Why do we deny the obvious:
and property are opposites ?
Where I was born
in 1941 - a wartime 'Maternity Hostel'.
I had thought that
Farm was connected
with the fact that my mother, a schoolteacher,
victim of a sexual assault, had to travel from Belfast to Berkshire
in order to have her illegitimate child
(whom she adopted in 1942 and brought to her mother and sister in Belfast).
But, at the age of 73 I found out that I was wrong:
it is the original name of this handsome building.
BEYOND THE PALE
Pale was the variable extent of Engish influence in Ireland, centred
from the late 13th to the early 17th centuries.
My Irish home in the barony of Lecale (80 miles north of Dublin) was rarely
part of it.
It ended with the 17th century 'plantations' of English and Scots
in various parts of Ireland.
The phrase beyond the Pale means 'beyond civilisation, beyond
respectability, uncouth, unacceptable'.
There was another English Pale - around Calais, where English jurisdiction
ran until the 16th century..
The word means 'stake' or 'post' - hence an area defended
by a palisade.
of Settlement was along Russia's western border (including a large
chunk of Poland-Lithuania),
established by Catherine the Great to 'control' the Jews in their shtetls
To have been beyond that Pale would have had a contrary meaning: to be
a civilised Lutheran German,
such as Immanuel Kant in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad)...
cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is
interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home.
Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own
voice, to see our own light."
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
SUGGESTED OUTLINE/SCRIPT FOR A BBC RADIO PROGRAMME CALLED 'LIFE-CHANGING'
My life changed at
the age of 40 in 1981 at an exhibition of the works of Salvador
Dalí at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Up to that time I had no real understanding of my sexuality. As
a little boy of around 5, little girls and I explored each others
hidden parts. Little boys and I compared our willies. I thought
girls had more interesting privates.
But after this precociousness my sexuality did not progress. There
were mutual masturbations in the bushes at school, but as a youth
I was not interested in meeting girls. I preferred to stay at
home and read or play the classical music I had discovered. Sibelius
was a revelation.
As a student I worked in the summer at an International Student
Hostel in Copenhagen, where I learned Danish and was close to
a few other girls also working there. They paired off with other
rather macho types, and eventually I approached an unattached
Copenhagener whom I found very pleasant and reassuring to be with.
Slowly, I fell in love with her.
The following year I collected my student grant for the Michaelmas
term and went off by merchant vessel round the stormy north of
Scotland to Copenhagen. I was seasick.
I stayed with my first and only girl-friend, Lone, for a while,
and then went to an islet off Bornholm in the Baltic to stay with
a schoolteacher friend (also working in summer at the Hostel).
Lone came to visit, and, after I had known her for over a year,
she permitted me to make love with her...or rather, since I was
somewhat inept and a very delayed ejaculator, she taught me.
I fell in love with making long, slow (very slow) love. We each
travelled severally between Copenhagen and Christianø,
and life was wonderful, especially during the big freeze of 1962
when the sea froze. I had no money, of course. I was trying to
write short stories.
The following two summers we both worked again at the student
hostel. In September 1964 I invited my best friend in Belfast
to come and visit...and, guess what! he replaced me in Lones
affections. I returned to Ireland in a state of sadness which
lasted for years, and was only relieved by my adopting a beautiful
dog from the Animal Shelter in Belfast, after moving into a free
peppercorn-rent National Trust cottage (without electricity
or bathroom) on the edge of Belfast. I resumed my university studies.
From 1965 to 1981 I had no 'love-life' apart from my beautiful
bitch, nor sex-life. I had one or two not-very-satisfactory
intimate encounters with women, and many extremely unsatisfactory
encounters with very unappealing men whom I picked up in public
conveniences and usually took home on the back of my scooter.
In the late seventies I started to take advantage of £5
standby flights to London and cheap cross-channel deals by ferry
or hovercraft to Paris. I had the use of one friends flat
in Bayswater and another friends pied-à-terre in
And so I found myself bursting to pee in the tiny, totally-inadequate
and crowded mens toilets on the ground floor of the Centre
Pompidou in Paris. A very handsome, bearded man stood beside me.
He made facial signals and we left together for the pied-à-terre
about 10 minutes away. He was my life-changer.
Firstly, he was the first queer man with a beard whom I had ever
met. Most of my encounters had been with unattractive, rather
sad and desperate men. I had worn a beard since I left school
in 1959. They were very rare in those days and attracted unfavourable
comment, for example, Fungus-face. I had some bearded friends,
but they were straight and I liked their girlfriends.
Secondly, he told me that I had a beautiful body. I had never
regarded it as anything except skeletal, of the unmuscular weedy
type. We stayed together for a few days. He was a dancer with
the Merce Cunningham troupe on tour in Europe. He went off to
Germany with them. I went back to my rural county Down farmhouse
in a state of elation. A week or two later he came to visit. He
told me about gay bars, of which I was totally ignorant.
I went to London with him, where he took a plane back to the States.
He was a Chicano from San Antonio, Texas, and lived part of the
time in Cuernavaca, near Mexico City. After he left I went to
my first gay bar at Notting Hill Gate. It was a revelation.
Until that moment I had been weedily, wussily nervous of groups
of men (except when they were standing sadly and unthreateningly
in conveniences). I associated them with the rugger bullies who
had pissed on my pinned-down body at school, two of whom later
played for Ireland. I never went to pubs, I never even went to
But within minutes of entering my first gay bar I attracted appreciative
looks. This was like a beautiful rebirth. I felt like a very slim
Poseidon rising from the waves.
The third time I went to The Champion at Notting Hill Gate
I was propositioned by a handsome, hairy bearded man...with whom,
the next morning, I went to Paris for a week. It was a fling,
which was sad for the tender romantic who had again fallen in
love...or rather, infatuation.
After this I had liaisons short and long with bearded men I encountered
in Belfast, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Florence and Pisa.
I visited a famous sauna in Paris where sensational orgies took
place. I cruised often in the café-bar Le Central
in the Marais at the time that area was being gentrified, mainly
by gay men.
Though demophobic I even went to the famous gay Heaven
on Leicester Square in London, a sort of rave venue before raves;
I wore ear-plugs and thought of Chopin.
But I was introduced
to Pink Floyd, J-M Jarre, Klaus Schulze and other then-modern
musicians. A lover of traditional jazz and blues I discovered
'trans-cultural' African and Maghrebien Jazz Fusion. In Paris
and Amsterdam I was plunged deeply into Indian and Iranian classical
music...and music from all over the world, of which I had had
only a taste from the BBC.
Through Bearded-gay Newsletters, men from Bern, Basel, Cambridge,
Vinci, Dublin, Norwich, Le Havre, Paris and Crècy-la-Bataille
visited me in my rural idyll, where sometimes we picked magic
mushrooms, and always visited some of the many splendid megaliths
(tombs, stone circles, stone-rows) of north-eastern Ireland. Many
are listed in the address book which I have had since 1960, when,
like André Gide, I was approached by a fisherman on the
beach at Sousse, Tunisia.
I even managed to attract some rare non-white men, which gave
me an extra thrill because I have, since childhood, always regretted
my sickly pale colour, and dont really appreciate it in
In Italy I was a Big Hit because I looked like Jesus or St Francis.
When sensuality and religion combine, theres no stopping
These encounters were not in pursuit of Sexual Release or hygiene,
but a search for a Pal. I had no brothers or siblings. My cousins
avoided me, the little bastard. My father was, allegedly, an RAF
pilot killed in the war. (I found out through Ancestry last year
that he lived until 1995, a married man who produced half-brothers.)
This was during the arrival of AIDS, about which I was not duly
concerned since I never engaged in penetration. I was much more
interested in hugs and cuddles and rubbings and erotic wrestling
and para-sexual activity, always involving breaks for wine and
nibbles...or dinner. Some sessions lasted for hours
or even days.
Now Im over eighty, and my cruising days are long over.
I live alone in rural France, but am visited frequently by my
buddy of over 30 years, who now lives in Ireland.
We have always lived apart, and so have never had time to oppress
each other. Very rarely, I visit a queer man approaching my own
age, and share food and other pleasant sensations.
I am very grateful to the Mexican-American Gregorio whom I met
at the Dalí exhibition (and only once since) and who in
a sensual sense raised me from the dead.
publication of small-circulation, quality books of radical-philosophical
(tiny minority) interest is dead a long time.
and the profit-motive killed it.
Big Business and
the Nation State have silenced all versions of The Word that
do not serve their corrupt, greedy, Protean cause - which is,
in the end, the destruction of the planet for money, status
and Turbo-capitalism have killed the awareness that awareness
is in the vanguard of free, anti-copyright web-publishing -
until the Web, too, is controlled and censored by corporate
and governmental malignance.
of the Internet over print is that both text and presentation
can be re-edited and improved daily, if it seems necessary.
It also allows writers and poets to be their own publishers,
in control of their own material - for better or for worse -
and to extend their talent or genius to web-presentation.
When the poet
is also a painter and photographer, the Web is virtually the
only way for him to present his vision.
The Internet allows
truly democratic access to anyone with a computer and an enquiring
mind. This site has received input from such varied visitors
as an Albanian émigrée, a French craftsman, an English schoolboy,
a Russian artist, a Dutch poet, an Iraqi Kurd, a Russian painter,
and a Finnish doctor...
The Internet is
now the only possible - if unlikely - medium for Oracles.
is dedicated to
the holiness of animals
and the irredeemability of Man.
does not do similes nor metaphors
nor family, nor parties
nor birthdays, nor Christmas
nor bars, nor restaurants;
does not have television
does not do hygiene
and has never been employed -
he's someone the
I wrote the above twenty years before I was sent this splendid
the Japanese resister, Kaneko Mitsuharu (1895-1975) (my own translation)
I resisted school,
I resist employment.
are property and hygiene.
There's nothing so inhuman
as law-abiding cleanliness.
I contradict The Spirit of our Nation.
Duty and Social Function make me vomit.
I'm against all governments everywhere
and wave my smelly cock
at the cosy cartels of
asked what my Purpose In Life is,
I answer: To oppose.
When I'm Easterly
I go Westward.
I do up
my coat and shoes the wrong way round.
I wear my trousers back to front,
and likewise ride a horse.
else hates I like.
My greatest hate of all is
consensus, unanimity, received opinion.
So I believe
that to oppose
is the only splendid thing in life.
To oppose is REALLY to live.
To oppose is to connect deeply
with the spirit within.
In the 1970s I briefly wrote a column for a smug and
stuffy Northern Irish magazine called 'Fortnight'.
I was fired immediately after writing some personal
reflections on pædophilia -
before pædophiles were found under every other
and before it was realised that most child-abuse occurred
undistressedly-fatherless childhood was haunted by distant,
who regarded me as a cissy bastard.
my article, I - ever frank and open - said I would have
a bit of male attention, maybe cuddles.
A bit of mutual masturbation would have been interesting,
perhaps a warning, perhaps an induction.
was at the exploratory age of eight or nine when a schoolfriend
did boyishly sexual - we said 'biological' -
deep in the rhododendrons. We loved biology.
That fascinatingly-circumcised friend wanted to become
an obstetrician -
and became one, the author of ANTAGONISM
OF KETAMINE BY PHYSOSTIGMINE.
He died in 2012.
would have loved to have been joined by somebody older,
with body-hair. Of course, to have been fucked by a
or Forsythe, the sinister school doctor, would have
But not that much worse than having favoured bully-boys
(who went on to play rugby for Ireland) force me to
drink their piss.
years later, Adrian Mole (aged 13¾) would
write in his Secret Diary for
Tuesday, September 29th :
doesn't get on with his district nurse.
He says he doesn't like having his privates
mauled by a woman.
Personally I wouldn't mind it.'
I wrote was considered quite beyond the Pale.
Now the world knows what the Catholic
to vulnerable boys and girls not just in Ireland - but
And not just priests, and bishops, and (as we now know)
but their rich friends, some of them in government,
some military, some of them policemen.
still have no doubt that some fatherless boys welcomed
a male hand upon their genitals - faute de mieux.
(I, always emotionally apart, was nearly forty before
I deliberately turned to men for 'that sort of thing'.)
have no doubt, either, that the Catholic church
is the most evil organisation among the many that stalk
my own part, I don't lack the courage to think a thought
no thought has frightened me so far.
If one ever does, I hope I'll at least have the honesty
This idea scares me stiff. It stirs up something in me that
I don't want to confront."
"The moment I left school I decided
that I would be in control of my life: I would not take orders
from anyone unless I agreed with them; I would make my own mistakes.
My time would belong to me, not to unknown or half-known others
- and certainly not to The System..
So I made my own mistakes, in my own time, which were insignificant
compared with the mistakes that others had made on my behalf.
"Time is my wealth. Money is for
the poor in time and in spirit, the Faustians.
I have chosen a Diogenean
"My only aspiration was to be wise.
My only desire was to avoid stress.
Head-banging relieved stress, even after I - alert and alone
- had picked my stressless and marvellously jobless, harmless
path in the invisible forest of feeling on the all-too-visible
Planet of Pain.
"At the age of 21, after dreary years
of inept brain-washing and body-despising 'education',
I decided that I would no longer tolerate the oppression of
contemptible hierarchies and their inbuilt competitiveness,
and that employment after the confusing punishments of birth,
childhood and adolescence was an indignity too far.
"I was also so acutely aware of the misery
and injustice in the world that beauty made me weep. So, although
I had no recognised talent, I decided to devote my life to poetry
and to try, through contemplation and devotion to honesty, to
make my life into a continually self-revising poem.
"Poetry that is merely an up-market part
of the Entertainment Industry is no more than up-market entertainment
- whether it be by Catullus, Goethe or Séamus Heaney.
"I eventually came to believe that the only
poems worth writing - and reading - are those that celebrate
non-human things, integrity and humbleness;
or those that can persuade at least one person to unsubscribe
For the most beautiful music is when music stops."
"The more that we believe that we are individuals
the more we are just products.
In societies of consumer-voyeurs who are themselves product,
life becomes the accumulation of spectacles in both senses:
both lens and entertainment. And the planet screams.
"We are as sperm in the rectum of
"All gain is both ephemeral and immoral
not least the gaining of knowledge - for knowledge is yet another
loss of integrity.
If knowledge brings power, and power is immoral, none in history
has used it as nobly as Caligula's horse."
by Wendy Cope
I used to think
all poets were Byronic - Mad, bad and dangerous to know.
And then I met a few.
Yes it's ironic -
I used to think all poets were Byronic.
They're mostly wicked as a ginless tonic
And wild as pension plans.
Not long ago I used to think all poets were Byronic -
Mad, bad and dangerous to know.
�He has a long beard & short fingers,
thin body and spathulate thumbs.
He longed to be one of the singers
and failed to be one of the dumbs.�
(2003) in reply to a correspondent who read
and asked for some biographical details:
scrimped and saved to send me to a mildly nasty, nearby private,
single-sex school (Campbell College, Belfast) where I learned
only that the only education is continuous self-education. I have
taught myself everything worth learning except reading and counting
and the basics of biology, grammar, Greek and French. In my whole
private school and university career I was blessed with just four
good teachers! The
15 or so others were poor to dreadful. At this school, bullying
was the perquisite of the teaching staff, and there was very little
by my peers - though at one stage I was victimised to the extent
of having a future famous Ireland Rugby-player sit on me (with
his cronies around him) while he pissed on my face. This was not
so terrible, and actually I would now find it quite tender - if
performed lovingly by a sweet and hairy man.
failed miserably to expunge and extinguish my free curiosity (which
is what the education system and the whole nation-state seems
to be set up to do). I was physically abused at school, of course,
but not sexually (if only I had, I might not have been so in-the-dark
for years thereafter!)
are set up to abuse and abort the brains and minds and hearts
of pupils, which is much worse and more corrosive than mere sexual
abuse. I would have preferred this latter to ten years of compulsory
'sport' which I loathed as I still loathe all competitiveness.
I ran away from school, once and unsuccessfully.
wasn't until the age of 25 that I realised that I would have to
dismantle (or at least question) everything that had hitherto
been pushed into me. And so I never was employed or married or
anything mindless like that. But I did not realise that it would
take all the rest of my life - at least 40 years - to do the job.
It is still not finished.
some false starts I read philosophy at University - but that was
more of the same, so I spent all nine papers and 27 hours of my
finals attacking the whole system of system-worshipping. This
was before I heard about the Russian Nihilists.
I did not get a degree - which made me pretty well (and usefully
for me) unemployable: no 'Qualification', too well-educated, and
(after leaving home in Belfast)
I had nowhere to live I just went and asked rich people for a
hovel, and got three different, good places. I now live in a 200
year old farmhouse with original sagging roof and some damp, for
$5 a week - for life. No other house is within view, and I look
out across a rookery and fields and over the Irish Sea to the
Isle of Man; and to the Mountains of Mourne in another direction.
I can't be put out because the landlord tried to evict me on grounds
of immorality (kissing bearded men in the garden in a country
where there is suspicion and dislike of anything pliant, tender,
autonomous, or unconventional), and lost his case rather badly.
There are no mass graves that I know of.
was some years after the pivotal point in my life: my four-month
spell in a traditional panopticon prison (with slop-buckets and
defective heating) - for repeated shoplifting
of kitchenware and food. Through prison I gained a self-esteem
that those who rely on others being mirrors to their conformities
cannot conceive of. I was terrified when I went in; I was proud
when I left. And I wear with pride my crude darns and patches
on the clothes my mother, at various times, knit and made for
didn't realise that I was a sort of trichophilous
samesexlover until I was 40 - no hairy, bearded, interested
teachers at school to instruct me (in this or in much else), I
guess. And even if there were, they would not have told (much
less shown) me that 'sex' is at its ('Tantric') best when it is
non-penetrative and non-ejaculatory - that is to say: when it
is not a means of achieving some kind of orgasm, but a celebratory
journey starting from deep, inexpressible connection.
am now (2021) in my eightieth year. Until 2015 I was living rather
well on a small Social Security allowance in a house which I never
lock, beside a rookery, with a fine shrub-garden which is especially
good in winter and has plants from all over the planet: Chile,
New Zealand, Mexico, China, Japan, South Africa, the Mediterranean,
Morocco and Siberia.
2015 I have lived in south-west France, on a very ample 'minimum
income' provided by the militarist French state. This is the view
from my living-room..
have lived off militarist and mind-crushing states all my life:
I vowed never to pay tax to finance its malignance, so being on
Welfare Benefit is a neat solution. I have a very good quality
of life. Peace and quiet in a house full of beautiful stones and
paintings, food that I prepare myself, a heartwarming collection
of useful ceramics, good, inexpensive wines - and music ranging
from early Jazz to Arabic and Indian Classical, from Dufay to
Reich, Tavener and Schnittke, from Albanian polyphonic singing
to the piano quartets of Brahms and the Trio Joubran, and from
Georges Brassens to the ambient electronic compositions of Brian
Eno, B.J. Cole and Klaus Schulze.
I may have been one of the last people in Ireland to boil water
in a kettle over a fire. I do it to a lesser extent here in France,
where I can live almost entirely from local produce at any time
of year, in wonderful and varied landscape.
I make friends easily I used to have many. But since I find people
all very much the same, limited, normalised kind of dull (or paranoid),
they have almost all fallen away.
Jenny Joseph in her famous poem 'Warning' described the
unconventionality she would enjoy when she would become an old
woman (and wear purple), I enjoyed greater freedom long before
I was sixty, when, without family, TV, microwave, clean windows,
employment or insurance, I stuck out my tongue at unpleasant people,
and called them shit-heads to their face, and pissed in washbasins
and ate good half-price food well past its sell-by date, and got
caught shoplifting, and rarely took a bath and changed my clothes
infrequently. Of course I smell much better than the fastidious,
deodorised and over-washed who get up my nose.
I don't masturbate in public nor hurl dead poultry in schoolrooms
- but I have kissed stray dogs in the street and would outdo
Lazarus by licking their sores
while the Christians drive by in their cars. I don't yet harangue
people in the street like the religious maniacs who are so many.
I scramble over and under barbed wire. I shall be buried in my
brambly badger-thicket where I have planted beech and oak and
hazel, spindle-tree and guelder-rose, medlar and quince and bird-cherry
and crab-apple, and apple-scented rose, fire-bush and partridge-berry.
disturbed it further, letting the nettles and fireweed grow and
chopping the brambles only so much as to stop them pulling the
young trees down. The birds and the badgers will breed and the
foxes move in, so that on this ravaged, ransacked, pitiable island
one acre at least would remain dense, impenetrable, protected,
free and unmanaged.
I walk over my grave - where already are buried some ashes of
my aunt and some hair of my mother
- who, at the age of sixty, began the twenty-year happiest, most
autonomous period of her life.
if I die in France, I will be buried in a normal-sized grave which
I have attractively-planted, in a leafy corner of an unusually
well-sited municipal graveyard with a fine view over the village
- where I once also planted a little and varied orchard containing
quince, medlar, persimmon, almond, apple, plum, cherry, amelanchier,
crab-apple and pear-trees.
have 'abnormal' tendencies - on the one hand: Aspergerish, and
on the other: bi-polar.
I am a thief, but not a liar. I write corrections in library books."
religion: non-practising Cannibal."
the evidence suggests that we are in the world to do very little apart
from enjoying ourselves,
and so we do everything to prevent our simple enjoyment of life.
I was not offered a Cup of Hemlock to drink when I had realised this,
I became A BURDEN ON THE STATE
until such time as THEY would send me a romantic
has still not happened.
But I am happy to be a Burden
on the terrible, world-destroying State whose hideous
greatest frauds in history were Moses, Jesus and Mohamed."
- Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, the Stupor Mundi of the 13th
This website was started in 2000 - on a little, old, damaged and malfunctioning
second-hand Laptop operating on Windows 95.
"We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody
has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand
of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting
all the rest.
youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense
of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false
idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery
because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify
his right to exist.
we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for
inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should
be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were
thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had
to earn a living."
"The youth of today"
he was writing about was my generation.
The youth of the twenty-first century, alas, have been successfully brainwashed
- world-wide -
by the universal "education" system into believing the rubbish
injected into their poor, over-excited and under-stimulated brains.
to download a copy of an illustrated zipped E-book of Selected Poems
from this website, entitled
THE FONTS USED ON THIS
WEBSITE ARE CRUCIAL TO ITS APPEARANCE.
The principal one is the most-readable
of all, BOOKMAN OLD STYLE.
Also used are VERDANA, PAPYRUS
and COMIC SANS,
as well as the default font on your browser, which is usually the hard-to-read
Times New Roman.
If you would like to instal
these fonts on your computer, click HERE,
download, unzip, and drop into the FONTS folder which is located inside
your WINDOWS folder,
easily accessible from 'MY COMPUTER'.