Naked and spectacular

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The Maori Jesus, by James K. Baxter (1966)

I saw the Maori Jesus
Walking on Wellington Harbour.
He wore blue dungarees.
His beard and hair were long.
His breath smelt of mussels and paraoa.
When he smiled it looked like the dawn.
When he broke wind the little fishes trembled.
When he frowned the ground shook.
When he laughed everybody got drunk.

The Maori Jesus came on shore
And picked out his twelve disciples.
One cleaned toilets in the Railway Station;
His hands were scrubbed red to get the shit out of the pores.
One was a call-girl who turned it up for nothing.
One was a housewife who'd forgotten the Pill
And stuck her TV in the rubbish can.
One was a little office clerk
Who'd tried to set fire to the Government Buildings.
Yes, and there were several others;
One was an old sad quean;
One was an alcoholic priest
Going slowly mad in a respectable parish.

The Maori Jesus said, "Man,
From now on the sun will shine."

He did no miracles;
He played the guitar sitting on the ground.

The first day he was arrested
For having no lawful means of support.
The second day he was beaten up by the cops
For telling a dee his house was not in order.
The third day he was charged with being a Maori
And given a month in Mount Crawford.
The fourth day he was sent to Porirua
For telling a screw the sun would stop rising.
The fifth day lasted seven years
While he worked in the asylum laundry
Never out of the steam.
The sixth day he told the head doctor,
"I am the Light in the Void;
I am who I am."
The seventh day he was lobotomized;
The brain of God was cut in half.

On the eighth day the sun did not rise.
It didn't rise the day after.
God was neither alive nor dead.
The darkness of the Void,
Mountainous, mile-deep, civilized darkness
Sat on the earth from then till now.

I had a nervous breakdown in San Francisco

In a world of love and money, I went crazy in San Francisco.

Golden Gate Park opened up and held me like a womb.  The abundance of Whole Foods fattened my lonely days and emotionally complex and confusing emails from loving friends brought sobbing tears into my nights.  I could smell the eucalyptus all around me in my cave of tree and vine, their fallen leaves and bark were my carpet and they covered my bags when I went out for the day.

The mist fell on me like a veil of death, a gift from the whole planet.  "Thank you for the heavy veil of tech culture," the mist seemed to say, "in return I shroud you in an endless fog that no messiah will save you from."

I searched for love in the best possible place.  A void opened up around my friend and I and we took the opportunity to dance around in that void, failing to anticipate the clutter that had been left there, invisibly.  We yearned for the love that we knew was there, we tasted and smelled that love.  It was sweet, tender, funny, but the void sucked us in, like an enormous vacuum vagina, emotionally inescapable.

There was no way we could dance our way out of this womb.  My great wordsmithing was useless.  We were latched on to an umbilical conduit of anxiety and shame.  I ate the shame, I slept with the shame, I looked at it every time I closed my eyes.

I would visit the San Francisco Public Library every day and disappear into mezzanines of serpents and temptations and false gods walking through gardens and a lost paradise.

I would spread myself via Facebook into little wi-fi rooms all over the planet, through the monitors of people who admire and love me, into their distant hearts.

I would shamefully look over the cliff-face to the lower floors to see desperate angry library patrons yelling at staff or into their phones.  I would see the uniformed security team come up, try to talk to them, grab their arm, grapple and grip against the struggle and escort the unacceptable lunatic out of the building into a different unsafe adventure in the city.

I would stay until the library closed, always too early, and step out into the falling darkness and cold, before the fog rolled in.  I would sneak into the back of the bus, crowded thick with Capitalists, stinking of alcoholic fragrances, the glare of iPhone light, descending towards the ocean, past the park.  I would step off the bus by the rose garden, past the log cabin and into the eucalypts.

Maybe the fog would roll in with me at the rose garden, maybe it would wake me in the night with heavy droplets falling from the leaves far above me.  Already nestled in my sleeping bag, I would pull the blue tarp over my body and tuck it under my sleeping mat.  In my plastic womb I would be warm and safe and dark, to breathe and sleep and dream.


It is obvious that it is government and industry are what we need to be protected from, so their protection is superfluous and their sovereignty entirely dependent on our consent and participation. We need to progressively and permanently withdraw our consent and participation in certain small and real ways while maintaining this extremely important dialogue and sharing information. We need to entirely withdraw from all corporate media if we want to have a truly informed decision, and instead look to the world and to each other as sources of information and new perspectives. Independent documentaries are currently a pertinent form of intelligent media. As we watch our governments deteriorating we realise the importance of learning from Syria and Egypt, because at some point, unless they relinquish their power voluntarily, there will be a point at which their behaviour is generally considered so unacceptable that action will be inevitable. What can we learn in the meantime? Building community is clearly the central task. Only by building community will we not only be able to stand strong in defense of what is important, but we will be able to make decisions as a community. Individuality is a myth. Humans are social animals. We cannot live healthy satisfying lives unless we are serving social interests.