Friday, 28 February 2014

54. Now in This Place Together

Getting out of this dream of poets’ situations is both difficult & easy. Easy because their places are unreal – we’ll just wake up in cupboards, end of not very major fantasy. And difficult because the antique dominations we embrace are deep inside us, like the after effects of another Pembroke brunch. Power anywhere? I should say so – to no effect. Power is anywhere and everywhere. You imbibe its customs & pleasures with every dinner, I mean dimmer. They are meat, our meat – its excesses our flatulent dreams.

Being drunk with friends is another thing – a casual acceptance of an ad hoc community. “Our futures are not together” you feel like saying, “but here we are, now, and in this place together.” It is almost very scary how much bonds appear to dissolve with intoxication – if only we were all drunk as well all together all the time. But – well, gotcha there! – how could that work? We’d rename reality, but though language changes, power doesn’t. It blurs and confuses, kind of like this, so the world becomes all much the same, holding itself back from sharp & sober actuality. What are we talking about here? Not privilege, that ugliest thing, but how we want to enjoy the most decrepit fantasies – not much else left to us here. Look at them with that sharp gaze & luminous[1] appraisal you’ve just invoked. Enjoy!

Sometimes we do it right, OK? Not enough for it to feel right is the problem. How can this all be worked at, without falsifying the world & the language? Really, I don’t know, I’m not ready, – I try to push this out, just to see how it could be done. But how do I know what I have done is what I ought to have done – especially when engaged fully in doing this? And somehow doing it right?? Done, done, done. That’s all. Like anything else here.

Just passing, and enjoying the sun, we come to the algae on the edge of the lake, like partly washed out bloodstains. The dear old sun breeds passions, it cooks them up, and we feed it what it needs for this recipe. Turn up the gas! Things are bad today. This will last all day.

Then, please, just forget all about writing. Listen to the poets laugh. They don’t do it very often, mind – OK, it’s a stupid ploy, it’s not at all good. Mainly, really – oh shit! Some days shit, it is all really shit. Really mainly that here.

Look, yes, at lakes, at poets, at everything. Stare at the sun if you have to. Back in those days that aren’t now, we fantasise we were all in one classless class all together.[2] This is called a utopian fantasy. It’s probably a good thing. You could call this how things could be. That it is a fantasy is what makes it difficult to say this is how things must be. The lake will remain poisoned, the poets silent & stupid, everything knotted up, and the sun blinds you. There will still be a fantasy. That’s all.

You will get something out of this, I hope. It’s so much easier if I claim there really are systems that are existing out there to help us. So many books, so many followers, so many leaders for us, all of them knowing what is best to do. But here, just the mulch of people’s ordinary business, the silence from our shattered past & futures. Nothing but what is here, nothing but its inchoate but accusatory facticity.

We could talk, yeah, arrange together some sort of joining up. Riots I’m told make good occasion for this. Collective action against the patterns that control us, that’s the thing. I’ll sit down & talk on some business with Karla & Darrel, Joe & Charlie, (oh, this all memory here), Nik & Jeanette, Anna & Nick & Patrick, even with our friends the poets. Saturdays then, second of the month – right out of Liverpool St Station, past the huge rusty steel sculpture, first right past Broadgate itself, up Wilson St past the Chapel of the Opened Book, then in at The Fox, starting before 4 to meet and talk, then upstairs. At the Chapel of the Opened Book? No. Inside there is that head, thy golden head, embalmed in cedar oil, & gilt. No. Poor old Charlie Marx[3], turned here into Baphomet. And now, let’s talk, move on and act. Heal it, now.

At the heart of all we do, not authenticity, please, or theory, or genealogy, but what is actually, pragmatically, useful here and now.

There are no other people to blame – for we are other people, aren’t we? No, it doesn’t matter either whether it’s writing or rioting, whatever is done by us. But we must do it, right, now.

[1] or do I mean luscious? Ah, the blessings of bad handwriting
[2] The search for origins at our origin – see various pieces in The English Intelligencer. Oh Man!
[3] or Ted Adorno, or G-Man Debord, or . . . , whoever it was under that jewelled iron mask.


  1. para 8: “with our friends the poets. Saturdays then, second of the month” is Writers Forum (New Series). “Focusing on experimental writing, these workshops offer a supportive, non-judgemental atmosphere for poets to share new work that pushes the boundaries of their art. These meetings aim to engage and encourage the broadest possible range of innovative practices and authors.” Attendance is free and open to anyone with an interest in writing or hearing experimental poetry. Held, at the times of writing & of publication, at The Fox, 28–30 Paul Street, Shoreditch EC2A 4LB – directions accurate from Liverpool Street Station. Arrive 3.30 for 4–6 pm workshop. For more information email Antony John < antonyjohnfrancis@hotmail@com > or Stephen Mooney < estaphin@gmail@com >.
    “The Chapel of the Opened Book" is indeed where the text says, and is dealt with in detail in the relevant page on the blog. You'll find this useful to read, as elements of doctrine and language linked with the Chapel's teachings occur further in this sequence.