"An ever-intriguing writer."
"A genuine talent."



Who Ordered The Mono No Aware?

So, I’ve been falling asleep in the cinema again.
Easily done for a man of my advancing years.
The darkened room. The comfortable seat.
An ice-cold bottle of imported beer beforehand.
I fell asleep watching Michael Haneke’s ‘Time Of The Wolf’.
I fell asleep watching Wim Wender’s ‘The Wrong Move’.
I fell asleep watching Peter Brook’s ‘Marat/Sade’.
And I fell asleep watching Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Le Mépris’ too.
This is my second Ozu in 7 days, and my
body's buckling just a little under the strain.
My throat is red raw, and my brain is drowning in its own mucus.
I’m finding it somewhat hard to breathe, truth be told.
Have my eyes turned pink yet? I can’t see in this light.
To be invited into a Japanese home
is to be afforded a very great honour.
And the guest always takes priority.
Remember that. And always remove your shoes upon entry.
4:3 is an aspect ratio which complements Ozu’s world of domestic interiors.
It’s all about the hearth and the home afterall.
For therein lies the hot emotional core.
A clock chimes. A wife behaves obsequiously.
A businessman pours green tea over a bowl of plain rice.
Western brand names hint at an off-screen American occupation.
The pop-and-crackle of fluff on the film print
perfectly reflecting the noise inside my weary head.
I start to hallucinate about halfway through the film.
I see a spectral figure standing in my peripherals.
He's looking straight at me. Not at the screen.
And he's addressing an audience from a lectern.
He doesn't see the young ultranationalist
drawing his wakizashi blade until it’s too late.
All things are transient. This knowledge I humbly receive.
Pathos is sometimes chastened. Eye-lines can be disconcerting.
His fate etched upon a tatami mat. Hidden behind a a shōji screen.
He rests now, peacefully, alone in the void.
Only after the door has closed behind me,
do I put my hat and my coat and my brogues back on.

Inejiro Asanumaa is assassinated on national TV



Oh Mighty Pitchfork Of Catalonian Massif

I feel desiccated from another night
of boutique 4-star hotel air-conditioning
The great outdoors, I tell myself, despite the
ungodly hour, must be doing me some good.
The make-up girl’s breath carries with it
the stale aroma of cigarette smoke and
the first thick black café solo of the day.
And when she leans in close, I can tell she didn’t
have time to take a proper shower this morning.
My sneakers, for the record, smell of day old Pyrénéean sheep shit.
In the grand scheme of things, I guess that makes us about even.
The make-up girl asks if I’m okay with her
touching and prodding my face and
restyling my hair this way and that.
And as she asks these questions, I can hear the
West Wind whistling through the gaps in her teeth,
from here all the way to the tiny principality of Andorra.
My head nods my approval, but what She doesn’t realise
is that I’ve long since left my physical form behind
and stepped onto a different plain of existence entirely.
My soul has passed through 7 stages of consciousness.
Many hands of light are busy dancing in front of my eyes.
White spots of light dance in front of my eyes.
Indigo spots of light dance in front of my eyes.
Maya blue spots of light dance in front of my eyes.
Bright green spots of light dance in front of my eyes.
Orange spots of light. Yellow spots of light. Red spots of light.
A pincushion of colours and a taste of ambrosia on my tongue.
Pyrene was a nymph who took courageous Heracles as a lover.
But she died alone, in the woods, after giving birth to a serpent.
The demigod piled-up stones to make for her a tomb,
and thus formed this great mountain range upon her corpse.
The twin forked peaks of the Pedraforca above me.
Vapour trails above me. The Dog Star above me.
The halls of Mount Ólympos always above me.

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