Cold-Molded Wood

March 26, 2016


He sails on a crust through lead seas, alone
for months at a time.
He checks the belly and luff of sails in his sleep.
He climbs a ladder of three-ply wire that hangs from his heart
with hooks greased by the oil of unwashed hair, blacker than bilge water.
He threads tail feathers of the albatross in his rigging,
uses them to check the wind direction when there is none.
He speaks salt to his boat, who says nothing back
which he always hears, whatever time of day or night.
He plaits the Southern Cross with satellites to keep himself awake.
He wears waterproofs of phosphorescence.
He boils potatoes when his cabin becomes colder than the deck.
Papayas sweeten as ballast beneath his feet.
The slosh of water in his toes keeps him balanced.
Whales mother him.
Tuna fish throw themselves into his cockpit.
Dolphins nudge him with punch-lines.
And he only cracks a smile when the penguins tell jokes backwards,
or if a full moon hits floating ice before him
or he makes forty days without seeing another boat.
For when he’s at sea, he prefers
the winched stories of a centreboard sandwiched in his hull,
the pages of a book (more than the leaves of handwritten letters
that still smell of earth and trees),
the song of uninhabited cathedrals that rise as frozen ocean,
the arching of the mast heading to wind: a longbow that’ll fire arrows
every hour, on the hour, to declare to the icy heavens
and its creatures that he is with them.
He is the white wooden-fleshed brother of the kraken
who spirals round the bottom of the world
who has become a myth in the minds of those who met him once.


(SARAH HYMAS’s poems have appeared in anthologies, magazines, pamphlets, operas, dance videos, multimedia exhibits and as song lyrics. She is editor of Flax Books.)


She is not sleeping.

In death, she looked far older, less beautiful and so, for the first time, fully human.

I will vanish in the morning light; I was only an invention of darkness. And I leave you as a souvenir the dark, fanged rose I plucked from between my thighs, like a flower laid on a grave. On a grave.

Angela Carter
The Lady in the House of love

(Image  from Angela Chalmers

young cunt…

March 26, 2016


You can forgive a young cunt anything. A young cunt doesn’t have to have brains. They’re better without brains. But an old cunt, even if she’s brilliant, even if she’s the most charming woman in the world, nothing makes any difference. A young cunt is an investment; an old cunt is a dead loss. All they can do for you is buy you things. But that doesn’t put meat on their arms or juice between their legs.

Henry Miller
Tropic of Cancer


March 26, 2016


It is universally held that the unicorn is a supernatural being and of auspicious omen; so say the odes, the annals, the biographies of worthies, and other texts whose authority is unimpeachable. Even village women and children know that the unicorn is a lucky sign. But this animal does not figure among the barnyard animals, it is not always easy to come across, it does not lend itself to zoological classification. Nor is it like the horse or bull, the wolf or deer. In such circumstances we may be face to face with a unicorn and not know for sure that we are. We know that a certain animal with a mane is a horse and that a certain animal with horns is a bull. We do not know what the unicorn looks like.

Jorge Luis Borges
Book of Imaginary Beings
tr. Thomas di Giovanni

Diary 26th March

Whiskey leave me alone – seems most appropriate today!


Religious fanaticism does not cause terrorism. It may help create conditions favorable to terrorism but the world is full of religious fanatics of all persuasions who do not chose terrorism or any form of violence in order to forward their religious agenda.

Al Qaeda and ISIL draw, selectively, from the Islamic texts. They depend on the misperception around the world that they represent people of the Muslim faith, and that Islam is somehow inherently violent and dedicated to the destruction of others, both of believers and nonbelievers.

All bollox, of course. These nutjobs no more represent the billion-odd Muslims around the globe than I do. Violence against innocents (condemned by the Koran) doesn’t defend or promote Islam and Muslims, it damages them.

“We do have to address the grievances that terrorists exploit, including economic grievances ,” President Barack Obama said in a televised statement last year. “Poverty alone does not cause a person to become a terrorist, any more than poverty alone causes somebody to become a criminal…”

Very true. Poverty and hopelessness are conditions favorable to both crime and terrorism. But it is exclusion from society, experiences of injustice, discrimination, marginalization, corruption, or physical violence, such as being beaten by police or security forces, or being faced with the killing of a family member, that is a prime mover in providing the impetus that lead people to militancy.

Strong feelings of injustice will always trump economic factors for those who decide to take up arms and commit gratuitous acts of violence against their fellow human beings.


I’m off for my breakfast now…