Which is to say, I know the city’s water cannot stop its flow, but it can be re-routed. I saw it in the streets around Moorfields Highwalk – “We are replacing London’s Victorian water mains” and I saw the men spraying symbols in fluorescent paint on roads, dashing forwards to mark the tarmac only when the traffic lights glowed red. I know there is a world below of pipes and flow that pipes and flows ceaselessly. I imagine its gurgles gush mellisonantly but not for us. Or gurgle and splash in ugly spaces. The only (so-called) life (read: commerce) here on a Sunday is insane, in Sainsbury’s. But the markets don’t stop – the derivatives keep on deriving – the shares do not stop being shared (but not too much) even when those fat doors are slammed shut for the weekend and the building broods alone (save a security guard or two). But the city was once a tangible city of Milk, Bread, Corn, Pudding, Poultry. In Change Alley and Token House Yard naming left clues of what was to drip drip drip into the puddle that is our world. Pathways of concrete things cluttered up now by arbitrary symbols in concrete. A silent Boots – with not a shoe in sight – facing off a dead Commerzbank, from whose name Schwitters tore Merz, a name for all his art. Tears tears – I can’t be doing with all the tears after spilt milk. Tears – not sloppy drips, but rather tears as cuts, as rents. Cuts, cuts, rents, rents. Deeper, deeper. Sky-high, unpaid. We are back in the money language again – there is ultimate speed in the sun’s hair Transfigured horse / And a dead person laid in her funeral bed head looking like a rotten orange / a pink dove shattered a human face / a yellow sun stop a green sun stop a blue sun stop / a sun ambulance carries Christ to the insane asylum / BOUM BOUM BOUME ! / A solar wind pulls your teeth Hou ! Hou ! / Malevich’s red sun followed his funeral convoy all the way to BEIRUT / Tammouz is July nailed on a sundial in a frozen bath. As if the mind did
a country or a place,” where
= time, the body
breathing (a weather)
Think, akin to magic
“to cause to appear”
Think thirsty constant
weed whackers, the rising
tide of grass, the force that
through the stupid
lilies drives the bone
glow from below. Think shined-
up tendon straps.
600,000 sets of teeth lamps.
The sleepers awake, I am enclosed by iron spikes, some places razorwire. Patrolled by security guards in cars that say K-9. I feel watched constantly. Alive among the dead for no purpose. No grief or leaf blowing.
a lifelike picture, dear
This piece is therapeutic. I was told by a number of people, including my therapist, that if only I could put my obsession into my own work I’d be a much happier & productive person. This piece might not seem transformed enough to you, but I intend it to be transformative to me. This is a piece about reconciliation. This is a piece about air. This is the type of thing I gave up when I decided I was a realist. I’m trying to recue my imagination, which I’ve neglected since I was about thirteen. I = Miss Havisham. Combustion heaven. To be changed, to go up up up, to be translated. HOW DO THE BEASTS GROAN! THE HERDS OF CATTLE ARE PERPLEXED, BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO PASTURE, YEA, THE FLOCKS OF SHEEP ARE MADE DESOLATE, for his part, Herder denounces the gristly deformation of smooth skin-surfaces as “unnatural excrescences” explicitly placing them in the disgust paradigm’s horizon through the metaphor of “creeping worms”: “these veins on the hand, this finger-cartilage, these bones in the knee … they are extra-essential accretions, or detached parts … like … an early death.” Thus an organized Impressionist movement owed its initiating impulse to its complicity with the state’s Commune-erasing program. Expanding on this notion that humanity’s longest-lasting ruins will not be cities, cathedrals, or even mines, but rather geostationary satellites, Paglen tried to conjure up what this might look like for other species in the far future. Billions of years from now, he began to narrate, long after city lights and the humans who made them have disappeared from the Earth, other intelligent species might eventually begin to see, well, consider deep-sea squid, Paglen said, who would have had billions of years to continue developing and perfecting their incredible eyesight, a sensory skill perfect for peering through the otherwise impenetrable darkness of the oceans — perhaps these future deep-sea squid might drift up to the surface of the ocean on calm nights … perhaps they might look up … OK. OK. READING Ana Božičević’s second full-length collection, Rise in the Fall, I often got the sense that I too was under surveillance. When I didn’t get something, the poet told me I didn’t need to: “(this is not / some reference you’re supposed to get, it’s just this / weird feeling I had.)” And when the poet told me, “I’m writing in some kind of vernacular / that’s not even my own, just to endear myself to you,” I thought, Go for it. In the first poem, “About Nietzsche,” we watch Nietzsche land “softly” on earth and interact with a horse. After the horse tells him a story about being loved, ridden, and forgotten, Nietzsche drops to his knees, alluding to the philosopher’s collapse in Turin after he saw a horse being whipped. The language is romantic and melodic, and seems to be heading toward some obvious conclusion about oppression:
You are here, horse pressed on, because you can
see the suffering now, and one you love best
loves to shop for its ineffable brides, and soon you’ll learn
the song of the pretty bridle is stronger
than the song of the wound that it grooves, and soon no-one
will give a fig about the humbled Nietzsche—
Then suddenly, at line 30, a new stanza begins:
This is the whitest shit
I’ve ever written. Truth is, Osama bin Laden
was killed today, two women were shot
in that raid, and yet again
I can’t escape this feeling of living in a world of men
whose intricate games
I’m to jeer and cheer, but they leave my head
a foggy morning.
“And yet last night I played Meditations / & it told me what to do / Live, you crazy mother / fucker! / Live! / & organize / yr shit / …” What beauty has won in the end? Is it the beauty of croissants, untouched by death? The most inscrutable description came from Amelia, a 19-year-old from Scotland, who said her vagina looked like “a baby mouse trapped in a bundle of twigs.” But now I should add some errata. In the review of SNOW #1, ed. Anthony Barnett and Ian Brinton, the quotation from Denise Riley’s ‘Nine Blindfolded Songs’ was missing its second “like,” and should have read: “Like ... like a metaphor. Though though”; in the review of Emily Critchley’s Love / All That / & OK, “Actually, the float quite far” should have been “Actually, they float quite far” and “We don’t overlap with each other enough to rescue, with some surfeit of ourselves, anyone who at risk or loss” was missing an “is”.
[Note: Sources: JBR; Esther Leslie, “Square Mile Quagmire”, in Derelicts: Thought Worms from the Wreckage, quoted in “AMM#9: Texts, Audio and Videos”, at Association of Musical Marxists, 28 May 014; Etel Adnan, The Arab Apocalypse, in to look at the sea is to become what one is: An Etel Adnan Reader (eds. Thom Donovan & Brandon Shimoda); Mónica de la Torre, “the facts”, in Public Domain; Ariana Reines, “Fated”, in The Cow; Winfried Menninghaus, Disgust: Theory and History of a Strong Sensation (trs. Howard Eiland and Joel Golb); JBR; dust jacket copy for Albert Boime, Art and the French Commune: Imagining Paris After War and Revolution; Geoff Manaugh, “Through The Cracks Between Stars”, at BLDG/BLOG, 27 Aug 014; JBR; Leigh Stein, and Ana Božičević, quoted in Stein’s “Rise in the Fall by Ana Božičević”, at Noö Journal 15; Amiri Baraka, ‘AM/TRAK,’ quoted in David Grundy, “We Are Real by Coleen Hind & Pocahontas Mildew (Critical Documents, 2012)” at Hix Eros 3; Monica Heisey, “We Talked To Women About Their Vaginas”, at Vice, 27 Aug 014; JBR; “Issue 2 Errata”, at Hix Eros 3]