Saturday, 11 March 2017

Open Wide the Doors!

Still feeling quite baffled and fed up by the state of "avant garde(ism)". It's a really prevalent state of surrender. The art scenes are absolutely full of this surrender. As I said in a previous post a really clear marker of when things have already gone extremely wrong is the white box gallery space. I also wrote some time ago about the idea of making your poems more "Marxy". These are both methods of developing screens, kind of like the overuse of effects units, delay etc. Ways of abstracting what you are actually doing into forms that are not representative of your will, your desire or your expression. Of course that is, in part, a lie. It's a lie because these forms have become a part of your will. Your will has been abstracted from you and moved into the symbolic structure - the point of least resistance and there, in its special sound art studio with its little tape recorders, white borders, white listeners, smocks, fringes, thick set rims and fucking conversations. The little labels. I think the time has come for a lot of the people at the vanguard to admit that all they are doing is going to work. And yes, they are very undervalued and underpaid. This can often make people behave horribly towards others, it alienates people from their lives and so they become subject to their own enemy in an effort to survive in ways they cannot survive yet they have somehow been convinced that they can. Otherwise you've got to start smashing stuff. That smashing is not the cultured, rehearsed and carnivalesque smashing of the Western Black Bloc. It's a lot more intense, lived and destructive than that and it involves powerful and truthful propaganda, it involves intensive training and depends on guerilla ontology. In short, it is the avant garde, and it has the same name as its main enemy - the avant garde, the ones that police it. The strongest police forces are the ones that don't wear uniforms. That's not true. Look at their uniform. It sounds like drone music with occasional interspersed "text" and a little television screen in a white room. You're wearing it. I'm wearing it. It's very very difficult to take it off and who knows how horrible what might be underneath it actually is - removing every layer bit by bit. Loss of counter cultural hope. So hooray! Open wide the doors! I've been writing funding applications and this is where I end up. Really wound up and lost. Imagine how much we're enemies. The LD50 gallery in Dalston is one of a great many.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Slack Against the Comittee


for Dolly Turing

The moon blushes from worship,
feeling sorry. Ten stories above
the cellar the committee meeting,
people are made to act out,

like lawyers of  precious old
time, & time is currency. Time,
the diurnal departure from life
forced and regulated, pressure valve

turned two quarters to left
airflow, the flume, the unbearable
leaking, traces of hair & skin left
quiet in the boardroom, because fuck

the boardroom, the ballots, proportionally
represented illuminations, each twenty
three by twenty three harmonic inches
basic in a self regulating unconscious

pattern. It's not on purpose. The force
of regulation is a jail the brain walks
in with good will hoping the
wall this time can stand for what,

Justice? A Just jail rising in its concrete
strength to support the weaker weight
of the tired body, the doors and windows
wide open. But they suck, They haven't

the power to slack even for a minute,
every slant is a tooth, albeit soft
& gracious & all the finance we could
dream of. The REM stops and tightens

blinkered, becomes another meeting
in the polystyrene conference hall; those
that meet well eat first the head down
sucker in structure, no moon to take
                                                           the whole the day off.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Dear Milo

Fascist art in Dalston

Where are you? I mean, what is your 'scene', whatever it is, doing to seek out its fascists? Strange that we were in any way surprised that a gallery in Dalston had been hosting fascists - self professed "alt right" fascists. I mean, its been going that way for a very long time. Ever since I can remember most contemporary art galleries have been white rooms where the objects in them - sculptures, paintings, installations are given the special privilege of centrality - where there is no interruption. No colour, no social reality with which to compete or respond to. In short, the object is put not into a neutral space but into a completely false one. One that is situated in the past. One that you are asked to approach in a certain way. Again, we should not be surprised.  When did this start happening? Where were the people who would immediately understand what that might start to do? Why weren't they actively disrupting and dismantling those spaces? It makes me feel lucky in a way. There are lots of problems with the poetry scene my stuff gets circulated in, but Christ, when someone does something that leans towards reactionary thought it is dealt with, or at least an attempt is made. As far as I can see even the "Vanguardists" have not yet opened their doors to the alt right (though they do favour white rooms and commissions - must keep a fucking eye on them) and if they do... Well. I don't know. That thought felt as if it had a resolution - a closing - but suddenly I'm beginning to feel quite afraid. Going back to those white rooms though, have you noticed how people alter their entire bodies to them? That's not a consensus. It's a regime. Regimes emerge through a deliberately reactionary moment which is then at once ignored and allowed to continue. What happens next is we go and tell the contemporary visual art world that there are fascists amongst them. But really, what the hell is a scene that circulates things like Frieze ever going to say about it? Visual Breitbart. I was walking along the Thames near the Tate Britain with my friend Will a couple of years ago, We were talking about the Anish Kapur sculptures they have around there. They are sort of monuments to what an artist in the city can do. They stand in their posts as things to be attained. They don't actually do anything in a public way except to inform a pacified public about how things should really be. They put you in your place and then they're done with you. I've spoken about this before but I feel it bares repeating. The unwritten of mainstream contemporary visual art over the last twenty years or so has been to remove the place of agony and of alienation from the alienated individual. That's why you use the corpses of animals rather than people. I mean, imagine if Damien Hirst had something at stake in those corpses. They would surely be his corpse. He would have demonstrated with his own flesh the catastrophic subject alienation through a form of, well, not sacrifice or horror, but something I can't actually name. And as a piece of art that might actually be okay even if it were just a hand or a shin or something, and there he is with no shin, or rather he has one, but it's in a tank and you can see him there and see the bit of life that's been extracted from him. In fact, that's what he did, but the bit of life he laid claim to was a shark. I mean, come on. He really "nailed it" there didn't he? Abstraction. The wide open door for fascists. "Great, these people haven't got a clue", they say, and then they come in and start their hunting. That's now. They are hunting. Really perniciously. They've disguised their moralism and they're attacking us with our own weapons. White rooms. Seriously. Terrifying.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

NEWS: New book. Podcast.

What a crumpled fucking month that was. 

I have news. First of all here's some music. Karl M. V. Waugh and myself get together every now and again to make radio show / podcast things. We have a few drinks and press the record button on the recording device (see below) and play one another music. The beginning (and many other bits of it) are scrappy and un-profesh. Woops. Here's a link: BBC RADIO BINNSCLAGG
In other news, my new book of poems is coming out VERY SOON. It is being printed as we speak. It's a long suite of poems. Some of them are very short. Some are longer. Some prose too. It has acted as a kind of journal documenting my work life over the last two years. It will be released by Contraband Books very shortly, and my thanks go to David Ashford for putting in a lot of hard work on what is really quite an unreasonable book. I will add links for purchase and links to launch event info as soon as everything is solidified and then melted and then split again. Will Rowe has written a note on the text. Here it is:

'The writer is a carer in an institution where the normativity function of world, its disposition of space, occurs as a containment of death. Human empathy in this environment is an irruption of uncontainable disorder. To look at this place produces deep disorder inside: how can one live there? How long is it possible to live at an extreme edge, this kind of edge? The answer relates to truth, sheer insistence on truth, without any resolution by hope. That means pain, without emollients of world.'

Saturday, 31 December 2016


When free, revert
to the same

& shame, spoke
the wind, the fennec
fox; and then came past.

There are other tracks
to take to wear
down not
but new ones

and test to remain so
her fennec completely vanished

bellowing head in the wind she spoke
out over the countenance
track becoming, old.

Staying put the same forty
four windows staring
cooked the bolt the bolt gored me

finally where the opened toad
cracks mouth to mouth, halt this

awkward tangible

gallant audition sequence heart

tawse or worse spit on your hair lint
going the bag you puddled drive
entry, so back to the doors.

What did You do to her? How are
the chances the door is exactly two feet squared.

It’s pinched
as well as squared
and is marked up in water

like anything but actually.
You can’t ask for guidance.
There feels

suspicious. The mouth. Waiting, eerily
by the window the summer ascents
notes up what we’re to do.
But not knowing, a blurry must

where people end.
Themselves or one another.
A dot on the scale
of hesitancy, waiting hell
for the end in

sight or crashing at it.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Dream Diary 30.12.2016

This is a very unusual dream for me - feeling like nothing particular to myself, more a trick in lucidity. I am a man in my early 20s. The dream takes place in the early years of the second world war. I am at home in a cottage with my wife. She runs in from the garden saying "we've won!". I ask what she means and she explains that we entered a competition draw and that we have won the ration book plus a trip to London to see lots of attractions. I find this strange, because I know that at this point in time such a competition wouldn't probably exist. I also say to her that the prizes will be good but that nowadays (I almost let slip for the first time that "there" - the time and place we're in isn't real) this would be some kind of scam.

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.