Saturday, 13 January 2018

Workshopping

Following on from my last post (please read it for context) I don't believe in evil. On the other hand I have been to creative writing workshops. My undergraduate degree involved a creative writing program and this program was the epitome of what I have come to detest about the way "creative writing" (I mean, what is that supposed to mean?) is programatised, taught and packaged. I remember our introductory sessions. We were told we weren't allowed to use words like "nice" or "lovely" when giving feedback. We were told to be fickle - to be ready to take and give firm criticism. We were essentially being told to read the work of fellow students in the same way that we would read books we might buy in Waterstones - read them like professionally produced commodities for sale. Read them as if we might be being short changed. I still have a handout somewhere with some daft quote about never using a "weak" word when there are strong ones. That said, these sessions and all sessions like it are absolute horseshit, and they are a part of a very real if not always conscious attack on subjectivity. There will rarely be painful vulnerability in these sessions. People who are writing through agonies are going to be pushed out of this dialogue. It's hard to know where to start. They'd say things like "show don't tell" when talking about poetry. Point to the pain. Don't show me where it came from. I can get lost down a rabbit hole unpicking this kind of thing, but that's not what I want to do.

Today I went up to London to meet some writers for a writing workshop. I'd been invited by their collective. I was unsure of my role and quite nervous to be honest. Anyway, I got there and I felt like the people assembled were my friends. That sounds odd and I'm not sure what it was so comfortable so quickly, but it really was. The format was very open. We spoke at length about the work the attendees had brought. Since those university workshops I've always tried to do the opposite of what they told me to do there when I end up in a workshop situation or when someone asks me for feedback on their work. I try to only find things I like and point to them. Of course, if there is some statement that needs confronting that is a different story, but if someone has written something honest and in sincerity and they are in a dialogue with it I believe that this dialogue needs to continue. It is theirs. We got into some very intimate and tender conversations about our relationship to writing and although I was very tired I left feeling completely elated. Publishers or sales were not mentioned at all. We spoke about what things were, not what they might be made into further down the production line.

Anyway I'm very tired. Just wanted to make a note of this somewhere.

Sleep tight. x

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Poem

I and You in my dreams I and You I wake at and in fear. Rat. 
Look at the fucking sky, and for some reason, this looking... 
Or, it wasn't. I whisper into the pillow: "You, to a dear friend, did",
"He did this", "He has violent tendencies", "He came into my friend's house and..." 
"Will you ever shut up?" "I think he has a diagnosis"
“How can we reach out to him?”, “What of when we meet again.”
“But what would happen to him there?” or “What gives me the right
to speak out, into the pillow” or “To demand a stronger door
is to demand a weaker self” or “it would betray the internal organs” etc. 

How your feminisation kink pukes us - that the centre of shame’s
my assimilated death. To reduce yourself. When I'm coming out of a house 
feeling afraid and the sea, the greying screed, churn churn. Rat plop. 
Somehow there's so little to say. The borders screwed to the sea to land
where formals rest & chuck, exit & sink. Restitution ‘eyes only for…’
Your ethics, a detention centre. The framework: Holed in lie sneer.
What have you done? Where were you when it happened?. But past 
the disclosure, a sea, just that, rat. We go into rooms with abusers. Thump.

We go into rooms because we’re not moralistic, and we try 
and we try and we total & fail. We say "such a violent history he had" 
against ourselves. We don't. We don't comprehend the hurt 
beyond its hilt. We try to listen; it's impossible to. The spirit is impossible, 
departed from his lips as he groaned out. As he clutched my throat 
he groaned out. To hear what you say. Made as: etc. No morals at all. 

When you ingest the bleach you retain a fantasy of clearing, unclogging,
that beneath the fix, when you gulp or swill it round for Christ sake. Ratty. 
But if you’re one of those, Those that have cast certain into abjection, 
or extended abjection out into each corner. Each forgetful corner, here is
your number. I will be quiet. You're not in danger. Everything will continue
to be part of what's okay for you to not try to remember. "If you throw 
the first punch you are as bad as your oppressor
                                                                        states the routinely unoppressed
          :report. 

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Morals! I Believe in Evil. Love Will Overcome Hate. Bring Back Counterculture!!!!

Strange perceived triangulation of ideologemes that may be populating left consciousness.




1: The belief in evil.
2: The belief: "Love will overcome hate" / "Love conquers fear"
3: Countercultural nostalgia.


1 is now present in a similar way to, say, the frenzy of ignited passion directed at child killers (Thompson and Vennables) or school shooters - as in a belief that someone is somehow inherently evil opens the door to them being banned from our lives and our thoughts (this this is obviously unworkable and perhaps the action of banning is comes from a knowledge that them and whatever the deed that assigned them in us to the nomination 'evil' will be forever present, that we need a section to put them safely into) - that they must be stopped. This does not combat what they are doing, it refuses to question what violence is. It can help initially to comprehend and protect our trauma (this is a complicated motion. On the one hand the comprehension of horrific trauma as horrific, and to realistically say it is almost impossible to deal with. This is an initial comprehension of trauma where we are understandably overwhelmed. In this motion trauma becomes a protected category. Protection can render it almost permanent), but it is also in itself a symptom of trauma that will persist and will not be satisfied by fulfilling itself. When somebody acts against a moral code in situation of diminishing returns it is one thing to want them to not be present, to not be putting others in danger. It is quite another to consciously or unconsciously begin to believe that the individual is completely evil. This is a thing which happens to us. We can hate things without a belief in evil. The perceived contradiction is important.


2 is sometimes perhaps similarly a subset of trauma. It is a patch, and a very real hope. It is also subjectively abstract and is just as truthfully used by people who contain or believe in very different kinds of love - different ideals but who will recite their love against one another. Christian love conquers communist love, which is not love at all and vice versa. Again it is based on an abstraction, love as a precondition. It relies on the idea that if everything is stripped away there are certain human compulsions that are entirely kind. This is similar to modern comprehensions of Christianity wherein the characterisation of God as more human they actually are becomes more of a character(istic) and less of a human, less of something that is also us / inside us. God becomes unattainable. The question of our journey towards what may be fulfillment in them becomes an abstract request to a now emptying caricature. A relic God who is not God at all but a kind of symptom beyond God that doesn't work for anyone. A speeding destructive force where subjectivity is shortened and cut off. Prayers become erratic and non meditative. They become unpoetic - a simple unthought callback to an abstract hope rather than the practiced diligence of love or the unpracticed instance and ongoing improvisation of it: "love conquers fear - now I am terrified". Basically "love will overcome hate"  is made of fear and perhaps it is also afraid (unconsciously) of trying to let us work out or feel what love is or can be. Try saying "no it won't" or "no it doesn't" next time you hear it.


A very simple graphic of point one and point two might look like this:


I do not believe in evil.
Dick Cheney is not evil.
I am not able to love Dick Cheney.
Love conquers fear; I am terrified.


3 a callback to the "fuck you" / set apart 'otherness' of previous countercultural moments where subjects were way braver - a thousand times bold in the face of heavier oppression than we can now imagine. This is a historical myth, and it refuses to understand the way that hegemony eats culture. Most of the counterculture that is preserved for us is preserved because of the hegemony of dominant narratives or else because what it did became acceptable in place of the questions of acceptability it demanded being answered. In perfect contradiction the counterculturists and vanguardists argue that the 'culture of offense' (as some proponents codify their opponents on the left) are asking for too much acceptance from 'the mainstream'. This is because it is reassuring to be a part of a thing that isn't the thing you see as the thing you stand against. It is far more terrifying to consider what powers you come from, are subject to and that you in turn subject your world to. There are many contradictions inside ideas of counterculture (the most obvious being the 'inside' / 'outside' [or 'drop out'] paradigm, but it is important that whilst not throwing every single one of them into the shredder we ask questions of these very closely. It is also important within the comprehension of subject lives that we perhaps allow the fact that sometimes we are living inside a hobby. We are collecting, we are experiencing and chasing after enjoyment, which is okay. The overarching moralism that becomes attached to cultural artifacts at once deradicalizes them and establishes a historical persuation that, along with its militaristic metaphors and obsessional thrusting forward honestly wants taking to the fucking cleaners.



Here's Ellie to sing us out. Happy new year!!!!











Monday, 20 November 2017

OPEN SEASON

for Trans Day of Remembrance - 20.11.2017




There is a poem at this link: Apologies for outsourcing. The formatting was too complicated for the blogger dashboard... Feel free to download and circulate. xx


*****


https://www.scribd.com/document/364882642/OPEN-SEASON-by-VERITY-SPOTT

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The Bed Moved




I woke up a lot in the early hours, itching and feeling pretty rotten. I had diarrhea and had to keep getting up to void myself - that’s exactly the word for how it felt - voiding - unpacking. Like there was something horrible in me. We watched The Exorcist the other day. Very bad idea. I remember seeing it as a teenager and being creeped out by the noises in the attic but finding the rest of the film completely ridiculous. This time around, at thirty, I found it utterly terrifying. That daemon, Pazuzu. There’s something about it. I’ve got really messed up in my head about it, superstitious - as if by writing his name here I might somehow be inviting him in. Our house is full of ghosts, by which I mean lingering little troubles - I think that is to some extent what ghosts are; echoes that don’t seem to go away - our physical proximities crammed with repeated patterns that have to be comprehended often in exhaustion. You can be afraid of them and you can also speak to them. I have done both. There used to be this banging on the door. That was maybe eight years ago. I thought that was a daemon. It was so sudden and insistent. 

I woke up at around five and felt terrible. I do stupid things but somehow they work. I put a documentary about Stalin on and I drifted off. There is a moment when you realise it is working. When you notice that you’ve stopped listening to whatever it is and that you are thinking about something quite different. Your mind begins to perform for you and you know that sleep may well be on its way. I love that feeling. However, this time it was very deceitful. All those lines between dreams and wakefulness became scrambled and I had a dream where I was simply trying to sleep. I kept waking up inside it. At one point the bed had moved quite considerably and it was absolutely terrifying. 

My dear friend Elle and her boyfriend Jan live in a really nice little flat on Clarendon Villas. They are moving out of it soon. They have been dreaming about a disembodied voice telling them to lock the door. Their door has a yale latch and a deadlock. They don’t use the latter. Several times they have woken up to find it tightly locked. Jan said that the last time this happened he thought he saw a man standing near to the door. The other night I was taking the rubbish out. We live in a flat up sixty eight steps in what would have once been the servant's quarters of a massive Regency townhouse. Historically one family would have occupied the building, now it’s divided into flats. The final staircase to our flat is narrower than the rest, which is spooky. Anyway, I went down all the steps with this bag of rubbish and opened the corroded bolt to the old coal cellar where we put our rubbish. As I turned round for a second I saw a face at the window of the basement flat behind me. I stared into the flat for a few seconds. The lights were off but I could tell that the huge room was empty. I ran up the stairs and all the way to the top of our square. This Halloween has done exactly what it said on the tin, or what perhaps I whispered into the tin. 



I am more or less okay with ghosts and I am aware that I romanticise them a lot. Actually I am really fond of them in many ways. Me and Timothy Thornton wrote a whole book of them, every poem was a ghost and each ghost was full of ghosts and had ghost friends to play ghostly games with. Daemons on the other hand, I renounce them in the name of Christ. That’s not a joke. I actually do that sometimes. I am really scared of them, which is like telling one of those awful columnists that you are offended by something they have written. 

The bed had shifted forwards by about a foot and to the left by about a foot and a half. There is a small wooden set of drawers on my side of the bed. I found them in the street one day. They have an American flag painted over them and I took them because they looked ridiculous and useful. Where the bed had moved the American Drawers were crammed in behind it so we couldn’t move it back. Dolly and I had to shift the room around get everything back in place. Whilst I got really frightened she remained quite calm and seemed to have quite an assurance about the nature of unexplainable things. This is a trait of hers in waking life. Where I often become terrified she will see something brilliant going on or somehow embrace the nature of the mystery. We both have our panics but I think she has a greater grasp on not Daemons, or at least not letting Daemons invade and occupy, than I do. I suppose not having them drilled into you helps. I was still asleep, and this went over and over. When I was finally awake I was paralysed and sleep took me again and again some horrible nightmares. 

I woke up feeling sick. Had to void myself a few more times. I had a couple of hours to get to work but realised I probably had food poisoning or some other nastiness. Managed to call in sick and get cover, then I was sick and whilst that was happening I was convinced something was going to tap me on the shoulder. I’m not sure what else to say, but that at night I’m afraid to look in mirrors etc. and that I’ve been heavily drenched in the most obvious versions of ghosts all my life. Now they seem more apparent. No more spooky films for a while, young lady. 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

From October's Notebook

*exerts from a daily journal kept during October 2017*



TOUCHED THE WHOLE OF THE BANDAGE


    and in this next accorded day, rebuilt
is strength yet not returning. Its passage
in the hours set by for rest
allowed to constant motion, what would mean

to lie as if sleeping to recover, reduce
outward harm’s voicey landscapes,
codes falling down. Sit back up. What
is. The synapses, ignored.

  Words chosen not to speak
to wear what isn’t there. Is the wicker
rest as I thought, of you in the very darkness
  dreamy in a new settlement

the place chose to restore, where roots gather up
for the music as it goes a little
  way off. A little later the songbirds, they too

fade off into the warm and always night.

*****


Here’s why that is.


The air in example

   thickeningly, to transport.



It’s why it is


so inhalant so why else

   it would else be that


again, and some off.


Way off again is


the caught shadow’s lag

   of boots and naked abrasions.



*****

sunshine calming back to the resolve. How to act up in stations
no work tomorrow and it’s dark in the cupboard and it clatters so.

*****

but not knowing would become to call out
bare indistinct and deaf to the motions of care.

*****

HOPEFULLY IT’LL LAST

...
...
...
...

...
...
...
...

...
...
...
...

...That’s the way it works: the speculative bullseye
licks it it tastes and it licks it again. Lick it and tell it what
it tastes like....
...

...
...

*****

(TITLE)

How its spite is measured is an internal gap
formed and sellotaped, plug up to it to us
other than stampede you forward so productively
it necks back incrementally...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
........... Consider that. Melatonina LEK-AM.
Touched is not okay. Not like that. It is a hopeless abuse
you carry into. Making a binding agreement, too close?
Been here before and that was circumstantial, concealed
and carried on. What is hurtful that is, you see it happening.

*****

NOT FOR WANT OF FLOWERS

There aren’t flowers for this
       as there are so many
other reasons for them, not here;
for nothing at all they’re always
   deftly collapsing
stutters and though
there really what need
is for them
   or who
could be, fuck me,
some kind of prison
you’ve not gone, so
         made up of, same adored
no not of flowers
the edifice of species
that they are, but you too. I am lonely
and in spite of it have you all
           so closely known of, somehow
it can occasionally feel even alive. Not this
night,, it seems so fucking
unfair to be this dark outside like
all the power gone out of the street
lights up in a blink and is back off
supplied in a moment not flowering.

*****

FLOSSIE

The ghost that pierces me,, the unspoken
       of what? A hemorrhage. Sending out for the name
to return, what? Answerence to dead air. Eleven faces
       onto the wall. Whose?
        Don’t finish
the sentence from my mouth

from inside, very young, the empty ducts
      formerly go without a sound, envoy to where
in their uniforms were that let go. Inside it was I imagine cold
     and quite levelling,  sombre
         did the choir,
or paper scan? I think not.  

There with the small left spirit is somehow the capacity
       for the changing flotillas in grief to set out
how with determination any tide at all will let out
       its sigh for you so gone so there is still,
         the steady and firm pressure     of what you one day were, ((my tiny shaking soul.))

*****

[PERHAPS HOLDING]*

The [allocated(?)] minutes fell off
re-surfaced how the sun this morning is
creeping to out (some former pains)
in places it knows not to move. (It) will find

outnly the recurring habits
of attack it is already sure are there, confirm
that the motions stick
.................. room to set again.

*not this

*****

Flipp’      ‘d,, towards an uncertain
            as without
          knowledge of
  ‘re sentiment. Oh hollowed cage
if    Maybe I were allowed
to stand inside     ur blood cells
if        u’d   remorselessly play out
         to the horn of the car        over
is it that someone’s
  in trouble out there
d be anyone else,, to listen again over.   click on
      my own true
 none mine, none of my
old possessives
  get now cut
ve   no place in our
             what       f I could feel
  without I all always can        to affection
minus the basted         spoiled continuation
  of not at all
thought.

*****

(TITLE)

Drills most often, debris
loosed down, the view
alters ever so slightly but
remains itself or

damp shuts off forever
are there developed(,)
failures in motion. If
it is the case then can it

be later on?. When (will[?])
everyone is cast off, then
and in the silent damp
the commotions (on) leave.

*****

MEAT CRISIS (MANAGEMENT)*

*No!

*****

THE BRUSH SALESMAN’S WIFE

.......................   down, how to stick
the end line to the palatine
uvula
....
....
....
....To give reason

not to get out.
   Comments to enlarge here for search


Suddenly compliant summarised no...
....
....
.... again, no!

*****

ME TOO

Another, what would you say? Red sun would
  you name it, what happens to the sky if you
were here may it be some unpronounced light.
  Apocalypsin wake, flooded tender to touch.

  As me too. In general also surpassed to snow, much
too ever waking yet ignored. Fingers to the face
  corroding sugars active on the shelf like palms
in a vacuum, each and most days stung, smoothed

  and repeated. In general ‘lives pass on the same’
ugh routines of engagement. Where is it plausible
to love yet still to love stretched and pinched say
  somehow or go on, a collapsing push of sinews

who gives a fuck about the colour of the sky.
  This has happened; is the AC current of his
wantage in character the palmful covering
  sun. Do you not understand. So much gives out

behind in attribution. Simply spoke yet impossible
  to describe how still I love you so much,
impact drained slack for a smile and plays on.
  So quietly gather your effects and leave.

*****

LITTLE BERNARD


life-unalived
they behaved if not
submitted,   what were being
all too much already done.    “Human Tendencies”.
Racial violence. Specifically directed at spoken
Cantonese:
          Silence each
          morning. Fr/ 1999 - 2000 - 2001 at end
  the first phase summit: 2003, Marcus
  is a racial hatred is a grown
  with a child. Strength etc. Moving to a town of expense
  and defence in security will a cut above you pour your neck out
  trembling in the Service Station entertainments perimeter.
Where is you now
they would we would
all take turns to hold down to
rise up the stress,,,, then
  oh there you are
   again: Treatment, we all called it.



....

....

into the floor
    or even leave they did
to you some/ horrible/ violence whilst we sat deleted
CDs forever knowing. You can pray  for me and I can pray for you
one day I will proclaim blessed be your glorious name
we will see it
....
your child
you will show
little did they know.


q. won’t we always remember that smell.
  1. till death us do.
100,000 male being 2-1% in UK prisons
that’s where “they” shit. Armed with plexi glass,
Pogs, a bandsaw, a plastics differentiation guide
and a human head.
Drown it you see God if you drink it all
you can see God. Please add to your Virgin Mobile
             account using a Top Up Card.
Now
Now th
were allowed on occasion the benefit of choice
to sit into the night Jack that sadist hands on top of your
into the cold
centre your thoughts little
or no sense in weighting
the lead, the bind, the string that stealth is.
Oh motions in retrograde I will maybe never go back but am mortally
disarmed. Into silences.

****

SONNET


Make my heart unstable like a weapon
to shred apart the earth’s celestial core;
you hitched your tongue upon me like a strapon
and pinned this micro heart up to the door.
....
....
....
....
....
....
....
....
Made deaf to spectral harm by hope...............
though through our years of love we caught its flicker.