Powdered

Apart from trying to convince people to do the right thing I’ve been doing the wrong thing. I rather caned it on Friday evening at Café Meinke’s second anniversary. The staff had the evening off, and the guests ran the bar, and a wild time was had by all – but even if I say it myself, me and Thorsten were the virtual dream team – well until things went all blurry…

And, before doing that, I managed to write this poem:

Powdered (first draft)

There’s a guy in a tie,
Propping up the door,
To a shiny white cubicle,
Where they’re drawing the line.

And they’re huddled like kids
Shivering at the poolside line-up,
Waiting for the shriek of the whistle,
The stunned splash of ice-cold powder.

The first throws back his head,
He’s starting to gag,
As the kicking white medicine
Tickles a fist at his throat.

He makes a dash for the bar,
And takes a swig of champagne,
While laughingly gabbling
The dross from his brain,

He sees a girl on a stool,
With wide, staring eyes,
He puts a palm on her thigh,
And burns his hand on her skin.

But it’s the heat of the hob,
It’s the glean of the glass,
The sheen of the surface,
It’s the wild lash of a tongue,
But emptied of purpose.

So they thrust and they moan,
Like cheap porno stars,
pummeling their bones,
And the sour morning taste
Waits for the wash of the bars.

But I didn’t like it. The problem with it is that it was meant to convey both the tinny superficiality, together with the intensity of taking cocaine, but it ends up just being superficial. So what do you on a Saturday morning with a bad hangover and equally bad poem. Well, I turned it into the lyrics for a song, which I’ve sent to my good friend Clemens and Golden Tone Radio. I’m curious to see what he makes of them.

But what I did, after taking a couple of paracetamol, was to cut a refrain from one of the stanzas, simplify the language and the rhythm, and add rhyme to it. Here’s how the lyrics look now:

Powdered (Song version)

There’s a guy in a tie,
Propping up the door,
To a shiny white cubicle,
Where they’re chopping the score.

Refrain:
It’s the glean of the glass,
It’s the sheen of the surface,
It’s the lash of a tongue,
But emptied of purpose.

And they quiver like kids
Lined up at the water,
Waiting for the shrill of the whistle,
And the cold splash of powder.

Refrain

He throws back his head,
He’s starting to choke,
As the kicking white friend
Throws a fist at his throat.

Refrain

He makes a dash for the bar,
And takes a swig of champagne,
While tellingly gabbling
The dross from his brain,

Refrain

He sees a girl on a stool,
All wide-eyed and thin,
He puts a palm on her thigh,
And burns his hand on her skin.

Refrain

So they thrust and they moan,
Like cheap porno stars,
And the bitter morning taste
Waits for the wash of the bars.

2 x Refrain

I imagined a sort of Lilly Allen voice singing it, while I was writing it – just because I like her voice, but it still left me with the question, what do I do with the poem. I like the story and idea behind it, and the rhythmic crescendo. So on Sunday night, I chewed over the imagery and beefed it up. It’s not the final version, because the rhythm should be refined, but this is what I came up with: you can read it here.

And now it’s time for some Spaghetti Carbonara and an episode of the Sopranos…

I am still not convinced that jogging is a good thing. After two weeks of pounding the pathways I think that it is plainly evident that the human body is not designed for running. Look at it from an evolutionary point of view. We are slow, ungainly, our flimsy joints cannot take the incessant strain. Animals designed for running (well, not designed, but apt) have four legs, not two.

And yet, against all the obvious empirical evidence, doctors insist that jogging is good for you as the human body was designed for such painful movement. Humbug. If the human body is apt for anything then it’s hanging around on street (tree/cave/riverbank) corners up to no good, or walking to the next watering hole (pub/disco/club) in search of a good old yap and an ensuing fist fight. It’s the same with swimming. Throw all other animals into a pond and they instinctively do the right thing – they swim to the side and get out. Do that with any untrained self-respecting human being and they will look at you with baleful eyes, shout abuse at you and sink.

But that’s what they can do, is shout abuse – very effectively, in a multitude of different forms, they can talk you into doing a multitude of things you never dreamed of doing. Like working for a living… And the other thing human beings were obviously designed to do is squatting around fires, waterholes etc. inventing things which they could then turn into weapons of mass destruction. Maybe an elephant never forgets, but a human being doesn’t just remember you, s/he always gets you back, either by talking you into submission, or lancing you with a poisonous arrow (or nuclear warhead – or whatever). But that’s where all this evolutionary engineering has gone, and not into jogging…

Which, of course, brings us back to jogging. Millions upon millions of middle class morons in the western world have obviously been duped into partaking in one of the most subtle weapons of mass destruction we have witnessed in the last decades. Whereas other less vicious cultures advocate yoga or tai chi for a long life, western corporations and their doctors have invented jogging to cut down on the costs of the over-expensive middle classes. And I like the lemming I am, have now joined them. My end is nigh.

It’s a glorious day today, the pale autumn sun pouring through the window onto the breakfast table. It’s such a lovely day I have decided, on the advice of my doctor, to go for a run in the park. The Wii has such a pleasant park.

It seems I have become obsessed with our new vitrine. It lights up like a shrine and I spend countless hours before it, buffing up the wood here and there. It is probably a substitute for my lack of religion. But, since it has entered our humble abode, I have revised my view of the world as completely corrupt and decrepid. I now think that the world is a very harsh place filled with little treasures. Isn’t that nice? Suffice to say I have written an ode to the junk shop which brought such pleasure into our lives.

Ahh, excellent – Thursday morning 11:00 a.m. – time for a spot of Wii Yoga. Who can guess how many new positions I will open up today. Please, please, not all at once…

just did a bloody stupid thing – jumped on my bicycle and cycled for at least an hour, but it feels like six. And now I’m sitting here wondering how I will make it through the rest of the day with my body screeching things like “exhaustion”, “sleep”,  “fucked”, “shagged” at me. My muscles are already beginning to shrivel and are sucking up all the oxygen my brain needs to think… It immediately brought on thoughts of my immanent mortality, the pain of aging, so I started writing a poem about getting old. Although maybe, in hindsight, I should write one about getting fit…

talking of oxygen for the brain, or food for thought, i.e. the lack of it, it was always my contention that the last twenty years have seen a consistent and coordinated attack on critical thought in Britain, as witnessed by the ever increasing cutbacks suffered by Philosophy departments across the board. As far fetched as this might appear, it seems that my worst fears have been confirmed as there is now a charity to help professional philosophers in their hour of need.

I am now going to lie down…