Canto CCCLIX

Heraclitus has been switched to Timeline.
Needless to say, he’s philosophical
about the situation, he’s resigned

to having the world scroll down his profile
to reread all those late night, drunken posts;
his failed conquests, long periods spent single,

the just-dumped tantrums and the new love boasts.
And then there’s that urge he could never pass,
those background moonies at the Christmas toast.

It’s not the same office, nor the same arse.

Canto CCCII

Now is gone a moment, then it’s back.
The nose knows now, your precious eyes play tricks.
Between the past and future, now’s the crack.

Now’s always the time for politics.

Canto CCCI

The baby’s slept all day and all last night,
apart from waking for a change and feed.
The hot damp air, thick clouds churn up the light,

the rent goes up next month some fifty quid.
I read about ontologies of time,
the present exists as the slight divide

between the past and the future to come,
but at the same time neither tense exists
apart from the endless continuum,

the sprawling, rolling now. Who can say which
of these two differing presents can be true?
Is present just a long thin thread to stitch

the past to the future or the blue
expanse of endless cloth that both are scrawled on?
The truth is that it just comes down to you

which now that you have chosen to live in.
Dwell on the now and it becomes immense,
dwell on the past and future and its gone,

though dwelling either way won’t pay the rent
nor keep it rising well above inflation.
The low clouds thicken just above my head

and all ideas are above my station.
See that’s the problem with ontology,
you never figure that your contemplation

will be disrupted by reality.

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.

Canto CXXXIV

The day that I stop being a such a dick
would cause my bardic ink well to run dry.
Did Socrates get cosy with the cliques?

Can one be an acceptable gadfly?
And no, I’m not implying I’m as great
as Socrates, I’m just trying to say

he was the greatest dick there’s been to date
and in our dickishness we’re of a feather
and I can’t live without the sweaty taste

of my own scuffed and burnished toecap leather.
You’d hate me if I became coy, content—
so goes my own hasty Apologia—

it takes a proper dick to keenly vent
the steam of constant ire into verse
and if I caused offence, it wasn’t meant.

I’m sorry. There, I said it. Kiss my arse.

Canto LXXXVIII

When out on my day-to day/same-old,
I listen to a podcast as I weave
the usual short cut through November cold.

In this one a philosopher believes
that consciousness is computational.
He speaks on where materialism leaves

us with regard to free will, can we still
claim such a thing exists when all we are
is a complex brew of raw materials?

He mentions how sometimes we drive a car
along a well known road, when suddenly
we realise our own thoughts were elsewhere

as our bodies took the wheel. Which one were we?
The self that changed the gears and pressed pedals
or the self that wondered what they’d have for tea?

If there is a moment where our mental
exertions find the impasse of a choice,
frame the outcomes, judge which one’s essential

to guide us into virtue or to vice,
then in that moment we are free enough
despite determinism’s loaded dice.

I half agreed with him, for what it’s worth,
while knowing there’s two sides to each debate
as thoughtlessly  my body strolled and swerved

through the shady thoroughfares of the estate.

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