Friday, October 31, 2008

A Wine Guide To Women

If the path to bliss begins with a kiss, why do you end up with blisters? Learn this: there are four basic types of women out there, types analogous to wines.
- semi-sweet
These are the honeys who will cheat you. Attractive, easily approachable, they smile so sweetly, but their looks flatter in order to deceive.
- dry
 The unresponsive cold shoulder. No matter what you try here, you'll make little impression. If she doesn't smile within the first five minutes, get out of there.
- sparkling
The sparkle is for them, not you. Also known as gold-diggers, these see you as just another accessory to complement (and hopefully pay for) their individual style.
- red
Short for red-hot, these are the whirlwind passionate women you can't resist, so don't even try. Unfortunately, they invariably turn out to be femme fatales, meaning they'll kill you. But at least they're worth dying for.

Has this helped you? Learn this: any woman you meet is dangerous, far more dangerous than crossing the street. But danger always brings an adrenaline rush, and many dangers are good for you--as long as you survive them, that is. Remember the old adage, 'You can't live with them, can't live without them.' Men are clearly the weaker sex, despite their proud boasts. What's a poor boy to do? Study the whine list? Or start drinking beer--alone?

Times Sunday Man, August 19th, 2001
© Kenneth Rowley, 2001

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In the aftermoon

In the aftermoon

In the aftermoon,

in a quiet hour,

I watched you sleeping:

dark and lovely,


your small, slender,

recently relaxed body

an s-curl
in the salon of our bed.

[Ken Rowley]

The Buttons Of Your Mind

You’re not mine any more
as we take our last walk together
along the midnight shore
before we say goodbye forever.

Shall I call you love, use your name?
Shall I wear my sadness face or look the same?
I am careful to avoid the touch of your hand.
I must not be drawn into the bedroom of your eyes.

You could say you’d see me soon.
But you’re as silent as the moon.
You could say Let’s talk together,
but you think of other men.
I wonder if I ever knew
the more elusive inner you,
for the buttons of your mind
were difficult to find
and my fingers far too clumsy.

[Roger McGough? 1968?]

This was, I think, the b-side of The Scaffold's 1968 hit, "Lily the Pink" & is suitably dada for the time. 1968 was also the year of the Bonzos' "I'm the Urban Spaceman/ In the Canyons of your Mind" & the Beatles' "Happiness is a Warm Gun... Number 9". Also 1968 was the publication of Adrian Henri's "Tonight At Noon" poetry volume, which included a discussion on dada/surrealism & examples of 'poems without words'.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shake, Rattle & Roll!

As a young boy I was given a copy of Bill Haley's 'Rock Around the Clock' LP by an uncle who couldn't stand 'this new music'. "Shake, Rattle & Roll" was of course on there and I loved the line about 'the one-eyed cat peepin' in a seafood store' with all the innocence of a child. Nowadays I listen to Joe Turner's original rather than Haley's, and understanding now what 'one-eyed cat' and 'seafood store' refer to, the innocence is long gone but my love for the song still remains.

Both Turner's and Haley's recordings are from 1954 and whilst researching the history of "Shake, Rattle & Roll", I got side-tracked by the phrase 'rock & roll'. The first use of this seems to have been in black gospel, a reference to rockin and rollin in the arms of Moses. Given that r&b, soul, and even rap has its origins in black church this is unsurprising. Here's a wonderful lyric from 1939:

Waves on the ocean, waves in the sea,
But that gal of mine rolls just right for me
Rockin' rollin' mama, I love the way you rock and roll
You ease my troubled mind and pacify my weary soul
which appeared in a song called 'Rockin' Rollin' Mama'.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Duality, Non-Duality & Zen Satori

Perhaps Zen is really all about turning duality into non-duality or maybe realising that the meaning of life is life. My moment of sudden enlightenment (satori) came when I noticed an ugly woman and kind of asking the universe why a woman could be so ugly. The answer came that ugliness is a necessary part of beauty--that the two come together; each needs the other; neither can exist independently. The ugly woman allows me to see beautiful ones; without ugliness beauty could not exist:

Fleas, lice,
The horse pissing
By my pillow.

Giving the breast,
While counting
The flea-bites.

There is nothing intrinsically more beautiful or poetical about
the moon than about a dunghill; if anything, the contrary, for
the latter is full of life and warmth and energy.

Just get rid of
The mind that thinks
"This is good, that is bad",
And without any special effort,
Wherever we live is good to live in.

More Zen Poems

How I wish to kill!
How I wish
Not to kill!
The thief I have caught
Is my own son.

There is no one
Who dyes them,
But of themselves
The willow is green,
The flowers red.

Were I a king, pensively
Would I pace the corridors of the palace.
The path I walk goes through the pine-trees;
The sea is blue, a butterfly flits by.

A Beautiful Zen Poem

I found this in a commentary on an ancient Zen treatise: isn't it beautiful?

Spring rains.
A letter thrown away,
Blown along in the grove.

Monday, October 13, 2008


'Understanding the fact that we are essentially water is the key to uncovering the mysteries of the universe. If you re-examine the world around you from this new perspective, you will start to see things as you have never seen them before... the various events that unfold throughout a person's life are events reflected in water. The individual and society make up one enormous ocean; by adding our individual drops to this ocean, we participate in the formation of society.' [Emoto]


If I were called in
to construct a religion
I should make use of water.

Going to church
would entail a fording
to dry, different clothes;

My liturgy would employ
images of sousing,
a furious devout drench,

And I should raise in the east
a glass of water
where any-angled light
would congregate endlessly.

[Philip Larkin]

Thursday, October 2, 2008

vive le difference!

As for the skin,
What a difference
Between a man and a woman!
But as for the bones,
Both are simply human beings.

Ikkyu (1394-1481)

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