Tuesday, 24 August 2010

G o n z O

any and all honest/harsh criticism would be appreciated.

A Detective Story

I am sitting, hunched like a question mark, smoking in a friend’s house, settling down for an unexpected stay. The light this morning in the garden was shifting between summer and autumn- it was bright when I left but now there is a storm. We are talking and looking at the window when a programme appears on the television screen, ‘Monk’. I ask my friend if he has heard of the Oulipopo, the branch of Oulipo devoted to detective stories, something like the “oeuvre de literature potential… policia”. He says he hasn’t. I imagine a web of formulae: throwing props into boxes- fedora, drinking problem, murder, pretty girl, a red dress, a train.

We both begin to pay attention to the screen. So is he a real monk? Or just given to similar reclusive habits? A visionary perhaps? Or simply an especially ethical detective? It appears that he is not religious. He is one of those gifted detectives I think, maybe autistic. He is bumbling around trying to be normal, awkwardly commenting on a record, being caught out ‘…trying to fit in?’ ‘It’s pathetic’ says the pretty girl. They are in Monks brother’s house, something isn’t right, his brother has noticed many anomalous details regarding a neighbour’s pick up truck. It is fixed and should be broken- he wrote the manual- there is a patch of dead grass poking out from under it- it has been moved- he has driven to the ‘south entrance’- yellow acorns showing up on the red bonnet- a specific species of oak- grows only near water- the river in the south- the ‘south entrance. ‘Wow…Wow…Wow…’ says the pretty lady. Yes, something is definitely wrong. The gifted one has been out-gifted, by the close brother who cannot leave his house and has piles of newspapers all the way from 1972, stacked in a filing system ‘you wouldn’t understand’. The detective story lens seems to have been turned on itself. In any case, a cup of flour needs to be returned, in order for justice to be maintained, a minor detail really I suppose. It was borrowed by the neighbour’s missing wife. Monk and his female accomplice are in the room of the neighbour, no sign of the wife. Monk seizes his chance to outdo his brother in front of the pretty lady and begins pretending to look for a missing shoe. “There is only one in the bin… it’s just that they usually come… in pairs”. We suspect that he is pretending, the screen shows us patches of dirt, or flour ‘not yet cleaned up’ says the neighbour. The wife isn’t in. I begin to say something about hamlet and the “wise fool” of Shakespeare but stop just short of actually saying anything. Monk and his female accomplice have been tipped off by the slightly more gifted of the two brothers and followed the neighbour to a village fair where a pie his wife baked is being given away. There is a sack race and a radio is first prize. The neighbour takes the last ‘torn’ sack and begins hopping furiously in a tragically overacted race against some children. ‘He wants to win the radio!’ exclaims Monk. No monk, he wants the second place pie, if only your brother could solve crimes AND leave the house. He is only appearing to want to win- who? There is one more pie, another day at the fete. A game of bingo is being played. Monk is coerced into rubbing a lucky troll. How much luck is there involved in all this? Clearly the brother is scared, agoraphobic: scared of change, the new, the other, violence, danger, death, mortality, simply of chance perhaps. He feels responsible for the death of Monk’s wife- “she was there because of me, I asked her to run me an errand”. He was inside, she was outside, she died. Monk doesn’t need markers for twenty or more bingo cards, his powers seem to have been returned to him. The villain wins the pie. The men in blue arrive and confiscate the pie, they seem conscious of their ridiculousness. Monk unfolds his analysis in a voice over. The past is reconstructed perfectly and methodically in greyed out screens. The female accomplice is suddenly called upon to search the messy pie, what’s her name again? She is really digging around in there. A pig cracks a joke- “this is one of my fantasies… except it’s not a pie… and you’re not in it”. But what’s this? She fails to find the key! But surely a woman can find anything? That’s her thing isn’t it? She finds the keys but doesn’t drive the car? Not in this case, it seems she can no longer even find the keys. Monk has turned away from woman, towards the brother. Another policeman voices his confusion. “Isn’t it supposed to be over once he does his little wrap up thing? Don’t we usually get to go home now?” It is still raining. Neither of us is talking. We watch the guilty man getting away. He’s missed a detail somewhere, a misfiring neurone perhaps. Everyone is still looking for the truth. Now the criminal and the detective (and the pretty lady) are both re-enacting the murder across a split screen. Monk is pushing an imagined wife across the room and throwing shell casings into the air- the criminal is shooting his wife and shell casings are flying out of the gun- there are two flour tubs- the borrowed flour- there are two shell casings. Monk is worried. The female accomplice takes the driving seat and heads for the brother’s house. She takes on the protective motherly role, chiding Monk, “you want me to drive faster? You must be worried…” At Monks Brother’s door, the neighbour is asking for his flour back. Monks brother has already found the shell casing. They both know where to find it- the white grains- television static- he locks out the neighbour- the neighbour sets fire to the house- the brother can’t leave- he is dying in the smoke. Monk arrives with the female accomplice- he bursts into the house- he imagines his brother is burning. He finds his brother. “I need you!” A camera shot bursts back out of the smoke, back through the door, Monk appears supporting his brother. “You’re outside!” “I’m outside!” They are both outside. Outside of what? “I have what you are looking for” He has found the truth, and hands it to Monk, grinning. The credits roll.

I laugh at adverts for later titles- ‘giant ships’, ‘things get cut in half’ It seems safe to walk home. I remember Koestler’s laughter, the bisociation of matrices, a play of meaning. I say goodbye to my friend and walk out onto the damp pavement. Movement and information is everywhere. There is a sound of shouting- two men hurry past- hands in pockets- a man runs out of the chemist clutching a plastic bag- a man’s foot scoops up his dog into a car- the street lights up in the sun. I begin to wonder if I will find a bag of flour. I begin to wonder if I might not have a brother. Later when I am at home, I catch myself inside, looking for something.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

not hovering, but still. growing heavy above the skin and playing a few frames, repeatedly themselves. a dark animal moves here. covering this everything with flags, faces filling the walls of a small lantern beam of vision. listening to you standing darkly at the edges of me and breaking the table into the shapes of picasso's brush, i remember an image of the long carpet, dragging furniture behind you, narrowing into the doorway at your heels. i will forget it father, though i know now what it does. tommorow we will gather the curved film of the street under us and direct ourselves among the houses. almost remembering- a kestrel brings to mind the image of osiris, thoth, hermes. before and after, a flight, a descent, a breaking. a beater falling on a drum.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

(a) S s U o P n E n R e M t ARKET- not in california

i am nearly asleep in the super-
market somewhere inside this body- wound
in fractals waiting in the stomach- hands-
tongue- crushed by a vision that is not mine-
eyeing closely the neon bananas
that make me taste like nothing- wishing i
had you in my pocket- ginsberg- you are
too big- and you- thomas pynchon- what are
you doing down there laughing at the soup?
what price everything? my face- in a jar
is bending its way around old onions-
i watch the guard and feel absurdly thin
walking in my imagination to my bed-
knowing i will not be preserved.

A p N r T a O y N e Y r MIC

aeroplane airoplane aeiroplane
do not fall sick
iam still hungry
you're moving, full
of faces, fingers, minds, toes
over the sea
under the sky
do not fall sick
do not fall sick
i still love you
do not fall sick
you move hate me aeroplane

(aeroplane/aeroplane  airoplane/aeiroplane  do/do  not/not  fall/fall
sick/sick  iam/you're  still/moving  hungry/full  faces/minds  fingers/toes
over/under  the/the  sea/sky  do/do  not/not  fall/fall  sick/sick
i/you  still/move  love/hate  you/me)of
the clouds move close
the moon far
a cigarette pulled to my mouth
a ground still far from you
under me, close
a water lifting
the air pushed from your nose
close to me

(the/a  clouds/ground  move/still
close/far  the/a  moon/water
a/the  cigarette/air
pulled/pushed  to/from  my/your
mouth/nose  gravity/lifting
far/close  from/to  you/me)

(plsntm) a n t o n y m i c t r n s l t n

some many years now i've heard you everywhere
your voice leans
you told me -
the body moves the mind
you are very moving
my ear stands up
(i am not quite still)
a mind stills a body somewhere
every few seconds- you said
i heard

(some/every  many/few  years/seconds
your/my  voice/ear leans/stands up
you/i  told/heard  me/you  the/a
body/mind  moves/stills  the/a  mind/body
you/i  are/am not  very/quite  moving/still
i've/you  heard/said  everywhere/somewhere)now thankyou

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

m o r e a n t o n y m i c t r a n s l a t i o n

(3X3)/(9) noah's ark

i breathed out the sound of an owl
in a quiet garden,
when the sun was high
when the son was high
you panted in a silent voice
for the mouse,
thought, outside the loud house.

the birds sang at the window
a cat croaked in the room
and a table swayed like a boat
or the chair rocked like the moon

you know, milton sang sweetly of three and three angels-
this noise leaked out of the jacket.
blake talked bitterly for nine men-
that silence soaked in from a vinyl
still spinning out in the entrance hall
i think.
or it passes down like the rain through an old roof
and they shoot up like a sun around the new sky
where rainbows after floods mean nothing.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

c l i n a m e n

no room of words
holds so strong bonds
to stop old holy songs slow growth

o LORD show no shallow cracks
no not gods hollow call
break the stone in half or not at all


a n t o n y m i c t r a n s l a t i o n

and sat still at table
or stood moving away chairs
before the clap of bibles follows you home
leaving a trail of hallelujahs
(you sat) i stood;
arriving at the root of mumbled thanks
after a stamp from the library led me away

(and/or sat/stood still/moving at/away table/chairs
before/after the/a clap/stamp of/from bibles/the library follows/led you/me home/away
leaving/arriving a/at trail/the root of/of hallelujahs/mumbled thanks
you/i sat/stood)

Monday, 25 January 2010

a f e w r e c or d i n g s do n e

this is tonight:

flare up cupped hand dragged
lung fulls of earth scratching out
cuttle bone white scrawl at muds base
hunched parrot footed on a clod
left out in the thunder falling under
whistling dinosaurs

Monday, 18 January 2010

n e a r l y r e c o r d i n g

r o m a n s t o n e is temporarily assuming a fixed shape

this is what richmond park sounded like today:

unplug madvillainy and flooded with dense quiet bird calls
from tree rustles left and right rhythm of footfalls and
short breath will jane be coming over? yeah i think so for
lunch slow snail of bike tyre cut straight through by strafing
parakeet fire rumble of heavy wheels on road bridges bubbles
under log tangles and damp bracken thin feathered holy spirit
falls on high finger branches small balls flick out wings
and bob like swimmers and somewhere a slow mouthed hat
stand clacks on bark and chews like a thick rug