Categories
Drawings

It’s not Friday the 13th but Jason says

There’s a hashtag going around the interwebs that says Never Not Working.  I’m trying to decide whether or not that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I guess if your work and your play are one and the same thing, then yeah, never not working fits. That’s the holy grail of self-employment, to have your work and your play so intertwined that people can’t tell whether you’re working or playing.

IMG_0079

This drawing is available as a sticker or postcard.

 

Categories
Blog T-Shirts

Music is my therapy

The only therapy I need is headphones and some good tunes.

T-shirt models 2

You can buy one of theses cool t-shirts at my Redbubble Shop

Categories
Blog Drawings

This is the end of it all

This drawing sort of popped into my head while I was waiting for my burger at the new Habana Cafe (formerly known as Havana Cafe).

this the end

You can buy an art print of this here

 

Oh and the burger was delicious btw:

IMG_9037

Categories
Blog

Help! My brain is about to explode.

Sometimes I get myself so excited about things that my brain freezes up like a 286 computer trying to run a Windows 10. I’m too hyped to meditate, so the next best thing is to take a long walk or a cold shower. Because of time restraints, I opted for the cold shower. That at least cleared enough space for me to sit down and write this blog post.

Last night, I had the pleasure of doing another pop-up radio session. This time with Mister Networker, Gary Jones of @LeamingtonHour. I was also one of the interviewees. I’m usually the one doing the interviews! You’ll be able to listen to it on Wednesday.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oh and the lovely Taylor-Louise Thomas was on-hand to provide the music for the evening.

And lastly, here’s another drawing I made for you:

93F01797-740E-4FBC-B036-ADC8F5F88522

You can buy the sticker or postcard here.

Categories
Poetry

reminisce – 1st draft

She reminisced in my name. Fire, meltdown
and the sanity they let lose in a tangled
abstract fantasy of post apocalyptic let down.

She reminisced in the attic for the wind,
the damned, and the free. Her shadow slipped
further. Soft she lay as the boys came for her body.

She looked to reach them in their sleep.
One by one they came inside her, cuddled
her body like the damned carry sheep.

They wouldn’t reminisce in her beauty
took her dress for rags, her hair for
loose strands of braided hopelessness.

She reminisced in the darkness. No longer
lonely, a mystic fastened like clockwork,
I never tried to see her face.

Categories
Drawings

looking for a meal

 

art print

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 15.40.07

If you’re like me, when you get “hangry” you turn into a beast.

Stickers available here, starting at £1.69

Art prints available here, starting at £9.19

Categories
Poetry

all the paths i could travel & jane doe

Here’s an excerpt from my poetry collection, A Thousand Bullets Gone Astray:

all the paths i could travel

All the paths I could
travel are pointing me
in 360 directions

Which path I choose
is hard for me
to imagine.

If I move in one direction
the circle collapses and
my path becomes fixed

I can’t help but wonder
what would happen if
I chose another path

Where would that one lead me
What would I be giving up
What would I become?

You can be or do anything
you want, so the words go
and that’s true.

The problem isn’t lack
of choice; it’s too much
choice that spends my head

Which path to choose I
cannot tell, so I stand still
keeping the circle in tact.

BONUS Excerpt:

jane doe

it’s cool she said,
put your hand on
my thigh

ordinarily I would
comply, but you see
i don’t know her name

she smiles, shifts in
her seat, asks: ‘how
about my toe?’

i say, ‘I don’t know
is this a game?’

you’re cute, she says
but just the same, can
you massage my back?

she moves her hair
aside to make room
for my hands

before long we’re
in the sack, i still don’t
know her name

she came just the same
called me a girl’s name

shannon i think it was
or maybe heather

i forgot when she
broke out the leather

the things she did
with a feather made
me come like a cannon

the sun chases
the moon
from the sky

she slips on
her dress, kisses my
nipple and says
good-bye

i beg for more

too late

she closes
the door

i try to call her
but i don’t know
her name

now I see her
everywhere, the
bus, the train
the crowded shops
and playing fields

she even turned up
once at a school recital
in a black bridal dress
made of leather with
strips of feathers
around her waist

now every girl i see
that looks like her i
want to run and ask:

are you the one
who left me in bed
rummaging through
every female name
in my head looking
for one that would fit
you?

they shake their heads
no and scurry away
in haste,

no wait, don’t go
are you my jane doe?

You can order the full book or ebook here.

Categories
Blog Poetry

Can we breathe

Already clustered full,
my morrowed eyes looked
beyond her vintage lips.

Can we breathe, once again,
marked and boundless, a broken
wing, crushed by ignorance.

I could have wandered on,
lived my life asleep like
an old door.

I never really understood
why she said she could only
hate what she should love.

Categories
Blog

What happens when you destroy your ego?

It seems to me that when you destroy the ego, life becomes infinitely more accessible. When you destroy the ego you are no longer bound by labels and your identity becomes free of attachments. I’ve done a lot of work to free my identity from attachments. In doing so, I found my worldview to be much more flexible.

Labels still continue to haunt me. People, that is other people, seem to need me to have a label so they know how to relate to me, whether that’s to help them decide if they want to be my friend or to buy something from me. But as a much wiser man than me said, “if you label me, you negate me.” And so for a long time I resisted labels. But that was when I falsely attached the label to my ego which was attached to my identity. Kill the ego and the label has nothing to attach itself to. Now the labels don’t matter to me. I can put them on and take them off like a t-shirt.

I thought this was an interesting topic to explore so I asked my co-host Sarah the question on the latest episode of our podcast, The Havana Cafe Sessions.

Have a listen:

Categories
Blog

What happened to the auction culture eBay spawned back in the mid 90’s?

I’ve just finished reading a book called Future Shop by visionary entrepreneur, Daniel Nissanoff. It’s a bit outdated if you take into consideration the fast changing pace of technology. I’m saying that and it was only 10 years ago that it was published, but 10 years in tech speak is like 10 lifetimes!

The two companies that Nissanoff talks most about are eBay and Amazon, both of which are still Internet powerhouses. They’ve evolved a lot since Nissanoff wrote the book, but the philosophy behind what he’s writing about is still pretty sound.

From Main Street to the upper echelons of society, we are beginning to accept and will soon vigorously adopt a new lifestyle one, predicated on the norm of temporary ownership and marked by the continual replacement of our personal possessions. Owning and selling things secondhand will become second nature. I like to think of this practice as “auction culture,” because it’s the auction platform that has been the catalyst. But whatever label ultimately sticks, this transition will have a profound impact on our culture and values.

This shift will redefine socially accepted norms of consumer buying and selling behaviour.  We will soon live in a world where the norm is to sell our iPods after using them for a year.  Or to sell our expensive Jimmy Choo shoes after wearing them twice.  Mobile phone companies will automatically send us the newest, most high-tech mobile phone every six months.  We’ll essentially be leasing Rolex watches instead of buying them.

I like Nissanoff’s idea of the “auction culture.” And once upon, I was big into this culture, mostly selling knick-knacks and collectibles I found at garage sales and thrift shops on eBay. This was back when I was living in the States. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure held true. My best ever deal was buying a Matchbox car for .25 cents and selling it for $49 dollars! I didn’t seem  to have the same experience here in the UK and sort of drifted away from eBay. I still have a garage full of stuff that we carted over here in our moving boxes.

I have been dipping my toe back into the eBay scene. It has changed a lot. In fact, when I went on the other day, it hardly seemed like eBay at all. I was used to an eBay that traded predominately in secondhand goods. Now it seems that eBay is moving more towards Amazon and creating an online retail market instead of a pure auction site. The homepage of eBay looks like a catalog of new stuff. I wanted the junk stuff like you might find at a garage sale. You can still find that stuff on eBay, but you have to do a deep dive into the site to find it.

Someone asked Gary Vaynerchuk if he thought eBay was becoming irrelevant. I think his answer was great. He said eBay was innovating in the direction of Amazon, but in doing that, have created a gap for a new company that fills the space eBay left – a place for purely secondhand stuff.

According to Nissanoff, the average household has about £1,000 worth of unused/unwanted stuff lying around their house. I know I have quite the tech graveyard in my house, plus a lot of things that looked like a good idea at the time I bought them, but are now collecting dust.

I was hoping to make good on reclaiming my “£1,000” but am not wholly confident that my secondhand stuff will make it through the noise of all the discounted, wholesale new stuff to be had on eBay these days.

If you know of an auction site that resembles the eBay of the mid 90’s, let me know. Or if you want to take that Gary Vee challenge with me and found a startup auction site that deals exclusively in secondhand goods, give me a shout.

Categories
Blog

Is mindfulness harmful?

So lately, I’ve had the urge to up my spiritual practice game. Kind of like some people with their physical fitness, I tend to be on again, off again with my spiritual fitness. But I know when I start feeling off-centre, it’s time to turn inward.

And mindfulness meditation is usually a vehicle I use to facilitate that inward journey.

Why am I telling you all of this, well in our latest Havana Cafe Sessions podcast, Sarah and I talked about an article by Dawn Foster, entitled, Is Mindfulness Making Us I’ll?

I’ve never actually thought about any potential negative side effects of mindfulness. And none of the mindfulness practitioners or mindfulness coaches I know have ever mentioned any side effects. But this was Dawn Foster’s reaction to mindfulness meditation:

Then comes the meditation. We’re told to close our eyes and think about our bodies in relation to the chair, the floor, the room: how each limb touches the arms, the back, the legs of the seat, while breathing slowly. But there’s one small catch: I can’t breathe. No matter how fast, slow, deep or shallow my breaths are, it feels as though my lungs are sealed. My instincts tell me to run, but I can’t move my arms or legs. I feel a rising panic and worry that I might pass out, my mind racing. Then we’re told to open our eyes and the feeling dissipates. I look around. No one else appears to have felt they were facing imminent death. What just happened?

For days afterwards, I feel on edge. I have a permanent tension headache and I jump at the slightest unexpected noise. The fact that something seemingly benign, positive and hugely popular had such a profound effect has taken me by surprise.

I never considered that people might have this kind of reaction. Dawn Foster goes on to cite several more examples of people who’ve had a negative experiences with mindfulness.

I thought this was interesting. And when I thought deeper about it, I realised that yes, once you start journeying inward, regardless of the technique to get there, you’re venturing into subconscious territory and all that’s hidden in there, the good and the bad. The subconscious mind can be a very unpredictable place. As Jung said, the journey inward is the greatest adventure of all.

Real adventure is a dangerous affair. Most times it helps to have a proper guide there to assist you. One of the things Dawn Foster questions is whether or not the mindfulness experts and coaches are fully trained to handle all aspects of the mindfulness journey? I suspect not, though I’m sure most will tell you they are. And for me, that’s the crux of it. If you’re going to be adventuring into subconscious spaces, make sure you’re prepared to deal with any issues that might arise and make sure that your “guide” is too.

Here’s a link to the original article.

And listen to my conversation with Sarah:

Categories
Poetry

Who is you? – 1st Draft

My friend Julian Stodd has inspired me do what he calls working out loud, which is, in effect, sharing your works in progress. I thought I’d do the same with some of the writing stuff i’m doing on the prose poetry/flash fiction/aphorism side, beginning with this piece, which was inspired by one of Gregory Corso’s poems from his book The Happy Birthday of Death (I can’t find the specific poem, I’ll cite it when I can).

Gregory Corso, by the way, is probably one of the lesser known, but prominent members of the Beat poets. I was reading interview with Allen Ginsberg, and in the interview, he mentions this particular book of Corso’s. I’m about half way done with it and really enjoying it.

So this has no title yet and is not in it’s final form, which I guess is a long way of saying this is a poem in draft:

Who is you?
Don’t look in the mirror, no-one ever found an answer to that question staring back into their cold dark eyes except maybe the witch who dissed Snow White and gave her a poison apple to eat.

Who is you?
Don’t ask your mother, your father, your sister, your brother or your weird uncle Ernie. They’ll just try to shape you into what they want you to be for them. And then, you’ll end up confused with multiple personalities.

Who is you?
Don’t ask the government. To them, you’re a rounded off number in one statical indicator or another. If you’re lucky, they’ll use you as canon fodder. Otherwise, welcome to the machine, where you turn the tools of productivity until they break your body and your mind.

Who is you?
Don’t ask God. He checked out of the program a long time ago. Some say he got bored of watching man’s inhumanity to man and packed his bags and moved to the other side of the galaxy.

Who is you?
Don’t ask me. If you don’t know by now, the joke is on you. Let that fester in your burnt out skull.

Process: I really just started with the question Who is you? which was a question I found in one of Corso’s poems and the rest just flowed from there.