A Fragile Weight

If I say that there is a weight to being a man, then please don’t consider that a plea for sympathy. I am comfortable with the fragility of it, I accept that there are feminine and masculine aspects within me and I embrace them both. I enjoy being a man, but that comes from an awareness of how men are viewed, the misconceptions, the flaws that become monstrous without contemplation and also where denial of  any part of them leads to so much of horror that gets attributed to men. 

I would argue that it’s boys who cause so much of the damage. Boys who have grown older, but not necessarily up. Uncomfortable with solitude, unable or unwilling to reflect, to learn from wounds and negative experiences, lots of energy which appears charming but soon becomes unpleasant to deal with, it’s a set of behaviours that creates negative associations and interpretations. This however, is not an apology ( it’s not a longform version of the hashtag #notallmen) because that implies that being a man is somehow less and to me, it is not. 

The fragility and the weight serve as means of contemplation and I accept that because the trade off for me is all of the joy that comes from it. The rush of testosterone, the drive and the physicality of it, the rough places on my hands when I work outside, the way that I look in the mirror, I like the hair on me and my scent. 

I enjoy being a man, and it is not threatened by women asserting themselves. I welcome it. I want it. I am not scared or threatened by a woman asserting themselves, quite the opposite, I want it. I want to write about it. I want more women to embrace the wildness within themselves and I want them to have power because I want them to have the same responsibilities and it doesn’t take a single thing from me or any man if they do. 

A friend once said to me that more men should admit to crying and more women should admit to masturbation. It’s a good place to start and there are bones of contention within the argument, lots of language and projections that put us at odds with one another when we shouldn’t. Since writing about women, I have not, all of a sudden, come to love them. I always have but I know the why of it, I admire their struggles and their contradictions and the fire within them. I resent the forces that keep them from asserting their autonomy or their sexuality, and I admire the power of it. So many men are equal parts repelled and drawn to it, but again I think that it’s a boy behaviour rather than a man’s.



“Would you have…

“Would you have a great empire? Rule over yourself.” – PUBLILIUS SYRUS

I used to flail around, thinking I could change the world. I burned up vast resources of energy wanting to be liked by everyone. Then, when the world broke me, I let it go in favour of something better and more fulfilling. I focus on the important things in my life, one of them being myself. I’m not sure if that makes me a narcissist, but I believe in improving myself and working on the things that matter. My writing, my friendships and relationships, both old and new. Being here is part of that, because although you’re not all leaping out to interact with me, some of you are reading this and it’s important to feel listened to, although I do not need it, i welcome the chance to read and have people listen to the things I talk about on here. Thank you. You can only ever be you, so be the best version of it. 


On Being A Man

 I am rarely made to feel uncomfortable by anyone of any gender, and I am aware of this as I go through life. It doesn’t make me dismissive, I have women in my life and I loathe the idea of someone violating their space or diminishing them in any way at all. If it comes across my path, I will question it. I question myself and work on being a good man, I don’t do it for recognition or followers, I don’t want a pat on the back or anything for it. Being good is it’s own reward, and I do not need approval for it. A man, to me, does things because they are the right thing to do, if he’s wounded, he learns from it. I don’t feel giving women power takes anything away from me, but taking it from them does. I am not a white knight, nor an MRA, I am just a man. I want the best for everyone, and I am sorry that these things happen to any women. This isn’t a longform version of not all men, because that’s a defence mechanism which fails to address the issue.


Elliot Rodger

The video speaks of an immature narcissism that no amount of privilege could insulate him from. His actions were not capable or brave, this was not a warrior waging war, this was someone whose pathology found terrible purpose and now, in death, he has attention and his face is everywhere. There are seldom news stories about decent, kind men and women. No lover or friend has ever generated as much screen time as this man does. I hate what he has done, but I cannot hate him. We will learn more about him, but sadly we will be unlikely to learn anything from him. There are issues here that warrant discussion, consideration and contemplation but we will not. Instead, if you’re a man, consider those moments where you have felt rejected or isolated, where others have tried to help you and you could not see past the demons that live within you.

It would be easy to just see Rodger as an isolated incident but there are a great many boys like him ( I use the term boys because mature masculinity seldom goes for the tantrum in the way that a boy does). Speculation will not make anyone feel any better, there are grieving friends and family who have a life ahead of him that will be as much agony as any of us could imagine. This is not speculation, I could not guess to his motives beyond his own words.

He said that it wasn’t fair that women didn’t find him attractive. That he was the perfect guy. He spoke of how he deserved attention and did not get it, and instead of growing, of becoming a man through that time of ashes, and finding some manner of love within himself, he turned it sour and then turned it outward. No one considers themselves the villain and Rodger considered himself no different. I feel a deep grief for what he has done, and for those who have lost their lives. It appears that his mother did what she could, that law enforcement made an assessment that turned out to be, in light of subsequent events, incomplete and inaccurate. All that privilege, all that opportunity and at 22, still a long life ahead of him, had he the courage to endure that katabasis and come out of it stronger for it. Or at least found where he was wounded and learn from it, rather than let it destroy him.  The final bullet that he saved for himself, we will never know if he did so out of a desire to avoid explanation or in a moment of clarity, I cannot imagine it. There are horrors in the world, but it is important to remember that this is still a good world, and worth fighting for, as Hemingway said. 


Fuel and Circumstances

Clean enthusiasm works as fuel well but any emotional state can, with perspective and a willingness to follow it down to the unconscious truth can yield good work. Don’t wait to be inspired,  get the work done and develop an attachment to a process that stands right beside whatever you are feeling and uses it to sustain the work.  The struggling is noble only by duration and outcome. One day your sun will set for the last time,  lovers will leave and friends will betray you. If all that remains is the art,  then there’s nobility and power in  the knowledge that you can still show that nothing the world threw at you shook you from the work you made.  


Nine Inch Nails are an extension and an affirmation of Trent Reznor. He serves as an inspiration for me in the same way that Louis CK does, in that he pursues his own artistic vision,  made sacrifices and never compromised in pursuit of that.


Moving On Four Limbs

Let me take off my glasses,
Untie my shoes,
Unbuckle my belt,
Slough off this gentlemanly skin,
Because I know you see the beast
Beneath and you want to whisk,
Your fingers across the soft fur of my chest,
Look into my eyes and know that I wander into the architecture
Of your face and pray tribute,
To the goddess that I made of you,
As well as help you find the comfort,
In moving on four limbs rather than two.


Man In A Suit

The world is what you see it,
I see the faded cuffs and the burst stitches,
Of the suit,
The patch of hair on the throat that the razor missed,
Yet with that, hold the determination in his eyes,
The way that he holds his head up,
The way that the fibres in the silk of his tie,
Hold the endless number of sessions,
Making it perfect.
The dream in his steps that drives him ever onward.
See that we are all and more,
Disease and remedy in the same prescription.


The Face You Would Wear

It is never the make up,
Or the hair that you’ve spent hours on,
In the service of spontaneity,
It’s not the strength in your arms,
As I imagine, in hungry moments,
Wrapped around me,
It’s the intelligent light in your eyes,
A hunger that knows when to curtsey but wants to be let out,
Shivering at how the air would feel,
If it touched hungry skin,
That’s what I look for in you,
The promise that, if I touch you, taste you in the right way,
I could hear you speak in tongues,
Make fists with the sheets,
See the Kali come to play,
Make her wear your face,
As you would wear mine


Ideas and Concepts, Women

I have lots of ideas and concepts pop into my head but I am generally rigorous in whether they become projects or not. My interests prompt a lot of ‘what if’ scenarios, I think of archetypes and technological and moral questions, the representation of women is something I care about. And not just idealism in that respect. Women on the page and screen should be allowed to be wild. They should be allowed to smash barriers and break taboos. They should be beasts and monsters, take up space and throw punches. I find that a powerful question and I am drawn to the answers of that before concepts and it informs my work.