Community: New Moon in Sidereal Virgo

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Hope is not passive. Hope is not blah, blah, blah. Hope is telling the truth. Hope is taking action. And hope always comes from the people.

Greta Thunberg.

Would you rather be a Libra or an Aries? Have you of sidereal Virgo birth decided which season you were born in, or committed yourself, though energetically and impatiently, to a refined, compromising northern tribe? Somewhere in Web-Rot we have previously encountered the astrological migration southward of Indigenous Australians, and suggested that (a) our planet is divided into two astrological hemispheres by the declination of the Sun and whether noon shadows are falling north or south, and (b) that any meaning ascribed to the Vertex, where the Ecliptic intersects the Prime Vertical, must derive from the limits imposed by latitude, namely, the increasing angle of the Vertex with the zenith as distance from the Equator increases.

In other words, epiphany retreats south and north, according to hemisphere, into ever less mystical and more pusillanimous wish-fulfilment, until it exhausts itself in idealization and submission; or alternatively one could say, the limerent finally reaches a quarter-acre block and a triple-fronted brick-veneer. Mountebank, charlatan, you cry! How dare you draw a line between North and South Island of New Zealand, Tasmania and the mainland of Australia, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, the United States and Canada? Please, no offence intended: the atrophy of limerence is a good thing, isn’t it?

Community is the elephant in the room. Can community exist through Destiny’s Gate? Of course not, by its very nature, despite the fact we all yearn for something. Perhaps Bass Strait celebrates the division of two different tribes yearning for dry land. There is an undercurrent of anarchism among the opponents of compulsory vaccination, mandatory restrictions such as mask-wearing, and lockdowns. Two tribes are facing off. Prisoners of society, each resents being told what to do by the other, but fundamental to their antagonism is belief in community. Community is the original top-down concept of a balance of paranoia and relativity.

Conversely, the acquiescence of the majority in the removal of their liberty speaks to the tenuous nature of tribal relationships and the extent to which their neighbours have been replaced as helpers by experts, professionals and institutions. Ironically, people in lockdown are rediscovering their neighbourhood, while confronting the tribal fracture of multicultural community: unanimity abides about the need for the freeways, hospitals, airports and police forces whose ownership they have handed up.

If Christianity and Islam could not meld tribes into a community, what chance does astrology have? The Vertex does determine hemisphere at least, as the noon Sun in the Tropics crosses the zenith to the south, but can you picture how difficult it is to ascertain the direction of zenith shadows? Would the transfiguration of cynicism into the yearning for permanence give the clue? What other compensation could a secessionist acquire for the blistering heat of being here now, especially being unable to breathe?

Full Moon in Sidereal Pisces: The Monk

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On 15 September 1788, at a little after 11pm in the penal colony at Sydney Cove, from which, incidentally, Friendship had already departed on its last voyage, the blaze of a Full Moon in the eyes of watchful observers, indigenous and transported alike, extinguished the stars around it in the Circlet of Pisces. This exceedingly rare extinguishment, comprehensive in most skies, is, in a nutshell, the Monk’s identity.

Whether it is some form of cosmic enthronement or Assumption he seeks, or the lost domain of a compulsive limerence of mystical import, he is exercised year after year by the Divine Hand which moves the lunar nodes and his ecliptic latitude, and every few hundred years when syzygy, latitude and Circlet coincide (in a cluster of a half-dozen or so September Full Moons nineteen years apart), he represents the eternal question, who and where am I absolutely?

Are we not in awe of the Monk? His intention is clear: to transcend country, where life projects its absence, but lived example might still swing the vote on whether the world is spirit or matter. How do you see yourself? Are you an intersection of connections, or a hierarchy of systems? And what do you think of the Vertex? Is it out there, or in here, a cyclic projection of separateness, or a theoretical synthesis of hormonal fictions? Undeniably, since it turns the Zodiac upside down, the Vertex is the star of the show in the Tropics!

The Monk’s grace appears to transcend anxiety and comfort, of day and night and birth and death, and so the gratitude of locals for spirit is his trade. On the other hand, who these days encounters monks at all, for that matter? Is it possible that feckless relativism might erase them altogether along with the escarpments of Pisces? Certainly, one must ask the question, when the Monk next attains his goal in 212 years (though he will come tantalisingly close several times, e.g. 2032), will there be anyone left to map his ghostly presence, if not see it?

As a patron of this installation, you might wonder if light pollution makes it less successful as a stimulus to self-discovery, or in fact more so. The stars which coincidentally comprise the crown, or ruins, or abyss, or whatever the shadows on the wall resemble, occupy a range of classifications and distances, but how has data like this ever cultivated meaning? The artist’s intention is clear: to other us. Look through the Circlet at a Monk who is not there, and after two years of not sharing the finite time of your grandchildren, you are gazing into the soul of your emptiness, an underworld universe inhabited by nobody who knows you.

Of course if you cannot see anything, that might be the creator’s point. Are you sure that you, regular user of that commuter platform or aimless passerby of that noisy, garishly lit alleyway, are not part of the installation? While anti-vaxxers and other oppressed minorities wrestle for centre-stage, and fires visibly burning throughout the Galaxy hundreds and thousands of years ago share no warmth, the Circlet might as well be the root of blame for human languishing, and the Monk its quarantined bureaucrat. What a way to fortify socialism!

Disclosure: New Moon in Sidereal Leo

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Those whom the gods would destroy find in their madness a subject for analysis.

He got into big trouble when it was discovered. It took many decades and generations of controllers fretting over the often irrational signals coming from the spacecraft before it was finally deduced that somehow limerence must have got on board. Only a virus like constant craving could explain so many perverse communications. Naturally, he was found to be the culprit, and was sentenced by the joint chiefs of staff of the supreme powers to pay retribution, which he will be obliged to pay, denied escape velocity, forever.

There were no doubt high-level sympathisers with the view, frequently expressed by common people, that elimination of limerence is unsustainable, and we must learn to live with it. However, to send limerence into the cosmos as representative of humanity was formally agreed to be unconscionable. It is ignoble, the communique emphasised, to wish for what one does not have. It is a betrayal of community to so devalue the expectations of others that one might excuse oneself from them and find in oneself a more alluring voice.

So long as the ‘Galactic Anticenter’ points to the ground, any but the most dispassionate astrological interpretations of the intersection of Prime Vertical and Ecliptic are to be suppressed, and the escape velocity in the Bardo from any variety of madness is to be defined as fifteen degrees per hour.

That is why First Crescent can be scientifically predicted, and no longer needs to be seen. That is why consciousness is measured by wakefulness. At least limerence, like the Golden Record the fingerprints of the ache of eternity, will be preserved as a human relic, as the tools of the first ancestors to venture out of Africa, in that first ineffable stir of limerence, have been preserved by the sands of the Nefud Desert.

Have you got it? Have you been tested? Have you been inoculated? Are you self-isolating? Do you really believe that love can save the world?

You only lose what you cling to. That’s it! Nothing eternal here but cynicism, nothing permanent but idolatry. The Earth is full in Aquarius, disclosing what? Impatient perfectionism? Farewell.

Zealot Moon in Sidereal Aquarius

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This month celebrates the triumph of what is most ignoble in the human spirit, the desire and capacity to shove an opinion down somebody’s throat. Special recognition is given to the puppeteers whose armies of billions of zealots are so ready to hand.

One glance at social media in these physically disconnected times suggests that there are zealots everywhere, more than you can defeat in battle or even point a stick at. What they all seem to have in common, these stalwarts of the perennial conflict with imperfection, is the knowledge that something true is threatened with extinction.

The allure of totalitarianism is not particularly the opportunity to perfect others, but the absolute imperative to perpetuate the conditions for an identity, as a white supremacist, a queer person, a person of colour, a nationalist humiliated by history, the list goes on, or simply anyone otherwise perfect on the verge of being ignored. “Freedom!” the anti-lockdown protesters spit. I suspect they mean freedom from you.

In the beginning was time. First they diseased the future, and then they erased the past. Live in the now, they said. To fuse future and past into a present is the finitive compulsion of the zealot, but what happens to a past with no future is a black hole which haunts him. Time itself is something true threatened with extinction, like a chook running around without its head. The roots of the Tree of Life are dangling in mid-air.

Trees grow from the top, where the chloroplasts are. Is the Galactic Centre the crown of our tree or its roots wrapped around a spiritual black hole, winter in the North, summer in the South? Centres are full of zealots, and so passe.

Poet, Saint and Fool are far behind, propped in the lowest sephirot of the Tree of Man, somewhere back there among the ragged hills of youth and romance, not visible from the artificial park whose laps we avatars continue to call a journey, though it have no beginning and no end. Zealots, the shriek of the cockatoos means only, you’re facing the wrong direction. There has ever been a ready antidote to ideology.

New Moon in Sidereal Cancer: Connection

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Everything is connected to everything else: the body is a self-regulating community of minute organisms with the same constitution and provenance in all vertebrates; ideas move around in language like the breeze, coming from somewhere, touching, lingering, and going somewhere else; unconsciousness and conscience weave a dance like featherweight boxers for the entertainment of wealth; the dead are always with us. Every action is a reaction, reverberating in eternity. The sky is connected to the ground, and the stars are connected to the sky. Once upon a time, when disconnection was more horrible than death, our ancestors believed in ghosts.

Within the next two days, two recreational yachts will be found adrift, one in the middle of the Tasman Sea, and the other halfway between the Azores and Portugal. No connection will be drawn, and why would it be? Who could possibly be daft enough to imagine that these two solitary sailors, now disappeared without trace, had been either doomed lovers in a past life, or were spirit partners in each other’s underworld, two shaman ghosts longing for the other’s domain, if not resolution, release and eternal rest? On the other hand, it seems too coincidental for two separate mariners to disappear at precisely opposite locations on the globe, almost as though they were placed by design.

If you are passing through Guildford on the Midland Highway in Victoria, latitude 37.1 degrees south, pull over about 70 metres north of the Loddon, wait until midnight (at this time of year), when the Teapot is in the west, and see if there are any ghosts hanging about. Along the 37th parallel of north latitude the time to look out for restless spirits, and perhaps be one yourself, is when Taurus and Gemini straddle the west, and the ancestors along the Lethe are visible between late November and mid-April. The influence on relationships of the Electric Axis of Jayne and Johndro, the so-called Destiny’s Gate, would be for most people yet another empty astrological superstition, but in a world in which everything is connected it might be wise to hedge our bets, and also reserve judgment on the possibility of lingering Stone Age conceptions of the Milky Way and the cardinal directions. What? You don’t have any?

Consciousness can definitely get lonely in the underworld. What does memory know about dream? What do objectivity and subjectivity have in common? Is the hieros gamos love’s doom? Are love and doom the hieros gamos?

Is it possible that ancient shamans knew how to stand on their heads to embrace the good witch, as you, facing south with east on your left, would need to do to end up with your beloved’s east on your right? All cardinals are transposed in the underworld, therefore the Sun rises at sunset in the west, and sets at dawn in the east, somewhat as one might see what destiny had for breakfast. What does gravity do to the hang of a shaman’s dress?

The Full Earth is in Capricorn, the progenitor of bleating rock-climbers, and the pretender to the inflated profile it projects with Aquila and Aquarius. Mark the focus on the Olympic Games featured in your local media. To this Earth, connection is no more numinous than the measured relativity of difference. Two mariners disappear? Hundreds of thousands die of Covid-19! There is an antidote to preoccupation with ghosts and the afterlife: the measurable finality of death!

After all these centuries of proliferating the lineaments of the human spirit, the tendency survives of connecting the organism as a thing to an environment of things. There is no such thing as the Arctic or Antarctic Circle (+/- 90-obliquity): everything in the sky, everything the sky is above, and everything standing on what the sky is above, right way up or upside down, are instantly ever-changing. The proper term for what connects all those things is ’emptiness’. An instant is over in an instant. A life is over in a life. The dead are ever with us. Destiny’s gate remains open.

Drone Moon in Sidereal Capricorn

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Perceived from an angular distance of 180 degrees, the Sun’s awakening to responsibility a fortnight ago seems incongruous, to say the least. She is more humble in Cancer, more attuned to the farcical Bardo of madness wound by the Earth’s solitary rotation which represents on stage for your delectation the irrepressible corruption of its inhabitants. Welcome to the cast, aromantics; so pleasing to see any identity emerge from the wings of limerence! Welcome, demisexuals, please line up with the aromantics towards stage-right where we can all see you in Self-Development. Clinging, quite naturally, should be neither sanctioned nor sanctioned, but expect the audience in the cheap seats to be primed to laugh. An influencer will be with you shortly.

Before influencers there were astrologers, who possibly inherited the wisdom of shamans. Where are we? Everyone wanted to know, but any answer was required to confirm and reinforce power. Has anything changed? Incidentally, the tryst of Venus and Regulus which divides life into eight-year orbits occurred on Thursday. It was invisible in south-eastern Australia, but we know it happened, don’t we? Did you see it? What influence did it have on you eight years ago? Sixteen years ago? Go on, drone, be your own influencer!

Here, it was evident to the shaman, but that question remains, oblique and disconnected in ways foreign to one intimate with the underworld. And isn’t that all of us? Do we not dream? Do we not do hourly battle with our emotions? Do we not have loved ones on the other side of the world? And yet we remain transfixed by the power of the tangible, grooming our diet, appearance and performance for a flight into history which someone else will probably make. Where others are is circumstantial, but here in the south-east of New Holland, where country is the answer to the question, we are amongst the first blooms of early Spring, if you hadn’t noticed. What? The seasons are changing? Get out of town!

In the beginning was the Emu, and among other coincidences, the right angles of Aquarius and Enif, and of Adhara, Wezen and Aludra, the diamond facet of Denebola, Spica and Arcturus, and the relationship of stellar visibility to the seasons. The beginning came before meaning, and yet it ordained meaning. You were ordained, how about that? No, not your sexuality, which was always fluid, and yours to play with as the influencers saw fit. But you know what? The way you felt when you got up this morning was ordained! The workers fed you in your wintry underworld, or they did not. Stand by, an influencer will be with you shortly.

At the risk of throttling another fish with its ordained plastic balloon, the obvious must be stated:

Check out the Signs and Houses. Yes, it would appear that it was ordained in the beginning that we would all be in this together, and that influencers would be needed to spell out our differences. Drones are such ‘warrior‘ wannabes, don’t you think? What do your influencers think? Careful! Try to avoid being struck by an emu when the Milky Way is in the Warrior configuration.

Is that not the very picture of us? Did you fear a shameful image of biomass annihilation? Totalitarianism? Corruption saturation? Don’t be perverse. Hearken to your influencer.

So that’s where we are! Confused? Wait please, good inhabitants of Sichuan with genealogies going back thousands of years, your influencer will be with you presently, whether or not you want your country and underworld validated. No doubt about it, he’s done well for himself.

Responsibility: New Moon in Sidereal Gemini

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Bring me my gun, and I`ll shoot that bird dead
That`s what your mammy and pappy once said
The crow on the cradle, what can we do
Ah, this is a thing that I`ll leave up to you
Sang the crow on the cradle.

Sydney Carter, “The Crow On The Cradle”.

260.
And down from there he spies
this little spot of earth that with the sea
is embraced, and begins to despise
this wretched world, and hold it vanity
compared with the true felicity
that is in heaven above. And at the last
down where he was slain, his gaze he cast.

261.
And in himself he laughed at the woe
of those who wept for his death now past:
and damned all our work that follows so
on blind lust, which can never last,
when we should all our heart on heaven cast.
And forth he went, briefly to tell,
where Mercury appointed him to dwell.

Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, Book V, trans. A.S. Kline.

Responsibility dries on the skin like nakedness as the first thing we remember on the lee shore of the Lethe. The silent voice which asks who we are belonged once to the god, and then for many centuries we recognized it as our own. Enslaved to inattention, we are vaguely aware of the crisis of irresponsibility which engulfs us now. We listen in vain for our calling. The earth we tread is sealed. The heavens are curtained by our artificial light. We must wake up, consult a map or an instruction manual, dispel the suspicion we are sleepwalking. Can it be that the tear in the fabric of our journey-commemorative teatowel is irreparable?

How did we never notice before, with the Gemini Sun on our skin, that the tumult of the Acheron was beneath us?

Can we bear the thought that the oasis of difference is a mirage?

This is the beginning of what might be called Southern Hemisphere Miserere Season, from July to November, roughly 4 minutes earlier each day, when the Milky Way is visible in a dark sky between astronomical twilights as a ring around the horizon. (The Northern Hemisphere season is between January and May.) This configuration, exact at the latitude of the declination of the Galactic South Pole, gives the Emu a chance to have a lie down, which is something awesome to see at a location further south such as Apollo Bay on Victoria’s Surf Coast. However, at the latitude of the angle between the planes of the Galaxy and the Solar System, namely approximately 63°, the Emu is a busy bird.

The Emu’s job there is to point East. Country inherited its cardinal directions from the Emu, finding their nocturnal lyricism preferable to the glare of equinoxes over its eternal landmarks.

There is not a moment to lose, if the power of the Emu is to be invoked to get us out of the mess we’re in: the last Kyrie is upon us! Heaven be praised: our dire predicament cannot efface Galactic synchronicities: so let this Emu Moon begin!

The Siberian child staring at the strange figure lying full-length face-down on the sodden turf sees him move, and asks her parents what he is doing. They do not notice any movement. “Come along, quickly,” they urge the child.

Prodigal Moon in Sidereal Sagittarius

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Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
Oscar Wilde, De Profundis,1905.

On watch, with travelling sheep, my comrades all asleep,
Neither moon nor star illumed the summer sky:
My eyes I scarce had closed, tho’ I know I must
have dozed When a very strange procession passed me by.

First came a kangaroo, with a “swag” of blanket blue,
With a dingo, likewise loaded, for his mate ;
They saluted me and passed, saying they’d travelled rather fast.
And could not stay, as it was growing late.

An opossum and a crow sung a song,”The long ago,”
A frilled Jew lizard listened with a smile;
An emu, straying near, held his claw up to his ear.
Saying,”The prettiest song I’ve heard for quite a while”

Just here there came a crash, as if creation had gone smash,
And leaping up I found I’d been asleep.
Twas the boss from ‘neath the cart, who woke me with a start,
Crying -“Charlie! where the blazes are the sheep ?”

From the original “Drover’s Dream”, Folkstream.com

O Lieb auf grüner Erden.
Ich zieh’ in Krieg auf grüne Haid,
die grüne Haide, die ist so weit!
Allwo dort die schönen Trompeten blasen,
da ist mein Haus,
mein Haus von grünem Rasen!

From “Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen“, Gustav Mahler, Des Knaben Wunderhorn. See translation at Hampsong Foundation.

Woe to the Sagittarius Moon! At his highest in the Southern sky, yet can he find no human spirit to soar with him. No romantic poet remains to march us gloriously out of our past; in fact, unable or unwilling to identify with the poverty and sins of the past, regardless of where we migrated from, we have wandered aimlessly into a Google dreamtime, uninitiated. Community is a strange label for populism. Who lives in our old bark hut? Who owns our land? What are they going to do with it? We don’t know, do we? Do entrepreneurs and their propagandist administrators whose nest-feathering has betrayed our trust–sold us down the river, as it were–belong in our community?

Cheer up. Yes, Winter’s here, bringing its usual privations, including Seasonal Affective Disorder, to add to those the whole world is experiencing in lockdown, and Jupiter’s gone retrograde. But that’s no reason to be overwhelmed by self-criticism projected onto the casual judgments of those significant others sharing your retreat from the cold. You are not a waste of your birthright if you have been doing what you were supposed to do, and even if you haven’t, isn’t that what you were supposed to do? Who in the visa queue dares know the contribution to carbon emissions justified by the urgent need to conjure their birth country in an eternal present?

The conventional Sign lumped on Sagittarius is partly right. Natives can tend towards withdrawal and melancholy, but not because of single-minded ambition to surmount arduous conditions, rather because their imagination is enthralling. They might actually achieve very little for that reason. Well might you label them prodigal, and deplore their self-absorption and waste of talent. However, at this time of year we all appear to be in Sagittarius, which ought to inspire some circumspection.

Authenticity has people by the tail, provoking narcissistic condemnation of inertia. To whom does it matter whether the Centaur represents an archer with a bead on the Scorpion, or a brew of tea? Is it not just a bunch of invisible stars? What does an implied Pleistocene fascination with the Milky Way matter under a washed-out sky? The morbid anxiety exuded by a prodigal Underworld is dreadfully infectious! Come out! Be someone! Be remembered! Do something! Psst, whispers the Prodigal, shouldn’t you be wondering what you will meet this side of the Acheron? What irrelevant self do you leave back there? No wonder that the ferryman disdains your obol, this desecrated planet, your millions of unhallowed dead. Why do you keep returning here? Welcome to country, he says.

New Moon in Sidereal Taurus: Populism

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Populism has completely disappeared, because it is now absolutely everywhere. Everyone is an activist Sagittarian wannabe, and a world which places supreme value in presence is a very dangerous place.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Sorry to be Abliq … you have to be careful what you say, because in the shadows of your meaning lurk innumerable barrow-pushers looking for clickbait.

You couldn’t make this stuff up!

The world is intersectionally sick, and no top-down therapy is going to heal it.

Denizens of the Northern Hemisphere need not feel deprived of the splendours visible down here.

You were looking in the wrong place. Leave your -isms under your bed, and be at peace with your underworld. The antidote to populism is not neutrality, or equanimity, but sorrow.

Rogue Moon in Sidereal Scorpio

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This is the intellectual Moon, in the Southern Sign of Gemini, elevated to the zenith while the Sun struggles towards the Winter Solstice. Like a rogue adolescent, whose book-learning enables him to theorize away the conservative values of older generations, and who does not yet know the meaning of hubris, the Rogue needs to be reminded of a few things, such as myth and kin. A rogue might see an opportunity, and call it his, but it was created by others. A total eclipse should remind him whose light he shines.

But it is only we nearing the end of a life on Earth who learn his lesson, while the young celebrate their interventionist vainglory, unconscious of the gravity of their privilege. Never chased by an emu! Who cares where dogs go when they leave the dog park? Who cares who replenishes the poo bags? Kyrie eleison.

Studying the Moon’s progress during the past week as it rose later each day behind the cranes disfiguring my landscape, I discovered a strange thing. He started in Cancer in the second House. Nothing surprising there: fervent altruism in the Bardo of fearful discrimination. Likewise his Leonine sensitivity the next day when he appeared in the Bardo of perfection. By the time his perspicacious sincerity in Virgo presented itself at 4 pm on the fourth day, I was ready to stick my fingers down my throat, and I was no more sympathetic to his sensuality in Libra or his current anxiety in Scorpio. What is wrong with me? Am I losing my rogue? This Moon and I should not be antagonists.

Yet I am discovering that it is he who belongs and I who do not. Over his shoulder, as it were, he sniffs his millennial disinterest in the Bardo’s cosmic emotional cycle, for Earth hours are of no significance to him. The rebellious system of this site is finally just one more zombie measuring up his coffin, though going rogue seemed like healing at the time. He is a healer too, he claims, although 4 billion years seems a long time to be healing, and it is I who pick up the cans and coffee cups he drops over the front fence.

Who can understand why he is so contemptuous? After all, the Earth passes through the Moon’s own astral gates, differently polarized by his axis of rotation. We might be kin, if I weren’t on the wrong side of history, and my garden, with the bloom of my wounds and their astral petals, so much detritus in his path.

Once he was creator of the world, and until just now has been happy to collude with any soothsayer whose system accorded him agency to intrigue the superstitious, but the collective madness of opposition seems to me now to be all he has left. He does not own his history, you see, and so he cannot identify with the white supremacy of gravity. He does not own his gender either, and so millennia of menstrual synchronicity cannot persuade him to call chests breasts. Nevertheless, identity seems a big issue: is the butt of his jokes a clue?

Am I sad that history has caught up with me and passed me by? Of course I get lost, but no, I saw it coming, for history is not rogue. It is as the Gate of Antares, where consequence emanates from presence, and deprivation is paranoia’s fool.

I remember the sixties as opposing love to fear, but they too also went rogue on racism, sexism and homophobia. The search for love? I think I still understand that, although the turbines privilege me with a little difficulty of hearing. Perhaps it is ethical to interrogate the credentials of love, but an old man begs you, Rogue, do not topple its statue. Kyrie eleison. If you will excuse me, I have to get back to the dishes.