a broad brit abroad

image: Woods

I’m hyper–intelligent, I drive a TGV or fly my A380 with golden bath taps to work, I’ve won 17 nobel prizes under 18 different pseudonyms, I rule 2 countries and I’m world champion at conkers. As you can see, I’m really rather a modest chap.

I posted that on a contact site. I thought it nicely suited all those beautiful Alaskan models temporarily residing in Nigeria. But it’s not absolutely perfectly 100% spot–on accurate. That’s this page’s purpose, to present the actual me—the actual I’d like to believe, not what I admit to myself, let alone the real.

image: Self-Portrait

So, hello, I’m dylan harris, an English in the Republic, proud to be a technogeek, born just before Sputnik flew.

image: Fungus

Are you the Dylan who brontosaured me and some goats during those heady days of spring ’24 in Ulaanbaator?”, or “I once met a preacher called Dylan who convinced me of the transcendental joy of darning socks—are you he?”, ask occasional emails. If you seek such a he, and ask ‘might he be me’, read on. And, er, no to both.

Anyway, dull details first: I was born in 1957, am sartorial black, and take strong coffee and cheese for breakfast.

My personality’s an arts voyager; I’ve poetry, photography and music. Professionally, I’m a computer nerd, building software. I’m fascinated by scitech.

I remember
           as a child
standing on a pebble shore
watching ships
                      at sea
     the edge
             of the world.
(from Expanding Horizons)
image: Leaves

You have reached the obligatory list paragraph. Likes: belgian beer, english beer, french red, german white, italian rosé, village pubs, good food especially Michelin–starred, science–fiction, Citroëns, current affairs, self–conducted travel. Preferred composers and performers: Stockhausen, Birtwhistle, Xenakis, Beethoven, Reich, Schnittke, Pãrt, Adams, Peter Brötzmann, and many more. Ironically, despite enjoying electronica, I detest clubs. You want another list? Alright, story tellers: Iain (M) Banks, Samuel R Delany, Vernor Vinge, William Shakespeare, ….

I was born in sniffing distance of six breweries and the Marmite factory ….

The Fox Inn
I remember peeking through the crack
of a half–closed door, looking down the hall,
when mother came back, crying.
                  (from Angst Cycle)

My father died in 1964, when I was six. He’d made some money, which my mother used to put her three kids through public school. I don’t know, and I’ll never know, whether that was the right thing, but I do appreciate it. I was a difficult child. She died in the early 1990s.

I was bought up in rural Bedfordshire. Like most village kids, I fancied the big city, so I studied at Thames Poly (now Greenwich University) in Woolwich. I soon found expectation was unmet by real, but it took me eleven years to leave—completing my Computing Science course, failing to complete a postgrad, and a few years in Runnymede under the M25.

Antwerpen Centraal met een bolleke

But, here’s another contradiction, I’ve now chosen to foreign conurbation.

moonshine fire cathedral
mechelse embleem
my goodbyeing purrtrips stone low doors
gloom loom

walk short emptiness de markt
de grote markt
this wrong town too
i’ll rue depart

and heavyland target
are you om kirke? te deum?
and the living AWK your reputation counters
your architecture states
am you error?
is ever am dragmove error?
ever’s gaan?

Ik zal zien
                  (from Mechelen)

I used to adore politics, I was very active in the Young Liberals. I ran their internal elections, I led the Young Liberal team in the merger negotiations with the Young Social Democrats. Now, though, I’m an inactive member of Open VLD. I really ought to join MR, so not to be seen to take sides.

image: Before Lavazza

I became vegetarian in 1979. Stereotypes suggest vegetarians are thin, dogs mistake them for lamp–posts. I’m 18 stone, Norwegian whalers mistake me for commercial opportunity.

I’ve greying brown hair, curly and long, and brown eyes.

I used to suffer such a dreadful clothing sense my mother alternated between being in despair and being in stitches. I’ve resorted to that old male device, a one colour wardrobe.

Fate has cursed me a nasty heterosexuality, quite opposite to my vegetarianism.

My lust, a violating fire of force,
can burn from silent calm in dark forlorn
to whims of torment striking out. A course
to deepest guilt, perhaps, but I was born
this way, and love this way, I must. That rare
courageous one, I seek, a phoenix from
the gulls, who gains her smaller death in fear
and suffered flames: we’ll share our burning wrong.
                  (from Her Catching Eyes)

You are what you are; accept it or go loopy.

image: Still Life with beer

Current projects include:

  • To publish a poetry collection: I want more control than traditional publishers seem willing to permit (I’m not criticising editorial policies), so now there’s Wurm Press.
  • After very good, unexpected, complements from online strangers, work out how to convert photographs into bank balance.
  • I’m one of two running wurm im apfel, a series of readings of different poetries, which has grown into …
  • wurmfest, a short festival of different poetries: I’m doing the project management.

Well, that’s that, then. I hope you’re suitably impressed? :-) Oh.

Anyone who wants to contact me after this little one–sided chat should visit my feedback page.

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