Sketch for a Theory of Persistent Passions iii

Show me something different, Mr Penman! she expressed. I want a look into what they see, what I don’t. Also, show me what they don’t see, what you won’t let them. Show me a little more than you’ve ever let any get a glimpse of. Show me all! she continued.

But how is that even possible? he responded.

It’s simple, just be open and honest. Can’t believe you’d even ask such a question? Not everything has to be philosophical, you know?

I’ve always been open and honest but then when I am they are quick to conclude I’m less than human, as though I don’t have any feelings.

Is that why you can’t commit? Sometimes there is such a thing as being a bit too honest. I can see why some may think your attitude towards ‘love’ is reprehensible. Maybe that’s why you’re still single, she remarked.

But I’m already committed, he retorted.


Well, ever since I picked up a pen as a little man
finding myself doing it again and again
and I still do it now as I did it then, way back when… not that it makes a difference
but as
long as there is blood in my veins and ink in my pen…
even if they don’t check back in
for many years
they can still return and find me here
keeping it moving, improving, ’til I’m on top of my game
that’s what I’m committed to.

There’s more to life than that, you know? That sort of self-centred existence can’t be right!

Right takes many forms, but has one essence. And the essence of love in my understanding is creation. Isn’t that what it’s about? Ultimately, we all just want what we can’t live without and I can definitely live without the overprescribed kind of love, but my craft – that I really can’t live without. Nothing gives me more pleasure and satisfaction…

Still, doesn’t sound much like a purposeful life. As a matter of fact, it just seems a waste of energy to me. Can’t you see you’ve lost all sense of direction?

Direction, unlike energy, is not subject to the law of substance and consequently not a measurable magnitude.



There you go theorizing again.

Well, nothing cannot give everything meaning so I prefer exploring. And if someday my poems reveal my true passions or someone finds them of some use or the work makes an impression that lasts and becomes art then that’d be a great result but I don’t expect much, just as the kelp ash from the accidental combustion of sea-weed on a sandy beach never intended to give rise to the use of glass…

Alas! I did ask you to show me but I didn’t expect you’d actually let me see through you.

© Heath Muchena, 2016

Portia Galactica viii

my heart was open to a change of mind
but as things stood I just had to leave her behind

and since pleasure is the standard of choice
I had to enjoy mine, hard as it was to resist our electric chemistry…

and the sweet seduction of her voice
that upon auditory perception drew me to her
with the natural affinity of sexual chemotaxis

but even a fraction contains infinity
so although I felt incomplete without her
I still had to find my forever

I had to keep moving to my tune
trying to make sense of the universe…

this mysterious perpetuum mobile

© Heath Muchena, 2016

The Lewd Life of Lucian Landsdowne vi

Setting: Lansdowne’s Living Room
Personae: Sir Lucian; and his physician, Dr Shaw

she’s married Lucian, surely that can’t be right

tired of hearing you go on and on about that old phenomenon of sentiment
tell me something different
something new

I just think you’re being overly self-indulgent

it’s not so simple, Shaw! quite a sophisticated situation actually

why won’t you just come out and tell the truth, you’re the poet!
wasn’t it Matthew Arnold who wrote that “poetry is nothing less than the most perfect speech of man, that in which he comes nearest to being able to utter the truth”?

that is no lie and that is why I’ve always kept close to mind that Van Dyke line “help me to deal very honestly with words and with people because they are both alive“
that’s what I try to do
and I promise you that is the truth, it’s complicated!
we didn’t plan this, things sort of just happened, you know… one thing led to another and the next…

that’s beside the fact… someone is still bound to end up getting hurt

well, that could well be true but I have no regrets
and yes, of course there’s always a degree of risk
but that’s with everything, love is no different

you call that love?

you really want to discuss definitions?

all right then – forget it

you’re always so quick to assume my feelings are disengaged

need I mention the historical basis for my presumptions?

trust me, I’m actually quite invested in this
and I’m not gon’ let you make me out like I’m some self-satisfying…

not my intention…

stop mocking me then, this is serious, man!
you make it seem like I’m Bismarck – forging a telegram to stir up a war – only to brag about it in my memoirs or something… but it’s really nothing like that… I care about her

all right then, I apologise

you want to know what that sweet lady said to me last?

what did she say?

“you more than made my day, you’ve made your way into my heart and there you shall forever stay”

is that so? and what about her man?

something about… ties of unfulfilled obligations
they have an understanding
didn’t bother going into the depths of their arrangements
besides, it’s not really my place

and what does she make of your having been a bachelor your whole life…
or did she not bother asking about your past sexcapades either?

probably best for us both – not disclosing much…
else we’ll end up getting attached

© Heath Muchena, 2016

heaven of a night

she said:
tonight you forget about her, about them
they can try for what they want
after I get what I need

to which he replied:
you always have me
and never need to bid

girls have toys too, you know?
and you’re mine, lover boy!

you’re not coy
and I love the way you take control

well, come closer then
I’ll take you to heaven
and when the sun rises in the morn’
you’ll beg me stay and never to earth return!

then she proceeded to take off the crimson lingerie she was wearing
and like a brimstone butterfly on a bed of spring primroses she laid there
looking immaculate… beautiful!

her skin, her scent, everything…
sent his endorphins into a frenzy
that even the package in his pants he could not keep from protraction

make love to me
so I’m forever in your memory
to inspire more pithy poetry…

oh yes, I have no doubt tonight will inspire more compendious compositions!

and so they spent the night in ecstasy

© Heath Muchena, 2016

To Live & Die Today

Profiles as with anything promotional are mostly the sum of past endeavours portrayed in a positive light; and the trend today sees those of many, who are considered to be of some distinction or other, rise or at least peak at the point of existential demise.

Perhaps that is to be expected since these are not the times of the Tahitians when the name of the powerful was considered taboo and not to be hailed until the panjandrum had died. Today, they will even pay so that you talk about nothing but they.

The predicament of this age however, is that glory as with legacy, is only posthumously attainable for as long as you live they will not excuse your shortcomings.

So to those who seek prestige – that which exists only by exclusive inaccessibility; or worse those who seek so-called pure artistic appreciation and all kinds of aesthetic variables – which tend to go beyond the fame and fortune often afforded the successful….

For those who wish to teach, be a little foolish and share but have wisdom enough to accept that even with many modes of communication, our species has not yet discovered how to reach another’s soul – if that is at all possible.

And worry not, since every possibility of thought, brought or sought, is not within the feasibility of exploit.

As for most of what you are taught or learn to desire, whether born of heredity or the peculiar print of your individuality, I say, make a conscious effort to ensure you don’t get caught up in the proliferation or pursuit of the mass projections which provide temporary delights but ultimately lead to vicarious displeasure and personal dissatisfaction.

But do, foremost, for the greatest good… finding virtue in gratitude so that you are able to secure what is sufficient for self, for if like I, you are a man of modest means, then surely your sustainability should be of greater importance than the association with the well to do and all that they approve.

© Heath Muchena, 2016

Talent Towers

the competition was stiff!
felt like I had entered the International Tchaikovsky Competition or some’fn…
before this, I was quite convinced I was exceptional I tell ya
such self-deceit that was
because the truth of it got quickly revealed as I found myself way in too deep…

at least the experience woke you up from your sleep


well, that’s the joie de vivre, guess you could say you’ve overcome the insuperable…

yes, and you know what else?
with all that seemingly superior talent in the room towering over me…
feeling so nano-
that’s when I realised that being inconnu is a blessing too

for it makes possible the discovery of that within you

that is true
because when wrapped up in your little world where you may be king of the castle,
wider view of that beyond the walls of your kingdom obstructed,
you tend to forget that public opinion is but a collection of disharmonious conclusions turned to general use – even if to your favour
and it can never be best measure…

I sure learned my lesson
and I hope to defy Emerson’s saying that ‘no change of circumstances can repair a defect of character’
because I truly am feeling and thinking anew after that encounter

well, why not…
wasn’t it Dewey who said that the ‘decisive direction of action constitutes choice’?

he sure did!
so I’m making a choice to take that loss as a gain,

obviously not pecuniary but possibly of greater value,
that is if my epiphanies mould my Character into one better…
as a matter of fact, I prefer that over the monetary
for it’s the most enduring of all currencies

well, one always has a preference even when he has no choice
but as long as you abide by your newly found truths
suffice it to say you just may…

© Heath Muchena, 2016


Gain is a form of pleasure to which most action or feeling is directed.

© Heath Muchena, 2016

The Conflicted Life of Cocky Humble viii

Setting: Humble Studios
Personae: Cocky Humble, a sculptor; Sonia, his longtime lover and business manager

I thought you said I’d never have to go to another of these dinners again
now you got me looking all swanky in this Ozwald Boateng

you like it then?

I can’t complain

excellent! now you just need to work on a little attitude adjustment
because I really need you on your A game tonight babe

yes, of course! I’m with you dear… anything to keep the bills paid

great. so I need not remind you…

again and again…

I’m just saying…
‘sides it’s not gon’ take long. but they did request your attendance.
and I think for you to be there present is a fairly reasonable expectation… you know, just so they can ascertain you are indeed fit for the task, because let’s face it… it is a massive commission

again and again and again…

just say-in’…

but isn’t there greater awe in the imagining
after all, what we make of ourselves and what others make of us
or vice versa is still imagined

that may well be true handsome…
can you give me a hand with this?

sure princess, let me…

oh, and please darling, if you’re going to tell a joke, at least… pleasee let it be of this epoch

oh! ah! so… but you always laugh at my jokes

yes, but they are a thing of taste… and one has to be habituated to fully appreciate your dry jest… I’m adjusted, but I’m not so sure…

well, what can I say… thanks you the compliment… or not

aww, look who is all in their feelings… it’ll be fine, you’ll be great, my perfect man!

I’m not… but guess what? I’m more than capable of keeping it current, pertinent, and all that… you’ll see!
and since we’re kind of in between the Holocene and the Anthropocene, I’ll be sure to keep my humour in line with that – edgy!

try fashionably balanced

and that it shall be! I’m ready. are you ready?

yeah, I’m ready

all round ready then, let’s get it over and done with!

© Heath Muchena, 2016


a change in the objective arrangements of our environment is necessary in order that habits which can bring about desired progress can be developed

© Heath Muchena, 2016

Raindrop Clock ii

I have a hold on you so long as I have you inside….
I’m fully aware of my power now and I know your weaknesses well

it is nature’s reserved right to exploit my instinctual vice, but when you do it… it’s nothing nice

well, I’m done playing nice!

oh sweet love, why make a fuss
look how heaven’s hand has decorated the sky
see the clouds, the creatures of flight…
when I leave our nest and fly… it’s nothing more than a search for a natural high
explorations of the truest heights at which to live life

true that would be
if not corrupted are your deeds… how do you expect to have met – theirs and my needs?
true that would be
if you couldn’t be brought down to earth
but false I’d be if I do not make you see that nothing measures up to a true woman’s worth

that is why my dear, to your kind I dedicate… all my life’s work

but do you even realise that my heart is marked, covered in cicatrices… all because of your other ties?

you know that I am the progeny of a polygamous tribe

yes, I get that… a genetic curiosity… be that as it may, I still believe that self-control is the way of gentility and the path to dignity.
and so this too I have to say… that your affairs you no longer have to hide because now I realise my power, or better still, the power of my flower; the same that keeps you coming back like a beetle to pollinate this here my Victoria amazonica… I know now how precious, royal…

say no more, that much I know and from hereon I assure… I’ll be loyal

© Heath Muchena, 2016