Canto CCXV

There’s hardly any space left in the womb,
you cannot leap about like you once did,
the outside world is pressing against you.

The self could be a kind of womb, we’re hid
behind our eyes, somewhere between the ears.
Some say the world we know is created

within the spongy brain, though it appears
the brain is also what has been observed,
no scalpel or scanner can uncover

the sounds and colours of our private worlds.
Or perhaps not … maybe that bright red light
is “out there”, even though the rainbow’s curve

is a pact between rainfall, sun and eye?
I pledge to learn, to watch you as you grow
as the world collides with your sapling mind,

reminding me of what I’ll never know.

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Canto CLII

I wonder if a goldfish can go mad?
Is there a benchmark for fish sanity?
Are fish as sentient as thermostats?

Is there a man somewhere in the city
that slowly paces between bedsit walls
running on dry fumes of his self pity?

When his mind turns blank, does it twin with all
the poor eyed tiddlers in their bags of plastic,
lined up like fairy lights on fairground stalls,

a prize for those that can still hit their targets?

Canto CXLI

I’m boot camp quick to rise when your alarm
brings consciousness into our cold bedroom,
leaping from our cover kindled warmth,

our brain lights flicker like the pilot flame
that fires beneath the boiler, heaters groan,
the process of waking can feel the same—

familiarity straightening the spine,
the mind’s map of the world’s utility
emerges from the sudden, dazzling shine

of belongings bereft of fealty
to their complacent owners. You are still
curled up as I brew up your morning tea.

Is this the way that newborns view the world,
a syntax free blaze of phenomena?
In three and a bit months our little girl

will not be shy in bawling out her answer.

Canto C

The sight of the moon above the tower block
feels like a greeting from a faithful friend,
although it’s just a lifeless hunk of rock.

It brings to mind Li Po’s alleged end,
trying to hug the moon’s reflection,
the endless black fathoms in which he drowned.

It’s easier to seek the adoration
of a million twitter followers than face
another stranger, eye to eye, to shine

your full attention onto them as they
apply the same attention unto you.
Perhaps it’s too much for our minds to take,

the fact of other minds that also view
the storms of photons through the squishy spheres
that sit within the skull, it’s easier to

project a narrow sanitised idea
of consciousness onto the mindless faces
of alabaster virgins, teddy bears,

those countless barren worlds in outer space.

Canto XXIV

Despite the fact that I can’t understand
the Spanish girls that chatter one seat down,
it isn’t a challenge to comprehend

they’re spewing vacuous shite. Perhaps their tone
is similar to what you might pick up
within the confines of a hair salon.

They’ll waffle on until the final stop,
two hours of prattle in another tongue,
and in that time I’m sure to throw a strop—

harrumph out loud or cough up half a lung;
or drop a few f-bombs under my breath.
And if they cackle, I’ll have to stay strong

resist the urge to club them both to death
with the blunt end of their own severed arms,
then slump and take a deep, contented breath.

But who knows?  Maybe they speak of the charms
Of Boolean algebra, or hotly debate
the artistic merits of the Poetry Slam;

or whether Daniel Dennett truly deflates
Chalmers’ Hard Problem of Consciousness:
if human subjectivity frustrates

The power of third person practices
that syphon truth from countless spurious claims.
I doubt it, but it sates my seething malice,

and dampens my inner  intolerant flames,
To play subtitles on my mind’s display,
where two esteemed and veritable names

like Wittgenstein and Popper, strain to say
they’re right, but cannot find a ground to broker
a peace between divisive, brilliant ways,

before they must resort to swinging pokers.

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