Wednesday 17 October 2012

The Moment of Self-Portraiture

We were eating cheese with no bread which assured us of our superiority to most of the room. Danny turned to Rose and at the top of his mechanical lungs: where’s the fucking biscuits for cheese?

That was quite interesting. Rose had made a list of all the things she dreamt about at night; a dark blue car staggered through a suburb blaring out da do da yeah yea dah. Danny pulled up his sleeves and showed Rose the tattoo on his arm, a whale pierced by harpoons and above a flock of angels playing lutes and singing. Rose was fascinated, she turned to the waiter and: more fucking Roquefort for my lover Danny.

They shot everyone in the restaurant apart from themselves dead. Then Rose pleaded: let’s be nice. Let’s do the washing up. By now it was getting to be late afternoon. Danny opened the door to the car for Rose and she climbed in and tapped her fingers on the dashboard to da do da yeah yea dah. Danny asked her, coyly, do you think popular music is the devil’s work? Maybe, said Rose, how about listening to some Stockhausen?

They drove all night and arrived in the town of Apple River, Wisconsin just as dim stars faded into a hazy blue and the sound of bagpipes was just one of the ideas Hegel never reckoned on. The town has a volunteer fire department which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007. U.S. Highway 8, is a busy east-west thoroughfare connecting nearby villages of Balsam Lake, St. Croix Falls and Amery. Our location provides many opportunities for employment and recreation. Rose spread out the remaining cheese and they ate breakfast. Can I get a shave, Danny asked Joe Riley who gave him that evil look and went back to examining the little mantelpiece clock. It’s early nineteenth century, it’s no fake said Natasha. Look, I need the money but it’s a sentimental song. Give you 10 dollars for it and all the blood from my stomach offered Joe.

I could have lived there for ever. On cloudy days an amazing shadow theatre redeemed the world and banished death to the farthest reaches of sleep. But that couldn’t save Danny. Rose felt sad, but she and Natasha needed the money. They hit Danny with a brick and stuffed him in the boot of the dark blue car. Then they reversed the car into the river and watched it sink. Joe packed up his things and went on the road. He joined a circus and became a horse. Rose and Natasha were OK, but after a while fell out of love and never saw each other again - we happy few, we band of holograms.

We happy few, we band of holograms. I, Marie Antoinette Jeannette, Estrella the Star, and Djuna the Young have done our confessionals and are now transmissionable. Pay no attention to those lushes behind that curtain. I mean it too. We are hiding behind the curtains at Gordon Ramsey’s Claridges while waiting for the séance to begin. The producers said it would be here but it seems that they might have been wrong. It is dead quiet with only one angry looking waitress sitting with her head down at a table and, as far as we can tell, no cooks at all to spoil the broth. We were broadcast first into the kitchen upon arrival and it was like a ghost ship. Not a living soul was present, including us, only rows of pots were hanging from the ceiling like luminous birds. MJ took a long spoon and set them off in a clatter. The waitress lifted her head and put it back down. It occurs to me that she might be Azalea, sans baby pram. But, on the other hand I can’t see straight. The drink is what drives my mission to transmission.

I was once a saint if you’ll believe me. I had miracles to perform before the silly Victorians got so CONCERNED with contacting the ordinary dead. And why, I ask you? They are relentless gossips, all of them, the ordinary dead. And unfortunately I have joined them.

“Will you pack it in?”, beams Djuna in such a clear straight thought beam as could only be made by a teenager. “You love to gossip and get all corpsy”

True, I do. But I miss the poetry of the other life and the beautiful Christ pelicans flying wounded through the sky. I know it was nonsense, but still…

We seem to have come from behind the curtain. The Victorians are here and concentrating. Azaelea the waitress has donned a shawl and Ramsay is there in a top hat. A good game of “who’s the ghost” is going on. We are apparently extras in the scene. Just as well.

I miss churches. I miss the 1960’s. I missed the 1960’s. And the 1950’s and the 40’s too. I would like to find an attic room, perfectly preserved with a single bed and a white metal shaving bowl on a nightstand. And maybe a pink dress fluttering from a doorway. Some place to listen to church bells and Ligeti on the radio and people on their way below.

I am completely my PHD in Death Masque Studies. I am also keenly interested in the works of Boulogne. I am thinking of going to a cookery school in Texas. Most days, I am both smartly depressed and stupidly grateful to be alive. I sometimes spend all night listening to the neighbour’s telly through the walls. I picture photos of Victorian faces accompanying the ghostly noise. I like to think I have a knack for enjoying theperipheral Outside the window, the sky is filmy with cloud and the hills are darkening. Love pierces me. I just don’t understand for what.

Adrien Tournachon  
French, 1825-1903  
Guillaume-benjamin-Armand Duchenne de Boulogne  
French, 1806-1875   
Combined Contraction of the Platysma and Eyebrows, Associated with the Voluntary Lowering Of the Jaw: Terror, Tinged with Pain, Torture, 1854;  
printed 1862  

Albumen silver print from glass negative  Purchase, The Buddy Taub Foundation Gift,Dennis A. Roach and Jill Roach, Directors, 2012 (2012.140)  

In compiling a scientific treatise to aid artists, the physiologist Duchenne de Boulogne used electrical stimulation of the facial muscles to elicit expressions of the principal emotions. Wanting his transcriptions to be exact, he collaborated with Adrien Tournachon (brother of the famous Nadar), a photographer who specialised in portraiture. From the negatives they made together in 1854, Adrien produced a single set of carefully crafted prints that the doctor mounted in a large album (now Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris).

Later, on his own, Duchenne copied and cropped the images to create illustrations for his book Mecanisme de la physionomie humane; ou, Anaylse electro-physillogique de l'expression des passions applicable a la pratique des arts plastiques (1862). In the volume, Duchenne wrote that the subject of this image seems terrified of the idea of imminent death or torture: "This expression must be that of the damned."  

I was pleased with it, having seen other emotions, in other places. 

You were not so certain. 

Whilst being driven and looking for the restaurant by the creek on an unknown part of the river. 

Djuna, related a tale her mother used to tell. 

One in which a tree sometimes had a door and at other times did not.

Friday 21 September 2012

Von fremden Ländern und Menschen


It is what it isn't. She took the fork from her plate and made a stabbing motion. It was going to be a lunch like that. We were on the second martini - the second location as in where you must not allow your kidnappers to take you. We were eating cheese with no bread which assured us of our superiority to most of the room. We had received our marching orders earlier but had failed to follow them. We were to go to the big, boxy building with the vents and wait to be filmed. But we couldn’t wait this time, we wanted our long boozy lunch when we wanted it. Mary Jo’s veneers were begging to pop out and my body was stiffening by the minute. We isn’t young. Mary Jo IS still angry about the trip to St Martin when we drowned her husband in the pool. He isn’t what he is, no more. We didn’t mean to do it, it was a cure that didn’t work. I’ve been dreaming about pelicans lately like that nutter St. Gertrude. In the last dream, one was flying pink over the moon and I said “Look MJ, the world can be so beautiful.” I miss going to church.

what I miss is missing. missing has such lovely cheeks, all perfect

I hate turning this corner because I know I'm going to get grief

A year later and Estrella had learnt to drive in her sleep. She was somewhere near Texas when the ‘phone rang in a hotel room near Bordeaux. “We need help naming a newly discovered antelope.” It was a rainy morning and from the steps of the art gallery the city snuggled into a damp coat and sneezed. “Hi Bryony” the voice continued, “Professor Doktor here.” Estrella was dreaming of a snowy seascape, with lowering clouds punching the waves. Texas is a homely kind of a place, everyone knows everyone’s business. He took a strip of painkillers from their box. Then began to smash the windows with his fists. “You got a license for that?” asked Cynthia. She was going deep sea diving later, this was a year earlier. Those spooky photographs of Victorian séances.

A year to the day and Estrella was waiting in a hotel lobby in Dortmund for Jack to show up with the magic amulet. Nervously she read instructions for operating the 1920s lift in a Bucharest hotel. There was a conference going on, for patients of psychiatrists-specialising-in-psychosomatic-religious-mania. Jack came in shivering. He’d caught ‘flu waiting in the rain on the steps of the art gallery. Mozart started to sing like a bird up in the hammer beam roof of a country church. It was a hot and dry day in Karachi until they switched channels on TV. Estrella pulled back the hood of her cape. We all gasped to see how beautiful were her disfigurements. Alison gently placed her lips against one of the scars and began to duet with Mozart: “Mann und Weib und Weib und Mann / Reichen an die Gottheit an.”

The structure of baroque theatrical representation is essentially a destructuring of the essential to create an allegory of the inessential as ethical praxis. Estrella and Chloë made love as sunrise caused all the antelopes to break cover and run for the shelter of a municipal swimming baths. Jack picked the amulet up off the lobby floor. There were sleeping bellboys everywhere. Conscientiously Jack photographed each one of them in left profile before stuffing their mouths with flyers for a religious meeting and writing on the backs of their coats in chalk “don’t forget to write to your sisters.” All of the previous is taken from a text by Nietzsche. So it was that by October Estrella found herself in Wayland, Massachusetts, a town “committed to delivering the highest quality municipal services in a fiscally responsible and an operationally responsive manner to the citizen-customers that it serves.” She’d not bathed in months and the deep gashes in her forehead had healed so that now she was more beautiful than any swan in a cartoon.

Desmond made the almost same drawing thousands of times, each time with a different name for God in miniscule characters dead centre of the image of a tower block in a thunder storm. People feared Desmond and gave him food and drink to ensure he continued making his images. A thousand strong orchestra played in the underground / subway / Métro. Citizen-customers in Wayland, Massachusetts were unaware of this. Jack pushed open the doors of the pub and approached the bar his damp coat steaming in the heat of the place. He asked for a pint and a double whisky and paid with the money Sasha had given him for the photographs of Victorian séances. He drank his beer quickly, then the scotch and reordered the same. Then he walked away from the bar but there were no tables free, so he made his way back there and stood squeezed into a corner. The man behind the bar seemed to have painted lips, but that was only the lighting and the lightning outside and Jack’s desire. I was beautiful once. I loved my own body the way a painter loves how all reality is abstract. And if you are enjoying this piece of writing why not tell your friends about it?

MJ is a artisan when it comes to lying. Her lies are perfect crystal boxes, prismatic and dazzling. They reflect so much falsehood, that they become a truth in themselves. Except they isn't the truth. But this is partly why I tolerate her, I love to see the rainbow trails come from her mouth as she lies with such purity. We are drunk now. We've stumbled down the street to find neighbor Azalea smoking on her porch with her non sleeping baby wailing away in the pram next to her. "We'll take the baby for a stroll while we go to buy a lottery ticket", says MJ. Azalea nods bleakly and we push Baby Millie to the liquor store where we get two Bottle of Prosecco and an extra lottery ticket for Millie. It's a beautiful moment, caught on film, unfortunately. The producers caught up to us.

Prince Harry has begun a four-month deployment to Afghanistan flying Apache attack helicopters, the Ministry of Defence says.

Britain, Germany and France urge fellow European Union countries to impose more sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme.

The chairman of a charity protecting street children around the world is jailed for 30 years for sexually abusing young boys.

The family home of a British man who was shot dead in the Alps along with his wife and two other people is to be searched by police later

Should people be forced to take long lunch breaks

How do blind people learn to run in a straight line

Birds hold funerals plus nine more news nuggets

Frank Lampard scores twice as England start their World Cup qualifying campaign with an emphatic victory against Moldova

I am concerned about the condition of my sprouts

The search for Richard lll may be nearing its end

James is indignant. James is annoyed

Sunday 20 November 2011


They lived in a city ;made of; rabbit snot. At night they fired revolvers at the moon heavy with snow. Police suicided medical uncles in multi-storey car parks. That was the time of Universal Peace.
Soon they were at sea in a great storm. The year was Wednesday. All aunts named Isabella feared the effect of the snowy moon on boarded up shop windows. Capitalists made love to mechanical razor blades while TV news readers skipped around the excited Capitalist love-makers chanting “guggle tor.”
They arrived at a harbour made of ukulele echoes. Their limbs were gold as silk their lips rich in geranium mines. That was the time of the forgetting of all books. Sally became a popular song and I became Sally. Nothing lasts for always although unchangeable.
They drove their cars into a desert. The buildings were low ceilinged to attract mystics and their lodgers. Hank showed them around the bedsit using pipettes to derail trams. The next day was 1774. A strange cloud pulsed over the city between the hours of midnight and mid-noon. Rabbits danced outside boarded up shop windows, selling seascapes ;made of; 50 rouble notes.
They were clothed in BOREDOM. The hour was 1979 and Margaret Thatcher was strolling through a zoo. The sky was silk as gold their limbs encrypting shadows. Every so often Margaret Thatcher would pause, to bite her toes off at their circumference. That was the time of Universal Sex known as Desolation.
When they awoke it was late afternoon. They rubbed spiders out of their eyes. They ran into work, naked and gashed. In all cinema beautiful uncles fell from tall buildings, their moustaches floating free from their countenances and spouting fire at a city ;made of; rabbit snot. Sally’s dress, blue as the sky in the cold and silver sea, her eyes, silver as the sea in the cold and blue sky, ooooo. I only want you to be happy.
They pushed the two into the back of a car. It was raining heavily, clouds low over fields, wind hunkering down to rabbits in their burrows. But Theory is also essential for the transformation of domains in which a Marxist theoretical practice does not yet really exist. Louis Althusser, ‘On the Materialist Dialectic’ from For Marx translated Ben Brewster. Sally’s dress fitted my bodies as though I had never been alone. They crashed the car at a seaside location. The rain was now sleeting, the daylight so dark they could see no further than the walls at their feet. The path grew steeper, the sea’s dreamy screaming more distant. The two were now abandoned, in a place without street signs or breakfast menus. Tentatively they made their way along the beach. The tide was going out. Seaweed glittered, winking at a dull earthy moon above. The two kissed, because they understood someone was spying on them. The year was twenty past nine. In the skyscraper they went from floor to floor, leaving their memories in every unit for living and despairing. The rabbits scrambled out of their burrows and sniffed the clear, salty air. Ludwig of Ghent gazed out on a city night. He observed a paradox: that all the lights were darker than none of the lights and that some of the lights were brighter than none of the lights. This is called Ludwig of Ghent’s paradox and is the beginning of the world.

Written by Anonymous.

Thursday 30 June 2011

Be finer, beautiful

All of you pass through here but noisily.
All of you are concentric circles, like I read mindfully in a book.
The poorer the noise, the louder

I spent my time in church today.
The pew was a row boat
The quiet was a lake.

But such things can't last.
Chatter drifts down from the rafters
And now I am riding the train.

There is a struggle to be heard in families.
this is the kind of noise that will last all the way to Brooklyn
the boy in blue moves to get away.

-pause now for electronics

As I told you last time, I read that writing on the wall.
It shone like new information but wasn't.

All of you pass through here but noisily
At the restaurants, you don't know which memes to use with the menu
Weighty ones or sparkly ones? Well bless you for trying. I wish you would stop

I am sorry I really do love you
We had a special bond the minute we met
I liked the scarf you wore and your oversized glasses

I want you to stop giving me health advice
and information about your generation. Instead
We can sing a few songs and get spit into the night

This too shall pass. Secret to happiness
The only time I dare is when I'm about to stop.

-pause now for the secondary theme

I like to watch the birds fly off these tall buildings
Because they are notes on a stave in the sky
What is metaphor? I watch contrapuntally, in contra intuition.

In my heart, I can't help but tie up loose ends
even when it's useless. Even when there is just
Reluctant white space, the advice was to use the sustain

The last time the city burned, it took two weeks
Before the first one of us finally laughed.
And for the bells and birds to come curiously back

I wish to turn my back on all this
But there is no real way to talk about birds
I remember the party where we tried

I have learned to love cities again
And so will shortly turn to salt.

On the surface nowhere military uniform nostalgia pale green sea
Through the silent head another silent head silences the silent head increasingly
Birds peck at the withdrawn appearance & poor appetite skin grey & stars
A generalised agitation privileged vision a dark shape moving through no night
Inviting citizens to denounce potential corpses all the clerks of London Town
When she turns her head to face the light & flame on the pale gold sea
Some fuckwit breakfast news
When she turns her head away from the night into the dark the no night
A blade in the wrong hand awkwardly smoking frost & rain
On the surface little life forms eat breakfast news
Through the silent orchestra the sound of a great flood & terror
Birds peck at the monument its tears coalescing to form the slogan nostalgia
A generalised war & total peace & cutting my throat to make my cloth
Inviting citizens to explore the history of war crimes in amnesia & rain
When she turns her head away from the pale grey sea & dark & flame
Some fuckwit democrat with scorpions for nostrils
When she turns her head away from the dark red sea & makes up a name for herself or madness
A blade in the wrong hand smoking with a sick smile therein

They jumped the banker & bundled him into the back of the car. He asked if they’d go away with him into another country. I had a bad wound on my back which had gone untreated for several weeks. Nothing she said made her feel any less silent. They ordered the banker out of the car & into a lockup backing on to a railway. A child kicking a football up against a wall again & again & they asked the banker if he was a fascist & he said yes I am a fascist. & they put the politician back into the car & drove out of town. & he asked if they would go away with him into another country. & they killed him & dumped his body in the pale green sea. & the sun went down red&gold & the sun came up gold&red & the day was wonderful & the sea was wonderful & calm & stormy. & they drove back to town & died there. & hope is a four letter word. & the child kicked the football over the wall & went away into another country. Doctors call for alcohol ads to be banned.

“we press
hands together, as scars of circling bone
where silence is also prohibited, funded
guns surround the city banks’ networks
of compulsory metaphors speaking aloud”
Sean Bonney ‘after Rimbaud’:

& so will shortly turn to salt ...

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Saturday 30 April 2011

Ultimate Thumbprint (your)

We watched them paint the wall white
obliterate all that was there

You might find yourself falling through multiple manifestations or incarnations on your way to find your Ultimate Thumbprint. 99% of you will long to identify these "mani-carnations" as "me" or "myself". There is no harm in these sorts of false identities as long as you understand them to be necessary errors on your way to discovering your UT. As long as you expect disappointment.

Who are you really? Many of you don't care any more and that is right.

But as one of our customers put it in the following letter:

"I am not the Coke commercial that rattles in my head from 1975 and I am not the stupid joke about cantaloupe that my father told every day of the summer months. I am not the bad information that is given about nutrition every week, in the papers. Well...maybe I am the cantaloupe joke. And some jump rope rhymes. I honestly don't know. If data covers me like moss or rust, do I have a right to insist on my original structure or condition?"

What structure or condition was that we ask? Our customer explains her plight eloquently, which is your plight too. But she misses the metaphor. It is not her fault and it isn't yours. Nobody asked you if you would like to become the vast meme storage house that you are. But you are.

Let's put it this way. Picture a perfectly white wall. Gorgeous, isn't it. Now picture sentence after sentence painted in tiny black script on that white wall. Picture a tiny sample about the size your open palm. It reads like this:

I'd like to teach the world to sing

Oh honey I cantaloupe

in perfect harmony

She sang, she sang, she sang so sweet

healthy foods that really aren't

I wish I were an Oscar Meyer weiner

Aiko Aiko Annee

And so on. It's not exactly Wordsworth I know but it has it's own little rhythm.

Now picture four immense walls all the painted the same and with tens of thousands of sentences. Four angels dance in the middle in a fit of epilepsy. That is your knowledge of yourself.

Now pull back until it all merges into a blurry, swirling pattern. This is your Thumbprint. Are you happy with this?

It's no use to be happy or unhappy. Sentences ate you while wild angels danced. Your Thumbprint is the story of your death that happened the minute you were born. So why do you care so much about being unique?

A listener is on the line saying:

"But I don't care about unique. Well maybe in this instance that a Blackbird chose my garden wall to build a nest. This makes me feel pretty special, pretty blessed. My lover painted the wall white while he whistled and the Blackbird chose there to build her nest."

Blackbird memes are among the most beloved of memes. You are right to be happy for your proximity to blackbirds. For only the Blackbird is not used by her own song in her brief and tuneful life.

But as for you, the writing is on the wall.

Summer’s ghostings. Stringed of stars. As they paint their wall they watch us in our
what I am afraid of again
as they paint their wall they watch us & obliterate

Her smile, the scratch from the coarse grass & weed & bottle black dandelion upon her thigh (inner, right)
I’m alone on a bench in the terrible cold sun
I approach the wall & they watch me approach the wall & I avoid their gaze

numberless ghosts 1-100

The stars run golden as blood, silent as a riot

we ran from where the car was burning the river was close by
Down a "one-way-street"
Word on a wall. wall on a word.
she stretches out on the grass. Weirdness of the breeze that seems not to move is in her hair & across her eyelashes. Her lips have been chewed to bits

everything looks different. Différance. the room stinks of old white paint gone flabbily grey. she

bites me on the SHOULDER & the railway goes away out from the city out into the suburbs & crying children & someone hanging themself from the garage roof ...

... we watch them. They paint the wall white. With every coat of paint the words
beneath the paint upon the wall burn through the back of the wall & out into the

"World." Trillions of fish bicycle through the streets randomly shooting water pistols filled with napalm at passers by
hashish in marseilles
she bites me on the shoulder & i look at her closed eyes & kiss the lids. i go to sleep. they continue to paint the wall white as a blind man’s summer sun at noon. is this where we were headed? it’s nothing much of a place. near a small stream & rubbish. stop crying you’re making me sad

Excuse me. Why are you painting this wall white. My friends want to know. They wrote the words on this wall & did the pictures. The pictures represent the Garden of Eden. The words are their own invention, they represent nothing. Does the whiteness you are painting the wall with represent the Garden of Eden before or after or during The Fall. Or does it represent nothing. does it represent my friends’ words. are my friends’ words nothing. beyond representation, nothing. fucking ideal fucking nothing. We are Fulham super Fulham we are Fulham fuck Chelsea. They’ve got no fucking features. The people painting the fucking wall have got no fucking features. They say they are angels come to reclaim the earth for God. for good? i just want to kiss you once again. on the lips. taste your breath. feel your hair against my forehead. then i’ll kill myself. gladly.

fröhliche wissenschaft

words mean nothing

or nothing means words were

the sun stands still for a day or two

the opposite of black

the colour of milk or fresh snow

a sheet of white paper

due to the reflection of most wavelengths of visible light

approaching such a colour; very pale

pure; innocent and untainted having white

flowers or pale-colored fruit

having light-colored bark


from white grapes

or dark grapes with the skins removed

served with milk or cream

transparent; colourless

from a light-coloured, sifted, or bleached flour

wash whites separately

pieces in chess

white ball

the outer part (white when cooked) that surrounds the yolk of an egg; the albumen

the visible pale part of the eyeball around the iris

a white or cream butterfly that has dark veins or spots on the wings. It can be a serious crop pest

white out

white something out

obliterate a mistake with white correction fluid. • cover one's face or facial blemishes completely with makeup

impair someone's vision with a sudden bright light.

this cannot be taught or understood ever again

the typewriter is now dead

the genetic bit is

you were taken by it


we were

on that day.

Wednesday 9 February 2011

... linguistically fluent in Targoviste

I hate it when you get angry with me.

they always missed the sales.

the television set wasn't bought from argos.

they bought the best for christmas.

when the brick fell they didn't notice.

they saved.

when they were young they used to walk past the pigsty.

they climbed the apple tree to shake the fruit down.

he thought rabbit hunting was fun.

there was nothing much in the ward that sometimes served as a cinema.

he used to love watch the nurse, Hilda, wrap the bandages around my leg.

such a brave paratrooper she said.

we often played backgammon and drank cotes de rhône.

always after we turned the gas low.

there were no rabbits.

the cars had stopped crashing.

hidden by curtains we washed each other.

it was a bit like Spain.

well sort of. if you blinked. If you stared at the lights.

yesterday. I recalled a train journey.

I remember we wrote to someone in spanish.

sometimes I miss the pizza we enjoyed at grimaldi's

they have missed breakfast twice now.

I guessed it had being snowing yesterday.

going by your shoes.

my father and mother are not my real parents.

my dear aunt has gone out.

I hate fishing.

I think I am deaf.

I care not for topiary.

at night when I put my shoes on.

they walk around the house slamming doors.

all the time they hum hymns.

when you hide behind the newspaper.

he was awake by a half dead campfire.

Andrew often think how exciting it would be to be a cowboy.

I am.

no, I don't speak German.

Also sprach Otto: What good are your angels dancing on pins? Or your ruminations on timeless time? Every generation breed the same consortium of halfwit hippies. Happies. About what are you happy? Woe unto them who bind vanity with cords of inanity. Hear ye! Rome isn’t going to burn neatly this time in a merry bonfire around which you may dance. Stockholm isn’t going to burn like a pretty Yule log. All will disappear in a fiery instant including you. And all will be sucked into the twinkling Cyclops eye of He who watches and neither slumbers nor sleeps. Swedish Idol shall pass away. Howl ye terrible poets and songwriters! Ein festering Bugger is our Gott. And an angry Bugger he is too.

The church secretary looked up wearily though the netting in her little Film Noir hat. “That’s not quite it, is it Reverend?” she said in her Ingrid Bergman purr.

“I hate folk masses” the Reverend said by way of explanation.

“That little solemn gypsy who lives at the hotel is here again”, the secretary sighed.

“Good, good-we’ll have some pastry then”

She enters carrying her small Bible. She has come to ask him how it she might go to prison without committing a crime and therefore a sin. Her desire for confinement has grown immense. Sometimes she begs the hotel maids to leave her in the cleaning closet while they go about their cleaning rounds. Most of them, except Alexandra, tell her to suit herself and not to touch the cleaning fluids. She never does but looks amazed at the blue coloring of the liquid and the menace of the spray nozzles. She counts and recounts the folded sheets. She passes the mop back and forth between her palms while she scryes the inside of the mop bucket. One time she saw Mrs. Almquist’s face at the bottom and became so frightened that she banged helplessly at the door until Alexandra finally heard her. “You see, I told you not to stay in there”, Alexandra said patting her head.

The Reverend is amused at her request. He thinks it psychological, something to do with a need to be settled in a place. He is wrong. She doesn’t desire to be settled, she desires to be efficient. She desires a sort of spiritual mechanization process that will allow her to watch the world from outside of herself. She thinks the routine of confinement might speed this process by years. She does not tell him this however because she does not possess the words. She pictures her soul as silver; a bubble fairy singing only the highest and most impervious notes laid out in rows of gleaming teeth. She does not tell him this either but merely rearticulates her request to be somehow sentenced to a prison term.

The Reverend leans forward in his chair and offers her a pastry.

“I can’t send you to prison but I can send you to school. There is a choir there, you will like it”

The girls nods and understands herself to be further sentenced to childhood .

Professor Aurélia Blight & Otto awoke by a .5 dead campfire. In the distance a giant department store appeared to float free of the plateau, like an embalmed yet living grasshopper. Aurélia kissed Otto. He signed to her, do the birds sing? They walked beside the river Elbe, admiring its medieval mermaids.

Sunday formed a crust on their kisses. Otto climbed aboard the dodgem cars, & machine-gunned the crowd of 1000 year old children. Where a child fell a football stadium sprang up, & the birds flew over the shadow-children excitedly to watch the games.

Sally & Simon patched the roof with snow. The zoo was very close now; in the stillness of the longest day they could hear it rolling towards them, the animals laughing for pure joy & the exhilaration of non-existence. Sally’s throat smelt of peppermint & coal dust. The snow blackened until they could paint by it. Sally painted many beautiful pictures of the fish in the sky & the birds in the sea. Simon fell over & broke his lips into maps. Sally combed her long yellow hair & smoked a cigarette. She sat in the window, her feet dangling above the street. She sang a few songs to herself & the clouds reached up to carry her away.

Professor Blight was teaching Logic to her orphaned students. When she had finished she joined Sally on a cloud & they drove the car away into winter before summer could end. Otto huddled in a doorway of the giant department store, which was now rooted to the plateau. In the terrible cold he sang songs for coins, songs which had been popular when Sally was young & Simon was asleep. People took photographs of him to forget they had ever been there. Then some police took him & kissed him all over his body which had ceased to be flesh & bone & skin & had become a map of rags. This was how the world ended.

They examine the bird carefully. It will break in their minds. They pull back a carpet & suck in cool mud. The oldest books are at the storm’s centre; windows rattle, eels rush hissingly across the sandy floor & bite their heels. In the next room the motel blinks & sleeps in sleepless blue popular symphonies. Jess keeps shooting at the TV screen; Pavel is too busy writing love letters to Patricia to care. The motel annex is the kind of place terrorists favour. They drive in & out of the carpark, all day long, & similar to the recurrence of the seasons they know no sequence.

Simon spent the next day cataloguing Mrs Johnson’s collection of whips & fetish wear. The oldest examples in the collection dated from next century. Suddenly he realised that the train had pulled into a station & was waiting for the signal to move on. Leaving Mrs Johnson’s collection to the mice & their infants he leapt from the train & ran down a grassy bank towards a small & brilliant river. The air was thick with butterflies & tremulous with birdsong. Sally sat by the river, her feet in the warm salty water. They embraced & night wrapped them around like the furry tongue of a great beast of prey.

the names of animal royalty

roberto duran eating a royal fish

screaming peach

drip jibbling his chin

beard black as bluebeard

awful fucking fights

he pushes familiars

to the brink of their walking station

owl ore and carrot diet

he eat two eggs, grits, two steaks

five glasses of orange juice, malt

drink, milk, peas, and then he got

punched in the stomach

naturally he’d had enough

sacred rye rub cracks

friend of Syria

never felt lonely on board

a sacred deck, home

guadalcanal, seeds

fasts speaking mud

my epic work – lumbii

celebration of the male

grope witch, my man ribbon

the earth is molten

everything is moving

spit & come swapping

you can have it out of me

with your mouth

like gummy hybrid migration

thankful chips

Hepsibah, queen of bees

I killed a French in a poem

stillbird in vietnam

shouting in wetdreamt


some must be everyone + no one

incest was no explanation

bush crack hair wire

against caribou in ghana

boys playing tennis

black boys

I am a black poet

shifty and angry

hood that smells rancid

guess the animal dot

fix eager in Algeria

I am Mohammed Choukri

and driss ben hamed charidi

mixed up with Isabelle Eberhardt’s

church going relatives

dans Geneve

city of parks

and dry lakes with Ciara

sooting the tooth out of my arse

instead of an animal

like a dog – a pug

we got a covered band

and fuck all use that was

I knew Mog

I knew a closet cat

who would leper

coffee and mint tea

feet and socks

of Mohammed Khair Eddine

I have deliberately left out the double dot

Cecil in Vicenza

spying on a brush boat

of tourists

is at the edge of fervour

choosing his paint on a swatch

emulsifying a pigwash pink

for his daughter’s

tiny room

Coral Brancho is eating my toenails

and turning down


the friend of people and animals

let me see you at the dawn of everyday

the calver with clean heads

cleaver Jane scribe

who drives anon

away civil evil

who writers trut

arsenic sulphide sunwipe

I’ve not done any evil in this land

all life and companions

just as I was on the call

the earth

black bone breaker

threatening the Jean Pascal

of Londonderry

not told lies lightly

there is a bomb on the milkfloat

I am a crock

crocq mersed in terror

and linguistically fluent in Targoviste

I dream shells

I am a crocodile


who takes by violence

Spell 88














battery low

bring nothing new to the dinner table

yet toy

are the first to reap the upward guff of medicine

burn the school of gentlemanly conduct


wipe in women’s hair

puree of the tomato

fud to the form of the novel

two directions of the novel

by some cunt

enter in peace

and leave because it got too hot

in there and someone died in the last

bacon competition in Finland

Sauna dirt fill the form of the novel

Enter in peace

technology that serves a purpose

while molesting a lamb scandal

with mint and veterans

cunning crossed with prison

priest of poison

hex on whiny jews

hiss hoss


last leg

the turning cog

upper leg is right leg

full mobility for army Billy

the bloody bandage is loose

slack vagina

omnivorous dance crasher

slack anus

turn is turned

backbent in a spinal memory

the legs x’d in a flourish

two thousands criminal prosecutions

no heart for defence

just give me a five pound note

I’m so poor and you own a car mate

you owe me a cigarette

just asking for directions

stupid cripple with spinabifada

on the Holborn ducket

eating chips

selling gymbox leaflets

fell into a bus

no internal organs of any kind

no lungs, liver or duodenum

no mouth even

no blood

no fear of water

no wife

no jacket

no winter

no crank

no cogs of the judicial

no crank

no whatever is within block

no crimps

no smile for me

hymen dragonface

complaining is the central interest of millenial American poetry

we watch the road

the dung beetle

to battle with a shitball

the carrot’s groin

touch the brow

of eyelashes

sweat black like a robbery

the one walking amongst them


fucking quitter

from a rough area

he wasn’t given a chance to suceed

television warble catwipe

die blaue wheelbarrow

full of newly rescued human excrement

beetle frown

untrimmed bush

appear smile

vice versa sleek

intimidating shape bouncer

soldier condition for Easter

turned my life around


kip hemp & barley ween

shouting “hard work a mean business”

daft swift slip

our general is Gobbles

art with a spade

nibless fountain pen

prize living winnings

poorly tendered taxidermied tits

no wit

dig for bones

saliva smell around an untrimmed bush

barrage of mutes

low water quality

Ben Morris has dignity

bilett homosexual deepcut rape

mother-in-law or something

another pigeon unearthed concerned

encased in weed & bronze

dinner finally ready

Hanuman massage

monkey Elvis cancer of the bowels

iron tire does nothing to halt the snow

peace treaty

the siege of Copenhagen

bloodshed precum

O kindnesses!

thoughts of you & grime music pussyole

apparently useless

bus driver report

warm & smiling while peacefully asleep

courage for the hardest yard

pink & furry in the most charming of places

siege cannot fail

acoustic guitar is a dead instrument

robbed an old person

to pay for a reading of international

shot with a crossbow

ready loded beneath the mattress

machete beneath the pillow

and samurai sword, filipino fighting sticks

penknife, pepper spray

I have brooked this river once before

it ended well

far west superiority

winning ways

false memory


horse march

run home

ihooves paint black holes

desert mud


emblem chest


blood mark disease

Angola prison harsh sentence


should not eat bushmeat

the cross’d crusader

trouble with Tuesday double-vision

I eat fists & girl farts online

as though they were peaches

strange profession to choose to be a schoolteacher

the shout of the average


my mother



once more

once too often

for beating a muslin body roll

dyed blue

bound and torn in three

warfare limits to ten minutes per engagement

storm the chair

the ergonomic backache warbler

a life and legend in a bathtub

a walk from Exmouth to Topsham

a consensual

a mutual organism

rhizome junior locked up for fifteen

life spent with barely two come at the same time

schooling sandbag bayonett fust

stab that bastard in the face

I stabbed that bastard in the face

cut him Chris

I am ready to die for my country

are you?

complete turnaround

in a pub


off the A30

hot tits

polar obsession

pliers and other tools of dentistry

best to tell the prisoners we don’t money for dentures

permission to record the guest speaker

crash car in a zoo parking arena

baby bambi offering its rear to the wind


pirelli calender by terry richardson

she won an award she was so good at it

but converted soon to that mumbo catholic

gund & snund

death & fire

whee bear churns butter

for the funeral

staged photograph

carnival in the mountains

first exhibition in Romanian church is poorly attended

but sounds great posthumously

Sunday Monday Tuesday

nazi whore search

knee to knee bent to the left

flag day

trip and skewered scrotum

dead in a car crash anyhow

S.J.Fowler is here

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'