The Easy Skank

Whatever happened to
The easy skank?

Easy skanking
Was a way of life
For some.
An aspiration for others
And a safety net
For us all.

Easy skanking
Was the awkward
Academic
Hidden away in a
Dusty room
Emerging infrequently
(lectures mainly)
Reading
Writing
No pressure
And maybe
Finding out
Something amazing

Easy skanking
Was young people
Refusing to be
Sucked into the
Vortex of corporate work
Discovering
Exploring
Truths of their own
And the world.

The easy skank
Was the dream of the
Burnt-out wage slave
“At least I’ll be able to
Get an easy skank”
He would say.
And dream of ending
His working days
Doing not very much
For a decent week’s pay.

Easy skanking was Bristow.
Easy skanking was punk.

Nowadays
Targets, measurement, policy
And AI seek out the hiding
Places of skanking and
Emotionlessly eradicate them in the name
Of efficiency and profit.

We’re richer for it.
Apparently.

But all I see is poverty of souls.

Who We Are

(for E.J Hart)

Don’t you sometimes wonder
Who we are?

I don’t mean genus
Homo Sapiens
Descended from
Homo Erectus,
The hominid,
And ultimately a
Spontaenous
Utterly serendipitous
Coming together of
Space dust
And light

No.
I mean
Who we
Really
Are.

Like when I look into the eyes
Of a random stranger
Or a baby in a buggy
I feel it is more than just
Space dust recognising its own
Or the basic biological processes
Of my hominid brain

I see something else.
Something which
In our modern science,
Only quantum theorists
Come close to describing

A thing unfathomable;
Infinite
Unbounded by space or time
Where ends are but beginings
And left becomes right

I see a recognition of the same
Infinite soul
In that baby
In that stranger
In me.

And the smile –
Unnecessary,
Utterly altruistic and beautiful,
Is our swimming
For an instant
In eternal rockpools of
Turquoise and light.

Frolicking;
Like the eternal children
Which –
I think –
Is
Who
We
Really
Are

Strange Deliberations of the Fates

If you were to have entered that room you would certainly have been taken aback. In fact, it was much less a room, more a cavernous space. Within, there was an unfathomable number of little beings rushing around, busily engaged in various tasks. They – the beings – were odd-looking. All were naked, although the concept meant less to them as they didn’t have any private parts to hide or expose. Their skin was a pleasant grey-brown colour and their heads were small and oval (wider than they were high). A pair of attractive almond eyes – like a cat’s – were set in each head.

The frenetic activity was taking place on a dizzying variety of horizontal levels in the space. The majority of the creatures were working at floor level, but there were also others who were busy on multiple mezzanine levels. Some were even suspended in mid-air from harnesses, gliding like trapeeze artists between levels and workstations. Lights, dials and screens entirely covered the walls and desks and this equipment was the focus of the beings’ attention. The centrepiece of everything was an enormous table set on the ground floor, upon which was a miniature landscape. The model was covered in thousands (or maybe, millions or billions) of small figures, which reminded me of plastic toy soldiers. A cluster of the alien beings surrounded the table and were engaged in what seemed like heated discussion.

I couldn’t understand their burbling, high-pitched language, however I later learned what they were talking about. Apparently, it was along the lines of the following. Continue reading

The End Of The Groove

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In The Groove. Photo by A. Nowell

James Brown famously recorded a track entitled Doing It To Death. I discovered this tune as a young man in my twenties (via my younger brother who was a huge JB fan). I loved the attitude that this record suggested, and I felt that it reflected my then hedonistic sentiments entirely. In the midst of sweaty, 1980s dancefloors – and while surrounded by my peers who were also creating intricate physical interpretations of a 4/4 rhythm – I vowed that, like Mr Brown, I too would being doing it until death. The it which I was pledging to do was to dance, to dig music, to be funky. How, I thought then, could life be worth living without the appreciation of funky and soulful music. I reasoned that even if septuagenarian dancing became painful and difficult, I was still going to attempt it – just to show the world that I was still alive.

Press the fast forward button. Continue reading

International Klein Blue

In my dreams
I stand nervously
Hesitant
My toes curl around
The edge of hard
Sharp concrete
And I am scared.
I am exhilarated
Also
As I dive right into
International Klein Blue

Something strange
Takes me over
Depth made actual
Infinity tangible
With eyes open
I drink blue
I consume blue
I become blue
And blue is me

The secrets of the cosmos
Reveal themselves to me
When I swim in
International Klein Blue
And the secret is love.
Unbounded
Ineffable
Fathomless
Blue.

Frequencies
Waves
Particles
Quanta
Deep
Is this
Blue

I may emerge
In another universe
Or in the day after tomorrow
But for this instant
I remain
Here
Where everything is one
Reduced to the heartbeat of love.

We all can do this.
You too.
I’ll see you,
Buddy, soon
In
International Klein Blue.

(for Yves Klein)

Fast Train To The Next Plane

Time
With all its quantum capriciousness
Warps the image reflected back at me in the glass
In what seemed like the previous instant
(Or perhaps it was an epoch ago)
A young face used to stare at me
Uncertain, hopeful and optimistic.
Those shades of expressions haven’t changed
But the face has;
It’s grey, lined and worn –
A testament to the fact
That I’m riding a fast train to another plane
And by that I mean death
And the adventure that awaits us all.
This aging face is like an affirmation
Of the things that man and and science does not understand.
It’s like looking deep into the cosmos
And fills me with wonder.

Fly With Me

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Eagle Flying High. Photo by Montag

Well then, it certainly seems like poetry is the thing for me at the moment.

If you, dear reader, understood anything about the real Montag (although me understanding myself is something that I continually struggle with!), you’d know that I am first a poet. Everything else is secondary: prose writing, music, art, photography – they all play second fiddle to the yearnings of my poetic heart.

I starting scribbling in my early teens and continued throughout adulthood. During early manhood I needed to keep it concealed because, where I grew up, poetry was most definitely not cool. At college and university I found souls who understood the poetic aspect of me – and that was wonderful. Shortly afterwards, I started an early internet poetry zine, which attracted quite a bit of love at the time. We held events in London and even published an anthology. Continue reading