Poem: Gould’s humming

One of the most mesmerising artworks that I know of is Glenn Gould’s 1981 recording of the Johann Sebastian Bach's Goldberg variations. Close to the end of his life, wracked by pain, madness and addictions, Gould crouches over his keyboard and enacts a magical reworking of this masterpiece. He plays the variations at half the pace... Continue Reading →

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Poem(s): To my errant mind

The following poem, "To my errant mind," was originally published in my collection, After the Pills, which you may purchase here or here. To my errant mind Your dreams grow like a twisted gum. Years were lost When the market crippled you. This dusty room is the archive Of your failed state. Now you forget little things –... Continue Reading →

The meaning of a coup

Barely a week ago Australia was gripped in political drama - a clumsily organised coup was unseating a Prime Minister. News stations had rolling 24/7 coverage of panels of journalists talking to unfolding events. Breathlessly they read out texts from conspirators on-air, while claiming no part in the fiasco that has become Australian politics.  There... Continue Reading →

The Abyss and cultural rebirth

"It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure." Joseph Campbell "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you."... Continue Reading →

Poem: Faith

Faith Reading the early history of the Christians Fails me Standing alone in a Siberian church Saved from Communism Holding icons from 300 years ago Fails me The contrition of the mighty The passion of the fallen The tongues of the chosen ones All fail me Stoic Marcus. Zen Basho. Modern masters. These mark a... Continue Reading →

Another project of mine

As well as reading literature and history, writing poetry, prose and this blog, I also play games, or more specifically one large, epic game: World of Warcraft, I have restarted a project of mine that explore the cultural and historical worlds of this game. If you are interested, check it out over at my Allusions... Continue Reading →

Poem: Monday morning

Monday morning Three strikes on the snooze button Then unwilling, still dark within, I step out to stretch my stiff back and you tell me - time to wake up. This day I might return to bed; Other days I will trudge to work. But the self is the task today: Verse, rest, reflection, dreaming... Continue Reading →

Poem: The unwritten book

This morning I have been writing poetry, and so for a post today let me share one of my poems from my to-be-published Burning Archive collection.   The unwritten book Your secret will die with me, never-ending tome, without interrogation of your catechism. Together we conspire for a life of dull ease, Turning away from... Continue Reading →

The tragedy of the modern university

Jordan Peterson has proposed the creation of an alternative to the modern university that offers free or low-cost education rooted in the true traditions of the liberal humanities, stripped of their post-modern "indoctrination cults." I support this venture. I agree with Peterson's criticisms of the ideological possession of  the shouty professors, who are read by... Continue Reading →

A postscript on Utopia

Coincidentally - a word that tricks chance into being fate - I was reading this week Maria Popova's account of Wisława Szymborska's celebration of not knowing. Szymborska said, in her acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize, that it is from the humility of not knowing that inspiration comes - in any profession, not merely writing: "Inspiration... Continue Reading →

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