the prisoner of zen

My passport, even, has long expired. It is my cross to bear that I was born on a more remote – though scarcely smaller – island. Where the winds blow ill and hard. An island creaking under the weight of a snivelling, shortbread making civil service in those 200 years since the Highland Clearances. I missed the boat. I harvest the scars. If any Fools are listening in, I am still awaiting a harder copy, though truth be told am in no position to contest the higher ground; negligent and corrupt, I have abseiled my bank account only to squander those remaining coins on counterfeit tobacco and Chilean wines. I sit surrounded by unmailed packages.

I have a weakness especially for Chilean wines.

Hold the sea bass. Or maybe not; I am ensnared in autumn and all out of teeth.

The rains are always just around the next corner, and there is no bomb in Mumbai. I am unmoved by poetry. Poetry is for assholes. Or rum Canadians walking hammers on rollerskates. I cannot decide. I walked a dog habitually a long time ago. It strained at the leash and I discovered cats; a cruel and dysfunctional punishment with much to recommend it. Connoisseurs of passive smoking and displaced aggression. All claw and stiffened fur. So. I am no mood to bandy words.

I am knock-kneed and dishevelled, gladly immune to ill-considered thwarts. I might merely resurrect what has gone before without embellishment or fear of disgrace. And wish all my siblings well. Charity ? She was a justifiable f@ckin\’ lay.

illustration by ib.

STEVEN JESSE BERNSTEIN: MORE NOISE PLEASE from \”Prison\” LP (Sub Pop) 1992 (US) STEVEN JESSE BERNSTEIN: NO NO MAN (PART I) from \”Prison\” LP (Sub Pop) 1992 (US)


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