Posts Tagged ‘shame’


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.



global apartheid
must and will collapse — my white
skin a mark of shame
once climate change has emptied
Africa of Africans

This is such a rubbish poem! It speaks with the voice of certainty — must and will — like some demented prophet. But I honour that voice, however ugly, and even if it’s my own. Some truths just aren’t very nuanced anyway. I dreamed last night I was one of a number of prisoners. We were being ‘sorted’ according to whether we could dance or not, and if we couldn’t, we had our hands marked with a fleck of white paint. Awake, it made me think of racial stereotyping (“black guys can dance”) — and it also led me into asserting in the poem that my white skin will be a mark of shame in a future society. Actually I don’t understand why it isn’t already. I don’t see what is wrong with guilt and shame. It’s white imperialism which has screwed up this planet. But re-reading my poem, I realise few people will feel comfortable with that sentiment (or with the guilt part of it). I can live with that. The poem also fails for another reason: it assumes runaway climate change. My vision for what it’s worth, is that, once Africa and South Asia and Central/Latin America are uninhabitable, then the remaining habitable part of the planet (Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, Siberia, Antarctica) will belong to — ? ……To the majority of course — which will be black, brown, yellow or anything but certainly not white. Maybe they will start calling us ‘pink’. That would be a relief — to forget the word white altogether and, with it, the guilt. For now though, the guilt is real. While writing this poem, it hit me — routinely in my job, as part of our compliance with Equal Opportunities legislation, I quite happily use the term BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) — what the fuck??!!??!!?? The only ‘minority’ is us whites: 21st-century political correctness is ghoulishly Eurocentric. It inverts the global reality. Take a look at this YouTube video for the stats. The organisation who made it probably made it for all the wrong reasons. Whites have never — at any time, ever — been a global majority. They may hopefully die out altogether in due course. Surely in the end we will all be mixed race?


Fate, Destiny, Shame
and Guilt — to feel their touch is
to pray for release

The gods are still with us, and maybe monotheism is to blame for encapsulating the divine aspects of our all-too-human nature into a supposed single truth (the existence of “God”), which constitutes an open invitation for non-believers to throw out the baby with the bathwater. For me at least, polytheism, compared with monotheism, seems much more amenable to interpretation as being that “the gods” are our own drives. Human beings go a little bit crazy when they start talking about the One God. Hardly surprising, since by definition, nothing can be said about Him. My dream last night, which has given rise to these reflections, entailed my being rejected by the family of the gay lover I had in my teens. In reality his family were welcoming to me, while it was mine who were rejecting of him. All very traumatic — hence the sense of fate, destiny, shame and guilt.