Wednesday, 11 February 2015

A little teaser from Tuesday Suicide; (c) James WF Roberts ……Year of the Voice 1500—22-09—2013—04:15….

A little teaser from Tuesday Suicide;

(c) James WF Roberts
……Year of the Voice 1500—22-09—2013—04:15….

…….I remember the archives in Temple Prime, a very long time ago. I was always curious about the Great Conflict, the end of the last days. When the war began, none of us, none of them saw it coming. Extremist religious terrorists, eroded away what was left of the respect of religion, after financial corruption, paedophile priests, sex-hungry swamis, Rabbis living in denial of their own sex crimes against children. Humanity’s faith in politicians had waned. All over the planet one-term leaders, and governments not running to even a full term, had severely damaged what was left of politics, leadership and heroism.

Corporations became the rulers of society. Our new G-ds, everything on the screen before us. Technology had made us weak, had made us lazy and obese. Spirituality, and the connection between the natural world and humanity had all but disappeared. Wage slavery—the tyranny of comfort. We’re all too high, too fat, too lazy, too drunk—we made the machines to do what we couldn’t be bothered doing. And the machines became our way of life.
Freedom fighters—another man’s terrorist, we’re all living in a video game world. Terrorists desensitized sine puberty—violence is arousal. Sex is power. Arousal is violence. Women are slaves. Children are indifferent. The big bad scary world, we all had to hide from. We all had G-d on our screens 0101010101011010101—binary is the language of truth. The corporations took over, when there was nothing left. Civil wars broke out. Religions were banned across the globe. Freedom of speech eventually faded away into whatever was funny, hip, and cool—anything trending on social media was the gospel of the day. Everything crumbled into oblivion.
Sex and religion were outlawed in the early years of the age of the Voice. What had woken me up? What had made me think of blood and lust and violence? That’s right it was that long dark haired girl parading on the screen. The girl with guns and a dirt streaked face—what was her name? What was the word she called me? Prophet?

What does that word mean, I have never heard it used before in anything, in any of the sacred texts, or anything in the in the forbidden archives. My skin was hot, my body boiling. Muscles I have never felt before started pulsating and writhing. The muscle in between my legs was becoming alive. But that couldn’t be I hadn’t been given permission to use it, or to be allowed to think of using it. The iron guard will be here soon….they will punish me if I have transgressed.

The temptation alarm was still sounding, as the Iron Guards entered my compartment, I knelt down in respect for our sparkling defenders of the Voice of the Golden Tower. Within minutes I was secured. Placed in shackles, and an electric collar, kneeling, still I proclaimed the Rite of Faith, “before the Voice ¹ there was nothing. Humanity was lost, doomed by its own greed, lust, power and avarice. The Voice ¹ was pure, loving and warm. It saved the collective consciousness known as the Human Race from destroying itself. Religion, Politics, Art, Sex, Wealth and Family—all these institutions were a distraction. A corruption of the purest state of mind, one can have. One thought. One action. Right thought. Right action. All must love the Voice ¹.

Humanity was not fit to think for itself. Individualism is the first sin, the first crime against the Voice ¹. Independent thoughts, actions, beliefs—feelings were the cause of all the horrors man—humanity, inflicted upon itself. In the void of the intellect, that possessed human kind there was chaos. There was tumult and anxiety.

Before Voice ¹ there was nothing pure in the world. disease, famine, war, pestilence. The Voice begat purity and all of man became whole. No division of ideology. No division between beliefs or convictions. All was whole. Thanks only to the .Voice ¹ We must praise the Voice ¹—the one true and everlasting Voice ¹ . The Voice ¹ all knowing. The Voice ¹ is my heart. The Voice ¹ is my soul. All around us is the Beautiful City. The Beautiful, heavenly endless City. The City is Golden. The Voice ¹ is God. All must obey the Voice ¹ . The Voice ¹ is Mother—Father Proper. The Voice ¹ created all Man and Woman. So that the God_ Voice ¹ would have all the love in its creation. There is nothing greater 

Another Empty Night (c) James WF Roberts

Another Empty Night
(c) James WF Roberts 


Another empty night
comes closing in.
shadows on the wall
remembering your shape
my bed still smells of you
all this time later.

Every song
we danced and sung
and show we watched
every book we discussed
now haunts me on the shelf.

Emptiness of the house
mocks me, eternally.


Fire burns
desire churns
in and out of me
how many drugs
can I take
to emulate
how you felt,
how you touched?

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Legacy of Light.. Nivedita Lakhera

Legacy of Light...

By Niv

Leave me legacy of light
That climbs from your heart
& shines through my eyes
As elegant North Star
& also know the touch of you
Has wrapped my Sufi soul
In safe heaven of memories
& that's where I belong...


02/07/2015

Nivedita Lakhera

Born and brought up midst words in New Delhi, I was passionate about dance, science, literature, music and arts. I have been writing since I got hold of speaking in full sentences. Trained as a MD Internal Medicine, I have been satisfying passion of caring for people via science, As I choose to care for soul through poetry and arts! For me compassion and beauty will be the most sacred & honest guiding force in life while arts, literature, music most rewarding & forgiving companion… Hope you enjoy slice of my soul – my poems…

Thursday, 5 February 2015

REVIEW: POPULAR PROBLEMS LEONARD COHEN

 REVIEW: POPULAR PROBLEMS LEONARD COHEN
 BY James WF Roberts


"an  album of harmonic disharmony.  Of quiet introspection, thunderous anger, sexy grooves and powerful imagery.Cohen's latest masterpiece".


So we all know the story by now, Leonard Cohen had pretty much retired and went off to live the life of Zen Buddhist, well semi-retired, what true artist can really retire at any age? His former lover and financial manager Kelley Lynch (not the actress Kelly Lynch); legal action ensued Cohen was the victim of harassment and Lynch’s stalking and death threats etc…etc…etc…and ever since Cohen has been revitalised and become more relevant than he has been in years. I had the pleasure of seeing him in action at Rod Laver Arena in 2013. 2012 he released Old Ideas, not my most favourite of his works. But, in 2014 he released Popular Problems…and WOW!

 This is an album of harmonic disharmony.  Of quiet introspection, thunderous anger, sexy grooves and powerful imagery.

 A solid and rhythmic, down and dirty arpeggio, makes your foot start tapping. The gruff, old  voice of Cohen, doing his best Waits impression, begins in his usual sing-speak style,  I'm slowing down the tune/I never liked it fast…..“It’s not because I’m old/ It’s not what dying does/ I always liked it slow/ Slow is in my blood.” 

 Slow, is the deep breath before the plunge in Leonard Cohen’s latest album, Popular Problems—and he is hitting his straps in this album, stronger and darker than he has for a very a long time.  There’s a joyful sleaziness to this track…it’s basically saying why race to the end, when we can fuck til dawn?
 The  bright bluesiness of Slow, soon moves into Almost Like the Blues, dark emotive, passionate,  melancholic, an almost fin de siecle style song, an anthem, a requiem for modern life. The piano and rhythm introduction of this track reminds me of Nick Cave’s,  As I Sat Sadly By Her Side.  The song is full of references to civil war, ethnic cleansing, atheism, a great un-nerving despair of the modern age, obsession, lost love, decaying spirituality.  Cohen is back in form superbly in this album, especially in this track, it harks back to other previous masterpieces like Democracy, First We Take Manhattan; and the two brilliant Cohen tracks on Natural Born Killers, Waiting for a Miracle and the future—I always think Cohen is at his best when he is channelling both sympathetic viewer and doomsday prophet, if not the devil himself.

“I saw some people starving/There was murder, there was rape/Their villages were burning/They were trying to escape/I couldn’t meet their glances/I was staring at my shoes/It was acid, it was tragic/It was almost like the blues”.



However, Cohen’s wry self-mocking sense of humour is never far from anything he does.  In this song he is using all of the weapons of his still unbelievable poetic arsenal, in the middle of this track we get another brilliant Woody Allen-esc piece of self-mockery,  after a dark display of violence: “There’s torture and there’s killing/And there’s all my bad reviews/The war, the children missing/Lord, it’s almost like the blues”
Cohen is still waging war on his own identity,  stripping back the curtain of failed love affairs, seeking truth like he usually does. But, there is an anger in his songs that he usually shows a little more subtly.   Born In Chains; is another masterstroke, another modern Solomon-like psalm of the plight of the Jews and dare I say anyone who is oppressed.

“I was born in chains but I was taken out of Egypt/I was bound to a burden, but the burden it was raised/Lord I can no longer keep this secret/Blessed is the name, the name be praised”


 Cohen constantly uses romantic relationships  as a metaphor for civil war and vice-versa, and here again he is at the top of his game. I have always found it amazing that so many people don’t seem to understand the sensuality and the sexuality in Cohen’s work.  In fact even his style of delivery, usually in a very solid couplet form, that always reaches a predictable yet still surprising satisfying end-rhyme constantly has physicality as it rolls off the tongue.

This album is full of popular problems, (yes, I went there), and yet it is not preachy. Cohen is doing what a great artist does, he  poses questions, he shows conflicted and contradictory realities, but he doesn’t try to answer any of the questions he asks. Maybe he is leaving that up to all of us….this is not just  self-indulgent re-hashing of ideas from a once great now tired artist, (cough…cough Bob Dylan doing Frank Sinatra….yes that has really happened…I will be crucified for this line but, I don’t care. It just proves Dylan never really stopped smoking the green).

Great artists are always looking for new things to do, it is not just searching for relevance again, it is proving a point to yourself and to everyone else.  Just look at sir Paul McCartney’s latest track with Kayne West and Rhiannia ( I so thought I was stoned when I read that on twitter and so many of West’s fan thinking he was such a nice guy giving an oldie like Macca a break for his first hit track…google it…I am not making this up).

Some other great tracks on this album include Never Mind (which has a section sung in Arabic) which I feel tells of the disheartening complacency of the strife in Israel and in Syria; well pretty much anyone in conflict right now.  And the soul-searching, embittered love song, Did I ever Love you.  Cohen has many elements to his work and to his ideas. I have always respected his work and his ideas more than I have a lot of other people in the spotlight, say like Bono or Geldof; he doesn’t ram his message down your throat he lets his art speak for him—albeit sardonically and often ambiguously but that is what good art is.  He is not just a balladeer, or folky protest singer, a gospel singer or a jilted blues singer, respected poet or controversial novelist—he is more than the sum of his parts, as we all are. This album is probably the best exemplar of his talents he has revealed to the world for a very long time. It is amazing what constant world touring over the last few years, to retrieve his lost earnings has done to his song writing.  We should all be so lucky to be still as powerful and on our game is as Cohen is at 80 years of age.

Buy this album. Download it. Watch it. Have a listening party…do whatever you can but if you have never heard of Cohen besides the fact that everyone tries to be like him and rips off Hallelujah—listen to this album now.  And then do a retrospective listen to all of his other great works, in fact listen to all of his music and work read his poems, The Book Of Longing and his controversial and very sexy novel Beautiful Losers. Cohen is one of the 20th century artists people need to know and absorb—forger Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Allen Ginsberg and Leonard Cohen is all you need.