Thursday, February 23, 2017

Our Death 30 / On Ways to Say Goodbye

On the fourth day of my sickness I lay in bed increasingly concerned by the status of a memory I couldn’t shake: a village at twilight, uninhabited houses, several animals burning. I was sure I had never been to this village. The texture of the sky, the nameless blue of the mist, everything suggested an apocalypse that it was impossible for me to have lived through. It reminded me slightly of the early scenes in The Time of the Wolf. You know. The sections after the father has been shot dead, but before they reach the wasteland. Great gusts of silhouette. No shelter or food to be found. The splintered meanness of the countryside. It put me in mind of the mass incineration of farm animals during the foot and mouth outbreak that took place in Britain in 2001. You remember that? When they burnt all the animals. I remember seeing the images on TV, and saying to everyone who’d listen that Britain was in serious danger of putting a hex on itself, behaving like that. The ghost mathematics involved in that: smug lifestyle journalism plus retro guitar chords plus the 1990s compressed until they are transformed in their 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 should but couldn’t be passed through. That’s what the end of the world looks like, in The Time of the Wolf, which sometimes I think is the most truthful piece of apocalypse cinema I’ve seen simply because you learn precisely nothing, except for the simple fact that you can’t tell whether or not armageddon has just happened or is merely about to happen. Like a sleepless night, or an old regret, or a hex that you dropped in a parallel life, or a sadness so great that you have to invent new words to express it, and when you say those words either you or everything else vanishes, and you’ll never be able to tell which. Except that you will go out into the streets and it will be very quiet, and there will be new constellations in the sky, and you’ll know they’re new because they will already have names. The Kids Who Jumped Into the Fire. The Strangled Bird. The Blood of Horses. The Incineration of the Pigs. The Secret Names of the Colour Blue. The Defence Speech of Emile Henri. Etc. A huge meteor will be approaching. It will contain all of your unlived memories. The other half of a helplessly oppositional sky.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Our Death 29 / The Ghost Dimension

We don’t know their names or their faces. They are gathered in ruined houses, in water-damaged pictures. They are not your gods, your hypocrisy, your chastity. Who are you anyway. Theirs is not your glitter. It is not their stars that encircle your cities where cold and evil bastards are building something hungry. Their names are very different. New uses for gravity. New methods for breaking glass, for scraping our histories into your stars and walls. We are living in the wrong apocalypse.

Monday, February 06, 2017



Early evening at my desk in Kreuzberg. Quiet mood, grief and rage.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Our Death 28 / Dancer (after Emmy Hemmings)

I guess they’ve probably got me on their death-list somewhere. Probably quite far down. Not that I’m bothered - I’ve always been fairly careful inside my life, am quiet and am often frightened. One day they smashed my heart. Since then I’ve been getting sicker, getting wilder. So what. The Angel of Death - if that’s what they call it - is on my side. I’m going to keep on dancing till they get me. They can nail me into whatever filthy little grave, I’ll never snitch on anyone. I’ll kiss half the world. The rest I’ll tear their bellies out.

All these banners and people and songs. Its like I’m flying through caverns, through grottoes and mythical tunes. I have bit-parts in other people’s dreams. I interpret their faces. The old, the sick, the beautiful and the hot, all of them mesmerise me. How lonely I am. A black cross in the centre of my room.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Our Death 27 / Under Duress

Whatever with that fascist shit Bannon. He can have Darth Vader. He can have that whatever-its-called from Lord of the Rings. But he can keep his paws off Satan. Satan is one of ours. Always has been. But having said that, it is very boring to write a poem about Satan. Baudelaire did it, and it was great. Milton too. And Blake. It is very boring to write a poem about Bannon. Like, for example, I’m speeding like fuck right now, and earlier on I was in a bar, and I was hanging out with friends and they are all complicated and wonderful and I love them, and all of our worlds are falling apart, and I would like to talk about that in poetry, about how we were asking whether or not there is phone reception in the land of the dead, and etc and other things. But instead I feel that I should be talking about Bannon. Imagine doing drugs with him. I can keep going for five days at a stretch. Monsters appear and ghosts and that, and they are uglier than Bannon. Except they are not, because their conversation is interesting. Like we'd have a few grammes of what the fuck, ha, we'd keep going for days, and Bannon like he would just be dead on the floor. No-one would notice. You know, he’d just be dead. We’d have to dump his body somewhere. Like in one of the new developments or something. How annoying. How tedious this all is. I guess this has something to do with the sun, that solar bastard. I guess this poem is lame and I feel kind of lonely and blah but. Remember this. Our word for Satan is not their word for Satan. Our word for Evil is not their word for Evil. Our word for Death is not their word for Death. Oh how I hate the word ‘kill’. Oh how I have to use it.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Our Death 26 / "Let's Not Chat About Despair"

There are certain things we take that help us to murder sleep, that appalling privilege. You know what I mean, those silent golden landscapes, those gardens and cancers and hollyhocks. Its sickening. Our shadows live there, would slaughter us if they could. But instead they are trying to speak to us. Like, for instance, there is a sky inside the earth. There is no light there and it stinks of heaven. Everything there is visible. No-one can visit, and no-one can leave. But those who are held there, they are manufacturing the noises that will shatter all of our dreams. Think inside those noises. Think inside them, become nothing else. The fist in the fascist’s face must always be wide awake.

very vaguely after Georg Trakl's "Der Schlaf"
title from Diamanda Galás

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Our Death 25 / "Where Have They Been?"

And so you wake up in the morning and tell yourself that ‘psalm’ means ‘vitriol’. Otherwise known as the popular song, or as the work equation, or the noises you make as you put on clothes, drink coffee and stare through the window at the unbroken, partially objectivist sky. Songs are holes in that sky, in those noises, those you sing and those you don’t know how to sing. Some are monuments. Some are oubliettes. Some will likely be your accomplice, others should simply be shot. All of them are collisions, and your body is always inside every one of them at exactly the same time.

You wake up in the morning and say that to praise is the same as to curse. That the songs come to you in the dead of night and each one is a memory-net, and most of those memories entirely predictable. There are many songs are simply cops, have set up border patrols inside your memories, have confiscated your passport and replaced it with an endless scream that blocks out the words of the songs you have known since before you were born. Songs still unwritten. Songs that you conceal under your breath as you walk down the stairs and cross the street to the station. There is no longer any station. How insignificant, these scraps of symbolic devotion, these mumbling musical statistics. All you can hear is the ringing that remains when the notes fade away. All you can see is the stone in your hand. The lights of the town signalling through the cop-ridden fog.