Thursday, September 24, 2015

Poems after Katerina Gogou

I would like to spin a eulogy / of filth, of poverty, of drugs and suicide . . . drugs, disgust, rage - Pasolini

 Benzodiazepine. Give me the prescription
and I will be you. I’ll pretend to be you
and if i cannot, well, I’ll tell you about your walls
the interpretation of the cracks, divination etc
you probably don’t wanna know. give me the paper
its fine I’ll never remember a thing.
you’ll say things tomorrow I’ll have said them last week.
just right. I know explosives. magic I know and dialectics.
just write the fucking prescription ok.
I have conversations with the dead

let’s drink with the unemployed
with all sun and silence
with all dust in the sun and silence
and sun and cognac and dust
and cigarettes and sun
no, lets not go on about our health today
pills and drink and snot
don’ worry
I feel very calm
there are nails there is hair there are years
the pills are great. the party, you know which one I mean
impossible to tell whose a cop these days
the cognacs shit
no, I haven’t heard anything for quite some time
you know I’n thinking I might want to, you know
there’s a room upstairs
I want to see you without your pants
kind of curious about your dick
music, for chrissake
you take a solo
“they took a stick and beat me”
you pullout your switchblade start slashing
The Bonnot Gang were right.

There are four cardinal points.
The first is the sky, it is where they have buried us.
The second, the earth. There they question us. It is very silent.
The other two points were recently taken out of commission.
No explanations were offered

one day I’ll come out from the houses
I did it yesterday
no thought for anything
one small shred of my father
a tiny piece of the sea
no-one can take them from me
the city they fucked like a dead friend
so many dead friends
one day I’ll come out from the houses
straight into powder and flames
I did it yesterday
you fascist bastards
you pig bastards
red banners barricades black banners
a new city a new kind of sun
one day I’ll come out of the houses
and listen I need to tell you
don’t think I’m afraid when I tell you
they got me. don’t do it. they got me.
reinvent time. reinvent violence. then
listen, go at those bastards like the furies.
only then will you disappear
only then will you learn the magic
a tiny shred of childhood and ocean
one day I will come out from the houses
a strangers language of rags and dreams
and the loneliness, the disappearance
oh god the loneliness. I mean
what do you think I am
some kind of fucking cop


Loneliness does not meet for lunch in Selfridges
nor does it stroll abstract and satisfied thru the V&A, for example
it doesn’t understand Beethoven
or even the Beatles, for that matter
never gets nostalgic over memories of its mother
its ribbons its straw hats its oh-so-middle-class morphine
loneliness is not white
loneliness is up for sale. loneliness will clean your toilet with her fucking tongue.
oh god I’m swearing again.
loneliness turns up drowned on the front pages as refugee porn and is three years old
loneliness queues up politely for a boot in the face for black eggs and poisoned ham
loneliness crawls up from the desert her mouth filled with salt and grain
is marked out in inches like cattle and real estate
humiliation pain humiliation pain
is laughing and is very silent
loneliness crawls out from the ocean her mouth filled with sand and glass
loneliness knows your passwords
humiliation pain humiliation pain
destroys private property. knows all your music is prison.
knows all of your language is prison. all of your seconds are prison.
knows western weapons.
knows european oceans and blood-clots and fucking shit.
loneliness is screaming is smashing your windows with boots and chains
loneliness is dancing barefoot on tables in bars where they hate you hate you
is holding in her bruised and ruined hands a very sharp axe
is hanging over your head
is swirling over your head
is lonely is lonely and loneliness is power is sharpened and bloodstained is swirling is swirling

sometimes the door opens I’m terrified
you are dressed in white your face is white
you force open my hand place coins there
I never move never every morning
you know exactly where to find me
a long time has passed my nails are filthy
they are long and sharp I terrify my friends
I have no imagination
coins in my hand they frighten me
every day I cook potatoes
every day they call my name it terrifies me
I know they want me to betray someone
I keep their voices close to my face
I know they change the words
I’m frightened of the voices because the voices lie
they told me they shot you in the legs
I know they never shoot in the legs
they shoot in the head
they extract the mind
just keep it together, love. keep moving.

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.

we’ll cut ourselves down
they hung us yesterday
no escape from the massacre
this whispered ‘no’
liars. informers. murderers
squealing ‘yes’
always ‘yes’
no escape
always ‘yes’
        this whispered “no”
        this rotten world
        this world we loved

Please don’t cry. Time will come.
Bear that in mind. Remember.
Don’t look at me. Don’t cry.
We are gathering the pieces.
There will be no locked doors.
No officials, no murders, no slaves.
Sometimes we’ll speak in colours,
in musical notes. No passwords,
no secret codes. But remember,
serious, keep a pill in your mouth.
Keep it there, these words there:
solitude, profit, humiliation, suicide.
That’s the dictionary of history.
When they shoot it at us, fire back.
I can’t lie. Things will get harder,
but keep at it. Despite our violence
our addictions. All this burning earth.


Fearful we’ll abandon our history or steal it. Fearful we’ll set up borders around that history. Fearful we’ll drive up the rents on that history and talk and talk about the old days in meter and rhyme while the pigs close the borders. Fearful we’ll be those borders. Fearful we’ll confuse those borders with songs and sit inside those songs as if they were the scars on our veins. Fearful our scars will become a lullaby and that we will turn into dogs. Fearful we’ll confuse dogs with doves. Fearful of doves and swans, of corpuscles, of medical robes, of silence and smack. Fearful we’re doing what they want. What silence wants. We police their borders. They know how it is. Fearful bastards. Fearful of everything. All of us. Fuck it. Do it tomorrow. No escape from the massacre. 

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.


music, I don’t talk about it
my eyes. seriously. where are my eyes
every day there’s something to reject
I will not scream when I die
Marx Lenin Trotsky Luxemberg
The Kronstadt Massacre and the dream of Sisyphus
there are flowers there are colours
revolvers and homemade bombs
I’m going crazy, why aren’t you
my dreams my friends dreams
all these dreams are the same dream
repeated breakdowns endless weeping
puking spirits loathing
every morning I have to apologise for something
coke, raki, smack
this is measure
you and me
up and down
and back and down
we understand everything, those stupid bastards
private property newlyweds money
newlyweds money prisons terror
they have spit at us
old comrades are dying every day
kids eyes just get bigger and bigger
riot cops, UKBA, new glass, the border
there is a false symmetry separates us
lets not laugh
if we don’t sign the paper
they won’t be able to act on their decision
night falls
the central committee, rape apologists, maoists
night falls
they want to know if I have a television
night falls
I’m still kind of keeping it together
I won’t sign
Long like the 204th International

and we collect little pieces. of resistance etc.
don’t talk to me about fragmentation. it is
rain. talk about rain. Durruti had it right
transubstantiation. rain. metallic burning rain.
red rain. crowbars. the richter scale is
a calendar. bones piled like rain beneath the earth.


40 degrees in the shade. 40 below.
No-one was ever born here.
Fascists and charitable organisations
have made an agreement. They have bought up the city.
They have poured oil on us.
They talk about rats. And houses. The contractors
And the cops, of course
like voyeurs
Fucking them. They talk about the houses.
They are breaking up the houses
They have tied you to the bed with your legs and face.
Its how they put up the rent. How they get us out.
They change our names. Elect us. Pour oil on us.
The streets names. Our names. They burn our names.
40 in the shade. 40 below. Our mouths are swollen.
No-one was ever born here.
A stone. Beneath it, that liar the sun.


that there are houses
on grand roads, we know that
and we used to know
in the silence and dawn
of bottles, and pass codes
never would we live there
hating the roses, fearing them
we knew the address of each one
we had the blue-prints, everything
we talked
minute to minute
we talked
wire to wire
of what we would say
at the pre-ordained moment
class vengeance, we understood
futuristic and ancient, as
all of history, as
one click, as
some kind of message
left on the table
                like a packet of fags
in an overheated kitchen
not even the ones I used to smoke
squealing, yeh, thanks a lot
you destroyed the wrong world
pack up your roses, asshole, get out

On an undisclosed date she was spotted leaving the house setting fire to every cop car she saw. At a synchronised hour she was known to be transporting weapons to anarchist-communist groups in the Middle East, to be working with refugees in Calais, at every border in the world, to be distributing certain classified documents relating to the blood-stained and medieval predilections of David Cameron, Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt. Last spotted wearing one red and black military sweater, one pearl necklace, fists clenched inside the pockets of a somewhat dirty borrowed jacket. This is a note on how to become numbered among the ranks of the invisible.

I think of my friends as blackbirds
screeching from rooftops
murdered by rising rents . we survive
at random. pissed out of our heads
in songs in squatted bars
with pills and needles. to get some sleep
to stop dreaming
interpreters. commies. thieves.
we wake in the same bed. with bedbugs
with trackmarks I love my friends
we dream and never sleep
cocaine into Marx
plague into Bakunin
murdered by rising rents. we screech
from broken rooftops
I think of my friends as blackbirds
as wires stretched from city to city
nailed to the front of the houses
in borrowed dresses and migraines
in silence. lines of speed. of wires
of STDs and bedbugs and microscopes
we fall in love with killers
we survive at random
no ambulance
broken glass. telephone. silence
I think of my friends as blackbirds
Marx and Bakunin. always on the move
the city has been stolen
always on the move
murdered by rising rents
all of my friends. dressed in black
in silence. antibiotics and broken roofs
speaking in code. always in code
plain speech is only for lying
my friends are blackbirds. are wires
tight around your hands. your necks
you capitalist shits. your necks
my friends are wires. are blackbirds

Don’t let me sleep I’m dreaming. They walk toward me the dreams the phantoms it is lonely here. They walk toward me the dreams the melodies the harmony is wrong. It is lonely here. The years are pebbles and they’re blocking my mouth. The years are coins each one stamped with a separable sun. First sun Kobanî. Second sun Calais. The dreams are lines they are suns their angles are vicious their voices are thin they are phantoms their voices shatter glass. They are thin phantoms they speak inside our mouths. They speak inside our mouths in Haymarket in Kobanî. The dreams are years are pebbles a system of inaudible suns. Third sun Tottenham. Second sun Calais. The harmony is rage the dreams are hunting us down. First rage Ferguson. Second rage Gaza. They are thin phantoms they are bursting suns they are blasted glass. Now they take aim. Now they murder. Dreams are a means of speaking. Glass is a means of screaming your nightmares down.


James said...

hey, a friend's about to publish some new translations of Gogou. Will gladly send them on if you like.

Sean Bonney said...

That would be great, James. Would love to see them.