“The false structure is collapsing. Move as far away as possible, into tradition, into strangeness, into the supernatural; then you will not get hit”. I read that somewhere in Hugo Ball’s diaries, guess from somewhere around 1915. I repeat the words to myself, “you will not get hit”, make a scornful face, turn out the lights and get into bed. Somehow I manage to sleep, and dream that I’m some kind of hunted, carnivorous animal running through a moonlit, abandoned city. I run past the illuminated, already ruined new developments. The rings, the spirals of lights around the towers. The scrub lands. I follow some kind of malign, illegible map. I gather stones and rags, stained with shit and gold. There are no people. There are no parades. I wake up and for a second I think I can see some kind of beast staring at me from the corner of the room, but when I hit the light I know that I’ve been dreaming, that everything is exactly the same as it was before. I walk over to the window, making an inventory as I go. Shit, gold, rags. Tradition, strangeness, supernatural. What is the meaning of any of those words, I ask myself, other than that of a chain being whirled round and round by a maniac, a maniac whose reserves of cash and blood mean the right to acquire all language, all meaning, every vacant spot in every city on the so-called earth. And that includes the one that I’d just been running through in my dream. Hugo Ball, of course, was a draft resistor, a refugee. I find that a lot more interesting than whatever happened with his “sound poetry”. It puts me in mind of a poem by Ingeborg Bachmann, where she speaks of exile, of feeling like a dead person, of languages that you can’t understand passing through you like ghosts. And I guess those ghosts exist at the point where “tradition” and “strangeness” meet, where all that is defined and foul and murdered and imprisoned becomes synonymous with all that is still uncharted and unexplained and wonderful. I stare out of the window. Everything is dark. Even the lights on the new developments have vanished. Its so quiet here. I think of my favourite passage in William Blake, where he writes of the moment in every hour that cannot be found, not by the devil nor by the cops. I think about those moments. I think about the summer, that already seems so far away, when the sun would spin round and round so fast that everything would glow to invisibility and I would rant to anyone who’d listen about the need to construct a huge chart of those moments, and that somewhere within the shapes those moments made we would find the place where the catastrophe was formed, and by god knows what mixture of alchemy and amphetamine we could thereby uncover the anti-castastrophe and, well, I think of a lot of things. I press my hands to the window and hang my head. I know that somewhere in the darkened city there is a silent place where a tiny, frightened animal is scratching at the dust and earth, and it won’t stop until it uncovers some kind of burning rock that will illuminate the entire structure, and in the midst of that illumination all of our languages will sparkle and burn and words we have never spoken will lacerate the air. In the meantime, let none of us wipe the blood from our faces. Let none of us claim a difference between day and night, between nightmare and daily routine.