Thursday, 24 May 2007

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

An Epitaph upon Felton, who was hanged in Chains for Murdering the Old Duke of Buckingham

By John Wilmot.

Here uninterr'd suspends, though not to save
Surviving Friends th'Expences of a Grave,
Felton's dead Earth; which to the World will be
Its own sad Monument, his Elegie:
As large as Fame, which whether Bad or Good
I say not; by himself 'twas wrote in Blood;
For which his Body is intomb'd in Air,
Arch'd o're with Heaven, set with a thousand fair
And glorious Stars; a Noble Sepulcher,
Which Time it self can't ruinate; and where
Th'impartial Worm (that is not brib'd to spare
Princes corrupt in Marble) cannot share
His Flesh; which oft the charitable Skies
Imbalm with Tears; daining those Obsequies
Belong to Men shall last, till pitying Fowl
Contend to reach his Body to his Soul.
Monks pay no council tax.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Many observations that were considered ludicrous in 2006 have now become commonplace.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Pence Eleven Gig Tonight

Pence Eleven, 8ish, at
The George Tavern, 373 Commercial Road, E1.
Some poetry too.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

It could be worse.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

See Busta Rhymes do classroom discipline midway through this clip, methinks a surreptitious interruption of this high school kid's troublingly-successful diss-spit-session:

Friday, 18 May 2007


pp. (∞)-∞ for "Keston" read "Marianne"

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

From "Conduit"

by Barrett Watten.


1. Continents were built up as a quality of space.
2. Continents were built by drifting, colliding mini-continents. The only part of California that is "original" is somewhere near Death Valley.

The soap is really a sphere.
The child is really a fat one.

... for the opera fan who knows his syntax.

Few things are funnier than auto mechanics; it lays bare the inherent defects of all engines, which pivot on the "virtual" presnce of parts we can no longer get.

I have had a nervous collapse, which is disappointing -- it obscures my view of semiotics.

That pleasure is a kind of time left over from counting.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

From "Le Crepescule de Matin"

by Baudelaire trans. Sean Bonney.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Magus Flower, Rachel Smith's blog. "The peas girl." But also the "lullenfield sell this to the nuns & mike" one.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Thursday, May 15, 8:00pm, The Old Kitchens, Queens' College, Silver Street, Cambridge, GRASP, Redell Olsen, John Matthias and A.S.J. Ellis. ALSO that day THE BLUE BUS at THE LAMB in LONDON. Not sure who's on, but possibly Christine Wertheim? - who is certainly reading Thurs May 29, at CPRC @ Birkbeck - 2 pm. Also Openned Foundry London Wednesday Maggie Charlie et al.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Last Night at the Lamb

... there were some very good poems said. A Conduit of Lambs. Jeff Hilson and Giles Goodland launched a new reading series, which is called the Blue Bus. See note 1. It bears an as-yet inchoate relation to the Crossing the Line series. And inside that launch there was another launch, of Giles’ book Capital.

One trope which comes up a lot in Jeff’s Bird Bird is a kind of outraged or confused return to some subject as its object; I mean “subject” and “object” very loosely and in a kind of syntactical way: “the thing about x is that it’s so x!” or “when x is feeling a bit y, it goes and xs!” Two pseudo-hypotheses tend to dog this trope: (1) someone doesn’t know what he’s talking about and is running out of language so finishes up lamely where he started; (2) someone tries to draw out protocols from the thing she just mentioned, through which to extend it into a narrative, relations, qualifications, predications etc., but is almost immediately overwhelmed with regret and rushes back on herself to insist on the originary language (see note 2).

Much of Giles’ Capital is staked on the assertions made across the breaks between bits of found texts, e.g. “[...] the New York Times headlined / / with its blood serving as paint [...]”. Making too much of this obvious and widespread practice is trivial taxanonymising; Capital is conspicuous, though, in its fastidious avowal of each bit’s dual context (where it was found, and where it was put). For every bit of found text a source is cited. The bits fuse standoffishly, encysted in separate stanzas. One advantage is that it makes it difficult to collapse the manifold of dockings among discourses and subject positions and so on into a single channel of oncoming comic incongruities.

Note 1: The venue was a pretty standard Pub Upstairs, and I think it was asking £30. We had our own bar. The format was Giles / Jeff / break / Giles / Jeff. I think both readers made the same good choice to read quite briefly in the first half. I’m pretty sure the ticket conductors are David Miller, Alyson Torns and Keith Jebb. It’s going to be an occasional event TOOT TOOT! ALL ABOARD THE BLUE BUS! TOOT TOOT! £5 slash £3 concessions slash Oyster Card.

Note 2: But maybe tropes aren’t that interesting: I don’t think there’s much held in common among the contents of these sort-of-out-of-control claims.

Note 3: Are you also from Scotland, he said. No, no, I'm only from England, Jeff said. The other half of my family's from England, he said. Are they, said Jeff, where are they from. Well it's been two hundred years, he said, but Wales. And

From "Fat Capital"

by Giles Goodland.

[...] gross investment -- fuelled by investment in infrastructure development in excess of

an oversize waffle in a narrow-slotted toaster may not pop up at all, turning a putative Pop Tart into

expensive mud programs. Viscocosification, filter cake, bridging and weighting materials are

blood to write the word "greed" across the victim's thick pile carpets

combining heat exchange and aeration on one skid enables the cream processer to temper as well as aerate

after instruction they positioned the strain gauge two-thirds of the way down the shaft of the penis

hits the child's mouth, cheek, nose or even the lower eyelid with a virus that eats up the tissue, and leaves

an aesthetics of disappearance from the pressures of a 'saturated self' which is increasingly

meat. And this liquid meat had died and was haunting her carpet

this article was prepared by Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week editors from staff and other reports.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Hands Off Iraqi Oil Protest at Shell's Annual General Meeting:

Tuesday 15 May 2007
8.30 am - 12 noon
Novotel London
West Hotel and Convention Centre
1 Shortlands
London, W6 8DR

(Nearest tube - Hammersmith)

Saturday, 5 May 2007

The Long-Term Health Benefits of Smoking

From Wikipedia.

[...] recent studies suggest that smokers require less frequent repeated revascularization after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). [...] Risk of ulcerative colitis has been frequently shown to be reduced by smokers on a dose-dependent basis; the effect is eliminated if the individual stops smoking [...] Smoking appears to interfere with development of Kaposi's sarcoma, [...] breast cancer among women carrying the very high risk BRCA gene, [...] preeclampsia, [...] and atopic disorders such as allergic asthma [...] A plausible mechanism of action in these cases may be the nicotine in tobacco smoke acting as an anti-inflammatory agent and interfering with the disease process. [...]


In mice, studies have shown nicotine can reduce the amount of DOI-induced head twitches (meant to model tics) related to Tourette's Syndrome. A large body of evidence suggests that the risks of neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease might be twice as high for non-smokers than for smokers. [...] Many such papers regarding Alzheimer's disease [...] and Parkinson's Disease [...] have been published. A plausible explanation for these cases may be the effect of nicotine, a cholinergic stimulant, decreasing the levels of acetylcholine in the smoker's brain; Parkinson's disease occurs when the effect of dopamine is less than that of acetylcholine. Opponents counter by noting that consumption of pure nicotine may be as beneficial as smoking without the risk. Other Alzheimer's studies, however, challenge these epidemiological studies on methodological grounds [...] A prospective Rotterdam Study found that the incidence of Alzheimer's disease is more than double for smokers as compared to non-smokers [...] and the Honolulu Heart Program (a longitudinal cohort study) also found more than twice the risk for Alzheimer's disease among medium and heavy smokers as compared to non-smokers. [...] Though the negative correlation between smoking and Parkinson's disease is recognized, the causality has not been established. The relationship may be artifact (observational) based on clusters of behavioral and personality differences in the pre-Parkinsonian population versus the smoking population. [...] Considering the high rates of physical sickness and deaths among persons suffering from schizophrenia [...] one of smoking's most burdensome short term benefits is its temporary effect to improve alertness and cognitive functioning in that disease [...] It has been postulated that the mechanism of this effect is that schizophrenics have a disturbance of nicotinic receptor functioning [...]

Friday, 4 May 2007

A Note on "Modern Edith"

I think I made Goddamn clear my position on Flash poetry on the O'Reilly Factor in the Fall – roughly that it's the mean hiss of tripe, and the tripe who hiss it fail to notice far more complicated and interesting aesthetic objects already occupying their rhetorics, precisely because computer games tower waaay above their tripey eye-level? Sophie Robinson's Modern Edith is no exception. But its petty affront is ameliorated in two petty ways:

(a) The parody is blob-on i.e. it is what it parodies plus ooze over the edge. Edith is a carefully-amateurishly-implemented retro-siren wet-dreamt up by corporate-porners (with the irony screen affixed, the boyish suck for tottery gash can be pandered to with normally-taboo ferocity exempted as a kind of bucking-knowing-nodding to How Far We’ve Come; cf. the Lads’ Mag’s “de-sexualising”ly (not REALLY, see?) mocking captions to its glamour shots). Equally importantly (in fact, I think I regard it as the same point), the technologies which underlie Edith are quite similar to those underlying, say, these dolls. The petty affront thus ameliorated: Edith jostles among digital cultural artefacts – timewasters, games – and cuts it or not, without recourse to the habitual excuses invoked by poetry or even art. I’ve gone too far.

(b) After only six and a half hours of dressing and undressing Edith, you begin to think about gender? Teeny advice columnist channelling queer and feminist reworkings of Freud and Lacan. If you think your dad might cut off your penis if you try to sleep with your mum, you should confront him and say how you feel. In particular, ask him what tacit alternatives to objectification are available in Modern Edith’s critique of objectification. Surely not intersubjectification? Men (just as a handy baseline) don’t intersubjectify do they? – systematised mutual bodysnatching is hardly guffawing in a cocksure club. As well as kind, thinking myself into your shoes could be a form of self-regard (“how do I look?”), of cold thriftiness (“in thinking like you, I switch off conceptual resources I could have given you”) and of creepy invasion (“I want to feel you from the inside”). So whither contra-objectification commandoileys? Interactivity, usually just despised as a fetish object substituting for unreified social relations, may be one of Modern Edith ’s answers. “Respect” as it is constituted in hip-hop discourse is also worth a look, and maybe a recuperation as critical rationality; as an English gentleman the closest translation with which I feel any affinity is “fear.” “You people are gonna [fear] me; I bet I make you [fear] me” (Ditzee Rascal). Modern Edith is terrifying.

Coming soon: attacks on every membrane in John Cayley.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

La Langoustine est morte :: Saturday 5 May 2007 :: 7.30pm :: The Poetry Café :: £5

Amy Prior – fiction/performance
Steve Willey - poetry
Perciphone Petticoat – poetry/performance
Musadiq Sanwal - spirit songs

Hosted by Sascha Akhtar and Anthony Joseph.