THE ROBOT WITHIN (After Colin Wilson)

Anything that I can’t
be bothered
taking conscious control of,
the robot within
is more than happy
to autopilot.

The inner monologue,
the opinion forming,
the self-reflection;
they’ve all become
the robot’s dominion.

Kind of a “shock to the system”
to realise that,
without me even
being aware of it,
I have actually identified
as the robot quite a bit.

Although, I am
starting to recognise
a few of the clues;
like whenever the world
appears as nothing more
than a mechanism to be
and maintained;
that’s a dead giveaway
that the robot
is owning a controlling share
of my perception.

Here’s why a breakdown
isn’t really the worst thing;
it provides an opportunity
to wake up to such indicators.

Problem is,
you know that robot
ain’t gonna surrender control
of the faculty
quite as effortlessly
as he assumed it,
and you definitely don’t want to
switch him off
because you need him
for all of those complex
little biological processes,
so many of which are going on
from moment to moment,
that it really is the true
definition of awesome,

and makes you glad
he’s not your enemy.



When he was reaching his last days,
my grandfather was at the point
where he couldn’t even remember who I was.
You would think this might have made me sad
but quite the contrary.

You see, he and I had some
uncomfortable history.

When I was a kid
everything between us was just hunky-dory
and we had quite a bit of that
grandfather grandson kind of fun,
so the going was always easy
and I always looked forward to seeing him.

Fast-forward fifteen years
and all he saw before him
was a young man with long hair
who was still acting
like an entitled child.

From then on nearly everything
he said to me was in a scornful tone.
One such occasion was when
he decided to probe me
about the handmade Peruvian
shoulder bag I was wearing;
you know, like, “Why are you
carrying a purse?” kind of thing.

Dementia was like an angel
who wiped the slate clean of all of that.

Also, it made our conversations much more memorable.

Where all the others would persist in their efforts
to remind him of the facts,
I would just roll with whatever his version of reality was.
Where others would say “Oh, really!” in that
condescending tone of a parent talking down to child,
I would make further inquiry
and marvel at his brain’s capacity
to effortlessly substitute
the gaps in his memory
with much more interesting
versions of events.

It was like having a lesson
on how our brains are hard-wired
to mythologise the self.

Was he speaking to me from a higher plain of being?

“I’m Les, by the way. What’s your name?”
“Nice meeting you, Graham.”
“Likewise, Les, and I would like to hear more
about the fire which caused
the ward to be evacuated this morning
as well as the over-arching conspiracy
to keep you locked up in this place
when there’s obviously nothing at all
wrong with you,
but I have to go now,
so maybe next time?”


Recent Experiments in Style and Technique

Female Portrait in B and W 001 for web

Pensive Face

Oil on Oil Painting Paper


With this technique I am attempting to minimalise detail, and use the graphic power of  intense lighting in black and white. It is very inspired by the expressions on Byzantine mosaic portraits. Also you will notice the enlarged eyes and the closeness to the eyebrows.

Left hand 1 001 for web

Left hand #1

Acrylic on Panel


This is my first try at using a palette knife. I did end up using a little brush work as well. The idea is that it will be easier on my rheumatism, and strain the hand less than using a brush. Also, it should allow me to incorporate a more expressionistic style. My left hand was the obvious subject matter.


What does it mean to “Heal”?

The etymology of the the word Heal, as posted in the online etymology dictionary reads as follows:

heal (v.) Look up heal at Dictionary.comOld English hælan “cure; save; make whole, sound and well,” from Proto-Germanic *hailjan (cognates: Old Saxon helian, Old Norse heila, Old Frisian hela, Dutch helen, German heilen, Gothic ga-hailjan “to heal, cure”), literally “to make whole,” from PIE *kailo- “whole” (see health). Intransitive sense from late 14c. Related: Healed; healing

It’s important to consider that many healing methodologies pit the person against their illness, which enforces duality:

Song Share: China Girl, David Bowie

Well, his passing hasn’t really sunk in, but I started thinking about which of his songs would be my favourite, which I couldn’t, but this one has some great symbolism, to do with heroin addiction ( a recurring them in his music).

My own little re-appropriation is to have it refer to the Chinese arts, in particular, Chigong, for example:

“…and when I get excited

my little China girl says

Oh baby, just you shut your mouth.

She says