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About Myself

Hi, I'm Dylan Harris, these are my pages, and you've found my trumpet gloat. The dull details first: I was born in 1957, wear black socks, and have strong coffee and Marmite sandwiches for breakfast.

I'm an arts explorer, as you will discover if you take a look at my photography and music. My poetry does rather give away some of the more (and less) subtle aspects of my personality, which is why I've quoted it here.

image: Self-Portrait

Professionally, I'm a techie, building computer software for whoever waves the biggest cheques in my face. I'm also fascinated by the sciences:

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

Indeed, I would happily join the crew of a Starship Enterprise so long as I didn't have to work in Security (they're the ones who wear red shirts and get killed in the first ten minutes of an Original Series episode).

You have reached the obligatory list paragraph. Likes: real ale, wine, pubs, good food especially in Michelin-starred restaurants, science-fiction, Citroëns, current affairs, and self-conducted travel. Preferred composers and performers: Birtwhistle, Stockhausen, the Percussionists of the Hague, Xenakis, Reich, hardcore, Schnittke, Pärt, Adams, and many many more besides. Ironically, despite enjoying hardcore, I detest clubs. You want another list?$/d Alright, novelists: Iain (M) Banks, Samuel R Delany, Vernor Vinge, Agatha Christie, oh God, I could go, on and on. Poets? That should be obvious.

I was born within sniffing distance of six breweries and the Marmite factory, which may explain something about my subsequent development.

The Fox Inn
I remember peeking through the crack
of a half-closed door, looking down the hall,
when mother came back, crying.

Father, why did you die?
                  (from Angst Cycle)

Both my parents are now dead.

I was bought up in the singing emptiness of a small village in Bedfordshire; I'm a country lad at heart. Like most village kids, I wanted to try the big city, so I went to college at Thames Polytechnic in Woolwich. After three weeks I realised the hype of London was utterly unmet by reality, but it took me eleven trapped years of college and work to get out - completing my Computing Science course, failing to complete a postgrad, and - a small improvement - spending a few years in working and living by Runnymede under the aching brow of the M25.

I used to adore politics, having got very active in the Young Liberals, doing international things, and ending up being the Electoral Returning Officer. This required me to organise internal elections, be serious, and tell all the excited hothead candidates exactly what they could do, literally and metaphorically.

After silent years
the dissettled apparatchiks
agitate words
conhiding true motives.
                  (from Scenes from a Blackpool Conference)

I ended up doing the same thing for the Green Party. However, the Green Party's personality-based infighting destroyed my enthusiasm for politics, and I've never gone back, despite a deep hatred of the destructive nationalism of the loonies controlling the Tories. My only current activity is being an official speaker of the Electoral Reform Society.

I helped set up a travel business, and funded it. Unfortunately, the chap who ran it day-to-day believed his own pitches, turning out to be the prospective patron saint of incompetence. I've put it down to experience - I was too trusting; next time, and I'll check someone out first to see if he's an idiot rather than find it out afterwards.

                  (Reserved for a seriously sarky poem)

image: Before Lavazza

Still, my main business activities are in the software industry through my company Cyberspace Services Ltd.. If you really want to know the details, consult my CV.

I've been vegetarian since college days, sometime around 1980. I don't believe in causing unnecessary suffering. I will not eat meat, fish, etc., whilst alternatives are available.

Clichés have it that all vegetarians are so thin that dogs mistake them for lamp-posts, which amuses me no end since, at 17 stone, I'm actually so fat that Norwegian whalers mistake me for dinner. Anyway, I also exhibit curly hair, brown eyes, and such a dreadful clothing sense that my mother used to alternate between being in despair and being in stitches.

The Lady of Fate has cursed me with a pretty nasty heterosexuality, quite opposite to the roots of my vegetarianism. Yet this darkness is at the heart of evolution's humanity dance.

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)

As I'm sure a cliché somewhere goes: you're born the way you're born; you either accept it or go loopy.

You'll find me inhabiting a too-big house in Ramsey, in fenland Cambridgeshire. I'm happy here

with no boxes alongside imprisoning streets,
no brick wall bigotry from some chattering suburb;
no metropolitan clutter, no town crowds, just distance.
                  (from Fenland Sketches)

Well, that's that, then. I hope you're suitably impressed?


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