There’s a hashtag going around the interwebs that says Never Not Working.  I’m trying to decide whether or not that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I guess if your work and your play are one and the same thing, then yeah, never not working fits. That’s the holy grail of self-employment, to have your work and your play so intertwined that people can’t tell whether you’re working or playing.

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This drawing is available as a sticker or postcard.

 

Sometimes I get myself so excited about things that my brain freezes up like a 286 computer trying to run a Windows 10. I’m too hyped to meditate, so the next best thing is to take a long walk or a cold shower. Because of time restraints, I opted for the cold shower. That at least cleared enough space for me to sit down and write this blog post.

Last night, I had the pleasure of doing another pop-up radio session. This time with Mister Networker, Gary Jones of @LeamingtonHour. I was also one of the interviewees. I’m usually the one doing the interviews! You’ll be able to listen to it on Wednesday.

Oh and the lovely Taylor-Louise Thomas was on-hand to provide the music for the evening.

And lastly, here’s another drawing I made for you:

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You can buy the sticker or postcard here.

She reminisced in my name. Fire, meltdown
and the sanity they let lose in a tangled
abstract fantasy of post apocalyptic let down.

She reminisced in the attic for the wind,
the damned, and the free. Her shadow slipped
further. Soft she lay as the boys came for her body.

She looked to reach them in their sleep.
One by one they came inside her, cuddled
her body like the damned carry sheep.

They wouldn’t reminisce in her beauty
took her dress for rags, her hair for
loose strands of braided hopelessness.

She reminisced in the darkness. No longer
lonely, a mystic fastened like clockwork,
I never tried to see her face.

Here’s an excerpt from my poetry collection, A Thousand Bullets Gone Astray:

all the paths i could travel

All the paths I could
travel are pointing me
in 360 directions

Which path I choose
is hard for me
to imagine.

If I move in one direction
the circle collapses and
my path becomes fixed

I can’t help but wonder
what would happen if
I chose another path

Where would that one lead me
What would I be giving up
What would I become?

You can be or do anything
you want, so the words go
and that’s true.

The problem isn’t lack
of choice; it’s too much
choice that spends my head

Which path to choose I
cannot tell, so I stand still
keeping the circle in tact.

BONUS Excerpt:

jane doe

it’s cool she said,
put your hand on
my thigh

ordinarily I would
comply, but you see
i don’t know her name

she smiles, shifts in
her seat, asks: ‘how
about my toe?’

i say, ‘I don’t know
is this a game?’

you’re cute, she says
but just the same, can
you massage my back?

she moves her hair
aside to make room
for my hands

before long we’re
in the sack, i still don’t
know her name

she came just the same
called me a girl’s name

shannon i think it was
or maybe heather

i forgot when she
broke out the leather

the things she did
with a feather made
me come like a cannon

the sun chases
the moon
from the sky

she slips on
her dress, kisses my
nipple and says
good-bye

i beg for more

too late

she closes
the door

i try to call her
but i don’t know
her name

now I see her
everywhere, the
bus, the train
the crowded shops
and playing fields

she even turned up
once at a school recital
in a black bridal dress
made of leather with
strips of feathers
around her waist

now every girl i see
that looks like her i
want to run and ask:

are you the one
who left me in bed
rummaging through
every female name
in my head looking
for one that would fit
you?

they shake their heads
no and scurry away
in haste,

no wait, don’t go
are you my jane doe?

You can order the full book or ebook here.

Already clustered full,
my morrowed eyes looked
beyond her vintage lips.

Can we breathe, once again,
marked and boundless, a broken
wing, crushed by ignorance.

I could have wandered on,
lived my life asleep like
an old door.

I never really understood
why she said she could only
hate what she should love.

It seems to me that when you destroy the ego, life becomes infinitely more accessible. When you destroy the ego you are no longer bound by labels and your identity becomes free of attachments. I’ve done a lot of work to free my identity from attachments. In doing so, I found my worldview to be much more flexible.

Labels still continue to haunt me. People, that is other people, seem to need me to have a label so they know how to relate to me, whether that’s to help them decide if they want to be my friend or to buy something from me. But as a much wiser man than me said, “if you label me, you negate me.” And so for a long time I resisted labels. But that was when I falsely attached the label to my ego which was attached to my identity. Kill the ego and the label has nothing to attach itself to. Now the labels don’t matter to me. I can put them on and take them off like a t-shirt.

I thought this was an interesting topic to explore so I asked my co-host Sarah the question on the latest episode of our podcast, The Havana Cafe Sessions.

Have a listen:

I’ve just finished reading a book called Future Shop by visionary entrepreneur, Daniel Nissanoff. It’s a bit outdated if you take into consideration the fast changing pace of technology. I’m saying that and it was only 10 years ago that it was published, but 10 years in tech speak is like 10 lifetimes!

The two companies that Nissanoff talks most about are eBay and Amazon, both of which are still Internet powerhouses. They’ve evolved a lot since Nissanoff wrote the book, but the philosophy behind what he’s writing about is still pretty sound.

From Main Street to the upper echelons of society, we are beginning to accept and will soon vigorously adopt a new lifestyle one, predicated on the norm of temporary ownership and marked by the continual replacement of our personal possessions. Owning and selling things secondhand will become second nature. I like to think of this practice as “auction culture,” because it’s the auction platform that has been the catalyst. But whatever label ultimately sticks, this transition will have a profound impact on our culture and values.

This shift will redefine socially accepted norms of consumer buying and selling behaviour.  We will soon live in a world where the norm is to sell our iPods after using them for a year.  Or to sell our expensive Jimmy Choo shoes after wearing them twice.  Mobile phone companies will automatically send us the newest, most high-tech mobile phone every six months.  We’ll essentially be leasing Rolex watches instead of buying them.

I like Nissanoff’s idea of the “auction culture.” And once upon, I was big into this culture, mostly selling knick-knacks and collectibles I found at garage sales and thrift shops on eBay. This was back when I was living in the States. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure held true. My best ever deal was buying a Matchbox car for .25 cents and selling it for $49 dollars! I didn’t seem  to have the same experience here in the UK and sort of drifted away from eBay. I still have a garage full of stuff that we carted over here in our moving boxes.

I have been dipping my toe back into the eBay scene. It has changed a lot. In fact, when I went on the other day, it hardly seemed like eBay at all. I was used to an eBay that traded predominately in secondhand goods. Now it seems that eBay is moving more towards Amazon and creating an online retail market instead of a pure auction site. The homepage of eBay looks like a catalog of new stuff. I wanted the junk stuff like you might find at a garage sale. You can still find that stuff on eBay, but you have to do a deep dive into the site to find it.

Someone asked Gary Vaynerchuk if he thought eBay was becoming irrelevant. I think his answer was great. He said eBay was innovating in the direction of Amazon, but in doing that, have created a gap for a new company that fills the space eBay left – a place for purely secondhand stuff.

According to Nissanoff, the average household has about £1,000 worth of unused/unwanted stuff lying around their house. I know I have quite the tech graveyard in my house, plus a lot of things that looked like a good idea at the time I bought them, but are now collecting dust.

I was hoping to make good on reclaiming my “£1,000” but am not wholly confident that my secondhand stuff will make it through the noise of all the discounted, wholesale new stuff to be had on eBay these days.

If you know of an auction site that resembles the eBay of the mid 90’s, let me know. Or if you want to take that Gary Vee challenge with me and found a startup auction site that deals exclusively in secondhand goods, give me a shout.