Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Gods of the Plague

From now on new writing will be going up at my new blog Gods of the Plague.

Thanks and love to everyone for reading all the stuff I've been putting up here for the last decade.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Many Walls (after Miyó Vestrini)

Don’t take your children to the countryside. Don’t teach them hymns, or tell them stuff about clean water. Make them stand in the rain. Talk about torture, talk in cries and groans. Walk with them for days across the starkest of plains. Then they will know how pointless it is to listen to those who would praise the colour of the sky. They will want to go to Hiroshima, to Seveso, to Fallujah and to Grenfell Tower. There they will stare at you and you will fall to the ground, horrified as anyone who has ever really listened to a bird’s song. They will build many walls. They will make small additions to your memories, will tell small stories about the knowledge of those who know they have nothing.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Landscape with Burning Truck

You are walking through a city-centre wasteland, a constellation of abandoned trucks, and you are worried you may have murdered your closest friend. The astrological consequences will probably be severe: it will be 5 in the morning, there will be sirens. You will have passed some kind of border but you won’t have validated your ticket. There won’t be any tickets. There will be burning wheels. And in the thickets, some kind of long black veil.

we’re lying on the ground and everyone’s dead
obviously don’t include the enormous middle class
theirs the smoke theirs the vast stone sea etc
all murdered by the sun tho. ha. “murdered”
they all folded up inside the inexplicable sun

It is not a constellation and the trucks are not abandoned. You try to remember the first time you listened to the song “Long Black Veil” but all you can do is repeat over and again the phrase ‘I am not from your world and your laws do not apply’. Whose world, you wonder. Cops in Kotti this afternoon. You wander across an imaginary landscape hollering implausible songs. Where there are songs are dance-moves. Where there are dance-moves are diagrams and systems. Inside those systems lines of burning trucks. Not trucks, burning stars. Don’t sing. Kick till you break.

Sunday, July 02, 2017


And so you wake up in the morning and say there is someone encircling the city and you don’t know what they want. Something to do with hospitals, with whiskey bars etc. When the sun flashes everything disappears. Mercury in place of salt. The serial number of the knife that will do Theresa May. You open your eyes, everything is the same as it was before - a fatal shift entirely imperceptible. Black trees make thin sounds across the sky. Our collective pain an infra-red means of seeing in the dark, of tracing the constellations of footsteps that keep us fixed inside this place.

and as for those who no longer wish to live
don’t let them head off to quiet places
let them stand there in the middle of the street
let them leap like rats from the wildest bridges
let their ghost scratch our eyes oh contemptible mirth

You try to remember what it was first made you so hate what you still like to call the so-called ‘straight world’. You grew up in the 1980s. Most nights you would dream about the nuclear war. American planes would fly across your town. Every hour, across your small town, huge invisible noises. Planes and missiles. You barely thought about them, but they set up new numbers. Every hour a new sentence was spoken. It would end before our death it would continue long after. Etc. You wore badges, went on demoes. But the noises, you decide, were something else. Long afterwards, you are still making calculations based on the numbers they left in the weirdness of the air. The other half of the firmament, you call them. It was Pasolini’s term for ‘death’. Its ghosts still circle the town. A sheer murderous rock that cannot be murderous because it is not human.