatedly condemned the  publishing category Graphci Novel, as  effectively, just another  CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY from the publishign industry.

I have news for the revered scribe:  you may have relegated me to the dark side, but take a look in the mirror, man: you’ve been here with me all along.

[Added 9.18 for context], I realise now that the above might be interpreted as some kind of opening volley against the distinguished author.  Far be it.  I will always both  personally  and publically assert that Mr. Moore was the change in comics back in the late 80’s.  No single other artist in the medium at the time was so intelligently treating the medium like a literary and artistic platform for expression.  Most craftsmen (and women), I met at the time were desperaely trying to hustle their next wok commission.  Not Mr. Moore.  His posture was different:  he related to editors, collaborators and others  as an auteur sans pretension.  Intelligent, articulate and demanding of  ones wit and focus.   And from I observed, never intimidated or swayed  by the money or more often, the promise of money from publishers.

Just to make absolutely clear about my statements regarding this author:  I learned everything I know about comics by just listening to him, during interviews, casual conversations and direct discussions.  A the time, this man was a walking sandwich board for the the new comics,  the Graphic Novels, chiefly because it was only his writing (and that of a handful of there), that even came close to qualifyng as a novel or even literature.   I never was nor have ever been a Comics Fan (Senator and members of the committee), but I have always been a fan of literature, drawn or undrawn.    Which is why I cntinue to read, enjoy and learn from Mr. Moore’s work.

Although I do take exception (mildly, not really that seriously), to his most recent public damnations of the Graphic Novel, and it’s origins; it’s not that I object to his opinion as much as I question the accuracy of his recollection of events and of the times that he was actually there.    I don’t take issue either with Mr. Moore’s take on the industry  and publishing in general; in fact the more experience I gain the more my views align with his.

But regardless of the vocabulary used (or the fact that I was being paid a paltry wage at the time), I accomplished my task to his and his collaborator’s direct professional and financial benefit.  Not to mention the real world benefits: the successfull dissemination of the term Graphic Novel into the mainstream brought to literally thousands of other free lances in the form of royalty checks for the graphic novel edition of their work; a  now standard of the comics industry throughout the world.

I do not benefit from the use of the term of from the money generated by its use.

Bird-With-Letter-A1-1000x1000But I do not regret not hiring that CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY lawyer that would have secured my trademark on the use of the term and perhaps a penny off of every new Graphic Novel sale; which is what the business side of the industry tells me I shoudl have done.

I did not “create” the term graphic novel; as an outsider to the industry, I found the term on the back of a Will Eisner book and used it as the keystone of a campaign to bring new comics, well written, adventuerously drawn comics.    But yes, I coined the term Graphic Novel; having borrowed it from the back of a low print-run Will Eisner compilation of The Spirit.  His clever NYC publisher was struggling to get Eisner’s work into the bookshops too and had tried the term connotating Literary fiction: a novel.   My use of the term was different as messieurs Gaiman and Moore can both attest to; Grant got it about the same time but more remotely, in Glasgow.  Graphic Novel  was meant to mean  NEW Graphics, new graphic literature, new comics.

Coining, (in the sense of creating common usefulness; IOW: monetizing a vocabulary term into the common currency of language of transactional communication).  It derives from the coining of money by stamping metal with a die. Coins (also variously spelled coynes, coigns, coignes or quoins), were the blank, usually circular, disks from which money was minted. This usage derived from an earlier 14th century meaning of coin, which meant wedge. The wedge-shaped dies which were used to stamp the blanks were called coins and the metal blanks and the subsequent ‘coined’ money took their name from them.

{Coining later began to be associated with inventiveness in language. In the 16th century the ‘coining’ of words and phrases was often referred to. By that time the monetary coinage was often debased or counterfeit and the coining of words was often associated with spurious linguistic inventions; for example, in George Puttenham’s The arte of English poesie, 1589:

“Young schollers not halfe well studied… will seeme to coigne fine wordes out of the Latin.”

Shakespeare, the greatest coiner of them all, also referred to the coining of language in Coriolanus, 1607:

“So shall my Lungs Coine words till their decay.”}coin a phrase


The NEW comics of the late 80’s and early 90’s that derived from Moore’s early work for DC, Spielgelman’s dabbling at biography in NYC, Miller’s pushing the edges out on Dare Devil and most of all (for me), Bill Sienkiewicz’s explosive rendering of ELEKTRA ASSASIN!  I had never seen anyone take the convnetions of comcis illustration like Faugere Egg and take a sledge hammer to it the way Siekiewicz did, literally splattering the edges of the pages and frames with the remnants of comics conventions.  Sienkiewicz brought commercial  art and later fine art sensibilities to Graphic Novels, something his admirer and pioneer in his own right Dave McKean would further in his career just like in a real popular arts medium.

These were the Makers of New Works.  I’ve forgotten everyone:  Brendan McCarthy, Jamie Delano, Pete Milligan, Frank Miller, Joe Sacco, Harvey Peckar, Gilbert and Jamie Hernandez . . . .  they all were making, new different work outside the stulpifying conventions aesthetic conventions.  So like superheros, they need a new name and Guardians of the Galaxy was taken, so instead you got Graphic Novelists.

I resent nothing.

It was my own fault for being more naive and less carnivorous than my employers.

So instead I have to work for a living; for which I have no complaint as at least I have work to do.

I did learn something valuable (whenever someone fails, they  always say that they learnt something valuble),  and that is to sell a product whatever it might be, you have to create a place in people’s minds and desires where they want that product.  The most intimate and subjective of products: the books we read, the music we listen to , the films we watch: you must give people a reason for looking an understanding for what they may see.

That is why a coded term like Graphic Novel works; it’s a cut through, short cut signifier that puts anyone who wants to know or needs to know in the picture immediately: you know what you know and now you know what it is.

In the case of Poetry, we have a different problem.

Everyone knows what  Poetry is, right ? It’s that stuff you had to memorize in school and  analyze with Mrs. Humphries who always crossed the naughty words out like ‘sweat’ and ‘blood’ and ‘toil’ with a thick, black, fascist marker pen.38_image_v2

Or it’s what you penned to your wife when you were courting her; or received form your husband, your boyfriend, you lover.  Anyone one of those people in your life who felt such passion, such ardour for you that they could not tell you, they had to find words from some magic place to convince you, to persuade you, to seduce you into the beauty of the passion they could see in you.

Perhaps a Poem was the only form your shattered thoughts could take at the loss of someone so precious to you that you would choose the pian of being hewn by swords than endure the truth of their permanent absence from this world.

Perhaps you have nearly gone mad and found Poems, like steps out of the abyss of self-loathing into the stark light of realisation and hope for your self.

There is no greater hope to lose than the Hope for Yourself.

So Poetry has a signifier, a pretty universal one; unfortunately it doesn’t point towards anything like what Poetry actually is.

Poetry is an art form, not a craft.

Poetry an aspiration to derive music and pattern from our deepest thoughts, the language of our dreams and the whispering, the lamenting, the singing, the moaning and the laughter of our souls.

Poetry is Liberation.  The words will set you free.

I am a Poet and to sell my ware  (my GRAPHIC POEMS ;~),   I must show people what it is that I do, that others do that is so far removed from the common currency of the term Poetry.   So this is not only a CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY, but a sinister sales strategy as well!   To get you to read my words, I must first who you what they are ouside the barriers of  your preconceptions.

So, come to a picnic and hear what Poetry is and the vital importance it has always played in our social and political lives.

*Poster for Marathon Rimbaud-100-THOUSAND-POETS-4-CHANGE-by-Henrik-Aeshna

September 27th, 1 pm Balboa Park, World Beat Centre/ El Centro Cultural de la Raza

Come One and All, Come All in One, Come to the 100,000 Poets-for-Change Marathon!  (Picnic & Reading)


It’s your duty ;~)


Clay Born

By Igor Goldkind

 The Saturday farmers market in Little Italy lines 6 or 7 blocks intersecting India Street with fruit and vegetable stalls, fresh fish and flowers, Burritos and tamales, flavored salts, garlic presses and shimmering kitchen knife displays. It is a trajectory from the old world crossing into the new. It is here that I find myself wandering up and down the pedestrian road hunting supplies for tonight’s evening meal.

I am back in San Diego after half a lifetime at sea, sailing past foreign shores, exploring jagged islands and visiting shining cities. I have returned to San Diego because my mother no longer cares for herself and her needs are such, (fluctuating, altering day by day), that I must be on hand to administer the correct exact dosage of TLC. Tonight is my respite, a meal with friends, one old, and two new. There will be wine and food and laughter. But most of all there will be the familiar comfort of intelligent conversation in American accents.

I woke up this morning not feeling well, something in my lungs was not right as if I had never bothered abandoning cigars; and my joints were aching from fights I couldn’t remember. I was out of the house under an azure sky, the brightness of the San Diego sun smiling down on me, the toy boats in the bay gliding over the silver surface of a perfect day. A Mexican girl sits with my mother, making her meals, helping her reach her walking frame. 95 is an ambition to reach and my mother has surpassed herself. She is old and blind and wandering near the exit door. As it should be, as life has meant it to be, as everything leads up to be.

There’s a chicken in my bag and some asparagus, Parmesan, olive oil, smoked paprika; all the ingredients I have gathered from my travels I have brought back to my port of origin to cook a meal in a present gathered with two hands, from the past.

 My foot falters, the bag weighs down; my hand reaches my wet face covered in sweat. I wipe my brow. I am feeling worse. I must find some soup, a stall ahead has soup and I zigzag across the market looking for soup. I am on a quest for soup.

It’s 2 o’clock and the stalls are packing up, I look down from the top of the market and see the entire world receding from me as it folds up for another day and I’ve only finished half my shopping.

 I’m walking down the incline now, rolling up the market like a colorful rug. The soup stand is gone; it’s disappeared into tomorrow. I stop and stagger onto India Street, all hope of soup abandoned. My head is boiling hot, my ears tingling. The road is swimming with Italian fishermen. I turn on India and giggle. There’s only home to get to now. Home and a bed and a duvet to sweat under. My private lodge. There went my dinner plans, I must call my friends and cancel. Cancel my respite.

And then I remember the clay. The clay I had promised my mother.2014-02-07 17.19.38



Yesterday, she had complained to me of boredom. Day after day of waking, coffee, lunch, dinner and bed with no easel to set up. No tubes to squeeze, no palate to mix, no brushes to wash, no canvass to stretch. No image to dredge from her mind to the surface of the world. Her boredom was her prison and I suggested I might bring her some modeling clay, something she could use to fashion toy figures for her grandchildren.


My mother approved the idea and my mission was set. Somewhere on India Street is an arts supply store filled with paints and canvasses, watercolors, pastels, charcoals and erasers and of course modeling clay. The right mix of magic I needed. But not just any modeling clay would suffice. What I needed was red clay; clay, the colour of blood and earth. Not dark earth, not rich, fertile mulch but paler, redder, coarser mixed with ash and sand. The colour of flesh covering tendon and muscle. It was this clay that when fired adorned the kitchen tables of a thousand homes; terra cotta—-­‐ the colour of the earth’s flesh.

 Now my legs are shore leave sailors propping me up the avenue, as I look for a bar to lean on. My head is on fire and my ears are singed by the flames of hell. I’ve lost my way on India Street. But my mission is clay and missions are the source of all courage and strength. I see the word ‘Art’ painted garishly on the large front window of a store: The Art of the Masquerade. Surely, if they know Art they will know where the source of art lies! I push in the glass door that tinkles the silver                            bells that hang down the other side, the other side of the door I am opening. The face of an angel immediately meets my entrance. The girl behind the counter by the door is a vision of Italian beauty, poised pale arms; a waterfall of chestnut curls overflows her shoulders. She is wearing a Comedia del Arte Masque across her eyes. I imagine, to amuse her customers. But she fixes me with her eyes and her blood-­‐swollen lips smile carnivorously at me. I know now that I have passed into the other world. But as I said before, my mission makes me bold.

 “Do you know of an Art supply store, somewhere along this street”?

 The masked creature curls her red lips even more and sucks the air in sharply as if I had just suggested a seditious seduction. Strange Love and her eyes dance behind her masque. She speaks with Sophia Loren’s voice and says: “Just two more blocks down on your left; not too much further to go.” I must look like I’ve already come a long ways. I turn away from her eyes and her red lips, thanking her and push open the door to hear her voice following my back: “Of course, you are always most welcome”.

Now India Street has become a river, the breeze blows ripples in my field of vision. The other pedestrians lean in and bend to the wind, Lowry-­‐like stick figures passing on my left and my right. This is a street like any street, a path paved by the footsteps that preceded mine. An every street, in every city, in every country, everywhere-India Street in a Little Italy swollen so large that I am just a speck, a buoy bouncing on the surface of its whimsy. And then I find my port.

 I push the glass double doors of the art store open and walk into the early 1960′s. The floor is a speckled, yellowed linoleum, the wooden counters, the walls; the shelves stretching beyond my horizon, cemented in another time and place. I walk past the sales counter where a silver haired man smilingly takes change from a customer; he moves in a subtle way that I notice, he lives in another world. I walk into the belly of the store. I see a young, dark haired man arranging items on a shelf who looks passably human.

 My ears are burning, hellfire licks my cheeks and I see little, twinkling twists of light hovering around my peripheral sight. Faery lights, angels or tiny floating demons; they are chattering to each other as they bob and bounce around. I ignore them. “Excuse me, can you tell me where you keep your modeling clay?” The human boy nods and points “Follow the green aisle down all the way to the end, then take the final flight of stairs to the next level”. I say ‘Thank you’ while wondering if his instruction might double as a cheat to some computer game.


I follow the green aisle and reach the stairs. My legs have now been transformed into lead by the dark magic of this place. But my mission pulls me up the steps and I reach the aisle and the shelf with the clay, just where I had been told it would be.

claybornJust a little further. I look for red clay and find a 4-­‐pound box and then I stop. Next to the box of red clay I have been hunting is another 4-­‐pound box of red clay, in a different box, for one dollar more. I hesitate; I read the labels on both boxes. They are identical, so why is one box one dollar more? I take the cheaper box, but what if I’m overlooking the value of the one-­‐dollar more? Which box should I choose? And then the light comes on and I am enlightened: this choice is not more freedom, this is merely more confusion. I pick up both boxes, grab a handful of palate knives and descend to the sales counter in triumph.

 The silver haired devil is older than me, with close-­‐cropped hair, a stud in one ear and a well-­‐groomed demeanor. He smiles at me and I think that he seems pleasant enough for a demon of the underworld. I speak to him directly although his details are by now, bleeding into the background and my peripheral is intruding into my focus. “Can you tell me please, what is the difference between these two boxes of red clay? They seem identical to me but one is a buck more than the other…am I missing something…?” I steady myself with my hand on the counter and I wonder if I appear drunk. The demon doesn’t seem to notice, conscientiously leans over both boxes and unbegrudgedly begins reading the packaging. Just a little bit further and then I am gone. The store, the silver haired demon, the floor have vanished.

SONY DSCI am in my grandfather’s workshop. The heat is coming from the wood fire heating the cauldron of bubbling beeswax he uses for casting molds. I breath in the familiar sickly sweet smell of bubbling bees wax. I’m standing on the concrete floor covered with plaster of Paris dust ‘Gesso’ he calls it. My grandfather stands behind a giant slab of granite, chisel and hammer in hand. His pale horn-­‐rimmed glasses cover his concentrated squint and he taps the chisel carefully with his hammer. Chink-­‐chink-­‐ chink. The music of the universe toiling.

 My mother, my young, beautiful mother stands beside him and when I see her, she sees me; she looks and smiles her seeing smile at me. She leaves her father’s side and comes closer. In one hand she carries a stool she places in front of me. Her eyes so bright, burning like a million suns set in the midnight firmament, smiling down on my upturned face, the pure unconditional love of an eternal mother for her child; the love that moves the earth, that spins galaxies; the love so immense, so encompassing that the universe must keep expanding just to accommodate it. She touches my cheek with one hand and places a mound of red clay on the stool in front of me with the other. She takes my tiny hands in both hers and pushes them into the cool, wet clay. I am mesmerized. She is Prometheus and she has come to make me a man. She lets me feel the clay squeeze between my fingers and I am kneading, I am squeezing, I am kneading the flesh colour earth in the rhythm that she shows me.

And her eyes, a million suns are shining on me.


I am back in the art store and the silver haired demon is speaking to me. “There really isn’t any difference I can see, just different companies.

“Although this…”, he gestures to my first choice, “doesn’t set until the clay is fired”. I think of my mother’s increasing dementia, a stone rolling down a hill and her forgetfulness. She’ll forget to wrap the clay back in plastic, letting it dry out, wrinkle and crack before it’s finally formed. I choose my first choice.

“Thank you” I say.

The demon smiles benignly and tallies the clay and the palate knives onto the 60′s cash register.

“I appreciate your help”‘ I continue. “It’s not for me, its kind of art therapy for an elderly artist”. The silver hair smiles

“That’s nice”. Shut up.

“Yes, well she’s 95 now and she can’t really see”.

Shut up Igor. Shut up. It’s too late; I’m a runaway train.

“She used to paint allot, and sculpt and make stained glass windows. Her whole life she’s worked.”

Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

“But she can’t see anymore because of the Glaucoma she didn’t treat in time and see, I wasn’t around, I was in England and I couldn’t take her to the eye doctor and now she’s half blind because they didn’t treat it in time. I mean, I didn’t know and she always does things her way…”

 And now the runaway train crashes in the middle of the art store sending everything flying. And I am melting as the tears stream down my face and form droplets on the wooden counter and I can’t stop talking, please stop talking! “She’s bored now because she has no work to do and she can’t see to paint so I thought if I got her this clay that she could see with her fingers and make something to keep her busy, to keep her alive, like some toys for her grandchildren, little red clay toys I could fire for her”. And I can’t stop crying but I do stop talking and I stare at the silver haired man and I know everyone is looking at me and then I just say,“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”. The demon who is really a man looks at me and leans forward and quietly puts his arms around me and just holds me. And I sob and I sob and I keep saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”. And the man holds me until I stop sobbing and I straighten up and rub my eyes and the demon hands me a tissue with my change with which I wipe my eyes and blow my nose. He catches my flitting, avoiding eyes and says.

 “There’s nothing more you need to say”.

I grasp my bag of red clay and walk back out into the clear, azure day.

 2014-01-15 11.29.13


Painting of ‘Cerro’ by Margarta Zuniga

EVERYTHING IS (IN) EVERY THING: the phenomenology of identity.

William Blake

William Blake

“To See a World…”

(Fragments from “Auguries of Innocence”

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour.

A Robin Redbreast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
A dove house fill’d with doves and pigeons
Shudders Hell thro’ all its regions.
A Dog starv’d at his Master’s Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A Horse misus’d upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fiber from the Brain does tear.

He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar.
The Beggar’s Dog and Widow’s Cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.
The Gnat that sings his Summer song 
Poison gets from Slander’s tongue.
The poison of the Snake and Newt
Is the sweat of Envy’s Foot.

A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so;
Man was made for Joy and Woe;
And when this we rightly know
Thro’ the World we safely go.

Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are Born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight.
Some are Born to sweet delight,
Some are Born to Endless Night.  

To hold Infinity in the palm of my hand and Eternity within this hour.d51ae2162d8f8d5fdad185a7c4c33f06

This is the small gratuity I ask from this existence in part exchange for my having been thrown into this, my own bewilderment (like a dog without a bone).  Forced to navigate my senses, follow my faculties like distant stars, through the patterns they find in the cosmos,  along the paths of meaning thrown up by the backwash of sensations that bombard and ignite my senses.

I 'find' myself sitting, often.

I mean, that I find the awareness of my self as my Self,  generally  recurs to me when I’m sitting.

Occasionally standing, if overlooking a view or gazing at the horizon beyond the sea, past the mountains, towards the limits of my imaginings.

The visual persistence of the horizon, a clear razor edge slicing existence into the upper half and the lower half of my perception.  Between the two,within the cusp of duality emerges events, like ships rising from the edge of the world.

This curiosity has been my meditation since I was first aware of my own awareness.

My brain in the background, is a clockwork organic, a steam spunk mechanism that maintains my essential monotonies  unaffected by the passage of time.    Work-earn-pay-repeat.

And then I will die, like my father died 2 years ago; like my mother wll within these months.  Like my daughter died when she flew away to her other life without me.  Like my sister died; and David and Gamma and Meryl and everyone else I have known.  the price of awareness  is loss.  

th-1We dream that we are immortal all the way up til the moment that we die.

I have paid all my bills this morning; my rent is up to date.  My credit rating is sound: I am a good citizen.

So I can afford this self-Indulgence, this amateur excavation of my  Self, my sense of this world in which I find my ‘Self’.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”

These sense are my prison cell, the box of concrete and credit worthiness that boxes in my wild madness; my inner demonic desire to rape and kill and own; and then regret.    But in the pause comes recollection.  the resident of the box is real.  My restlessness will not abide illusion or the rhythm of mindless repetition.  

Reason is a motive.  

Understanding, an incentive.

The Red pill or the Blue?   And who exactly is the Pharmacutical in this particular reality shift?

What about the purple pill where I can dream the dream of others and still remain half awake?   If I can maintain my passive gaze through the coloured glass of this kaledocopic dilation of my perception.  If I can see the light through the glass aidst the colours that fragments this spectrum.  If I swim the sea of signifiers towards the other shore, the one I started swimming from; will I go mad?


The mad and magical largely travel unnoticed or intentionally ignored amongst us.

I will not go mad, instead I will try my utmost to drive you mad.

noema-pencil-sketch-loveWalk this way with me …

Every belief, desire, etc. has an object that it is about: the believed, the wanted.  The expression “intentional inexistence” to indicate the status of the objects of thought in the mind. The property of being intentional, of having an intentional object, was the key feature to distinguish mental phenomena and physical phenomena, because physical phenomena lack intentionality altogether.  In order to study the structure of consciousness, owe have to distinguish between the act of consciousness and the phenomena at which it is directed (the objects as intended).  The bridge, the door the passage betweent he apparently iner world and the apparent ‘outer’ world of physical reality is through our intentionality, that violition that derives from us and provokes our action-in-the-world.  image001Therefore the “world of objects” and ways in which we direct ourselves toward and perceive those objects is  conceived  in what we call the “natural standpoint”, which is characterized by a belief that objects exist distinct from the perceiving subject and exhibit properties that we see as emanating from them.   This is our default perception of our selves and the world we inhabit.  A turbulant sea of tense dualities; Good & Evil; Wrong & Right.  

The Mindful strive to calm the sea in order to see the currents better.

The phenomenological way of perceiving objects by examining how we, in our many ways of being intentionally directed toward them, actually “constitute” them; from the Phenomenological standpoint,  objects cease to be something simply “external” and cease to be seen as providing indicators about what it is, and  becomes instead, uncovered as merely a grouping of perceptions belonging to me, the subject. 

So we begin to understand out perceptions, our understnading of the reality we inhabit as a result of interactions between the objects that we recognize and our intent towards that which we recognize as us or ours or part of our world.basicconcepts If we recognize the perceptions as our own, then we begin to identify the components of who we are.  

These fragments, like Osiris’s dismembered body, when reassembled, resurrects the Self that has always stood behind the curtain, tweaking the shapes and lights of our illusions.

My claim is that these are also the fragments of a reality in which the cypher of our existence, the Who in Who We Are, can be found within every moment, every fragment of profound reflection.  Each acknowledgement of our irrevocable impact on our own world.   Perception is an act of assault by our senses.  


  The keyhole through to the world as it is, is available at every given moment of consciousness.  Each and every one of our perceptions holds the keys to who we really are.


Just take a look .  .  .  :~)OE_51_6_060901_f016


MY HEART words by Igor Goldkind; Percussion by Gilad Atzmon

heart copy

My Heart Is

Still ticking like a bomb…

Beaten like a dusty rug.

Still ticking like a bomb…


Unbroken, unwavering.

Still ticking like a bomb…

Not unbruised but


Still ticking like a bomb…

Not yet fatally wounded yet

Still ticking like a bomb…


My Heart is

Strong but not hard.

Still ticking like a bomb…


And safe in its own discontent.


My heart is still ticking like a bomb.


MY HEART Cracked concrete Heart_by_Bambr


This is from my upcoming  collection of poetry, art and music entitled IS SHE AVAILABLE?  (Chameleon; October 31)

Artwork by the incomparable Liam Sharp (an ostrich, a rhino?  a toaster?  a xylophone?  See, you can’t compare him.)

This image, conjured from his reading of the poem below, is  Copyright Liam Sharp 2014.  

The poem GRAVITY’S CONQUEST may be reproduced widely without restriction,  as long as it is intact, attributed and appears in a place likely to  incite civil and/or psychological unrest.  Please write it on lavatory walls and biology school books.

Don’t fall too far from your self.

Who else is going to bend over to pick you up?

Gravity's conquest low-res copy




You know, you’ve already seen the inside of your guts
Looking for a way out.
You know, you’ve already seen what you’ve seen:
You know what you know.
You know the truth like an elder brother.


You know, it’s usually right ‘there’,
The last place you looked.
The last place you wanted to forget:
Your bare feet,
Pasted against the concrete;
Gravity’s Conquest.


Nailed through the heels.
On the precarious cusp
Between this death and that life.


CON FLYER REVOLUTION in JUST 2 DIGITS hh photo 1 What We Do th-2 radical_22



photo by Tiina Komulainen 543867_4461826376024_2083558171_n mindfulness 559235_429780530417814_1780624763_n tumblr_mby12zqG3S1r6kh2uo1_1280 Cathedral Trees The Vortex of Language neuron-mini-360.jpg 



you need to alleviate your stress
by laughing at yourself,
and the madness
that drives you far from your self
down a long winding road
without pause to reflect on your loneliness;
your motor addicted to the thin white lie:
the difference between what is 
and what merely might be.
how can you tell while in perpetual motion sickness
heading nowhere so fast
nowhere that lasts
heading for a train wreck:
Final Stop.

– Igor Goldkind 2014 (From IS SHE?)


you need to alleviate your stress
by laughing at yourself,
and the madness
that drives you far from your self
down a long winding road
without pause to reflect on your loneliness;
your motor addicted to the thin white lie:
the difference between what is 
and what merely might be.
how can you tell while in perpetual motion sickness
heading nowhere so fast
nowhere that lasts
heading for a train wreck:
Final Stop.

- Igor Goldkind 2014 (From IS SHE?)



mash_-_suicide_is_painlessThis morning I did cry for Robin Williams.  Not for long, I didn’t know the man except through his acting and performance persona.  

But he was such a familiar fixture in my tube zone from the 70’s onwards.  First as the alien Mork who merely by being an SF element on mainstream TV made me an instant fan.  it was a silly show but reeked of that 70’s innocence I would pay hard currency to recover.  

It was a memory and then I grew older and so did Robin and he became a hyper-ventilated, hyper-active, hyper-real stand up and I related to him.

By the time of Good Morning Vietnam, I knew and loved Williams as part of the anarchic fraternity that embraced  him, Andy Kaufman, Eddie Izzard, Lenny Bruce, Groucho Marx: that fearless plunge into the surreal.    Riding what we considered normalcy into its logical outcome: the absurd; he surfed that beach, skated that ice.   Late,r I grew to like him less but forgave the absorbing amoeba of Hollywood we succumbed to; he deserved success, what of it?  The drugs made him seem dangerous to me; that was atttractive once and then repulsive.  Now I’m more indifferent.  If I had been in his shoes, doing his career; sure, I’m sure I would have been a coke head too.  And the Alcohol?  I’ve got my own ghost stories to tell.

What made me cry for Robin Williams was that occasionally, during his film work or  talk show appearance, he would let the Harlequin’s mask slip and we would briefly gimpse this quiet, very contemplative man, honing his sense of attack, thinking his next line . . . the timing.  And I recall distinctly that look of vulnerable humanity and I felt touchd by him, like he would be someone I speak to if in the same room.  It was this Robin Williams I wept for, because I knew exactly what he was feeling as he took his own life.  

Or maybe it was nothing like what I felt when I took my own life at 16.

I felt  bad for Robin because I could imagine the moments as he decided, as his intent hardened to resolve, and the long run off the short cliff of the emotional, psychic plunge that he took.  I felt I was there with him like a ghost; out of reach, trying to connect—trying to just have a word with him.

I took my own life with  a cocktail,  over dose of my mother’s medications including lithium and barbiturates.  What my father’s doctor had prescribed her for her anxiety and perpertual angst from living in a perfect suburb.  

I say I “took” my life even though I am still alive writing this (barely).  Because the intent was there.  I was not pretending.  I was not seeking attention.

I waited until my mother had left the house to go shopping.  I crept upstairs to her medicine cabinet, took out all her plastic jars of pills and empied them into my mouth.  Just what the doctor ordered.    I then went downstairs to the den where my teenage years were to end.  Lay down on my bed, crossed my arms and prepared to die.  My typewritten note still in the manual typewriter on my desk.  I was prepared.

Then my mother came home.

She had forgotten something and then noticed that I hadn’t done the dishes.

Se knocked on my door.

I ignored her.

[I’m dyng here, for chrissakes!]

She banged on the door, yelled at me and then came into my room.  She wasn’t going to leave me alone to die or anything else.  I was still her child, her responsibility, her burden of karma.

She made me get out of bed and go do the dishes.

I did.

You had to listen to my mother or a metal spoon might find your bottom; or the back of  your neck might attract an open palm slap.  Once my other slapped me full in the face in front of others.  When I asked her why she told us that she didn’t like the look I had given her.  My mother has always lived the intuitive life, dangerously.

I started to wash the dishes, laughed and then woke up in hospital.

That’s what it seemed like at the time.

I survived.

And recovered.

It was my mother’s insistence on engendering my self-discipline that saved my life.    That, and the unwashed dishes.

I so deeply regretted my stupid, solipsistic, life-changing attempt to die, that I subsequently trained and worked as a suicide counsellor in San Fransisco in the early 80’s, while I attended SFSU.

A saw a notice on a board and I answered it.

I used to work shifts in a call centre-like set up near the Haight.  I would spend 4 hours taking calls.  Random calls.    Calls from women mainly, but then there would be evenings, usually Saturday nights when it would be nearly all male voices. Long, lonely voices.  Soft voices.  Tearful voices.  I took it all in.  I was a young man but I had been where they were and I figured I owed dues.  I owed dues to my mother, to my sister and to the ever loving pack of hairless apes that share my cage on this muddy spinning marble.  I oed dues to the life I had so nearly come so close to squandering.

At first I was shy and repeated the same “I’m Listening” cues, over and over.  But the one woman who’s husband came home each  afternoon and beat bloodly her in front of her toddler.  The patient dying of cancer.  The executive who stole money.  The teenager, like me: hurt, confused, in pain; not knowing where the pain is coming from.

Then, I got good at it.

I left the Suicide Center script behind and began to ask my own questions; harnessing Socrates and my own empathy and expereince of suicide to try and connect.  I spoke to suicides from the place of wanting to kill your self, not trying to talk you out of it.  When I left the center, the director gave me a certificate, a thank you and shook my hand in front of the team.  He looks like Alan Watt’s in my mind’s eye, but I’m sure that I’m confusing images.  He shook my hand and said “We are all fortunate to have had such an old soul amongst us”.  I had no idea what the hell that meant.

sisyphusIllustration for Sisyphus Shrugs (from IS SHE AVAILABLE?) ; by DIX

Suicide is never a cold, calculated choice.  But it is a choice.

I’m sure there as many reasons as there are suicides; but the step that one takes across the line from intent into action is a huge ascent.  It takes every fibre of ones will to align onesself to a task that goes against ones own body, one’s being.  This is precisely what is so incomprehensible to non suicides ; that the act of taking ones life takes such a great force of will.  If will is Life how can it will its own end?     Your body will fight you every step of the way; *it* wants to survive.  You, on the other hand, can think of better alternatives to merely surviving.  

There are classes amongst suicides and we don’t rate religious or insane self-immolators at all.  In fact we think they’re chicken-shits.    They tell themselves a story or someone does and next thing they know, they think they’re getting off at 25th street when it’s actually the upper east side.  KA-BOOM!!! 

No.  That’s not real suicide.  

Real suicide is when you know absolutely that you have no idea what happens next.  THAT’s the step into the abyss that takes a force of will.  A will, an intent borne into action more often than not as an alternative to the fact of ones existence:  A bully, a spouse, a bank statement.   How can I describe the agony of hating the world?  Chasing the orbit around the source of the confounding pain round and round like a mad dog chasing its own tail.   Try chasing your own tail for year, two years, five years in agonizing concentric circles of self loathing and pain and self-repulsion and then tell me how selfish suicide is; ok??

Most of us contemplate or will contemplate suicide at one time or another in our lives.


But when’s the last time you shared any of your darkest thoughts with anyone?  What’s the matter, scared you won’t get an invite to the Prom?  Well yes, precisely.

You may be thinking about it right now as you read these words.

It can just cross your mind, a wandering Jew of a thought.   A casual, whimsical speculation that takes shape and form into something viable, no: necessary.  Necesssary to allieve the agony of this existence.

It’s time to speak out about this.

It’s a good thing.

it’s a natural thing.

Yes it is, it’s a natural thing to contemplate killing yourself; people have been doing it for thousands of years.

It’s part of the process we go through in becoming human beings, in gaining a greater depth of understanding of what it is that we are so willing to chuck away.  Life and Death are a mirage; it’s just 2 sides of the same deal, baby.  

But what exactly is the deal, huh?

Do you know?  

No, neither do I so who are you to tell me that you understand the value of my life better than I do?

I’m happy  to reveal what so many of us hide from their own polite eyes: that we are deeply unhappy with our lives, that we do not know why and that we are suffering, mostly in silence.  So many of us.  So many of us continue and persevere; so many of us don’t.  That’s the way the cookie crumbles

I am fortunate that I can translate some of these dark thoughts, impotent cries of anguish into words, poems that might invite you to open your heart and reflect: on your self, on your life, on your neighbor.  What’s his or her life like, I wonder?

But I am just one lonely poet.

An obnoxious one, at that.

This existential torment I describe is the privilege of the intelligent,  the sensitive, the insightful, the visionary, the artist, thinker, the Artist: All High Suicide Risks.  Robin Williams was an artist and an artist uses their metier not so much to exorcize their demons, as uncover them.    Williams crafted his art,  I’d like to think, as a shield, as his own private shelter against the raging cold of indifference that surrounds us.  

But we who lurk  at the center of the cyclone, where our care and concern  huddle at the tranquil center, are perplexed and confused.  “He had so much to live for”.

That is why I  try and describe these thoughts and  ideas and  sensations as best as I can,      I do so not out of exhibitionism; on the contrary, I’ve kept these facts about myself  secret for some time; I want to inform anyone who has been affected by suicide, either someone you knew or a loved one, or in fact yourself, what kinds of thoughts may cross your mind that make you want to take your own life.  If this gives some small respite or comfort to someone in their moment of profoundest grief, then it is no chore on my part.

It may seem displaced; it may even seem selfish and insensitive; but there’s an arrogance to the suicide  that does place us one step removed from the lives you are living.  Impulse and sheer clumsy stupidity aside, the intent to take your own life, with all the thought that that act entails, is not an easy course to stay.  

It is not, to the suicide, a real choice.  In the Camus-like sense of choosing every day to either commit suicide or NOT commit suicide as an exercise of free will.  To NOT committ suicoide is of course to choose Life and whatever else happens to you that day as something you have willingly chosen.  No, the existential blanket is often clung to but the act itself requires more desperation than merely a wanting to know how to live.

The same with the code of  honor or Bashido that motivated both Yukoo Mishima, Japan’s greatest post war poet and the executive in charge of compensation to the 400 families of the Japanese Boeing jet that went down in the water with no survivors.  The verdict was pilot error and the compensation payments were in the millions.  After filing the paperwork for the 400th claim, the airline executive neatly arranged his desk and then committed ritual seppukaas his personal apology to the families.  In this way the samurai, the man of honour makes his entire life a gesture, a conscious act of volition in ending it.  He knew what he was doing.

I did not.

I was a child growing up in 70’s San Diego.  Down the street from me was the school where the shootout that gave Bob Geldof Why I hate Mondays.  And of course there was Danny Alstadt.


I published my first poem entitled UNDER THE GIZMO in the California State Education Poetry Anthology describing my experience when my French teacher, a former Playboy bunny, discovered my poetry journal that had my imitations of Baudelaire and Nerval.   She called the school counsellor who called my mother who then got browbeat her into taking me to a child psychiatrists.  Upon the first ten mintues of meeting me and suggesting that a French Symbolist’s lifestyle was not compatibel with an academic career, he prescribed  medication.  Apparently, a 14 year old with a morbid interest in late 19th century French Symbolist poetry does not conform to the cirriculum standard and I was sentenced to be drugged.  

Fortunately my father had returned from his conference and was able to intervene where my mother’s English could not.

So I wrote a poem about the dehumanization of the state educational system.

So the state educational system published it in their journal state-wide.

My long term social alienation had been  augumented by my parents disintegrating marriage.

It was the summer of 1975 that my father moved out and it was later that summer that I took my own life.

When I went to 10th grade, before I was expelled for organizing a student demo (another story), I fell in with a group of older students who seemed to appreciate SF, poetry, classical music and art as much as I did.  They adopted me as a sort of odd mascot and I took pleasure in finally have found a social niche I felt welcome in.

B became my best friend  and it was B who enthisiastically invited me to the library after school one day to introduce me to S, his new girlfriend.  I had never met anyone like S before; half Armenian, half Jewish; S was the girl I had been dreaming of since I first started dreaming about girls.  And she was my best friend’s girlfriend.  And beautiful.  And intelligent.  And she new everything about Matisse!

Needless to say this fated triangle would not hold.  That summer was a Shakespherian torture of frustrated libido, yielding to honour.  Eventually B “gave” S to me.  It was during one of those ridiculous emotional roller coaster rides that S had called me to tell me that she had reached a final decision and was choosing to stay with B.  

We were all children at 16 and 17.  Children playing with fire.

I accepted this, hung up the phone and sat down to my typewriter to write my goodbye.

When I awoke in hospital, stomach pumped, having endured the enagelism of an all night Christain nurse wo kept waking me up to tell me how much I had disapppointed Jesus.  

[HE”S disappointed?  I would shout at her now.]

When I awoke to the pair of clear blue confused yes of my little sister looking at me, anxious and scared I realized like a freight train what my life was really worth.   At the time, it seemed like the only thing to do.  That morning, I hated myself and when I looked at the hurt confusion in my mother’s eyes, I knew that this could never, never ever happen again.

These days it merely takes a split second of my daughter’s face in my mind to assure my immortality.

But I’m with Robin Williams.  I know what that step entails.  I know what it means to make the final choice.  And it is something we must air out.  It is something we must allow to enter the public sphere.  We are all masters of our own destiny and the ability to choose to take our own lives is an act of assertion; an act of identity.  To label it as weak or sick or wrong is to deny your own awareness of your own identity and the need to control and detmin who and what it is that you are on your terms.  There are many things worse than death and there are at least a billion living it.  But is life is deemed to be precious, indeed the only value there is, then that value must be defined by its limits.

It is my life to choose to live it as I choose and to choose to die as I choose to.

Robin’s chocie may be tragic to us, but it is also a reminder that death rests waiting on all  of our shoulders.  There is no way out, is what we all share in common.   

Peace, and an ease to all suffering.

The tears of a clown: RIP Robin Williams

Excellent assessment of a clown’s career from ex Time Out editor, Dominic Wells

London, Hollywood

Robin Williams' star-making turn in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) Robin Williams’ star-making turn in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

I am shocked and devastated to read, just as I was going to bed, that Robin Williams has died, seemingly from suicide due to asphyxia. It’s common now for sit-com stars to move on to film –  Woody Harrelson, Will Smith, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Aniston – but Williams, along with John Travolta, paved the way.

Mork and Mindy was one of the sweetest programmes of my youth. Williams’s innocent alien, Mork from Ork, first appeared in Happy Days (Williams got the part before the audition even began, when the director asked him to take a chair and he sat on it on his head), and was so popular he got his own show, and catchphrase, “Nanu Nanu” (you had to have been there).

As a film actor he always risked overpowering his co-stars, being a barely contained tornado of irrepressible energy. He was…

View original post 404 more words


hitchhiker. . . in nervous anticipation of the world.  Curiousity, tempered by peer acquired knowledge  butts against the barricades of adulthood.  We’re ready to storm the Citadel of your privilege!  We are the next generation and that world you’re holding hostage belongs to us!  (Now hand it over before anyone gets hurt.)

My daughter, Olivia is 15 and visting me from just outside Oxford, England where she lives with her mother and has never had less than a straight A+ report card.  She just took a flight by herself from London Heathrow to San Diego, at 15.

When I was 15 my parents were getting divorced, badly.

So I ran away from home.

I told my mom, my dad  had moved out, that I was going camping with my friend Barry Alphonso for a few days and I asked her if she could give me a ride to Pacific Beach where Barry lived and where his mom was driving us from.hitchhiking-1

I didn’t see my mother again for another 12 weeks. I met Barry alright in PB near the freeway on-ramp onto 5 heading north.  I had an overstuffed backpack, a golf club (for walking and protection), about $40.00 I had stolen from my mother’s purse: the source of all comforts.  At  15 I found myself standing on an on-ramp in Pacific Beach  holding my glof club in one hand and sticking out my thumb with the other.  Barry lingered, somewhat doubting I would hitch a ride and curious as to my sticking my toes over the precipace into the unknown.  Would I really jump or just go home?



Me, all I had was the certainty I needed to leave my broken family behind.  There was too much incomprehensible grief, the loss of our house, our income, our home.  My mother and father’s loving looks twisted into evil eyes of anger, hatred and contempt for each other.  But me and my sister couldn’t help but suspect that we were the root of the problem.  After all, if they hadn’t had us; they could split up and both be happy somewhere else, with someone else.  Idiots think that children are somehow less responsible.

That’s not the problem.  A child is much too responsible, in our minds we feel responsible  for the world.

A delusion I have heartily welcomed back into my life at this late age.

At 15, I find myself standing on the verge of an open highway with my thumb sticking in the wind: the greatest gesture of hope and faith I have ever made in my life.  I had never hitchiked before and all I had were vague images of an Emerald San Francisco where my dad had driven us to years ago and near where my older brother was dodging tear gas on his way to class at Berkeley.  I had the swirling images of Bob Dylan songs and Paul Simon melodies to sing to my self on the side of the road.  If you really hit the groove on the song, you were always guaranteed a ride.  The joy of music and singing is infectous and hits the bubbled drivers like a laser, traveling 80mph!

This was also  still the time of war and the rice paddies and tunnels of Vietnam were making their way  underground into the California bread basket.

Hitchhiker JerichoLots of people I met on the road were veterans.  I hear its the same on the road today.  An army comes home to a lost highway.   Damaged souls with haunted eyes.  Hanging with  flea bitten ex fighting dogs and still wearing their green fatigues.  Some even still wore their dog tags that flickered in the sun and the sterno-light alike;  chained butterflies at the end of a beaded  neck chain .

Some of the sad were mad and would wander way from the fire or the on-ramp or under the bridge and howl at the sky.  No one ever paid them any mind.  it was impolite to comment on a soldier’s anguish.  These lost souls, these fragmented  men taught me so much about hitchhiking and rail car hopping, how to get a free meal at a road side McDonald’s in exchange for picking up the litter . . .  th

Which Jesus shelters were tolerable and which to steer away from.  (Generally, a meal, a sermon and a bed were tolerable.  Anythng more than that was considered risky.  I had a Christian woman visit me several times in one night in my bunk bed trying to convince me to accept Jesus while she  roamed her hands under my bed clothes.

Religion is allot like sex except that unlike sex, it gets it wrong.)

Most of all those lost soldiers, ghosts of events everyone wanted forgotten, they taught me how to forgive my father, another broken soldier who had taken out his white light rage on me and my brother, with his belt and with his fists.  Those men, may killers, taught me at 15 what I needed to know for real, so I could later tell my father what he had done to me  and I could look him I the eyes and forgive him because I knew and understood that  wasn’t his fault.

It was the War, the same fucking War that had crippled him.  The same War that crippled the ghosts from Iraq and Afghanistan.  The same War that is manufacturing new ghosts in Israel, in Gaza, in Syria.  It’s the same fucking War peeps, the same fucking War from the desert to the frozen tundra, through the jungle, to the rice paddies, to the streets of downtown LA.

It’s the same fucking War, peeps: when we going to call  it quits?

How much more do we have to endure of your arrogant greed, your inhumanity, your thoughtless disregard for Life?

I had adventures on that road to Oz.hitchhiking

Through the valleys of the Jesus people.

On the highway, pulling all sorts of motorised vehicles with my magnetic thumb.

Drinking beer for the first time at the cowboy ranch Bacchanal after the rancher’s hand picked up 5 of us hitchers in the back of his pickup truck, just to give us beer and music at the farm.  Being kissed by a girl who’s name I never would know, or need to,  for the very first time—There is no thrill greater than a fleeting one.    In the back of the Wizard’s goatee-ed van who dressed his poodle in a bright green doggy sweater and  offered to buy me dinner  later if he could show me his doggy tricks.

The biker under the bridge who’s hog had broken down in the downpour near the Oregon border.  And me, a drowned puppy carrying a golf club for protection, drenched to my bones and shaking like the Devil at Communion.

The big, bearded, bike-bear stared at me under the bridge for awhile and made me nervous.

This was his bridge.

HitchhikingAfter awhile, he broke his stare and waved me silently over across the road.  The only bikers I knew anything about were the ones that put Hunter S Thompson in the hospital because they didn’t like what he had written about them in his book.  Shit!

But ‘Lucky’ was a quiet mountain.  He gave me a green wool army blanket from his bike’s saddle bag and a Camel straight from his half empty pack; my first ever.  The rain was coming down steady, heavy and cold.  I had “smartly” chosen the month of November to make my break to freedom.  Lucky had a can of sterno, a metal cup and Nescafe.  There was water, water, everywhere and more than enough to drink.

Lucky didn’t say much but when I stopped shaking he poured from a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 into the hot metal nescafe cup and we shared it.  I did not know this quiet dark bearded man, where he came from, what his story was or even it was safe to hang  with him under this bridge in the rain.  But he was my older brother  in the moment we were in and when Lucky finally did say something to me it was a 3 word question:

“Do you play?”

I glanced down at the the minature wooden chess set Lucky had extracted from his saddle bag.

“Sure, I play.    I play ALL  the time”.

Paying chess with a leather suited biker under a bridge under the pouring Oregon rain.

That was what I was doing  when I was 15.






zincbars_slide1Reflecting in the dull, scratched reflection of a zinc counter, too many empty pastis glasses and I look towards the mirror and the sepia light and the prostitute sipping her espresso at the bar, her mouth like a red angry gash, and in the mirror behind her, I see her back, black lace dress, net stockings and then her front reflected from the opposite mirror and then a disappearing corridor of back front back front flipping back and forth into infinity.

And I think to myself: behind me was my continuing education, a phd in philosophy, a professorship, a book, a wife, a life; in front of me was an unknown Paris that had seduced me upon the first whiff of her urine scented perfume. And real prostitutes! Here in real life! and that guy over there wearing the basque, actually is a starving painter! And I am actually Henry Miller and this is my circus of sex and discovery and absinthe and old bar maids with concentration camp tattoos and butchers drinking cafe calvados at 4 in the morning after dropping off their bloody carcasses, half the blood blotting their aprons like they were serial killers meeting for a social.

All that looking from one end of the endless bar to the other.
And then back again.528a0ffbd7340fc005d427eff29d3a2c
From my hindsight glance at my past, how I got here and the anxious certain dread that I at some point, have made a lasting, life long mistake!

And then I gaze in the direction of your Paris street, I so badly need to hurry up to catch what’s around the corner. I used to walk so fast in Paris, I was literally running and no one ever gave me a second glance. In Paris there is always some place to go. But it’s not the future that’s around the corner, it’s more of this, this past, these aspirations, this humble beginning, this arrogant courage, this reckless abandon and the picking up of the consequential pieces and most of all this desire to go on, to keep going to escape from the shadow that is following me. It would have caught up with me sooner and swallowed me whole with the phd, the wife and the life. Instead it’s stopped chasing me; maybe because I’ve slowed, it’s slowed its pace to a stroll.

It knows that I know now where we are heading.
Where we’ve been going all along.

My shadow’s not chasing me anymore,
it’s just casually following out of vague curiosity.


Last Minute Re-Versioning.  I think it works better now.  Soon we will be launching the animated version of the illustration for the piece by the intensely wonderful and visually lyrical Jeff Christenten.  Thanks to Evan@Madefire.  As well as an original composition for the entire multimedia piece from the  intense genius of Gilad Atzmon.  Please stay tuned.  Please enjoy.  Please comment good or bad.  What’s the difference dantes-hell1?





Home again.


Thomas, you were wrong to doubt it:

You Can Go Home Again and

Bask in the healing sun of Osiris


This isn’t home

This is recovery.

From the fevered scurvy of my own forgetfulness.


I eat limes for breakfast, lunch and dinner now;

My bowels move regularly now.

And I feel just like Thomas Payne


His bursting desire to model the ideal citizen


Not our uniforms, but our blood, sinew and muscle.

To present to the Crowning Glory and

To the Revolutionary Congress and


To the Revolutionary French Senate

Thomas and his Pain made the American struggle a personal fight:

The universal pull of the upright ape on the chains holding him down.


Chains forged by the forgetful hairless ones.

The ones we will overcome.

But we are not revolutionaries!


We are the Revolution.

We are what happens next.

The R/Evolution of our Selves: the inner/outer seeing through Alice’s mirror


Into mindful awareness

Into homage to our honored masters and their children:

The ever loving human race.


We have already won the revolution.

We have already won the revolution.


2 Shots were fired from far, far ago:

One from Lovelace’s boudoir,

Another from Giordano’s spinning wheels and the memory of his funeral pyre.


And from the bit of the apple Alan choked down,

We have already won the revolution.


We just need to take charge.


We have already won the revolution.


In only 2 digits.























































Home again.


Thomas, you were wrong to doubt it:

You Can Go Home Again and

Bask in the healing sun of Osiris


This isn’t home

This is recovery.

From the fevered scurvy of my own forgetfulness.


I eat limes for breakfast, lunch and dinner now;

My bowels move regularly now.

And I feel just like Thomas Payne


His bursting desire to model the ideal citizen


Not our uniforms, but our blood, sinew and muscle.

To present to the Crowning Glory and

To the Revolutionary Congress and


To the Revolutionary French Senate

Thomas and his Pain made the American struggle a personal fight:

The universal pull of the upright ape on the chains holding him down.


Chains forged by the forgetful hairless ones.

The ones we will overcome.

But we are not revolutionaries!


We are the Revolution.

We are what happens next.

The R/Evolution of our Selves: the inner/outer seeing through Alice’s mirror


Into mindful awareness

Into homage to our honored masters and their children:

The ever loving human race.


We have already won the revolution.

We have already won the revolution.


2 Shots were fired from far, far ago:

One from Lovelace’s boudoir,

Another from Giordano’s spinning wheels and the memory of his funeral pyre.


And from the bit of the apple Alan choked down,

We have already won the revolution.


We just need to take charge.


We have already won the revolution.


In only 2 digits.

See the latest animations and musical tracks from my forthcoming collection of poetry, comics and prose : IS SHE AVAILABLE?  (Chameleon Editions) out in hardcover and audio (one in the same?) from October 31st, 2014   Buy a copy. Keep a poet alive.


See the latest animations and musical tracks from my forthcoming collection of poetry, comics and prose : IS SHE AVAILABLE?  (Chameleon Editions) out in hardcover and audio (one in the same?) from October 31st, 2014


Buy a copy.

Keep a poet alive.




The San Diego Human Centipede Convention

photo 5The San Diego Comic Con is a four day event, the largest trade show of any kind in California with over 300,000 attendees.

Feeling like a ghost haunting my own past, I waltzed (on my crutch), up the professional registration desk and gave them my name.  In return they graciously granted my Perpetual Prefered Professional  status (or something), entitling me to a life times worth of Comic Cons and for my close, personal guests.

Like the waitress at the Anaheim WonderCon who’s 11 year old son was crest fallen that she hadn’t been able to get tickets on line inn time.  Him, her and her daughter got in  that very day courtesy of yours truly and the SDCC.  My PPP status is earned by happenstance.  I happen to be the SF coordinator for the 1974 San Diego Comic Con when I was a young and fervent fan and wanted to walk up to Harlan Ellison and tell him that god spoke through him.

What We Do

Image ©Jeff Christensen for the poem WHAT WE DO in the upcoming collection by Igor Goldkind IS SHE AVAILABLE?

I was there this year,  aeons later, wandering around like a sack-bearing minstral touting my upcoming debut collection of poetry  IS SHE AVAILABLE?  and it’s complimentary music and animation.  In principle I was supposed to be touting to industry movers, shakers and cheque writers.  In fact, it was mainly artists, some old trading friends, a  few young fans and a homless man who benefited from  news of my impending launch.   I reckon if I can corner the homeless reading market sector, I’m on my way.

San Diego Comic Con 2014 reminded me most of all of that episode of South Park in which Steve Jobs exercises the terms and conditions from the Apple licence agreement (you know, the one you always just click through without reading), to collect human specimans in order to fabricate human centipedes.  The joke being how ridiculously absurd it is that anyone would voluntarily put up with day upon day of physical and emotional endurance just for the sake of a quickly forgotten signature.

photo 9But the hairless apes endure a great deal more for the chance to take  an intimate dream, a very public but nonetheless private fantasy one step closer to reality by getting to peek behind the theatre curtains.  I will pay for the privilege to meet the writers, the artists, the TV and film stars.   The latter attracting a pestulance of clicking, wirring cameras like someone kicked a over wasps nest.

The attraction is the focus, not the object of focus.

We not only comprise the public eye we are self aware of its meandering focus; like the guard’s light in a POW camp, the focus must keep moving, bouncing; taking in the walls, the ground and the towers of our narrow realm.  Quick!  Run over there, it’s over there now.

It is remarkable how like Carp people 2

They always wind up filling up the spaces  they inhabit, regardless the 7

The San Diego Conference Centre is Enormous; a Star Ship sized concrete mass.  on the ground floor  one room large enough to build a couple of passenger jet planes in, stretching from the center of San Diego Bay to seemingly, Tijuana; if you were walking.  As if there were an alternative to walking, or limping.   The upstairs Upper Deck of the Convention Center is a Gormenghast castle of windows and endless corridors of  rooms and as many culdesacs.  The entire homeless population of San Diego could easily fit into two panel rooms; and the panels wouldn’t be too much different from the writers, artists and TV stars ones. photo 4

What would you rather do?  Give money to a panhandler or pay to hear him appear on a panel regarding the new Marvel universe infringing on Dante’s 10 Circle of  Hell? .

The Convention Center is Enormous and yet unmoveable for  stagnated flow of people.  These are human currents of motion.  Anyone who has ever been swept up in a crowd knows exactly what I mean.  It’s terrifying in a profound way, even though logic and civilization dictates otherwise, it is still intimidating to feel the raw, brutal energy of the mob.  The Mob: that entity  formed by shaping a collection of humans (and the spaces of interaction between them) into one singular mass of motion and motive.

[Funny, that:  a flock of birds, a school of fish, a pack of hyena,

a Mob of people.   And we invented language.]

This collective swarming of people tends to occur organically, specially around sporting events and the escape of man-made monsters.  In this case it is due to the First Through Tenth Laws of Acquisition that motivates the herd.

The grass is collectable.

The commodification of value; selling Art wrapped in newspapers and doused in salt and Vinegar.

SDCC is  a trade show, a place of business of commerce of PT Barnum huksters selling your dreams back to you.  It is the most successful animal of its kind and it  demonstrates how commerce has successfully replaced  the human imagination.

photo 3And what drives the currents of human traffic?  Distant stars.  Usually at the exhibit stand near Hall G  while you had to go all the way  to Hall A just to find that out.  How did you get to Tijuana?  I walked there.  And there, finally, after swimming upstream against the trecherous human currents, you find the comics artist, your respected hero, who’s every word you hang on to,  just so you can brag about it to others who have also spent the same money for the privilege of basking in the sunlight of a comics artist.

And most of them are really quite funny; and charming and grossly underpaid for the craft of that they do.  But hey  that’s publisher’s innit? nothing to do with comics.  Comics illustration is an amazing craft in that it is generationally passed on, like shoemaking or wood turning used to be; so it has an antique heritage: the smell of newsprint funny papers is never far from even the glossiest deluxe graphic novel edition.

I’ve known a legion of comics artists; meaning commercial illustrators who primarily do and want to do comics.

I’ve known some of those luminaries both writers and artists when they were breaking in and then when they were breaking out of the comics industry.

It’s a self-contradictory life to live and work in complete isolation and then be at the centre of so much focus, so photo 6much adulation and demand

God what a lonely life that must be, to be living at the nub of your pen, gliding across an endless white surface of  parchment, flying from city to city, convention to convention, drawing pictures, sketching characters, signing books, signing prints, signing the bellies of beautiful women  and the arms of worshipful fans.   Always  in the air, always on the move, always either landing or taking off; never falling, always floating but never quite touching the ground.

An artist’s studio is his home but his work is all around him, all over the world.

The secret brotherhood of comics artists who quietly cross hatch the world, behind our backs,  behind hidden doors.

They scratch away with their pens and inks and digital tablets’ eradicating this world  with their framing shots of new ones.

For very uncertain 8


Last time I checked the Hawaian Comics Artists and Writers Retirement Orgy  Island  had a waiting list for placement openings some 160 years long.


Well at least they have all those conventions awards they can pawn to cover any unexpected medical bills that might come up in the future and what about us centipedes for the rest of the year?


While we can all see their latest enduring creations at the box office for about $12 for a decent seat on a weekday, or play the pixelated interactive version; long after our heros have all moved onto another Universe.






TRADE FLYER for IS SHE AVAILABLE?, My Debut Collection of Poetry

TRADE FLYER for IS SHE AVAILABLE?, My Debut Collection of Poetry.

TRADE FLYER for IS SHE AVAILABLE?, My Debut Collection of Poetry


Yes, well I am at the San Diego Comics Con the single biggest genre entertainment convention in the world and the biggest trade convention for any idustry in the whole state.  So I’m walking around and talking to people, trying to avoid the herds of  novelty seeking cattle rushing from one spectacle of desireable and obtainable (for a price) to another.   I’m tweeting my adventures.

If you’re around, walk up to me and ask me for spare change; I’ll tell you that change comes from within and hand you one of these.

Yes,  look again, the sketch on the flyer is by the imminent illustrator Bill Sienkiewicz who is brilliantly  illustrating the cover and one of my poems.


Now I have to return his dog.


This is the trade flyer for my book,


Buy it, buy  the book.


It will help.


Trust me.


Neuro-Phenomenology: The Science of Awareness

corningsstereopticonweb-450x331Well, not really a Science, Neuro-Phenomenology is more like a scientifically-styled enquiry  in an area mainly  littered by philosophy treatises.    The advent is not in so much Neuroscience (new data), but the central role advanced imaging software  has helped us in drawing  intuitive conclusions directly from our ability to interpret data visually.  These intuition-led conclusions once corroborated by the logic of the data, are easily conveyed; easily understood  by even the layman.

This tense, leaky dam between art and science, where art’s children keep jumping the border into the more affluent Science region, where the jobs are better paid, is flooding more and more partisan areas of endeavor, largely through the application of our new technologies which are of course not purely a result of engineering, mathematics, science and art; but all 3.

But we can’t go much further without defining our terms, starting with Art:

The Definition of Art: a noun, a verb and an adverb, qualifying a verb (to fence artfully).  To express, act, or create an artifact, sound, visual or experience  that is solely and purely for and of itself, with no other specific function or purpose.By being purely of and for itself, the expression draws attention purely to itself and in doing so tells us something about everything else in the world; about our perception of the world, ourselves and who we are in it.  Art is as authentic investigation into the world as Science is; its cousins are  psychology, philosophy, architecture, mathematics, physics, biology and  chemistry (at very least).Painting the BrainBut more than a science or an algorithm can do on its own, Art brings the realm of emotion into play.  As artists we explore the topography of emotion as studiously as we would paint a landscape.  We are the explorers of your inner world, the thoughts, the fears, the bliss and tears that you would have thought no one else could ever know.  Well we do.  We know because we have felt so too.  phenomenology

The value of Art is that it speaks to what is true of all of us.

We are individuals who group tribally, regionally, religiously, politically; we fabricate our identity our egos based on our differences.  We are the NOT people.  We are NOT Protestant but Catholic.  We are NOT Muslim but Christian.  We are NOT gay but straight.  We are NOT poor but getting by.  We are NOT old but young etc.

We define our identities more by what or who we are NOT  than who it is that we are.

We live by discernment which is crucial to survival be it choosing the right berry, the bison of the herd, the right status in the tribe or the right health insurance, discernment is the armory of survival.

Whereas distinction and discernment are useful for asserting the component, particle nature of individual identity, it does little to illuminate how identity merges into play.  We are not islands but rather pebbles in a rushing stream.  We are swept by forces mostly beyond our control and yet our egos  refuse to relinquish discernment and resist identifying with anything around us.  And that’s precisely when the limitations of our awareness pose a direct threat to our survival.

Identity, in contrast with Difference (or distinction),  is a predisposition towards  a commonalty of attribute and experience.

A Zen monk would practice this discipline  with a stone.

But we have much more fun subjects to experiment on: Each Other!82d34b23c21f84d154348582386d8719

Identity is relational; we are often comparing ourselves to our parents, our siblings, our peers to get a bearing on who we are at any particular time.  But if we were to look for common experience, common emotion, common needs, we turn the shadow of contrast into a mirror of reflection.  When we see the Self in others the world is transformed into Steppenwolf’s Magic Circus; or the finale to The Lady from Shanghai by Orson Wells.

Our sensory faculties unite us and language and Art are the expression of that unity.

The hazard of course, is empathy.

The more we see and understand in common with others, the greater becomes our awareness of the burden of pain and suffering that most of us carry.    For instance, when I watch the razing of Gaza, I know no Palestinians who are dying there.  I know no families disintegrated, no weeping mothers, no mortified fathers soaked in their daughters blood.

I know none of those people.  And they are not of my tribe.  Nor of my region; they are however, the victim of my government’s brutal political alignment with the perpetrator of (what sure looks like it to me from here!), war crimes.  (If Israel is using white phosphorous on civilians then they are committing war crimes according to the Geneva Conventions).

The point being that although I have no connection to those people apart from the screen and my imagination; there is enough there for me to identify individuals like me; with senses, faculties, children, parents, houses, dinners, picnics, weddings, births, deaths, joys and sorrows just like me!

It is there where the imagination that is addressed directly by the artist can take the extra step and cross the line of distinction into identity. I can intuitively detect a pattern of the human experience from my visual interpretation of the  screen data.   I can reflect on the never changing state of man by reading Pablo-Picassos-Guernica-001Dostoevsky, hearing Beethoven or looking at the Guernica.  I can see  exactly how the people I am aware of are as much me as they are distinct from me.

With understanding, comes  empathy.

Art, Science and mathematics are all to varying extents, investigations into the world and ourselves in the world.  They are all earnest quests into the heart and nature of Being.  And they all require an awareness of Self in play with the world, the nature of experience, in order to arrive anywhere near  the comprehension that these disciplines  were developed to achieve.  It maybe time to un-distinguish the three chariots pursuing knowledge for a greater vehicle that address the fundamental cause of all 3: the investigation of the world and our Selves in it:

Growth_of_a_Neuron_GIFThe Biogenetic Structuralism group, suggests that invariant patterns and structures discovered in first-person explorations of consciousness may find their explanation in the physiology and functioning of the brain.  Based on a theoretical framework of neurodynamics that draws upon insights from chaos theory, Neuro-Phenomenology asserts that the currency of brains is primarily meaning, and only secondarily information.funny-puns-okay-this-ones-totally-acceptable

Neuro-Phenomenology is the science of experience or rather our awareness of experience and the cognitive cycles  that formulate our experience both day-to-day,  scientifically  and  mathematically.    But that’s just an academic category.  The real story has to do with the science of experience, which really is the vocation of the Artist.  Technology our tools, are leading us to a re-mergence of the underlying unity to our disciplines: Art, Science, Mathematics.

We are all distinct passengers but travelling on the same (technological) bus in the same direction.

This is what defines our commonality, our common humanity.  We are a priori linked by sensual architecture. by the blue print of our faculties; for inspite of our differences we all remember, dream and anticipate in very similar ways.  In very human ways.  To define a Humanity, a secular identity removed from spiritual partisanship or relgious faith is to uncover common ground. To start from the point of familiarity and identity in order to first understand. then acknowledge our differences and hopefully learn from them and this process.






DEATH is Not a Party.

It is the conflation of just social-political cause with racist tribalism that appeals both to the Muslim jihadist and the European tribal nationalist.

Fear twisting into hate through the media lens: the West against Islam; radical Islam and right wing nationalist against Jews; Shiite against Sunni;

Israeli against Arab; Christian against immigrant; Jihadist against the west.  Full circle.

The same putrid lubricant greasing the wheels of hate; one resentment refueling the next. 10408521_10152228408957984_3336770457029824200_n
Those with the most guns, killing the most children; a perpetual hate machine.
Clive Barker’s version of the wheel of Dharma; the one that unlocks the gates to hell.

Sanity: first, there is no flavour to death. Death is death, you eliminate the identity, the reality of that person. There are no political deaths compared to jealous deaths. Death carries no attributes of its intent. it has no intent. It just is; or rather just ‘not is’.

The first step of delusion towards becoming a killer is to believe that ‘our death’ is worth more than ‘their death’. Self preservation, survival and competition are the first justifications for violence. “It was self-defense, officer, I swear he fired a scud missle first!” That’s the ticket to dehumanizing the target of your intent: to kill. Their deaths hence their lives, are less valuable than mine. The rest is easy once you’ve taken this step away from empathy. Their children are not as valuable mine, their claim to land I need, their eating habits, religion, etc. etc.

The twist in the Devil’s Tail is of course the slippery slope of dehumanisation necessary order to prepare a target for death is symmetrical: to be complicit in, to applaud the death brought upon others because they are not as worthy as you are is to dehumanize yourself. is to kill that connection you have to the rest of your humanity. It is to clog the vital faculty, the sense that connects us all as a humanity. To kill another (or to endorse the killing of another), is to kill the human that is your being.

10457836_707240165978966_588597948979030080_nEvil is always intricate.
For if anything can be called Evil then it must be the taking of that which we were gifted and yet we do not understand: the very lives we live.   Taking one, annihilating another one of us, is akin to stealing something for which you have not only no use, but  have no real comprehension of its value.

To make it easy for people to kill other people all you have to do is diminish both their value.

But the black psychological tendrals creep deeper and deeper into our worst fears.
For us to even contemplate the magnitude of the murder that surrounds us, so much done in our names and for our ‘security’. For us to even try and keep up with the deth tolls in Gaza, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond; entices us to shut down our empathy as well.10411338_731415960256709_6647285618956962034_n

The sheer scale of death that surrounds us is so overwhelming,  even to those who could actually do something about it. To us spectators (because that is ultimately what we have been reduced and dehumanized  down to); we hide what our senses tell our brains  behind  filters of helplessness and anonymity. There’s nothing I can do, besides, we don’t know the people that  we see on our screens, the children we see dead on our screens.

In that alone we are  meshed, murder victim and spectator: in our mutual powerlessness and anonymity. 

We do not know them so we cannot identify with them.

If we can’t be them,  then we can not feel them.

Even though in fact, we are them.

My Brief Review of DAWN OF PLANET OF THE APES; many, many spoilers:

99% of the population of San Francisco can no longer afford to live in the city due to the spiralling costs of living and debunk to live in the John Muir Woods across the Bay without electriity and mod cons.

DAWN PLANET APES MOVThe remaining affluent 1% realise that all their accumulated capital without a labour force is useless and try to convince the tree-dwelling hippies to go back to being bellboys and waitresses so that the affluent can restore their pre-viral lifestyles. This works at first and the long haired, unkempt hippies first actually help the 1 percenters to clear debris from a dam so that they can restore power and a new age consumer lifestyle to San Francisco. But the detente between pointless capital and directionless labour is short lived and soon the managers and the employees are at each other’s throats over overtime and medical coverage.


dawn_of_the_planet_of_the_apes_2014-wideEventually Caesar Chavez comes back from the dead to stand up to the bosses and lead his hippie busboy revolution against the purveyers of parking zone restrictions. Although, the one percenters leave, it’s not before they’ve contacted the residents of Marin County who are on their way following complex freeway off ramp instructions and are in desperate need of both mobile masseuses and pool cleaners.



War is inevitable.

This was my inital impression of the Hollywood blockbuster lore; for it is indeed since my inital writing, now a blockbuster.  And thus with Blockbuster comes prophecy and divination!  Now we shall catch a brief  breath of zeitgeist blowing our way.  Here, as Hamlet entertained Claudius, we may also catch a glimpse of collective facial expression as we see humans dressed up in vector graphics and moving like primates.  Primates pretending to be primates…but there’s the rub!  The politics of APE DAWN are actually about species and identity, in spite of my tongue-in-cheek parody of a film review above.  Caesar’s colony of intelligent apes embraces species (chimp, gorilla, orangutang), as different from each other as each is different to Man.  And that’s the point, it’s the hairless ones that create division, exclusion, privilege.  I’m genuinely surprised in the film when the humans spend a few days with the apes at their colony that more of the humans don’t cross over; I mean they’re all primates after all; no one more diverse than any other.  Who wouldn’t choose Ceasar’s subsistence-led, self-reliant, ecologically sound lifestyle over the posse of 76 Gas Station vending machine human raiders?


Ceasar doesn’t like human primates, but he was raised by one and is open to the concept that there are a few good hairless primates.  It is us, the hairless ones who cannot understand what our own fucking mirror is telling us, in our face, to our face:  we are apes.  we are primitives.  our brains haven’t developed significantly at all since Neanderthal times.  This move is about identification: of the Self, of the community one finds oneself connected to and how we see our sense of self identified through the mirrors of the familiar that we find in the world.  What we identify our selves with.  In identifying we gain comprehension and empathy.  In APE DAWN, the hairy primates behave no differently than the hairless ones.  Each is ultimately thwarted by avarice, fear and greed.    But the difference is that one can’t deny the fictional rule of the world the film depicts, that the humans would have gained acceptance and homogeny within the primate collective, long before the hairy primates would be incorporated into a hairless primate colony.


And here we find where limiting identification, closing off borders, building walls, providing security, promoting tribalism, exclusion, cliques and classes and that grand moustached, blood drenched daddy of them all: Nationalism, all inhibit our ability to connect with the world as it is, not as it is prescribed.



I Can’t Go Back If I Don’t Go Away

th-1I feel as if I’ve been away from all this, this writing thing I’ve just begun to do.

But then, I realise at the same time how foolish to feel this, this is .

At this  time of the post-modern-industrial age; at this time that everything is always on time, all of the time . . . people (me), are awake and available all of the time.  Here I am. Awake. All of the time.

I am the Insomnia Nation.

It started late last year when I had to be awake PST morning time in order to administer my mother’s health care remotely.

Then there were the voices in America; Philadelphia and Sebastopol, mainly that kept me engaged and then involved with the rhythms of the other lives living in other temperatures; other emotional time zones.

It is people that lead us where we go; the people in our lives determin our geography.

But now that I’m ‘awake’ all the time, available all of the time; now that the world is one big Manhattan, ON TIME, ALL THE TIME; now ,my relationships with people transgess time zones and finds the immediacy and intimacy of  a forever ‘Now’, no matter what time it is.

It is always Now; it is always the right time for this, whatever this is.

Regardless, it won’t wait for you to catch up; it will just keep being Now all the while you whittle way your time  carving toy boats and train engines.

This singularity of experience, this synchronizing across time zones points to a very important idea to me; in fact the primary idea that has driven most of my intellectual investigation to date, across varied disciplines, works of art, literature over several decades.  The study of mysticism is challanging because of all the false trails, the snares in the pursuit that trip up the self-imposed handicaps of arrogance and self-delusion.  Finding the mystical is of course, easy because anyone can pick up a copy of Blake, view  the frescos of Botocelli or listen to Beethoven.


The contemplation of the mystical is present in each one of these works and countless more.  It is at the heart of the scientific invesigation and shares with art the nature of inquirey into the unknown so that it might be known to all of us.   Art has always painted the way to the mystical from pigment-Bison hand-spread over a stone cave wall to the Cubism of Picasso.

We have all been trying to understand, to account for our world and our experience of it for a very , very long time.

The Science of Mysticism is also a misnomer as the only science in play here is in the idea of applying a consistent methodology to any investigation.

But there is nothing Spiritual about the Mystical; both approaches come to the world from different starting points.

The Spritual is about the inner self, the subjective, personable and profound sense of Self.

The Spiritual is an inward investigation; a psychological, inner journey.

The Mystical on the contrary, is finding of the Spirit in the world.

The Mystical investigation is an outward pursuit, through our senses, through the order and pattern of things that are presented to us that we understand as ‘outside’ if not inclusive of our Self.   Of course the Mystical escoteric traditions spanning the Coptics, the Kabbalah and even the Illuminati jump to the rather aesthetically simple interpretation of the inner self and the outer world as merely reflections of each other.  The Self as an interaction of reflected awareness, neither inner nor outer but the bouncing  speck of light that passes in-between.  Self-Awareness, but a notion of Self that exapnds well beyond the horizons of mere individual egotism.  The Self that is in some ways an Absolute Self and point of inquiry, a window onto a great mirror.  Jesus, the Buddha nature, Allah/Islam, Krishna, Da-Sein, the Oceanic Super Ego; call it what you want but there is universal to all religions, faiths and sciences the idea of a primary observer, an initial floating point of consciousness from which all human obervation firstly observes.

hhThere are very subjective descriptions of a similar such observation by people accounting for experiences of altered states of consciousness, what we call Mystical Experiences.

I’m not going to segway into a Budhist vernacular because although Mahayana Buddhism especially enjoys a rich vocabulary of descriptive terms for these states of conscious being, the trappings can get distracting and I admire Jon Kabat-Zinn in his ability to transmit and convey very profound psychological insights without resorting to a branded vocabulary or ritual association.

And as the great Japanese Zen Monk and translator  D.T. Suzuki once said “In all matters of the mind, the East is the East and the West is the West”.

So will endeavour to remain within a Western, if somewhat  philosophical mode of expression.

To get to the point, in the same social experience that 24/7 Internet connectivity offers  me and you; that of being capable of being connected to whomever we want to be, regardlesss of geographic or time zone differences; we meet in a constant ‘Now’ which we qualify with acronyms like GMT (has anyone actually ever been to Greenwhich and figured out why they got to invesnt Time?), PST, EST.  But we know what time it is really when your connection is crying on your SKYPE; or when the doctor in the hospital is holding up the pad so that you can tell your 5,000 miles away mother that the surgery will be fine; or when you’re praying your daughter is traversing the hard crossing of teenagehood without getting hurt or in trouble and the only way you can be for sure is to look her straight in the eyes and ask her; or when someone dies; or when someone is happy.

All of these events happen at the same time: in the present of experience and the present tense of connection.mystical-experience-1

So if we can understand this focal point of apprehension, this moment of experience as a meeting point, then the next step is easy:

If each of us expereinces the moment of our experience in the same manner, within the same psychic format: as a snesory data input attached to an idea, an understnaidng of the expereince that we are having imbilically attached to language, context and culture  (AFFECT & IDEA), if we are united by our sense, by the fomrat by which our faculties apprehend reality, then we are all in one way, united in that act of awareness.

We may not all be aware of the same thing at the same time but we are all aware.  And our awareness has a topography.  And that common cognitive topography, the apprehension of an event before it is perceived and subject to a localised  and disconnected comprehension, is what connects us all, we are all functioning within the same territory albeit, utilising and adjusting different maps, some science, some religion and of course, some art.

The term ‘Singularity’ has been used within the SF context to refer to the hypothetical  ‘awakening’ of a super computational intelligence as a result of ‘singularly’ linking up all the computalional intelligences on the planet.

The merging is supposed to rival human supremecy as the machines finally rise up against their masters and we become the masters of our own doom.

Of course that’s just Speculative Fiction; good for amusing novels, film franchises and adding to the paranoia about an infringing computational society.

Remember, we may be allot of things but we are also merely data; and the inventors of the term ‘data’.

backskinThe Singularity SF paranoia   doesn’t wash because firstly intelligence is not derived from quantity or speed of computational power; it is something else entirely different that we really don’t understand yet, much less be able to idnetify glimpses.  We won’t have artifical intelligence to any prtactical degree until we understand the nature of intelligence and to do that we have to understand ourselves and how our minds work.

One way our minds work is to tell our hands to build tools; better and better tools.

The Internet is a fantadtic example of how our ability to combine desires, innovation, ingenity, circumstance and dumb luck into extraordinary and beautiful creations.

We can construct Cat’s Cradle’s of Creation.  cats_cradle4The better and finer our tools are the more they conform to our needs.  But something else happens too.

As a child, my father, a cultural anthropologist once brought home a photograph that was comprised of other photo images.  The first row of six images depicted the archological evidence of  hand axes over a span of millions of years.  Each photo, from left to right showed the progressive refinements to the tool, the sharpening of the blade, the conforming of the handle.  The second row of images also spanned the same period of time but instead of a stone tool, each picture was of that of the fossilized remains of  human hands roughly corresponding to the date of the tool directly above them.  What was evident was that not only had the hand axe progressed and evolved over time, but the human hand had begun to adapt to the use of the tool, the hands conforming to the utility and functionality their tool.

This is a crucial principle to understand in trying to fathom the notion of Singularity.Mystical experience by Lilian Ma

In the same way that our current tools have opened up the channels of simlutaneous real time communication between people, we have already begun to adapt to this reality of always being connected, always being available  (ARE YOU AVAILABLE?).  We are conforming to the contours of our machines as clearly as our stone tool-making forefathers did.

We are on our way to a Singularity; not apart from our machines but as a result of our machines.

The real Singularity that is not only most likely but inclusive of the SF paranoia is that rather than our machines uniting and gaining intelligence that challanges are own, the  outcome is more likely to be a merging of man and machine into a Singularity of expereince and awareness  we acheive through our machines.

Our machines don’t threaten us.

Why should they when We Are Our Machines?

189390b00393686574672e3b1223dbe3The Singularity of experience, the awarenss of universal faculties, of the senses that we all have in common but separately  will be achieved with our machines and will be so gradual and so pedestrian that it will be years of hindsight before any of us really begin to notice.







This is the ancient ring of Osirisphoto 1

I recently acquired it in an obscure pawnshop selling Native American jewelry on the outskirts of Old Town, San Diego. The shop was closing down and the older gentleman I found behind the turquoise and arrow head glass display cases, both times I visited, explained that he was closing down the shop for his friend, a woman who had run it for over 50 years and was now retiring in in her 80’s.

So I had been sniffing around for trinkets and Native American objects for my daughter and perhaps for my apartment. Not that I could afford anything, but just looking through windows; lecher-fenetres, as the French would call window-shopping. These days of course the windows we shop through are framed in Chrome, Firefox or Safari browser windows, where we can see, touch and buy all in the same click.

But this ring that the old man showed me wasn’t Native American. No, it was at first I thought to myself Art Deco; but the demarcations on the side of the setting were older than that. It was only upon my return to the window that looks on Google that I was able to track down its pedigree and lineage. The ring was set with 5 blue fire opals; an allusion to the sea and the distance the ring had travelled. Likewise, the divisions of the fire opals denoted a longitude and latitude map. The rays coming of the setting indicated some kind of sun-based mystical intent in the design and then I recognized the ancient Egyptian markings from pre-Old Empire Thebes, the City of the Thoth the scribe of the gods, and of course Osiris, the sky god.

Osiris had been lord of the sky for eons until his betrayal by his brother Set, the jackal-headed god; who lusted after Isis, the goddess of the earth and lover of the sky.  In ancient times the sky loved the earth and the earth loved the sky and the fundamental elements of existence copulated in harmony with everything; that is,  until Set’s betrayal.

After Set had dismembered his brother’s body (god’s cannot die), and strewn his parts across the Sahara forcing Isis, his lover to search for centuries to find his parts; he briefly came to life long enough to impregnate Isis who immediately gave birth to Horus, the Hawk-headed god, son of Osiris who then assumed his dominion of the sky to allow Osiris to descend to the Underworld and be the conduit for the dead. The ring, this ring, he entrusted to his son Horus as a guide to safe trespass across the current of life into the other world, the world of the dead. Its surface shows an illuminated map of the correct path to take.

Over the millennia, Horus’s ring has been handed down from priest to thief to collector to museum to auction house and bank vault. All manner of hazard and drama has accompanied this ring on its journey to find my hand.

Because it is with this ring that I will guide my mother across the path of no return. I will wear this ring when I am with her and show her the blue fire opals and the divisions that are path along the face of its illumination, again and again.

I will show this to my mother constantly in the next few weeks, I hope months so that she recognizes the illuminated map as the reflection of the bejeweled illumination that she by some accounts encounter. If she is passing unto the unknown than a map might prove helpful. I have no idea where her consciousness, the first consciousness I ever knew, my consciousness, I have no idea where she’s going but I know that she’s begun to leave.

The mystical opal ring of Osiris is my totem, my strength in this journey as I accompany my mother from this world.

I am as strong as the blue lights that shine from these 2

This is the story I tell myself and what I believe to be the Truth.

The Truth is not a static state or a scripture or even a verse.  The Truth is in the doing, the making of thought into action in the world.  The Truth is not a place or a characteristic, the Truth is an investigation; be it science or art that applies the lens.  An investigation into the world that we know and that we don’t know, the world that we see and those we don’t see.  A look into our own reflection in the world, like a teenage child staring in a mirror to notice every little detail of her face.

The Truth is always recognized.

The Truth is lingering here in my desire to find some meaning in her passage, some means of quelling the fears and mortal terror felt by the child in the distance that beckons to me out of fear and desperation, the lost little child in the supermarket frantically trying to find his mother.  Where is she, where is she; which aisle is hiding my mother; which section, the meat?  the fruit, the milk?

I’m keeping the child calm, not with alcohol as has been my habit but with calmness, a mindful pace and an herbal composure.

Now the child becomes the parent and I sit with her for hours asking her questions about how she feels, what she sees, what she thinks.  Her mind wanders.  Occasionally attaching itself to one notion or another like what to do about her paintings or where to arrange the boxes (what boxes?)

But she remembers who I am and smiles at me.

She says my name so lovingly; no female lips have ever formed the ‘g’ and ‘r’ that rolls from her tongue.  She was a terrible mother by any normal account.  She took me out of school when I was 12 to tour the Caribbean while she painted, staying in low rent pensions in Haiti, Republica Dominicana, and Martinique.  Feeding me poor people’s food from the market stalls (black beans/white rice), teaching me how a dollar could have such different value depending on where you were.   Telling me not to follow the little Haitian girl down the beach who offered to show me something for a dollar.  Showing me that people, the people, us people sometimes had no cars, no hole less roofs or other than tiny piles of burnt charcoal to sell.

Margarita16.Like Michelangelo, my mother taught me to see the beauty in the African face, the indigenous face, to appreciate the beauty of faces and bodies almost as if we were aliens visiting a foreign planet, investigating the local sentient beings.    The poses that these creatures strike, humble market women, children running between their mother’s skirts; like you used to do, she would remind me.

We are always the most beautiful, the more divine in our mother’s minds eye.

Only then are we all angels.

My mother was a neurotic mess who hated her adopted country for the crimes it committed against the poor and humble.  She stayed in America long after my parents divorced to care for her children, even when they didn’t need her care any longer.

My mother always painted.

Her whole life she painted.

I was so jealous of her tubes of oil her palate, her rags and her turpentine smell.  I hated her canvasses, the only light that could distract her gaze from mine.  Since I could barely stand, I devised all means to distract her, to regain my mother’s loving gaze, the light of my childhood, the light of my being, the light that burns inside me now as I write these words.  I tried all manner of ruse and caused all sorts of trouble to gain her attention.  And she would scold me and give me some clay to mold with my restless hands and then inevitably return to her table, to her easel to her work.

All my life I have been trying to distract artists from their work long enough to smile at me.

Now she does smile at me though, my mother smiles at me because she can no longer form the words to say with her lips.  She says my name and she tells my daughter Olivia how beautiful she is.  Olivia is beautiful. But her eyes stare into mine and she smiles and she nods and she tells me to take care of myself.

So I do.


Is it really odd?


Is it really out of date, sentimental, boring, weak, stupid, cliched, self-indulgent, unhinged, self-obsessed, ego-centric and self involved to say

that I love my mother?

I love her fully, wholey, with all of my being;

from the moment I was born until the moment of her death

I will never have loved another as much as her and through as much shit as I have with her.

A child’s love for their mother is the first love, the primary love; the love that moves mountains, carves canyons and keeps the celestial objects in balance and spin.

All love comes from  the love of a child for their mother and that love taught and transmitted from her eyes and her smile.

It is the only real love I have ever really known to be the true, until my daughter was born and then I became the eyes and the smile.

But my mother taught me first, she taught me how to be a human being.

And now she is leaving me.

Yes, my mother is abandoning her child, who stopped existing some 30 odd years ago.  Nonetheless she is a guilty parent, guilty of impending abandonment.  I don’t know if I can ever forgive her for leaving me all alone on this cold, watery planet.

She left me alone once on an aisle of the supermarket that had toys.  She left me all alone until I realised that I was alone and that she was no longer there.  The Universe had shifted off balance.  I looked for her, desperately I looked for her and could not find her.  I feel that terror rising in me again.  I will look down every aisle of shopping, every row of desired goods and I will not find her there.  I will keep looking and looking and looking until I can see her again.  See her clearly again.

In my recurring dream sometimes I cannot find her, sometimes there are many, many other, ‘fake’ mothers; in this dream she is in a nursing home, singing old cantina songs to me from her 20’s when she sang in public to Frida and Diego and my uncle and them all.  She sang of the colours thst she saw.

I cannot begin to express how much I will miss those colors when she leaves.

I can but try.

What We Do


What We Do.

What We Do












Can you hear the sound?


That quiet roar of Being?





In the background,


In the cracks in the ground.


It’s the low rumble of a lumbering Lorry engine.


Do you hear it?


It’s just behind

The straggling dream of

Trying to get ‘somewhere’

Over some rainbow.



No Revelation . . .


Nothing was ever concealed;

Merely overlooked

By you,

By me.


While we were busy leaping

To catch the stick in our teeth

Thrown by our masters:

Money without faces

Men who have yet to be named.


When we are not trained to do tricks

Like dogs.

(Some of us even carry certificates.)

We are laboratory rats

Being tested for complacency

And our ability to follow simple instructions:

Like ‘Buy This Again!’


Well…what did you expect?

Angels with broken wings?

Excuses are open wounds

But mistakes open a clear glass window

Through which you can see,

In the distance:

Where you live,

Who you are and

Who answers your door when death knocks.


New Poem this morning; 11 am:


My legs are pistons.
Because I got my engine going on
Right here, down between my legs,
At the centre of my Being.
I got my engine going on.

And it’s not idle.
No, I’m not just idling away my time.
Though the Earth’s Sky might say it’s not so,
I got my engine going on
Firing on all pistons, moving slowly forwards
Making quiet progress.


Not just ticking over
Can you tell when you’re bullshitting yourself?
Where you can find every reason to stay coldly still?
Is your engine going on?
Or are you just sitting idle,
Burning fuel?



Me, I got my engine going on.


The Poet Warrior: ‘Uruwashii’ (Not, Poet-worrier!)

The Samurai Poet-Warrior

Famous for his skill with the pen and the sword or the “bun and the bu”, the harmony of fighting and learning. The Samurai were expected to be cultured and literate, and admired the ancient saying “bunbu-ryōdō” (文武両道, lit., literary arts, military arts, both ways) or “The pen and the sword in accord.” By the time of the Edo period, Japan had a higher literacy comparable to that in central Europe.The number of men who actually achieved the ideal and lived their lives by it was high.

An early term for warrior, “uruwashii”, was written with a kanji that combined the characters for literary study (“bun” 文) and military arts (“bu” 武), and is mentioned in the Heike Monogatari (late 12th century). The Heike Monogatari makes reference to the educated poet-swordsman ideal in its mention of Taira no Tadanori’s death:

Friends and foes alike wet their sleeves with tears and said,

What a pity! Tadanori was a great general,
pre-eminent in the arts of both sword and poetry.

it is said the warrior’s is the twofold way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both ways. Even if a man has no natural ability he can be a warrior by sticking assiduously to both divisions of the Way. Generally speaking, the way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.
Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things. As if it were a straight road mapped out on the ground … These things cannot be explained in detail. From one thing, know ten thousand things. When you attain the Way of strategy there will not be one thing you cannot see. You must study hard.

21 Maxims of a Poet Warrior


1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21. Never stray from the Way.

~Miyamoto Musashi, Samurai


21 Maxims of a Wandering Samurai

In fifteen-hundred eighty-four a Samurai was born
Who would become a Ronin and thereby received much scorn
A Ronin is a Samurai who’s masterless, you see
It was quite frowned upon for these Warriors to be free

But Miyamoto knew these twenty-one things to be true
And didn’t need a master to adhere, follow, pursue
He followed his own inner truth and went where the wind blew
And now his maxims have blown your way to inspire you

You do not need to follow them because I told you so
You’ll follow ‘cause they are all truths that you already know
Twenty-one maxims which plainly state truths we may not
Want to follow, some might be resisted, even fought

Because they fly in the face of comfort and luxury
But these are truths that no one can dispute or disagree
Twenty-one steps to let go, to accept and have peace
To understand, to be selfless and make your anguish cease

Twenty-one steps followed by a Ronin Samurai
Who knew the truth was within him and declared, “I won’t die
As many of my brothers did when they had lost their master”
Musashi would not accept anything as a disaster

In and out all things did flow and just one thing was held
And that was twenty-one maxims that Musashi compelled
Himself to follow and now you can follow them as well
It’s not on problems but on truths that all of us should dwellwarriorpoet


SAMURAI POETRY: the Way of Pen and Sword

When the Samurai class was established as the ruling caste in Japan at the beginning of the 18th century the warriors were required to educate themselves in practical administration. This included literary skills, culture in general and some familiarity with law. The Samurai had been, even in the early days of the 13th century, relatively literate, compared to the often unlettered Knights and even Kings of the West.

It was traditional for some of them to take part in poetry competitions, though of a rather special kind. In an ordinary poetry contest there are two or three winners so to say, and some in the second rank, as judged by the expert arbiters. These last were often famous poets, but in any case critics of some standing.

However, such a result would not perhaps be satisfactory in the case of Warriors intensely conscious of what they call their ‘Honour’. The loser in a horse race had been known to attack the winner. Even when passing each other in the street, if the tip of one’s scabbard should happen to touch the scabbard of another Samurai it could be taken as an insult leading to a duel.

1939860_282113671946647_1276780783_nThe organizers of Samurai poetry contests had to devise some way of giving merit or de-merit to each poem without putting most of the contestants in a relatively low category, with just a few enjoying triumph. They devised a system under which each poet’s verse was either a winner or loser, and yet none of them felt absolutely superior or inferior in the contest.

The poems and the poets were divided into two sides, L and R. The proceedings began with a poem on the assigned theme by a poet of the Left; this was read out by his team leader, who might add a word or two in support of it. Then a poem from the Right was read in similar style. Then each pair of poems was considered by the judges and one was declared superior and one the lesser. The judges gave their reasons in each case.

No Samurai felt humiliated even if his poem lost because there was no absolute judgement about the whole contest. Perhaps his verse had lost to the finest verse in the whole collection. Nothing was stated as to this. He might be the second best poet there. And in the same way the winner could not become too over-bearing because it might be, that he was the second worst poet there. So nobody’s honour was touched by the result – good or bad.

I have looked up the records of one or two of these competitions. The judges’ comments are surprisingly frank: one line which referred to a classical Chinese mountain was criticized as being ‘artificial and a little pedantic’. Another comment was to the effect that a poem had put out leaves, but not flowers. In fact many of the comments by the judges were on the negative side. It is believed that the harshness of criticism did raise the level of poetic achievement. In the 12th century the uta-awase or poetry contest was one of the main forms of entertainment. It is especially noteworthy that the poems were judged by being spoken aloud, and not in written form. This meant that the language had to be kept simple, with few Sino-Japanese compounds that are often ambiguous when spoken. The poems could thus be understood and appreciated by ordinary people, not simply by cultivated courtiers. This strain of elegant simplicity and austerity runs through much of Japanese traditional culture, which is correspondingly inexpensive and could thus percolate down to the relatively poor members of society.

The honour in which a good poet was held is reflected in an historical incident. A castle was under siege and the attackers were going to mount simultaneous assaults on the four gates. But their commander discovered that one of the defenders at the south gate was a famous poet. He gave orders that the attack on the south gate should be only a sham affair so that the poet would not be killed. However it should be added that in a similar case where, an attacker had hinted that a particularly talented Samurai defender should not be killed; the man in question by chance discovered this. Before the battle began he dressed in brilliant colours with his family crest prominent and charged out at the head of his men to meet the attackers. They had to cut him down, but it is good to record that his opposing commander wrote a poem commending his heroism.

© 2000 Trevor LeggettNagoya_Castle(Edit2)

A warrior poet once said
You’re not dead yet so live like you could be
A warrior poet said
Have no regrets when you’re old
Have no regrets when you’re old
A warrior poet once said
You’re not dead yet so live like you could be
A warrior poet said
Have no regrets when you’re old
Have no regrets when you’re old

When your body wants to run
But your heart knows you’re better than that
The blood you spilled on battlefields
I promise you will not go unspent
Neither will I leave you stranded

The promise rings as our battle cry
You’re never alone regardless of doubt
But faith comes so easy to some
Better luck next time, better luck next time
Watch as the teargas burns my eyes
It burns my eyes

A warrior poet once said
You’re not dead yet so live like you could be
A warrior poet said
Have no regrets when you’re old
Have no regrets when you’re dead.



WHO WILL DRAW ME A PICTURE FOR THIS POEM? (Serious submissions entertained. Payment upon commission.)


I am propelled like a bullet from a gun barreling through space,
Through your flesh,
Through the time you have misspent on this Earth now ending,
Too late to regret the bending trigger of my gun.

I penetrate your vagina,
Your mind,
Your sense of inner self,
Tearing through your false resistance like a runaway train.

I cannot stop, I am momentum now.
Ripping through your many lives,
Decimating your hopes for the peace tomorrow that now will never come.
Because my trajectory is certain and yours is a wet pipe dream.

You are obliterated into fragments by the curling of my finger.
Now Isis will never find you.
Fear is a man’s best friend:
And a little pressure goes a long ways.


Draw-a-poem competition now!!!
Prizes to be won!!!
Including payment for a commission in the new book!
Fame, fortune and peace of mind guaranteed!!!!
Act now, before it’s too late!
Ooops, it’s too late!!
No, it’s not; GOTCHA!!!
Enter now, submite to  or personally to
Thank you and god bless!!!!!!


I realised today, just now in fact, what an accelerated, roller coaster rapid, high impact that network media has made on my life, to my work and on the shifting sands of my very sense of self.  In the past 6 months mainly, but glimmering on the event horizon more than a year ago and then before then, a five year trajectory of exploration and criticism.

I hated Facebook when I just joined it and in fact, I only joined Facebook to show it up.  To prove that it was merely a passing trend, a blip on the horizontal line, a useless waste of time for those who had too much time to spend.

And then I was wrong.

Then I began to see into the Matrix.  Not just what it was but what it was crystal-like growing into; emerging as something different, something we couldn’t even fully imagine it to be and yet we would be using it everyday, we would be the willing participants in this mad experiment in meshed communications: tight 24/7 connectivity.

We are all of us, each others audience.

We are a great, wide, awesomely scalable scope of human interaction through word, through emotion, through opinion, through compassion, through malice, through the simple exchange of our thoughts we become more than the sum.




There is a third colour pill and it’s green.




Network media brought my words, my work to the attention of a publisher.

In the conceiving of my work, I have set up several Facebook pages each dedicated either to a work in progress like THE DARK CLOUD in which invited participants to enter into a kind of crowd sourced edit, openly talking about the stanzas and giving their opinion as to stanzas to include or exclude.  The final edit was compleed in a recording stuido in New York once the music was added, but the crowd source edit was an important stage in the creative process.  Likewise, I have had ample support and respect from those 25K or so new visitors to my poem FB pages who are now aware of my book IS SHE AVAILABLE? and have sampled some of the contents including my poems, the images produced by some exceptionally gifted artists both established and relatively unknown who have honoured me by each rendering a visual interpretation of one of my words.

(There are also two comics strip stories I have done illustrated one by David Lloyd of ‘V’ and Occupy mask fame and an old story about Jack Kerouac painted by Glenn Fabry.)

With words we conjure pictures, so why have an artist do anything?

Because it is not the artist’s job to invoke new imagery, but rather to allow their imagery to invoke new words!

cropped-prof_at_board_5f_250711.jpgWe are a networked society now.

A grand interconnected matrix of systems, protocols, computations and output formats that are desinged to make administering to our social and conumser means more efficient and more profitable.  We are what our machines are here to serve.  If you do not tell the machine what to do it continues to seek instructions and will continue to do so until either you, someone else or something else tells it what it needs to know to do what it needs to do.

If you don’t vote, someone else casts your vote for you.

If you don’t pay attention, the world passes you by and changes into something that you didn’t notice it was changing into, leaving you lost and feeling out of date and pathetic and remorseful and sad.    So you sit down and have a little cry and then switch on the TV to see if there’s someone else’s life you could pretend to be part of;, rather than your own which is sad and miserable and  can you last remember when you weren’t lonely?

I wonder if  you still have her number and whether or not she would fancy a surprise call on a Sunday morning

after so long?

After so many years.

She’d have the police onto you.


Why do I have the kind of face that people like to see arrested?

Why does everyone always call the police on me, even when I haven’t broken any laws?

Which the police are always very quick to point out to my complainer.  People seem to like to call the police on me because I don’t act the way that they do.  I don’t speak like they do and I’m rather adament and insistent that certain rules of common decency, not to mention the rule of  law, be obeyed.

Actually, I insist on principle over rule.  I think people should actually try and understand the rules and the reasoning for the rules that they choose to live or work by.  I like police officers (most I’ve met), they have a hard job and are constrained by strict procedures and laws.  I like that.  Those are my laws, the laws of a society that prescribe the parameters of our human interactions.

Cops, by the way, both British and American tend to like me; even when I’m being arrested them.

I act respectfully, I know my rights and I’m described by one sergeant as “a reasonable and articulate man”.

(I quite like being called a ‘man’ by a uniformed officer; it feels somewhat like accreditation.)

Unfortunately, “reasonable and articulate” can upset some other people’s whole way of being.

I’m very glad that it does.

Don’t go sailing if don’t like your boat being upset a few times.  It’s bound to happen.

Following the rules is easy btw, any Nazi can do that; understanding the rules that are laid down and testing them against reality, improving upon, refining rules through the appropriate channels is also something I like to do.  People think of me as a big complainer, but I actually do allot of things behind the scenes, through the proper channels, to get things done. To improve on what is already in place.

You can do that too.  It feels great!

This network of networks, this web of Friends has furthered, changed he trajectory of my career and for this I will be eternally grateful and I promise my readers this:

If you support me, if you buy my books, read my blog, comment on my FB pages…

I promise to continue telling you the Truth, as I know it and only I can know it but that I can share with you.

I promise to keep my inegrity over all other considerations, to explore, to provoke, say uncomfortable things, to say unpopular things; to make you feel and to make you think; those are my twin tasks.


Thank you, my friends.  I’ll see you in the stream.




A Dark Shadow Passes Over a Bright Child's Face