Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Cartoon Sex

Discussing the Sex Life of Children's Cartoon Characters as a way of Talking to Children About Real Sex

The vexed question of sex
Between two cartoon characters
Should not be avoided simply because it is complex.

To begin with you have to decide
Whether you want your child 
To grow up to be a rational human being,
Who values logic, or a woman.

First one must define terms:
A woman in the context
Of imagined cartoon sex
Is a figure who wears clothes 
Which hang in such a way as to suggest
The secondary sexual organs,
And a small waist.
Her proportions vary with time and taste,
She is warm and kind with a certain fragility.
She has a name typically associated with females.
Because she is clad
We cannot determine if her given name
Is associated with her cisgender or transgender 
Version of reality.

Now let's look at her little, male friend:
("No, it's not her dad!")
A man in the context of potential sex
Between two cartoon characters
Is a figure whose clothes suggest 
An absence of breasts.
And the measurements of chest, waist, hip, 
Appear equal.  The presence of a zip
Might appear to indicate 
The presence of genitalia
But it would be a failure
Of logic to assume that lurking beneath
The drawing of trousers
Is a drawing of a penis and testes,
More so than an assumption of the existence of knees
Would be, since he can bend,
But it would be a lie
To say we have seen him undo his fly,
Unless he's Homer Simpson.

Because there is no concrete evidence
For the reproductive organs
One must logically conclude that sex is impossible.
But that is to reduce sex
Merely to an act,
It is to deal only with fact.

We know that it's much more than that.

"So, Mummy,

Is it necessary for the idea of sex
To have occurred in the imagination
Of the creator, before it can occur in
The brain of the beholder?
Are we complicit in the sexual act,
In so far as it cannot exist
Unless we are present
To retrieve it from the mind of the cartoons maker
By observing the desire for it between
The characters and making it real in our head?"

Oh, go to bed!
We'll talk about that when you're older.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Bread Maker

We had one once; she had blue eyes with flecks
of hazel and dark limbal rings. Her hands
were capable and strong, and marked with specks
like wheat germ.  Sometimes pale, soft, grey-white strands
of hair would fall across her face as she
began to mix and knead the dough. Her dress
was one she'd made herself, silk jersey. We
loved her, in that way that is a mess
of fierce instincts barely spelled in thought,
combined within a pancheon perhaps
within our hearts and leavened with a sort
of carelessness so there was no collapse.
And we ate her bread with treacle every day,
appreciatively in that savage, childish way.

Madness After Insomnia

When day proceeds a night of wakefulness,
One finds that the interior of the mind
Has been reorganised and redesigned
And one feels the strange mistake, unless
One can return to sleep, forsake the less
Than perfect Tudor house and try to find
The Georgian one with corridors.  Behind
Each door in this place dreams lurk, make access
Into consciousness with ease.  Preambles
Aren't required; strange images burst through
Doors, which left ajar let in the brambles
And incoherence snares at reason, too.
So all is mad.  Where sanity rambles,
Lunacy crouches and leaps to grab you.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Fauré Requiem, Hemingbrough Minster.

No greater contrast could there have really been
Between the golden light on golden stone,
Which through the window poured upon the scene
In balmy air and ancient stillness, known
Nine centuries to heal, where we had met to sing
A requiem, just for the sake of song;
And that dead day of frozen fog, when spring
Seemed at its furthest distance, and the long
Descent into despair was matched by grey,
And breath made steam upon the icy air.

No greater contrast with that dreadful day
Could there have ever been, and yet we two,
Transported via 'In Paradisum' were with you;
As there beneath pale hyacinths you lay,
And listened, so we hoped, to Fauré then,
Believing it could permeate the cold
And penetrate to some part of the mind,
Where death had not yet, really, taken hold.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Raspberry Picking

A thick, glass bowl held firmly in my hand
I stoop and lift the drooping, bent, brown cane,
And summer sun beats down upon my back
And goose grass clutches, scratches, where I stand.
And heat evaporates the sharp, strange scent
Residing in the soft and hairy leaves
Of flowering dead nettle, as I crane
To reach the red ones near the fence. My sleeves
All floaty chiffon catch and snag; a strand
Of climbing rose attacks my arm;
And yet I persevere, possessed by greed,
In competition with imagined mice.
I cannot leave a single soft, red fruit;
I seem impelled to pick and spread the seed
By some force stronger than my will.
I drop the odd one into long, dry grass,
But cannot leave it be and needs must root,
Determined it shall not be there to feed
Some other hungry creature who might pass.

Strimming the Herbaceous Border.

I squeeze the handle and exert a force
With my right thumb which sets the whizzing wire
Upon its spinning, spitting at high speed,
As instantly destructive as is fire.
The dying alkanet is smashed, a weed
Again, not wanted now the blue
Of it's spring flowers is just a passing thought,
A recollection brought about by sky,
Cerulean, azure, that weedy hue
Belonging to Boriginacea.
The wild garlic's yellow leather falls
And fills the air with vile, pungent smells.
The earth beneath is once again exposed,
And crumbles, breaks, is ready for the seed
Of Queen Anne's lace, whose tough, dry stalks
Are chewed, but still stay standing, as I try
To buzz them, break them. Then I smash the balls
Of rotten peony heads, reduced by rain
From pale and  frilly, pink, potential flowers,
To useless, dead reminders, medium brown,
Of all that nature hoped for when in May
She made things fresh and new after the grey.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A Rondeau on the Difficulty of Seeking Objective Truth in History

Objective truth cannot be found
In books of hist'ry, which are bound
To show facts in a certain light.
So we must use our great insight
And cynically must dig around
Examine all, for nothing's sound
And truth lies buried underground,
Except we find none.  So we fight
Objective truth
We say all's equal, pound for pound.
We shy away from judging, hound
The ignorant who needs must write
As if there is a moral right
Or wrong.  Always we must expound
Objective truth.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Artist in Residence

The artist in residence
At the department for chronic diseases
Was considering her inspiration.
Should it be Alzheimer's, a composition
Full of repetition, and uncertainty?
Or Parkinson's, a study in vibration,
In which the sounds or frequencies
Mirrored those of the condition?
There were possibilities with hypertension,
Where stringed instruments tuned high and tight
Could be made to produce strained
And high pitched palpitation,
Causing the sudden collapse of their bridges,
Each a percussive explosion,
And brass could have its tubes narrowed,
Causing different sounds through clogged restriction.
Post vasectomy chronic pain
Proved too difficult a translation
There could be no real healing harmonisation,
And therefore nothing to gain.
A musical representation
Of chronic kidney disease,
Could depict in sound the imperfection
Of the break down of filtration,
So that discord began to build up.

But then , the Artist in Residence at the Department for Chronic Diseases
let rip with imagination
And plumped instead for a combination
Of possible cures, and sampled effective medication,
Composing randomly in response 
And deciding the role was a great affectation,
She was freed from the need to proceed
According to anyone's expectation,
And produced a wonderful, new creation.


I saw the barcode on your arm
As you passed through the barrier.
And then I woke in wild alarm
And thought that this was the way 
That the world had gone
And I couldn't prevent it.
For each of us was branded, 
And able to be scanned and read.
And we had been traduced
By ourselves, by our fleeting thoughts,
Picked up as we passed through the checkout
And captured and kept on record,
So that we were incompletely known,
And there was no God.

Friday, 3 July 2015

The Tragedy of Pickled Gherkins

Curled a little, khaki, warty,
Appendages of boys, whose naughty
Ways have angered evil step mama.
She's put them in a pickle jar,
With fronds of leafy pubic hair
And made them look amphibian,
Nestling sans underwear
In brackish, vinegar or briney
Water, green, un-sparkly
Which turns the glass obsidian.
They'll never grow to know of love
And never feel their human pleasure
Their fate, always to be viewed darkly,
Then consumed with cheese, at leisure.