Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’


my shame of owning
this brand new iPhone 5S
— reveals my inner
monk/puritan — quite distinct —
a sub-personality

Well, microchip technology is quite something after all. Conversely, I experience a swell of pride that I successfully weaned myself off a mild addiction to Twitter and Facebook (I’ve deleted both). The film Steve Jobs was, for me, a useful prod to the imagination to help grasp just how momentously computers have changed all our lives. Computers somehow engage our emotions whether we like it or not — which is quite some irony given they are totally emotionless themselves. Since a couple weeks ago I now own my first ever brand new iPhone. Prior to that, I had been using my sister’s cast-offs. I dreamed last night that I was holding my iPhone 5S under a stream of running water, trying to wash it clean. Then I realised with a jolt that I was supposed to have waterproofed it first. There was some quite  specific procedure for waterproofing, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember if I’d already carried it out or not. This was an anxiety dream and a wake up call to realise I care far too much about my iPhone! But the poem focuses upon the figure in my own unconscious who seems to be always whispering to me how much better off I would be if I owned nothing at all.



threads of energy
— gloriously contorted,
intricate system
of twisted knots locked against
letting go — tolerate it!

Lots of assonance here for anyone who appreciates such things. This poem came to me after I had stepped back from the hopeless attempt to describe my dream literally in a poem. I dreamed a woman was initiating sexual contact by kissing me on the neck and then I was putting my hand up between her legs, exploring with a mixture of tentativeness and determination. It’s completely clear to me this dream has been suggested by a news item last night, involving graphic testimony from one of the girls who was groped on New Year’s Eve in Cologne. So the dream positions me as one of the gropers. How do I deal with that? I fell to reflecting on the business of dream interpretation. Our sexual energies are contorted by so much deep, deep anxiety as to whether they’re allowed, whether they’re acceptable, whether they’re the norm. You can see that quite clearly with a dream like this, once you’re awake. It’s like glimpsing a system of knots, without being able to make sense of where all the different threads are leading, let alone having any chance of untangling it. Freud was wrong in so much of what he said and did and wrote and thought. He lost himself in a mass of speculation and called it science. His whole idea of devising a system of ‘treatment’ is a lost cause. But he is a brilliant genius nevertheless, just for identifying the existence of a problem with being alive as a human being, which nobody else had ever spotted properly: namely, our buried desires stay with us and are potentially infinite in scope.

define fool

perfect tense French verb
“I have understood nothing”
— this much self-insight
is freely available —
but I may need reminding

I’m devoting so much emotional energy to this blog, to this ‘project’ of remembering and processing my dreams — it seems to be affecting me at the moment I wake up. I am so concerned to make sure I have plenty of dreams to remember, that I’m consistently choosing to go back to sleep again in order to dream some more. Crazy. Some nights I’m sleeping 10 or 11 hours. Last night was a case in point, and it did in fact result in some fairly extensive dream memories. Though in fact you’re as likely to forget by sleeping more, as to remember. Also, it’s always the merest fragment in any case, that forms the basis for the poem. In my dream last night I was saying Je n’ai pas compris in response to something said to me in French by a railway station porter. Now there’s a twentieth century job role! I was terribly anxious that I had lost all my baggage. I like the last line of my poem because it brings a sense of humanity. I’d been contemplating something more like one of my ‘pronouncement’ poems, with some kind of broad generalisation, about how knowing you know nothing is the best way to know anything.

social self

such a controlling
obligation rules — stronger
than love — love is the
bad guy in this universe
where we compete to be cool

Best I could do this morning. It’s a poem that just states stuff directly, but that’s OK I guess. I woke early without the alarm after only six hours sleep, and unable to remember my dreams properly, except they had been haunted by an anxiety from work. The anxiety seemed to be to do with issues of control. In the dream, this meant a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety who (or what) has control of the Hearing Voices movement. In reality, this is an issue, kind of. I don’t have a thorough grasp of the politics even now, despite having been working in the field for four years nearly. Anyhow my project here in this blog is to explore subjective issues. So the issue of control seemed a fruitful one at a symbolic level, as referring to how I felt inside myself last night, trying to socialise at an event which was part-work, part-pleasure. And how I feel this morning, still churned up from last night. I seem to understand less and less, the longer I deal with it, how to exist in that weird social space where personal thoughts and feelings have to be processed and packaged before they can be allowed through into the work environment. Or indeed before they reach the outside world at all. Even trying to write a half-decent poem is a form of packaging and ‘trying to be cool’.

your look

a telling moment —
your level gaze when I said
that the human race
is a long way from solving
human sexuality

I was thinking yesterday about the fact that my 13-years beloved partner Liz doesn’t take much or any interest in my writing. This makes it, by any reckoning, an unlikely alliance — and maybe no wonder that I tend to dream repeatedly of being unfaithful to her. Clearly I’m seeking satisfaction in my dreams for that side of me. There is always acute anxiety and guilt as I remember, in the dream, that there’s a Liz to remain faithful to. I count this a fairly minor problem compared with the kind of emotional torture and/or sexual frustration that I endured over a couple of decades prior to meeting Liz (1977-2001). So much for my own personal problems. When I look at the world, I don’t see a human race that even properly grasps that there is a problem to be solved, in sexuality. Our solution as a society is simply to deny that it’s problematic. This is unviable, but it’s nevertheless the rule as far as I can see.