Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Daughter Of Darkness


Sweet daughter of darkness
Do you know why the night is our special time?
Oh, yes, I think you do.
When, outside, all is quiet and the sun dies behind clouds
You turn off  the light, shadows enter the room,
And I find your thin, white body by my side. So,
The torment begins.
Sweet daughter of darkness
Will you tell me why the night is our special time?
Oh, yes, I think you will.
When, outside, the watchful moon is obscured by clouds
You pierce my thighs with a dozen silver needles.
So delicate, such torture; such prolonged agony. So,
The ecstasy continues.
Sweet daughter of darkness
We both know why the night is our special time.
Oh, yes, of course we do.
As, outside, silent, skeletal trees stand sentinel
You lick the blood oozing from my rigid limbs,
And your thin, white body writhes by my side. So,
This is my anguish – mine for all eternity.
Illus: No Longer This Moment, 2003

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Unspeakable Elegy

There is only the unspeakable.

There is only the colour of dust.

The dust of our pasts.

The dust of future ages

- incarnations of anguish?

It matters not.


No, I will never deride

My unspeakable desires,

My unspeakable thoughts,

My unspeakable elegies.

- incarnations of the flesh?


It matters not.


I look at these words

And they burn with hatred.

They are devoid of belief,

Of any shred of humanity

- incarnations in the mind?


It matters not.


I write an elegy of pain

And it burns with despair.

An elegy for every victim who

Cannot live without pain.

- incarnations of suffering?


It matters not.


This is the dust of our fevers.

This is a time without embrace.

This is a time without open doors.

This is a time without questions.


Flickering light behind glass

Distant clouds of memory…


Questions, always questions…


They matter not.

Illus: Poetry By Night, 2002


Friday, 14 May 2021

Beyond The Dream Screen

A time will come when we are nothing but a memory haunting the dreams and nightmares of some superior species.

This future race will inhabit our planet (no longer called Earth) and live in perfect ecological balance: adjusted to the world, the cosmos, nature and all living creatures. A tenuous memory will be the sole flaw in existence:

MAN… unconscious origin of perturbed sleep, subtle agent of demoralization – what a destiny!

Illus: The Dream Screen, 2017


Thursday, 13 May 2021

Enter The Heart


Enter the heart – but you did – a varied, more confused display.

No formal charges of air piracy can be made – no formal charge.


Boys on motorbikes don helmets.

North north-west of the saltworks – caution.

Caution – going, going, gone – can’t see far.

Darkness visible. Motormen blame snow. Waste threatens.

Representations deny all possibilities – remember.


Made for guidance. Encourage suffering masses.

Unconscious censor job what we need interrupt weather reports – hollow tactics – alarm:


Psychoblock 4.

Ten minutes search – increase volume.


No cold rush of air, no human activity. Report back – report back.


No. Duties divided – dead boy left of frame – what.

Possibly within days.

Circular opening –enter the heart exit from the brain.

No human activity – mother superior nightmare easy listening synthesis.

Representations at Geneva ignore all other possibilities trauma vocabulary visionary justice perhaps there will be memoirs perhaps there are visionary


don helmets don helmets left of frame – DEAD BOY – deny deny deny.

Unconscious censor job planning a move two cars crash head on dangerously low nurses report unhelpful suggestions transglobal expeditions north north west what – enter the heart exit the brain.

Illus: Psycho Block III, 2001


Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Close To It


Close to it. Edge corroded. Dirt. Stones. Bricks, possibly. Can’t see far. Dark.




Rough, circular opening. Fragments nearby. Throw them in. Hear them go. Going, going, gone. Can’t see far. Perhaps there are memories.




Closer. Very unwise. No cold rush of air. No darkness visible. No way down or out. Walk round about. Edge covered. Dirt. No sign of life, lower life, or even spawn or eggs gathered in dirt. What –




No cold rush of air very unwise very close much closer there could be no formal male passengers – the move could mean a reference possible within days – perhaps there are memoirs, close to it. Close.

Illus: Even Closer, 2003

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Get Your Dream Ticket


Glow on the Go, Oh Darling! Pop! Fizz! Clink! Power Up!
Falling objects; tripped over a hashtag on my way in,
Oh yes the fun stuff happens, oh yes, oh yes.
Diverted Flight Centre, bring it on, bring it off, all makes and models,
Makes your blood run cold she said, very British.
See it for yourself down at the Art Deco Disco
I mean, seriously? When you got it flaunt it, as they say.
Former Rialto usherette from somewhere else
Ritzy dream ticket Violetta Eureka from Zonal Foundation Inc.,
Not one of your cute Mayfair Ladies (geddit?),
Takes shorthand, Mondrian dress, tres chic – nothing doing.
Hello silky I muttered as Violetta swam into view
It’s like free fall in here, no half measures
Have a good day, yeah?
Knockout shape, wow, that dress is really something.
Dumb down smarten up mix and match get the message
Dreaming scream queen and screaming ticket
Exploding all over the place (geddit?) obviously
Closing in like very glitzy ritzy do me favour Cold Sister,
Mondrian dress tres chic nothing doing.
Glow on the Go, Oh Darling! Pop! Fizz! Clink! Power Up!
This is a near-life experience, and you can keep it
Prone to exaggeration, zap your brain it’s easy here
At Alpha Loading Central night moves way out far out
We hear a mysterious ‘ping’ from the deep,
Way down in The Trench; change of destination.
And the bulb’s gone! Shrieked Violetta.
Stark reality, see the upside of everything
You like Mondrian? You take it seriously?
I mean seriously? Taboo fantastique what?
That stuff zaps my brain, said Violetta
With a dreamy, oneiric giggle.
It’s The Style, as we call it,
It’s the scaffolding of the world, get a grip.
Get a what? You want a what?
I don’t think so – dream on baby.
Now look it’s really something… even if you’re
Too butch to boogie, too boring to boogaloo, ha ha ha.
Right old knees up do me a favour. Shabby, sleazy,
And I’m too flabbergasted to fandango, I replied.
You’ve got vapour trails in your eyes, she said.
Glow on the Go, Oh Darling! Pop! Fizz! Clink! Power Up!
High fives!
News and mags, photocopies, inspire and entertain
Makes it easy! Facial attraction, oooh darling.
Pop! Fizz! Clink!
Before meeting the girls to relax we freeze events
Eyeline, headline, skyline, hemline,
Doors close. What’s hot right now?
Come rain come shine come on Missy Violetta,
Don’t miss your moment in the palace of crystals.
Vamp it up in velvet just because top of the world
Learn the lingo, can be a breeze, High fives! Power up!

Illus:  Get Your Dream Ticket, 2017

Monday, 26 April 2021

Unknown Zone II


We’ll be asking why this unknown zone? Will it flip?
Station of doom sun-storms catalytic traces bring it on,
High cheek bones flaring nostrils hovering flowers,
Avant high-vis groove fashion, cheesy music;
A swishy style statement for underground spaces;  
A world-class nightmare; a midnight vision, remote
And desolate. Here you can be a princess for 24 hours.
Quality service rumble d├ęcor white wall transit rogue showers,
Read the cards, read the runes, it’s a flagrant magnolia moment.
Love-tackle kick-up circus aesthetic riff-raff never cheap just
Luxury high end looks – that’s the plan; but too many kick-backs.
Exit now. Do join us next time for a very alarming incident
Or a big bold move and you didn’t cry, well done.
The action starts here – reverse Deja vu visage, flaming meadows,
Red bricks it’s definitely going to be a moment, or a game
Of who blinks first, how does that make you feel?
Thermal shock cathartic effect obscure vision,
Travel zodiac hall of fame but don’t fly too close.
Local flashy fashionista types too shy but still smiling.
Take one! Take two! Take off! Yeah, take off!
She won’t know – but we can bring you the latest stark reality;
Hard to handle down the plughole seems like only yesterday.
No bother no problem, agreed. You name it, demand more.
Funny hello and welcome no reward just tatty fag ends
See what I mean?
Dark feelings impossible to tell from body language,
Yeah good alright, yeah, yeah, automatic kiss, and so on.
Here’s a slippery globe-trotter in search of a new life
Or even now and then a cool closet penthouse encounter 
With some dishy fella from one of our partner agencies.
It’s the best ever rampant get there and dance lark, and
Even more ways to wrap it up excruciating scene.
Then you wonder how this bizarre body-toning act plays
Skyline infinity vision. Something nice to tell us; virtuoso.
Go for it bring it on slip of the tongue sex it up hot wraps
High voltage next day service best of harmony.
Get it while it’s hot.
Mirror photo flash.
Up next – everyday gadgets from outer space,
No regrets, no more futile musings, no more points of disorder
Or acid frost. Superior specification stonking star babe sweet altitude.
Well move along there move along, huge uncertainty, high-heeled boots,
Overnight fresh exotic. We’re part of an international off balance
Ring-road nu-yu routine. Warning micro-cover up your lover’s sanctuary
Big screen machine here or there against the clock faster better,
I am the agent; no half measures quite a quirky backstory.
Silky soft, velvet smooth, strictly no hoopla!
Turn up the lights!  Ker-ching!

Illus: Edge Of Zone, 2003

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Somewhere Off Limits

Made in Hell, loved in Heaven
The eye of the storm is the jewel in the crown.
Within the hour we arrive at an inspiring destination,
No cloud, mist, or murk, just hungry love dramas
Here at the Bureau de Cringe in mega-topia
Luxury hand-crafted just for you.
How worried should we be?
It’s game on! But huge uncertainty.
What can we expect? Something
Unlimited and right up to date.
When the film stops, you see streams of lights.
Well, it does more or less right now.
These extravagant wavelengths; the mirror
Those incomprehensible structures.
This is a blind spot so take care.
The distant trees are not what they seem.
Just listen to that smoochy saxophone;
It’s a class act but just camouflage
Really more like a lap-dancing stag night
Than a floral tribute in dream rotation.
Thank you, enjoy!

Illus: Somewhere Off Limits, 2017 

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Uncanny Valley


Ecstatic submission a blunt weapon but it doesn’t matter.

Instrument supplier almost human ‘delight’ is the only word replacing missing oxygen breaking in suddenly feels innocent as kicking a ball around a coaxial cylinder we suspect the curse of rotten luck in the pathological sense, a developmental abnormality. How long have you got?

Light conversation about plant fluid failure mechanisms. Solar cells weekly to your hotel room where everything you see, hear, feel and think is controlled specifically on demand, by voluntary agreement thanks to ‘uncanny valley’ effect magnetic maps robot faces no strangers to getting bogged down – or a run for their money. “Means this is no longer the case, will boost resistance slightly forward kissing device can visualise clusters of information phosphorescent rainforests dominated by high towers improve intimacy, enhancing bubblegum fun”. A hideous atonal nursery rhyme eerily futuristic. Have you got how long?

It doesn’t end there.

Techniques based on a smooth plastic casing outlive universe regular repeating patterns due to contact with additional elastic boundary state, a grip that is firm but gentle. You can say it's only recently (sad though it is) as we slip through a doorway into an antique coffee bar where we lounge around using the technology at our disposal like the microbes in your home. True only in the past few years constantly coming into contact with a sorry state of affairs. Collateral damage like social evidence for the record or a Stone Age equivalent of celebrity culture perhaps they were just having a lark. You got long have you? Drop talking eerily futuristic enhancing death and hideous atonal nursery of rhymes and ecstatic submission.

This tangle far from random now surrounded by artificial pharmaceuticals and other complex products of rational design. We don’t understand the details, the chemical dance, the pros and cons from illness and death inducing disgust with subtle influences the hairdresser was girlishly thrilled and the sparks fly from day one. Exactly what it is she wants, this blow wave alien from LV-426, savage celebrations single mum takes on a transparent cube comedy sequel set at a chic high class New York party in a partial vacuum perhaps. Long got how have you?

So, looking back or looking ahead. From Toulouse to limbo from too cool to calypso deadpan delivery a spine tingling tale something unexpected and unsettling a poignant verse an old enemy plunges briskly into the action a disguised morality lesson with emotional complications discovered their partners were having an affair in the same plane crash. Have you?

Many things reeking if they so choose, when feeling for instance a pale shadow affecting every thing long term. Power hungry sculptures further north capture pages turning in the confessional all first rate equipment and support agreed leading to fight against passion where they are still having problems even now winging their way to us polluting our waterways, climbing mountains, dancing and dining out?

illus: Psychic Corridor, 2002

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Against The World




A Brief Bibliographical History





The Tractatus Contra Mundum (Tract Against The World) was written in Greek by an unknown Hellenistic author in the year 203AD. This text, which displays powerful Gnostic cosmological features, was falsely attributed by its anonymous author to the notorious heretical teacher, Carpocrates of Alexandria.

However it is true that, on a superficial level, the Tractatus, does invite comparison with some ideas of Carpocrates – given what is known of them from the prejudiced writings of the theologian Irenaeus of Lyon. Many modern commentators, it should be noted, have long recognised that Irenaeus, who fulminated against the Carpocratians for immorality (whilst ridiculing their metaphysics) in his Libros Quinque Adversus Haereses (AD199), was ignorant of the fundamentals of the doctrine of the transmigration of souls and was, therefore, prone to misinterpretation. Furthermore, the Carpocratian ‘libertine gnosis’ is now defined as just one of many manifestation of an antinomian ‘spiritual’ or existential, tendency intrinsic to the human condition; such tendencies are much better understood in our ‘post modern’ epoch than in the third century. Why the anonymous author chose to attribute his or her text to the notorious and much-vilified Carpocrates must remain a mystery.

Perhaps he or she was a schismatic Carpocratian?

Perhaps the author(s) wished to take advantage of a certain aura of controversy surrounding this anathematised heretic?


                 A partial history of the Tractatus was uncovered in the eighteenth century by the eccentric English antiquarian Barnabas Scarfe. His compendious book Ye Reliques of Olde Norfolke (1749) refers in some detail to a volume called Opus Contra Mundum (The Work Against The World), found in a London book shop on an inhospitable, rainy, autumnal day in 1738.  Scholars have since identified this as a copy of the so-called ‘Paris edition’ of 1718, itself an expurgated reprint of a version of the Opus issued in Germany under that incorrect title in the year 1618.

The Opus Contra Mundum, known as an ‘engraved variant’, was an illustrated version of the original Pseudo-Carpocratian text, reproduced, so far as we can tell, with scrupulous faithfulness to the original, but accompanied by an extensive and elaborate, theosophical, Hermetic-Alchemical commentary.

 The heavy, macabre engravings illustrating the volume give the impression of some Faustian Grimoire, and, without doubt, it was this magical-hermetic imagery (and the accompanying, convoluted, even opaque, exegesis) that first attracted Scarfe to the volume.

               After extensive researches on the continent in the years 1740 to 1741, involving travels in France, Germany and the Balkan countries; after searching numerous dusty and forbidden archives, Scarfe traced the Opus Contra Mundum to its source manuscript. Some experts dispute Scarfe’s theory, but nevertheless we will explain it here, as it is still the only coherent account extant.

               Scarfe eventually tracked down, and indeed obtained, a rare copy of the 1599 Eisleben edition of the Tractatus Contra Mundum during a stay in Moldavia in 1741. This was not, of course the first printed edition of the text which, we now know, appeared in Thuringia in 1587. However, the owners of the 1599 version also provided our indefatigable antiquary with a short, printed pamphlet (undated) which contained an account the traditional origin of the work written in a peculiar and outmoded form of scholastic Latin.

Thus Scarfe learned of the Gariannonum Manuscript, copied and illuminated by the Monks of St. Fursa in the year of Our Lord 632. It was this document (transcribed in awe and trepidation from a decaying Latin original) which, despite condemnation by the Holy See, circulated in the ensuing centuries among secret sects of initiates in Central Europe.

Scarfe was in no doubt of the significance of this information, having engaged in antiquarian researches into the origins of Fortress Gariannonum, built by the Romans on the Norfolk coast in AD275 as part of the Litus Saxonicum. In the Post-Roman era Gariannonum was, of course, known as Burgh Castle, but in the seventh century, the ascetic Monks of St Fursa established a monastery within the abandoned walls of this forbidding, ancient fortress. Before the arrival of the Romans the site was, according to local archaeologists, an Iron Age cult centre of the Iceni tribe, the locus of unspeakable rites.


Scarfe’s 1599 copy of the Tractatus Contra Mundum is not present in the archives at Buckden Palace, neither is the strange little pamphlet. We know of his researches only through his voluminous letters, and extensive references in the first edition of Ye Reliques of Olde Norlfolke integrating the tales of the Gariannonum Manuscript with the folklore of his native East Anglia.

Much of this has been summarised by Wlosok in his invaluable Die Philosopische Gnosis aus Pseudo-Carpocrates of 1965.

As a modern scholar, Wlosok was aware of the more complex history of the text. Permitting himself a tone of understandable scepticism with regard to the outdated researches of Barnabas Scarfe, he devotes equal space to an almost-complete Aramaic Version of the Tractatus. This version was unearthed in 1928 by a team of Italian archaeologists excavating the ancient city of Oxyrhynchus, in the Nile Valley south of Cairo.

 Copies of this papyrus, obtained in difficult circumstances, were made by specialists, but most were destroyed by the Nazis and the Italian Fascists during the war years. Fortunately Wlosok gained access to one of the few remaining copies in a private collection in Vienna. This text, translated into elegant and poetic French by Alexandre Rollin, provides new insight into the history of the Pseudo-Carpocratians.

The accretions to this version, which differs in minor but significant details from the Latin version, disclose a more ancient perspective. The author of the commentaries, possibly a high initiate in the movement, claims an extensive lineage for the cosmology and doctrine of the original Tractatus.

We are told that the Alexandrian Pseudo-Carpocratians were known to themselves as Charontes and claimed to be the inheritors of a tradition dating back to the times of the Babylonian Empire, or earlier. To indicate this they also referred to themselves as the ‘Muttabriqu-Saghulhaza’, or simply the ‘Saghulhaza’ meaning, in an ancient pre-Babylonian language, ‘Upholders of Evil’. The term ‘Muttabriqu’ means ‘She Who Erases’. The real significance of this nomenclature is unclear, but the Charontes took pains to dissociate themselves from all other religions, ‘secret’ mysteries and cultic superstitions. These they condemned out of hand as childish illusions and distractions.

The Oxyrhinchus author defines this ancient language as ‘Chaldean’, an obviously fanciful invention. He says that the Saghulhaza were persecuted, and almost exterminated, by an ancient bloodthirsty, tyrannical king called ‘Akurgal’. Wlosok identifies this personage as Akurghal of Lagash who reigned about 2465BC. The extreme antiquity of these events is startling, but Wlosok is not apologetic, noting that the Aramaic initiate depicted a mythic ‘proto-Gnostic’ emanationist (Wlosok’s terms) schema of divine origins, stretching back to the dawn of time and the creation of the cosmos.

In this tradition the ‘gods’ of the Saghulhaza belief system, known as ‘Isua’, ‘Khubilkhu’ or sometimes ‘Tiruru-Geshthu-e’, were born into an epoch of darkness in a ‘time before the stars’. These divine pre-stellar entities perpetuate themselves in ‘our world’ through various modes of metamorphosis or ‘transmigration’. Each trans-aeonic incarnation or re-incarnation, being, in fact, another stage in a cosmic ‘fall’, leading to a progressive diminution of divine potency. To them, and their worshippers, ‘our world’ is an abomination, a degraded sphere of creation inspiring nothing but negation and hatred.

The purpose of Saghulhaza initiation was to bestow insight into the process of transmigration, to assist in a mighty task ‘against’ the nature of ‘our world’ (the hiemarmene, to use a Gnostic term familiar to the Hellenistic Alexandrians). This task is a reversion of the transmigration process; an infinite war against the Light to regain primordial darkness.

The original Carpocratians were denounced for believing that the only way to overcome the power of the angelic hegemony, the hiemarmene, was ‘to commit every deed there is in the world’, including sinful deeds. This liberation could only be accomplished by living through a series of lives or re-incarnations. The Pseudo-Carpocratians assimilated this idea but distorted it almost beyond recognition, attributing the desire for liberation from ‘our world’ to the divine, angelic oppressors themselves.

The need for brevity ensures that only a fragmentary outline of the complex system of the Tractatus Contra Mundum can be described in this note. Interested readers seeking further clarification are referred to Rollin’s lengthy article in Revue d’Assyrologie 25 (1932) entitled ‘Le recit epique des Khubilkhu’. We must discount the pseudo-science of discredited folklorist Vincent Roke, whose idiosyncratic researches into Scarfe’s unreliable observations are rejected by most serious students.


In summary we have recounted the bibliographical history of this curious document. From the lost Greek original, to the 1718 Paris edition based upon the Garionnonum Manuscript transcribed by the Monks of St. Fursa, eventually issued, in a rare printed version, in Thuringia in 1587. We have also described the more recently discovered Aramaic variant, also, in part, a copy of the lost Greek primary text, translated into French in 1930.

What became of the lost original?

Allusions in the Aramaic commentaries (tantalisingly incomplete at this point) infer that fanatics destroyed many Pseudo-Carpocratian texts; this was in the turbulent and dangerous years AD390-391. Zealous Christians, encouraged by Theodosius the Great, attempted to eliminate all traces of heresy and paganism, even burning Alexandria’s precious Sarapeion Library in their successful bid to establish a new religious or theocratic hegemony, throughout the known world.

Many secrets were lost during the terrible events surrounding the destruction of the Sarapeion; it is not inconceivable that diligent archaeologists and historians may yet uncover further clues regarding the identity of the original Pseudo-Carpocrates - but, for the time being, we can only speculate.

illus: Sphinx Galactica, 2003


Thursday, 1 April 2021

Inside The Silent City


Inside The Silent City:
Stunning new rebel reserves on red alert.
Omega Lightning, Flicka Vee and Candy Flash
Scanned a crystal ball in the atrium, looking for comic turns,
High Street visions, Jet-Age babes, various venues forgotten.
Then, beyond our mono-rail vanishing point, they see
An aurora scuba squeeze; the counter-turn is
The function of the antistrophe, said Omega, but
You can do the splits, whispered Candy.
The others just laughed.
‘Hello, Honey Cake,
Your smile deserves a fire exit
Your flair deserves a face-off
Your entrance deserves a phone-call
Your horizon deserves a festival
Your tattoo deserves a Pinot Noir’.
Rave arcade inflatable meltdown freak-fest
Collective sequinned jacket, snake-hips fire
Still burns – few surprises, high-flipping brides.
She just went for a shabby exterior, then a fractal cadenza,
And then some of the coolest frocks around this crystal breeze
Of shaky, amateur footage and smiles powered by
Our three intrepid explorers, in Technicolour.
This is the Ghost Spa in The Silent City,
Where nothing ever happens, not ever.
No two ways about it.

illus: Inside The Silent City, 2002