I stand in the hoop stupidly,
like it were a circle saying
“Look, here’s the idiot!”

Cried James Bond
from the broom closet.
It was beginning to sink in
he would spend the night there.

James Bond fashioned a bed
out of rubber gloves and A4.
The skinny brunette
mop lay beside him.

Naked eye.
Self-consciously, I watch
the water in the hopes
an idea might drift by.

What do they say?
A pot watched…
A pot watcher never toils…?

I am Jeff Koons
and I pretend to understand
whatever’s going on in Yemen,

and in the 90s I had a love affair
with David Hockney,

and sometimes when I’m lonely
I sleep inside the balloon dog.

I know I am safe in there
because I keep the surface mirror-shiny.[1]

The Mary’s room argument (since Physicalism argues you can explain sensations not sense explanations[2]) is really just an impassioned metaphor for how physicalsts are nerds who don’t go outside—something less suited to philosophy than to deep emo poetry. So I took it upon myself to reduce it to its true form:
In their black and white rooms
and black and white lives,
they think they know all
without going outside.

All Smart, no heart,
their black and white and brains
never notice the colour
that courses their veins!

Their black and white books
and papers and scrolls,
no matter how read,
cannot be red at all…

Emily Dickinson gets dizzy.
She stood so fast her view went dark,
the world lost its extension.
Before the blood began her brain,
it shed of all convention.

Proverbial and personal
significance depleted,
she saw the world a newborn, like her
knowledge were still seated.

She could not even see to see
the movement of her eyes
(time lost the contiguity
that memory implies).

Then, by her blood returning,
her knowledge stood to meet her,
an ache the only echo of her
fleeting incognita.

Half of Charles Bukowski.
He has hard hands, hands that are hurt,
hands with a memory for bottles and dirt.
And a genuine eye, an eye for the honest,
a tired old eye with a fly in its bonnet.

So prose skilled hands they let a most morose drinker sail,
faultless to those who don’t notice those fingernails.
Nails so cracked and untrimmed it’s grotesque,
they act as a typewriter hindrance at best.

So focused an eye, for those moments it catches,
faultless to those don’t notice its lashes.
Lashes so heavy and blighted and torn
they down-cast the eyelids on which they are worn.

Over his poems these harrowing things
hang like a pairing of shadowy wings
and no matter how far from the poems I stand
they’re as stuck as the nails on the ends of his hands.

I walk more fast than you.
I know ‘cause when I match your step,
I will pass you always.

Our reflections stare at each other but
our bodies just look out the window.

Craning neck
to see if
just mad.

Dark sacred night.
From the lawn
the night sky
made me forget
my wet socks.

I marvelled at the fact
I was able to take in
the whole heavens
with just my eyes and skin.

This fossilised far dark star of colossal size
should surely hospitalise me!
Such secret sacred forbidden skin
all in the tip of a pin? How absurd.

Surely this was a joke,
the trick of a
celestial jester,
lest I be going mad.

It was too profound, too old and
too deep in its blackness
for me to observe.
I felt like a giddy criminal,

sneaking out
with wide eyes
and clenched teeth
to not make a sound.

For a moment I thought
how odd I must look;
a boy in his underwear watching the night
somewhere between late and early.

Then I realised
there is nothing odd
about that at all,
and went to bed.


bark bark

isn’t it?
He does this
every day.

He barks
barks barks
until he’s
let out,

then he
sniffs the air
and returns
just the same.

a futile venture!
a fool
he must be.

He goes out
just to come back,
achieving nothing
but wasting time,

he should use
his time better
like I do.
He should:

- Get a job and
- Buy a house and
- Go to work to
make money and

- Go back home to
pay his dog taxes and
- Go back to work to
pay his dog bills and

Maybe he’s
not such a


1^ I find the obsessive shininess of Koons’ work the perfect metaphor for what irks me about it. Part of his enigma is an apparent desire to be a great communicator, accompanied by a jarring openness to subjectivity. No work ever suggests itself to be a certain thing: satirical, sincere, political, inane. They’re totally opaque. Even beyond that they’re reflective: they will only throw back a reflection of yourself at any attempt to look into them. To be cynical, perhaps this metaphorical “shininess” plays a part in their lucrativeness—the kind of person to amass billions of dollars is the kind of person who likes to see themselves “reflected”. It’s such an apt metaphor it almost suggests a great big trick, a satirical commentary in the vein of his idol, Duchamp. It would certainly explain the initials at the base of every work…

2^ The physicalist position on perception is that it is just a brain process. If the brain process of seeing red is different from that of learning everything about it (as would seem intuitive), this is not an antiphysicalist scenario. In fact, it’s own creator retracted it in 1998 despite it’s ongoing prevelance in contemporary philosphy. A brilliant analysis of what physicalist thinkers really don’t account for can be found in Thomas Nagel’s What Is It Like to Be a Bat?

3^ By this I mean the social loophole of pretending to be staring out the window while really watching people in the reflection. I wrote this on the same communte as the neighbouring poems.