Monday, April 24, 2017
Every evening its like the sun smashes into the earth. Its been doing it now for a few weeks. The sky splits into two and all the details of our lives - desires and facts and seizures - flare up from somewhere behind the horizon and produce embittered maps, random shreds of detritus that seem almost to be meaningful. All human data is scrawled across the sky. There is the date of your birth, for example, that arbitrary pivot. There, next to it, perhaps, a set of fairly random memories. Somewhere further off is the tenderness you feel at the thought of a loved one’s beating heart. But then unfortunately that tenderness gets entwined with the screams of the victims of the Peterloo Massacre, gets entwined with the hideous noises something like George W. Bush would make when they look into the mirror at midnight. The darkness of that mirror, which is not quite equal to the darkness and silence inside the opened mouth of someone being burnt alive. So many things to hear and see etc., in the dreams of the dying sun. Fortunately, all of this passes after half an hour or so, the sky closes and the calm night begins, but still it leaves us feeling raw. The calendar, that particularly esoteric version of music, was invented as a means of warding off the fear associated with that rawness. But us, we embrace it. What else are we supposed to do, as we sit here waiting for the end of everything. Re-invent prayer? Behave yourself. As the sun nears the rim of the planet we stare directly into it. We are unsmiling and terrified. We can feel it etching itself into our retina. The shapes it makes are repellant. Here is the burning hospital. Here is the salivating fascist. Here is the eternal ringing of the imaginary city walls. When the sun goes down we can still hear that ringing. It is our voices. A huge cacophonous reckoning before the night silences us with its fists.
Friday, April 14, 2017
extensive rewrite of this here
On the fourth day of my sickness I lay in bed getting more and more freaked out by the status of a memory I couldn’t shake: a village at twilight, uninhabited houses, several animals burning. I had never been to this village. The texture of the sky, the nameless blue of the mist, everything suggested an apocalypse it was impossible for me to have lived through. It reminded me slightly of the early scenes in Haneke’s film The Time of the Wolf. You know the bits I mean. The father has just been shot dead. They have yet to reach the wasteland. Great gusts of silhouette. No shelter to be found. The countryside a splinter of spiteful knives. Blah blah. It put me in mind of the mass incineration of farm animals that happened in Britain, in 2001. Remember that? The foot and mouth thing? When they burnt all the animals? I remember watching that on TV, back in 2001, and saying to everyone who’d listen that Britain was in danger of putting a hex on itself, behaving like that. I mean, obviously. Ghost mathematics. The absolute content of the 1990s. From the Poll Tax Revolt to the death of Diana Spencer. From the Criminal Justice Bill to the insipid immolation of Britpop. Bang bang. All of it compressed and spun, baked and loaded, until it was transformed in its sleep into incinerated invisible villages. That type of thing. Obviously I was right. But it wasn’t that was bothering me. It was simply the light, the unnameable blue at the centre of this nameless memory, a still-point that could but shouldn’t be passed through. Thats what the end of the world looks like, in The Time of the Wolf, which is a film I watch quite often, three times a week etc. The end of the world, and how you can’t tell whether its just happened or is merely about to happen. An endless stillness. An aching blue. A scraping sky. A screeching of blackened burning bells. A sleepless night. An endless regret. All of these things stripped of their names. Their dates. All constellations aimed and loaded. Typewriters and falling bombs. As if you had 87 parallel lives. And each of those lives was passing from you. Was falling from you. Like a hex that you’d dropped. Like the eyes of boiling pigs. You would recognise nothing. Like that part of the land that is also part of the sea. A sadness so great you have to invent new words to express it. Like in The Time of the Wolf, when they’re all standing there, outside the station, waiting. All of them saying to each other “I have, of course, been sick for a very long time”. So what. Who hasn’t. New bombs squealing. New reasons to be fearful of the stars. Oh blah blah. To hate the stars. To dream that one day you will go out into the streets of this quite possibly non-existent village, and it will be very quiet, and there will be new constellations in the sky, and you will know they are new because they will already have names.The Body Fluids of the Electorate. The Kids Who Jumped Into the Fire. The Boiling Bones of Boris Johnson. The Blood of Horses. The Strangled Bird. The Broken Strings. The Incineration of the Pigs. The Deserted Houses. The Marriage Feast. The Defence Speech of Emile Henri. Devotions and Buildings Falling. A huge meteor will be approaching. Contains all of your unlived memories. Your 87 unspoken names. The other half of a helplessly oppositional sky.
Thursday, April 06, 2017
When you were born, which you were told on several occasions was 1969, there were a group of Americans tramping about on the moon. You didn’t think about them. You were screaming your head off . Whatever. The furniture changes places every night. There is blood in your nose. You don’t know who your family are. That’s ok. Each morning they break your arms. They tell you it is fatal. They tell you it will help you breathe better. Alphabets come from your mouth and they tell you they are fake. Fake the words that come from your throat and fake the unpredictable furies. Fake your burnt skin. Fake your blue eyes. Last night you said to yourself I am so sick of being unable to sleep I will take 37 of these pills. They are like milk in my mouth. Like spittle and spectres. Like childhood. And all those other things. You don’t know what those things are. You drink some beer. You go out looking for smack. The men stomping around on the moon didn’t think about beer or smack, you’re sure of it. You lie down in some kind of stupor singing Beethoven to yourself. The men in the moon didn’t think about Beethoven. They said to each other, do you love me. Wankers. There are stains on all of your clothes. You don’t know what the stains are. You lie in bed and wonder about the men on the moon, and if they are still there. Dying, you decide, takes much time, much dedication.