Tag: politics

Derelict Zones and Jazz Bar Blues



During hot summers

they used to walk through the neon lit streets at 3am.

They were seduced on freewill

falling in and out of basement jazz bars

in derelict zones.

Music in their souls

and abstraction in their minds.

Never short of courage

sipping whisky neat

drinking hours away

running out of days

feeling abundance and horizons infinite

whilst walking straight towards the heavy hearted bonfire of destruction.

They traced their path to nirvana

inventing their path

away from the banal.

Searching for the reality that both attracted and repelled them.

The novelty of everything was unexpected and effortless.

Life stretched out everlasting

and truth tempted their souls off the narrow path of the paradox

towards the only truth that they wanted

mysterious and inexplicable

the truth which they couldn’t put into words

which couldn’t fit into a single story.


The Bardo-State Man


He is a fortunate man.

The waves of life fall off his shoulders.

A clean path spans his vista.

The bland but dutiful and pretty wife dishes out his middle-england suppers.

His children are primed with the winning edge.

He is a fortunate man.

He ticked off school, university and aced that graduate interview.

His job brings in enough dollars.

His pension pot and private medical care are carefully topped up.

He respects wealth and power.

He is a fortunate man.

You’ll see his shiny white teeth telling jokes at the dinner-party on Saturday night

or you might see him picking out paint in some faceless store on a Sunday morning.

He is a fortunate man.

He strides though his linear path in life with the

promise of becoming a better human being

or being a better person.


But he doesn’t raise his head above the surface of life.

He exists and he keeps on existing despite his hour glass running out

and the lack of mystery in his future unfolding.

He hovers in a banal-bardo state.

There isn’t a moral story here.

Nor is there any resolution.

Can we live without everything but that which is essential?


If you were asked what, out of all the possessions which varnish your life, are essential and indispensable, what would you say?

In a world where our identity doesn’t last forever we hold onto our possessions as our lives are recast against their image.

Spending money in languid displays because this is the reality where the external face matters.

The image of your carefully poised champagne glass. The way your success sparkles on Instagram. A rolex kissed wrist. The car that’s worth more than a year’s salary.

Where winning is a reality which doesn’t exist but for that which we can see, touch, own.

Lacklustre products become the yardsticks of our success.

Corporates know we run in packs. If they sell to one of us, they’ve sold to us all.

Dazzled by consumer choices in a kaleidoscope of ironic consumption pointing towards a loss of real and meaningful choices.

Naturalised into thinking this is human nature. Breeding competition and envy.

Do you feel left out?

Are your needs met?

We’re bombarded by aspirational living. Makeovers that will change your life. Contoured celebrities. Designer purses. Fake tans. Big houses. Expensive schools. Desperate housewives promoted from every remote corner of the States communicating what it takes to be a real woman in 2016. Celebrities creating desires and needs relating to clothes and ways of life fueled by money and consumption. Content that you’ve got the most elegant diamond until instagram flashes a picture of that girl whose diamonds shine brighter than yours. And the cloned aspiration cycle churns into action again in a system which is allegedly supposed to have been designed to meet human needs. Brand ambitions selling their version of the good life. The version that sticks.

If we peel back the excess in our lives would we still recognise ourselves?

Is it possible that we could we live without everything but that which is essential?

Where things that are all the rage are not for sale.