‘It didn’t have to be this way’ summarises my feeling about contemporary global society.
Pro-capitalists have imagined, going on five hundred years, that their principles of social organisation–primarily self-interest, “enlightened” or otherwise–are the finally discovered truth of human nature. Having, in the meantime, destroyed much of the wide variety of non-capitalist social organisms, not to mention the ongoing devastation of the full extent of the earth’s biosphere in the name of the free market, the bourgeois vision of “human nature” has come to appear as a grim, self-fulfilling prophecy. Selfishness devours itself. And the world and humanity groans under its rule while contemplating the end of the species–or at least its massive die off. Such is the glory and destiny of human nature of the bourgeois kind.
Following on from the latent promo of last week, this week another collage that appears in my recent poetry collection, sex poem (2022).
I would like to say that I have been reading too much Georges Bataille, and that I am defiantly, nay religiously joyful in the face of death in a godless universe. Partly true, if somewhat aspirational simultaneously. To find peace in that imagined frozen moment. That’s the trick.
If you stay tuned, which is now compulsory since we began to live within the broadcast, more details, maybe even some content to fill in the form, will be revealed.
Plus noumenal prizes.
Whatdoyouknow! I have already used the image above in an earlier post, that comes with one free poem (per customer) not included in sex poem. Bonus!
I made the collage, above, last July. A recent effort.
Raw material: National Geographic, glue.
Life is [also] a collage.
The somewhat bizarre relationship between the living: forms and content.
Things come and go. Tableaux. The long and the short of it.
As if life itself can be considered a work of art, he says, in so many words.
How many? He counts out the next fourteen or so that make the most retrospective sense.
Given the conjunct of things; given the context; even more the metatexual, the mad beyond that is nine parts sane.
Is this sentence, with its rules and wreckage, with its somewhere else, is nonsense? Is this nonsense the end, the beginning, or the in-between?
In particular: this word vinaigrette, this collage of the squiggly beyond, made up of various barks and yelps, those unreliable reliables rendered partially autonomous before your very eyes, on the page and elsewhere.
And the not word words, the pictures masquerading as pure image, the given rendered faithfullly.
This time, photographically unreliable, the entire world made daguerreotype.
In response to the last post, a correspondent to the sinister science asks, “do you write the text bubbles or just use what you find?” Excellent question. Answer: I use what I find, I manipulate what I find (both physically and digitally), I write the text bubbles, I rip them off from other non-bubble sources, & etc. I do all of these and more (possibly, impossibly…).
Yesterday, I posted a scan of a physical collage made up of glue and cut-up paper from magazines:
My source for ‘I want my daddy’ was a copy of the national geographic and two different comics. The photo of the two divers are from a National Geographic (thank you Jacques Costeau and friend). Both of the stuck on heads are from one comic (Low), and the word balloons from another (Ares: God of War). I have not altered the word balloons, apart from cutting them out of their original context and pasting them in. Both of the balloons are ‘found’, and even though both balloons are from the same comic, each one is from a different page. You can see in the scan the rough cut I made of the top balloon.
The collage at the very top of this post, ‘Fiddlesticks!’, is also taken from a magazine.
Here is the original:
‘Fiddlesticks!’, unlike ‘I want my daddy’, is a digital cut-up. No pages were harmed in its construction, no scissors blunted. Unlike the multiple sources in ‘I want my daddy’, in ‘Fiddlesticks!’, I’ve used only the original source as raw material. After scanning the original I’ve altered the image using Gimp. One could have achieved something similar to the this by physically cutting-up the original image, though it would have looked a lot rougher than my digital version–like in ‘I want my daddy’ (those rough cut balloons…). However, I only have one copy of this Dan Dare comic, and like it too much to be hacking it up for a single collage, so I scanned the image instead.
As ‘Fiddlesticks!’ implicitly demonstrates, there is no reason why any other word or words can be inserted into the word balloon, whether from the original source words and letters, or another source altogether. In the following collage that uses the same image as ‘Fiddlesticks!’, I’ve substituted a phrase that I first typed up on a portable typewriter (a Hermes baby), before scanning it. Again, I could have cut up the typed phrase itself and pasted it onto the original image. But as I’ve mentioned, I’m keen to preserve the original:
The words in the collage ‘modern art’ are my translation of a phrase from the Situationist International. The original text reads ‘les retombées imaginaires d’une explosion qui n’a jamais eu lieu’. Ken Knabb translated this as ‘imaginary repercussions from an explosion that never took place’.
Finally, here another new digital collage, fresh of the same session that produced ‘Fiddlesticks’, and ‘all cops are bastards’, and also made from Dan Dare, though this time using only the original source material for its electronic modifications:
Recently I contributed some words to the tenth issue of Peculiar Mormyrid, a surrealist journal.
I have a love love hate hate relationship with poetry. I love to create and hate to decant the living into a fixed form: the hatred of life. And still I love the hate. The perversity of desire under condition of commodity production.
Surrealism, particularly the variety asserted by André Breton in his manifestoes of surrealism, has exerted a powerful attraction upon me over the years. The discovery of a current committed to transforming the world and changing life upon the fantastic basis of the communist utopia and the dream. To dream the world into being, which we do in any case, currently more nightmare than playful whimsy.
To create the living, to be alive and nothing more is not just a necessity, it is inescapable. Capitalist society fosters the absurd task of turning the flow into fixation whose grim and laughable truth is that it changes in any case. Nothing will remain, so why bother holding on?
At best, poetry in the form of the reified poem-thing tends to express the ebb of being and becoming. At worst, it reinforces the blockage, adds to vast detour of capital and wage slavery.
The insignificance of this diversion will become more readily apparent once it has disappeared, whether by way of socialism or barbarism. Amidst the noise and the seemingly endless spectacles that induce us to consume and enjoy amidst the horrors, it is easy to forget that this historical moment, much like death itself, will one day die.
Meanwhile, in the hot seat of fake electronic gnosis, here is the poem in question.
around the corner.for BJK.
in my dreams, there is a library at the end,
there are books at the end, reading covers.
here I am, at the end of the world, reading covers.
“The City Screamed”. “It Stopped”. “At The End of The Burning World”. “And The Under Privileged Waters of New Babylon”. “This Tangle Hold”. “This, The Luckiest Machine in All Denver”.
“It’s Great to Be Back!”
here, at the end, my friends.
it’s great to be back, and still with a fever, caught from the eventual impending and imminent tomorrow. which is to say, from the future.
this is more than the fault of a quote or confusion,
more than the phlegmatic, the phantasmatic bad memory of the new drudge,
they flap and slither with the utmost seriousness. all of them.
of the very many hands and the very many fingers. all of them.
the new robotics. nature. the brass and brazen victory of the mechanoid caller.
here, is the sweet mould, the forge of the wine dark stupor. puke. you call vomit.
to change. something. to overturn all the words, say.
so the world at the end of the word, this world and this one.
from this momentary. this promontory. from this train. and this midnight.
tonight, from this cabin and the next, there are cows I will never see.
therefore smash all the clocks.
break all the faces.
here. at the end.
twist out a lament for the change that is coming,
and for the axe with which we will grind,
and for the fine shapes of the nothing much more than all the outrage,
all the bad press, for all the dirt that we call dust,
with a tongue for a corpse and a corpse for a tongue,
we will grind out a paste to fix the filmy mist of the hereafter.
and the week after?
break all the cocks.
smash all the quasars.
all of them,
all that is palpable, for example, your quasi-diagram guise,
here, around the corner.
sf & critical theory join forces to destroy the present