All Set For Take-Off.

High on the O2:
Red Rossopomodoro, Wagamama,
and on the bus shelter, Marc Jacobs,
and again higher,
Habitat,
then Metroline moves past.
It’s the 113
to Oxford Circus,
and the 13 to Victoria:
Thrilla Lives On,
the slogan shouts,
while National Express has
All Set For Take-Off.

They’re gone…
It calms, empties,
nothing much
just the red lidless eyes,
of cars
two, three, four dozen
pairs
hover over the asphalt road.

Where…
where am I?
Ahhh, yeah,
in the Oriental Star,
the road seen from a table and stool,
waiting
for food.
Where have I hailed from?
My lover’s womb.
No, no
*NOT THAT!*
The North Star, yes:
A pub on the Finchley Road,
Where Tottenham beat Liverpool 4-1
A pyrrhic victory!
Over a couple of beers.

Warm years, and tears.
A sense of place,
a home, a nest,
Receding in the traffic
Of a busy road,
Waiting on noodles.

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Who is the minataur?



In nature predators control animal numbers. Lions chase deer across the scrubland, crocodiles snatch water buffalo at river’s bank, and polar bears hunt seals off the ice flows, but the ultimate predator, man, still reigns supreme. But who controls us?

This raises an interesting idea: Why have we been allowed to prosper as a species unchecked? Why hasn’t a predator been created to prevent us from destroying the environment? It seems strange. If we are destructive, then a predator would redress the balance as war, famine and pestilence have clearly failed. Or is that the problem, that a vast food chain, inevitably creates a predator that cannot be retired.

I want to explore the idea that a superior Predator already exists, but its exploitation of us is far more interesting than simply consuming us as mere food or blood. Instead, we are stalked for something else, but what and by who? The precariousness of our existence, our very circumstances, demands that we are resourceful, so our creativity and ingenuity seems the fruit of our existence. In which we exist in a kind of virtual games machine, where our best moves can be plagiarised.

We live in a process. The product of that process is how our lives are lived, what it creates, not its eventuality, the life post-mortem, which under this hypothesis, is syphoned off as data. Think animals in a nature programme who are tagged for data, and their movements analysed. Whatever is of use is examined and maybe then simulated in some other project, or simply noted as the result of some hypothesis, some experiment, in which we were simply a piece in a puzzle whose variables are known and can be measured, but in which the results are less predictable, therefore, of interest, perhaps even valued. And who would be interested in such data? Any intelligence higher than our own. In a universe with a hundred billion galaxies with possible multiuniverses that could be quite a few, maybe hundreds of thousands. Ever wondered why if higher intelligence (HI) is prevelant, they haven’t visited and why we can’t track them? Maybe that is because they’re happy with us innocently modelling answers for them.

As a species we are embued with a volatile emotional nature, but with the ability to rationalise. And can observe our attitude to other species. For instance, as Harari tells us in his excellent Sapiens, we ignore the suffering of pigs in pens; held in confined spaces, or separated from their young, but we are too indifferent to ask why there is not a visible predator for us, because our own predatory nature blinds us to seeing beyond that which we perpetuate; we ignore, as we subconsciously recognise the hopelessness of our own condition, the suffering of the ‘sub species’, and consequently our own crime. This may be because our biggest adversary is of course ourselves and our own dual nature, and anyone who threatens to bring out whichever side of that nature best serves our instinct for survival, so we nonchalantly munch away on the once living flesh of our evolutionary cousins.

This view is cynical; it is dark. But it makes sense, unless like so many, you place humans on a pedestal, at the top of the food chain, but then that would suggest that food or energy is an end in itself. In the universe, energy is abundant, so the exploitation and harvesting of humans, who are not hunted by vampires or any other super predator, must be, in the age-old formulation, for some higher purpose; for something more difficult to quantify, something intangible.

Who then is our Predator? Our minataur! Who knows: the universe does not have a single infinity, but an infinity of infinities. Is there a predator above the above and so on? Probably, or infinity makes no sense. The food chain spreads beyond the confines of a single garden, earth, into the Cosmos, with millions, billions, possibly trillions, of such fields of exploitation. Our hubris and the key to our folly and enslavement, is the way we enslave and cruelly exploit our own resources and ourselves. This shows us that in dismissing our mammalian cousins as too inferior to know their own suffering, a sacrifice to our limitless appetite, we in turn, sanction our own enslavement, and disposability. Our gods look down on us indifferently, as we do at pigs, wallowing in their own excrement.

An ironic game this, where only our compassion, our ability to feel for others is our salvation away from an omniscient super consciousness, the Predator who mines our minds because doing so is as satisfying, as is, fried sizzling bacon!

Imagine a game in which each player controlls various game boards (labyrinths of infinite complexity!) where the object is to bring the game pieces – us – to self-realisation, moving each up from a murky evolutionary depth, to arousal, an epiphany, enlightenment, if you like, and escape. The first escapees, those who first emerge, crash through the walls of Jerricho, thus entitling the player, the Game Master, to an insight, the prize, into the complexity of a fiendishly difficult mathematical problem.

His game, Oh, Master of Labyrinthean Games, is the best, and the rest is history as we, already dead, our reusable energy dissipated, perhaps eventually reformulated for another round in the ultimate in game play, thereof shuffled into favoured positions on a chequered board of nights and days.

If not a game, then imagine, if you will, quantum fields of layered quarks, that operate in two places at once, and by gathering briefly in the pattern of our lives, are then reformulated, parts broken, cast aside and elsewhere recast, orchestrated to do so by an intelligence that demands we fall into particular patterns in order to help run enormous quantum computers. What’s the difference? In these Labyrinths, the end is always prescribed and devilishly complex, and we, neat energy bundles fated to be positioned where our unique but short-lived gifts best serve the indefatigable Player. Or, to put it another way, what the labyrinth teaches us perhaps is that within the maze, we generate whatever manifestation of an escape plan we choose while attempting to resolve its riddle.

Hornsey Blossom

In Hornsey, N8
under a cable post
sitting
the smart soles of a lady in black
slap past.
‘That’s fuckin’ stupid,’
she intones to her phone noisily
with
‘Why wouldja do that?’
Annoying woman
think I.Whoa!
Hang on!
Hit pause!
Let her Be!I scold
ticking myself off.
From across the street
an exquisite pink blossom
releases herself from a cherry tree
gliding
closer and closer.

Quinn’s

In pubs with bar flies.
Kronenburg, Becks, Carling, Stella Artois and Fosters,
Dancing in our blood,
Utterly inured; we are endured by all:
The solipsism most profound.

And when Johnnie, Jack and Jameson join,
The sentimental and the morbid
Are conjoined.

And damn!
In the custody of beer halls,
The shadows that draw, fade,
And calls – e’en Death’s! — are put on hold,
No time; instead, before the last, another pint.

For in this hallowed inn,
Drinking what’s in the glass,
And espousing the glow within,
Cares regress.

No woes,
Or loaded psyches,
For when the pressure builds,
The best: a jet of yellow bliss,
Relieves the pain,
On Armitage Shanks’ porcelain.

 

 

Quinn's