Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Chorus is on Fire (improvisations on poems by Katerina Gogou / abandoned notes on Pasolini)

Pasolini’s utopia is the necropole, what Hölderlin called the nefas. It is a counter-sickness, a naked factory-owner screaming in the desert, a force from the past tearing up the present because it comes from the future. History is invisible, is exclusion and contagion.

A ring of slums encircles the city, as inexpressible distance, measurable only in light years. Memory etched in the boarded up windows, the promises that business will be resumed presently. ASAP becomes ACAB. Bitterness perfected.


Is loneliness is. Not family photos. Not memorials not. Distance is. Loneliness is. Queuing for food and. Crackling of bone and. Hanging of meat and. Calais is. The border is. Loneliness is. Yellow fire is. Glassing the present is. Not you not. Blood clots not. Bruises not. Prisons not. Hatred is. Hatred is. Without a passport is. Not melancholic is. Bought and sold and. Yes wakes up early and. Yes cleans your office is. Not your self-pity is. Nine to a room is. Not your cocaine is. Drowns in transit is. Counting of wounds is. Dances on tables is. Is loneliness is. Planets of glass is. Whirling is whirling is. Knives of glass is. Over your head is. Swirling is swirling is swirling

But the possible which steps into reality, as reality dissolves, this has a real effect, and it effects both the sensation of the dissolution and the memory of that which is dissolved. - Hölderlin

Open the door and give me money.
I haven’t moved. You can still find me
But years have passed and my nails are jagged and filthy
And I frighten my friends and my mind has
Vanished. I left it here. I can’t find it.
And when I hear my name I become afraid
They want me to betray you. They want me to lie.
And I’m frightened of the voices because the voices lie
                                       They say they shot you in the legs
                                       I know they never aim at legs
                                       They shoot you in the mind.
                                       Keep it together. Keep moving.

If, for Pasolini, fascism is the dream of death that, in emergency, becomes capital’s raw force and keeps it alive, then communism is that which scrapes and wheezes at its edges, is the death encoded in traces of historical memory. But this is a commonplace. Metaphor as fixed lie. Metaphor as catastrophe. Pasolini’s era is further from us than Hölderlin’s ever was. The shift in epochs is the nefas. We pass over without noticing. This is the meaning of the illness of St. Paul. The struggle is not, as both Walter Benjamin and Frank Wilderson have claimed, between the living and the dead, but between the dead and the dead. Dead history and dead future: a showdown between the desert and surveillance camera. In Mathew, the devotional is suffocating, is crazed with starvation, fear and atrocity. The disciples have flies crawling on their faces in every scene. Malediction is realism.

God has chosen precisely what does not exist in order to reduce to nothing what does exist - St Paul

Someone has taken our knives. We go down like the sun. Place of birth. Unknown. They have scratched away our slogans. Colour of eyes. Unknown. We go down like hail and rain. Year of birth. Fuck it. Next time they shoot us, we’ll refuse to die. Its raining again. Give me a cigarette.

Some academic once wrote of Pasolini that we should “turn down the volume on his political sermons and listen to what he whispered in his work”, which is obviously pretty stupid, as the politics are precisely within those whispers. In the St Paul screenplay he quotes Corinthians, on “hearing inexpressible things, things we are not able to tell”. And in his final essay he makes it clear what those “inexpressible things” are; they are names. The names of those responsible for massacres, the names of the owners of power as it exists behind known power. Names that it is impossible to recite and still live. This has very little to do with what is still called ‘magic’.

In this arena we’re pushed along like some strange and dark army in which some carry cannons and others carry crowbars - Pasolini


We are being followed. They are hunting us, are mostly silent. Lines of them, they are hunting us. Their sentences, relatively simple. Our hunters, our educators. It is very simple. We don’t mention the silence. What we keep inside our whispers. In our signals, in our silence. As each of their faces change. As each of their cells divide. In great procession, the faces. Their lessons are endless. Silence, in circles, our hunters. As if we were dogs. As if we barked at strangers. And now they will murder. There is safety in murder. Somewhere are angels. Angels have claws. Dogs are everywhere.

Here come the evictors
They’ve got us by the hair and throat
And bound us with it, bound us
To the floor and the bed, all of us
This is the way they put up the rent
The rent changes, the names change
Our names change, the street’s names
                            40 degrees in the shade
                            Next time they shoot us, fire back

Meanwhile, the Chorus, weirdly absent in Pasolini’s interpretations of Greek myth, but who for Hölderlin could speak “almost in the manner of the furies”, are, put simply, the un-named. Those who eat dogs on the surface of the planet of slums, and scream out their names from the centre of the desert. And “chorus”, when spoken from within certain archaic accents, is almost the same word as “curse”.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Corpus Hermeticum: On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres

 News blackouts etc. This really happened.

Every Thursday mayhem in weather systems.
Imaginary battles in science and strike actions. The bastards had won
as in Vision overload, fascist analysis of human beings
and a slightly less comfortable suburb. Arts and that.
Or science. Black mirrors. Seven dials. Black mirrors. Seven dials. Prisons.

We’re blocking central London. Riot as, in relation to this past
I don’t need a wound. We wanted going fucking mad. Too many racists still breathing
and strange convulsions, I felt it, me and the devil
at first repression and counter-acts, overload Malediction, tried to chart strikes
as Noise, they were still dead. Their galaxies, spinning faster.

Mercury unsuitable for making coins.


February 17th 1600, burned, “his tongue imprisoned because of his wicked words”

for water say plague i.e. the language of judges, the infinite vowel
for water say fire i.e pulsars and mace. For water say yellow fire
i.e. the fascist microbe in every drop of rain. For water say dust
i.e. negative flames, soluble dust, chemical burns, scars and skies

Forget psychogeography. All its ever been is a ring of protection, a police-thing’s joy, at its centre that bitter knot of strings that Brecht called ‘prophecy’, spy-rings. String One: we were smashing up the Ritz, March 2011. String Two: shit was talked about immigrants, about dole scroungers. String Three: not an ATM a bright metallic wind or real-time alignment of the patterns of non-affordable housing scattered throughout the city and the stereo-optic beating of police hearts. Beat one. Cancelation of Europe and Mercury. Stone circles are police kettles, you can’t tell me different.

for yellow fire say fuck the police
kill fear say fire say fuck the police

For example, take Newgate. Built 1188, directly into the walls, London’s eastern gate. Beat Two. We don’t recognise ourselves there. Beat Three. The debtor’s jail, the throat the muzzle of the city.  July 10th, 1790, burned. Robert Peel built cops from the ashes. Beat Four. Debt is bone. Versions of bone. Version One. Spare change. Version Two. Lock the bosses out. Superglue them. Out. Version Three. Debt One. Those nobility who entered the city from the east would pass through a wall packed with the tortured, the scraped and wheezing dead. London a cursèd city, is beautiful in the smouldering spring.

We’re not underground we’re invisible. - Bernardine Dohrn.     remember Theresa May, that guillotine

Unemployed families were slaughtered
remember Theresa May driving thru London in crackling human Tar
about legal channels, hot pink and petrol flare
Awake at night, in strike actions

or the protests did what in relation to Fucking realism
stuck it out inside all noise, inside David Willets and Abeizer Coppe
bounded by law, David Willets, gored by magpies and glass
Victory to dole scroungers. This really happened

inside Normal matter such as atoms and electrons, orphanhood.


Check the extent of police lines. 1829, Robert Peel invented 1000 pigs to circle the city as walls or gates as cordons. This happened. Those 1000 pigs as calendar, the working day a pyramid as razor the police recuperation of the sun. It was dark and the barricades were burning.

Tiresias the birds. Tiresias who sees what only a child could see, who blunders up from hell and hell is not underground. Says riots are a work of vast and incomprehensible mourning, a border a burning weird as even the fear felt by Charles and Camilla, that crow-bait, 2010, off with their heads - this really happened we have no fucking demands and Tiresias summoned voices of the vast dead charts of incomprehensible bird flight, everywhere we are those birds and it don’t mean shit the cops don’t know this.

We’re not all white and we’re not all men - George Jackson Brigade Communiqué, 1976

Robert Peel still peers down from Broadgate wall and is a blockade, Newgate torched. Police moved in smashed heads in counter-time, a silent musical fixture separates a human being from a cop. It is vital to recognise, to insist on that difference, that fixture - to locate with precision where that separation first appears in the ‘continuum’ where the entire pack of errors, superstitions and blood-stained bullets ram the solar throat of every cop in this town with vile psychic music and we live there, have organised noise. Studied strikes. Cop lives don’t matter.

for “I love you” say fuck the police, for
“the fires of heaven” say fuck the police, don’t say
“recruitment” don’t say “trotsky” say fuck the police
for “alarm clock” say fuck the police
                                                       for “my morning commute” for
“electoral system” for “endless solar wind” say fuck the police
don’t say “I have lost understanding of my visions” don’t say
“that much maligned human faculty” don’t say
“suicided by society” say fuck the police, for “the movement
of the heavenly spheres” say fuck the police, for
“the moon’s bright globe” for “the fairy mab” say
fuck the police, don’t say “direct debit” don’t say “join the party”
say “you are sleeping for the boss” and then say fuck the police
don’t say “evening rush-hour” say fuck the police, don’t say
“here are the steps I’ve taken to find work” say fuck the police
don’t say “tall skinny latté” say fuck the police, for
“the earth’s gravitational pull” say fuck the police, for
“make it new” say fuck the police
                                                       don’t say “spare change”
say fuck the police, don’t say “happy new year” say fuck the police
perhaps say “rewrite the calendar” but after that, immediately
after that say fuck the police, for “philosopher’s stone” for
“royal wedding” for “the work of transmutation” for “love
of beauty” say fuck the police
                say no justice no peace and then say fuck the police


as published in the latest issue of Tripwire
recording here

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mythology (Corpus Hermeticum)

 I had forgotten human speech, it stuck in my throat . . . My voice came from Saturn - Diane di Prima

The victorians didn’t need alchemical diagrams they had factories. Diagram one: abandoned factory architercture. Diagram two: accumulation of years since the early 80s when Thatcher closed said factories. Factories compressed to the size of a small ball or asteroid approaching planet earth with all the historical force of a decommissioned god. God one: there is a cop inside my head there is a cop outside my head and the fact of their mutual destruction is the shape of abandoned factory architecture. Fact five: Rupert Murdoch. Fact eight: Theresa May. Fact three: the cop inside my head may be neutralised by a secret combination of forgotten names and when those names are pronounced and all forgetfulness is voiced London will burn Cameron will die.

Tiresias clambers up from hell which is. Only the noise that cities make as. She used to get information from the workings of birds but. Since we bound this city with threads of light and. They circle and ring like a rain of ragged logic and. Are fat with grease and grief and will not speak like. Inside the laws of hunger there is no grammar and. Loot the supermarket and. Those bones in that ancient ark are not your own and. Hell is the colour of human skin is not your own and. Tiresias her blind eyes scratch at bones are. All those new luxury flats are. This is the mystery of the eating of bread and bone says. Jump motherfucker jump.

Diagram five: fertility rites as emblem of the occupation of mayday. Class struggle misinterpreted as a ring of daisies. Ring one: impact of asteroid as metaphor. Ring two: names of cops as metaphor. Metaphor five: this is really happening. Ring six: Theresa May as symbol. Ring seven: infantile revenge fantasy. Symbol eight: Theresa May as ring of abandoned factory architecture translated into passport control. Symbol nine: abandoned factory architecture as magic and superstition translated into the belief that any of us ever existed. Fact one: sometimes it seems we live only as proof of the existence of cops. Proof one: Orgreave. Proof two: Newgate. Proof three: the class nature of comets the circulation of capital as a decommisioned sun. When those circles are charted and their diagrams pronounced London will burn Cameron will die.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Song / Stutter (Corpus Hermeticum)

takes the blind to see it ///// the voiceless to call its name  - after Lightnin Hopkins

Shriek-birds will circle our songs. First song. The sound of no blood. Second song. A bright and crackling gap inside our mouths. Prison one. An exchange of invisibilities inside the mouths of the dead who speak of death & live there. Prison two. Third song. Bright birds. Disks of sun. The murdered residue of song. Song eight. Song minus one. Feathers of social use are circling the body. Cop one. Cop two, cop three. Haymarket. Shriek. Tottenham. Shriek. And the moon.

an aside: Nigel Farage, in the hell of worms

tear open his mouth
          with all the silence in the world
                     which is golden, and screeches
                                    watch the bastard drown   

God has chosen precisely what does not exist in order to reduce to nothing what does exist - St Paul

The listener is of no real consequence, other than by the shared intensity of its collective irrelevance. This is a lesson in the revolutionary meaning of superstition and paranoia. This is what is meant by a “menaced lie”, its adversarial truth. Sun Ra called himself Lucifer.

The oppressor, formally known as the news, now becomes séance, magic, ultimately madness i.e. the expropriation of a people’s deepest aspirations soon becomes inaudible, a hideous inaudible hiss. The consequence is actually immense, and their lives become only a shattered state of dread, of warfare, unhoped for and fragmented. Breaks upon our mirror, our butchers glass.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

ACAB: A Nursery Rhyme

 for “I love you” say fuck the police / for
“the fires of heaven” say fuck the police, don’t say
“recruitment” don’t say “trotsky” say fuck the police
for “alarm clock” say fuck the police
                                                       for “my morning commute” for
“electoral system” for “endless solar wind” say fuck the police
don’t say “I have lost understanding of my visions” don’t say
“that much maligned human faculty” don’t say
“suicided by society” say fuck the police / for “the movement
of the heavenly spheres” say fuck the police / for
“the moon’s bright globe” for “the fairy mab” say
fuck the police / don’t say “direct debit” don’t say “join the party”
say “you are sleeping for the boss” and then say fuck the police
don’t say “evening rush-hour” say fuck the police / don’t say
“here are the steps I’ve taken to find work” say fuck the police
don’t say “tall skinny latté” say fuck the police / for
“the earth’s gravitational pull” say fuck the police / for
“make it new” say fuck the police
                                                       all other words are buried there
all other words are spoken there / don’t say “spare change”
say fuck the police / don’t say “happy new year” say fuck the police
perhaps say “rewrite the calendar” but after that, immediately
after that say fuck the police / for “philosopher’s stone” for
“royal wedding” for “the work of transmutation” for “love
of beauty” say fuck the police / don’t say “here is my new poem”
say fuck the police
                say no justice no peace and then say fuck the police

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Letter Against the Firmament / A Treatise on Mathematics

a rewrite of this piece here - obviously, its complaint that "nothing is happening" is no longer accurate, but it may still work as a celebration of the impending royal birth . . .

I haven’t written for a while, I know. There’s not been much to write about, or maybe, if there has been I haven’t seen it. That’s leaving aside, of course, the royal birth, the jubilee pageants and the olympics, that inbred panegyric. Christ, I’ve really felt the wings of imbecility passing over me lately, over all of us. Its as if the ruling class, sheer power, whatever you want to call it, whatever it’s local franchise likes to call itself, had, via some kind of sadistic alchemy, taken the moment (around 2 in the afternoon) on 27th March 2011 when the Black Bloc had gone running up Oxford Street, and had basically erased that moment, replaced it with a long and uninteresting parade of babies, flags, cupcakes, brooms, victims, mummifications, the UKBA on every street corner, their guns, their illegal warrants, their racial profiles and problem families, and their scabs. I thought this morning that I might be able to pull it together for you, this immense shift in the immediate social atmosphere, this peculiar tectonic whitewash - I thought I might be able to pull it together as some kind of wondrous mathematics, a monumental calculus, but I can’t get it to fit. Because, for example, if you take the forced removal of the homeless from all commercial zones within the city, multiply that by the statistical weight of the key dates of any given revolutionary narrative, each of which is then to be inserted, almost like an experimental flu virus, into the generalised chronology of whatever century this is supposed to be, if you take that and divide it by the approximate half-life of all occupied buildings and street-fires recorded over the last, I don’t know, half  century, and from that extrapolate the given name of every person suicided since the new welfare regulations were introduced, extrapolate those names and place them inside a small box built of absolute plutonium, i.e. the sheer terror all of us have started to feel at every unexpected knock at the door, if you do all of this you may be able to get at least some kind of sense of what has actually been done to all of us over the past couple of years, because after a while, say for example a month, those names will have been, via some kind of corporate alchemy, transformed into the manufacture, sale and distribution of third degree burns, multiple organ failure and tiny droplets of phosphoric acid, mostly for overseas distribution, obviously, but the same ingredients can also be boiled down for the home market, boiled down and transformed into an infinitely dense, attractively coloured pill which, upon ingestion, makes the whole city seem like a golden swarm of dragonflies and pretty moths, in which the latest royal baby can somehow pretend not to be an injection of homeopathic rabies into the speaking abilities of each and every one of us, and in which the street value of each of these pills can be taken to equal the external force of the ancient city walls considered as a rudimentary and absolutely incomprehensible incendiary device, and those walls are made of silver, which is cut with sulphur and arsenic, and those walls are of gold, which is made from sand and dust, and those walls are of mercury, which is unsuitable for making coins, and those coins are of piss and phosphor, each in compliance with international law. It would, of course, be a very partial calculation. So much for maths as an algebraic counterforce to capital’s tedious little multiplication tables, it keeps coming out more like an oracular scattering of starling bones, of meat and shrieking larks. The place and the formula, as Rimbaud called it. 16th July 2013, for example. Or June 6th 1780. Or 6th October 1985. All the constellations of the royal bastard. London, the city of Mark Duggan. We, the servants of dogs. And you ask me why I don’t write poetry. As if a metaphor could actually be a working hypothesis, and not just a cluster of more-or-less decorative alibis. I can’t do it. I haven’t slept since Thatcher. Curses on the midnight hag.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Our illnesses are mostly political illnesses - Peter Weiss

We greet the dark - Diane diPrima

in the days of our fiercest anger

the precision of beauty
the joy      of the whole world

soaked bread     in their darkness
enemies pressed their mouths on us

a snare is come among us
there are none to comfort us


Of music imprisoned, the insulted and truly wretched.
Of the names of those responsible for the recent massacres.

On the numerology of birdsong
On riot replaced by birdsong
Our persecutors swifter than eagles

They pursued us on the mountains. Laid wait for us in the wilderness.

                    And our collective vowels humming like drones.
                    The invisible, whatever that is.
                    As if it didn’t hover above us.
                    Announce itself with blue fire.


                    The law is a mouth.


these towers and cities
these desert plains
these tasteful burning
skies, what are they
what has been forgotten
in these shanty towns
these parks and legends
solid, bright, concealed
strange and distant
ghosts, our stark ghosts

pass the soul of your body like water
boiling water that scalds forever


It breathes, the law, and those it protects it sings inside, and they are like flowers, chaste and tranquil as glass.

It stares at us, the music of the law, and its fingers, they pluck us, as if we were strings, golden, and we are their songs, the inhabitants of the law.

And we have no foothold, and we stumble, backward and backward, hour by hour, as stars or buildings collapsing, into the abyss, of their hearts, the inheritors of the law, and we sing there, unimagined, in the ice of our silence, falling.

And their souls will flow like piss in the streets of the great city.


Say they have enclosed us in blank stone. You wake up, you open your eyes, is simple: we have been consumed like blood and water, and our language - you wake up, sibilants and syntax a jet of bleach and concepts. Think stuff up: the enemy is non-material, we are not.

Say they have choked us with black sugar. Ask who are these custodians of yesterday’s rebellions - insist that it really happened, we are not at all imaginary. You wake up, you open your eyes - there is a border separates us, the deserving, the un-deserving dead. Post no miracles.


It is the stupid practice of our times to complain instead of acting. Jeremiads are the fashion. Jeremiah is found in all attitudes. He cries, he lashes, he dogmatises, he dictates, he rages, himself the scourge of all scourges. Let us leave the elegising clowns, those gravediggers of liberty. The duty of a revolutionary is to always struggle, to struggle no matter what, to struggle to extinction. - Louis-Auguste Blanqui.

Remember it. You were given laws
to scratch your childhood, were tunes
you knew it, singing for centuries
                                         in cells & gods
stashed below your bed, fairy tales
their blue love, from below the ocean
that stranger, each night, in your bed
takes off his burning skin, hangs it
inside his cell, his Egyptian slaves
his shattered charts -
                                    remember it
to take these tales as advice
an organising vortex
                           each sentence stolen
each word a double claw. Act now.


So anyway, insomniacs or the wandering dead sleep by walking through the department, yeh, through the golden city. Well screw them. The choir, if there is one, is a flock of ghosts. The chorus a mob of disenchanted sloganeers. Forget it. Take some sulphate, some hydrogen, whatever, elements, elementals, mash it all up and boil the invisible

                            the ecstasy of oxygen molecules     
                            the mad monks of Westminster

                            One was scried with swallows.
                            One was split with scissors.

                            some grow in dust
                            are not to be picked
                            opponents of day
                            and night’s

every door is not locked - Ericka Huggins

inside the mayor of London
his gasps of blazing snow
inside his word for coins
a million shuttered doors
of meat and blazing stars
its livid sentence punctured
its staggered scrape of convicts
its corpuscles and laughter
inside his word for London
inside our disk of wages
a poisoned lark is shrieking
its golden voice is leaking

Because we do not exist  the years of our birth are stacked inside the shadows of our mouths like imaginary cities or the pits of heaven and other basic banalities.

                                                                                                                      Say  those rats. Say those rats have names say you know those names. You do not know those names. Say black powder say a lot of things. And then, a fascist victory, say that. And then. Say it seemed like a door was opened like just for a second and we hurtled through that door or was it things hurtled toward us I don’t know and. Say it was just a cloud of powdered blood. Say you know their names and then suffer from beneath those names and live and tunnel inside those names and. Ask what becomes of the motherfucking broken hearted



Avoid melancholy.
Tell a few jokes.
Blow up Stonehenge.


                apply gravity to your body
                raw water like butter actually
                made from your body, yes, meaning
                you, we, “a force from the past”
                & on the subject of flowers:

Who are these judges, who made them custodians? Of what? What are these things in the centre of their mouths, that ringed silence, that crushed clock, screams of dead and flying things. The human form, it frightens me, its scratched and monstrous aspects; plague clung to, as spirit of love, and spectres shriek like starlings in the streets of our devastated cities.

it is a storm of monstrous drums

the war has not been declared
                         it only shrieks
the way ghosts shriek &
          ashes are the shrieks
                             of ghosts are
burnt water       are skalds
of coins & lawful slumber
and scarlet stars of rotten silver

I want to never forget how I was forced to become a monster of justice and intolerance, a narrow minded simplifier, an arctic character uninterested in anyone who was not in league with him to kill the dogs of hell - René Char

& this sentence
must not make you bitter
              it has made you bitter



there is a law it
patrols the invisible
is dark outside

there are comets as
we decipher them
as law or radio

as then the cities burn
as ash as simple figures
as the sky is an insult

                            name this city

                            it is a bone it is
                            our bones creak
                            as pearl fire will

                            split nets of streets
                            or bone it is
                            no emergency

                            the wealth of the dead
                            their dead friends


That looked the sun in the face and were not blinded - Lola Ridge

five days without sleep
the law is fixed and burns
we who are captive here
each night the same figure
on the same road, stops
roaring, like a brain
roaring out our ghosts
hyacinth and snap-flower
my ghosts, a river of bones
my ghosts, narcissi my
spinning, my laws, stay here
“evil-doing falls like rain”


And when they say “we”, they are only trying with their drivel to mold what the people think and how they think it. - Ulrike Meinhoff

“We” the liars. “We” the obedient, “we” the imperial teeth.
No birds, no suits, no sacrificial spiders.
This history passes through us like ghosts.
Various acronyms. Nostalgia for electric colour.
Black and murderous pink.


the ghost of your father
gave words to the storm
trapped rain in his songs
have torn his mouth apart

the rain will not speak of this
- it is your beauty, apocalyptica -

But for you it would be something of a duty in that you could perform in Tübingen the role of a waker of the dead. It is true that the Tübingen gravediggers would do their utmost against you. - Hölderlin to Hegel, 25 November 1795.