Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Tuesday, August 18/Wednesday, August 19, 2009


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2009 by Philip Cairns

Writing about depression is just too damned depressing.
I’d rather be painting on the beach, with my feet in the sand, at Big Sur,
Just like Elizabeth Taylor in “The Sandpiper”.
Or having sex with some gorgeous, well hung stud muffin twink.
Whip out your throbbing dick and let me go to town, baby.

It’s like being dragged, against your will, into Alice’s stinking rabbit hole
Only there’s no fun when you reach the bottom.
Blackness, bleakness, a sense of screeching red hopelessness.

In my dreams, I can fly around the room,
Feeling so alive and free.
Then I wake up thinking it’s for real
Before I come crashing down to hideous reality.

Take me to the French Riviera
To Nice and Cannes or Cap Ferrat.
Driving the winding roads up into the shimmering pink hills,
Oozing soothing sweat with the hot sun in my face.

Depression is like drowning in burning sewage.
I long to see Jackie Burroughs on the silver screen or live upon the stage.
No booze induced puking on the floor in my seedy room at the baths.
Weeping on a park bench when a love affair comes to an end.
Something sets you off and the charcoal-coloured curtains envelope you in disgust.
The demon sits on your chest and tries to crush you.

Better the opening night jitters and after-party elation.
Standing on the stage, full house, not knowing what play you are even in,
Let alone the lines that must spew out of your mouth.
Tears soak your clean T-shirt and empty the Kleenex box.
Once, when a play I wrote was a flop,
I stayed in bed for a week with the Black Dog shitting in my face.

Please let me watch a favourite flick, like “Vertigo” or “The Misfits”.
A good cry watching “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” can purge the soul
And make you feel so much better.
I want to grasp the wings of a giant eagle and soar through the heavens.
Have lengthy conversations with intelligent angels.
Ask important questions of the Goddess.
All about the meaning of life and why we are here.

Send space aliens to educate me about the Universe.
There is even a time, after death, when you can have anything and everything your little heart desires.
It puts things in perspective.
After all, what good is an Oscar if you have a house full of them?
Would money be meaningless if you had $80 billion dollars?
How many lovers can one contend with?

Help me to escape from the rabbit hole of hell.
Anti-depressants make you fat and lazy which depresses the shit out of me.
“Hello. How are you?”
“I’m depressed.”
“That’s nice. I have to go. I just remembered something.”
Yeah, I’ll deal with this on my own.

I had this psychiatrist in the Eighties.
I’d be telling him some trauma from the past.
I’d glance over at him and he’d be yawning.
My pain was his boredom.
At least his paycheque was good.

Dropping, falling, tumbling backwards into oblivion.
Down the foxhole into nothingness.
Being unable to swim to shore in the middle of the pitching sea.
Your arms and legs tied with invisible rope.
Seaweed choking your parched throat.
Unable to evacuate anything.

Even if I had a sex change, I’ll never look like Julianne Moore,
Or have the accolades of Meryl Streep.
Not in this reality, anyway.
It’s just me, alone.
Craving more sex.
Reaching out for a life-saving hand.
Trying to be happy with life the way it is.

Depression is just there, like the sun.
Like a dog turd on the sidewalk.
Like sniffing a wino’s bum hole in the dark.
Look up. Relax.
It’ll go away, eventually.
Rise up. Get some sun.
Take some St. John’s Wort.
Get up. Live. Smoke a joint.
Make some art.
Lift your head.
Fly away with me, my sweet imaginary lover,
Into the dawning of rapturous golden bliss.
I wish this depression were merely boring but it can crush you to death.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Sunday, August 23, 2009


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2009 by Philip Cairns

The spider is acting crazy.
He shoots down from the ceiling on his invisible thread,
Dangles for a minute,
His arms flailing like a daredevil,
Then scurries back up to the white ceiling.
He does this, repeatedly.

Maybe the heat of the light,
Sticking out from the wall,
Looking like a 19th Century streetlamp,
Frightens him away.
I wish I knew what this spider wanted to do.

Sometimes, the tiny brown thing hangs from the ceiling above my stove,
Curled up and snug,
Sleeping the night away.
Cooking brunch awakens him
And he zips away in terror to the safety of the grease-stained wall.

I try to reassure him.
My soothing tones seem to calm the little sweetie.
“Don’t worry. I won’t kill you.”

You see, I love spiders.
In fact, I adore them.
They bring me luck.
They’re glorious, beautiful creatures.

At my doctor’s office,
The receptionist started screaming.
“Ahh!!! A spider! A spider!”
I begged her not to kill the cute wee thing.
“They’re good luck,” I said.
This slightly strange looking woman didn’t believe me.
The terrified creepy-crawly soon disappeared.

Once, I had a pet spider.
It liked to hang around above my stove, as well.
Late one morning, I sat down to eat my fried eggs.
As I cut into the food, the poor, dead darling suddenly appeared on my plate,
Hiding underneath the eggs.
It made me sad.
What a waste of good food!

This one keeps acting wild,
Going up and down the thread, again and again,
With its thin arms waving and flapping about.

I can’t read its mind or suss out the vibes.
Maybe it’s pissed off about something.
I just hope it doesn’t die.

Perhaps Percy is old and has dementia
And doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Could it be having a nervous breakdown?

I hope it isn’t hungry.
A fruit fly buzzed around it but Mr. Spider totally ignored him.

This many-legged thing crawled across the corner of my large acrylic landscape painting.
I guess this creature has no taste for art.
Maybe it wants to mate.
My brother once watched a film in which a baboon in heat,
Running around in a frenzy,
Screwed everything in sight.
After each encounter, it would throw the male off its back
And run to the next partner.
Perhaps my cute pal is merely horny.

The up and down frenzy continues.
Yes, I truly believe this spider may be nuts.

Now, it’s morning.
My delightful little room-mate is all curled up in a ball,
Once again hugging the ceiling.
It hasn’t moved for hours.
Methinks it’s snoring away.
I didn’t know that spiders ever slept.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Thursday, August 20/Saturday, August 22, 2009


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2009 by Philip Cairns

Standing ten feet away from the tides slapping against the sand.
I love the sound.
Warm, sticky summer night.
Remembering the hard rocks beside the sea at Nice.
The cool, strong winds.

Wish I were somewhere else.
A hot beach in Tahiti.
Venice or Paris.
Anywhere but here,
Where jealous, penny-pinching quasi-friends betray you.
Where former buddies tell salty lies stinking of revenge.

If I close my eyes, I can pretend I’m far away.
I’m Deborah Kerr in “From Here to Eternity”
Committing lovely adultery on the beach,
With Burt Lancaster in a tight black bathing suit
Showing the world what religion he is not.
The lapping of the waves stirs the mind and nourishes my soul.
I can try to forget my tiny troubles and ponder how life could be.

The lights shimmer on the lake, as if they were dancing.
The streetlight illuminates the white of the water.
The lapping sound of the waves repeats and repeats.
It’s comforting and healing,
Soothing the reoccurring melancholy.

The boats all look to be asleep.
No lights coming from any of them,
As they gently rock back and forth.
Sometimes the tides sound angry
And other times more calm and relaxed.
I’m carried away to other places
Where trouble no longer exists.

Maybe, in the morning, things will be better.
This lagoon is my own private hiding place
In a city full of terror and gloom.
I long for escape.

Further on, past the Palais Royale,
The Boardwalk has been torn up,
Replaced by wet sand.
There are no cars in the parking lot
Or people on the beach.
Only one man passes me as I stroll along in the dark.

A great glob of cement-like emotion is trapped in my chest.
The tides speak to me in inexplicable ways.
I turn around and head for home,
Walking quickly along the deserted bicycle path.
The empty feeling inside haunts me as I briskly make my way East.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Monday, August 10, 2009


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2009 by Philip Cairns

It was a still summer night, not unlike tonight.
It could have been yesterday.
We were so very young and beautiful.
I’ve always loved the summer.
We sat on a bench, with the highway running underneath us.
Something frightening and electric was in the air.
You told me it was over and I burst into tears.

I remember your gobbling, wiry body.
The long, lithe legs.
That huge luscious cock
And the asshole with a tiny hint of hair around it.
I was crazy about you.
We had dreams in our eyes.
Heady times, they were.
Dancing together at a gay disco
With you in your silver jumpsuit.
Writhing sex at the baths for we had nowhere else to go.

We shot an avant-garde Underground movie together,
Something I’d been dreaming of since I was 5 years old.
We smoked dope and had incredible sex.
I was falling into a scary, fearful, wondrous pit.
Then I crashed down to Earth and was wounded.
It came to an end.

I remember getting drunk and going to your house and crashing in a strange bed.
I hoped you would be there so we could patch things up.
No one saw me or questioned the foolishness of the situation.

We wanted different things.
You desired security and riches.
Someone to take care of you.
That’s how it seemed to me.
I needed great passion and art,
Acting, success and fame.
It was brief but traumatic.
I moved on carrying scars.

In those days, I was always getting dumped.
I was hot and sexy and didn’t even know it.
A quivering mass of insecurities.
Falling for guys who were already taken.
No one wanted to get involved.
Gay relationships were so different, back then.

For years, I didn’t understand what happened,
But the pattern was often repeated.
Always blamed myself when things ended.
We both continued to perform and create art.
You seemed to find the love and material things you were looking for.

Love is a crazy thing,
Like reaching out to grab bubbles that disintegrate in your hands.
I never found the romance I was seeking though I’ve had some fabulous rides along the way.

Decades pass.
Things change.
Lives move apart and come together.
People transform into new beings.
We age and lose our youthful appeal.
Become happy or bitter.
Life is full of such joy and pain.
Sometimes it seems impossible to carry on.
Fits and starts.

Now, years later, it’s your birthday.
Happy birthday, darling Neil.
I’m so glad you were a brief part of my life.
I wish you all the joy and abundance in the world.
May you carry on with grace and ease.
I am no longer the boy you knew
As you are no longer the guy I lusted after.
Have a marvellous day.
Merry meet and merry part
And merry meet again.
Blessed be.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Monday, August 10, 2009


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2009 by Philip Cairns

I’m walking after the rain has stopped.

Air is fresh and clean.

Crisp, damp.

Thinking about Cultural Icons.

Society needs them.

People desire role models.

Someone to look up to and fantasize about.

Listen to teenagers talk.

They babble on about the latest pop star celebrity,

As if that person was truly important in their lives.

They say we chose the circumstances of our life before we come down to Earth,

As well as the way it will end.

Someone consented to be James Dean and die in a horrific car crash.

It’s as if we are actors choosing our roles before we descend onto this thrilling Paradise.

A soul even agreed to be Adolf Hitler, as that being was needed on the planet.

We decide beforehand what we need to work on in the upcoming lifetime.

A group of souls staying and playing together for eons.

One time, this particular one is your Mother.

In another life, they become your husband.

Someone is spreading vicious lies about me.

A channeller said that this man is getting his revenge

Because of a past life connection between us.

We seek peace, comfort and knowledge on this plane of existence.

It’s a learning experience for us.

Even before the printing press, there was the Town Crier

Announcing news and upcoming theatrical events.

Humans need to look outside themselves,

To empathize with other beings.

To see their own stories right in front of their eyes.

I’m walking after the rain.

Feeling good.

Wondering what’s coming next?

Trying to make sense of past traumas

In order to move on and thrive.

Remembering fun times when I had more stars in my eyes.

I had celebrity role models.

Jane Fonda, Judy Garland, Janis Joplin, James Dean, Montgomery Clift.

I liked the ones with drama surrounding them.

A whirlwind of sex and acclaim.

I never grew up to be an icon,

Though I was blessed with some gifts.

You be the judge of that.

We hide in our little cubby holes

Coming up for air when we need it.

Mingling with like-minded spirits.

Attempting to tell the truth, we hope.

Dolls morph into magazine photos

Which transform into thoughts and dreams.

Lusting after the unattainable.

Even Brando turned out old and fat and finally dead.

I think of some truly talented people and the misery of their lives.

Give me Van Gogh’s genius but not his torment.

Bless me with Judy’s glorious singing voice but not her crippling addictions.

Give me Liz Taylor’s youthful beauty but you can keep her illnesses for yourself .

Society reaches out to grasp these icon’s dazzling lives.

It takes us away from the dreariness of our own puss-filled boredom.

Even Jesus Christ had to relieve himself, just like you and me.

After death, we review the life we just lived, as if it were a novel we’d studied in school.

What did we learn?

What did we do right or wrong?

What challenges did we overcome and why?

In one life, you are a male peasant, starving to death in a barren wasteland.

In another, you’re a beautiful woman, with jewels on silver platters.

We have to experience everything.

You murder and are murdered.

Rich and poor.

Famous and infamous.

Easy lives and hard ones,

All flowing into the same swirling river.

A kaleidoscope of lives meshing into each other.

Will you be royalty, if requested?

General Patton?

Roosevelt or Woody Guthrie.

Jewish or Arab.


Heterosexual or gay.

Asexual or trans.

Consider the possibilities.

We have all of Eternity to play these endless games.

May we all be blessed with our fair share of joy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Friday, July 31, 2009/Saturday, August 1, 2009


By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2009 by Philip Cairns

I used to play with dolls when I was a little boy.

They’re so sweet and colourful.

Lovely frilly clothes.

The kids laughed at me because of that.

“Philip should have been a girl,” they always said.

No thank you.

Who wants to worry about getting pregnant and having a period every month?

I’d rather just do occasional drag.

The best of both worlds.

Gulp down all the pills.

They’ll kill you and then no one will jeer, anymore.

I was only 13.

Thirteen and over-dosing!!

Can you believe it?!

My tummy full of aspirins,

Wondering what death would be like.


Vomiting against my will.


Carolyn coming down to see what was up.

Mom yelling because she’d been woken up.

That bitch always wanted to control everything.

He lived.

Another stomach full of pills when I was 21.

Plus LSD and a bottle of wine and a house plant.

Knocked it on the floor, you see.

Broke the deep green glass it was in,

Tumbling from the top of the toilet tank.

Mom mustn’t know.

So I ate the long, winding shoot with shiny emerald leaves

To get rid of the nasty evidence.

Blame it on the acid!

Oh, to grow up with confidence and acceptance.

Unconditional love and popularity.

Turning into a shamrock with anger and envy.

Ambulance meeting me around the corner

After calling a Suicide hotline.

To the hospital.

Puking in a bucket.

I’m alive.

Forget about these things.

“You’re not in high school, anymore,” a pretty strawberry blond guy once said to me,

Not so long ago.

The past colours the present.

Give me less blue and more yellow.

Give me same-sex parents and my own private island.

Purple morphs into mauve

Which becomes violet that turns into pale dusty pink.

The sunset is visible from my concrete balcony.

Every colour lilts into another.

The past imbues the present, as well.

Life goes on, no matter what happened before.

Breathe in every shade of experience.

Who wants to hear a sob story?

Yes, I’m still alive.

Dolls are so beautiful.

One stands regally gowned on a bookcase in my bachelor apartment.

Go ahead and laugh.