States of American death

Posted in Uncategorized on November 4, 2020 by antonyowen

A Mexican boy in the barbed wire sky

twisted sun like a faulty bulb and

little did he know he made dusk

Guantanamo orange for the free.

Nobody is free but the eagle with mange

it tears out her feathers for the stars

flies into the wall to break both wings,

a Mexican will bury it with prayers.

A native American scalped the hirsute sun

“it is the last star of the lost tribe” he said,

all of the birds lost the will to migrate,

Eagle, Hawk, shit-birds of the soffits.

A white American guard is guarding the dream,

have you seen the pelts of fog across Savannah?

It is as if all the ghosts of America came to pass

it is as if the mists of dead natives left their oils.

God bless the Eagle, god bless the journey of dreams,

a black man dragged from his heels by a mustang

the lie on every lip that is a gibbet for the truths.

God bless America, the stars are beads of sweat from slaves.

God bless the fake tan president, god bless the pilgrim tide

and god bless the stone-faced presidents eyeless on the mountainside.

my invisible autism

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 31, 2022 by antonyowen

Autism for me is both ship in distress and lighthouse. I am a navigator, a captain of one amongst a crew of many. The sea is autism and the sea is deep and unpredictable. The boat is what I use to live in the majority world. In my world, ocean is not like our shared planet where oceans account for two thirds of the landscape. Oceans have not been conquered for it has not been respected enough or understood so in my world the boat is the compromise.

The deeper you explore the sea the heavier the forces become so preparation, and an understanding and respect of the complex elements are vital to exploring this beautiful invisible part of your life should you choose to look. If you choose not to then my autism is invisible but is very much a force of nature.  In your world, your boat, your preferred way of journeying is to ignore the natural elements of wind, stars and water and instead the natural to you is manmade. It is the propellor motored by an innovator, a genius, a superior, a neurotypical to aspire to.

Some people see the ocean as blue. Some people see the ocean as green with diamonds or gold at the surface inviting you to explore further beyond imagination. The truth is that many fear the ocean and see only something that might consume them yet sometimes to surface you have to submerge as surface is merely an epidermis no different to black or white skin. It is the fear we add to how we see things that make us not see it and makes it invisible. Invisibility is choosing not to look. Autism above everything is as distant as Saturn and when you think of Saturn do you think of the distance or the beauty that awaits you if you look through the voids and are then greeted by its everchanging colours and ring sequence?

Autism to me can at times feel like a pollution but not from something toxic not being in the ocean but toxic from the lack of people exploring it. Neurotypicals are fascinated by life in our universe yet indifferent to the multi-million species on it. They are largely indifferent to their own species and what makes our shared humanity a gorge separating how we co-exist in the world. Neurodiverse people have to live in your world and not vice versa. We are the chameleon to absorb your worldly colours and not vice-versa. This needs to change or a bleakness descends upon us like storm clouds.

Today is a heavy day. I am due to begin working in twenty minutes and mentally have to prepare curated approaches to possible scenarios I might face today. These are a structured conversation about business deals. I have to understand boundaries of hierarchy in management where I am the underling and must lay down a filter. The behavioural multitudes I must customise are exhausting. I feel tired.

I feel excited at speaking to new potential customers and have researched them because I want to be customer-centric. I love my job; I love my life but the most beautiful flower has the most protective stem full of thorns. These thorns leave a space in between for your fingers to navigate away from the thorns so treat it with care and don’t cut it down or keep it in a vase out from the light. Leave it to the elements. We are the elements in human forms. We are the daydreamer, the realist, the surrealist, the fighter, the frustrater, the frustrated, the loving, the guarded, the sensual creature, the roar and the purr of beast and the beatitudes so behold us.

Adult Autism

Posted in Uncategorized on August 17, 2022 by antonyowen

The toxic taboo culture of male depression

Posted in Uncategorized on April 18, 2022 by antonyowen

Male depression isn’t sexy. There is a limitation from society on how much men are allowed to emote about anything and I have some theories why having experienced depression for over 30 years. To a point society will encourage men talking about their feelings but the trade-off is the sacrifice of a man’s alpha rendering him more undesirable physically because that vulnerability of owning his emotions comes at the replacement of a void that society is yet to fill with anything positive. Acceptance and encouragement of men opening up about their emotions is not sufficiently progressive for men to feel it will come at no price. There is a strength of facing emotional traumas but there is still a paradox of expectance from man’s role in society to “man up” or be the “strong and silent type”. Many years ago, in a commercial office the men were presented with flat-pack chairs to put together for the staff and I was last to complete mine as I am not practical but very creative. The whole experience was like a competition of who was the most alpha and who could complete the task quickest. The women in the office were for the most part liberal thinking and would be the kind to support anything from equal rights to free speech yet there was an underlying current of alpha-encouragement in garlanding those quickest with positive affirmations of alpha. In some relationships this is the same where equal rights are advocated and then when both come to the door of a restaurant a comment is passed if the man does not hold the door. These are little examples but significant in the construction of the toxic alpha scaffolds that construct mans place in modern society. I experienced overwhelming support when discussing my experience of my adolescent suicide attempt and very near suicide in 2017 when I confessed to my wife, I had planned to end my life and needed help. In the moment of confession, a weight had been released and a new weight added that I had floundered into this paradigm of male failure in not being that strong and silent type. Was I the strong and silent type? How can I change myself in a world that will not change for men? What right does a man have in “me too” culture to be vulnerable in the hierarchical perception of gender challenges? All these were questions that reverberated and could not be answered. When I started taking anti-depressant Citalopram medication, I had a clarity where I could cope well at work and feelings would feel “capped” in situations I would previously have been natural and deemed wrong yet my true self in. I have not cried in years in the form of tears yet chemical weeping is writing a poem, a diary entry, a WhatsApp message being honest in a society that is intimidatingly dishonest in dealing with male depression and depression in general. Depression, autism, Asperger’s, ADHD is not sexy, is it? It is shown in a light where these are disabilities where the real disability is a malfunctioning society that wears the mask of being civilised when it is anything but punitive from deportations to systemic avoidance of facilitating anyone different to the perceived norm. When I was 17, I was a YTS in a travel agency whenever I went upstairs some of the women pinched my backside at the photocopier, At Xmas in the brochure cupboard I was getting changed form my uniform into jeans and a tee-shirt for the Xmas dinner and some of them women from upstairs saw me and tried to rip off my jeans wanting to “see what I was packing”. All this was mentioned to my boss who said she would have a word and I accepted it as part of the culture towards men however if I would have done this what would have happened? I never reported that incident and just mentioned it like it was a little over the top but after mentioning it I was ghosted and made to feel like I was a bad sport and well, unmanly. The point of all this is to ask the difficult questions like “Why is it that men speaking up about depression are met with silence”? What does it take for society to recognise that there are reasons not being addressed why 75% of suicides are by men? When can a discussion about this be one person talking and one person listening and then vice versa? We live in a culture of people becoming immediate experts on any given subject without the trade of researching the painful testimonies to reach a learned and rounded evaluation of the challenges of depression. What is the future challenge to counter the devastating statistic of suicide majorities being men? In raising money for Coventry & Warwickshire Mind and my own book, The Battle, I am on a quest to change this and eradicate tired, lazy and destructive indifference to the difficult face we must look at of people in the iron masks. The moment we look away, or bury our heads then the other burial begins of a man or human or person etc who buries their head into the lifelines of their palms and jumps from a car park, places their head in a noose or swallow’s pills to end their life. It is not acceptable in 2022 to have so many mediums to raise awareness and not look at depression square on and fight it with all the good we are capable of.

Insubordinate man with zipped mouth

My dad wants to meet for coffee again ~ poetry by Antony Owen

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2021 by antonyowen

My dad wants to meet for coffee again ~ poetry by Antony Owen

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2021 by antonyowen

The Disappointed Housewife


Perhaps I should soften like April light on the hardy plants 
that is my attempt at creating a metaphor out of my dad 
and I can do better than that but poets are sometimes arseholes. 

Perhaps I should learn from the condensation in a bouquet 
and understand that cut down carnations in their prime have a beauty 
that is a metaphor for me and I am trying so hard not to be an arsehole. 

My dad wants to meet for coffee again and has thrown in he will pay. 
It is tempting to take him up on the offer and meet him in Costa. 
It is tempting like Amsterdam windows but I’ll probably regret it. 

My dad is getting older the light never returns from his wrinkles 
he glows from the inside making his liver spots resemble paper burning. 

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Tribute to Sarah Everard

Posted in Uncategorized on October 3, 2021 by antonyowen

After N.

I am a free man.

The streets walk through and in me.

I do not walk the solaces afraid of women.

My fear is not walking them being left to melancholies.

My walks give me calm when I am at freeze and falter.

I do not walk studying shadows behind me.

I do not translate the shape of their cast.

I do not thread keys through my fists.

I am a peaceful man who can walk in darkness alone.

Yesterday I sat with eyes closed under moonlight,

I heard footsteps approach and felt eyes on me.

They must have thought me odd, maybe not.

I think of Sarah Everard

and I am free no more to speak of.

I think of a vole in the edges of darkness.

I think of the predators forcing these curfews.

Had I have heard Sarah Everard’s screams

the peace in me would be replaced by primality,

a vine of keys would shoot through my fists like frost.

I would neither be male or human but a rage in rapture.

Making tracks erased in the blue wastelands of Thatcher

Posted in Uncategorized on August 18, 2020 by antonyowen

black and white road sky man

Photo by David McEachan on Pexels.com

I don’t post reviews on here and this is not a book review more of an observation of something positive happening in the changing landscape of working class expressionist writing in the UK. A new pamphlet by Katy Wareham-Morris brings a poignant perspective of Morris as a daughter of a Longbridge factory worker in her childhood before it closed. It has a congruous warmth amongst the Soviet-esque and machismo factory setting of the Rover plant where Morris incorporates a prosaic account of prose in how a factory produces childhoods as much as car parts. The affection for her father as the main protagonist of this work is tangible but Morris does not add saccharin to these reminiscences she adds all the dirt and duty a factory demands. A factory man is not the man we see as out father, the necessary primal worker to survive in a male dominated environment amongst the ruthlessness of commercial versus blue-collar pressures sum up to a malfunction of inevitable destiny our industries faced in the Thatcher years. The cold table charts of data that Morris intersperses are not designed to be poetic but as close to a data sheet of alternative information of what a factory is to a person that works there and the families that become the sum of the breadwinners parts. This is an impressive and experimental work by Morris taking some risks given that the inhabited domain of what is still largely a male domain has to be a credible piece of work regardless of whether the author is male or not. I think given a wider platform this work could have been expanded on in more detail but the abruptness of it’s ending actually strengthens the work as it feels like the lack of an ending or conclusion only amplifies the fate of what factories like Longbridge suffered in sudden demise and ending. I think Morris is at her strongest when she does not hold back as she is at her most unique and affective when she presents the truth as it is and not as we would like to think of it. One of the most exciting young poets writing today Morris is definitely one to look out for as this is early days in a long and exciting future in gritty subjects she has covered from fresh perspectives at feminism, sex and relationships and motherhood.

Cov kids art by rango

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16, 2020 by antonyowen

front cover

Nobody cares about Muslim genocide

Posted in Uncategorized on July 20, 2020 by antonyowen

hollywood sign

Photo by Paul Deetman on Pexels.com

In China there is a train eating muslims.

Outraged in my sweatshop adidas I am writing a poem.

I am titling it nobody cares about muslim genocides and why?

A version of myself is westernised enough to turn my eyes away,

to look at the millinery of night sky planets too tired to orbit each other.

 

In Xianville there are trains on three stripes

Like me in my adidas taking myself away to prison.

I am calling myself out in the hope my whiteness gets a blood rush.

I am calling myself out that I am too tired to care about the white plague.

I am watching a fly bound to a web and the spider is sick of spinning silk.

 

Nobody cares about Muslim genocide because Hollywood sold them all out.

Hollywood traded muslims as Aladdin and tea-towel madmen,

we bought it in True Lies when Conan saved the day

and those trains are going to leave as we watch,

All that matters is sex and chlorinated chicken.

 

I remember a beach where the white sands blinded me and I never moved.

I chose to swim between two red flags and risked the current

it could have dragged me down to such depths and yet,

I saw something I wanted from the warm waters

It made me feel better until life pulled me back.

 

Nobody cares anymore about muslims or anything uncomfortable,

if they were fashion we would store them away from sight

they would not make the one dollar store because,

because. because, I guess we sold ourselves out.

We sold out the human as we were possessed.