‘N in Scrabble’ / Other Po-et-ry

I’ve removed the 29 poem-posts of work from my pamphlet N in Scrabble (OtHeRwIsE uNpUbLiShEd PoEmS oct 2019 – march 2020) as it’s now published / available in the form of a PDF here. Five poems have been removed and another from the same period added.

Soon there will be a pamphlet, and somewhat later a collection, available in print from presses other than Soviet District / my own self-publication. I also have individal poems forthcoming in places I’ll link to as and when they appear there. I know that sounds vague but everybody’s publication schedule has gone off-kilter so there’s no point saying ‘this will be published in July’ if that’s unlikely to happen (I’m not sure what’s going on with Mineral no. 4, for example, in which I’ll have a piece as mentioned in a previous post).

On a related note in the next few weeks I’ll be putting out an insistent call for submissions to Pragma, with more detail of what the thing wants to be and what we’re looking for, as well as directly soliciting work from a few people and of course getting around to reading through what’s been recieved thus far.

Thank you for reading. Don’t die. Abolish the police.

Virtual Commodities, Material Dreams

Obscene title aside ‘The Imagined Band’ is now up on the Youtube, both as a single full album video with vaguely accurate timestamps and a playlist of individual songs. Also check your preferred artist exploitation matrix / streaming service if you wish to supply me with some undeserved pennies.

50 hAnD-nUmBeReD “””lImItEd EdItIoN””” CDs are available to order from Bandcamp for £6 + P&P (the price of a Wetherspoons pint over the cost of production). 为人民服务 !!!


SELF-EDIT: A Prosimiscellaneous Poem


What’s real, tedious enquiry? Associating embarrassment with the breaking through. It is not really necessary to point out that this is embarrassing but it is however important to correct ‘through’ to ‘down’. The subject of this is itself but it must be pretended otherwise. Note the careful elision, impersonal passive voice: is this not precisely what this is trying to avoid? It is in fact useful to begin like this as everything may now be arrived at by digression.

“Under the roar walls ride their
warriors and that unstoppable
young lord without a sword who

was a murderer. …”

Grotesque business is always tautological and a necessary demonstration of why it is so. That’s the truncation of the thing, letting it all get out of hand where it can be made base by superfluous and multidirectional reification. What none of this accounts for is the possibility of a gap. Perhaps ‘through’ was in fact the right word. Sometimes negative capability can be arrived at too quickly. But that’s the question: how quickly is too quickly? Quickness is form and form is quality.

“To overturn the theatre of representation into the order of desiring-production: this is the whole task of schizoanalysis.”

A whole other method of going ‘down’. There must be other points of reference. This is, in itself, another assumption. Interrogation begins when it is realised to be just another form of letting go. Using something intended for something else lets go of the fear that something else will be worse off without it. Shoring up is a mode of ressentiment, the wrong sort of insurance. The first stop of observation: that obvious moment of something — ‘why do I want it to be interesting?’ In the garden sits the hermetic subject, having moved back home. Thus, interrogation.

“That you cannot get in since the entrance is the obstacle itself is what it means for once to end at emptiness.”

Taking a break to consider the possibility of outside. The length is what it means to die of it. In between there is an intoxicating indefinite which, in any other dimension, would appear as a simple plateau. Long moments are loose moments but this space should not too hurriedly be filled. There are some words that should not reside there. There are some words only there can hope to find.

“The breeding of an animal that can promise — is not this just that very paradox of a task which nature has set itself in regard to man?”

The difference between continuing and starting something similar is perhaps the most fundamental space of decision making available to the human subject. ‘How long is long?’ is a useless question, answered in the performance of its asking. The question of how much outside it lets in is much more relevant, and at this of a relevance only to itself as any reference to the content of outside beyond acknowledging the flat presence of outside constitutes an inclusion of such content and thus compromises the entire exercise. At this point to try to inject or consume to gather momentum would be a defeat none of this could ever afford. The defeat it can afford reveals itself as the end and only once that end is reached.

“Don’t you know yet? Fling the emptiness out of your arms
into the spaces we breathe; perhaps the birds
will feel the expanded air with more passionate flying.”

Use everything but only when it needs to be used, in the process realising this is almost always now. Sometimes this is offensive to the senses. Sometimes this is offensive to others. Do not take either as pointing in the right direction. The declarative should not ossify into the didactic: it can contain questions in the pose of the rhetorical that are in fact intended for the impossible and are thus instead directed to an audience. This is the root of all evil but remember what that means. Terror bears a dialectical relationship to arousal. There is a tickling sensation that could go either way or just persist for eternity. Responsibility is, unfortunately, deciding what to do about this.

“Happy those who suffer as unified selves — whom anxiety alters but doesn’t divide, who believe at least in unbelief, and who can sit in the sun without mental reservations.”

All that matters is defining itself positively against the last, the real charge of the bright and blank screen of consistency over the business of the world pierced only by the product of dreams. This is starting to become a routine. In attempting to avoid this all that matters is never resolving itself to a thematic synthesis, never looking directly at the Sun though fixating with an intensity beyond perception on all that stand out in it.

“the capsule upended in the earth

the eternal poem in motion through time

attuned to the curve of the zodiac”

There is nowhere left to go but repetition elsewhere once the realisation ‘down’ and ‘through’ are the same thing arrives not with a hit associated with realisation but with the event of an exploding into vista of both new knowledge of the unknown and a better quality of light on the known. If this is achieved truly there will be no question of whether or not it is necessary to ‘show your working’ as everything will speak for itself. The question of when to stop is a potential paradox better seen as a productive circle, a question of whether stopping can be adequately decided in the same ‘hot’ and ‘heavy’ moments that animate the thing to anything and everything but.

[Quotations from R. F. Langley, Deleuze and Guattari, Keston Sutherland, Nietzsche, Rilke, Fernando Pessoa, and Chris Torrance.]


Dead Poet Salon

I’ve recorded a reading of an old poem of mine from May 2018 for Petersfield Bookshop’s ‘Dead Poet Salon’ online open-mic (which, as with my International Poetry Circle videos, is posted on the @PragmaJournal Twitter account again as I still intractably/unhelpfully refuse to return to using social media ‘personally’). Anyway. The poem’s called ‘For Roger, For Jack’, written as a tribute/’exaltation’/whatever of the life and work of R. F. Langley (on whom I started writing a Master’s dissertation last year, which will be finished One Day when I’m able/mentally well enough/etc).

The video can be found here. For accessibility reasons and so on the text of the poem can be downloaded here: For Roger For Jack.

Cheers. I’m a little uneasy about some of this online ‘poetry explosion’ vis-à-vis COVID-19 (readers treating poetry as some sort of tonic/coping strategy/intellectual health food), but from a writing or ‘productive’ perspective it’s deeply necessary to be working at the moment just as per any other occasion of extreme biopolitical interpellation (plus, as I’m doing on this blog, attempting to account/compensate for delays to publication). It’s excellent to have these sort of attempts at ‘communal’ performance opportunities during pandemic-lockdown, at least. I’ve started working on a long ‘observational prosimetrum’ about the isolation period, entangling three immediate and false-transcendental narratives/trajectories (of the coronavirus, trying to get sober, and an inescapable and incommunicative platonic heart-longing) with journal/diary entries, both my own and others, as a concentration on the apparent impossibility of nature writing at a time when anthro-infrastructure is under attack by a virus ‘of and against nature’ while trying to avoid conceding to an ecofascist ‘Earth’s revenge’ myth… And a lot more besides, including reflections on why that cunt James Corden is in my dreams being beaten up by John Ashbery and James Baldwin (and that other Fred Perry prick from that sitcom is being spit roasted by Paul Celan and Ezra Pound). Enough about that project, though. I hope you enjoy the reading-video.