Thursday, March 15, 2012
Notes on Militant Poetics 1/ 3
“There is a zone of nonbeing, an extraordinarily sterile and arid region, an utterly naked declivity when an authentic upheaval can be born . . . . (a) descent into a real hell” (Fanon).
“Truth content becomes negative. [Poems] imitate a language beneath the helpless language of human beings: it is that of the dead speaking of stones and stars” (Adorno)
The Situationists called poetry the “anti-matter of consumer society”, a fairly questionable claim, but one that is at least expressive of the chasm that operates between official reality’s definitions of poetry and those of whatever still remains of the revolutionary avant-garde. 'Mainstream' poetry is irrelevant: the Situs knew the real poetry of capital was advertising. Advertising, the corporate avant-garde, is the anti-matter of everyday life. Poetry, meanwhile, has become entirely invisible - or rather, it only exists in weird states of high and necessary intensity, in zones of absolute negation. And so it would stay, if it were not true that advertising is itself becoming fluent in what was always poetry’s esoteric specialty, ie the language of the dead. The empty billboards that are becoming more and more common throughout East London (and everywhere else) speak more eloquently about the collapse of capital into sterile and arid zones of its own making than any poetry. Advertising, and the utopia it expresses, is now the anti-matter of itself. Anyway, perhaps we should shut up about the Situationists - as the saying goes, FORGET MAY 68, FIGHT NOW. Though it's clear that advertising, like poetry, has its origins in the curse, the charm, and the spell. The supposed spells of the Welsh bards, all those secret combinations of words that had the power to kill kings - those fantasies have become all too real in their transformation into the secret combination of words that have the power to make you want to kill the poor. And as the whole shit-house goes up in flames, only an idiot would fail to see that the truth content of the spells of advertising’s poetry are the sentences spoken by judges. Advertising was only ever the glamour cast over the real poetry of capital, the arid realities of the prison sentence and the police bullet.
to be continued . . . . .