The smile passed on

By Mahakasyapa;

We can do no more 

But sit and sweat;

The whiteness of the ritual;

Flower and idiocy;

One direct infectious grin;

There it is.

I am not generally in favour

Of post marital intercourse

(Jesus what a word!).

I do not believe that women

Are as fragile and sensitive

As they are made out to be.

I am not particularly concerned

That the species should be reproduced.

There is no teleology in nature.

Nature does not want me

To do anything at all.

I often do suspect

That love is a dirty trick

Serving the ends of a

Power crazed demiurge.

Ex multis unum fit.

One is nothing;

There is no difference.

Someone postulates a ground of regress,

Thus begetting ignorance again.

For a horror of annihilation

The rune of death

Turns into a symbol

Of love and peace.

Most extraordinary

And rather evading the issue.

As Abraham and Sarah,

Issac and Rebecca,

Fruitfully fucked

For hundreds of years,

Everywhere the runaway

Policeman divinity

Smiles to observe

The observation of his law,

And every now and again

Someone smiles,

Like Mahakasyapa,

Severely imperilling

The power of the order.

I think there is an American

Inferiority complex

At not having been colonised for so long.

Someone should have said that

Love is a female trick

Proving the indeterminacy of man;

But nobody did;

I do not want to say it myself.

How can I be gentle

With those who are not my friends

When I cannot even be gentle to my friends?

Not that I think it is not true,

Nor yet that I think it is not false;

I only do not want to say-

'How may I live by parody alone?'

(Easy, that's easy, just change direction

Like a weathervane, or a charging tiger

Struck by a bullet).

With regard to man, I dispute not

That he has some form of reality, but

Like 'yes' and 'no' it is only one

Wiggle, one minor fishook

On which to get caught.

There is plenty of food in the sea.

I will be more wayout than you.

I will ride you into gibberish if

Necessary; I will ride you as a unicorn

Into a city of crazy exhibitionists;

And one day we will be in glass

Cases in the most elaborate

Museum in the world, loved as

Flowers that bloomed and wilted,

Loved as a species of wild flower,

Stamen and petal, seedbox and stem.

The only hells for original people

Are those they create for themselves

Whenever my friends come to visit

Me in hell I have to move on to

Somewhere ten times more fiendish.

The eternal principle of All Hell,

However, remains as incommunicable

As the sound of Artemis farting,

The smell of Hercules masturbating,

The taste of Olympian expectoration,

The holiness of the holy stone,

Which sharpened the holy axe,

Which felled the holy tree,

Which provided the holy timber,

Which made the holy box of matches,

Which lit the holy candles

In the holiest of holy places.

The touch of a cunt at Christmastide

My love is an inflated rubber ball.

Wrigglebottom and harlequin

Together sing a narcissistic song

Of self adulation.

'Initiate harlequin sitting at stool,

The high high wisdom of the king's court fool-

Ing around with an old man's tool-

Box full of smellies and wobbly jellies

And pregnant bellies,

Tattooed all

With the sign of an inflated rubber ball'.

There we have it, a nasty joke;

An unacceptable piece of self reference.

This play has gone on for too long,

But my song is of epic proportions.

I do not need to die for

I shall always understand.

'Meet my chick', says man.

'What's her line?' asks other.

'Fishing line', says man,

'She's an egg worker,

Cosmic egg and fishing line'.

Looking at love from the

Orthodox point of view,

I cannot understand how a man

Can idealise a girl. Further,

I cannot understand how any girl

Could fall in love with any man but me.

Everything pretends except He who is

Become perfect. Even the stone

Desires to become a doorstep, as

Aristotle saith. Each man is an incomplete

Manifestation of myself. Each woman

Is an allegorical symbol for my

Own eternal object.

Crack it all up again, break it all down.

Shimmery Sally, microphone in hand,

President queen of that diapason dictatorship,

Set in the middle of the Indian ocean,

Island of nightshade, hemp, the whip,

And a billion shivery stars,

Screams defiance at her crawling beggars,

And love to her rich, her luxurious,

The biggest slobs in the world.

There are nine towers about my city,

Nine outposts, grey castle domes.

Relics of a harder, more confident history.

Five are to be demolished for the

Construction of motorways, subways,

Flyovers, bypasses and so on.

My friend, my black familiar, my electric

Cat, is in danger of death, having recently

Taken to shitting indoors.

I wander around Westminster Abbey

In fascist mood. American tourists,

Rich, fat old bags, and young

American faced, healthy looking

Girls in trousers, arouse the annoyance

Of one who can relish the prospect

Of hard solid labour for all of the others,

While he can spin forth a culture

From out of the shadows of his own idle mind.

I imagine myself as a generalissimo,

Surveying the healthy young people of

Britain today, as potential cannon fodder

Or perhaps I should say hydrogen bomb

Fodder. A row of bare legs, all intact.

Arms, eyes, ears, reproductive organs,

All unspoiled, like so many sheets of

Blank paper, or so many cardboard

Cartons, designed for any one of a

Hundred thousand purposes.

I must erase my subsequent

Elucidation. Death conquers all.

In the end nothing remains but the

Stony grin of Megalith the Sacred one.

Evil, like goodness, is only of interest

If it covers itself behind ambiguous

Branches, leaves, petrol signs, television

Ariels, and suchlike camouflage,

Ancient and modern, and when its

Own evil essence is as much a pretence

As the hypocritical Opposite it

Uses for disguise. A handful of

Drivel, hurled in the face of

Christ as he passes, the work of the

Anarchist Iyi, may be completely,

And utterly well meant, thrown with

None but the very noblest intent

In a spirit of disinterested enquiry, and

Hardly deserving of the millstone around the

Testicles punishment, which was

Carried out in the manner

Authorised by law.

If I am really a white string bag,

Ever containing more bulky and

Unpleasant objects, then let me burst,

That I might turn into something else,

Like a spider's web or a game of ping pong.

Someone should have said that

The Copernican revolution was an

Early sign that the earth is going to

Fail in its cosmic purpose of

Becoming like unto the sun

And that it already is hallmarked

With the symbol of D. D. D. , standing

For death, destruction and dilemma.

I do not want to say such things myself.

Not that I think it is not true,

Nor yet that I think it is not false.

In my new language there is going to be

A new mood, designed for the direct

Conveyance of my meaning in

Instances such as this. Is there any

Greater disgrace for a poet than to

Extend his meaning beyond anything

That he ever could possibly say?

But perhaps man could be raised to

A more dangerous level of expression

By the institution of a new mood, and

Perhaps even our lunatics might come

Into their own again.

But we would be like psychedelic

Spiders, spinning three dimensional

Webs which fail to catch flies;

Albeit that any spider clever enough

To turn psychedelic is likely enough

To be well enough protected by

Those who build their own snares

In more than three dimensions anyway.

So? Well? What do I say?

Nothing, why nothing, but nothing at all.

Or else that the first politician

Was one of the earliest offspring

Of Satan himself. Although the

Theology here is unsatisfactory

To the point of ineptitude,

Although Satanas is not in effect

What he is usually imagined to be,

I allow it to stand, only modifying

With one inexcusable lie.

Politics is the twenty third

Manifestation of the eternal principle

Of All Hell.

Some days ago I was ordered to

Undertake a study of chemistry and

Geology, and now my room is the

Repository of the most advanced

Technological equipment in the

History of the world.

I can do nothing to prevent the two

Burglars who come in the night to

Steal our secret away. But walking

In the garden, following this mishap,

I see what I know, Edison's tower,

(Or is it Edison's column?) built

As a ladder to the moon, in every

Style that had ever developed anywhere

In the regions covered by the old Roman

Empire at its greatest extent.

There is no need for a catalogue.

Love and strife.

What of the man who strives for love?

Or the man who loves strife?

Everyone gets somewhere in the end,

Even if it is no more than an incinerator

At Eltham crematorium. There is no

Need to fear. I shall spread love

Honour and ecstasy that perhaps

Love honour and ecstasy may

Once more take pity on me.

That was a new mood announcement.

I did not mean it.

Next time please, baby see,

Use my chillum but don't use me.

'Once', said Simon of Cyrene, 'I was

Crucified, and he just stood there and

Laughed, and Gautama and Mahomet

And Zarathustra and Moseh

All hung there with me; and there it

Was I learned where nothing meets

The other'. The people have short memories.

They do not remember their avatars.

All the follies and the cursed

Little religions of millennia of men

(And women) parade themselves before me.

I want to learn them all.

Once I had a Condition, as I would

Say if I wanted to put it into its

Place, or if I wanted to revere it

I might say that once I had the


But I would not call it God;

And it was not that most abhorrent,

That most abominable, political

Despot that seeks to find its way

Among the upper reaches of all of

Our minds. I want to experiment

With the cosmic forces of those

Who will not understand me.

I am vile, I am horrible, I am

Disgusting. A million of my

Own arms reach out inside me

To tear me to pieces in my

Self-afflicted detestation.

I am worminess seething with maggots.

I am refuse, garbage, rubbish,

Trash, shit, repulsive,

Revolting, nauseating, repellent.

What is repentance? A self loathing

So intense that Hell does not get a chance to

Stick its nose in (edgeways),

One conceivable line of escape.

Fuck, shit, I am conceited,

I am abominable, I am excremental.

Just keep away from me until

My needs are fulfilled. You look up

To the Saint, but he's a bigger berk

Than you are (even), self deluded, proud

Enough, lacking all the virtues

That made him what he is. The Grace

Of God is the arrogance of fools.

As between a saint and a mighty

Lord, the mighty lord never has

Reason to bother. Every religion

Founded upon sexual repression,

Involves a foulness, the foulness of

The soul. What soul? R. Soul.

The foulness, the besmirched anus, is

The end of the repression. The anus

Is the forcing house of worlds.

There is one explanation of all my

Sexual and excretory references;

Unsolicited, sly and unnecessary,

For those who do not wash their minds.

Not that I will ever confess

To making any headway. Horrible words

Are the words you want to use

When I want to destroy you.

The ghosts of my ancestors come to

Visit me, tall, fine and upright,

Possessed of all the worldly wisdom

That we know, and ask me to write a

Letter of apology. 'Stuff!', I had said,

'Stuff it!'

I am a mule, stuck on a mountain

Pathway. I shall, I hope, not move.

I see nothing but unlimited sensual

Indulgence, under the hill and over the sea.

I suggest an amalgam of the Bodhisattva

Ideal and that of the eternal recurrence

Of all things. Instead of passing into

Nirvana, I shall further the

Comedy, still to drive it through all its

Destined revolutions, until all is completed

And evolution is confuted.

What is possible is necessary. What

Is necessary is possible. I shall wind

Out Hell until I break the spring.

Sufficient unto the day is the judgement

Thereof, whatever that is normally supposed

To mean. Dante was a sexual pervert

Of cosmogonical proportions. But

We men are all parts of movements,

Even if only of the Danse Macabre,

That theme.

Dante was not merely a deviant, he was

Debauched. Journals of William

Arthur Nicholas King, disciplined

Flights of erotic fantasia, extending

To readers the pleasures received.

My truest wills have noses of their

Own. I sniff out gold in the dung heap,

Without debasing it in the process,

And aware of the nature of my action.

There's arrogance for you. There's a

Statement smug and sterile. A substance

Commonly regarded as of very little value.

We all know what that can do.

I am part of my own movement. It satisfies

Itself without losing all discrimination.

What criterion is satisfaction?

Only that of being able to rest awhile

Before putting Faust in chains and saying,

'You are coming with me, coming to

Flowering cactus land, coming to

The baths of ancient Rome, coming to be

Titillated upon the couch of the Queen

Of eternity; Ishtar and Aphrodite,

Isis and Mary, Freya and Kali'.

Someone should have said that

S. S. H. S. T., all artists are only playing,

Even when they talk about their work.

When we have an artist talking about

Himself talking about himself talking

About himself dot dot dot talking

About himself talking about his work,

then he will mean what he says.

But who can work through an infinite

Series? Zeno of Elea can

Help you out of that one.

Toss yourself off mate! All

Pretentious bastards. We want good

Earthy people, who can satirise all

These liars, all these slanderworthy

Friends of ours.

Each pore of my body emits a ray,

Sensitising each new possibility

For each new day. Every opportunity

Missed, is relished, categorised

And kissed, as those flies which perished

Beneath my hand, in Persia and

Afghanistan. Gazing at a beautiful

Beautiful face, can liberate

Liberate the imagination. I am as near

As I could wish, it is not so much an

Out of as a freed from the body

Experience. As I romp and

Play inside your very own soul and

Your mind, I smile back, amazed at my

Insolence, amazed at my powers, my

Unnameable abilities. Mordecai, why why why

Must you ever hold me in contempt?

-No reason- I reply, as Mordecai.

Suddenly I discover what eternity is.

The discovery gratifies my

Faust instinct, but is, in a way,

Disappointing. Eternity is a word

Constituting a cure for the temporally

Trapped. Many close analogues

Reveal themselves before me, things

In themselves, eternal moments, essences,

Self justification, sufficiency,

Samsara, Nirvana.

Even the thing in itself exudes from some

Centre or other, a pretty little ornament

Of coloured lights. Heaven or

Hell poker. Heaven or Hell dice.

The ultimate in psychedelic transdeath

Kicks. Talking about Hell again,

Hell is not really a place for the proud.

Hell is the residence of total failure.

That is not a comforting thing to say.

That is like talking about that point

In the game when you know that the dice

Are certainly loaded against you. Can

Any pleasure be more unhealthy? Any

Savour so corrupt, so vile, so

Valueless, so stupid? Or perhaps

That is wrong. I am hidden, I am

Concealed. I am the chief of a fifth

Column army. Love of unchanging

Incorporeal silent ethereality.

'We are proud to be called barbarians.

We are proud to be called intellectual teddy boys.

We are proud to be called decadents,

Proud to be called true Christians,

Proud to be called Satanists

To be called nihilists,

Fascists, racists, revolutionaries, atheists,

Mystics, perverts, anarchists, lunatics, even

Counter-revolutionaries, perhaps that is

The best tag of all'. The sage Obscurantus

Said, 'There is no enlightenment. Every

Learning is a forgetting, every advance

Is a retrogression'.

'By jingo sir, by jingo!' The aging

Colonel stands up in his bathtub and

Salutes as the strains of the national

Anthem issue forth from his transistor

Radio. Exulting in Lady Britannia, his

Monarch and his mother, or should I

Say country, his eyelids burn as he

Performs the most sacred act of prostration

Ever recorded in the annals of the

Imperium Britannicum. Twenty three

Magic. Peni Tento non Penitenti.

More of him later. As to your list of

Pejorative appellations, which do

Little more than puff you out with

Colossal conceit, what do you think

Of '(lower) middle class snob', of 'mental

Weakling', of 'useless nincompoop'

Of 'first class turd'? Well, I never

Thought of them, they should do very

Well, we have to take the rough with

The smooth, the closed with the open,

If you get my disgusting allusion,

Which I very much doubt, but which

Hardly matters at all.

The schoolmaster with his cane,

Eyes aglow and forehead grim,

Inflicts a psychedelic pain,

Until some sweetheart says to him,

'Cast aside this ire insane.

Kiss my arse, caress my quim'.

The pedagogue lays down his stick,

Undoes his flies, brings out his prick,

Inserts- and dies. Escape! Escape!

Get up, get out, out among the rooftops

Climb the red carpeted stairs of wealth

Taste and luxury, towards one final

Important or not so important decision.

Which numbered door to take, which the

Route leading to liberty? Shall we peep

Through a keyhole? Or wait for the others?

But here is a motorcade driving through

A door, and yet we are so far up, higher than

Anything but a mountain range, and so much

Larger than the world.

Drift through a river of coprophilia

And bestiality, out into an ocean

Of agnosticism and pococurantism.

Beyond that, move under our own power,

Into hatred and revulsion and a thousand

Forms of self contempt. Beyond that

Out into something whose dwelling is

The raucous howls of werewolves, the

Laughs of hyenas and the rattle of a

Flying rattlesnake. What stupid stupid

Stupidity! we can't stay here for long.

Love of unchanging. . . . . Oh my! Oh God!

That which has happened! Why the

Anarchism and the terrorism must

Have to take over, why the pattern appears

To remain the same, so still, so boring,

When this time all it sympathises is

Something like pornography gone haywire.

Dante knew not that Beatrice was _______

_______ ______. Why, no one knows

What yet may be overcome, what may

Be crunched up and swallowed, as the

Unexpected eggshell in the bottom of

The coffee cup. The eternal principle

Of all disapproval, however, remains

As necessary as any form of

Discrimination, as any occasional

Judgement made according to some or

Other canon of excellent taste. And

No one sees as yet how far inward

I can see, nor yet that I see myself;

But truth is a stupid word, and I must

Be despicable when I reduce myself to as

Little as possible. All these silly

Cows are driving me up the wall. No

Longer do I want to wander around

Like an overintoxicated halfwit,

Playing drums, however well, but with

No kind of coordination. What must I

Do to acquire merit? Well,

That depends on your own particular

System of arbitrary distinctions. But it

Is a good thing to be meritorious,

Whatever that might happen to be.

Read the Pilgrim's Progress, tidy up

An intellectual, cultural, emotional,

And neurasthenic atmosphere.

The great arse wiper of the western

World, the neck of the goose that

Still occasionally lays a golden egg.

Inside or outside it makes no

Difference-or maybe it does to the

Ultimate coward, destined to die with

His ethico-political order. 'I love

Galley slaves', said the high girl.

'I love them drowning in a sinking ship.

I love them trying to tear the chains from

Their arms, or their arms from the chains.

Suffering? I love suffering,

It's so - ecstatic!'

'What do you believe? 'the wise man said,

'What do you really, really, believe?

For that', he said, as he waggled his head,

'Is what will happen to you'. He left it

At that and went away. He is a

Liar, a fascist and a sadist. I do not

Believe a word he says. In fact I feel

As if I am Mithras, and as if I have

Just slaughtered the Bull. Was

The bull ever slain, or is it all a mistake?

Never mind, smile and move

On to I know what I want but I

Just don't know how to go about getting it.

At least that is a mortal hangup,

Nothing to do with any of those timeless

Zones of ours. So as a mortal, I may

Say, 'Do not take me on trust, I apparently

Have never yet been in a position of

Total checkmate, however much

I may try to empathise with

Those who have'. The four grey walls

Of the death cell signify far more

Than considerations of secular and

Temporal expediency. 'Some people',

Says Thransippus, 'have interpreted me

As the Columbus of the Spiritual

Sphere, seeking the deep deep passage,

Through Death, Destruction and Dilemma

Through to Ahura Mazda Himself.

This is not, in fact, what I am trying

To achieve at all'. Every line is an

Hundredfold deep, every word gives

Rise to a thousand glyphs of elucidation.

At least do not try to prevent me from

Masturbating, sludge that you are,

Dreary, squirgy, sludge that you must be.

I will leap as a flying fish right out

Of the water; nothing remains but

Death and the glory of deeds.

I degrade myself talking about the Bad,

Trying to understand the Druj, the Lie,

The Cause, the hotchpotch of

Undiscriminating devotedness.

All the best schoolboys love schoolboy

Filth. 'Why must you ruin an otherwise

Excellent work of art with the

Laughter of innocent children?'

Well, all the best schoolboys are amateur


'When I was your age I had killed

Eight people. What have you done?

You bum'.

I am a pekingese dog being dragged

On a lead along Kensington High Street.

I am a quack and proud of the fack.

I am an irregularly shaped pearl

I am an onion eater. Make love to my

Crazy ways, my jesters hat and my

Bauble stick. Think of a boot

Forever. All the best schoolboys

Are sado-masochistic little monsters.

Dear psychiatrist, I'm a friend of

Whomzewatz. I want to seduce her.

I wondered if you could give me any tips.

I can give you asparagus tips.

I can give you five guinea tips. As we

All know, a strong propensity for

Punning is a sign of dementia. But

That is not why I am here. It is also a

Sign of a Shakespearian sense of

Humour. Just look at that green

Faceted Hindu goddess, from a

Deva heaven. As she writhes and

Wriggles in the candlelight, she

Sparkles and glistens like stars in a

Ganja intoxicated Indian sky.

She pains like an uprooted hair, she

Thrills like the music of Indian

Pipes in the air, dances like that

Wondrous light self luminous

Without a source, that we sense

All around us. There's a place to spend

A while, there's a love we

Can't defile. Evil man and evil child

Once the greatest love defiled.

I am a ghoulie, I am a ghostie, I am a

Beastie. Womp womp womp womp

Womp womp womp. Thou child,

Thou infant Horus, I am he, thy

Devotee. A rhymester and a punster

Were shipwrecked at sea, the one drank

Coffee, the other drank tea, the one read

Art books, the other played golf.

Both were admirers of Frederick Rolfe.

Dear psychiatrist, you gave no tip.

You were no help.

I think I'll go whip

A woman, a whelp,

And, God help me,

A walnut tree.

I am not generally in favour

Of opera singers.

I am not particularly concerned

That the species should be reproduced;

But here is one that performs in front of me.

Dressed as an eighteenth century

Romantic hero, singing almost as if

His incorporeal lungs would burst

Into a million shivery stars:

'A woman a whelp and a walnut tree

'The more you whip them the better they be'.

Don't you play games with me, young

Whippersnapper, it's long past your

Death time. O for that clear clear

Light, far away from the ghastly smell

Of rancid Hell!

Tears drip down upon my shoulder

As I long for my sleep in my

Comfortable bed. And I am not

Thinking of my garden bed, you

Morbid, gloating, dispossessed soul.

'You're just more open in every way'.

There were a number of things that I

Thought you were going to say, signs of

The shock that perhaps you understood

Completely my little matter, which of

Course I intend you should fully comprehend.

All the defences are down. They're no

Use any more, Burn down the barricades!

As I am so decadent, my invulnerability

In this respect is more or less

Complete. Connoisseur of situations.

Hollow tube to bring down fire from

Heaven. Laugh like an epicurean.

OOh what a comedown! I don't think so

At all. So what, fly, tiny winged

Creature, coward, weakling? Your

Reinforcement must be of ten inch

Thick glass contact lenses, which

Hits the nail on the head for a change.

Laying on of hands. Ooh what a comedown!

I don't think so at all. So what, fly,

Mental weakling, born of anaemic

Vampire stock? Who's away? What a day!

Take out your lenses and lie on the bed

Like a twelve inch sheilah-na-gig.

Slow, silent frenzy. I dip my toe into a

Freezing pool. Something here is in my

Hands - a pencil in one, probably, - perhaps

An armpit in the other. Now may I close

My chopped up gates, after what,

What an exhibition!

Evil and good are so much dead wood.

For those who are ceasing to

Function, I have a game, to be played

With cards or dice. I am open, I am

Revealed. I am in Southwark

Cathedral. I feel like kneeling down

And worshipping the reredos

Of the high altar.

I fear that I may have been behaving like

Super-Calvin; nothing remains but

Super-Heaven, Super-Hell, and the throw

Of Super-dice.


JS.M. 1969

Return to home page

more poetry