Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Letter to the Staff of Portslade Jobcentre Plus, Boundary Road.

Dear staff,

                   I've had a lot on my mind, and yesterday a lot of it was you. What it means to be cooked inside an oven. Please don't be scared. I actually want to thank you, with any genuine quark I can shoot across. My writing is often filled with hatred. I want to say something else - that you helped me. And you did. I wrote a death list, all your regional managers. And I know what you're battling. I can't imagine being put in such a horrific position. A while ago I was in the dole office and a young man who I think had mental health issues, who I think shouldn't have had to be there, begging you for the shitty insult of life expectancy you're allowed to give out, he was asked 'have you done any paid work in the last two weeks?' to which he replied 'I've sold a bit of weed'. Now, there's a lot in there. First of all I want to wish him all the best. Sincerely. I hope he claims JSA for as long as possible while at the same time selling loads of weed. I hope it's good stuff, the kind that alights the consciousness, or so I'm told. Whatever it is. I hope he gets rich. I hope the gangster capitalist terrors stay away from his door too. I hope one day David Starkey meets him in the street, sees the angles singing in his pupils, falls to his knees, stabs a cut throat razor into his larynx and uses the last blood bubbles in his throat to say 'thank you'. I don't hope that. I don't hope or wish violence on anyone. I know I talk about it a lot, but seriously, I can't imagine a revolution without some kind of terror; I don't want that. We'd rather get there peacefully, right? So I'll step back from this masculinist brag, the easy valour of postured attack.When you find a dot or point you find the web it's stuck in and follow its course. Sorry for sidetracking - the Jobcentre Plus worker told him 'you shouldn't say that!' and put the guy's claim through. This was around six months ago. If you're a manager reading this, which you're not, you're not reading this, thinking about some enquiry, the person who did that got sacked or is dead or never existed or now runs in local government or is the face on my stomach your ass is kissing. I don't know. Dear staff, thank for stuff like that. Stay strong. Think about striking. Think about the Sussex council refuse worker strikes, how people can't bare being left with their own rubbish and how your claimants are considered detritus by most people. Take that weapon in your hands. Mangle their rule book any way you can.

And next go through West London near Wigmore street. That area where the clothes shops have bouncers on the door and take with you some poems by Frances Kruk. My friend Will told me 'there's an insect inside every word in Frances Kruk's poetry'. That's absolutely true. And it is an insect as an insect is to a person. The spectral imagining of the mechanics of a death-fuck. Sometimes people talk about poems like they're strategies. That feels like a depleted life to me. I keep coming back to that book. Every note on every page is a point on a strand of a web, and it takes you to its ends only to confront you with more attachments, patterns and spirals. Kruk's poetry is not a ventriloquist. I trust it. It distrusts itself enough to form a sincerity that is at once totally violent and coherently domestic. It stalks around the tombs of women subjected to the labours of upkeep, unwaged, inhibitors etc etc. It's not the kind of poetry that tells you things or describes things to you. It's the kind of stuff that is alive inside its unheimlich; scratches suspiciously at the laws the meant.

I'm sure you're a bit confused by all this, but I went through London the other day reading that book. I also used to read it like a spell or a prayer outside your place of work in the rain. Did it work? Well, expecting this kind of poetry to work, to do something for you; rain to rain. I'm just not sure what there is to want from it, except that it is there binding me to the fucking ground pinching my head and tearing it into the sky. The kind of stuff that can, by its will, step out of time and act on the moment. Some of the best stuff there is. Anyway. I got listening to this music. Here's a link: Ingrid Plum. That and the poems do and say more than I ever can. Thanks again. Keep up the banishing rituals if it helps / if you like. xx

'today I weep for spiders
soaked in LSD
their Brocades broken Scaffolds
made hilarious by Camera's Eye:
Lonely Contraction
spooks Me into Clothing'


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