Sunday, December 30, 2007

Grupa Surrealistów w Szczecinie

Mighty congratulations to our friends in Poland
on the formation of the Surrealist Group in Szczecin


a solo exhibition by Patrick Hourihan
is being held at the Highgate Gallery in London
11th - 24th January 2008

Click here to go to the website for the gallery address and opening times.


I was the king of a people of blue forests, like a pilgrimage with its pennants drawn motionless across the shores of a lake of ice.

Julien Gracq, le Beau ténébreux
died 22nd December 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

La parole est à Péret

The marvelous meanwhile is all around us, hidden to vulgar eyes but ready to burst out like a time bomb. The drawer I open exhibits among the cotton reels and compasses an absinthe spoon. Through the holes in the spoon a squad of tulips is goose-stepping towards me. In their flowers stand professors of philosophy discovering the categorical imperative. Each word they say is a worthless penny which breaks on the ground bristling with noses which throw them back into the air to form smoke rings. As they dissolve slowly they generate tiny splinters of mirror which each reflect a blade of wet moss. […]

The marvelous, I say again, is all around, at every time and in every age. It is, or should be, life itself, as long as that life is not made deliberately sordid as this society does so cleverly with its schools, religion, law courts, wars occupations and liberations, concentration camps and horrible material and mental poverty.

Benjamin Péret, 1943

translated by Antony Melville, in Death to the Pigs: Selected Writings of Benjamin Péret, Atlas Press 1988

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Debbie, Justine, Merl, Nacho and Paul
on the South Bank shore

A little man is he, his clothes are russet hairs

The bowels of the earth keep tight hold of my feet

My feet are ghouls with necks like snakes to suck on blood

Mine eyes are knots of twine encrusted in the bole of strangest bush new sown

And here's my hand, I seek thy pleading hands that, stiff with effort, reach towards the zenith pale and wan ...

How twisted are his arms, his severed fingers bleed

Magician, thou art blind to all thy magic tomes

Thy claws, thou bird of night, in velvet gloves are dressed to scratch the sacred glyphs upon the dead man's breast.

So moans the little man, the dwarf half-buried, from the shadow of the hanged who swing from posts they bang

O hanged men, kick your heels against the posts for warmth ...

The mandrake rake now makes a mocking gesture, flares as bright as lighthouses

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

A small incident of objective chance

Yesterday Juan Carlos Otaño (of the Surrealist Group of Río de la Plata) lightheartedly wrote to Merl in an email:

"We await the CD of the Festival as wolves await the arrival of Jonathan Harker."

He did not know at the time that for the past few weeks Paul Cowdell and Merl have been re-reading Dracula together, and that this weekend we had just reached the part of the book where a wolf escapes from London Zoo, and Jonathan Harker is terrified to see the Count walking along Piccadilly.

The re-reading of Dracula was probably one of the reasons why Merl had also dreamt of wolves in arctic snow on Saturday night.

Friday, November 23, 2007

UTOPIA OF THE PHOENIX: Saturday 8th December

On Saturday 8th December SLAG regulars and friends will be meeting somewhere in the East End of London to limber up for 2012.

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

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Sir Ian Blair wore his poppy with pride this week as he appeared before the London Assembly and refused yet again to resign. Doubtless Jacqui Smith and Ken Livingstone were likewise sporting poppies when they publicly backed Blair's position over the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, despite the Met's court conviction over the death and the IPCC's condemnation both of the operation which killed de Menezes and of Blair's personal attempt to prevent their investigation. Indeed Smith and ACPO have made a special point this year of announcing their support for Remembrance Sunday commemorations, and probably hundreds of poppies will adorn the chests of officers today as they police Royal British Legion events around the UK.

Tories and Liberals alike have demanded Blair's resignation, but New Labour has stood by him. In media interviews Livingstone has defended the killing of de Menezes with the words "these things happen", a phrase which echoes Blair's own comment soon after the 2005 shooting that it was just "one of those things that happen" during armed police operations. While many have been shocked by the callous arrogance and complacency of this attitude, in fact it is no more than an unusually frank acknowledgement of the role of the police and the nature of state violence.

Violence is inherent to the state as such. This is true not just of "bad" states, "rogue" states, dictatorships or "oppressive régimes": it is true of all states, by definition. The state perpetuates itself through legalised violence against its own population, whom it may "legitimately" intimidate, imprison, injure and kill, and against the populations of other states, whom it may treat no less and often more brutally under the aegis of war. The police and the armed forces are two sides of the state's bloody coin:

The supreme law of the State is self-preservation at any cost. And since all States, ever since they came to exist upon the earth, have been condemned to perpetual struggle -- a struggle against their own populations, whom they oppress and ruin, a struggle against all foreign States, every one of which can be strong only if the others are weak -- and since the States cannot hold their own in this struggle unless they constantly keep on augmenting their power against their own subjects as well as against the neighborhood States -- it follows that the supreme law of the State is the augmentation of its power to the detriment of internal liberty and external justice.

Thus those who are calling for Blair's replacement are doing nothing to prevent further killings. On the contrary, in wishing to re-establish the "honour" and effectiveness of the Met they seek simply to re-legitimise the arming of the state against ordinary people, in the name of the "anti-terrorism" which itself licenses terror -- in Bakunin's words, "this flagrant negation of humanity which constitutes the very essence of the state."

So much, then, for the two minutes' silence, the poppies, the Queen mooching around the Cenotaph with a face like a slapped arse. Remember the wars, remember the dead and the wounded, remember Gordon Brown's paean to wartime courage and the glorious cannon fodder, remember anything you like as long as you also forget the freedom that lives in your own dreams and desires, in Mad Love and the Marvellous, in the necessary interdependence of all organic and inorganic life on earth ... Open the prisons! Disband the army! Abolish the police! And remember your own revolutionary dreams of poetry and freedom, because they are within our collective grasp, not just in some far-off political future but now, here, tonight.


Non-UK readers who are unfamiliar with the background of the de Menezes case can find information, including a detailed timeline of events, at

Whoops! These things happen.

Friday, November 09, 2007


This game was played by Josie, Mattias and Merl during a visit in August 2007 to the "Beckton Alps", a disused dry ski slope in East London which has now become a relatively large-scale and sinister atopos. The place itself offered a great deal of evidence which was not directly relevant to this particular game but which suggested several possible directions for future poetic research.

"Concentrating on one eyeball each, the girls had us hypnotised in half the usual time": image/text found at the site

One of the most striking features of the area at the top of the Alps was a series of large rusted metal panels, aligned in rows like teeth, and all covered with graffiti. One row in particular spelled out the graffiti'd signature "HARRY NITEMARE".

The game was partly devised beforehand and partly improvised on the spot, inspired by the secondhand bookshop finding of The Wordsworth Guide to Edible Plants and Animals: an Omnivorous Feast of Unusual Meat and Vegetables by AD & H Livingston. We decided to start by allocating to each person one of the panels. We then split up and went and looking for objects which began with the letters on our respective panel. The allocations were:

Merl = R
Mattias = NI
Josie = MA

The results were as follows:


This marine delicacy is highly prized by shore-dwellers whose young initiates dive for them like pearls during spring tides. The soft green flesh is eaten raw and fresh from the sea, but although the eaters assemble together on the beach for the feast, each person eats separately and with backs turned to one another. There may or may not be some cultural significance to this beyond the simple fact that this food makes for messy eating. Night dives are especially highly valued, when the microscopic creatures that live parasitically on the green flesh phosphoresce between the divers' fingers, and sated feast-goers sprawl dreaming on the beach, their lips, cheeks and chins alight with juice.


Needle (bramble thorn)
Widely eaten (raw, on site) by suburban cultists in nemoral temperate areas of Europe where the plant is abundant, probably in order to prick the tongue to increase the immediate effects of other herbs simultaneously eaten, which may contain psychoactive substances. Occasionally such cultists gather by conspicuous landscape elements, which in the suburban environments usually are of ruderal character, such as land-filling heaps, garbage dumps and train yards, and perform obscure rituals throughout the night. As all the abundant herbs on most such sites are not known to possess such psychoactive substances (unless it happens to be a locally rich population of henbane or bittersweet much of the effects of the needle-eating is considered to be either placebo or due to some still unknown factor.

Iron bar
For obvious reasons most people do not eat iron bars. However, if the climate is hot and humid, and there are strong acidic or alkali agents available in the atmosphere and even more in other items used for food, rust corroding process can be swift and strong enough to make iron bars available as well-needed sources of additional iron ions for menstruating women, selfmutilators, artists and other bleeding people. Most of the cases are from Brazil, but there are known cases from central Africa and rumours (perhaps apocryphical) from Florida, and the situation in Asia is largely unknown in this particular respect. One Amazonian recipe involves the boiling of the iron bar for ten days with the bones and guts scraps from the cayman stew the day before, plus local varities of corroding mineral salts and several herbs and fruits of largely unknown chemical composition. The taste is according to some similar to uttermost despair, according to others (or possibly the same people under pseudonyms) to sensual pleasure.


Despite his grotesque and terrifying appearance, the monster is actually made from soft nougat, which is not only delicious but also full of minerals and vitamins essential to the diet of many small animals. The monster falls prey to many a different predator, and, being extremely small and defenseless, aside from its intimidating growl and ugly face, its chances of survival are slim. It is even hunted by its fellow monsters, and occasionally by itself, making it the only self-cannibalistic animal known. The specimen discovered in the Alps retained only its head; it is presumed to have consumed its entire body before expiring.

Art (paint brush)
Eaten only by spectres, and only by spectres who have had a really shit day, art reduces the eater to a gibbering mess on the floor within twenty nano-seconds of consumption. While the cause of this is unknown, it has been speculated that art eats away at the core of the spectre. Finding art on the Alps has confirmed suspicions that spectres inhabit the place, and perhaps were even responsible, in its last throws of agony, for the message sent to us: Harry, Nitemare!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Friday, November 02, 2007

A WASP FROM KOREA (poème trouvé)

Bodies donated under the wings
Leather is the word that turns its ankle

(extracts from a Google translation of a scientific description of a
parasitic wasp species from a south korean webpage)

found by Mattias

Thursday, November 01, 2007


8th September 1873 - 1st November 1907

Anthropophagy is by no means dead.

Friday, October 26, 2007


was enacted in
Amsterdam ~ Bucharest ~ Buenos Aires ~ Chicago ~ Istanbul ~ Ízmir ~ Lisbon ~ London ~ Madrid ~ Melbourne ~ Montevideo ~ Portland ~ Quebec City ~ San Francisco ~ Seattle ~ Setúbal ~ St Louis ~ Stockholm
and in many other cities, town, villages and hidey-holes around the world

The contributors to this year's Festival Album are:

Alana Dill
Alexandre Fatta (La Vertèbre et le Rossignol)
Ana Santos
Angela Meady
Anna Bergmark
Apio Ludicrous
Artur do Cruzeiro Seixas
Bay Persembe (SET – Surrealist Action Turkey)
Bruno Jacobs
Carlos Martins
Chris McClarren
Christian Andersson (Stockholm Surrealist Group)
Christina Holzer
Cins (SET – Surrealist Action Turkey)
Claudia Gendreau (La Vertèbre et le Rossignol)
Dan Stanciu
David Nadeau (La Vertèbre et le Rossignol)
Debbie Shaw (SLAG)
Derek Adams
Eduardo Tomé
Emma Cook
Emma Lundenmark (Stockholm Surrealist Group)
Eric W. Bragg
Erik Bohman (Stockholm Surrealist Group)
Eugenio Castro (Madrid Surrealist Group)
Fantom (SET – Surrealist Action Turkey)
Fred. E
Gale Ahrens (Chicago Surrealist Group)
Guy Ducornet
Iulian Tanase
Jarmo Raasakka
Johan Queffelec
Johannes Bergmark
Jonas Enander (Stockholm Surrealist Group)
Josie Malinowski (SLAG)
Juan Carlos Otaño (Surrealist Group of Río de la Plata)
Justine Cal (SLAG)
Kalle Eklund (Stockholm Surrealist Group)
Kat McCarthy
Katie Mourning
Kim Fagerstam (Stockholm Surrealist Group)
Koji Yamano
Krzysztof Fijalkowski
Leandro Ramírez (Surrealist Group of Río de la Plata)
M K Shibek (Portland Surrealist Group)
Maja Lundgren
Mari Fukutani
Marianne Chevalier (La Vertèbre et le Rossignol)
Mariela Arzadun (Surrealist Group of Río de la Plata)
Martin Marriott
Mary de la Torre
Matthew Rounsville
Mattias Forshage (Stockholm Surrealist Group)
Merl (SLAG)
Micke Lundberg (Styx)
Nacho Díaz (SLAG)
Ñancu Rupay (Surrealist Group of Río de la Plata)
Nikos Stabakis (Athens Surrealist Group)
Onston (SET – Surrealist Action Turkey)
Parry Harnden
Pascale Bonenfant (La Vertèbre et le Rossignol)
Paul Cowdell (SLAG)
Richard Waara
Rik Lina
Rob Geisen
Ron Sakolsky (Inner Island Surrealist Group)
Sasha Vlad
Solange Racine
Spartacus Mills a.k.a. Steve Davies
Stephen Maddison (SLAG)
Taro Boruta (Styx)
temi rose
Tobias Major (SLAG)
Wedgwood Steventon
Yoko Yamano
Zoé Laporte (La Vertèbre et le Rossignol)
Zwarte Pieter

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

TRICK, TREAT OR UBU: Saturday 3rd November

SLAG regulars, friends and fellow travellers (shown above at a previous meeting) will be getting together in central London on Saturday 3rd November to restage the crucifixion as an uphill bicycle race, play knock down ginger, resurrect Osiris, and blow up the Houses of Parliament.

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

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Les "Accomodements Raisonnables"

Assez! Qu'on nous foute la paix, une fois pour toutes, avec "L'identité québecoise", un terme qui colle mal à la gélatine qu'on veut nous faire prendre pour une société. Il suffit d'éteindre son téléviseur un certain temps pour sentir peu à peu s'évaporer l'illusion d'unité de la "nation" comme l'illusion d'unité du monde. Rien n'est vécu collectivement, chacun est seul à se rêver "citoyen" et "participant à l'actualité". Chacun est seul devant l'écran. Une fois ce fait constaté, le drapeau du Québec (l'union du lys monarchiste et de la croix catholique) devrait être piétiné et souillé par la foule. Ce serait là un premier geste réellement collectif !

Il faut que cesse enfin ce cirque médiatique, ce faut débat sur les "accomodements raisonnables" qui ne sert qu'à détourner les exploités du constat de leur asservissement. Qu'un parti de droite comme l'A.D.Q ait réussi à mobiliser le vote en feignant plus ou moins de questionner les politiques québecoises sur l'immigration montre assez qu'une xénophobie existait en latence chez ce troupeau d'esclaves qui s'était, jusqu'à maintenant, renvoyé à lui-même l'image d'un peuple acceuillant.

Ce nationalisme, ce reste bien entretenu des frustrations post-coloniales, qui aura servi un temps, aux québecois francophones, à lutter contre la servitude des "boss" du Haut Canada et à se gagner une meilleure part du gâteau capitaliste, ce nationalisme est aujourd'hui l'instrument de la prise de pouvoir pour un parti politique au service du patronat dont les ambitions avouées sont de saper dans les aquis sociaux et d'installer une dictature du fric semblable à celle des U.S.A. Les autres partis bourgeois, au lieu de dénoncer cette démagogie, ont essayé de la récupérer et de la faire jouer à leur avantage. Preuve, s'il en est, qu'aucun pouvoir politique s'exerçant de haut en bas ne peut agir sans systématiser le mensonge et l'hypocrisie.

Libertaires, insoumis, nous refusons ce pouvoir centralisé qui transforme les peuples en bovin. Nous nous révoltons contre les frontières qu'on nous impose comme des enclos. Défendre la laïcité comme un absolu serait défendre absolument des institutions que nous conchions. Nous sommes plutôt pour le blasphême.

Québecois, québecoises, cessez de l'être !

Alexandre Fatta, David Nadeau et Johan Queffelec
29 septembre 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Hi ho, hi ho
Hey ho let's go

The Committee of Opportunist Jokers know what they like

Friday, October 12, 2007


We accept you, one of us
Gabba gabba hey

Approved by the Committee of Opportunist Jokers

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hopi Diving Suit

Found at the V&A on its way to rescue a Papua Province man speared by a falling fish
by Paul Cowdell

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Witches of Ilfracombe

Cartographic deliria by Paul Cowdell and Merl

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Articles which scare Spirits

Fire. Water. Metal. Urine. Ashes. Beating. Bells. Blood. Bread. Breath. Brooms. Canes. Circles. Arches. Clothes. Colours. Coral. Cross. Crown. Dancing. Dung. Earth. Eggs. Feasting. Feathers. Flags. Flowers. Fruits. Food. Foam. Garlic. Glass. Grass. Grain. Honey. Horns. Incense. Indecency. Kiss. Leather. Lime. Lifting. Noise & Music. Oil. Ornaments. Precious Stones. Ribbons. Salt. Salutation. Shells. Spirits. Spittle. Sulphur. Sugar. Tattooing. Threads. Umbrellas.
by Paul Cowdell

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Queen of the Sea

In her chariot she rises from her sea houses
by Paul Cowdell

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tongued jewels

discovered by Merl and Josie
in St Mary's Churchyard, East Ham
19th August

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I don't know what I want but I want it now

Fishermen of the Thames pay tribute to Viv Stanshall and Trevor Howard

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sir Patryse of Irelonde

And than suddeynly he braste
by Paul Cowdell

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Swiss rolls manipulating the solar system by means of jetpacks
Membrane pleasing your clock with marzipan
Flowing upwards through a cross-section following a trail of
Clocks through the cross-section of a trampette


Iris falling asleep waking up the third time though an oil film going around the corner
Pulling down the moon in Genever

Josie Malinowski, Mattias Forshage, Merl, Paul Cowdell
South Bank, London, Friday 17th August 2007

Machine exterior view by Paul

Machine cross-section by Mattias

Monday, August 20, 2007

Two found poems

The magic words

porker refrain
early childhood publication
olwulinate war woweler
safety, olpolltier
colour, numbers
Boots unoyopius sontans
nectturle oupopolopuls
"          "          "
"          "          "

Rules of the inn, 1786

No thieves, fakirs, rogues, or tinkers.
No skulking loafers or flea-bitten tramps.
No slap an’ tickle o’ the wenches.
No banging o’ the tankards on the tables.
No dogs allowed in the kitchens.
No cockfighting.
Flintlocks, cudgels, daggers, and swords to be handed to the innkeeper for safekeeping.
Bed for the night - 1 Shilling.
Stabling for horse - 4 pence.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Rocks of Bawn

A mossy coastal scene (WC2), found by Paul while Urban Rockpooling

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Color, Luscious Color

Alternative title: Mississippi Jane
the erotic alter ego of Springfield Jack