Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Situation

She was born with a few curses on her head, or so it would seem, of the variety that make the next world very easy and this world very hard. If you are of a holy and patient bent then you can call such curses merely different varieties of awareness.

In the winter, her family wrapped up the caravan and found an apartment in town in a nearly empty hotel. Her mother found a job in the hotel as a telephone operator which drove her father even further into madness. The hotel apartment had a bathtub which was very pleasing to everyone. Her father spent most night sitting in it, without water and fully clothed, writing in his notebook.

Her parents slept in the living room in a bed that folded down from the wall. She had her own room with a glass door leading to a balcony. At night, she pressed her whole body against the glass until she was shivering with cold. Although they only lived on the sixth floor, she had never lived so high in the air. Later, under the covers, she would feel the night sky still chapping and burning on her skin. She liked it there and prayed that winter would last a long time.

One night she dreamed of the bubble fairy in the film, but she was an enormous face in the sky with teeth the size of billboards. In the dreams the midget people were busy whitewashing the bubble fairy’s teeth, working themselves slowly down on window washer’s platforms suspended by hooks towards the top of the fairy’s gums. The fairy seemed to grow impatient and so sent them twirling through space with one swoop of her tongue. Then she opened her mouth and exhaled a gust of snow before catching the little people into her mouth again.

When the girl woke from this dream, she went to the balcony door and opened it. When she stepped onto the freezing iron railing, it was as if she were stepping on burning coals. She looked all around for the bubble fairy and instead saw the Mrs. Almquist, the Pastor’s wife, cycling down the street as if on a mission. Mrs. Almquist looked up as if she expected to find the small girl on the balcony the whole time. The girl nodded and climbed back into her room. She wondered if she would be in trouble soon.

Why does everyone hate the cold and the dark when it gives you the nice illusion that you are home? I need to practically freeze to death outside before I can feel that a house is home, but even then I usually know I’m fooling myself. I’ve never understood the word home. I’ve never had a feeling for it. It’s not exactly a blessing. I’ve lived in dozens and dozens of places in my life and I torturously walk them all on many nights when I can’t sleep. And most nights are nights when I can’t sleep. I know every staircase, window and door of every place and the way my body adjusted to meet them. And yet for all that, what has been the point of their imprint on my body? Was it just to gradually malform my body into the interesting lump that it’s become? No, not even that. But what sort of gift is this sort of awareness to me? There’s no place like home because there is no such place as home.

Just one house maybe. The one across from the little Lutheran church that looked like it emerged from the pages of a pop up book. The snow piled up so deeply in the winter that there was no getting out of the front door for weeks without plunging straight into a snowbank. But I could watch the church. I loved the sound of the one pathetic church bell, mostly because I knew that the little chubby choirmaster made it ring by jumping on the rope. Oh but I lie already. I didn’t care about the church or the choirmaster or the bell. Half the time I didn’t notice it ringing. Maybe I loved the house for other reasons, like I had a lover there and fed him pancakes or that I made my own spells up in the garden at night. But not really. Maybe it was home because I didn't die there. Because I can travel those ghost passages, so awful in other houses, with ease. Because I didn't die there.

Anagogic: office-blocks take the shapes of our frozen bodies in the snow

in the snow.

The Little Match Girl climbed to the blazing roof, snowfall into fire.

All the time.

Caught in flame the snow flakes became snow-fire wings; the Little Match Girl took two of the flakes & carefully, studiously,

stitched them to her


shoulder-blades. Up into the night sky she flew, until the night sky became invisible.

Lutheran chorale. The professor wrote instructions to the past, in the spaces under street names in a map of Uppsala. Urgently he instructed the past to uninvent music & to construct machines to “perfectly double & annihilate the human body such that it becomes a machine for the production of glass eyes for police horses & surplus value.”

Vladimir Mayakovsky, washing his throat in bloodied snow. The night sky had returned to itself, like a vast pincushion with the Little Match-girl hanging, impaled, from a star. Mayakovsky in a frenzy caresses her voice, hurls his body into the street. “Let’s say goodbye.” He says goodbye, it’s May time & no longer snowing

no longer snowing.*

Down on the street it’s dusk. The sky has a silky sheen, like a wrap slipping from my shoulders. I look good in this light. I smell like toast & marmalade & morphine. & weasel droppings. Yet the snow is spoiling my painted toes & the music from the Victrola infuriates me.

Who needs Lutheran chorales at a time like this?

Now the police horses race into the River Thames, whinnying & throwing their cyborg riders.

The boat set us ashore beside the great warehouses, among mud & snow & wrack. I had one thousand silver shillings & a bottle of whiskey in my overcoat pockets. She took my hands & let them go & said “you’d better follow me.” We made our way up the shivering slope, detritus caught in the wind crossing our path or blowing directly into our countenances. That was the strangest thing. The wind seemed to come from everywhere & nowhere. We paid for a night in a flophouse. A bare blanket on a narrow bed. All night we could hear a bell, clanging, & a small bell, trilling. Sometime towards dawn I must have slept. When I woke I was alone. I wiped my face with my handkerchief & drank three mouthfuls of whiskey. Then I curled up on the bed & watched the stars slowly pop, one after another, until there was nothing left to watch.

great circles

mercator projection

window change

car ploughs into nightclub crowd
couple dead after motorcycle crash
CCTV may identify double rapist
motorist kills as car overturns
bridge repair closes part of M56

all the arms
of the wind farm
turn around
but not together

we drove for miles
to find this place in 1976

I've a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore

scarecrows don't talk

I didn't usually wear ties
but that night I did. the situation demanded it
I was afraid not to.

visiting London makes my nose bleed
I drip drops in the shape of seas
the atlantic here, the pacific there,
the Baltic in my newspaper.

The roads aren't nice
or well behaved

I have saxons in the backgarden

Romans in the front.

You say
don't worry it will turn out right.

I sat back and painted the buildings change in watercolour

it rained and was such fun.

I couldn't stop.

*After Vladimir Mayakovsky, ‘Lilichka – May 26 1916, Petrograd'

Sunday, 21 November 2010

First Sleep

The first sleep of her life was in a milk crate. She was born to nomads who only ever travelled the same twenty miles up and down the path way left by the defunct railway line. Her family had a wooden caravan, something akin to Professor Marvel’s caravan in the Wizard of Oz. Her father was a professor, mad with schizophrenia which he claimed was the result of living in a totalitarian country. Her mother said “Don’t be stupid, this is Sweden” and her father said “Exactly”. Her mother had given up on the idea of medicine for him and dutifully copied his rants at night in a spiral notebook.

The first time she saw the Wizard of Oz was in a basement of a church that was showing old movies. If her family presented a sight, no Lutheran eye betrayed it. They were served coffee and sweets. She liked the hymns before the movie very much. At the part when the witch entered, she was seized by such a fright that she climbed under her chair and watched the rest of the movie with her head poking out, as if from bars of a prison. She discovered that she liked prison.

After the movie, she spent many days in a row turning the radio dial, trying to find the theme music of the witch somewhere between all the admonishing news reports and the tired sounding pop songs. Her mother threatened her with a wooden spoon if she kept it up, so she put the radio to her ear with the volume almost inaudible. She heard a lady singing like a bird and it thrilled her. Later she sang it while doing dishes with the next to last jug of water. Her father told her it was the song of a mechanical doll. Shortly after that she found an old Victrola and half a corset in the woods near the stagnant pool. She didn’t bring them home because she didn’t want her parents to try to sell them. She instead visited the spot daily on the pretense of looking for firewood. She slipped the corset on and cranked the broken handle of the Victrola while singing the doll song.

If you are out walking, notice the rubbish. It often arranges itself artfully in the environment so that you would almost think that it was a rubbish offering left by a rubbish tribe, which actually it often is. A green milk crate floats in a stagnant pool, made by rancid rainwater, and becomes an accidental shrine in the Shinto tradition. Or consider some iron bars lying on a hillside in a handsome formation that some idiot might spend months of time rearranging in a gallery under the auspices of a government grant and rename “Revolution by Iron Horse” Think about cars sunk deeply and criminally into swamp land that immerge later magnificently covered in barnacles. There will come a time when this is all you have, just as it was all you had when young when other people had all the possessions. You possessed rubbish and floating voices and you seized onto them fiercely for a day or two as they took a looming importance in your childhood prison. Then, you forgot them or rather they became part of your memory compost from which grew nothing in particular, if you are to be honest. In the beginning, there is always the end and the end isn't up to much. Or at least that's according to you.

What do you travel with a sentence like it gets dark at unusual times. This is an old notebook from the day you were in love with nature. A short woman from Győr with trendy glasses. No one answers the telephone. Sublime flares of heavenly light from burning luxury cars. A tall man with a scar above his right eye visits the moon with money he stole from his father. Unreal life.

The short woman from Győr with trendy glasses kissed the tall man visiting the moon with money stolen from his father above the left eye. She squinted at the scar above his right eye & danced to the alarms of the burning luxury cars. He says I wanted to give you all my money I wanted to abuse prescription drugs. It was getting dark at unusual times he says she puts her clothes on the weather in London is windy & cold with further showers.

Literature is inexperience mediated & unsung. A short woman from Győr with trendy glasses stands in a small room with creased & dusty curtains & presses her pale blue cotton blouse. A CD player in a cage plays a recording of a linnet singing in a small room with creased & dusty curtains. Real unlife. Economically inactive. Clouds

blew the wind across the moon, an empty wardrobe floated on the water swam across the meadow to the slaughterhouse & the dance academy.

Do you remember how to say goodbye. A short man with a scar above his left eye tries on a tall woman from Győr’s trendy glasses for fun. The moon swims on the water floats across the motorway to the opera house & the slaughter academy. Experience is economic activity for the dead. The short woman from Győr buttons up her crisply pressed blue blouse. She puts on a grey skirt & carpet slippers she wears a coat of brightest night she walks out on to the moon. The song of a linnet the song of police sirens the smell of burning luxury cars. She’s happy. She takes illegal drugs. The weather in London is windy & cold with unrelenting rain.

Do you remember the room where we slept together 1 afternoon. You’d found a rug in a skip & had put it in the middle of the room to cover the bare boards. I could hear the railway but you said you were so used to it all you heard was birdsong & your radio. I said that’s beautiful but was lying. I was always telling lies. You said I’m always telling lies. But that’s true about the railway & birdsong & my radio. I want you to go now. I said it’s getting dark. You said that’s usual it’s the usual time. The streets aren’t safe you must go now. So I said goodbye. When I went you weren’t listening to your radio. I might as well have been dead but wasn’t. We must remain the party of extreme revolutionary opposition.


thousands flee across the borders of your crossed legs.

we converse by sticky notes.

there it is an hour gone. between us.

It has returned. we recognise it at once as being exactly the same. well not quite exact

but as a fake town
signs and wonders
the desert at night.

when the party was left we stopped at the crossroads

quando quando quando.

voices as if
a radio was still turned on
something hadn't been turned off
in the distance
the light still on in the study

you licked your lips

you are driving us crazy.

and we don't worry about the elms
and the leaking roof staining
the ceiling coffee coloured blood

and we are getting better someways

I read about Hadrian's wall
in the foyer of your hotel
at the foot of your tower block
surrounded by birdsong
the like I have
never heard before.

The earth is in a state of alarm

everywhere is a tourist destination

and so we wait in the motel
for our phones to alert us
to getting up time.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Plus-que-Parfait will now pause for a while.

Part II - Kaddish - will soon be available as an e-book from Red Ceilings Press.

Plus-que-Parfait III: due to begin sometime around October. With exciting guest contributions.

Watch this space!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Creation Spins Again

there was only emptiness
the sad absence
that stopped us.

forgive me

my town in Mexico

by the fountain.

I really wish you were here with me
watching movies on the sofa.

cold generates more cold
as energy does energy
heat makes heat
a transition period between wakefulness and sleep.

things I remember happening
lasts only a brief time
counterpoint. Body temperature starts to decrease and heart rate begins to slow.

I am lost. there is a fine mist. very fine mist

climbing limes.

If you awaken someone in this stage, they might report that they weren't really asleep.

I think I saw this film before. certain bits are the same as
between light sleep and a very deep sleep

five stages of grief
five stages of death

in the small things

like russian doll.

Salt marsh and mud flat.
A black car still rusts by the red broken down barn.

Electric eel shock. grabbing out at the rope.

we drank in the bar together after work
the one by the crossroads
under the beeches
by the zebra crossing.

when I walk past the iron railings by the park I remember

the birds sing without urging

in the scholar's garden.

Where they chopped down the trees new trees grow now.

I think I saw this film before red as rowan berry.

Like bamboo.

Lasts only a brief time in the small of things.

There is no air in this room. it's blinds are down.

Things I remember happening.

They love beginnings. Can't get enough.

Apples bruised. Fruits decay. Wire rusts. Forgive loss. There is a fine mist. It breaks into pixels. The scene becomes cubist. We are all depicted by little squares Yours are blue, mine are red, a transition between. Between the room. A curtain of gold. We are in the Guggenheim. It becomes automatic New York. New York Public Library.

An article on the 5 stages of grief. We take the slip road. Heading North. Something is playing on the radio.

That security guard has a photographic memory.

On 5th avenue.

In the shop windows a triptych


the blueprint of the songbird genome

So be it.

I love the way you say that.

Say it again please.


By midday it had stopped not raining. Then the animal impersonators emerged from the crowd & climbed a few steps to the stage. There was warmth to the sea & a smell of frying meat. A few police lounged near the abattoir, their tongues flickering in & out to catch passing dragonflies. Becky’s bare arms were white as oil. The animal impersonators began their act. Becky began to massage her face with nude fingers. The animal impersonators, slyly, began to terrorise the crowd. A few police smiled, hypnotising. I’d borrowed Michelangelo’s coat. Becky was slumped in the doorway, listening to the wristwatches of passers by. Nothing could distract her, not even the soft singing of her mother becoming wilder & wilder as night came on. We were at the location described in that silenced film.

It was difficult to get sufficiently clean for the animals to agree to feed us.

I asked Becky for sex. Michelangelo’s coat was punctuated by cigarette burns corresponding to the disposition of corpses expected for tomorrow’s riot. The king showed us around his palace. In each magnificent chamber dozens of humming birds fanned the air, cooling the ripped bodies of the king’s soldiers – victims of the animal impersonators. The king ordered Sarah to read from a book of jokes, & this she did in the queen's silvery voice. The queen took Michelangelo’s coat from me & lay down beneath it to die. & the animals set up a moaning which intensified becoming wilder & wilder as night turned to day.

becky said we must do sex. we left the train at vauxhall & walked a few streets to a terrace house backing on to the railway line.
i said where’s the sky gone she said under the earth, that’s where the sky has gone.
we lay on the bed & she threw a sheet over us & she said this is what you do.
i was younger than becky who was older than me.
when we were finished i said i’ll go now becky.
i don’t remember her name.
she got up from the bed, pulled on her dress & some blue woollen knee socks & left the house.
i heard the door shut then 0thing.
it was very cold in the room & then i heard tomorrow’s riot.
it was frighteningly alone.
i love you, but i’ll never see you again

The king said now you must leave my palace. But 1st you must help me bury the queen. A solemn music, darkglister with viols & sackbuts. The animals stood at the graveside, laughing & playing hopscotch. Now I am at peace said the king. Ask the citizens to hang me from a tree


In the Call Center, people are calling in droves wishing to be enrolled in the Death Stories program. This is a program in which the newly dead are given special stones in which they may record the story of the moment of their dying. The stones are then flown in by special Masonry Angels who place them in chinks of old stone walls and pathways along the countryside. I suppose there is a nice symmetry to this, a story of leaving the earth put back into the earth, but it also seems like a slight waste of time to me. There is also an issue of exactly who is handling this program. The Archives Dept says that we should send callers to the Lives Accountable Dept but Lives Accountable says that they don’t really handle moments of death. So, we end up bouncing the callers back and forth between departments as the callers grow increasingly more desperate sounding. I suppose I understand. There is only so long before they will forget the moment of death in the same way that the living soon forget the moment of birth. There is only so much time until their entire stories will be no more than a plucking of a string. But they don’t understand the importance of this either.

P’tach lanu-the gates are closing on a former life. We hear them closing through a key of many sharps and further beyond a long forgotten key of no particular name. It is the key of the songs that our mothers sang to themselves while hanging sheets on the clothes line. When we pray, we can see a glimpse of them disappearing and reappearing between the billowing white, through the black crisscross of the back garden gate.

A film flickers by. It is something about Jews dancing; a mass of black hats swirling in a green garden where a white tent flaps in the wind. Or it is something about Jews walking; women with head scarves pushing prams carefully though ghettos. Or it is Jews lifting their arms to conduct orchestras or play violins. Or it is not Jews. Or it is everybody, for everybody has at least one lifetime as a Jew.

The film burns to the edges of the frame. It is a dark tear expanding to white, then nothing. Then after this we see the ghetto empty of people and filled instead with hundreds of birds; hundreds of magpies, blackbirds and sparrows settling on the ledges of gutters and windows and making a din. Hundreds of robins, nightingales, and songbirds singing impartially and yet urgently the start of yet another creation. Hundreds of birds in the empty ghetto and along the walls are the imprints of mysterious graffiti that the Angels whispered into the brick. Here are the subtitles, right to left in a language we can’t read. Creation spins again, the film reel goes round and round, le dor va dor. A tired old man sits by the projector , dozing and dribbling into his beard. He is neither slumbering or sleeping, just dozing. As long he dozes, he will not reach out his hand and turn off the projector. May we live through at least another matinee. V’imru Amein.

Friday, 27 August 2010


I live in sorrow. I live in sparrow. I wish to lie down among bells until this grief passes. The problem is that I live in sorrow. The problem is that I live in sparrow. I live in sorrow. I live as a sparrow in a sparse spire. Everything I like is black and white. At night, I watch films while playing the piano. I watch a film about a nun on a windy hill. In the film there are great bells swinging. I am breathless with the anticipation of her inevitable madness.

The music on the page has many sharps. They sit in curlicues like gates to many previous keys. Even in sound, they sound like the past. It is a French song about war and it is sad cabaret. It is a feminine song. I nearly feel as if I should be well dressed to play it.

The nun is ready to jump. Her madness was never tampered down by gates and sharps. All wind is microtonal and wind will get through anything. I love a windy day myself. She takes to it and we don’t see if it takes her back. Mad women identify as birds. They begin to see themselves as augurs; as things that might crash into castle windows after scrying too long in the mossy well.

My voice trails out like smoke and fringe. The tone of it is all shawls, stockings and smoke in split glass. The restraint required is killing me. The sharps are gates that offer a glimpse into something like bars in a window of a downstairs restaurant. This is a glimpse into previous life; one lived in tableau of excess that had seemed romantic at the time. It is so lonely to look through the sharps into another life.

The languages of night.
Languages of the night.
The night of language.

A walk in the rain, while spiders scuttle through her hair.
Poor visibility.
Motorcar in the dark, an orange cat on a shed roof attending.
Winter speak.
Do you love me? Haaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa>zïol.
Shirt hanging out of his trousers.
Lips slideslither
: mind my lipstick!

Another night.
Eerily still, only the whispering of spiders in the ivy.
1 orange cat enters the room.
Switch on the TV.
Invisible poor.
A walk beside the river.
Grey trees, matt cloudscape.
Do you recognise the handwriting?
Do you hate me?
Lips dry as poetry. (As).

Photo-spread of a prison cell.
In white & black
Disturbingly, the lower left corner appears to ooze disturbed.
No sun here.
A gasp of sun.
Bare back & the trees spitting rags.
Down among the blades.
Spying their feet.
Erotic cars motor away.
Central London.

Took shelter.
The world ominously fragile.
Where are these whimpering their origin?
From my own throat they come, touching your breast bone, beating at the window with sensationless fingertip.
Turns the last photo over.
The river vanishes for a while.
Endlessness of world.

Uniform fetish.
Good clean food.
Sleep here for unintended consequence.
How longing is an elastic bound?
Deliriously navigable church.
A lacy rabbit hutch in the sky & the river besides.
All living things are quiet, all dead things attend.
She tells him “closer.”

In close focus mist.
Strange colours, the prison walls fold in.
Shooting dots out of the sky, making necklaces of beaks & hard eyes.
Anxiety, desuetude.
Backed into a corner.
Jeans & lace up boots.
Scary motor cars now.
Taxi with smashed windscreen.
Stinking mouth.

Karl & Erica had lived in Stockholm for 9 yearsThey loved how you could buy pastries at midnight, how when it snowed all the church bells rang outThey spoke Japanese beautifully, they grew pineapples up among the owls, high in their rooftop gardenWeekends they would sail away, to a quiet place & vanish9 years later Stockholm seemed so changed, but so did Erica; &, as if implicated in last century’s thoughts, lace making no longer calmed herKarl played cards every Wednesday evening, as in the past, but often found himself thinking of George W Bush Snr. + getting an erection when he should have been concentrating on the game.

The bank robbers screamed at Erica to get down on the floorBut those days she moved too slowly for crime: the bank robbers knew their chance had goneScents of drug overdoses & frying beef & wild honeysuckle drifted through the windows of the bankStockholm forgot them.

& lace up bootsOn one side, the river; at his back some empty boxes, rubbish binsNo stars along the wallA scuttling soundKarl awkwardly brushes Erica’s lips with his lipsThe songbird in its cage starts upErica calls out to Karl in JapaneseHe listens, but understands nothingIs she saying goodbye?

They eat their pastries sat in front of the TV.
A beautiful human is explaining: the crisis will pass.
Sacrifices will be made.
Democratic values will prevail.
That makes Karl glad.
& Erica ...

she cries herself asleep, curled up in a ball on the floor of the bankThe robbers have a new set of demandsThey want the Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele to be flown out to Stockholm & to perform the Prelude & Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, right there in the zoo“You will sing Isolde’s part,” they tell Erica“But I cannot sing,” Erica answers them“You can sing,” they say“Trust us”

hues of

we made choices there

I love the sound
of the wind in the trees

in the trees in the hills now the blood
has left your body and your heart beat
stills by the side of this muddy river.

payne's grey
cerulean blue raw sienna
yellow ochre
cadmium yellow
permanent mauve
no black
ivory black
wax black

the finger on your hand
the fingernail on your finger

the ring on your finger
your fingers in the trees.

ars moriendi

absence that stopped us

Unter den linden

with a name like a bird or a river

will it ever stop raining.

The winds come together then go separate ways on this coast

the snow on the branch

and dressed in blue you turned and walked away

reservoir half empty


opposite of white and grey

when does night arrive. we are hungry

nobody dies

afterimage of night

cobbled path

through the windscreen wipers we can barely see the road

you never wear sunglasses. cool isn't cool.

30 things I noticed

filled with angels

what is left behind?

your free eye test

relics in boxes

Herefordshire and orchard

a needle through calico

the black death of village

a boil under the armpit

you are in my contacts

i love my iphone

and the red bush. the bush that seemed to speak.

she had not stood there long

he had not stood there long

they'll sleep only when there's a need

how ridiculous is money

i dream of the rood.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


Sometimes, all the time, I like to curl up in the past. Or rather, I find it unavoidable. Because, if I don’t take an idle doze in it, it comes screaming in my dreams. It is a mistake to think this is psychological. It is the workings of time, which works as irrationally and effectively as the body. It’s akin to circulation problems and the way that flow of blood can collect and pool anywhere when a vein goes weak. The body does not always intuit other pathways that might keep the blood in motion. So it is with the passage of time as it collects and pools in the atmosphere. It’s almost as if one has to create the phantom limb that will provide the means of circulation; that is to say re-member. Sometimes the limb is a collective limb; in fact they may always be collective limbs for all I know. Maybe this is always how time is circulated.

I miss you. Limb, limbic, limbo-the body needs touch. If I can’t touch you, then you are not here. In this way, I am limited. I have to return all these books to the library. I think this may help matters a great deal if these things I have been touching return to their place on the proper shelves. I love libraries and the feel of them. I love the cool and spongy spined books waiting there patiently in arrangements that turn mysterious even in the face of a simple organizational system. It is such that if you turn the corner of a bay of shelving you might encounter anyone you’ve ever known dead or alive. I think this is true; then again I haven’t been to the library in years. I am too busy searching for angels in light boxes. I must return the books to the land of the tactile circulation.

I dream of books making their way across the bedroom, going slowly down the stairs and out the door, moving as things that are surfacing from the bottom of a long stagnant pool.

it is in the barcode black

and white in the photograph some angles some lean slight to the left

others to right

considered, arranged, taken

so in between I remember you

your face in the right hand mirror

the ipod your open mouth singing into the wind

then I thought. this is it. this is that
which my father told me of

I am about to die. not now but soon. time flies. tempus fugits

and all the helping in the garden didn't help

the apples shook down form the trees

I would kill for a cup of coffee.

I can't get a connection. no

black and white the light scans

the rice pudding

her lines
microfilm the photograph when

stood at the front of the cottage by

the new electric lamp post.

see. It comes back

the pond is still

and green

and the bubbles in the ice move.

I love the noise of moving ice.

I love pink
I love love

This is our land

our garden of dahlias.

And the wood
I would love to climb those trees again.

my arms are those of a teenagers.

I would climb and climb and climb.

The ground got steeper, & we climbed with our knees until the sun, naked & ill coordinated, rests upon our shoulder blades.

She slouched in the hotel lobby, her bag on her knees, & he creeps at her from behind to rest his hands upon her shoulder blades.

It got dark, & we could not move or cry out. The sun is unmoving, weighing like a sleepy wren upon our shoulder blades.

She got to her feet, shrugging his hands from her shoulder blades & says: I waited an hour for you, now I’ll wait no longer.

On the worn carpet a vase of plastic flowers, spill of grey & pink, + a penknife blade.

She asked him, how did this scar come by you, & he was learning to speak in the Dutch language & he answers saying someone cut me with a knife the blade was dull.

We had to bump the car from behind, to escape from the parking space, David can see the scar on Lisa’s naked arm as she works the steering wheel dull in the pink & grey streetlight.

We skipped downhill, no one laughed, the fat old dogs on the dump growl at us, Lisa displays her scarred arm they fall silently.

In the library I was blind; the police said now you have handled the knife your fingerprints are upon it. Amsterdam resembles a wristwatch wrapped in cabbage leaves.

She walked from the hotel out on to the street, he followed her they don’t say more than two words the entire day, the knife is where he left it in the library.

I followed her all day, & the ground got steeper & she floated up into the clouds & I prised my eyes out on a knife point & make a balloon of my tears & float up to join her.

Lisa swings the car into a suburb, zigzagging between 1. parked car & 2. dreaming horse.

They buried dead words in the library garden, a wren wakes from its slumbers & flutters down to rest upon Magda’s shoulder blades.

The sun was cold upon the blade of the gun.

It lay there, stretched in fine wire, & the fat old dogs laughed.

David took some drugs, lay down to attend to the future, a police car swung through the hotel corridor into his room right up close to the bed.

The clouds were disappeared & rain fell fizzing from our shoulder blades.

They walked around on the TV, helicopters buzzing them.

Lisa jumps through the mirror. The TV floods with tears.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Kaddish 5 "all those poets who died for the love of sound"

the standardised cries close cropped & woven catch at the mattress in lovelessly two wire pigs a riverbank of gunmetal turned the dark bread to its headline foaming a shimmer postponed landscape 2 wire pigs a riverbank of moleskin the car turns over afternoon evaporates hey Veronika is that the cinema two wire pigs shimmer the evaporating mattress flesh eating post-dated land-flow redacted flowers shoot up saviour & bottled apricot shivery silks as beautiful as nowhere


to kiss a bridge bending its back 1000s of missiles


the lake little dog chasing its stomach so gho street eyes clicking out & in smoky rain unimagine the flap of skin along bottle groove & grove halo minstrelsy xzarpxzarp, the standardised cries cropped & mattressed lovelessly to the slum to wired pigs turning the woven bread whispers from abandonedbuildings

mutated, veron’ka is that the Cinema:1000s


the blade soft.
shake out o’white sleevecuff
nail wrist. littlelittle dog
chasing its stomach,another surveillance curse

spectres rare vectors

mbrace for Time then let goe

hot of hair in’s mouth. in absolute


stuffing clothes into flowerfire
a breakfast was on table a long time.
dog being
a cat
beseach a rat

next time they visited the seaside with
capitalist they had executed.
& the shakes, fierce & upon us all.
walked towards the sea. the sea in a park in a city.
chased its stomach

type words on a screen.
on the wrong side of the screen.
throw windows at bricks
let’s have a milkshake & vodka

the human equivalent is
effect of several bright discs darkening the hills start to writhe

“hushclicl. k. format, bleak. stunned, at risk.mystery of the animal.lastwords. 1st ecstatic
for,matnaked. brink of misery. indefinite animal screaming
allday&night.going blindnessed



nothing of importance
is happening here.

the woods are getting closer
clouds take away the stars
the parts of your feelings
that count


the unkind things that were said at the gate

rain grey rain

cold hood tree

long types of cloud

and some tied into the shapes of animals

the fence how it followed the curve of the hill towards the wood

the wood we don't speak of

the wood where the children wont play

the wood where the bracken whispers

lords and ladies
fungi big as umbrellas
puff balls
grasping bramble

blue overcoat.

red glossy glistening shiny berries. red lipped berry
big cup fruits

sunset mist coming. bent hawthorn. a damp wet wood

silent really
really silent.


we always avoid
forever dodge
never count

at all times

cracks in the pavement

we skated across the frozen lake

big red sun falling behind the hill
black rooks rising in a squall

quite wild geese
simple silent



we have stopped talking
we are full of word

in winter
the hill is shrouded in fog
for weeks.

i miss you
when you are gone.


+ closed, + confrontation, + fast-food, + Sweat, + the ingredients, + the thought that + those
-ing so bought, -ity of the guilt, - satisfactorily
About time, Absolutely not, A layer behind, A necessarily drawn, A settlement
Behind privets, beginning), By questions
Can only try, Ceaseless, Childish (at 10 though, Closed, Closest, Coming Consequently, Continuation
Difficult talk, Disclosure (at least, Dissemble
Either, Endpoint, Energy, Expenditure, Experienced as
Fashions, First thought being, Fresh as yesterday, For the day, For too long
Greater hopes
Her balled tights, Here + going, He should, Him to, How outmoded
Impossible to imagine, Irrational
Linda, Line
Maintained until, Memory, Mid-row terrace, Miserable mainly, Misunderstood Money can be saved
Necessary, Nose full, Not him, Now, Now being a parent
Of cat, Of eye contact, Of hers, Otherwise
Passing, Past, Pieced together un, Problem even, Protect the boy -
Re-boot now though, Rested, Round the floor
Sense, Shouldn't have, Shouldn't see, Sleep, So can't chew over, social fall. A, Strange how, Such things
Tan is, Thankfully but, That aroma, That smell, The corollary of, The opposite way The perhaps natural, There, The tired couch, Third person, Those unpractised, To contrast, To then spit out, Too much +
Understand, Unforgettable, Unplannable, Unpleasant though, Unreliable Unthinkable, Unused
Was silent about, Wasted, Well, What he, Will stay, Worst
Year of the Undergraduate, You were fat –


pples-A for.
When we are driving we see wooden signs with painted apples along the way, one per hour. By this, we surmise we are yet alive. Your breath is on my neck. It is May. We are in love and driving once more to Berlin.
Yesterday, we climbed the hills after a long breakfast. We had heard something about Alphabet Angels landing on Kinder. You were laughing at the thought of them landing here. We did not see them but did see well dressings along the way. They were pictures of musicians and apples. You could not read the Aramaic along the bottom but I could. It was Kaddish.

Question-are we still questing? Resting? We are restless, that is true, missing our friends the way we do; Otto, Veronica, even hateful Rennecke. But they belong to another time, to Biological Time.

Some have protested about the way in which Judeo Christian concepts still dominate the Way Stations. For example, this emphasis on language, on sacred alphabets; some rightfully feel that this is an obsolete distraction. I'm inclined to agree about the seeming meaningless of it all. It's more than just language has been rendered such by overuse. I think that anyone can recognize this phenomenon and after all the Alphabets were created to address this. It very well could be that certain vowels and sounds can indeed restore order if perfectly intoned. One of the reasons they are made blind is so that they can resist the temptation to describe. Still I don't know if this is all ultimately a foolish exercise.

Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya seh aleinu. Ve'a kol y'Israel. Ve'imeru Amen.

Has a ring, I must admit.

German has always been our favourite language despite the fact that we barely speak it. I love all those poets who died for the love of sound. No harm as my darling frequently has said. There was no need to describe nature really. When we walk we merely fall silent and that is as it should be. But somehow, it's never enough. I write a letter to Mother, gushing about wildflowers and lush green hills. I suppose I want her to experience it too but it's more a desperation to add my voice to it. It comes as tinny and incomplete. I don't struggle until I am pale and feverish the way that they did. But neither do I pin the world to a board, words fluttering to their deaths like sad butterflies. Now we are driving to Berlin, wunderschoenen.

the voice of richard barrett can be heard therein

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Kaddish4: Now Here's the Thing

then the cypress tree

so dark
the slow moving river
down the long black lazy corridor
lit by chestnut candle

bluebells and forget-me-nots
honeysuckle and hosta
red hot poker

from the shadow
the hostas will grow v large
this year and our small lower lawn

will be stepped through on slabs
York stone
bald barren islands
as it disappear

and over there
things will hang like weeping willow
like fox glove
like lilac
like meat


they know

I love the silver birch trees
their bark
their little leaves

since childhood I have

by the lakeside
by the small white pebbles
and slow lapping


tall trees
little stones
big leaves
wild branches


when the rain fell
on the weaving grass
the hills above
a heart shaped mouth.

The problem with Hegel and Ethel Merman, both, is that they are hacks whose influences have spoiled their respective fields for many generations. Yet, people secretly love them anyway, especially the post modern types. Everyone enjoys their stuffy, dodgy assurances of the power of fate and good entertainment.

They are good bed partners. Ethel wears her cowgirl fetish gear and Hegel is dourly amused. I have to leave the house. I am talking about nothing at all. History is the study of times gone bad. This is a bad time

Foods that begin with A: apple, apricot, almonds, alligator pears. All of these grow on trees. (Next slide please). Begins with O: Orchards. Now what I like about orchards is the primacy of the view in that wherever you stand reveals the whole of where you are, which in turn reveals who you are. Speaking of which, there is no who anyway, only where and sometimes why. I lie, there is never a why. Just a where, ready to wear; I am already feeling better.

Where am I? In a bed full of babbling books, watching a slide show about alphabets.

The Alphabet Angels have flown in. The whole office went to cheer the landing. Everyone is impressed with the Alphabets because they are blind and yet land so perfectly. Sometimes I wonder at the way people will ignore the fact that the Alphabets were actually chosen to be made blind for their life purpose of upholding the sounds of letters and words. It is something akin to the castrati in the glory years of opera, these special beloveds made sacred by a mutilation. The Alphabets are first taught the letters of all the forms of Alphabet, and then are made blind so that the letters will stay imprinted on the retina with impartiality and without distraction. The Alphabets speak the sounds of the letters while the purple traces of the letters imprinted inside them flare like small match heads. This is as if they are walking scrolls but it is only the letters that they repeat over and over and not anything else; no words, no poetry, no stern decrees.

I am unconvinced that the sacrifice of their sight is necessary or even effective. Yet sometimes I lie awake, chanting the names of the letters while pressing on my eyelids in the dark. And I do admit to entering into a strange trance, the likes of which I am hopeless to describe.

B is for beep. I have another call.

the tower’s shanks shimmer
a dragonfly discourses

The extinguished their grieving shadow.

so far

pretty as clover.weepin

away •mathematics surrender


such a lovely life
& flower sellers + informants hawk

”My shoulder is broken“

•••is the city her ancestors experience
walk arm to arm •fragmented•clapperclaw
System[ok dance to this & if you don’t

of malinformation


graciously exploding limbomb huddle venuse

1a hangnail 2a rattling pin 3furnaced great ••blind observatories at antigravitational typologismaticism 4cars skiddng from a

top multistorey carpark 5humane salami opened toxic “A pretty dressskybluedarksash
”grape listen¡

The dead woman
singing in the shower let’s go.immense corpses rearing up over the scorched earth.multitudes of frozen spiders.taken from a location to a location.dis

Clumsy kissing•frighteners

all dreaming
love text found
junk alleys•

wayCapimpitaerialists cramming limbs into a machine resultant paste puke hair & Multitude AURATIC

•1st remove the tongue
•witnesses will be annihilated
•Clumsily twitch inner thigh
•history of pop music of amnesia of jellyfish of prosthetic brains of snuff

movies, cardboard violinists cognate• lipdancer
noSleep at night no
at the window gazing outin at
The inunvisible
Heavens an aeroplane


undistance to distance
sneezes shivers goes back to bed
Aeroplane shivers & shimmers s

ephermeral cool breeze before •another heavenly day•skin from head

peppermint dog shit a few base coins > lost

war• sometimes i feel so sorrow i just
ice want to to the


didn’t even want to be•

“awful scar-r-ed” night a|flooding
dragonflies & war > so peaceful so happy
specimen text one

The future is oursangrybrigade

specimen 2 text

rags of garden
& slang travellin
g through

•the skylight stars

tickle her toes
she rolled his sleeve
up went the stars

through the sky
light & she swarmed
the noonday

moon weaved bee stings in
vests & drown
his sleeve

in traffic
song there
go the bees

through the bright sky•

She was surprised to have been born into a world shared with God
She searched around for some sign or glyph to help communicate with This
Her birth had spread blood and fluids over all the books
The language them were written in remained unreachable even on the dry bits:
Flkeofftab thakmor o-sanyavin
Washti ma thakma o-da
Vvva vva
How can I live in this world in which there is God and This is unreachable?
There were she knew messages form This everywhere
Especially tag clotting and drying f
“Hi! Capital One, MBNA and Barclaycard…
I thought this was New York! Why?
Maybe I am the girl from Jersey?
Like a new potato with a delicate skin, light gold and edible.
The stronger words thuswise languages of your Solanaceae:
Flkefflab tamer o-sandy vain
Washtub ma taka o-ad
Eva via
These words were like city blocks, dull heavy things that had to be got through
Mopsy looked at Milliband, who was asleep on the stoop, with hatred in her heart
In this light, only prose was possible, she decided:
“Framing the experience with a certain evanescent smear
Like the liquors of afterbirth and a painful coming into being
Kicking against the blunt facts was useless but well?
Existence holds on in small pockets (if you’re lucky
Framing the wider wastelands of where you aren’t with something friendly and homely
Framing perhaps a deeper and even more unanswerable question
Like from where comes the onrush of pleasure and things
And where do they go?
Between this. listen, tamer o-sandy vain
Washtub ma taka o-ad
Eva via
out here in the jersey suburbs, the kids bike around at this hour
The air’s glutinous and lipaceous with BBQ
Stray partly burnt hydrocarbons haze it with the meat particles
It is good to be born here now
The text isn’t so much illegible as decorative, like the God
This hovers over the smoke of the fires, and breathes in their goodness
That’s why the sky is yellow, matt and near and gentle
The blocks are flooded and abandoned
How their inhabitants wish they had chosen Jersey
But in This world there are neither bridges nor tunnels
A muggy night again
“SVre now to transmit of you, gliding without corruptions & epitome, while I warble on the sullen Pupills of George victorie.
dull Mildmay, charming white North, and I’ve been up all noise, thrilling, tied, rold the Kaddish angry, lost to Robert Charleton beams steer bright on the Poetrie
the Ruines the Relique—and your Monuments in my heaps twisted years after—And rifled Æsons last transcendent senses animate—write, rak’d how we soare—
And how dust is that rise all Suns drew of, subdue, resigne, possesse as in the Hebrew aire, or the Bacchus bodies of aire—and in my own Immortalities of a woven life—at Day—
Deserted back thru lots, Your teares—and mine all-consuming towards ashes,
the fleshie men—the frame buried in the death—and what contributed after, l”

“Downtown, and his dark knife, Snowman’s, almed
In all the shocks of care;
Sanity’s covered by entering, for the new honesty
Exalted Elevateds from the mother,
Talking to city, which the bed passes
With an imagining Death;
Dress too by fur exploding fat cough in,
When our financial plots worse did see,
And Opened verge to graves death,
Talking the flower of the first Theater:
And as when Strange Name her Death seen
Through the virginal cancer of the accumulations, and shut
A Valise o’re big Hague, we delivered
Our bottle, to cook our Stew to ruminate:
So our enrolled summers shall likewise be
Dead o’th wires of their Mama,
When doom shall an empty night drive
Through all those flowers that with life created.
And as when the gaunt end o’th Darkness drank,
In the I”

And what could be said about it all?
Swells and excursions, minor explosions of interest pointing mostly I don’t know
Did you expect some simple follow on?
The operators don’t work with something so difficult to parse as things and words
Which are things of course, heavy and sticky you know this now but ignore
Everything is very deprecated
This is the music they played at David Chaloner’s funeral
Hooked on by the kitsch of far Baltic mysticism – aren’t we all?
How far are we from Jersey here?
In This world there are neither bridges nor tunnels
Upswells and plays around the back of the head
My lochia have dried now in the full blast of harmony
The solanum remains a solace too
This God talks with words
But does not understand their use.

The voice of Peter Philpott is heard in this text.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

three: K

the ghost

(connect trans.)


of my | breakfast

is singing on | the radio

fleets of armour

belonging to Germany

or China perhaps

a forest

of humming prayers

of witness | of balance | the books | the tie-ins | the star billing

of the honest

eastern prayer of 1943

portray them cow-eyed,


(from rum & coke

- tremens)



(disconnect trans.)

[open the white smile

of the news

I remember you

in Lodz

between photo

polish & grain

under cedar trees

or was firs]

Fragment ends

[was firs,

wasn’t it? the cones

or amongst them

in them

- mouths full of them]

(connect trans.)

in New York

you leaned against

the white box-van’s

graffiti’d flank

& pointed at the moon

or was it the reflection

of the moon

in the glass of fifth avenue

& you asked me

to give up [smoking]



(The Bronx ghetto

used in an early ‘70’s

movie as a stand-in

for the ruins of Berlin, 1945)



(flawless snow & cold beer)

(disconnect trans.)

He had been in carriage No. 162; his name was hidden in a pendant. His mother came to Rostov & recognized him & took him home.



(welcome home, Kolya. Welcome home.)


this house is too big for me alone

At night they play music very loud and laugh at my discomfort

bitter as wormwood.

this is silver music over salmon rock

in amongst last autumn's leaf colour


here is the shadow

at the windmill


In the Call Center, we are asked to redirect those souls whose bodies were burned in the big fire. The problem with burning deaths is that those who died this way tend to feel more entitled. Don’t ask me why but I suppose they feel a certain amount of purity in that nobody was required to dispose of them. What this particular group of burners don’t understand is that they were riddled with plague and that is why the offices were bombed. It did not have to do with the rogue protestations- it was a simple Alliance maneuver. We of course keep our voices neutral and only give the most basic information, affirming their deaths and advising them to call in two weeks for reassignments. In all likelihood, they will be assigned to a group whisper project in which the various names of God are released via the collective whisper into the higher winds. This is done as a sort of comforting measure to the citizenry below and has no other known uses. Group whisper assignments are often tedious despite the spectacular views but they don’t know this yet. It appeals to their egos, makes them feel like proper saints and why not really?

Today has been madness, so much so that some of the fetish angels have been asked to help out. They are, all in all, useless but they make the room livelier. One of them even brought a box of lurid pink donuts from some crime scene, which they keep tossing at each other and giggling. None of them really ever sit down and they get the death codes all mixed up. We keep telling them to enter DBF/PLG CARRIER for this batch but they prefer IMM for immolation because they like the operatic effect. It is irresponsible but what do you expect from fetish angels? They see so much gore on a daily basis that they can’t help but be irreverent. One of them starts humming “The Ride of the Valkyries” and the rest join in.

Since the great fire, only the mouth of the Statue of Liberty floats on the water. Riders on the Staten Island ferry blow it kisses when they go pass. Nobody knows how this trend started, but it is not intended as a joke apparently. Mr. Hegel says to become free is every thing but to be free is nothing. I wonder how this applies to the floating lips if it does at all. He has not been calling here lately. For a while it was every day. I think he is angling to have some phrase of his group whispered. I told him that this is not done, but I think he also just likes to talk to me. He likes to talk about Schumann and Berlin. He will talk about the Alliance sometimes, but all in all they don’t impress him. “One secret note rolled up and hidden away is better than fifty cameras”, he tells me, “and that’s why they’ll never succeed”.


I wait for the call that will be from her, but it never arrives.

it is in the barcode

some lean slight to the left

others to right.

6 hours to do 3 hours work

so in between I remember you in a boiler suit

your hands the colours of christmas wrapping paper

whisky in coffee.

black and white the light scans

the rice pudding

her apron

the photograph when

stood at the front of the cottage by

the new electric lamppost.

It comes back most when the leaves are rotting away

the pond is still

and green

and the bubbles in the ice move.

I love the noise of moving ice.


I stand at the garden gate and look towards the house.

the pig sty, the hen house and the orchard
of small tight red apples
shook to the ground.

the clouds were ploughed grey
ash fallen from the grate eyelids
powdered. everywhere was a storm of green
red crocosmia in between daisy white

it wasn't far to walk across the field to the church.

then it would happen

the red slate
s would slip but t
hen we would

walk straight
towards the ol
d oak.

the smell of hand cream
warmed on hot water bottle

the foxglove purple on that bank
where once they tied horses.

i always take a taxi. we like taxis. we like taxis very much.
we like being driven around
new york


zargzap •
heaven hot as coins •

whiteouts roaring • husher, surgical • stuck-o, on wreck

• all that year’s pop song • songed in the attic •
grassy • revolutionary
violence •
communiqué • an asleep in the pub; a god •
•• attentive. tongues coilingnail
scissors, scratches
. the eye • PROPERTY ••• •• drumming ode to a nightingale onaspine • • • antic:

cannibal hats cry in out the night •

freaks + majesty clingfilm cop • •••magnetic ••exh~ibit, outland nark, o.ordinary street waves o••••••••f••••purplNOe •

• procession. >a thin sheet covers her thighs to her throat

her legs blades
her feet the lost night

terror enact speechlessness •••••••••••••GOODBE••••••••• ••••••••••••

her eyes alone

The texture of the room
QuFiet boy in cold s•o•cks at a window with metal shrubs rattling R
to take him in their arms. His sku
All OBSERVED dearchived in mirrors of paper • blotting
thMe storm continues,

a communiqué • i’
m learning to talkeEd. & radio dust on the floo.r •
scratch the way to the bathroom. i.n sun, let’s be freak . call the

Exterminator don’t replay& the door
shut & never.hallucinnation:owstrangers nshutme down

“robe so pale to rub with fire
human inhumans economico units
the darklings & their guard
Then” begins to howl. Hesitantly at 1
st, all the world there is & obliterate
units, zuzzing, in cold socks thumps

the shrubs cackle back. warehouse siren/miles away.

specimen texts: 1.they could not jail us for we did not exist cause it calling out the name it called
recoiled summarise unillusion sweet
stinging jug of ash trespasses corres
ponding postindustrial storm-hammer,
a gut brace of instants in love powder
s draining from her acrobat blanketed
operate the zero droid blüio bluïo
law efflorescence immanent flappy
angels hurtling teeth on teeth sidelongly
zephyrised coveralls, unpathed mazes



the voice of Tom Watts is somewhere here [there]

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

two: Kaddish

best friend
funniest person
known forever
absolutely amazing
a bit of a weirdo
smarty pants
good music
look up to
just because
used to be close
spotty freak
missed muchly
pretty eyes
far far far far away

new friend
electric fence
bee hive
party animal
glam babe
social butterfly
coach or teacher
a boy
lives nearby
met travelling
bus pass
shares your first initial

the rain beating on the window
the window beating on the rain

beneath the white sheet
fear like a galloping horse

flooded the floor
movement in the foreground

movement in the background
line of no variation

knowledge of change
leave the gardens to decay

irises in snowlight
and it was snowing

the room was full of white light
where the windows were broken

don't believe that when this
switch is turned on

electric light

fragment of a wall

fragment of a figure
your other lover

by the bend in the river
the place the river enters the sea

She runs from the room. The sky is an elaborate system of scars & failed trees. She kicks open the door & jumps from the tower. The bed is unmade, the trees make curious ticking noises. “Very unlike a clock’s.” She pauses on her way to the tower to wear shoes. She cannot stop sleeping, whatever the situation was.

Close beneath the sky are the names of God. They are difficult to hear, for the noise of the clicking clocks. You’ll not learn her name from this, puts a needle to the flame. Rats gather among pools of salty honey. Her hands dance, she takes the cigarette from a flame. She cannot sleep, though looking down from the pit she sees a cinema melting. Her eyebrows are a motto of moths.

She is perplexed by uncanny correspondences between the map & the city where she is dead. She laughs, once, quietly so as not to wake herself.

There is a storm blowing, terrifyingly still. She gets on hands & knees, to crawl the last few feet to the top of the tower. The city hovers above her, stinking & bejewelled.

Fucking fucking near where the streets drown•shakes into jeans, hurries into the room•cameras listen, blindly, to shimmering laughter. The names of God run from the room, they carry drowning suitcases & circumstantial murderers.

She lives in the room as still as the storm which continues in melted down cinema. Her hands have detached themselves from their suitcase, & follow the poetry of maps to the ends of the.

She runs from her room in the sky. She burns the bed & the door & pins a curse to every tree. It is dead inside the bed, her hands dance on the pillows she pulls the needle from the flames. Shakes into jeans, down to the shops. Thieving time. Cameras watch, deafly, fucking fucking where the streets near drowned.

2 texts

1) They gathered at the location of dispersal. Delirious apples redirected crime via immodest science. It became irrelevant as police cars & their wailings faded into her dream.

& in her dream she sleeps on buttercups, the river above her head the stars at her feet

When she viewed herself again on the perpetual news she desired herself as an abstraction desires salted bread. 1 day it will be the weekend oppressively. She said goodbye as though it was possible to mean anything.

2) But our patience is wearing thin.

In the call center, the cubicle is bamboo colored. I have pinned a post card of a Victorian lady to it. I look at her and she looks back. She tells me that she’s dead. I tell her I know. I ask if she likes her ghost home on my wall. She says it’s as good as any.

All over the room, there are voices murmuring and tinkling. Although I know the faces of the speakers, I prefer not to look. All of us give the same information over and over and as long as it remains the same information, the voices stay cool, quiet and shady. Only when we are made to stray from this do our voices start to frazzle, to bray and break with impatience. I don’t like this effect of the outside seeping in because this is a heaven of a kind. It is dull but then again so is heaven.

In other heavens… a light box where he reaches me. A radio sound accompanies whether or not we can hear it. There is an attic room, a bedstead and a washstand, a pearl colored slip underneath the pillow, a lamp, a cigarette and a pack of playing cards. There were foot prints in the dust that led you or maybe messages rolled up and left in your pocket. It might have been a page from an old diary that, once treated with lemon juice and held up to the light, revealed a map of the ether. He is an artist maybe, a farmer, or a Victorian lady driving a truck.

Yehe shlama rabba min shmayya.

Her ghost has entered my blood stream swelling and bruising my legs. They ache with nightshades, with poisons. I take pictures of them in the dark. I take pictures of my still lively breasts and of my face all withered with insomnia. Earlier, I had thought to leave my face suspended in the black plastic window of the bus. I had thought to do this but must have left the bus too soon to stare at waxy fruit in bins. In the 99 cent store, I saw two dolls suspended from the ceilings as if they had been hung. Even in representation, bodies are alarmingly expendable. I buy salted food from the market and preserves and carry them home.

I sleep, or don’t sleep as it may be, with books I have carefully chosen for this purpose. I have books of philosophy and autobiographies of old singers. All of them are dead, this is important; Hegel and Ethel Merman, Heidegger and Mary Garden. I hold them above my head as high as I possibly can so that the texts loom large. I hold them until my arms start to burn and shake with the effort. Something like my people have done on Saturdays for a long time, parading scrolls and kissing them like madmen

veshirata tushbehata venehemata

the mouth of the statue of liberty
is 3 feet wide

man running backwards
over the brooklyn bridge

cobble stones in dumbo
boys on the windows
of the condo
home of the girl in a floral skirt.

it is based on a grid system
right angles
some squares are green

courtesy, professionalism, respect

Take a r. on tilbury towards the prom
go 2 blocks. cadman plaza west
turn r. half a block to clark st
turn l. 2 blocks to henry st
turn r. there is peas and pickles.

68 jay st bar down in dumbo with the bridge shaking

if you ate all they gave you
you would have a heart attack within half an hour.

sign (good design)

he says i said read the read me file butt head.

i want to be arrested by her
the one with the haircut
the hot cop

one way

look at the way the paint has been rubbed off the brick. nice shapes there

this is bergen street on the f train

future bloom


like tiles
coney island bound

avenue X
neptune ave.


next stop is.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Kaddish : one

There is a welt in my side where Dead Souls was poking me last night. I am not immune to irony despite my condition. Every night I think that this is the night when I will, at least, move the books off my bed but I have to buy bookshelves and that would require me to develop a whole new personality-Yithbarakh Obama, audacious hoper. I don’t know from hope. I only have hope on a rope that was cut from the ceiling last summer. But here I am making you uncomfortable. My apologies-oh say shalom and shake on it.

There are deaths and there are deaths. There are black holes and you shouldn’t stand so close to the edge. I can’t help but pace around the circumference and so I have made a levy of sorts with books or is it a fence? A levy implies a wave on the other side but I am the wave. I am a wave and a wave and wave of nothingness. Hey that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? YitgaDali Lama and make me one with everything as the Buddha said to the hot dog vendor. But then again, it’s not good.

Speaking of not good, this raisin bun is not good. It tastes like something you’d get for breakfast on Air Hades-except would you be flying to Hades? At least it’s something. I got it from the store on Coney Island Avenue that is run by the nice Jamaican lady. She said “where’s your friend” and I said “New Jersey” because that was the final address. “You must miss her”, she said. Yes, yes. I got the raisin bun all sealed in it’s plastic casing and a big Stryro full of burnt coffee. Food for the dead-Kaddish Danish and some coffee on the side. Still better than Starbucks.

And still better that I have something to eat. The kitchen is covered in books so it’s hopeless to try to use it. I went to get some milk for the coffee and found the book “Grieving the Loss of Your Pet” inside on the top shelf of the fridge. It was appropriate since it smells like a dead pet is being stowed there. I flipped through the book a bit. “Even the loss of a goldfish”, it told me, “can result in grieving”

Yish ge fish –

people take photos of each other
outside this building

they have been and
now they have gone.

the corn laws.

a bird flew into the
front room window

this is a bad sign.

I watch the sea come in
and it reminds me of

a church an old church a small church
and the skating rink

we used to visit.

this was the germ of things.
the sunday delft
overlooking the long wall
from the window by the fir
we watched
and ate in silence. hungry

cigarette smoke drifts past the window
they are smoking outside the pub.

it is going to rain I can tell.

I am sat inside

reading yesterdays newspaper.


know the of hill

sketching all the strokes/altered night blue/room rapid heart
oh the hundred/s and hundreds of beat between the silent

which will never do anything
moves night cloud into new shape
our eyes our observing eyeshadow. Attack

the screaming ambulance
the hurrying ambulance
the ambulance with arms with tubes
the ambulance full of calm frantic people



understanding of robins
as we sat down to eat

listening to the incoming aeroplane when you would smile
the same again
the summer that never came. see

so the absent word

& soup

& oil

& the empty sea

nothing will be alike (under the single silver birch)
into the dazzling/sunshine from the shadow

as we wait by the white bed

of the rapid eye

as icebergs, any iceberg, blue iceberg

gone now bridge

bright red lip


I have your notebooks

the image of the girl in a teal dress, antigravitational toes. Lilacs

are tunics of bees.She catcDrhes raImmanuelin in a butterfly ntheyet,blisses out Dental okissn Idenwearilytifying,map of plaguthe streets are unidentifiablee city

Maps of plague cities. KAPITAL holds the rocyberbot’s arse up to the lpornight.
door closing. a lawnmower. sun: oily. an oil-egg. brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

ineverdream.the2 dance as the others break their heads among dust & dolls

dr immanuel unclocks a history she’s been painting 17 years the surfaces are inneringly flat they sink into behind the canvasyour moustache tickles
alltimetv.hummockhammocks > cloudcorpses. an old child rothat such monstrous byrthes signifie the monstrous myndes of the people myshapened with phantastical, dissolute opinions, dissolute lyvynge, licentious talke, and other such vicious behavioures which monstrously deforme the myndes of men in the syght of god cks rocks back & for

there’s notalot to do here at night. 1st they drug the sailors, sink the boats. the last train’s gone before he gets there. tvson in the corner. noones watching it. anotheroldchild drags a statue-head out of the tunic of bees. sucks where cowhells lie.

do you want to say goodbye. shesgotamoustache.

Plagues of map city. HOWOLDDOYOUTHINKWAS?

im strolling the park with youknow. there’s nothing of a moon caresses the path. traffic growls like movie killer. iwantosmellyourhair, to be you. imsuchaliar. we try not to look. screen the scene. imitation fireflies begem the river. warehouses. warhouses. letsgotothedemo.

in scene 3 only the left big toe is aware of its situation. god begins sucking that big toe, music plays itself metamusic. piethogoraus.

the plague is big with city. people laugh a lot. they tell the angels in their fetish wear & with their clipboards you are welcome among us, eat us all up. the irrelevance of art etc. is a final joy. everyone looks pretty enough for staying put. i thought in terms of a journey says someone & looks pityingly at itself

language is a stone storm: “hello. take the bodies away from there please. cr” ossed out; summer & a dogheaded rose in the starpool
summer & a dogheaded rose. in the starpool the bodies initiate summer, imitatively. i’m ending this call
hell. o, the suitcases are pre-opened. a book to read the summer by. yellowinged grass, es, dogshit & beer. almost kissing
this is what i mean by a song. up on the starpool revolutionary slogans. there’s blackberry juice at her lips o you are alone now
the suitcases won’t open themselves. inside several old newspapers, winged like yellow grass. dressing up in her tights & jumping thro a starpool into cartoon undeath
the backs of his hands have blackberry juice veinsblotch. he can be lost, i don’t want to wear his shoes. these effigies are strange, because they are familiar from tv. the wife & her children harvested heaven
szluîp/frqqq. kacxzio xzavzio. sprikkkkkkk
she walks beside the bodies, sprinkling them with white charcoal. a recalcitrant star lolls in the corner of the heaven. s>designifyed tearstuff. archived lustre. gogogogogôg
souls jump across the thames
from abandoned warehouses
to traffic lights & the caff &
he just stands there his over
blowing head wobbling on
his legs kicking crowds of
bees & mainlining petroleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
um. ive got punk badgers on my jacket. &sugar in my hair
i take the smoke from her mouth & roll it about. there’s a recalcitrant sun in the nocturnal sky, it rolls round heaven the heavens reduce to a needle poin
t of bruise
se takes the smoke from her mouth & rolls it round. iron bridge. meta-psycho-lizards trash the warehouse devices estbl 18. pulling her tights on, a pair of elbow length gloves. a perma-moon shudders against the starpool’s beat. yawn. wont you kiss me. its like im knot alive

Sunday, 16 May 2010


P-Q-P will shortly be redeturning, with Part II - Kaddish.

Watch this blog, midweek!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

put title here

Part I of Plus-que-Parfait is now available as an e-book, from The Red Ceilings Press. Part II of Plus-que-Parfait will take the project in different directions, with different structures & new contributors. Watch this place!

To download a copy go here

Friday, 16 April 2010

11. Voices in wallpaper


Keep off the back trike
pustule face/ I'm Kevin
lightning collard disco
brick schizo 7 boy in
nappies & I aint never
seen you pinkle whick
the butcher in the pink
stick/ psuedomatic
harbinger of
hallucinatory pig wings
in the swill-tard slop
shucket gutter-faced sky
balloon that burst that
week old roid in ye ass/
you arse/ claterback woe
betider simulation games
in the guffpocket make
weekender face arrangers
meek starved dogs legs
like/ antipathetic
windscreen smear John
Doe Toe glass shine
mean reflection/
Wernickes Area
transcript delted
deleter(ed)/ utterence/
spooltape/ misogynist
gland/ bipartisan quasi-
illusion/ fierce teeth/


endoscope blues/ non-
proprietary TM for the
whisky age/ give me
heavens gate yadyna in
bus glass/ terrific heat a
blasphemy law says so in
the intro/ is that the one
with Matt Damon &
Wahtsisface? Thats
deconstruction for beggars
I'll have you now know no
I want you to
deunderstand/ STOP/
LISTEN to myaeiouriad
voices in wallpaper
threatening to make flies
cameras kiss your face
back on/ statistical
anomaly norm/ it is I sais
it be's/ rubberstamped
office paper electrical-
head baby pram
explosions cutting through
chaff o'life no oxytocin
now m'dear in true act of
smithereening / juslike
telly/ EH?


Mitochondrial/ Oh thats
sooo 2002/ get a life man/
I'VE CHANGED/ get back
in your box and eat your
fingers missy/ end of the
bottle barley water face
with apple skin teeth dont
let me stop you ruin your
life even if it is white noise
in unknowable space its
nothing to do with me I
dont even know you/ do
I?/ captain irrelevant lost
his batteries again/ there
have to be procedures in
place/ arent we supposed
to be structured?/ you twist
its metal wings til the sky
falls off/ swans explode in
your head/


so thats all you can manage?

just spilling away at the
like you always do:

blind candles in your night feet
are the eyes in everything

and 'that' everything has a place for us/

be still/

hundreds of us staring through the glisten of lips
forgot to speak in the thick of it

because of that dirty wind
dubbing us across time

forgot we were static

not music


simply twirling us round on its little finger

where I can hear you ending

and you have gone too far

I can hardly see you






Veronika buttoned her coat it was
blue they were blue. The house was so c
old & all the doctors were asleep. velvety
said otto, & he sings her the letter. She’ll read

it later. He turns on the electric heater, it gives off a stink like chess pieces neologising.

They believed in gave credence to a city made out of the skulls of dartboards. veronika looks at the plan of the conference centre. There is the financier there is the academic there is the doctor there is the police. abstractedly
otto dresses in veronika’S discarded clothes. they become abstract, Ideal clothes. he’ll kiss her, soon, & she’ll metamorphose into dearth. her jaw was hurting. it was bruised. the financier said, take my family but let me & my luxury car

go. Otto & Veronika obey the diktat of The State.

& in the twentieth century marie-antoinette ascends mt. vesuvius. a parrot in a balloon shits on her, clouds drip analgesics. the parrot’s claws are halogen lamps.

veronika unbuttons her coat it was skin they were flesh. the house is full of chess pieces, sighing. feel me howls ott, &

she’ll sing it later. the city is made of the lungs & hearts of the poor. out
marie-antoinette is innocent. she has cut herself shaving. suffrage. saffron. is
identical parade. orange jumpsuit.

in the 20th marie Veronika whispers The State. skulls neologising cold luxury, take the lungs out of the velvety abstract. a stink like finance – orange jumpclaws. otto & century, a balloon in a parrot full of geese. becoming vesuvius, the academic dresses in RIPPED analgesics. bruised kiss, ELECTRIC. marie-antoinette is innocent buttoned her coat abstractedly obey plan metamorphose into lamps

then things get complicated .otto’s flight was delayed .veronika’s mother called from düsseldorf to say she’d be home in an hour ,drew a diagram on the palm of his right hand .hot after midday in bishop’s park ,seraphic ankles
.inside the house there’s a sad feeling in our stomachs .the furniture is gone ,water from the tap, mouths to the tap

She donates herself to Marie-Antoinette.
Nothing has been rescued.
Ideal desolation,
Marie-Antoinette peals Bella’s eyelid back & jabs a tuning fork into the hurdy-gurdy’s belly.
I’ll say goodnight. &? that’s all.
It is night, so that’s OK. Though it appears like it is now. But it won’t be when it was.


i don’t suppose place matters. What we do here or there is no of no consequence. It could be anywhere. As is Berlin.

But we are in New York. Well not quite. But that can be discussed
during the taxi ride.

look. bougainvillea. see how they use old olive oil tins as flower tubs. the colour here suits you.

I love your new dress. I am under the weather I must admit. I am not myself.

The invitation to go shooting was to great a call to ignore.

But I did. To save you from meeting the future husband. His shoes were awful. I mean really bad..

and he stammered like a machine gun attack. So I drank. Vodka. More Vodka. Vodka. And the Japanese beat me till I drank whisky and then the Americans arrived and I was saved. So I ate burger with relish. But ignored the others.

I am the one who talks sense.

When we went to the cinema I thought it odd.

How the random thought, the murder, the blue/emerald dress meant nothing.

I remember smoking a cigarette at the doorstep of the hotel. I saw bits of green growing

pushing up between the slabs. Somehow it made sense. The plane would arrive on time. You would be well.
The green building’s reputation would be saved. The food would be fine. The river was graceful.

The water lily was noted down in the the noteworthy lily book. We went away happy and even laughed at the conservative planting at the cross. They could have used fern in a much more forceable fashion. But hey, we are on our hols.

But when you sat at the board wearing “magnetic pole” nail polish. I gathered like a fishermans net, the outhouse, the autobahn, the night at Innnsbruck and then saw New York on a budget (poor times, and for what?) Then it was obvious.

The train has left. They have dug up the line. I am the only. We are not going to get a decent breakfast. The day has become cyan, magenta, yellow, black. 4 colour print on poor paper stock. So

the smell of summer in the bedroom this evening is like baked bread. Our skin,
the oil you use, sheep, back home in the Peaks, the bed had been slept in by

Marilyn The Monroe. When she had been sleeping with him.

And in the kitchen you sing.

Sing like you needed those new shoes


Rennecke huffs loudly with her mouth full of pins. I once again apologize for being late and making us both rush. “No worries”, she tells me which means “no worries, I will get you later”. I’m feeling like a prisoner of war with my arms outstretched for such a long time, but it probably hasn’t been so long. We are in the moment before the moment-we are next in line. It’s the best place in the universe if physical pain did not insist on ticking off the minutes.

Tick tock. I spy a doll eye looking out from under the sewing table. This is typical Rennecke to treat her dolls in the same manner as a fickle, feral child. How does she maintain such patience for little stitches? A stitch in time saves nine. I have heard in certain quarters that Rennecke has acted the terrorist. Then again, they say the same of me. And I can’t remember if it’s true. I remember strange, iridescent tulips sitting in the hotel vase and I remember a rolled up note inside the yellow one. I remember stowing the note in my hem. But after that I don’t know. A stitch in the mind is kind.

Veronika, Veronika, skinny mistress with the surgical scars, I would like to kiss you. Reports are that you have gone far afield, that you are some strange sort of battlefield nurse in secret warehouse labs. Sometimes I think I see hospital tents there, on the courthouse lawn, gleaming in the night like moth wings.

Morning time, in this life is lucky. I have my piano, I have jam. I have vases filled with regular tulips. Two lips sank ships, Veronika’s mouth tasted like tobacco and envy. She used to sketch me, order me naked and cross legged with a fruit bowl on my lap. I quivered and waited for her appraisal. She was so much surer of herself than I would ever be and yet she was envious of me and my abundant coat of flesh. Joe sometimes came over, his fake caterpillar moustache quivering over his lip as he chewed his bread. The three of us made love one night in the most horrible of hotels where we each bought an hour and so that gave us three for the whole occasion. It was over in ten minutes really at the moment Joe and I began to kiss and Veronika started pacing like an enraged duchess. I sent Joe out to bring us back falafels but even this didn’t calm her. We went outside to the square and fed the falafel to the rats. “You chose a man over me and now you owe me”, she told me. But I don’t know if this resulted in the note in the hem that only a seamstress could find.

Rennecke huffs. She’s such a stitch.


The voice of Stephen Emmerson is herein - &

here & here