Jeremiah’s Journal 20th June 2017

Hello Journal, hello Jeremiah, hello blank stare, hello blank glare before I pull the blinds and do the neighbours and the world a favour. Hello blank page, hello blank screen since I cleared the history of where I’ve been. Hello fear of putting pen to paper. Goodbye endless, Irish summer evening. Goodbye bird. Hello Microsoft Word, soft words, soft microwords with which I hope to subvert the cliché ridden script book of the day to day down here in hell. Hello Hell. Well, how the hell are you, slapping my back and abbreviating…hail fellow well met and yet I have to say…I am not so sensitive nowadays…I have learned…

I once worked for twelve years in a thankless job with two colleagues called Eddie. Do you think I was ever called by a name other than Eddie, Eddie is a name I have been known to answer to still…though I am long gone from there, there, in the way, shape and form that at least I remember it no longer exists, neither does here but don’t go there…

Why did I stay there so long?
Why am I where I am now?

Below…See me putting a brave face on being back at work after five days off, three of which we spent on the wild Atlantic way…well…as wild as we could manage with my bad back and her bad knee…

Barren, rugged beauty…beauty you cannot eat…Granted… You could see clearly why Cromwell would have given the heathens he had defeated a choice of going to Hell or to Connaught and why, back in my day anyway, the bed and breakfasts in Kilburn and Cricklewood were full of men from Mayo and Clare and Galway and why we when we headed off brought our own flask of tea and sandwiches.

I am smiling…not just in the photograph but in real life now while writing because the background I have painted in behind me depicts two badly drawn men, the man on my right shoulder is fishing in the sea while the other chases a butterfly through a clearing in the woods, neither have any hope of success. This is what makes me smile. There is no hope of success. This is what makes the fish smile, why the seagull can sleep and why the butterfly is not bothered. This is what frees me up to work, to go to work, knowing there is no hope of success. The men I have painted are not smiling, they are anxious, anxiously engaging in the pursuit of their dreams.

What I love is the fact that at twelve o clock last night and only when I was too tired to think and too tired to stop thinking did I become subconsciously…unconsciously… whichever of these two terms psychoanalysis prefers these days…capable of conceiving of a beautiful loser like myself chasing in the gloom of the workplace, from bloom to bloom, elusive happiness, with a butterfly net the wrong way up…

This is how we find out about ourselves, by doing nothing, by doing something for nothing, by making stuff, making stuff up, cutting up rough, toughing it out, putting it out there, throwing shapes, pulling faces, stealing, not getting caught putting stuff back we regret we stole in the first place, tearing and mending, fending for ourselves in a world where we either shake hands with our disease or bare our throats to its teeth…

I feel it will all make sense in the end, the end of what? What I mean is when I stop, stop working I mean and reflect, I expect I will be able to see quite clearly why I left this for that and that for the other, why whenever as an artist, if that is what I am, when I am lost and hungry and cold I always, always come back home to my notes, notes I wrote when I was a boy and kept in a shoe box under the bed in the house of my head to help me forget, to help me remember, to help me sleep…

Today I’ve been listening to U. G. Krishnamurti, not J. Krishnamurti but U. G. U. G. has become known as the Anti Guru.

If you think two gurus having the same name is a strange coincidence it’s not because the name is as common as muck or Murphy in Ireland. My wife can tell when I have just come from a u-tube session with him and his perplexed disciples. “I see you’ve been listening to Christy Murphy,” she says.

I searched a long, long time and now finally I have found him. Having worked my way through all the great gurus I was never going to be happy till I found the Great Naysayer himself. What is most convincing about U. G. is his quizzical smile in the face of death, death according to him doesn’t exist for the body, the body is eternal since it doesn’t know where it had its beginning and cannot know where it will all end.

I was a glint in my father’s eye when he was asked by my mother’s father at Paddington Station to look after her on her journey home to Moll Goggin’s corner in “a Town out of Time” called Youghal, Youghal by the sea.

Here is a poem I wrote like a postcard…If you recognize yourself in it, it’s just your ego acting up, or else you’re falling or have fallen in love with your own reflection, same difference…so here goes…

Greetings from the city to the good people of Yawl, Yawl by the sea…

Well, how is my old friend Tom, Tom I hope you’re still keeping an eye on the sea there for me, still coming in is it? Good, good. Going out after a decent interval I hope, not dragging the arse out of it by hanging around the Merries there as we are known to have done ourselves from time to time? Splendid…

I suppose since you were bypassed Tom you’re happy not to have the trucks trundling in the road past your house, day and night, rattling your galvanized gates, smashing your crockery and knocking the gnomes fishing in your rockery.

What’s that you say Tom? The Merries are gone! Gone where? The Chair-o-planes took off for Hong Kong? What will the children from the caravan park do now when it rains, it still rains doesn’t it?

Ah! Yes The Clock Gate, still straddling the town, looking north and south at the same time, two faced fucker, instrument of the English, used as a gallows for hanging our priests, I know, I know, they didn’t hang half enough of them.

Are you still smoking? I am. I’m still smoking, last time I looked. I blame Walter Raleigh, Raleigh fell out of favour with Elizabeth, didn’t he, not your Elizabeth, the Elizabeth, the first, I know she was your first, no reason though to believe every word out of her mouth, chopped his head off didn’t she? Would have chopped yours off too if she could, would have stopped the old craving instantly though…how bad…

Do you remember the difficulty we had expressing our feelings, expressing ourselves as young Turks around town. We used to throw stones at the girls we took a fancy to, to get their attention. Funny how they were always the girls who said they wouldn’t piss up against you if you were on fire. And if enough stones were thrown, well… that’s what a crush was, I suppose. A quaint practice long since abandoned except in the more remote parts of Turkey and Kazakhstan.

Above – The perfect pitch, the far off strand where we played till the waves washing in around our ankles caused us to lose control of the football when the loss of control of the football meant something…Happy Birthday Leo… turning thirty today 24th June 2017

All art is found art. Should we start looking, stop looking? I stopped looking at these Rooster potatoes and look what happened…monster…metamorphosis…magic…

The notion of there being no beginning and no end destroys logic and we love logic, we are addicted to logic…

You see I want U.G. to tell me a story, a story about the soul, the soul I thought should look like a holy communion host with wings, when I was young, a story with a happy ending, a massage with a happy ending for my ego, my ego loves distraction. My ego is relieved by the dogs barking in the estate, by the car alarm across the park going off while I try for the millionth time to meditate.

My ego rejects the notion of me coming back as a chicken, as a dog, as a budgie, as a bearded dragon, as an anything other than that which I can recognize now as myself, these hands, soft from the want of work, my round face, my eyes looking back at me from the photograph I am taking of myself taking a photograph of myself…it is not enough for me, for my flesh falling from my bones to feed life’s habit or for my skull hollowed out to become home to maggots.

I don’t want the bigger picture…I am not big enough for the bigger picture…I don’t want anything other than that which in myself I have come to love and loathe in equal measure, over and over.


She texted me on the way home from work to buy coal and blocks…in June… where’s the logic in that…and that during exams…exams are usually a guarantee of good weather aren’t they…I don’t know…

Jeremiah…light the fire…Blow…Blow… Blow…


A week later and I cannot stand the heat…the summer has arrived… the bags of coal and blocks we bought last week mock us… the dog chases the cats from the yard through treacle…


If the dog steals the eggs from the hen’s house today and the shells break between his teeth like they usually do then he will have fried eggs for his tea and he can go without the mincemeat I went to the trouble of boiling for him…

Just like eggs are not all they are cracked up to be, neither is riding chickens.


It was the month of May, in May it was all about the Hebe with the white flowers but look at how the white flowers have fallen with all the delicacy of an Edgar Degas dance class…

And so too will the other Hebe beside it have its purple patch…

But I’m waiting with the Hibiscus for the Hibiscus to shine


Here’s my real Guru, the real Guru, Gussie, I’ve learned everything I know from him, how to eat when I’m hungry, not eat when I’m not, how to live with the light being turned off…how to close my eyes when I’m tired and go to sleep…

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of Facebook again and I am no time at all back on it, it’s a wall for me, a wall with no holes or hope of glory, a white washed wall of a public toilet in a public house I would have been barred from when I was drinking, a wall where you leave your number scrawled like a dare…


It’s you and me both, it’s you and me both Brother… Goodnight Gussie…

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