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.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Letter Against the Firmament

this is a fairly extensive reworking of this, from a few weeks ago

Well, I dunno, it feels like we all just lost our minds. I mean, if you remember, not so long ago I tried to convince you that plague is the only solidarity we might have left, as if that plague might lead to some kind of new force of collectivity, on both molecular and social levels, wherein a new utopia might open up before our eyes, a rose-garden of strange harmony, new forms of human and inhuman love. Perhaps I got it wrong. I mean, I’ve been ill for quite a while now, and if I feel solidarity with anything at all, its simply with the forces of namelessness and invisibility, as if my body was less an ordered system of molecules and more a negative community of shattered, cannibalistic and stupid sub-atomic particles, and some of those particles are mine and some of them are not, as if my body had become an anti-linear intersection point where hail and domestic locusts had somehow mingled with the original recitation of Thomas Müntzer’s “Protest About the Condition of the Bohemians” - that would be 1521, something like that - and those two only coincidentally anti-capitalist forces have manifested themselves as a red, black and slightly painful rash that’s made it even more difficult than usual to leave the house. And if you can’t see just how politically inconvenient that is, its probably only because you’ve still got some kind of job, and your wage-slip still has the ability to stitch you together into some kind of utopian facsimile of, what, maturity, satisfaction, calm and good health. Like you’re a walking vaccine, or something. Don’t get me wrong, its not like I blame you or anything. There’s plenty of people, plenty of us, who have just carried on as if nothing was happening, as if the grievous black wind beating through our minds and our skies and our homes was either totally invisible, or simply something that didn’t apply, as if we had conjured up some kind of immunity to the swarms of metallic tumours that have for decades now replaced whatever it was used to pass for reasoned discourse in this, or any, country. Yes, it is of course more than reasonable to wander through all of this wreckage, this peevish radioactivity as if it was just another landscape ripe for gentrification, as if all of this was just the normal way of things, as if it was the way of the world, as if everything had always been like this, and it has, because as everybody knows, the projectile vomit of the present moment - in whatever “historical era” -  has always spattered and poisoned the entirety of written and unwritten history, all the kings and queens of England simply tiny worms wriggling about all over it, that vomit, that history. And all of those tiny little worms have by now been re-interpreted as a golden and glowing currency, the basis of our tradition, a word which rhymes oh so neatly, well almost, with radiation and rendition. Oh beautiful stinking England. And other blah blah blahs. I thought about making a copy of this letter, sending it to the Daily Mail. I’m serious. Because, and I don’t really need to tell you, I’m sure you’ve noticed, over the past few years, since the current administration “took power” or whatever it is you call it, I’ve become a monster, absolutely intolerant, psychopathic in my hatred for every cop and tory on this entire planet, and that would be fine if it wasn’t so clear just what a comfortable place in which to live that hatred has become. And I wonder how close that comfort is to whatever warm, titillated bliss your average Daily Mail reader feels as their own suburban hatred is tickled into being by, for example, the way they so fondly believe their taxes are being made to subsidise huge masses of starving people, the way their hard earned xenophobic cash goes to pay for all those unsavoury Victorian diseases the poor seem to feel so entitled to. That’s right, it must be very cozy in there, inside that glowing, subsidised hatred. There are, of course, some very serious differences. Because, for one thing, they actually own the hatred they live inside, they put a deposit down, they pay their mortgage, they ring it around with flowers, with birds and other things, the immense screeching of starlings, the avenues of devastated cities, all of it transformed by who knows what magic into a neatly mowed lawn, gadgets, polite chat about interior design. Not me. I have to rent mine. And every day I have to worry about the landlord, about how one day the rent will be too much too afford, because the landlord will have worked out that even embittered, quasi-principled political hatred can be converted into a slab of real-estate. That’s right, a slab. A slab composed of tungsten and dense micro-shrapnel, which explodes in deep, fabular silence somewhere on the other side of the planet, a dense micro-nebulae in which all of us - Daily Mail readers or not - are either vaporised or transformed into a dense organisation of molecular bullshit, a ring of roses, rigid and ossified, a foul-smelling network of bones, and all of those bones played upon like holy trumpets, because what is bone is also teeth, and when those teeth are scattered across the soil, the floodplains and the scorched tory desert, they start speaking, and the noise is tremendous, at frequencies no living creature can hear, but the dead do, and they crawl out from underneath their shattered houses, and the music is intolerable, because the time for tolerance is long past, and at this point I collapse, all of the creatures from which I’m made, all the constellations, they implode, they divide themselves, tear themselves to tatters, as if the heretics of Saturn and Venus and whatever remains of Hackney had been compressed into some kind of bacteria and preserved for years in a secret laboratory located several miles below the magnetic gulfs of the Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH and, when released with great triumphalist fanfare by a gang of fearless anarchists, when those bacteria are released into the atmosphere like a huge trumpet-blast of invisible comets they achieve absolutely nothing, people breathe them in and sneeze and that’s about it, and that’s the type of solidarity I’m feeling right now, its like a vacuum, a microscopic black hole, an occupied territory, a supermarket, a net of protons passing through matter with no effect whatsoever, a hospital crackling and burning in the heat of the midnight sun. That’s right. Hatred is a very comfortable place. I’ve been living on speed and whisky for weeks. Come over if you fancy some. I’ll try not to puke.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lamentations (inc. some lines from Louise Michel)

“We will return, an infinite mob
through all their doors, we’ll return
vengeful spectres, out from the shadows
with raised fists, we will return”

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


Watch out for melancholy.
Tell a few jokes.
Blow up Stonehenge.

So anyway, insomniacs or the wandering dead sleep by walking invisibly through the department, yeh, through the golden city. Well screw them. Do this instead: take some sulphide, some hydrogen, whatever you want, elements, elementals, mash em all up and boil the invisible. Just do it. The ecstasy of oxygen molecules, their barbarism, in disputation, with the technical wheel of the world. Or something like that. Because it is invisible and we are going down in it. Tell me about your holidays.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Admonition: To the Owners of Planet Earth

Pay it all back. Leave the dead to their natural stations.
Burst open the prisons. Roast yourselves, feed yourselves to the beggars.

And if you do not do this we will gouge out your eyes. To take from you all you have broken, all you have taken, what you have made of us, of the circuits of the earth, for all of this we will take your eyes from you, and we will save them, as a record of your vision, as a vessel of deceit and dereliction, that no longer will you stalk the earth, no longer will you invent imperious darkness, a darkness we will never forget, as we will never forget you, devourers of the planet earth, we will keep you in our mouths, and we will keep you there to recite the filth of your lives, and we will do this so you roam forever through the known and unknown hells, and we will do this that the endless solar gulls and the endless whirring of the firmament will no longer simply be money, and so the dogs of the beggars will bark and run, like invisible ghosts will feed on your bones in eternal night.

(after Abiezer Coppe)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Letter Against the Firmament (three)

I know. I’d been hoping to spare you any further musings I might have had on the nature of Iain Duncan-Smith, that talking claw. But perhaps we’re at a point now where we need to define him, to recite and describe, occupy his constellations. Because to recite the stations of the being of Iain Duncan-Smith, as if they were a string of joy-beads, and they are, would be to recite the history of the law, if we take that law to be something as simple as a mouth is, and each noise, each syllable that emits from that mouth is only ever and never more than the sound of animals eating each other, a gap in the senses where the invisible universe goes to die, and we become like ghosts or insomniacs stumbling through the city, we become the music of Iain Duncan-Smith, his origin in the chaos of animals and plants, of rocks and metals and the countless earths, where over and again he breaks children's teeth with gravel-stones, covers them with ashes. Because to classify those stations, the cancer-ladder of the dreams of Iain Duncan-Smith might, at a push, be to  consume him, and to define those stations, those marks on the hide of Iain-Duncan Smith, might be to trap him, to press granite to the roof of his mouth, the stations of the law. And at this point, obviously, I really wish I could think of something to say that was hopeful, that was useful, that was not simply a net of rats blocking the force of the sun, till it crawls on its fists and knees, screaming like a motherfucker, sarcastic and wrathful, boiling the mountains as if they were scars, laughing, laughing like a crucifixion, modular and bleached. Bleached with the guts of Iain Duncan-Smith, of each of the modest number of words he actually understands, such as grovel and stingray and throat, chlamydia, wart. And those five words are the entirety of the senses of Iain Duncan-Smith, the gates to his city, his recitation of the germs of the law, a clock that never strikes and never stops, where we are not counted, wiped from the knots of statistics, comparable to fine gold, receptacles of song, shrieking gulls. Its all I can bear to listen to, that shrieking. It blocks out the stars, the malevolent alphabet he's been proposing.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Letter Against the Firmament (two)

Thanks for your letter. You think I spend too much time going after ‘easy targets’, do you? Got to admit I chuckled over that one. A while ago, you recall, I admitted to you I make a fetish of the riot form, and in that admission implied I was fully aware of the risks involved, that any plausible poetics would be shattered, like a shop window, flickering and jagged, all of the wire exposed and sending sharp twists and reversible jolts into whatever it was I was trying to explain or talk about. Think about it this way. Imagine that you had a favourite riot, one that you loved. Tottenham. Millbank. Chingford. Walthamstow. I like the last one, but only for sentimental reasons. It’s a stupid question, but maybe will help you to see what I mean when I use the word “poetics”, or “poetry”. What was Marx referring to when he was talking about the “poetry of the future”, for example? And what use is that in thinking about prosody? Anyway. Loads of people have made maps of clusters of riots, trying to come up with some kind of exegesis based on location and frequency. And quite right too. Think of the micro-vectors sketched out within the actions of any individual rioter, of how those vectors and actions relate to those shared among her or his immediate physical group, and thus the spatio-physical being of that group in relation to their particular town / city, and finally, the superimposition of all of those relations in all of their directions and implications onto an equally detailed charting of the entire landmass understood as chronology and interpretation. Christ, you could include data about the weather-systems on Neptune if you wanted to. What would happen to this map, I’ve been asking myself, if we went on to superimpose the positions of riots of the past, the future too if you want to be facetious, onto the complexities we’re already faced with. Sudden appearance of the Baltimore Riots of 1968, to take a random example. Or the Copper Riots of 1662. The Opera Riot, Belgium, 1830. The 1850 Squatters Riot, California. Personally, I like the Moscow Plague Riots of 1771, both for their measures of poetry and analogy, and for the thought of them as an element of the extraordinarily minor Walthamstow Riot of 7th August 2011. Plague is a bad metaphor, thats it accuracy, it refers to both sides, all sides, in quantitively different ways. Hegelian “aspects” and all that, yeh? But primarily, its dirt simple: It runs in both directions. Means both us and them. Is a jagged rip through all pronouns. The thunder of the world, a trembling, a turbine. Cyclical desperation, clusters of walls. The first signs of plague hit Moscow in late 1770, as in a sudden system of forced quarantine and destruction of contaminated houses. Within a few months, a clock of vast scratching, fear and anger. September 15th they invaded the Kremlin, smashed up the monastery there. The following day they murdered the Archbishop, that wormfucker, Ambrosius, they killed him, and then torched the quarantined zones. Much burning, yeh, much gunshot and vacuum. And no antidote, no serum. Around 200,000 people died, not including those who were executed. Its a grisly map. Disease as interpretation and anonymity. The plague itself as injection into certain subsets of opinion, those predominantly generated within hegemonic diagrams of running water and digital electricity. Plague sores, each basilica split open to various popular songs, calendars folded within them, recorded crackles through the forcibly locked houses, code etc., LEDs and meth. Basic surrealism. Aimé Césaire wrote years ago that “poetic knowledge is born in the great silence of scientific knowledge”. And science itself the great silence at the centre of corporate knowledge, its dialectical warp and synaptic negation. As in a single node of extraction made up, for example, of the precise percentage of the world’s population who will never again be called by name, except by cops and executioners. Each one of those names - and we know none of them - is the predominant running metaphor of the entire culture, a net of symptom splinters producing abdominal pain and difficulty breathing, which in turn leads to a sharp increase in arrest numbers throughout the more opaque boroughs of selected major cities. OK? Now write a “poem”. Directly after the August Riots I went to one of the big public meetings, don’t know why, guess I was feeling a bit confused. Or maybe just bored. The speakers were awful, patronising, professional counterrevolutionaries, you know the type. But there was one woman who spoke, she had nothing to do with the organisation, they’d got her up there for obvious reasons, yeh, and she lived on an estate somewhere and her son had leapt 16 floors from a tower block window. He’d been on curfew and the cops had turned up, without warning, at his flat. To check up or something. Anyway, he leapt 16 floors down, and they told her he’d killed himself, “and I know my boy”, his mother said from top table, “and he wouldn’t have jumped, he wouldn’t have killed himself, not for them,  not for anyone, not for the cops”, and her voice cracked a little and then she said “and as for the riots, I thought they were fair enough, and I think there should be more of them, and more, and more”, and then she stopped and there was some applause, but it was a little shaken and a little nervous. Understand? Here’s a statistic for you, an elegant little metric foot: not one police officer in the UK has been convicted for a death in police custody since 1969. Get that? A lifetime. I think that’s what she was getting at, at the meeting: every cop, living or dead, is a walking plague-pit. And that includes the nice ones with their bicycles and nasty little apples. Like some kind of particle mould. They are all Simon Harwood. They are all Kevin Hutchinson-Foster. And are running, with crowbars and wheels, year by year, strata by strata, backwards into, well, what they used to call the deep abyss, or perhaps the metamorphosis of commodities. The unity of opposites, anti-constellations cutting through chronology, an injection of three droplets of the weather on Neptune into each malevolently flashing unit of time tumbling backwards through all of written history, all 16 spirals of it. “Poetry”, remember, “is born in the great silence of scientific knowledge”. What do you think that means, “the great silence”. I ask because I’m not quite sure. Hölderlin, in his “Notes on Oedipus”, talks about the moment of “fate”, which, he says, “tragically removes us from our orbit of life, the very-mid point of inner life, to another world, tears us off into the eccentric orbit of the dead”. But he’s not talking about “fate” as in myth, or the number of fatalities taking place every year in police cells and occupied territories worldwide, or indeed the home of every benefit claimant in this town. He’s talking about prosody, about the fault-line that runs through the centre of that prosody, and how that fault-line is where the “poetic” will be found, if its going to be found anywhere. The moment of interruption, a “counter rhythmic interruption”, he calls it, where the language folds and stumbles for a second, like a cardiac splinter or a tectonic shake. Again, just as with the plague, this is a cracked metaphor, an abstraction or a counter-earth. Actually its an entire cluster of metaphors, and each one of those metaphors twist in any number of directions, so that “counter-rhythmic interruption” refers, at the same time, to a band of masked-up rioters ripping up Oxford St., and to the sudden interruption inflicted by a cop’s baton, a police cell and the malevolent syntax of a judge’s sentence. We live in these cracks, these fault-lines. Who was it, maybe Raoul Vaneigem, who wrote something about how we are trapped between two worlds, one that we do not accept, and one that does not exist. Its exactly right. One way I’ve been thinking about it is this: the calendar, as map, has been split down the middle, into two chronologies, two orbits, and they are locked in an endless spinning antagonism, where the dead are what tend to come to life, and the living are, well you get the picture. Obviously, only one of these orbits is visible at any one time and, equally obviously, the opposite is also true. Its as if there were two parallel time tracks, or maybe not so much parallel as actually superimposed on each other. You’ve got one track, call it antagonistic time, revolutionary time, the time of the dead, whatever, and its packed with unfinished events: the Paris Commune, Orgreave, the Mau Mau rebellion. There are any number of examples, counter-earths, clusters of ideas and energies and metaphors that refuse to die, but are alive precisely nowhere.  And then there is standard time, normative time, a chain of completed triumphs, a net of monuments, dead labour, capital. The TV schedules, basically. And when a sub-rhythmic jolt, call it anything, misalignment of the planets, radioactive catastrophe, even a particularly brutal piece of legislation, brings about a sudden alignment of revolutionary and normative time, as in the brute emergence of unfinished time into their world, it creates a buckling in its grounding metaphor, wherein that metaphor, to again misuse Hölderlin, becomes a network of forces, places of intersection, places of divergence, moments when everything is up for grabs. Well, that’s the theory. Riot, plague, any number of un-used potentialities we can’t even begin to list. The names of everyone who has died in police custody since 1969, for example. The name of every civilian who has died in Iraq since 2003. Plague. The opposite of solidarity. Or rather, solidarity itself: the solidarity of isolation and quarantine, of the bomb-zone or the ghetto. The great silence is full of noises. And thats what I mean when I talk about poetics. A map, a counter-map, actually, a chart of the spatio-temporal rhythm of the riot-form, its prosody and signal-frequency. A map that could show the paths not taken. And where to find them, those paths, those antidotes, those counter-plagues. Anyway, I hope that answers your question. It’s a very partial account, for sure. There are hundred of other points of access to the metaphor cluster engaged within the riot form: think about the Portland Rum Riots of 1855, for example. Or the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943. Their trajectories through the varying intensities of official and unofficial chronology, the music of the past re-emerging as a sheet of blazing gin flowing through Chingford. Like that time we marched on Parliament, burned it to the ground. Remember that? It was fantastic.