I read my name on a binder that was yours 

An age or two ago 

There was a smiley face but it wasn’t mine 

Because in those days I never smiled

And these days I don’t either 

So I guess not much has changed

Except you’re older 

And I’m older 

And you don’t write my name on your binder anymore 


No Salvation Only Sometimes Comfort

No Salvation Only Sometimes Comfort 

We live in a sprawling museum of taxidermy and photo prints

Where everything is fake smile

And profile pic

And we don’t look good

Except when we’re posing for mementos of holiday bliss

Under waxwork fake tan

On an artificial beach

A glossy spectacle of

Signifier and surface

Where nothing is really gold anymore

Sure, we’ve got fools gold, gold plaiting, rose gold

But these aren’t celebrated for what they are

But as what they might be mistaken for

We live on the surface of the world and get buried in its pores

Beneath its plastic surgery addiction

Its concrete implants

Because everything is plastic now

Even money

Even gold

No more authentically a forest than a teak panel

No more bark of ugly face

Everything is whitewashed

And made-up

And faux-designer

And we all know we’re better than each other

So I stay inside my artificial ecosystem where

There’s a million channels to flick through

A million sites to visit

And still I suspect none of them will hold the answer I’m looking for.






Rose Gold

Rose Gold 

rose gold is 75% gold

21% copper

and 4% silver

and I thought that was pretty good

but you just looked at me, deflated,

your hand rusting in mine,

with opal disappointment glinting in your eyes,

and said you wanted something purer

than the 18 karats I could muster

Things You Didn’t Expect To Be Told To Expect When Electing To Undertake An Intro To Philosophy Course

  1. There exists an approximate venn diagram with: art students and beautiful stoners on one side; pedantic neckbeards, mmorpg-players who bring their Nintendo Switchs to class, and armchair physicists on the other. It’s probably best to fall in the first category and sit at the back in your ironic Korn t-shirt smelling of sativa if you wanna get laid. If you want good grades and to personally hector the lecturer into early retirement and grey-haired horizons of gardening away stress, the latter is your option. It really depends on what you want. If you fall somewhere in the overlap you’ve got a pretty good chance of getting decent grades and maybe even forging a personal relationship with the professor, so long as you keep to yourself and make an attempt at furthering class discussion when called upon. If you can’t work out where you sit, it’s probably in the latter category and you may wanna invest in some Lynx and shave your adam’s apple. Also, stop playing Bloons on your Iphone — you’re not and never will be the incarnation of master strategist Sun Tzu (most likely).
  2. No one has the right answer — some people just have more comprehensively wrong answers than others. If you find your hand in the sky and some erroneous analysis exiting your mouth, push on! Try to bend the thought around to its proper home using the lecturer’s pained facial expressions as a weathervane. See a microexpression of pleasure when you bring your thought in blurry cohesion with the week’s topic? Go on. Destroy his/her joy with a radically irrelevent and borderline inappropriate tangent.
  3. Talk about your personal life as much as possible, preferably in long-winded monologues that involve much um-ing and ah-ing and staring into the distance for the correct piece of vocabulary you wanna flex. You know what “postmodern deconstruction” means, or at least that it means something. You know it’ll sound mature to evaluate the merits of De Stijl as “an example of a perennial artform now outmoded through the flux of time’s relentless forward momentum”. You swear you’ve heard “Transcendental subjectivisim” somewhere, even if it was just when you were drunk after an O-week party and were actually reading a post-it on your door saying: “Sam, clean up after yourself. Everyone uses the house — cleanliness transcends just your subjective definiton of moving mouldy coffee cups from your desk to the kitchen.”
  4. Bring up unrelated philosophers that you know something about in weeks where that philosopher’s thought could not be more irrelevant. Yeah you read ‘Hell is other people’ on tumblr once. Use it big fella. Super effective when the quote is preceded by “it’s kinda like what x said”. Bonus points for misattribution. Don’t worry, we’re all novices in this discipline. It’s okay to confuse Hegel with Heidegger and Nietzche with Chuck Palahniuk. Just don’t claim Germaine Greer created the concept of Penis Envy and that Freud was an early progenitor of feminism.
  5. I know I uttered the words ‘borderline inappropriate tangent’ earlier, but in Philosophy 1101 classes there is no such territory. Wanna drop into the discussion of how we can’t be certain we’re not brains in vats an anecdote about the time you smoked cones with shamans during a visit to the Himalyan area and for all you know you could still be there now hallucinating this class? Do it. Imagination is approved, correctness and context-awareness are more optional. You’re in uni now, everyone treats you like an adult. Roll a ciggie in class, get up and go to the vending machine without asking for permission, say ‘fuck’ without lowering your voice conspiratorially. This isn’t totalitarian rule. That’s next weeks topic, and please read pages 68–130 of Hobbes’ Leviathan.
  6. Don’t do the readings, just sit down and wait for some conscientious person to summarise them to the class then raise your hand and say, “yeah, it struck me when doing these readings how similar Schopenhauer’s lack of appreciation during his life is to the time I was in Mexico with half a gram of coke in my boot sole and me and my mate were trying to convice the bouncer of this exclusive nightclub that we were Daft Punk.”
  7. Analogies are God, or at least an egotistical monarch. Philosophy is infintely complicated by language (word to Wittgenstein). When talking about abstruse concepts and definitions a well-hewn analogy can dispel innumerable confusions and prevent faux-pas like the misconception you’re racist, sexist, idiotic or simply a flawed human.
  8. There’s always room for a Rick and Morty reference. Similarly Fightclub, The Matrix, David Lynch movies and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind are generally apposite if a little reductive. (Beaudrillard wasn’t simply saying we live in a simulation, he was saying that simulation and reality have advanced to a stage where they’ve imploded into each other and differentiation is impossible. Kind of like trying to tell the difference between the Kardashians.)
  9. It’s okay to hate yourself, to truly and deeply loathe your entire complacent being, after an Intro to Practical Ethics course. In fact, if you don’t hate yourself and consider selling your car in favour of paragliding to class and adopting a diet of only raw pepitas for the rest of your adulthood you’re probably an insufferably ignoble assemblage of atoms not worthy of blowing around in the void.
  10. Yes, once you think you’ve mastered Western philosophy we will move on to Eastern Philosophy because Fuck you, the more you know the more you know you don’t know and the paler you get staying in your room underlining and re-underlining the same paragraph in The Critique Of Practical Reason.

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Bonus advice: don’t smell that guy’s dreads. Why did that even sound like a good idea?