Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Letter in Turmoil 4 / A Butcher's Lullaby


Even in Kreuzberg I can smell the burning remnants of Britain. Each morning I’m out here on my balcony, as the sky flashes from red to white to deepest black, as strange patterns of geometrical dust settle across the body of the city. These patterns I think of as a calendar of British incidents, some erased, some imaginary, some appalling. I feel like a crater as I scratch small counter-patterns into them, something equivalent to the stark anger of the circling birds, the swifts and the sparrows that shriek like shattered human things all through the morning, or whatever it is we can call the strange glow of the sky in these peculiar, hijacked days. It’s all so quiet. The shrieking is quiet. The blank statistics of the calendar are quiet. The obsolete sigils scratched onto my window are quiet. Kreuzberg is beautiful in the summer. The sounds from the canal are ever louder, the screeching of invisible time-zones blocking out the shapes of the sun.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Letter in Turmoil 3 / A Note on my Recent Poetics

I stopped smoking pot a few months ago because it was making me paranoid, but since then most days I’ve been taking potentially fatal doses of amphetamine. Its almost certainly making me psychotic, but it does at least have the advantage of saving me from the vast cataclysm that sleep has become. Most mornings I feel uneasy, visible and invisible at the same time, trapped between the proverbial two worlds, neither of which I’m prepared to accept or even tolerate. I can’t tell them apart anyway - everything’s functioning at some kind of stroboscopic level, where the invisible world is populated by a gaggle of flesh and blood insomniacs staggering around after a shipwreck, and the visible one by a weird star-map, a network of knots and tumours that up until now have been locked somewhere in the centre of the earth, a hell of alphabets and spectral injustices that we can summarise as a string of cysts arranged in strings along the chronology. Lets see. There was the poll tax revolt. There were punk houses. There was ecstasy and acid and free parties. The criminal justice bill. Britpop. The rise of the ironic wank. The phrase zero tolerance. The boredom of enforced hedonism. The skeleton of Tony Blair. The flames of humanitarian intervention. The inevitability of jihad. And thats just one more or less arbitrary little cluster, a hall of various mirrors that every morning I chop and snort increasingly gargantuan lines from until, in the words of Ernst Bloch, “years become minutes, as in legends where, in the apparent time span of a single night, a witch cheats her victim out of a long life”. And I don’t know whether I identify with that witch or not, but I do know that there are some mornings when I consider the possibility of powdering Blair’s bones, and then casting them at the feet of various monuments - say for example the statues that encircle Trafalgar Square - so as to transform them into real demons. The crisis, or whatever it is we’re supposed to call it. The ruins of the Ritz, for example. The broken glass of Millbank. The jail terms of the rioters. Ah shit. The smell of blood is overpowering. I have very serious doubts that my body will survive the current catastrophe but, what the hell, I know for a fact that my shadow will never be seen inside the Cities of the Dead. My skeleton, however, and those of my friends, may well one day be seen dancing on their embers. Their ashes. See you later. It is becoming increasingly clear that Thatcher faked her death.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Letter in Turmoil 2 / From Deep Darkness

The violent disk in the centre of the sky and the coins in my pocket both radiate the same infernal energy. I know this because I have been awake for five days. I know I’ve been awake for five days because when I went out onto my balcony this morning all the buildings in the city collapsed. This seemed to me to be something of a cause for concern, so I sat down to write my will. Here goes. My coffee cups and typewriter I leave to, I dunno, whoever can scream the loudest. My collection of empty beer bottles I leave to my landlord. My library I leave to the homeless of Kottbusser Tor. My credit card likewise. My sexual uncertainty I keep to myself. My love I leave to the suicided. My drug habit I leave to cops, let them wither, mutate and die. My hatred I keep close to my heart. My heart I leave to the centre of the earth. My grief. Gah. My grief which is the size of the tiny racist island on which I was born, I compress it, I transmute it into something like the wild and collectively inhuman joy of the swifts that circle the city with a frenzy wilder than. Oh whatever. The heart is such a lame metaphor. And so pathetic, the idea of  burying it in the earth, when I could just as easily fire it into the centre of the red spot of Jupiter. For example. My sensory system. For example. My five senses I leave to the invisible moons of Pluto, like a cluster of burst and eclipsed stars, like the city’s swifts, flickering in and out of calendrical time, where coffee cups and typewriters and habits and all the rest become a violent disk of knots and tumours trapped somewhere far outside of the known world, because obviously after five days without sleep your heart gets into some fairly interesting unknowable rhythms and your connections with the earth and its five senses become increasingly tenuous and I think at this point of Will Alexander’s essay “A Note on the Ghost Dimension”, I don’t know if you’ve read it, he writes in it somewhere about the missing five days of the Mayan calendar, which apparently is a time when monsters and poisons will appear, and I don’t know much about the Mayan calendar, but after five days without sleep I know a lot about ghosts and monsters and poisons, and a lot about how the missing five days could be taken to mean the fate of the five senses themselves, and how those missing five senses have been kidnapped and held for no ransom on some irrelevant island deep within the centre of some capitalist astrological system. My tiny racist island I leave to the monsters and poisons. The ghost dimension I leave to my dearest friends. My knots and tumours I leave to those who would form a new government, that they might learn just how tiny, how rabid and lost a hijacked sensory system can become. Ah fuck it. I leave the look on my face to my enemies. I leave the red spot of Jupiter to the unemployed, I’m sure they know what to do with it. Screw my heart. Resist death by water. By fire and rope also. I am fearful of nothing. I love you all so fucking much.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Letter in Turmoil

“It is no longer possible to have a balanced relationship with the world”. I read that somewhere in Ernst Bloch, throw the book at the wall, scream for a while, then run down six flights of stairs to the street below. This seems to happen just about every morning. I head to the canal and stand there staring at the swans, and pronounce certain words of shrivelled power. Theresa May, for example. Stephen Crabb. Of course, these words only have purchase in the land of the dead, but still I recite them, their syllables grinding together like the ghosts of medieval machinery, like a parade of headless skeletons or the wonder of a ghost train perfectly preserved in post-apocalyptic brine, the auditory bleach we bathe in every day. The canal is called the Landwehr and is famous. On June 1st 1919 they dragged Rosa Luxemburg’s insulted body from it. It had been there for six months. I think about that as I stare at the swans. I also think about the well known poem by Paul Celan that alludes to that incident, and about how he talks about the silence of the canal, or at least about how the canal has become silent, and I think about how wrong that is. Its inaudible radioactive signals never stop shrieking, an impossible music I’ve been unable to stop dancing to for days now, each of its notes the representation of an impossible world flickering somewhere just outside the borders of the known imaginary spectrum, those impossible borders, those ridiculous walls. We scratch ourselves to pieces on those walls. Or rather we write there. And what we write there would explode all known dictionaries were it not for the foul neoliberal glow of the so-called sun transforming all we have written into, once again, those aforementioned words of power. May. Crabb. Dirt and bones and gas. Yes every morning I sit there by the canal and when the panic has passed I murmur softly to the swans, and then I go home and dream that I have befriended them and they have flown high across the border and into the land of the dead, and there they have torn out the throats of all of our tormentors and they have passed a soothing balm among the souls of all those who continue to live but are trapped in that land, and obviously by soothing I mean usefully corrosive and deadly, and it is rare that I don’t wake up in tears. I’m trying to stop that shit. I’ve been studying magic, utopia and weaponry. I’ll keep you up to date with my progress.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Lyrics for Kruk //// Hölderlin after Meinhof


Fuck it. The sun is doing whatever suns do
The citizenry all creeping like flowers.
Idiots. The sky is grey on further grey and
The haunting, its sharpened hail, never stops.

*

Oh wow. A single life-time. We crawl about the earth
As if the sky were an image, or something special, as if
Never mind. Flowers for example. Try eating one. But
Don’t get me wrong. I’m just like everyone else.
They keep their gold in me, the dullness of riches. Beware it.

*

What did we really expect. I mean, we look at clouds
Are impressed by thunder and
                                                                     The invisible.
People eat it like they do famous persons.
Carbon. Indigestion. Property. Watch that shit.

*

But it was only pills made me queasy. That
and flames underfoot.
                               The cities have almost vanished
we list them like molecules. Lesions. We list them
every morning like describing a shadow is mania
To inhabit a name. To eat human flesh.


*

You think its imaginary. Maybe so. Try telling that
to the fortune tellers. You know the ones. Those
who never think or say an original word. Their
vocabulary is monstrous.
                                       Ours too. I love the cities
as they so predictably burn, the sound of ash and
yes this talk. Of music. Of soul. This so brief life.




Sunday, March 20, 2016

grievance: three after Katerina Gogou

Our houses are packed so close
They are no longer houses. Get that.
These our beds these our scraps of food
We eat with the same mouth. We no longer
Use our bones. We are desperate we are fabulous
we are Possibly dead.

                        4 in the morning. Sleep fuck get high
and that monster in the sky taking our details.

Ghosts walk at noon. Everyone’s a weapon.

*

                            There is no time. Our houses
concealed, like songs, mumble to themselves
The stars are not stars, the city sounds not
city sounds. The sirens, the cops, however,
they are real as algebra or teeth are real like
Lazarus who never even lived & like a plague
or like a loved one’s shadow Here I am alone

*

this is me puking in the metro

my name is Katerina I have been dead
for all your life. you can buy my clothes
if you like, in the vintage stores, in the
renovated flats, you will find them, in

my senses, enraged, form cracks
the cities I sleep in no longer there


Wednesday, February 03, 2016

serotonin: after Katerina Gogou


Today they cancelled the carrion birds
and we are in love and sleep in peace.
There are cops inside our pillows.
Try and say their assassins work for us.

*

He chooses things. My things. The
men I fuck and. Thing I know is
               your thighs are my thighs
He’s behind me. Walks toward me
his head is shaved. There are no stars.
Took pills. He’s on the stair is. Took pills.
Says he’s an anarchist. Knows nothing.
He’s a British cop he’s. I don’t give a fuck
you see I. Kind of love Him he tells me
things I have never owned A mirror.
No. I won’t go out tonight. Never.
Don’t speak. It’s not going to be ok.

*

Three days awake I can’t find the door
already morning half the people here
totally on fire. The rest are made of stone.
Me too. Three days awake. Three days dreaming
scratches our faces this place too. Talk
of bones and fire in the suburbs. Don’t change.
Don’t worry. If you don’t sleep you won’t see it.

*

Please don’t cry don’t. Music is lovely and
Show me the money. Talk about
the rent. That thing. Photosynthesis. Piles
of money-rent. And pills and arching bones
no. Not even bones. Just cracks. Don’t
answer the door. These constellations.
Don’t open it. That legitimate star.
These bills these final demands.

*

Every day I wake up everyday inside the wage system
inside all its houses, never paid rent on even one.
Sleep nowhere. Every morning inside my wages
I lie in wait for those who sleep, I sleep
on their chests and never speak. Never
Take this as spectral evidence. Meaning. Fuck death.