Saturday, July 30, 2016
Time and again I tell myself I’ll stay clean tonight - David Bowie
It is important to be on good terms with the neighbours. To discuss with them your fears about the meaning of your passport. To share with them the results of your investigations into the meaning of the rent equation. It is important to explain the central mathematics of the noises they’ll have heard coming from your apartment at random hours of the day and night. To demonstrate both the internal and external nature of those hours, and their connection with the signals you receive from the lights in windows you can see from your balcony, and how those signals reflect the secret passions contained in your passport, and how all of this determines how many times a day you think about suicide, and murder. Think about, not contemplate. That’s a very important distinction, and one not unrelated to the enormous electronic screech you sometime hear coming from what you can only assume must be the centre of the earth. Always make it clear that the centre of the earth is more than likely not where they think it is. That there are storms that have been raging there for longer than the collective age of everyone who lives in this city, both documented and undocumented. That you love only sex workers, drug addicts, refugees and the terminally ill. That most mornings you think they are the only people deserving of citizenship. That you are disturbed by the hatred continually emitting from the drawer in which you keep your passport. It is important they understand how that hatred’s foul metallic shriek is in no way connected with the way in which you would like to continue to conduct your business. That your business is somehow connected with the scorched and horrific colours the sky produces as it sends murderous darts through your window each evening between the hours of 8 and 9. The reasons you have for burying those darts in the shallowest earth. The meaning of the gentle sounds you make as you do this. It is important to be on good terms, to share your knowledge, your sugar, your brightly coloured powders.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Even in Kreuzberg I can smell the burning remnants of Britain. Each morning I’m out here on my balcony, as the sky flashes from red to white to deepest black, as strange patterns of geometrical dust settle across the body of the city. These patterns I think of as a calendar of British incidents, some erased, some imaginary, some appalling. I feel like a crater as I scratch small counter-patterns into them, something equivalent to the stark anger of the circling birds, the swifts and the sparrows that shriek like shattered human things all through the morning, or whatever it is we can call the strange glow of the sky in these peculiar, hijacked days. It’s all so quiet. The shrieking is quiet. The blank statistics of the calendar are quiet. The obsolete sigils scratched onto my window are quiet. Kreuzberg is beautiful in the summer. The sounds from the canal are ever louder, the screeching of invisible time-zones blocking out the shapes of the sun.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Saturday, July 09, 2016
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
“It is no longer possible to have a balanced relationship with the world”. I read that somewhere in Ernst Bloch, throw the book at the wall, scream for a while, then run down six flights of stairs to the street below. This seems to happen just about every morning. I head to the canal and stand there staring at the swans, and pronounce certain words of shrivelled power. Theresa May, for example. Stephen Crabb. Of course, these words only have purchase in the land of the dead, but still I recite them, their syllables grinding together like the ghosts of medieval machinery, like a parade of headless skeletons or the wonder of a ghost train perfectly preserved in post-apocalyptic brine, the auditory bleach we bathe in every day. The canal is called the Landwehr and is famous. On June 1st 1919 they dragged Rosa Luxemburg’s insulted body from it. It had been there for six months. I think about that as I stare at the swans. I also think about the well known poem by Paul Celan that alludes to that incident, and about how he talks about the silence of the canal, or at least about how the canal has become silent, and I think about how wrong that is. Its inaudible radioactive signals never stop shrieking, an impossible music I’ve been unable to stop dancing to for days now, each of its notes the representation of an impossible world flickering somewhere just outside the borders of the known imaginary spectrum, those impossible borders, those ridiculous walls. We scratch ourselves to pieces on those walls. Or rather we write there. And what we write there would explode all known dictionaries were it not for the foul neoliberal glow of the so-called sun transforming all we have written into, once again, those aforementioned words of power. May. Crabb. Dirt and bones and gas. Yes every morning I sit there by the canal and when the panic has passed I murmur softly to the swans, and then I go home and dream that I have befriended them and they have flown high across the border and into the land of the dead, and there they have torn out the throats of all of our tormentors and they have passed a soothing balm among the souls of all those who continue to live but are trapped in that land, and obviously by soothing I mean usefully corrosive and deadly, and it is rare that I don’t wake up in tears. I’m trying to stop that shit. I’ve been studying magic, utopia and weaponry. I’ll keep you up to date with my progress.