Monday, April 23, 2007


What are the prospects for revolution in an age of religious dogma? In the past few days there has been some lively discussion of this question among certain anglophone Surrealists, both online and off. The immediate spur to this discussion was the publication of our British comrade Jay Woolrich's statement "Lost in Translation?" , which was itself a response to the declaration "To Have Done with the Spectre of God", issued by the Paris Surrealist Group in December 2006. Jay offers a clear, forthright and principled critique of the Paris declaration, and in doing so has underlined for all of us the urgency of this matter -- a matter of both Surrealist principle and revolutionary strategy.

On Surrealism's virulent, uncompromising and militant atheism there is no disagreement between any of us. Surrealism spurns all mysticism, supernaturalism, other-worldly credulousness or religious belief. Miracles, apparitions, ecstasies and hermeticisms have value for us not because they reveal, in Breton's words, "an invisible universe tending to make itself manifest", but precisely because they make manifest the utopian and poetic possibilities of this world. There is no question, then, over this fundamental Surrealist principle. The questions arise, rather, over how to put that principle into revolutionary practice under current political conditions.

There is much in "Lost in Translation?" with which we concur. We share the discomfort at the Paris declaration's use of the term "Islamo-fascism", a term which does nothing to clarify the political realities we all face. Jay very much hits the mark when he points out that "there is no comparable balance of power, or balance of terror, between the American Empire and the Muslim world". He rightly decries the Paris declaration's claim that "in an Islamic society people's lives are even worse than just about anywhere else". Such claims reproduce exactly the "false division" between so-called democracy and the "Islamic world" that the Paris group themselves denounce elsewhere in their declaration. Life for a middle-class UK citizen in London is certainly better than life for a poor villager in Afghanistan under the Taleban, but life for an Malaysian bourgeois is no less certainly better than for a poor African-American displaced by the New Orleans flood. The question of whether one lives under an Islamic regime or a "western' democratic one is beside the point: there is no fundamental contradiction between Islamism and capitalism. The operations of the global trade in both arms and heroin demonstrate this all too vividly.

We concur too with Jay's condemnation of the tactics of the British SWP, to which the Paris declaration also alludes. Indeed if anything we would say that Jay's condemnation does not go far enough. Here in London we have witnessed at close hand the despicable dealings of the SWP-sponsored Respect Party, which deliberately and cynically conflated popular anti-war and anti-imperialist sentiments with religious (mainly muslim) dogmatism to build a power base for itself in the East End. The result was that the anti-abortion catholic MP George Galloway was presented as a working-class hero -- in between the prayer breaks at his meetings and election rallies -- and that it was regarded as perfectly normal and acceptable when, for example, a local demonstration against racist police violence was segregated by gender, with women marching at the back. Such breathtaking betrayals are, of course, the inevitable result of what Jay rightly refers to as Popular Frontism. The political history of the twentieth century teaches us quite clearly that Popular Frontism always betrays revolutionary aspirations, and actively thwarts revolutionary potential. The Popular Front gains an apparent size and strength which make it appear to be a viable force for change, but it does so precisely by appealing to the kinds of constituencies which are, in reality, change's enemies. In this case the SWP, under the guise of the Respect Party, made itself look big and strong by pandering to reactionary religious forces directly opposed to genuine liberty or social equality.

And it is here that we part company with Jay's position. The Paris declaration assertively condemns "all those who, under the pretext of fighting imperialism, appear not to feel in their bones everything that is repugnant and unworthy in offering their hand to some proponent or other of religious dogmatism". Jay mocks this position as a fatuous statement of "pristine purity [which] repeats the worst errors of those tiny revolutionary sects who became a laughing stock from the 1960s onwards". But for us the refusal to offer our hand to any proponent of religious dogmatism is not a question of ideological purity but, more straightforwardly, of tactical effectiveness. To make any kind of accommodation to religious dogmatism is to make an accommodation to our revolutionary enemies: it is, in other words, the thin end of a Popular Frontist wedge.

As for Jay's claim that the Paris declaration "neatly writes off as irredeemable not just the majority of the anti-war movement but also the greater part of the working class itself", this seems to us to be unduly pessimistic. It assumes that "the majority of the anti-war movement" and "the greater part of the working class" are prey to some form or other of religious dogmatism -- a moot point in itself, and it is perhaps worth bearing in mind that in the UK the recent Popular Frontism of the Respect Party has probably grossly exaggerated the extent of religious dogmatism among those constituencies by actively suppressing the voice of atheism within its own ranks. But even if it were the case that most of those constituencies were religious dogmatists, we would still reject Jay's conclusion that we should in any sense accommodate them. When Marx said that religion "contains the sigh of the oppressed", he meant that we should address ourselves to the oppression, not the sigh. Is religious dogmatism the only ground on which political solidarity with working class or anti-imperialist activists can be forged? Isn't the whole point of revolutionary politics that the position from which we fight is based on solid, materialist common ground, on our hatred of exploitation and our passion for liberty -- not on the "false divisions" of religious illusion? What we have in common with our comrades in the Surrealist movement, the anti-war movement and the working class alike is the fact that we all live in an oppressive, repressive, exploitative, imperialist, self-destructive, violently fucked-up capitalist world, and that's the basis on which we should be holding out our hand -- not just to the anti-war movement and the working class but to all people, everywhere, with all of the fervour with which we believe that SURREALISM IS WHAT WILL BE.


If it was good enough for Benjamin Peret ...

... it's good enough for you.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they’re not really out to get you. On Monday the House of Commons nodded the Mental Health Bill through to its second reading without a vote. If the Government has its way, the new law will both expand the legal definition of “mental disorder” and introduce new powers to force those with such disorders into treatment or detention against their will.

Current legislation in the form of the Mental Health Act 1983 explicitly excludes from its definition of mental disorder such conditions as drug or alcohol dependency, promiscuity, “immoral conduct”, “sexual deviancy”, commission or likelihood to commit acts of crime or disorder, and “cultural, religious or political beliefs”. The new Bill proposes to remove all of those exclusions except that of drug or alcohol dependency. Indeed the Department of Health’s own Summary Guide to the Bill openly states that it will place “disorders of sexual preference” such as fetishism or other “paraphilias” within the purview of the law. It is clear however that the main target of this expanded definition of mental disorder will be those diagnosed with personality disorders. Personality disorders are notoriously hard to define, but the basic general definition cited by the Mental Health Foundation is “enduring patterns of cognition, affectivity, interpersonal behaviour and impulse control that are culturally deviant, pervasive and inflexible, and lead to distress or social impairment” (emphasis added).

As well as expanding the definition of “mental disorder”, the Bill also sets out to extend current powers to detain and/or “treat” individuals diagnosed with such disorders against their will. While the 1983 Act requires that patients be categorised by health professionals as “treatable” before they can be detained or treated by force, the new proposals seek to remove this so-called treatability test. This would mean that individuals could be subjected to forcible treatment even if that treatment was unlikely to improve, or even stabilise, their mental health. Moreover the “treatment” on offer under the proposed legislation would now include new Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) for individuals released as outpatients after forcible detention in hospital. CTOs, which some campaigners have already dubbed “psychiatric ASBOs”, could include not just forced medication but also restrictions on individuals’ behaviour and lifestyle – who they see, where they go and what they do. Breach of a CTO could result in forcible return to hospital. With African and African Caribbean people already over-represented in psychiatric hospitals, there is understandable concern in many quarters that these new and extended powers of forcible treatment will also be disproportionately used against black people.

In short, the Mental Health Bill is just the latest in a long line of measures, from ASBOs to ID cards, championed by the Government in its assault on liberty in the name of “public safety”. It marries Blairite lip smacking over “anti-social behaviour” to the good old-fashioned stigma of mental illness, and grants to state agencies a frightening array of powers over cultural deviants who have committed no crime and to whom the “treatment” will be of no benefit whatever. As self-consciously maladjusted cultural deviants who are often painfully distressed and impaired by a brutal world, who celebrate polymorphous perversity and actively sow the seeds of sexual disorder, whose rage is pervasive and inflexible and whose spirit of revolt is profoundly anti-social, Surrealists everywhere, with or without our individually diagnosed “mental disorders”, have as much cause as anyone to greet these proposals with horror.

Pearl Handel's psychiatrist remains surprisingly
upbeat about her treatment options.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

WRIGGLE (found poem)

Photo by Merl

And Jesus rolled a little chilli unto him

exchanged this life for immorality
to the death of his saints

a faithful rind, a mother dear
who followed her
not lost but gone by ore
dungeon of the above
until the gay speak and the shadows flee away
her end was peace at best

having served his generation according to the well of food
aged seven weeks was interfered with at the friends burial ground
reported drowned in China seas to the laughter of Thomas Shore

his languishing head
borne with exemplary patience
screamed with the precious head of Christ
to live in the hearts we leave behind

shine as the stars for ever and ever

Debbie, Justine, Merl, Rosa and Rowan
Abney Park Cemetery
14th April 2007

Photo by Merl

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Isidore Ducasse, le Comte de Lautréamont
Born 4th April 1846
Died 24th November 1870

Le plagiat est nécessaire. Le progrès l'implique.
Plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it.

Contributing Plagiarists:

Alexandre Fatta in Quebec City
Bruno Jacobs in Stockholm
Carlos Martins of the Surrealist Movement in Portugal
Dan Stanciu in Bucharest
Derek Adams in Essex
Dominique Paul of the Paris Surrealist Group
Enrique Lechuga in Montreal
Eric Bragg in California
Gale Ahrens of the Chicago Surrealist Group
Guy Girard of the Paris Surrealist Group
James Bailey of the Recordists
Juan Carlos Otaño of the Río de la Plata Surrealist Group
K.W. Zentner of the Recordists
Marie-Dominique Massoni of the Paris Surrealist Group
Merl of SLAG
M.K. Shibek of the Portland Surrealist Group
Nikos Stabakis of the Athens Surrealist Group
Noé Ortega of the Madrid Surrealist Group
Oscar McLennan in Buenos Aires
Parry Harnden in Ontario
Paul Cowdell of SLAG
Rik Lina in the Netherlands
Rob Tobin in Toronto
Sasha Vlad in San Francisco
S. Higgins of the Recordists
S.Venright of the Recordists
Thom Burns in Coconino County
William Davison of the Recordists


From Alexandre Fatta:


From Bruno Jacobs:

With Sealed Lips

The one who runs with slander will meet many given handshakes.

Words sound better in the mouth of a drunk than on the lips of nations.

Like vomit in a sling, so is honour also a parable of fools.

Answer according to the lunatic’s folly and you will also like those who send false messages and rise suddenly.

When vanity stretches forth, so even the sleek tongue that the lip touches upon.

Who steals through swallowing should not come back.

Like a door that swings so one should vomit stupidity.

Like the one who withdraws his foot from his master’s house, so one should bear witness against work and mock it bitterly.

Did you find money? Do not then pride yourself in the presence of masters.

The one who transgresses wrapped in anger can reprove better than secret love.

The one whose love is being ground as in a hole will return to those who are tormented by flattery.

Also under ridicule can retribution be awarded through an evil tongue.

It is in the nature of sleep to conceal things. One should perceive that and ponder upon that.

Where there is no gossip life ceases.

Boast tomorrow! Someone may praise your mouth, but not your lips!


From Carlos Martins:

Audrey's Smile


From Dan Stanciu:

Fragments d’étoffes en jet ou en pluie

Des chairs proprement dits on sépare les formes élancées et nerveuses des corps velus. Elles sont si étroitement unies aux différentes espèces de marbre qu’il n’est pas toujours possible d’ébaucher une double beauté plastique. En dehors de cet emblème creusé dans le sable, on doit dire que certains creux très profonds et d’accès très étroit paraissent irréalisables aux successeurs des panthères et des éléphants qui cherchent à interpréter la lumière et l’éclair.

Toutefois une foule de scarabées absolument étrangers au calcaire moderne reprennent, chaque jour, les forces nécessaires à leur course en tenant des coupes en équilibre sur la tête. Les uns chantent : « Où sont les roses ? Où sont les violettes ? » et le chœur des boyaux de bœuf formant tuyaux répond : « Voici les roses ! Voici les violettes ! »

En haut d’un poteau est passée une corde, source féconde de toute vie, dont un bout est enroulé autour du corps d’une femme avec deux segments d’or sur la poitrine. Elle dispose deux groupes de 5 feux chacun aux pieds de trois femmes nues, debout devant une autre assise et d’aspect matronal qui retire des lacs suisses un certain nombre de petits objets d’étain indiqués par Isidore.

Source text: 10-volume Dictionnaire des antiquites grecques et romaines by Daremberg and Saglio, volume IV, second part (R-S)


From Derek Adams:

The exquisite restraint

and the vocal elaboration
show how he reinvented
The Plague in a chilling impressionistic setting.
This and Mozart
in his farewell London appearance
were central to their creative lives.
The multi coloured arrangement
of the acclaimed Portuguese pianist:
a heady piece of high tension,
fevered Symphonie fantastique
will provide the conjunction
of the Gerhard and Falla anniversaries
fresh from their exploration of the
timeless journey from darkness to light.
Bartok’s eerie, taut visitor
returns a child prodigy
who has become for the first time
a late evening concert of wonderful bird pieces.
Hensher writes on the ‘voluptuousness’
and ‘sense of the sublime’.
(collage of found text from Proms brochure)

Margaret Atwood's openings

He wants her arranged just so,
this is a game I've played.
It started in the backyards.
I reach down and
what do I come up with,
the first thing
I remember
is a blue line.
In the old days,
before the war,
things were different:
imagine a piece of bread,
once I made my own clothes
(collage of found text from first lines of short stories)

the benevolent 'pedagogues' of humanity.
They have tremendous charisma
by which many are drawn
into their nurturant tutelage
and/or grand schemes.
Many ENFJs have tremendous power
to manipulate others with their phenomenal
interpersonal skills
and unique salesmanship.

But it's usually not meant as manipulation
ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see
themselves as helpers
and enablers, which they usually are.
(found text)


From Enrique Lechuga:


From Eric Bragg:

NEW YORK – inflatable girlfriends gave up brief gains Friday and traded mostly flat after a surprise jump in sales of existing family albums last month lent strength to the growing notion that the child-raising sector may not be as weak as feared.

Existing family album sales rose by the biggest amount in nearly three years in February amid a sharp increase in sales in the Northeast, the National Association of cockroaches said. The 3.9 percent increase was the largest since a similar jump in March 2004.

Still, the report did have some downbeat aspects — the median price of a girlfriend fell year-over-year for the seventh straight month and inventories rose.

The Federal Reserve this week said an “adjustment” in the cockroach sector was continuing, offering some relief for investors left unnerved by the woes among so-called pantyhose lenders. Wall Street had grown concerned that an implosion among raspberry makers, which make verminous gifts to people with poor credit, could spill over into other parts of the economy and derail already slowing family albums.

In midmorning trading, the Dow Jones industrial erection, rose slightly.

Broader plastic family indicators turned mixed. The Standard & Poor’s cockroach index was up, and the Nasdaq headlice index dipped.

Husbands fell, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury leg rising to 4.57 percent from 4.58 percent late Thursday. The dollar was mixed against other major kisses, while breast prices fell.

Light, sweet semen rose 67 cents to $62.36 on the New York Fluid Exchange. Semen prices rose following word that Iranian dowagers had seized 15 British sailors in Iraqi waters.
In afternoon trading, Britain’s tenderness rose 0.39 percent, Germany’s adventurousness rose 0.19 percent, and France’s fallout radiation added 0.52 percent.


From Gale Ahrens:

"Somehow, I doubt Jack will consider employment the same as being free."

by Gale Ahrens
Chicago Surrealist Group


"This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, it is vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished, as the once vital voice of the verisimilitude now venerates what they once vilified. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin van-guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose vis-à-vis an introduction, and so it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V."

Gale Ahrens
Chicago Surrealist Group


From James Bailey:

Light, I say! Light!

A play, culled from the complete works William Shakespeare, in which each successive line, and its character, are taken from each play in order (first line / first play, second line / second play, etc.).

Dramatis Personae:

Master of a ship
SHALLOW, a Country Justice
VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna
THESEUS, Duke of Athens
LAFEU, an old Lord
ARCHIDAMUS, a Bohemian Lord
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS, a gentleman and husband to IMOGEN
PERICLES, Prince of Tyre
PROTEUS, a gentleman of Verona
CURIO, a gentleman attending on the Duke
Various messengers
BIRON, a Lord attending the King
OLIVER, son of Sir Rowland de Bois
THOMAS MOWBRAY, Duke of Norfolk
CARDINAL BEAUFORT, Bishop of Winchester
RICHARD, Duke of Gloster
LEAR, King of Britain
BRABANTIO, a Senator

MASTER: Boatswain, -

PROTEUS: Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine,
Think on thy Proteus, when thou haply seest
Some rare noteworthy object in thy travel:
Wish me partaker in thy happiness
When thou dost meet good hap: and in thy danger,
If ever danger do environ thee,
Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
For I will be thy beadsman, Valentine.

SHALLOW: Ay, cousin Slenderand Custalorum.

CURIO: The hart.

DUKE: Look where he comes.

MESSENGER: Much deserved on his part, and equally remembered by Don Pedro. He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age; doing, in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion: he hath, indeed, better bettered expectation than you must expect of me to tell you how.

THESEUS: What say you, Hermia? be advis'd, fair maid:
To you your father should be as a god;
One that compos'd your beauties; yea, and one
To whom you are but as a form in wax,
By him imprinted, and within his power
To leave the figure, or disfigure it.
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.

BIRON: By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.-

SALARINO: I would have stay'd till I had made you merry.
If worthier friends had not prevented me.

OLIVER: Know you where you are, sir?

LAFEU: A fistula, my lord.

LORD: What's here? one dead, or drunk? See, doth he breathe?

ARCHIDAMUS: If the King had no son they would desire to live on cruthces till he had one.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE: Go bear it to the Centaur, where we host, and stay there Dromio, till I come to thee.
Within this hour it will be dinner-time:
Till that, I'll view the manners of the town,
Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings,
And then return and sleep within mine inn;
For with long travel I am stiff and weary.-
Get thee away.

KING JOHN: Let them approach.-
Our abbeys and our priories shall pay
This expedition's charge.

THOMAS MOWBRAY: O, let my sovereign turn away his face,
And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
Till I have told this slander of his blood,
How God and good men hate so foul a liar.

SIR JOHN FALSTAFF: Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art king, let not us that are squires of the night's body be called thieves of the day's beauty: let us be Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon, and let men say we be men of good government, being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress, the moon under whose countenance we steal.

EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND: Why should the gentleman that rode by Travers
Give, then, such instances of loss?

BISHOP OF ELY: What was the impediment that broke this off?

MESSENGER: My gracious lords,-to add to your laments,
Wherewith you now bedew King Henry's hearse,-
I must inform you of a dismal fight
Betwixt the stout Lord Talbot and the French.

CARDINAL BEAUFORT: My Lord of Gloster, now you grow too hot:
It was the pleasure of my lord the king.

LORD CLIFFORD: The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.

RICHARD: As much unto my good lord chamberlain!
Well are you welcome to this open air.
How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment?

DUKE OF NORFOLK: Marry, is 't.

PANDARUS: I do not care whether you do or no. She's a fool to stay behind her father; let her to the Greeks; and so I'll tell her the next time I see her; for my part, I'll meddle nor make no more in the matter.

PAINTER: How this lord is follow'd!

MENENIUS AGRIPPA: I tell you, friends, most charitable care
Have the patricians of you. For your wants,
Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well
Strike at the heavens with your staves as lift them
Against the Roman state; whose course will on
The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs
Of more strong link asunder than can ever
Appear in your impediment: for the dearth,
The gods, not the patricians make it; and
Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack.
You are transported by calamity
Thither where more attends you; and you slander
The helms o' the state, who care for you like fathers,
When you curse them as enemies.

JULIUS CAESAR: Ha! who calls?

SOOTHSAYER: You shall be yet fairer than you are.

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: Alack, the king!

TITUS ANDRONICUS: Content thee, prince; I will restore to thee
The people's hearts, and wean them from themselves.
PERICLES: If there be such a dart in princes' frowns,
How durst thy tongue move anger to our face?

LEAR: So young and so untender?

SAMPSON: If you do sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.

WITCH: Show me, show me.

HORATIO: What art thou, that usurp'st this time of night,
Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!

BRABANTIO: Strike on the tinder, ho!
Give me a taper!-call up all my people!-
This accident is not unlike my dream:
Belief of it oppresses me already.-
Light, I say! light!


From Juan Carlos Otaño and Oscar McLennan:

The little boy in the front row, with the candy floss beard, could hardly bear to watch, as it was obvious this was the first time the performers had attempted this act.


From Merl:

Freedom Fighters

If war is waged it must be for the benefit of all. If this attitude is not understood and prevalent then perhaps you are just a barbarian.

I’ve used just about every lure I can use. If we’re going to go down we might as well go down swift. Come with me and don’t look back.

The quickest route may not be the shortest. The most difficult terrain to overcome may not be the most disadvantageous.

Good to hear it ´cause today’s the day we stop running. Their hands are going to get bloody. The man who did all those horrible things to those teenagers? Why didn’t he let go of the leash?

Fierceness is essential in mortal combat. It is never dependent on the amount of destruction you wish to bring upon the enemy. There must be no hesitancy in using any method to bring about the complete and utter destruction of the enemy.

You better get down on your knees and pray that I don’t find you cos if I do I swear to god I’m gonna gut you bow to stern. Don’t talk, just breathe, ok? You start to see things, no matter how small. Because they exist they’re big.

If the small force is adequately organised it can wreak havoc upon the slowness of the larger army. These are called hit-and-run tactics.

There were unforeseen circumstances, things that could not be predicted. Yes, she got away. Back then when things were at their worst there were days when I thought I’d never see the sun again.

The place of death is the worst of all. It can also be the best of all places to be. The warlord who permits himself to be caught in the place of death has not considered all of the conditions, or else his leadership is profound.

Tell them, if they’ve got to take the plane down, just do it. Drive to a border town, find a cell phone signal.

The wise and great warlord never goes against heaven’s decrees. Heaven makes itself obvious to the man of wisdom. There are signals to be understood before a physical attack.

Make him a ghost. Too many, too many people died because I wanted you to be free. Everything I have I give. I’ve been a perfect soldier.

The pressures of being a great leader, when they descend onto the shoulders of the mighty warlord, are not understood by lesser men. He is misunderstood, and until his authority is absolute and heaven has smiled on him, he may be considered mad.

Prison Break (Fox TV)/The Art of War (Sun Tzu)


From M.K. Shibek:

Analysis of the Ego
(chance text for Lautreamont's birthday)

Analysis of the ego, do opal scar blushes and pomp to recognize law and order?

To achieve this, raked by white bones, productivity...

Better understood as the trap, the organism spilled hungers...compelled substance
obeys an inner erotic impluse beneath the masks

For the repressed, floating emerald reason gives danger zones above a green intellect;
explosive torrents lie at the root of attraction

Pain inside blessings, this mirror clumps the play of thought

Your body calls to skeleton whispers, the birth of organic life

From Eros & Civilization (Herbert Marcuse), Ace of Hearts (Brooke Rothwell), The Ascent of Sublime Love (Allan Graubard), and Surrealism Against the Current (Richardson/Fijalkoswki, surrealists)


From Nikos Stabakis:

Exercise of Intertextual Analogy (7 November 2005)

a. Instructions

On twenty small pieces of paper I write down the numbers from 1 to 20. By mixing them up and choosing one at random I end up, in this particular case, with the number 4.

A section of my library consists of 16 shelves. I pick the 4th book from each shelf, then copy the first complete sentence I come across when opening the book, again at random. I go on to compose a text consisting solely of the resultant 16 sentences, in whichever order I deem appropriate. I may use quotation marks and parentheses when I find it suitable, while the end of a sentence may be noted by a period or a colon—a semi-colon being part of a continuous sentence, and already existent in the original. Finally, I am to supply a title of my own devising.

To which author might the text be attributed? Brief analysis, please.

b. Result

THE ADAM OF THE 20th CENTURY—Chapter 176 (excerpt)

(…) “I cannot understand your annoyance.”

“We thought she was going to stay with us.”

Indeed, the whole thing was worth investigating: Julie is loved, not only by tonight’s Jean, but also by yesterday’s Jean, a farm worker’s son, and inevitably by tomorrow’s Jean, his master’s slave.

“…Yet the answer to this question is the story that tells us that originally the gods, in their infinite benevolence, had assigned immortality to man and death to the snake and that this latter, the most cunning of all the animals, tricked man and stole his immortality. (His pleasure was such that he stretched and twirled beneath my hand.)»

The servant enters the room and points at Irène: she did not move, nor did she say a word; trembling, she went and lay next to him.

But the storm doubled in strength, whirls of fire kept coming out of the sky, while lightning bolts split the horizon, tearing and crossing each other in every direction.

“I am a tusk, albeit a not particularly solid one: someone is bound to torpedo me straightaway. Whilst most excellently informed on matters of his art, the poet is hard pressed to find solutions regarding his era. In the waters of the Nile, of rivers crossing modern cities, he bathes himself. (After all, the land of Egypt is fertile in soldiers.)

”Perspective and colour—which must be separated from its natural influences and issued from a tube—are means of imitating nature; they run after things, they have ceased giving the fight with life, they have been reduced to that timid and self-satisfied viewpoint pertinent to the bourgeoisie.”

“They’re gonna kill us like rats…” (…)

c. Analysis

This is a late (1938) feuilleton by Marcel Allain, in which Fantomas’ co-creator sought (albeit without success) to seduce a part of his namesake Proust’s audience (the enterprise was doomed to start with, given Allain’s incurable penchant for short periods, even though he had long ceased being paid by the line).

The novel’s plot is more or less as follows: a bored bourgeois aesthete, aided by his mistress, his authoritarian master-servant and the latter’s obedient housemaid wife, as well as by the (secretly enamored of the said mistress) son of an aged man who works at his country farm, decides to deal with the mystery of a poet and painter who has come out of nowhere and taken Paris by surprise, thanks to the archetypal quality of his works. By means of somnambulism, they manage to discover that the person in question is none other than Adam himself, who has survived throughout the centuries despite having been condemned, albeit retaining a very dim memory of his past (in the novel’s early stages there is a mention of the Dreyfus case vis-à-vis the artist’s evidently Hebrew background).

In the chapter excerpted here, a group of enraged citizens who regard “Adam” as an instrument of the devil, has surrounded the house of the clan’s bourgeois leader, who, after abandoning his collaborators, escapes along with his mistress through a secret underground passage. The rest of them, trapped in his mansion, indulge in pessimist thoughts, peppered with “Adam’s” pretentiously elliptical opinions on aesthetics and philosophy (these, by the way, are the novel’s weakest points, for the reasons already mentioned, beside the fact that Allain seems to confuse philosophy with theology—even though the concept of Adam as a disarmed artist, who remains immortal by representing rather than controlling nature is not wholly deprived of inspiration and originality).

Will they manage to save their skins, and how?

d. Notes

i. Antonin Artaud ii. Mary Low & Juan Breá iii. Roger Caillois iv. Ado Kyrou v. Jean-Paul Clébert vi. E.T.A. Hoffmann vii. Robert Desnos viii. Jorge Luis Borges ix. Marquis de Sade x. Jean Schuster xi. Costas Tahtsis xii. Walter Benjamin xiii. Nicolas Calas xiv. Théophile Gautier xv. Richard Huelsenbeck xvi. Raymond Queneau


From Noé Ortega:

I took this photograph in my city (Santander). I found it by chance, in the side road of a women's underwear shop. I supose someone threw a stone at that advert or something like that, producing that kind of expansive-whirlpool. As a result, the advert which thought to subdue us to the laws of publicity was completely subverted and translated into the territory of desire and marvellous. As well as this, something that directly has a lot to do with plagiarism happened there: first of all, one day the glass was broken; after I had seen that, I went to take a photograph, and I could see that someone had made a signature on the glass; some days later, the signature was erased; some weeks ago, another signature appeared, but the advert was repaired some few days later.


From the Paris Surrealist Group (Dominique Paul, Guy Girard & Marie-Dominique Massoni):

Paz o doble

Octavio Paz
Paseo de la Reforma 369
Mexico 5DF Mexique

Paris, le 21 février 1994

Sans les réactions de mes amis intellectuels français, je n’aurais pas eu les éléments d’appréciation de la situation dans mon propre pays. Il me convient ainsi de revenir sur mes déclarations de janvier dernier – aberrantes à mon propre regard – dénonçant la révolte de ceux qui aujourd’hui se réclament de Zapata. Le Mexique est mieux que jamais ancré à l’horizon des choses.

Nous nous sommes rencontrés dans un café plein de fumée, de cris et de littérature, petite flambée allumée par l’enthousiasme contre le froid et la pénurie de ce mois de février, nous nous sommes rencontrés et nous avons parlé de Zapata et de son cheval, de Déméter la déesse voilée, pierre noire, tête de jument. Je parle de la grande rumeur qui vient du fond des temps. Chaque fois qu’une société est en crise, je pense qu’elle tourne instinctivement les yeux vers ses origines pour y chercher non pas une réponse, mais un signe, une indication.

Mon rire résonne dans la chambre avec un bruit de cailloux tombant dans un puits. Le rire humain serait-il une chute, aurions-nous, nous les hommes, un creux dans l’âme ? Honteux, je me tais. Puis je ris de moi-même. Mensonge circulaire : nous avons tous été sur le Grand Théâtre de l’Immonde juges, bourreaux, victimes, témoins, tous nous avons porté faux témoignage contre les autres, contre nous-mêmes et le plus vil : nous avons été ce public qui applaudit ou bâille dans son fauteuil. Conversions, rétractations, excommunications, réconciliations, apostasies, abjurations, zigzag des démonolâtries et des androlâtries, envoûtements et déviations : mon histoire; les histoires d’une erreur ? Les idées se dissipent, demeurent les fantômes : vérité de ce qui a été vécu et subi. Reste une saveur presque vide : le temps. Etre temps est le verdict, notre châtiment l’histoire. L’histoire est l’erreur. Je ne ferme pas les yeux face à la misère et l’abandon des communautés indigènes. Les systèmes économiques et politiques changent, les uns montent, les autres descendent, des gouvernements viennent et des gouvernements partent, passent les années et les siècles, mais personne ne voit ni n’écoute leurs plaintes.

En tant que civilisation, le monde indigène est mort. Mieux : il a été assassiné. Il faut distinguer entre la rébellion à l’intérieur et la révolte du dehors. La première est une forme de santé. Une société qui s’examine, se nie elle-même et assume ses négations est une société en mouvement. L’éloquente lettre qu’a envoyée le « sous-commandant » Marcos à plusieurs quotidiens m’a vraiment ému : ce ne sont pas eux, les Indiens du Mexique, mais nous qui devrions demander pardon. Comme on voit, je ne ferme pas non plus les yeux devant les responsabilités de nos autorités - spécialement celles des Chiapas – ni devant les non moins graves responsabilités des classes installées, égoïstes et obtuses de cette riche province. Cette responsabilité s’étend par ailleurs à toute la société mexicaine.

Le « tiers monde » manque d’une théorie révolutionnaire d’ensemble et d’un programme ; il n’apporte pas non plus une doctrine de salut ou de libération. C’est l’affirmation d’un particularisme à travers un universalisme - et non l’inverse. Je ne veux pas dire par là qu’elle ne soit pas légitime. Au contraire, non seulement elle me paraît juste, mais je vois en elle, après le grand échec de notre indépendance, la dernière chance qui nous reste, à nous Latino-Américains, d’accéder à l’histoire. Cette révolte est nôtre. La distinction entre rebelles et révolutionnaires s’évanouit. L’histoire a fait de l’Amérique latine un cas à part. En réalité, nous sommes une part excentrique et retardée de l’Occident. Excentrique, comme les Etats-Unis ; retardée, dominée et exploitée, comme les autres pays du « tiers monde » et quelques-uns d’Europe. Si les Etats-Unis veulent retrouver la lucidité et l’intégrité, ils doivent se retrouver eux-mêmes et, pour ce faire, ils doivent retrouver les autres : les exclus de l’Occident.

Dans le prologue à sa Contribution à la critique de l’économie politique (1859), Marx raconte comment lui et Engels décidèrent en 1845 de faire leur « examen de conscience philosophique ». Le résultat fut l’Idéologie allemande. Peut-être se trouvera-t-il en cette génération, quelqu’un qui ait le courage et le génie de faire à nouveau cet examen et de le faire avec la même rigueur. Tant qu’on ne l’aura pas entrepris, nos philosophes, nos savants et nos poètes, non contents de faire l’apologie du ciel idéologique, continueront de faire celle de la terre et de ses tyrans. La rage s’est faite philosophe, sa bave a recouvert la planète.

Le bien, nous voulions le bien : redresser le monde. Nous ne manquions pas de courage mais d’humilité. Ce que nous aimions, nous ne l’aimions pas avec innocence. Préceptes et concepts, arrogance de théologiens : frapper avec la croix, fonder avec le sang, bâtir avec des briques de crime, décréter la communion obligatoire. L’Aztèque le savait, le Grec le pressentait : l’eau est feu et pendant le parcours nous autres ne sommes que feux de paille. Tais-toi ou gesticule : c’est égal, ta condamnation est déjà prête. Il n’y a d’issue que dans le déshonneur ou la pendaison. Tes songes sont trop clairs, il te faut bien plutôt une philosophie forte.

Je pars retrouver celui que je suis, celui que je commence à être, mon descendant et mon aïeul, mon père et mon fils, mon semblable et mon dissemblable. L’homme commence où il meurt. Je vais à ma naissance. En vérité ce qui s’achève est le temps rectiligne et ce qui commence est un autre temps.

De l’occident un soleil plus vif... Luis de Sandoval y Zapata.

Pour Octavio Paz

En janvier 1994, peu après le début de la rébellion zapatiste du Chiapas, le Monde publia un article d’Octavio Paz dans lequel celui-ci dénonçait l’insurrection. Si dans les années 1950, Octavio Paz avait participé aux activités surréalistes et partagé les convictions révolutionnaires de Breton et de Péret, de compromission en compromission (peut-on décidément être ambassadeur et poète ?), il finit par obtenir le prix Nobel de littérature en 1990, et se conformer à l’idéologie libérale. Ne déclarait-il pas, ainsi que le relate Braulio Peralta, dans El Poeta en su tierra (édition Grigalbo, Mexico 1996) : « Je viens de la pensée de gauche. Elle a été très importante pour ma formation. Maintenant je ne sais pas… » La lettre ci-dessus, rédigée par Marie-Dominique Massoni et Dominique Paul, envoyée au journal le Monde et à Paz lui-même, fut conçue comme une dénégation par celui-ci de ses misérables propos à l’encontre des insurgés zapatistes. Elle fut composée en majeure partie de fragments de textes de Paz : Rire et pénitence, Courant alternatif, l’Arbre parle, Mise au net, etc. et assemblés de façon à rappeler ce qu’il en fut d’une expérience lyrique qui à une certaine époque, fut belle et subversive jusque dans sa puissance critique, avant de se nier en se reflétant dans le miroir de la pensée dominante.


From Parry Harnden:

Tower of Strength

Sometime in the future, not too uncomfortably close but neither too comfortably distant, when the multinational corporations that rule the masses like the great feudal families of the past had invaded and taken control of every last profitable inch of the Earth, when there was no external thing left to conquer, they necessarily turned to conquering one another to guarantee increasing rates of return. The days of tacit cooperation and peaceful coexistence had ended, replaced by decades of armed conflict between these leviathans as the system began to eat itself. The relic of nationhood persisted in the form of regional police forces. Arms development had reached an evolutionary plateau and the elite countries could not maintain a superiority as the rabble nations increased their capabilities at an accelerated rate, thus closing the gap of military strength that was once used to sort countries into takers and givers. A country would be nothing more than a gun for hire and for the best mercenaries there would be great personal fortunes to be made.

Our hero's is one such story. His beginnings were innocuous enough. A spoiled brat, jeered at by companions and the butt of physical abuse, a model of ineffectuality and marked with the star of nothingness, labelled "Rag Doll" by his tormentors. But he would, through innate viciousness and brutality, distinguish himself on the battlefields, routing the enemy at Wal-Martistan and prevailing at the siege of Monsanto. Being a member of a military aristocracy satisfied his need to kill. Corporate society had a vested interest in his capacity for violence, and so fostered it, legitimised it, and finally honoured it with vast material rewards. He had received constant praise for his savage outbursts and ultimately his reckless abandon and appetite for destruction had brought him wealth that parallelled that of the great CEOs.

Afterward, he retired to a lavish penthouse, a veritable castle that outwardly appeared a dark and foreboding castle, but inside sparkled with jewels and filigree. He filled the penthouse with delicate gold and silver work, silk suits draped on lovely statues and paintings, guests that lounged lizardly on fine furniture, French poodles that gnawed on precious illuminated manuscripts. A patron of the arts, he backed a theatrical production proclaiming the glory of his military exploits. Full of sentimental piety, the superstition of the refined that makes sense of their senselessly good fortune, he poured money into a grand religious project: The Cathedral of the Holy Innocents, replete with a painted ceiling, stained glass windows of the highest quality, and rooms hung with cloths of gold. He loved children. And fine chocolate. He consumed both ravenously. Life was an oyster lined with squirrel-fur. He had created a private world only surpassed in splendour by the Roman emperors he had been so fond of reading about when he was a boy. Sometimes painful memories of the childhood taunts would surface and he would confront them defiantly: "They called me Rag Doll. They put me down. I couldn't take it any longer so I got out of town. If my old friends could see me now they'd call me Society Guy."

His generosity was celebrated. His tables were always laid. Sometimes he would give away entire liveries, consisting of a hundred separate garments to total strangers, people who had no connection to his household or to his affairs. He was beloved and heralded everywhere he went. There were special things which brought him much joy: taking communion with his friend the priest, or using a child's thighs to masturbate onto its belly. But just as often his nights were spent in drunken revelries and he used alcohol to blot out the world. He had a wife he despised, a daughter whom he ignored and a group of vicious, unscrupulous hangers-on he had collected during his military campaigns. He felt lost and lonely, full of inexplicable feelings of guilt connected with his parents' disappearance and doubts concerning his own worth as a person. As his debts piled high, he wondered if there were any among his companions who would not desert him. While wealth gave him the freedom to gratify his every whim without hindrance, he longed for the girl who loved him before he was a titan: "I bet everybody thinks that living in a penthouse is like being on top of the world," he would think, "but I'd give it all up if I could only be with her again. Money can't buy me love and I need her more than when I was poor little Rag Doll."

It became routine that he would send his compatriots out to gather poverty's prettiest driftwood -- beautiful small children, fair-haired and fair-skinned like himself -- from the poorest neighbourhoods or the streets to bring to the penthouse. The children were easily lured by a hint of luxury, their parents easily bought off with vague promises. In their desperation, any possibility of escape from degradation and poverty had to be seized on. The youths would be pampered, dressed in better clothes than they had ever known, given extravagant meals, and be plied with drinks, particularly hippocras which acted as a stimulant. Afterwards they would be taken to a special room and confronted with the true nature of their situation. A look of shock would charge their eyes, and that look provided our hero his first rush. In that look was the tangible substance he would use to shape an ideal that could fill the vacancy carved out of his being by an inadequate world. To subdue the child, a rope would be put around its neck and hoisted over a hook. After letting the choked thing down, our hero would comfort it, explaining that he did not wish to harm it, but only to play. This ritual would make the infant more docile towards the approaching wickedness. He would then perform his sexual assault without penetration on the child. Sometimes he would cut a vein in its neck so as to watch the blood gush during his play. He would sit on the child's chest and laugh in its face as it died. The head would be severed with a stout sword. Perhaps if the body retained its warmth, our hero would use the headless corpse for more sex. Limbs were hacked from the body and passed around so that their particular beauties could be admired. The body was opened and the organs exposed, and all this hacking and dismembering brought our hero more glee that the actual sex. If in his hands he held the head of an especially beautiful child, he would kiss its lips and ask his companions which head is the most beautiful, this one or the one from the night before or the one from the night before that.

Later, the clothes and body parts were disposed of in his magnificent fireplace on great logs of wood. And from the crackles, hisses, sizzles and pops he could hear a reassuring voice rise: "You don't have to be a tower of strength to have me in your power. You don't have to be a hero, a strong Napoleon or a Nero, because I'll do anything you say if you only hold me in your arms and never let me go."

Copied from the pop records Society Girl by The Rag Dolls and You Don't Have to Be a Tower of Strength by Gloria Lynne, and from Jean Benedetti's book on Gilles de Rais, The Real Bluebeard.


From Paul Cowdell:

Cambridgeshire Notes & Queries, New Series, XVIII (September-November1883), p.147

… I was told this story by an old fenman, long in years. It is impossible to convey fully the patterns of his native speech as he told me of the local crops. His narrative was hopelessly garbled, but I offer it here as it may be instructive for students of the decay of the ancient tales to compare it with the nobler inventions of our classical past. However degenerated, the homespun wisdom of the older countryfolk is not without some charm.

The Gossip of John

In the beginning, there was the wort. The wort was what we’d got. But the wort was pretty good.

In them days that’s all they had.

You had to make everything with ’en. There weren’t nothing made without ’en.

They had ’en for lunch, and a later meal.

An’ after that lot they’d shit cannonballs, but they never understood that.

There was an old boy come from Goodmayes, an’ his name was John.

This’un came with wheat seeds, to bring cabbages and oats, so that folks’d know they could have other crops.

It weren’t his land, but he come to bring new crops to the land.

That were the new rye, which pretty much everyone who comes out to these fens knows about.

He was in these fens, an’ he pretty nigh made ’en what they are. You won’t find too many as know, though.

Half of ’en wouldn’t have known him.

But whoever met him, he gave ’en the power to turn over their tons of sod, s’long as they bought new grain.

And the wort was maize fields, and oats and beet, an’ we got to see Forty Foot full of oil-seed rape and fruit.

John played bar billiards at night, an’ he said these were the seeds he’d been talking about. He went on, complaining that other people always got served afore him.

Still, we done alright out of his foolishness – we got beans and rape.


From the Recordists (K.W. Zentner, S. Higgins, S.Venright & W.A. Davison):

Example panels from détourned comic game:

At the Home for Old Plants

Mistaken Identity



From Rik Lina:

1: "LE BALCON CARNIVOIRE" 1983, oil on linen,116x89 cm.

pastishe de "Le Balcon" 1869 de Edouard Manet

2: "COUPE DEGAS" 1983, oil on linen, 140x110 cm.

pastiche de Edgar Degas "L'Absinthe" 1876

3: "THE ELEPHANT OF SULAWESI" 2001, acryl on canvas, 185x150 cm.

pastiche de Max Ernst "Elephante de Celelebes" 1921


From Rob Tobin:

The Trick to Atomism Is...

1. alive. slashed into tiny, ineluctable pieces divisible only by the grey torpor of flesh
2. hearing sigils that float in sly fashion beneath women where matter swims alone with mind. entirely in the red, if you will
1. esotericas withdraw from me, ingest notions of atomism as pure being and infinite becoming into my last refuge
5. night stars appearing halved somehow. playing tricks on me now, no longer taking the trouble to radiate your curly locks. they crawl atop a red tower and sit glowering at everything below
1. embrace your natural concrete. hold seven golden snakes above the din of flesh
3. witness desire topple from the ladder to the unforgiving earth
1. inverse without excavating glamour's murderous thighs
2. my gullet flaying lovely morphine eyes resting an axe on the verdantry as a warning to for
5. twelve bars of it became a rogue flailing with its head down. the State staring deeply into my glazed, drugged eyes almost constantly, trying to discern every alliterative line of escape left to me
4. my burning freedom. lust muscles seized by a filthy type of magic
5. synagogues everywhere, forever humming in the background
1. our oft-shared mantra packed for vacation long ago
3. wrists tearing at mind. a cross-wind. rebirthing a process of ego

stifling dire straits a frowning dream clearly masking
an urge to mate with the here and now

1. signed the very last nape of an elliptical beauty. the clock runs down my ear
4. your maelstrom climaxed summers ago, when we all felt the continuity etched in the interstices between one affair and the next
2. i can hear the sun receding from the cusp of my my grasping palms
1. two badly-formed legs an archipelago starring an archetype of whiteness unfolding in time
5. after the greasy saxophone lines made you sweat blonde subways. Buddha faces grimacing in pain
2. told flamencio sketches rotting teeth left on your ring's bi-partisan clutch of mixed ancestry. ripped-off artists a transitive blessing-in-disguise, really
1. my only overture a privation stripped of the intimacy of your unfurled nails
3. understand that i only wish to judge fairly. stairs pissing philosophy

slowly but surely destroying the wind

1. after the creation of a nomadic science that finally gets up the nerve to flirt with consciousness
5. terrors lurking in every rack of the private sector

You May Insert All Primary Symbols Firmly In The Dried Anus Of The Spirit

1. paradise leaps over quixotic points of light fastened to the armoury's sacred cannon
5. snapping stubby fingers to reward the id in you
4. iconic crypts of the impassioned real preaching fealty to the divine red of your lips
1. only to feel sands brown with jealousy stealing all my best ideas lately
2. needing to record crowns to your curve
1. digestible sheets of my pale flesh gladly nailed to crosses only you've borne
3. stealing glances from the cage of a chandelier spitting on all holy books. a telegraph to the sky
1. i was so delicious then you didn't care if i was basted in the blood of lepers, sweetness
5. maintained a tenderness. terraced anatomies of coloured layers sheathing rituals gone ozone and cojoined hips with boundaries left smouldering on that raggedy old piano
1. to clarify shadows buttressing how they act with a stream of consciousness embargo living in the city. winked at illuminated boulevards.
2. your hair withered the abstract dead. a plot of riches complaining aboutthe lack of food
1. inertia auroras commanding exaggerated prices always failed to impress me by extension in berserk ideas of orange
3. like history licking at your tits. scattered ambrosia a unique picture of its function
5. precisely on your flexed motion having a really bad day
1. once a foul nutrition returned my wheels to tie sheer fiction. a chariot without swing or unity
2. ask my card to recreate adversity yet again. not exactly my ida of floating
4. rip ounces from flow geometry to the radio. to the video. an attempt to break the back of the other
1. elation from a cannon. watering still wearing its jail oranges, prison blues.
3. scenarios trying to score what's left of the corner before retreating back to boarded-up, mossy enclaves in triumph
4. bending the what into her curly hair instead. excursions capable of barging in on flights of divine fancy
1. we still had time for petty exercises in contol. dished out platic like it was ten on the half-shelf
2. dreaming of your exposed symbols after a marathon smoking session. blades an assault
5. vineyards that roar the diaspora in rage on the bass quest
0. you sip blithely at my knowledge base. vicious bigotry on your brow. dedication to rivulets of canned hate marshalling hair long enough to invade our listening love
1. i remember peering between your legs for food i was certain you were greedily keeping from me
3. gastric lobsters inserted as the basis for criterion
1. asterisked bureaucracies smoke clear alternatives rigt down to the filter
5. an oblong catches you in strong, manly arms. folds of power and sutured prestige
1. like the sound of a colonel with his concomitant world of dread and fear
4. ignore the myriad laws of nature for best results, astronaut

I laugh condescendingly as I watch your tongue misspelling the slaughter. A virtual mariposa caked with blood, the faint smell of church-bells carried to aloof nostrils on the wind. Receiving love amidst the gore didn't seem as atrocious in those days. We just carried the charred corpses and their final scatologies and laid them at the feet of animal desire. After a few pints of blood, it seemed possible for awhile that we could all become scientists of royal stock stealing glances at the common, everyday lounge of the id. I miss love's spiced nullity now, the time weaving between semen-soaked sheets of something special clawing at the rest of our halcyon days. Banjos formed into a fancy troupet of trumpets. Zombified frontal lobes epitomizes the rush of adrenaline accrued sucking the bricks of nationalism. Like so much auto-destruction waving its ass in our faces as we draw ecstatic fictions into chests busy covering their ears in panic. Just inside the spaces reserved for whizzing bullets, firece explosions threatening to catch us both in their darkened vortex. The whites of your teeth became the severest threat to my sanity for reasons ineffable then and now. An acknowledgment of my wheezing dreams sweating out of my chest in the twilight zone. A second chance to defend the honour of my thrumming blood in a thinning consensus. Feverish, uncompromised, lost fingers residing in the martial now, an underworld with naked intestines dangling from its dry, chapped mouth. The scent of strawberries an odd part of the whole deal. A gentle cleansing of the vacancy reflected in your lullabies to me.

iv.29a: bliss flow. veined rubies. snakes that kissed your lips like a chartered jet. flirting cracks puddles. a mantra for the glorious new-age. amateur raincoats a familiar enzyme. the body raw now become incongruous. a daily routine well aware of your fire. pus dripping from burnt, charcoal-like crosses. the shock and horror of us all. dried fish frosts nebulae an iconic whirl. spectacular universe of perception's glass. gnats that dare to worship. idiotic cereal diagnosed with pedantry. whirl writhings out of sleep. umbrage routinely wasted. furtive glances down darkened alleyways an injunction to rule. stained-glass walking backwards into the shield of compassion. an amethyst flower-head ditching the soft. liturgies directed against. black etched into your walls. scarred forever breasts. no account of itself portarys. flow plummets more years on an upright. connected tenuously to a billion others.

i remember writing to the Sacred Chao at the time:

1) we were blasphemy in those days. You left remnants of the State to tell the story. A bid to smoke less, to come to furtive conclusions resting atop the law's left lid. Coffee cups nasty enough to record the entire sordid affair. You just cannot remain the ame after consciousness has reached the breakfast cereal stage, its own little coddled fascination with colonialism and the two sexes. I can only faintly dmit to fondling that regal architecture so prevalent back then. Literary tropes too glad to swing blindly, morosely, at purgatory. Your very own elected offical. The banality of bullets covering the armpit leering expectations at the city. It must have been hard to harbour sympathies for the commodity, but love left prematurely, arriving just after green's rehearsal went rigid and filled a relation to the brink of madness. Sodomy purchased in the first half-hour, or its freedom equated with buzzing, radioactive legs. Something predictable abandoned in the arcades. A brittle flouncing of the hounds to coincide with another sad defeat by pulling blood through her feet. Polyamoury blaring out of eyes seeing nothingness through to the bitter end sucking at your chest.

I'll leave you now to your precious, precious dandelions,

Rouged cheeks substituting for your senses

v.16c:something unknotting the tension in my stomach. none of your priests proved a match for my wit. the divine hacienda, the immaculate conception arranging roses once again to stir them back to the start. testimonies stained overhead. enchanted shades of red spraying teir dadaesque, smiling Buddha-boy ideas on the chilled side loafing in the clouds. scroll down into otherness. the gentle lilt of foreign tongues melting flesh and swimming in the autobiography of the planet. lost swords fishing for a wounded kiss on marvellous breasts that never say no. i present you with rusted cannons. repealed hives darkness covers up in embarrassed haste. pure hate in your cheeks gone orange, the colour of an immigrant's misery. mass panic streaming through the system's sclerosis. reaching for crowns of garter and lace underneath swaths of day-glo purple paint. lust equated with amen, a solemn vow to desire from scratch. smoked burning flasks of blessed sugar known in the vernacular as cocaine to pass the hours. waiting forlornly for the boot of theory to suckle tenderly at cracks in the pavement and circle the world in vantages of three. piles of hardened lava clamouring after motionless hinges of dried bone. daylight passing into sleep. classy, really classy, picking at the scabs of archaic deities stuck in scarabs forever. almost enough to make you laugh if it wasn't so strident in the wee hours of eternity. only to me.

It was strange to hear their screams echoing across the universe. Your torpour that morning at breakfast climbing empty pits of despair increasingly defined as essence. Cheering for socialism to become a mess of crumbs, sonic files that derive entropic trains howling past your scowl. Studded barnacles with menthol, packing martial choices into static details oozing dirt and a pathetic stab at normalcy. Angels coming to inject halos into my veins. A nightmare ascending to glow just beneath the ceiling. Your flare for atrocity nearly becoming science-fiction. Notes censure dark ringlets promising to once. Hounding the between of your daringly spread legs, a sign with the starving hovering around the margins billowing mystery. Resting in the dry heat, scorched langour, my pulse steady, not a vicious lunge at those grains of sand sizzled with a headache. Your god cracking under radioactive waves, its final words hacked away by an electric razor set to obliterate. Ride a century or two further to extract sceptic koans from the dogs of war. Delicacy not an exercise spitting slang with facile grace. The finesse of the needle puncturing equal measure. A flood of gold bracelets, jewels like a sudden flash circling our exposed skulls. A promise carried to your lips. Jets flying full affrontery and a stain over top of rain laced with trees of fine wine. Your spirit sneaks long glances at the kindling behind my eyes, an elapsed memory of:

credit-cards and pocket-knives. dreams dying in the cracked leather of wallets. a feather falling directly into his chest from the clinched sky. the swooning oath of tendons left crying in their own pools of death.

The ocean climbing into our already-crowded room. Sub-zero moaning in effigy of unwritten sonnets to the spectacle's last gasp. A torrent blinds them from seeing. Dread staring, moisture gathered at the hub of steamed chocolate, embryonic, based in the mists of ancient myth.

Scented nodes tried to recall particularly engaging sections of local legend to drag home with them. A hoof noiselessly shutting windows onto the desert of the real. Tanned hymns wrapped an amen to the psychedelic finally determining market values. Terror minds picked clean of their foul meat, a dancing embellishment of telepathy.

Your fingers a source of vital empathy without kneading eye-sockets. Domestic sutures renewed as warm meals served on plates of weary, rhythmic memorials to our collective ruse. Interminable violence, impoverished ladies side by side, dead before they hit the sterilized floor. Camouflage as a prolonged cadence, religious injunctions burnt at the stake, a shallow demand untallied by our privileged intimacy. Canticles dressed all in black drone on and on, permeating carpetry, baffling twists and spins of holy writ. A smooth blue with its hands stroking the curve of my bruisded ego. Sorely needed salves of healing light...

iii.53e: cryonic emotions, awakening in topsy-turvy leg meanderings that covet other people of rank. axles casually plying their stock and trade applied grease to my lost context. widely, quickly dissipating ghostly swirls spooning appeasment into rends of ideology. silver in vastness wants to be taught arcane arts, garters dancing pale thighs to stacked pairs of brine. euphoric, smoking corpses in style, all for the sake of the glorious republic. marriage off the hinges lands swollen asps of gold falling in our lap as pay-off for our complicity. diced integrity's head gone to fetch ice. fiery condor talons glowering with the loot of battle quickening. generates a bell's rush heated enough to shoot a wan dribble of thorns. aware of hopes and dreams betrayed for a smidgen more. profiteering dings topping the charts as a little man fastens acrobatics to a bullet. not arduous enough to carry rocks in my thinning blood. cartographies of immiseration sipping beer, enjoying life. we simply failed to find the secert, sullen network every time. a soft chiselling legacy heat-sensor cheats gold waltzing in its own spurious tangle.

ii.29e: shame, losing precious time. water boiling productions of diseased skin. hammering bronze furiously in tethered spaces bent over myriad gills of oak. shining a third shot saved my libido's emaciated frame of pus and bone. timing historic themes right down to pictorial rivers of molten sperm minus the lava. a morning advocate of keen-minded anarchy. nothing to regret. a passive intervention into the lunacy maelstrom scavenges frozen lungs and their itinerant jawbones. the tense visage of a million unhappy faces playing tight defensively, over and against the rook. sleep in my medicine. myopic salves devoid of agreements encrypted in their pubic phase because beauty does not necessarily birth beauty. surrender to the hunting whore. an atmosphere walking torment through iron, straddled by the frazzled card of violence. fear treating us like vermin, alluvial, hypnotic brightness falling over what we could not afford to flesh. deflection around and about. prosaic numbness shoving wetness into my brain. a dry passion i failed to reconcile earlier in the fish's objection. memories that can't be erased in a vial. inject drama into the veins of truth.

pretty faces filling sand-bags, spartan wisps of brown hair lounging on piss-soaked, decrepit couches infested with spare-change darining all colour from my clothes, my cock, my familiar tropes sold as commodities affected a bury me under the moon, I don't care anymore, sunshine these headaches the size of an archaic fishing lure a montain of laughter soaks and disaster crashes into the hard sill drunk as a monk at four in the morning a pastoral non-linearity raging against the waning light in every fibre we all knew the hat my big top shakes with the weight of magic dried, not some still wet-behind-the-ears ring records of heredity on the knees of an unemployment steering biscuits, soup bathing at daybreak's toast to the holy ghost n you and music's brand new symphony boned to stars rocking their hungry, theoretical roll to the world blissed by the margins shredding around them jumping buttocks, jutting steel to keep pace with papal sips of isomorphic jaundice twice this evening to be sober as broken glass a pretty dominant metaphor for astrology survival in every day delaying processs sifts my sickness at the time of a welfare cheque to chop off your head, bludgeon your sex, looking like a beast at this fire sneaking between the interstices any time bellowing crudely at the perils of the market-place's shiny tuxedo capillary wanting reason apropos shot in the face a dying outer form tearing tight blue-jeans quite hard, previewed at the difference masked another lunar bill smelling rancid interference precisely at the point where left hooks meld into hollow peals of laughter tapping with clarity applause reserved for hallowed combinations of the rules and their transparency waiting ever so patiently waiting for the clamp-down

a knife in your back as filial irony...

How do you live without music tempting people beneath your feet?

A wink is your bundle of joy, minus the smoke of your resin, of course

Strips of amber fantasia. Curves staring at the sun. Language stranded in serpentine
gestures eclipsing fuzzy shards of anxiety. Trouble brewing in digital forty-eights.
Initial abortions of telepathy respond to the apocalypse buried in its wallet without
any regard for the funk. Clutch amnesia to soft limitations. Condors of war shot into
our waiting. temporal grips on sadness because audio segments openly threaten piles of beer-cans on the fridge. Academia is a particularly shoody garden, if you know what I mean.

When the commodity is paved directly by throes of rotting wood

Roasting deities waving their sex at the suspende killing us all

Adjectives that need to rest beyond laws imposed by man and nature

Ripened petitions hold infancy in its drunken palm forever

Water dirges my true meaning. Brought to you by shadows.
Drinking space, vertebraes plopped onto our warm plates.
Spotted savages, heroes to deliver paired sermons to us.
Shorn of everything happening to you. Manic singularity
hung from sprinkled locks of the robotic. Grace lusted
imaginary miracles, decorated hours of patriotic steel.
Infinite violence spelled correctly six days ago. Aromas
flashed finance to satisfy our morning blood-lust...

Perhaps the whole nine yards are another form of terror

The wisest among us living in tents

Thirty-six to four threw a few relationships across the room

We tell ourselves everyday it has to be done

Castles that offer no apology for their innocent poetics

leery of turning on themselves

Loaded guns resting on unread Bibles

To invest in a different star just up ahead


From Sasha Vlad:

Collage based on René Magritte's illustrations to Les Chants de Maldoror


From Thom Burns:


From William Davison:

Excerpt from the novel Dark Sun

long rest, too.² Vana said. oward another junction then. hile because a herd of strange rough it. These stood about oulders, had four massive legs, Their necks were very long, Black was the sun small sleepy-eyed heads about Under the arc packeund. Their hairless skins were dark or blazing gas clou

which lay the bones on of the herbivorous monsters seven hundred fifty-foth was young,² the Archkerri Deyv walked toward hism-blooded , too, but, unlike

³Look for a mate andmals.²

of the tribe. the party resumed their walk, If you were a pessimit. However, when they got to were an optimist, it soed onto the road to the left. good dragons and thereim why. Evidently, the Yawtl stood. He¹d never seen cion.

Like most people, De, the Archkerri left the road the circumstances. At thle on the right. so pessimistic. come back out,² he said. ³So Deyv of the Red Egg to sleep. Perhaps he is getting Tribe of the Upside-Do

him was the House, a cntains straight ahead. If the diameter, made of indesim, he had about three sleep-and white checked wallshe foothills. Traveling in the round base, ten stories as on the open roads.

unimpeded view of the a few steps into the foliage, conical tip was buried ten¹ll have to quit using the to what the old women sound carries farther than entirely under the ground can buzz softly, you should earthquakes had pushed iutely necessary.²

To Deyv¹s left, in the said, ³why don¹t you quit the soul-egg tree. Its gnarln understand you when you for twenty feet, and thou know.²

formed a cone standing o, and Vana¹s face and body red, white, green, blue, pregnated with quartz tha we¹ve been blowing these the branches dangled the we didn¹t have to?²

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


SLAG regulars, friends and fellow travellers will be gathering in London on Saturday 14th April to eat, drink, play games, make merry, and generally enjoy the cosmic joke of mortality.

For further details and/or to join us on the day, email us at the usual address.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Reuters, London: In a surprise move which has caught the world's revolutionaries completely off guard, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has made a public apology for his newspaper's recent coverage of Surrealism.

Said an ashen-faced Rusbridger, "Like a lot of complete ignoramuses I used to think that Surrealism created a new visual language of modernity. But since I started reading Surrealist blogs I have realised the error of my ways."

He went on: "In reparation for my crimes against the revolution I am placing my insufficiently left-of-centre daily newspaper at the disposal of the Surrealist movement. My first act of contrition will be to run a 14-page special feature on occultation."

There were unconfirmed reports last night that Robert Hughes had gone into hiding in a tree-house somewhere in Ghislaine Wood. Jonathan Jones, Germaine Greer and Ana Finel Honigman were all unavailable for comment, as indeed were The Observer, The Independent, The Sunday Times Style Magazine, Newsnight Review, Andrew Marr's Start the Week programme, and CBBC Newsround.