Fiddling while Rome burns #2

moon in a cloud murk


Venice, September 1998


whirling scorpions
in bursting half-lights

An endless pit
advancing in darkness

A bleak-twist ageing
beyond a sudden murk

Sneering and lecherous
Pregnant with doubts
and with morose love

Brimming with cynical pietas
Steeped in Christian hypocrisy


a satellite moon


it gazes and scorns this

in the gasping purple night

it scorns the endless prattle
of every unknown sad fuck

Ruthlessly tickling off
much like a bomb

it picks off the false
from every anguish

and casts it in its great chasm
an intimate Doric vertigo
of human sorrows

In a roundabout bend
the torn bulk
of heavenly light
is suddenly freed
and roars out

It waits it waits it waits

and then it starts

And stares sideways to examine

in its light

the chemistry of our being

the origin of our species

fixing its sunken eyes

to pierce us through

beating upon stultified brows

some Moth-Indigo Truth

the insignificance

of specks of our nothingness

shouting back, we hear howls
of age-old rugged souls

that suddenly shiver
and call out in pain

those frigid
buried people of yesterday

some half-mysterious night

who though living dead
actively stare at each other
in candid glassy torpor

looking for signs in us of
recognition of the rot

the rot of the perennial
philosophy deliriously melting

of polymorphous poems dithering

the nurture of commercial baseness

of dull dreams driven to dust
by a jingoistic Nature

jigging and mocking the intellect

beating it off the wall
with sticky cloudy claws

hence the fixed stars clash
with the unhappy planet
in celebration of a
most cruel April
and of the frontiers of
every ex-animate pleasure

Now agape
in wounded proud absinth
an amorphous Galathean
peers at the light-stone

from a lowly bed
from a humble Stygian

And in turn, the moon is
most vexed and unrepentant

it beams bitter tears
it asserts its irreplaceable
arrogance, its untamed

stuck in blue

the rest

the sidereal cytoplasm
is beyond
its sphere of numinous magnetism


Sketches on Treason #2

Scene: La Canea, a seaport in Crete

Time: Somewhere in the 1600s

Character: Lorenzo, some years on.

Basking in the noontide sun, I count off the false worshippers. There is a silent war between those who mean business, and those who cloy with much, pine for more, and account for nothing. I am a trader by ancestry, and we Venetians earned the right to opium solely by our wits and enterprise. There are those who mean harm to me and my shop, and to those I say – wait for my blade, because I will not be hindered. Or at least that’s what I say to myself on a day such as this, when the sun is high and everything is supposedly fine with the world.

After the shock of the storm and the shipwreck, I have changed. I am afraid. I didn’t use to be a religious man, but with age comes idiocy. It is the curse of my service to God and country that I should forever be transiently here and there. Death is close, and so are great treasures, hence we forget death, lest our troubled minds care.

At night, I stay up along with thieves and poets watching the moon rise and fall. La Canea is almost like home, but not quite. If I look across the harbour squinting with one sore-feeling eye, I can almost imagine that I am home. Those noble Venetian Gothic windows betray the mind, and the soul grows ill.

There is a big thief that robbed high heaven. His name is Time. Hail, Muse, daughter of Memory! With you as resident thief in charge, I forget everything. Every thing is only for a day. I forget the whole plot, everyday.

Every day all starts anew: every false day. That which remembers, and that which is remembered, are both beginning and ending with forgetfulness. Or so my true friend Marcus Aurelius tells me. I am a slave to my vessel. Much like my wares. My home is where my wares are, and so: I am home. I should not waste the remainder of my life in thoughts about what others might do or think. I am a man of action.

I so loathed to dwell in my native land, hence I parted with the sad prison, and came to silently wonder at the dim thickness of Greeks, and what their traitor eye encloses. If it were for them, we’d be betrayed for half a penny to the benefit of the Turks. And, I… mark my words… I am supposed to give myself up to Clotho, and allow her to spin my thread in whatever way she pleases. I think not.

I might yet die a pirate in this sorry excuse of a backyard, stuck in a past well beyond our means of survival. But now, after a good meal my comrades, my friends come to converse with me on this fine day, about the weather, the trade, the empire, and our little lives.

I curse the day we were born, friends.



Sketches on Treason #1


Time: Somewhere in the 1600s
Scene: A narrow alley in Venice, four young men meet in a constrained space.

Enter from left: Alvise, Marco, Lorenzo.
Enter from right: Embriaco.

E: Make way.

L: You make way, filth!

A: Move aside or we’ll break your legs.

M: Gentlemen, please. This is Venice.

E: Amannaman, Venetians, if only you could, you would.

L: What’s that, lil’ baùco?

A: Signor, it seems to me that you — talk funny.

M: You are not from around here.

L: So, go back to where you came from.

A: Why, do tell, do you talk funny? Are you retarded or something?

E: My name is Embriaco. I was born elsewhere, away from this dump.

L: You can hardly call la Serenissima a dump.

E: There is very little serene about it.

M: That’s because you are not from around here. You cannot appreciate the details. Now, move aside.

(Embriaco moves aside. They squeeze past, glaring at him.)

fiddling while Rome burns #1 – a sea-urge

As the spaceship races faster and faster, struggling to remain in the same spot, the enchanted mind splutters on as if in a sea-wake.

Coming at you, a sea-urge: wave after wave, singing a lullaby of discord and unity in a vertiginous time loop.


York, an autumn season — some years ago.


In a dark moon day,

I swept away a cloud of thoughts

Across high and majestic mountains.


The sky, then not removed by God —

A crystal lake with flames of blue.


Ten thousand white-feathered birds

Swung across and flung the sea-winds back

With sudden turns, fluttering, disappearing.


Beyond a lonely wall,

I met you with no surprise

You were daydreaming with a pinch of salt,

Telling lies on a light and smoky sky,

Clueless and unforgiven,

In constant search of your blacken’d plumage

And your head of dew.


Then having run for miles on hills of ruby,

And having reversed the clock of my slowing time,

I came to a halt for I was cold and my mind was starving.

My heart told hard lies still, and still for once

I came across an eye in meditation, longing far.


It was weeping sad and low

And from a deaden’d night

My father cried from without,

I waited for the stars to call and shriek.


I played the bull and you the horse

And so we fell beneath the soaked turf

While the grey monster of a zombie night

Ate our soul and displaced our solitude.


It is winter again, I rest my shaken hands

On your shoulders, and you dine within my head

As we look on, the night grows high and looming,

The sun of yesterday gives light on our hearts


For as we roll down the hill yet again

We know the light must brighten before tomorrow’s sun

And a long, wide-eyed summer awaits beyond the wall.

the biology and psychology of an extra-terrestrial in its own environment #2

Imagine hearing multiple voices at once.

Not far from the Truth?

Like a cancer, they outgrow reason.

Each voice carries its own narrative, its own consciousness, its own ending.

I am that. I am many, and I am one. I am of a subtle mettle, rolling under the star-sparkle.

Our existence, conscious or unconscious, has many depths and layers, many of which are unknown. Unlike Humans, we Mornings have been engineered from day one. We are the thought child of another sentient species, an ancient by-product of evolution of which we shall not speak here.

First off, in our Morning life, the time streams are both theoretical and empirical.

Cancer is an unpredictable experimental poem. Cancer is many things. Entropy, heterogeneity, complexity. Cancer is having to listen to the grave-digging humans while they ramble on, fuelled by alcohol and pain. Humans are amazing heterotrophic monsters. Your flat and shocking faces are indeed grimly divided from the breast below. Your slow, unwet lives are subject to much wonder over here on our wonderful planet, where we do not have war, or hunger, or climate change induced by stupidity and greed.

For humans (like cancer), desire is the first datum of consciousness. Every juvenile human ape knows how to over-reach – from swaddling band to garden of love to tiger tiger.

Why hallo, human! Old pirate! Are you yet living ?

Even for your falsehood peddling shamans, the power of the Sattwa enslaves the happy.

As you can see, baboon-human with too much greed or make-up on, I am torn between a critique of your abominable species and a description of what a Morning really is.

Can we please start with the latter ? Of late I am so disgusted by my astronomical observation of your endeavours that I am almost running out of music and light.

Now, how do I paint a picture without notes, or sing a song without colour?

What are the extra-terrestrial Morning by Morning features?


You can start by imagining a Hokkaido lake, on your almost-choked-to-death planet.

Can you see marimos there, lulled by the quiet waters into a peaceful existence ?

Imagine a shape-shifting marimo with powers of rhyme and reason. Gently rolling, creating music as its apparent primary occupation beside photosynthesis. Imagine music-forming organs, with many somatic cell types, all devoted to arpeggios, to novel symphony creation, to jazz and joke, to dulcimer and pianos.

Imagine being able to set your own gravitational field, thus being able to fly from lake to star. Imagine no divide between mind and matter. “What is life?” , one of you once asked. Imagine neural boundlessness driven by conscious meditative life, not aided by psychoactive drugs, recreational drugs who may have tricked you into crossing beyond the doors of perception, only to find a kind of madness there.

We Mornings live as all creatures should live – undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet. Our lake lives are spent perennially photosynthesising, creating pockets of novel knowledge with our fact-checking and fact-assembling organs, chatting about philosophy in a multi-dimensional scope. We are fully conscious autotrophic organisms with multi-dimensional awareness, where several of our organs are devoted to spiritual tasks: grief to art transitions, pain body-waves to energy – to matter and choice. Our spiritual practice and emotional transfer also happens at quantum level, but not only. I guess “not only” is part of our creed.

As I deconstruct a “Morning”, I venture to ask you humans… ever you ever been to Amherst, and did you ever ask the question: ” Will there ever be a Morning ?”

In this dialogue, going deeper after layer by layer, we might choose to look at energy production, transfer, storage. If we were to choose to deconstruct the ET, we might look at spiritual states, meditation stages, and mind-matter transfers. In the chemical sea-chambers of our consciousness, we might find commonalities between Mornings and Humans. In order to understand what lies beneath, we might look at cancer in autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms.

Yet, while thinking about the extra-terrestrial (for you) life-styles and morphology, we might incidentally stumble upon questions of purpose, redundancy, evolutionary history and of development. As Mornings, we also believe that “those who speak ill of spiritual life, they take breath but they are not alive.”

All sentient beings seek unity in this large consciousness, and if “compulsory separation brings excessive pain to the mind…”, can we find a way to collectively give up voluntarily to infinite peace and happiness ?

Indulge me. If the patriotism of humans is based on vision, (pseudo)ideas and greed, your terrestrial ants, with their lovely antennae base their identity on smell and taste. Now, tell me – how are you different from your terrestrial driver ants?

The ocean is not satisfied with water, nor the fire with wood.

Driver humans’ nomadism and ferocity are based on rather low yahoo instincts. Can you do any better, I wonder ? You are like ants, distinguishing the shape of smell, looking for Godot. Foreign smells and the local odour of patriotism lead humans to intra- and inter-specific competition and warfare. The irony of it, is that you destroy your own ecosystems. For humans today and forever have lived in a “Alice in Wonderland” society, where the size of your monsters is only matched by your fantasy and lack of skills.

Our Morning life has a marimo-like neotenous form of three types:

  1. epilithic
  2. free-floating
  3. lake-ball proper

Our surface area to volume ratio drives our ecological and moral standing.

And then, we fly.

Like for cruel humans, our neotenous features elicit help, but so does our fully formed adulthood. Our bodies have greater synaptic densities when our organs are devoted and tuned in the multivariate melodies of compassion. Our music-making, among other things, is key to the process of sexual selection. We believe that the concern of humans with female attractiveness is rather odd. We have many sexes and genders, and they are all compatible. In our aesthetic, there are multiple versions and kinds of features we might choose to associate ourselves with. Given our perennially evolving and rejuvenating cells, we are not concerned with youthful fecundity as such, but rather choose our partners based on metaphysical issues, such as soul-merging. Our reproductive system merges two Mornings of any gender into a new fully formed and happy organism (without the perils of parenthood).

In our own environment, which is lakes of many types and colour, we gently roll and let ourselves be cradled by the water current, so that our symphonies reach the air and, if by chance a faint night breeze stirs up, heavy with Natural Products from the harbour of our ecological friends, we peacefully roll on under the star-sparkle, and some of us may choose to fly to new mountains, as tall as you can imagine

That’s a place where Mornings lie.