(dismiss experiences far too easily,
I want to become a commonplace of everything)
(what do you smash? When everything is backed-up, what do you smash?)
(I saw something nothing like you/ the symmetries of your face folded when I fucked you)
(& partly my own)
(historically and actually)
(but it was a pseudoscience)
(to remember it)
(this briefly happened in Little London)
(what have I to do with lamentation?)
(ie embodied labour)
(what about the struggle? The Luddites, the Chartists, the imprisoned ones, what about them?)
(make me happy)
(mitto – hand)
(present & future)
(ie self-harm, as in prison)
(might be overdone)
(said very fast like a shame word)
(against what? Writing, part-time work)
(who once married a stranger called Gloria)
(I was cheerfully stupid)
‘I Don’t Want To Sleep Alone’ Tsai-Ling Miang, 2006
Remember the procession of the old-young men
From dole queue to corner and back again,
From the pinched, packed streets to the peak of slag
In the bite of the winters with shovel and bag,
With a drooping fag and a turned up collar,
Stamping for the cold at the ill lit corner
Dragging through the squalor with their hearts like lead
Staring at the hunger and the shut pit-head
Nothing in their pockets, nothing home to eat,
Lagging from the slag heap to the pinched, packed street.
Remember the procession of the old-young men.
It shall never happen again.
And is it not an odd jealousy, that the poet finds himself not ever near enough to his object? The pinetree, the river, the bank of flowers before him - there is always this sense of stillness that follows a pageant which has just gone by; always a referred existence, an absence, never a presence and a satifaction… what shall we say of this flattery and baulking, of this use that is made of us?
2012 was a really brilliant year of reading, especially novels. I haven’t enjoyed reading fiction so much since finishing an English degree 5 years ago, and not coincidentally, I spent most of the year doing an MA which focused my mind on methodology and politics. Much of what I read was not an escape from that and its questions but a complement to my thinking and to the academic work. Many times this year I found myself looking for particular things in novels, and I was surprised to find them. I found the questions that I ask of life and love and politics in them. I write this as a thank you to friends who shared their excitement about some of the books mentioned here, and if you’re looking for something to read, I hope I’m passing some of that enthusiasm on.
I’m looking for good housing blogs - Tumblrs and others - radical approaches, all tenures, critiques and evaluations of housing policy (eg comparative European stuff) - send ‘em up!
“I give myself credit for having seen clearly in a number of important situations. In itself, this is not so difficult to achieve, and yet it is rather unusual. To my mind, it is less a question of an exalted or shrewd intelligence, than of good sense, goodwill, and a certain sort of courage to enable one to rise above both the pressures of one’s environment and the natural inclination to close one’s eyes to facts, a temptation that arises from our immediate interests and from the fear which problems inspire in us. A French essayist has said: ‘What is terrible when you seek the truth, is that you find it.’ You find it, and then you are no longer free to follow the biases of your personal circle, or to accept fashionable clichés.”
(from Susan Sontag’s introduction to ‘The Case of Comrade Tulayev’ by Victor Serge (1950), NYRB 2004)
My friend Bill told me yesterday that the Spanish surrealists who are part of the occupations and mobilisations in Madrid refuse to produce any images. People get very angry about them for this but still, they refuse it.