Saturday, 31 December 2016
Friday, 30 December 2016
We go to London full of excitement and board the river cruiser. We stroll around the deck and meet the captain who jokes about my age and seems intent on mentioning my cheekbones and that there is something not quite right about me, We go to get some food, but my wife (who's name I don't know yet) says she wants to get something more fun to eat. We head to a cafe on deck where they serve spaghetti. Before we go in I confess to her that I'm dreaming, and that I don't know who either of us our in the dream, but that I am enjoying her company and that because I'm dreaming there is a sadness because she will fade away. She tells me not to be so arrogant. That she doesn't know who either of us are either, and that she is also dreaming. I jump back, stunned, and tell her my name in real life. She says "ah, well, my name is Christine. Next time I see you I will wink at you, and then drop something - you'll know it's me". We go into the cafe and resolve to enjoy what we have here and to try to remain asleep for a while. While in the cafe a man becomes aggressive with me, and I assume I have powers to end this by merely making him leave or not be there. As I think this objects I look at begin to fly around the room.
I wake up in a start, get in the shower and go to work. When I get to work there are builders there, as there were when I left and they are building small towers in the garden wall. I can't start working because I want to write down this dream, which I do in almost identical words to these except for this paragraph which I know will need to be filled in but I leave blank because it doesn't exist yet, and start to describe a man who I once knew who was nine feet tall. I stick the fountain pen into my elbow and it is extremely painful. I wake up and there is a real cut there beginning to scab over.
Thursday, 22 December 2016
held where the crisp breath was;
we knew nothing & parted. "But the pebbles,
but that sound, beating
on the water?" ...
"That's the pile-driver." The elevated
horizon coughed, the Rookery a haze cloistered
my fist letting her fingers out the three
of us knotted like a fist huddled in the stairs
or at your door at the street's token finish
belting John Ball in the basement
or this screaming white cat winking
in our new present evening. Still full
of knots the tempting musk of hot knives
raising up to clink our glasses in departure.
Tuesday, 6 December 2016
I am in the bedroom at home which is almost the same as the one I sleep in now but there are different windows. My friend Tiger Mundy is there fully clothed but wearing a strapon with an inflatable tip (like a balloon) and she is trying to convince me that we should fuck because "it would be funny". She keeps telling me how funny it would be, and as I am trying to decode the whole situation the Brain of Morbius (pictured below) comes into the house in a very cheerful mood. Me and him charge down the stairs, jumping most of them, going at such a giddy speed. We go out into the warm sunlight to play.
Monday, 5 December 2016
We’re trying to etch out our hatred for you. We hate you because of the things you do. Because of what you are. What you are we imagine doesn't marry to who you are. That is a possibility which for now we occlude. We feel this possibility must be occluded because “what you are” and “who you are” are co-dependent. “What you are” proceeds from “who you are” – your history, physiognomy, ideology etc. composed into a subject, not your own. An elastic possibility of a subject lingering, latent and terrifying; terrifying because in its latency, its immobility and non emergence it is already violent. What more when you become you? The subject of your own life to act as we would better hope you could? “What you are” then feeds back into “who”, because “what” defines “who” in retrospect. As you become something, that something is subsumed into you. “What” (a manager) is inside you – the “who” that “what” is made for/of. You are who you are. “What you are” is made of “who you are” so “what you are” who “who you are” what “what you are” who “who you are” you are. You are our manager. The person whose job it is to manage not just us but the building we work in, its occupants, ours and their safety and most obviously “the business” which is contained within a nest of other businesses managed by an umbrella business which is in turn managed by a private equity firm. That firm manages down by buying. The next one by making, maintaining and selling four businesses, one of which is the one we work for whose business it is to maintain services, one of which we work for; whose business it is to support adults with high functioning autism or related diagnoses to gain independence and live meaningful lives with as much independence as possible. You manage this unit. You face down over three levels and face up through countless
I call these levels “The Great Mystery”, because I can’t see their reality as closely as I’d like to. As far as I can see it looks like this: Each service has a manager and a deputy manager. The manager is accountable to the regional manager, and the regional manager is accountable to a pantheon of hieroglyphs with swirling and deepening titles such as “head of quality” and “head of quality and marketing” who sit in a nest under the CEO whose previous local titles include Divisional Managing Director and Regional Manager (for the same company, and this structure is part of the cultural capital of the way the company sells its work - the promise that you may climb, but that some of the managers and regional managers claim their pay is equal to that of the support workers, probably a lie - payslips creak open to us - or the senior support workers, that we are not here for the money - often said during meetings in which bad news is broken i.e. “none of us are in this for the money” - the company sells its labour by the possibility of climbing through the ranks of the labour force, but that climbing is a kind of hazing whereby you prove you can take shit, give shit and survive shit) and whose skills include Healthcare, Hospitals, Change, Management, Business, Strategy, Team Building, Training, Business, Development, Coaching, Management, Mental Health, Performance, Management, Leadership, Development, Organizational Development, and Recruiting. These skills screech above us like the stars. Take any one and place it next to another. The contradictions well up alongside the harmonies. You are what you are because you are able to create matter. You embody the impossible skillsets to head the impossible framework. You’re incredibly lyrical. The reason for hatred of unit managers is that their task is to translate this internal structure to us, but also to translate the structure above it, and above that. To make the private equity body at the very top (just below the IMF and banks) seem okay.
Truths well up because truths are emotional. Whoever is at the base of each one is the most at risk. But just above the base, and it really is quite a short distance from the base, there is a category desperate to detach themselves; to ascend. These objects are called “Managers” – service managers, unit managers, branch managers etc. There are some transient floaters just below them called “deputies”, but they are like balloons held close in a cluster before sale – before a mixture of guilt / obligation and quite possibly love / excitement (though not always) allows them to be freed from the clutches of the seller’s hand, only to be tugged into the hand of another more volatile human – a child, who could at any moment let them go. But the object called a manager understood this and found a way around it. The way around is swathed in mystery. It doesn’t do what it says it does. It doesn’t rise like knowledge in a tree. It gets itself dirty. It cheats its way. It lies about its figures. So long as you are happy with it, it will keep you (which is how you discover how lucky you are) and it may persuade you over and over again that you’re all in this together and that you’re doing the right thing. Every now and again it will seem to have done something really cruel. What has actually happened is far worse than a mere act of individual cruelty. When you stare up there are several stratospheres of ownership. Personally I look up to see my company nestled alongside four others in an umbrella company which is in turn owned by Advent International which is a private equity firm whose sole purpose is buying other firms. Firms that have perhaps failed, or are failing to do as well as they should but that brim with the potential only a well-earned kick up the labour force / service provision can instigate. Advent is an agent of salvation, which is dependent on change which is here defined (by Terms and Conditions – Welfare Edition. March 2012, London – www.wealthofnegations.org) as follows:
CHANGE – Invoked in a general, unqualified sense to consecrate as natural and inevitable a particular shift of power in favour of some interests and against others. The naturalistic alibi gets more persuasive as one petty interest strings together a series of coups: it’s the way the world is going; you can’t turn back time so you’d better adapt. Where particular change can be passed off by its partisans as Change in general, resistance to their next move is made to look like defence of an insufferable past.
With this understanding an act of individual cruelty is actually a fairly pathetic act of self-denial. The manager coming to defend his bold decision is actually following a subordinate line. The manager might really begin to wish that the decision which will be enacted was really made by him, even if it is an act of cruelty that will cause him to lose sleep, cause his relationships to break (at home and at work) and even cause potential action against him. He wants to take ownership of the decision because he knows full well it wasn’t his. He has been taken into a world where the possessed (whatever it is – it really doesn’t matter) is to be cherished above everything else, even moralism – his crook. Being seen to not be in possession of the decision is an insult and we would do well to mock him for it: And when the devil hath seen that they have set so little by him, after certain essays, made in such times as he thought most fitting, he hath given that temptation quite over. And this he doth not only because the proud spirit cannot endure to be mocked, but also lest, with much tempting the man to the sin to which he could not in conclusion bring him, he should much increase his merit.
Monday, 28 November 2016
is twilight & everything you do is inside it, twilight
spreads too far for the eye, for to walk for 10,000
years and find the most devious filth you can imagine,
Napoleon, pacing up and down grimly in his mansion,
you, in your imaginary house saying "no, it isn't work", you know
that your leisure is work, when you are letting go you're working
when you're feeling as free
as can be
you're a boss
that's what we all know, our common
knowledge undertakes to stay
in twilight, wondering, waiting
for the bus, it is here, you can't get on.
It is work, this home
my sister's wedding
is work, going there
in this hell the trees
all, at them,,
when you look up, are at her wedding, you are working
when you resist inside you are working harder, inside it,
every act of deviation so what
should I do, Concorde? Vespers,, what we all know, the truth
we are bound by
when I can hold you
you can scream
out in the grasp of this hell of this death
rattle I no there nothing is hell mouth deviation is work
your songs have there in them clicking
just more && more shattered
into twilight & labour intensive
satisfaction the truth is the stasis
of your solitude
& we fear this for forever
Wednesday, 23 November 2016
Fiona and I go into the garden at work to help the decorators paint the entire back facing surface of the house white. We are on the second layer. It looks horrible. We realise it is an undercoat and that the objective is to probably sell the house. We see a ghost-like hand holding a folder through one of the windows, and realise that the folder probably contains a missing CQC report. The house continues to be painted white but I become slowly aware that I need to be a long way from it in order to reconcile some things. I don't now know what they are, but I go out along the south coast on a train, and the train takes me to made up ends of the line where trains only travel to small villages and there is no way to get back. The train is at Barnham, which isn't the real Barnham because it is in a corner surrounded by the sea and there's a volcano there waiting to erupt very soon but all the trains take me to dead ends and place I can't go. Eventually somehow I'm at my secondary school where there's a fringe festival and the show we see involves sitting on a chair on a metal rope that spins up to the top of a building then back down. The volcano is still going to go off and may be nearer than it is in reality but Megan wants us to explore the fringe, there's nothing there except for my mum and dad who have a new dog which is like a small Alsatian and has an automated feeding system. I have to get back to Brighton and do, and at that point a man is asking me to recommend a plumber, whom I call Franks. I've no idea who he is but we're in a new flat I don't leave in I am there alone with the plumber looking for Dolly out of the window which is a cliff top view of the sea and we do impressions of characters from little Britain. I notice right on the edge of the cliff there is a person holding the same envelope from the beginning of the dream and I feel sick seeing it, a sudden horrific dread spreading through my body. A workmate, Sam, arrives to babysit me for the evening on the instruction of the plumber, which I explain is unnecessary but Sam explains that the flight I took has left me vulnerable. But then I have to explain over the phone to my dad that two police officers had been attacked by teenagers in London and he says he thinks the police officers should ought to have been shot. I begin to realise for a moment I was dreaming, but was sent on an act of anti gentrification sabotage in Peckham. Harvey had a little house, about the size of a human but on a table, and he was trying to install miniature generators in it. For some reason I had to disrupt him, and that was the protest. I started pulling wires out and he was obviously suspicious of me until I showed him my similar tiny house which I was renting near to his. He explained he would hate to live like that, and that in a sewer in a made up South American country he had found a huge sum of money which allowed him to buy the tiny house. I began uncontrollably crying. Then we went to my old school where there was a fringe festival, a chair on a metal rope which is more like a pole and we all get on the chair as it swerves in terrifying spirals up to the roof and back to the ground, all the while feeling it will all end, that I will return to work tomorrow to find that it has gone, that the operation has been shut down and the house which is perhaps the same height that I am but stood on a stand or table has been sold for over a million pounds, the cruel view over the edge of the cliffs, the envelope to the left but somehow at its centre waving in the wind framed by the edge of the road, the cliffs and the sea.