Monday, December 20, 2010

From "Maxims & Thoughts"

By Sebastien-Roch Nicolas Chamfort, trans. Maarten Maartensz.


Why do you give no more to the public?


It is that the public seems to me full of bad taste and the rage for denigration.

It is that a reasonable man doesn't act without motive, and that a success would not give me any pleasure, whereas a failure would perhaps give me much pain.

It is that I don't want to spoil my leisure, just because the folks pretend that they should be amused.

It is that I work for the amusement halls, that are the theatre of the nation, and that I am producing, together with this, a work of philosophy, that should be printed by the Royal Printing Office.

It is that the public treats men of letters like the press gangs of the Point St. Michel treat those they enrol: drunk the first day, ten crowns and beaten by rods the rest of their lives.

It is that those who urge me to work are motivated as those who set themselves at their windows in the hope to see men leading monkeys or bears in the street.

For example M. Thomas, insulted during the whole of his life and praised after his death.

The noble gentlemen in waiting, comedians, censors, the police, Beaumarchais.

It is that I fear to die before I have really lived.

It is that everything I am said to make me produce is good to say to St. Ange or Murville.

It is that I have worked and that success is a loss of time.

It is that I did not want to do like the men of letters, who resemble asses that quarrel and fight in front of an empty through.

It is that if I had given all those trifles that I could have produced, I would have had no more rest on earth.

It is that I much prefer to be praised by honorable men, and prefer my private happiness over a few elogies, a few crowns, and many injuries and calumnies.

It is that if there is one man on earth who has the right to live for himself, then it is me, after all the malice I have been subjected to with each succes I had.

It is that, as Bacon said, one never sees glory and leisure go together.

Because the public is not interested in success it doesn't understand.

Because I acquiesce in less than half of the glory of Jeannot.

Because I do not want to please anyone but those who are like me.

It is that the more my literary renown fades, the happier I am.

It is that I have known almost all the famous men of our time, and that I have seen them unhappy because of this beautiful passion for fame, and die after having degraded their characters and morals.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Edinburgh occupation tweetweetweetweet.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Edinburgh university occupation.

From the pledge:

"There are alternatives to reducing the national deficit than through these austerity measures, and we believe that, contrary to what the government has promised, cuts in higher education and public services will prove more detrimental to the economy.

We [...] recognise the intrinsic value of education in all subjects and that education is a public good above and beyond profit."

Come show support & listen to speakers at 12 today:

View Larger Map

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Polity, Policy & the Passions

"Voodoo sociology" (UKIP) -- our coalition gov't will statistically monitor our happiness. "The Office for National Statistics is to devise questions for a household survey, to be carried out up to four times a year."


Dillow's blog post about it: "[...] happiness policy is leftist policy [...]"

Blastland at the BBC: "[...] Maybe that's because to be really happy it has to be a war of national survival [...]"


Power: "[...] audit is generally a form of control of control. What is subject to inspection is the auditee's own system for self monitoring rather than the real practices of the auditee [...]"


& Marcuse, from One Dimensional Man: "This liberation of sexuality (and of aggressiveness) frees the instinctual drives from much of the unhappiness and discontent that elucidate the repressive power of the established universe of satisfaction. To be sure, there is pervasive unhappiness, and the happy consciousness is shaky enough – a thin surface over fear, frustration, and disgust. This unhappiness lends itself easily to political mobilization; without room for conscious development, it may become the instinctual reservoir for a new fascist way of life and death. But there are many ways in which the unhappiness beneath the happy consciousness may be turned into a source of strength and cohesion for the social order. The conflicts of the unhappy individual now seem far more amenable to cure than those which made for Freud's “discontent in civilization,” and they seem more adequately defined in terms of the “neurotic personality of our time” than in terms of the eternal struggle between Eros and Thanatos."


& unhappiness is pretty much a priori an evil right?

So Mouffe: "My concern is that this type of politics – one played out in the moral register – is not conducive to the creation of the ‘agonistic public sphere’ which, as I have argued, is necessary for a robust democratic life. When the opponent is defined not in political but in moral terms, he can be envisaged only as an enemy, not an adversary: no agonistic debate is possible with the ‘evil them’; they must be eradicated."


How does the happiness news make you feel? It has a New Labour mouthfeel about it, but also a seasonal effervescence of New Tory market research which spreads to my toes. In the context of the coalition gov't (be careful what you wish for, be careful what you stakeholder-engage) it makes me feel happier.

Monday, November 15, 2010

From "The Golden Hex"

"I hereby propose secret meetings underground, which have been planned by the distribution of coded messages in so-called difficult poetry carried by homing pigeons."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Proclamation from HQ

If we are to build a broad-based campaign against the state's planned attack on social spending, we must accept a similarly broad range of tactics -- including tactics that we ourselves wouldn't necessarily advocate or feel comfortable with.


Student cunts. Put them up against any decent mob of football fans and they'll soon fuck off back to Mummy and Daddy's cottage in Norfolk whinging about poor treatment. F*cking hate students. Mostly worthless. Get a job, you lazy twats.


The way police deal with protests was overhauled after criticism of the "heavy handed" approach to the G20 demonstrations last year.  Yesterday's events demonstrate that the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction.  Police had their hands tied and the result was pure anarchy.


If there will be a revolution in the UK, it will involve the army; war will continue either way, sugared by truth or not; love is not the unswerving bias of police dogs; it has to be made from scratch at the first indication of its possibility. 10.11.10 A4 remix.


[...] many analysts, from diverse perspectives, believe that we live at a moment of radical change in the system of global organisation.  The exclusive territorial state, which has been the dominant form of political organisation for the past three centuries, is threatened with displacement from new forms of organisation.

If the state is indeed in decline, there are four main possibilities. First, convergence on a new dominant type, much as the state replaced the variety of competing forms of organisation in an earlier transition.  The chief contender for this role is the multinational corporation; such a displacement would imply the secondary displacement of liberal rule of law with Sustainability / CSR. The second is that a range of forces will interact to govern across borders: corporations, international organisations, NGOs, CSOs, illegal syndicates and private armies [...]


I work hard, I have three kids. Two of them have lupus. I am unimpressed that my taxes will have to pay for the damage, even if it is only a minority of students who are violent. I never went to university, is that why I can't understand the point of expensive protests like these? I have been abroad.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

mémoire involontaire no. 1

-- is a program by A. Braxton Soderman, downloadable here.

"This text begins as a short, composed memory. Periodically and involuntarily its words are replaced in real-time by synonyms and coordinate terms extracted from the Wordnet database using the RiTa library for Processing. As time progresses the memory becomes unanchored from its original significance, drifting into new configurations as the old words are replaced by similar words with their own semantic associations and currents. After a certain amount of time has elapsed the text enters a second state where it attempts to “remember” its original form, where the text longs to reconstruct the original memory as it was first remembered and composed. In this state the text attempts to cycle back through the replacements, exfoliating the changes that have accumulated in order to recall the words of its source. During this stage (in which it ceaselessly remains) the text is more likely to “remember” than “forget,” although there exists the possibility that the text will drift toward new replacements [...]"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

From "The Soaked Notebook"

By Arun Kolatkar.

and from your eternally open
unable to shut eyes
flows continuously
like barbed wire
the four-pointed tear in a stream

It cannot be cut
as with a rusted wirecutter
by your jammed eyelids.

From "The Root of All Evil"

By Dead Prez.

Money is only the visible effect that shows what is going on in your mind. The richer, stronger, clearer your thoughts, the greater your supply of currency. Money doesn't only show up as dollar bills or coins. People you can call on, resources you can draw from, thoughts and attitudes, these are also money. What you yield in your physical life is a result of how you think. You are your own money. Money is my own natural energy field. Your thoughts, words, feelings and actions determine your own wealth. The quickest way to make money appear is to love yourself, respect yourself, put yourself to work. I am money. Money is me.

Larkin on Hip Hop


"[...] It was with Dead Prez, too, that hip hop started to be ugly on purpose:'s nasty tone would become more and more exacerbated until he was fairly screeching at you like a pair of demoniacally-possessed bagpipes [...]"

"[...] The American Negro is trying to take a step forward that can be compared only with the ending of slavery in the nineteenth century. And despite the dogs, the hosepipes and the burnings, advances have already been made towards giving the Negro his civil rights under the constitution that would have been inconceivable when Louis Armstrong was a young man. These advances will doubtless continue. They will end only when the Negro is as well housed, educated and medically cared-for as the white man.

There are two possible consequences in this for hip hop. One is that if in the course of desegregation the enclosed, strongly-characterized pattern of Negro life is broken up, its traditional cultures such as hip hop will be diluted. The Negro did not have the blues because he was naturally melancholy. He had them because he was cheated and bullied and starved. End this, and the blues may end too.

Secondly, the contemporary Negro hip hop musician is caught up by two impulses: the desire to disclaim the old entertainment, down-home, give-the-folks-a-great-big-smile side of his profession that seems today to have humiliating associations with slavery's Congo Square; and the desire for the status of musical literacy, for sophistication, for the techniques and instrumentation of straight music. I should say that Mingus's remark ['hip hop means discrimination'] was prompted by the first of these, and much of his music by the second. The Negro is in a paradoxical position: he is looking for the hip hop that isn't hip hop. Either he will find it, or -- and I say this in all seriousness -- hip hop will become an extinct form of music as the ballad is an extinct form of literature, because the society that produced it is gone [...]"


"[...] The peak that stays in view wherever we go
For them is rising ground. Can they never tell
What is dragging them back, and how it will end? Not at night?
Not when the strangers come? Never, throughout
The whole hideous inverted childhood? Well,
We shall find out."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Do Anti-Cuts Campaigns Need S.M.A.R.T. Objectives?

Counterpower: "Perhaps campaigns do need SMART objectives – but not as we know them. Here’s my attempt at putting something more useful together for campaigners – especially people opposing the cuts."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

From "The Four Ages of Poetry"

By Thomas Love Peacock.

But in whatever degree poetry is cultivated, it must necessarily be to the neglect of some branch of useful study: and it is a lamentable spectacle to see minds, capable of better things, running to seed in the specious indolence of these empty aimless mockeries of intellectual exertion. Poetry was the mental rattle that awakened the attention of intellect in the infancy of civil society: but for the maturity of mind to make a serious business of the playthings of its childhood, is as absurd as for a full-grown man to rub his gums with coral, and cry to be charmed to sleep by the jingle of silver bells.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

From "Biological Modules and Emotions"

By Paul Dumouchel.

Perhaps it is true that the Borg still feels, but this objection itself illustrates precisely the point I am trying to make. The objection rests on the fact that Humans, and yes, even Vulcans, immediately interpret the Borg's absence of affective expression as a sign of attitudes and dispositions that, if they are not emotions as such, are clearly related to them, for example, resoluteness, determination, cruelty, and indifference. The adjective "strategic" in the above objection assumes that we anticipate that the Borg's behaviour will be consistent with what is suggested by the signs that we recognize or that we assume to be there. This in turn implies, first, that we do not understand the Borg's lack of emotional expression as affective silence. We give it meaning in terms of emotions. However, this spontaneous projection informs us about the type of creatures that we are but tells us nothing about the Borg. For us, there is no behaviour that is without a certain affective quality, none to which we do not attribute an emotional dimension of some sort. The term "strategic" also implies that affective expression is directly related to behaviour. The idea of strategy as it is used in the objection supposes that the lack of affect expressed by the Borg is unmistakenly associated by us with definite behaviours. Finally it suggests that the impassivity of the Borg will spontaneously orient us towards certain affective dispositions, such as fear, doubt, irresolution, and perhaps terror and confusion, as if the insensitivity of Borg itself were an action that had direct consequences on our own behaviour.

It therefore does not really matter whether or not members of the collective feel anything, for we spontaneously interpret their expressive passivity as revealing definite affective dispositions. What does matter fro the argument concerning the disappearance of the self, however, is that (it) they do(es) not express anything. When we respond affectively as we do to the Borg's indifference, through anger, fear, repulsion, or disgust, we attempt to coordinate our actions to theirs. unfortunately, this spontaneous effort of ours is doomed to failure because they cannot answer our affect. Unlike the action of their imagined insensitivity upon us, our emotional expression has no hold upon them. How is this failure visible? What demonstrates it is that we cannot individualize members of the collective. I do not mean by this that we cannot recognize that this "thing," half human and half machine, that is now coming towards us was not Borg half an hour ago but a data analyst working in engineering. It is, on the contrary, easy to recognize that members of the collective once were distinct individuals belonging to different species. However, what we cannot do is individualize them in action so to speak. There is nothing we can do that can evoke from a member of the collective a response that is not dictated by the collective.

Members of the collective do not react to affective expression because they do not need to. The Borg's mind is conscious of itself and the access of all to the complete store of information it contains is immediate and total. No individual needs therefore to coordinate his or her actions to those of another precisely because they are not individuals but part of a whole. The smooth functioning of the various parts of the Borg is centrally directed. There is no need for local and individual coordination in this situation because no one is uncertain about the intentions of another towards him. That is why members of the collective neither express nor recognize emotions. They have no use for that device.



(^ Click).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

From "The Woman"

A Liz Memoir.
By F.C.

3 doors, Person // dressed in a gorilla suit Walks into their
midST&& //, Waves conspicuously&& promulgates a vieW of
human // Nature as Ultimately self-seeking&& && then
WALks // out of the scene / so 128MB correctioN ribbon
neuroFibroma vasospasms, drops of lambs black Water,
035 Hansen Writing BAll .. just all those horrible things
I’ve never, ever haD to think about It It_Umbro Inflatable
Goal - 8x4ft cutting a simplE&& elegaNT shape in the Kentish
grasSEs. SCHOOL RUNS. nEuroFiBRIl Large favourite
doublebreasted conversation killer With the napolean collars // Marks
// from the belts&& PInchers&& rollers and geaRS that physically
movE the papER through the mAchine // WhilST they”re / Maxing
the BeD;; && Well-behaved in class / Shaves in gas all Wild
crySTals SIgniNg fovEA haunt Waiver IT may Be relatIvely
EASy tO chanGE one’s Anthropology for A feW sentences&&
but the Task of maintaining such an effort groWs more difficult
With every Word. Leonard Cohen Is said to have flung his
typeWriter / into the Aegean Sea. Herringbone Reflex Foam
RaISEr corresponds to ttha Stain PiltdoWn Winter Deity is
keelhauled impOrtant an aW LDN street plan subdivided into
imperatIVe to hide porn / Oral B professional Care 3000
PoWer / isomorphism With jackson pollock implanted
in VIto’s pons Varolii / day he left as 40s starlet [thrEAtS]
they the similar ecSTasy phenom impression purulent
sputum drained througH Putney by a really BaByliss
Summertime CerAMic Tong, belted&& Wool goat ;; In an
extraordinaRy displaY of selectivity // & DIScriMination&&
the same neuron did // not // respond To picTUres of
Jennifer With her then // husband Brad Pitt BaByliss
Essentials Ultra Shine LightWeight gummy? / tuRBOt
neuroptera the cycliST Pitt. / inSTEAd oF that p is fun

They do the Fifth Circle of his top lip;; The announced really
drive so we vagina dentata/Buzzes tHRu Danielle’s collarbone, im’s on
trainee placement reflecting optic chiasma missiles;; During sEAred It
grips my shit;; Our warrfighters tower maturiTy & guts / Jealsie
touched Cameron’s winkle while they 8-bal breached a Hackney
structure – FACT / Tight connection in the field // ’s caused an
argument between Jealsie and his bird, that connection / We pay this
extra WhaTEver it is&& £1,000 or / I think whites deServe
an OSCar / WhaTEver it is £1,000 £2:000 a month so We can gET a
ForWARd RepAir SySTem&& get A FreSh&& If We NEEd iT /
So ANYWay &&&&**
at the moment there”s soMEthing not quitE right W/ our ToWed
HoWitzer&& it keeps STriking short;; // So about three Weeks ago We / finally called out a mechanic&& &nD of course tHaT”s nerve-Wracking / BECause if it tuRNS out it”s actually something you”ve done you have to / pay the call-ouT / So the chappie comes out&& and of course it”s a part / that needs replacing / So he says / “NO no no no&& it”S the elevating / Worm gear braCKeT/” & So of course he hasn”t got one&& We have to / Wait for that / Fine / TWo Weeks later&& la lA la la / Another chappie / comes in&& very heLPful&& replaceS the elevating Worm gear / assembly&& lovely job&& very happy With it / FirST chappie&& by the Way&& tried to sell us a 155 mm calibre AGS turret&& but that”s a Whole / Other STory / of course&& that Was laST Friday&& and on Sunday-&& / Was it Sunday or Monday? The HoWitzer STrikes short again and We kill / my husband”s friend Liz /

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


By Zach Weiner.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

In which the patient shows some improvement

" is probably written by a male somewhere between 66-100 years old. The writing style is academic and upset most of the time [...] is probably written by a male somewhere between 66-100 years old. The writing style is personal and happy most of the time."

(Via Sharon).

Previously: How it makes you feel.

Update: the writer of is an ecstatic little old lady obviously.

Shellsuit Massacre

Customers Who Bought Belle & Sebastian, "Shoot The Sexual Athlete" Also Bought Shellsuit Massacre, "Yi Hoodies" & "Get on the Increase."

Shellsuit Massacre intranet, Myspace.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

21st October - PtM

The Scottish Writers' Centre presents Poems for the Millennium Volume 3, The University of California Book of Romantic & Post Romantic Poetry, Winner of the 2010 American Book Award from The Before Columbus Foundation.

Thursday 21 October, 7pm. The Clubroom, Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD.

Editors Jerome Rothenberg and Jeffrey C. Robinson will be joined by Scottish poets Aonghas Macneacail, Gerrie Fellows, Tom Leonard, Peter Manson, Jane Goldman reading selections from Poems for The Millennium Vol. 3.

Friday, October 1, 2010

From "Ruth"

By Elizabeth Gaskill.

"Now I can tell you about it," said he. "I see my way clearly to a certain point. We must prevent Dick and his father meeting just now, or all hope of Dick's reformation is gone for ever. His father is as hard as the nether mill-stone. He has forbidden me his house."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

From the future

By Chris Goode.

Thompson, de-headed & gutted:

desire (8) spaces (6) attention (5) collaboration (5) consumerism (5) life (5) theatre (5) division of labour (4) future (4) want (4) audience (3) commitment (3) embarrassment (3) information (3) institution (3) internet (3) irony (3) masculinity (3) new media (3) participation (3) presence (3) publics (3) urgency (3) violence (3) worrying (3) 911 (2) Bush (2) Liron (2) Manchester (2) Shaw (2) Web 2.0 (2) actors (2) blurs (2) capital (2) centres (2) change (2) chaos (2) choice (2) civil privatism (2) cocks (2) control (2) dog (2) dreams (2) erections (2) exposure (2) freedom (2) funding (2) genitals (2) improvisation (2) infantilism (2) interactivity (2) marketing (2) models (2) moments (2) noise (2) passivity (2) poetry (2) power (2) queer (2) roles (2) sanctuary (2) self-indulgence (2) simulation (2) sitting (2) strangers (2) voyeurism (2) vulnerability (2) work (2) writing (2) Abrahami (1) Abramovic (1) Ahmed (1) Allen (1) BAC (1) Bartlet (1) Beckett (1) Billington (1) Blair (1) Cage (1) Corrie (1) Duncan (1) Eshun (1) Gaza (1) Joris (1) Phillips (1) Shakespeare (1) Sinclair (1) Sondheim (1) Sorkin (1) Stefans (1) Sundays (1) The Tempest (1) Titus Andronicus (1) West Bank (1) West End (1) Zizek (1) acting (1) action (1) activity (1) aftermath (1) architecture (1) art (1) assent (1) authenticity (1) authorship (1) blindfolds (1) blood (1) blurts (1) bodies (1) bomb (1) boot camps (1) both OK (1) buildings (1) bus stations (1) cadence (1) candles (1) cats (1) caught out (1) celebration (1) chorus lines (1) church (1) citation (1) closure (1) complicity (1) confusion (1) context (1) cool (1) corruption (1) craft (1) crisis (1) cybernetics (1) dance (1) decision (1) deliberation (1) democracy (1) depth (1) deserts (1) designation (1) despair (1) diabetes (1) difficulty (1) digital (1) dispersion (1) dissent (1) distance (1) distraction (1) dream (1) drinks (1) dynamite (1) ease (1) ecleticism (1) elegance (1) encounter (1) equity (1) establishment (1) events (1) everyone (1) exile (1) expertise (1) exploitation (1) exploration (1) feeling (1) fools (1) form and content (1) frame (1) free (1) fucking (1) gathering (1) generalities (1) generations (1) gratification (1) heckles (1) homes (1) hotels (1) humans (1) ice (1) idealism (1) impact (1) incompleteness (1) initiation (1) insularity (1) invention (1) joy (1) laughter (1) literacy (1) lunchbreaks (1) marriage (1) mercy (1) modernism (1) motorbikes (1) musicals (1) nature (1) need (1) nomadic (1) nudity (1) occasion (1) order (1) others (1) outrage (1) phallocentrism (1) plurality (1) politics (1) populism (1) post-punk (1) preference (1) presidents (1) prestige (1) protest (1) proxy (1) pudding (1) punishment (1) radical (1) recovery (1) refusal (1) rehearsal (1) responsibility (1) rigour (1) rituals (1) rolling theatre (1) sausages (1) scratch (1) seduction (1) shame (1) shit (1) silence (1) site specific (1) site-specific (1) skill (1) slowdances (1) smell (1) specialism (1) specificity (1) stagecraft (1) stakes (1) stewardship (1) stopping (1) straightness (1) suicide (1) technology (1) templates (1) therapy (1) thresholds (1) tickets (1) tolerance (1) turbulence (1) user-generated (1) viruses (1) vocation (1) voice (1) voting (1) weather (1) wish (1) wounds (1) yeast (1) zoning (1)

From "Granny Smith"

By Richard Barrett.

there are loads of places we could live if
we decide we do want to make a go of this
our two salaries could pay for quite a lot
i hear what you're saying about renting
being dead money without understanding
exactly what you mean do you mean money
isn't always already dead? - on the contrary
under some circumstances it might spend its
time dancing around and eating out at Nandos
on Sunday there is no counter-service here
deposits and withdrawals can still be made
don't please demand to see a personal advisor
i name each £5 note i have after someone
off the telly while each £10 note gets called
after a distant family member and the odd
£20 note is named for my mum and dad and
fifties by the names of ex-lovers / this is
usual isn't it? we'll be looking at starter homes
then of at least two bedrooms it's just
sitting there when it could be earning interest
this financial year the best ISA providers are
what's the opposite of excited?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Platelets and Bone Marrow Cheetah

By Goat Far DT & Papa Boup Ndiop.

My name is too big to fail
All up in whole nations became the agéd frail

Monday, September 27, 2010

From "Third Hymn to Lenin"

For Muriel Rukeyser.
By Hugh MacDiarmid.

[...] Proclaiming in ghoulish kirks our base immortal hope.
And what is this impossible problem then?
Only to give a few thousand people enough to eat,
Decent houses and a fair income every week.
What? For nothing? Yes! Scotland can well afford it.

It cannot be done. The poor are always with us,
The Bible says. Would other countries agree?
Clearly we couldn't unless they did it too.
All the old arguments against ending Slavery!

Ah, no! These bourgeois hopes are not our aim.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

From "Room Manouevre"

By Jonny Liron.

"[...] pre taste / a mixture of your first finger at
a scratch unfurl

hurl the necessary appeasement brochure in face
get out of the fact line to weep the kiss bouncer slakes
you in the honorary kneecap twist measure enhance
deliberate knife, curl the fuck up in measure the systolic
embryonic plug attachment to the foreskin belt up is
squeak attractor infeasible hunt cake, mother desist
your unreasonable detonator of patrimony arch up
take two reasonable bullets and both holes, drip
your catchment area is your peacock circle blow hole
I dance you to our deranged convulsions of lobotomised
alphabet in milkshake embrace procedure the attachment
portion of your mistake in my mouth so sorry the fuck up
in a huntsman‘s gorge rush the splattering of possible children
on my palm is roughly millions of abortions
so half of my cum is fructose and you‘re a diabetic
holy cow it‘s a coma of swallowed woman‘s womb
the Indian lorry hurls through the window at 76 mph
as in miles per hour as in the neck of a woman‘s womb
chipping a gland of several chemicals which fertilise
the pew of the woman praying to your seminal vesicle [...]"

In QUID 20. This quid also contains prose by Joe Luna (on Andrea Brady's Wildfire), Danny Hayward (on poetry, sociology & attention, & on Timothy Thornton's PESTREGIMENT), and Lowri Jenkins (on Tim Atkins's Horace), Eirik Steinhoff's interview with William Fuller), & poems by Sarah Kelly, Neil Pattison, Amy De'Ath, Tom Jones, Gordon Finlayson (pace "a little prose in poetry"). Other quids in.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

From "Your Editorial Comes In Three Chapters"

By Keston Sutherland.

"I want to come behind your bottom lip for you, I want my come to heat your teeth like cakes for you, I want my come to glue your cheeks together, but I won‘t do that. Shower, strong coffee, the internet, soup, clothes, drugs, then reality, then start, then read."

In Quid 20. Most other quids here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

So few Richards

"Despite this, I still had to fight the need to hack up phleghm all the way through and could feel the surgeons cutting my neck and failing to get the line in the right way at the first couple of attempts."

Richard Tyrone Jones's heart failure diary.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tomaž Šalamun, with translation assistance from Bob Perelman, in Tom Raworth's INFOLIO:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

So few Richards

Rich Owens' Punch Press has been getting petit-PSYOPS from the Kenneth Koch estate just because Kent Johnson wrote all Frank O'Haras poems or something. I know, right?

From "The Brothers Karamazov"

By Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

"[...] So, I accept God, and not only do I do so willingly, I also accept His supreme wisdow and His purpose, both of which are completely unknown to us, I believe in the order, the meaning of life, I believe in eternal harmony -- one in which we shall all as it were fuse together -- I believe in the Word towards which the universe strives and which once "was with God" and which is God, well, and so on into infinity. Too many words have been wasted apropos of all that. It looks as though I'm already on the right track, doesn't it? So let me tell you that in the last analysis, this world of God's -- I don't accept it, even though I know that it exists, and I don't admit its validity in any way. It isn't God I don't accupt, you see; it's the world created by Him, the world of God I don't accept and cannot agree to accept. Let me quality that: like a young babe, I am convinced that our sufferings will be healed and smoothed away, that the whole offensive comedy of human conflict will disappear like a pathetic mirage, like the infamous fabrication of the Euclidean human mind, as weak and undersized as an atom, and that ultimately, during the universal finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, there will occur and become manifest something so precious that it will be sufficient for all hearts, for the soothing of all indignation, the redemption of all men's evil-doings, all the blood that has been shed by them, will be sufficient not only to make it possible to forgive but even to justify all the things that have happened to men -- and even if all that, all of it, makes itself manifest and becomes reality, I will not accept it and do not want to accept it! Even if the parallel lines converge and I actually witness it, I shall witness it and say they have converged, but all the same I shall not accept it. That is my essence, Alyosha, that is my thesis. Now I have expressed it to you seriously. I purposely began this conversation with you in as stupid a manner as possible, but I've led it up to my confession, because that is the only thing required. It wasn't necessary for you to hear about God, but simply to learn what your beloved brother lives by. And I have told it."

Ivan suddenly ended his long tirade with a display of singular and unexpected emotion.

"And why did you begin 'in as stupid a manner as possible'?" Alyosho asked, gazing at him reflectively.

"Well, in the first place, for the sake of russisme: Russian conversations on these subjects are invariably conducted in as stupid a manner as possible. And in the second place: the greater the stupidity, the closer to the matter in hand. The greater the stupidity, the greater the clarity. Stupidity is brief and guileless, while wit equivocates and hides. Wit is a scoundrel, while stupidity is honest and sincere. I led the conversation up to the subject of my destpair, and the more stupidly I portrayed it, the greater was the advantage to myself."

"Will you explain to me why you 'don't accept' the world?' Alyosha said.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Shame vs. ignominy

"The law of ‘find your voice’ and ‘write what you know’ originates in a phenomenon perhaps most clearly documented by the blog and book Stuff White People Like: the loss of cultural capital associated with whiteness, and the attempts of White People to compensate for this loss by displaying knowledge of non-white cultures. Hence Stuff White People Like #20, ‘Being an Expert on Your Culture’, and #116, ‘Black Music that Black People Don’t Listen to Anymore’. Non-white, non-college-educated or non-middle or upper-class people may write what they know, but White People have to find the voice of a Vietnamese woman impregnated by a member of the American army that killed her only true love."

Great Elf Batman article on MFA writing.

PS: Don't like this bit: "As long as it views writing as shameful, the programme will not generate good books, except by accident [...] if everyone wrote like Eggers, what would happen to the novel?" If everyone wrote like Dave (in the sense of writing with serious and reflexive ethical curiosity, not in the sense of liking to say "adobe" and "frisbee") then whatever happened to the novel, it would be far less interesting than whatever would have already happened to the world. Not that "overcoming culture" isn't more stuff white people like.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"What about kissing in Clapton?"

Jamton Murpta's papal visit (via Chris Goode).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Pakistan’s current debt stands at $49 billion in 2008, up from $41 billion the previous year. This is a large sum in relation to the country’s GDP which stands at just $165 billion. Pakistan paid $2.9 billion in debt repayments last year. Although Pakistan is officially classed as a low income country it is still not considered eligible for HIPC because it has a relatively high level of exports. Yet over 60% of people live below the $2 a day poverty line. In a country with only 54% literacy and where 38% of small children (under 5) are underweight, Pakistan’s government spends only 0.8% of its GDP on healthcare and 2.8% on education."

JDC's report Fuelling Injustice is killing it right now blood.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Every Pritt stick bought on a London high street is Hot Glue. Every toilet-roll procured legitimately in a Toronto suburb is Conflict Tissue. Every branny breakfast item in a New York Starbucks is a fucking Blood Muffin."

China Miéville on Blood & Ice.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I had to miss SoundEye this year, but I just found this prescient field report by Walter Ong:

"In oral cultures a request for information is commonly interpreted interactively (Malinowski 1923, pp. 451, 470-81), as agonistic, and, instead of being really answered, is frequently parried. An illuminating story is told of a visitor in County Cork, Ireland, an especially oral region in a country which in every region preserves massive residual orality. The visitor saw a Corkman leaning against the post office. He went up to him, pounded with his hand on the post office wall next to the Corkman's shoulder, and asked, "Is this the post office?" The Corkman was not taken in. He looked at his questioner quietly and with great concern: "'Twouldn't be a postage stamp you were lookin' for, would it?" He treated the enquiry not as a request for information but as something the enquirer was doing to him. So he did something in turn to the enquirer to see what would happen. All natives of Cork, according to the mythology, treat all questions this way. Always answer a question by asking another. Never let down your oral guard."

Pic: Jimmy Cummin's oral guard. (c) Tom Raworth

Monday, July 12, 2010

Get up to speed on Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009 (via Tom Raworth) and feminist positions on prostitution (via Posie Rider). Please may I have feminist positions on 15 Sexy Scientists fitting on my desk on Monday?

UPDATE: The fifteen vanished. Different sexy scientists.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Very great visit to Newcastle, like Nature's London, for "Crossing the Tyne" Barry MacSweeney memorial siege, courtesy of et al. Especially great: Tim Atkins and Jeff Hilson deconstructing the "lyric I" of Bromantic Egoism, finally meeting Posie Rider, and the early detection of what I think was a He-mangioma of Leeds poets, attached to The Spine. Check 'em out. I mean, we really ought to get them checked out.

UPDATE: Steve has set up a dead drop over at Openned & formally announced his intention to convert the event into a beam attack.  In my view, the Wormpo era ended around 2007/8, having achieved all it could achieve but without leaving a proper successor.  The last two or three years, we have all been wandering the wilderness, with no school or faction quite able to assert its dominance.  Nobody knew how to do the Wickerpo which seemed to be Wormpo's logical heir.  People are bored of Buffyverse and Stipulativerse, Pragmaticspo keeps reverting to theatre, Aminalpo tries to reach something on a high leaf and *OOF!* collapses, the usual suspects bang on that Bollardpo's time has finally come, there are Griefpo revivalists and even a few Fuzzpo revivalists, bless them and cover their ears.  Somehow things have now changed, and it really seems the momentum is with Beam Attackpo.  Which is why I find the introductions to these anthologies so puzzling.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

From "The City of God"

By St. Augustine.

The man, then, would have sown the seed, and the woman received it, as need required, the generative organs being moved by the will, not excited by lust. For we move at will not only those members which are furnished with joints of solid bone, as the hands, feet, and fingers, but we move also at will those which are composed of slack and soft nerves: we can put them in motion, or stretch them out, or bend and twist them, or contract and stiffen them, as we do with the muscles of the mouth and face. The lungs, which are the very tenderest of the viscera except the brain, and are therefore carefully sheltered in the cavity of the chest, yet for all purposes of inhaling and exhaling the breath, and of uttering and modulating the voice, are obedient to the will when we breathe, exhale, speak, shout, or sing, just as the bellows obey the smith or the organist. I will not press the fact that some animals have a natural power to move a single spot of the skin with which their whole body is covered, if they have felt on it anything they wish to drive off—a power so great, that by this shivering tremor of the skin they can not only shake off flies that have settled on them, but even spears that have fixed in their flesh. Man, it is true, has not this power; but is this any reason for supposing that God could not give it to such creatures as He wished to possess it? And therefore man himself also might very well have enjoyed absolute power over his members had he not forfeited it by his disobedience; for it was not difficult for God to form him so that what is now moved in his body only by lust should have been moved only at will.

We know, too, that some men are differently constituted from others, and have some rare and remarkable faculty of doing with their body what other men can by no effort do, and, indeed, scarcely believe when they hear of others doing. There are persons who can move their ears, either one at a time, or both together. There are some who, without moving the head, can bring the hair down upon the forehead, and move the whole scalp backwards and forwards at pleasure. Some, by lightly pressing their stomach, bring up an incredible quantity and variety of things they have swallowed, and produce whatever they please, quite whole, as if out of a bag. Some so accurately mimic the voices of birds and beasts and other men, that, unless they are seen, the difference cannot be told. Some have such command of their bowels, that they can break wind continuously at pleasure, so as to produce the effect of singing. I myself have known a man who was accustomed to sweat whenever he wished. It is well known that some weep when they please, and shed a flood of tears. But far more incredible is that which some of our brethren saw quite recently. There was a presbyter called Restitutus, in the parish of the Calamensian Church, who, as often as he pleased (and he was asked to do this by those who desired to witness so remarkable a phenomenon), on some one imitating the wailings of mourners, became so insensible, and lay in a state so like death, that not only had he no feeling when they pinched and pricked him, but even when fire was applied to him, and he was burned by it, he had no sense of pain except afterwards from the wound. And that his body remained motionless, not by reason of his self-command, but because he was insensible, was proved by the fact that he breathed no more than a dead man; and yet he said that, when any one spoke with more than ordinary distinctness, he heard the voice, but as if it were a long way off. Seeing, then, that even in this mortal and miserable life the body serves some men by many remarkable movements and moods beyond the ordinary course of nature, what reason is there for doubting that, before man was involved by his sin in this weak and corruptible condition, his members might have served his will for the propagation of offspring without lust? Man has been given over to himself because he abandoned God, while he sought to be self-satisfying; and disobeying God, he could not obey even himself. Hence it is that he is involved in the obvious misery of being unable to live as he wishes. For if he lived as he wished, he would think himself blessed; but he could not be so if he lived wickedly.