Monday, 29 June 2009

Boo Galaxy

Boo Galaxy

We reached the Boo Galaxy
Via the Shrine of Roquepertuse
A gate mounted with severed heads.
We were blazing a path
Through an evaporating universe,
Escaping from an old film
Called Chain Gang Charlie.

Yes, we attain immortality through art
For divas never die, and
Even topless movie babes live forever.
Not just a playground love spat
The situation was much, much worse
– Apocalypse when?

As we approached the Boo Galaxy,
At just below the speed of light
Well within the law,
Edging into overkill, I said,

Oh, darling!
You’re an icon of sleaze
I can forget my painkillers now!

As we waited for the lights to change
– Emergency road works – I thought
We’re a pack of ragged ravers
A troupe of mad performers,
Heading for Seventh Heaven,
Not Arcturus
– and the Boo Galaxy
Engulfed us in a violet glow.

A previous version of this poem appeared in Handshake 75, 2008 edited by John Francis Haines

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Back Into The Night

My Life As An Assassin - A Twilight Zone Chiller

Voici le temps des Assassins - Rimbaud

Dazed and distracted I recall my former life as an assassin

Blood orange sands smoke trails shapes of infinity darker side of iconography origin of sexual differentiation – this is very much a personal statement

I stood resplendent in polyester in a series of far-out Fellini-esque entertainments filigree solarised film footage seemingly straight portrait obscure underlying action knowing genre piece spectacular effects kick ass lotsa love… now you begin to look like an eerily atmospheric cult movie from the sixties

Highly polished twilight zone chiller beautiful colour negative images ethereal visions strange telekinetic powers pulverising visceral energy truly terrifying emotionally charged engrossing fantasy elements bathed in dramatic Technicolor inserts excruciating jokes nudge-nudge humour central premise revitalises well-worn amnesia device with expressionist lighting and the austerity of virgins

Unable to cope with accidental death but retaining the style of the original I fell into the arms of a vengeful Hispanic street gang tribe of down-at-heel Puerto Rican hookers took refuge in the sewers captive zombies rebelled using experimental methods to bring them back into the night delighted to welcome an acclaimed singer-songwriter paranoid outsider looking for inspirational source of new album sing back the symbols enter through a mirror tricks me into drawing cross and curve with bandaged hands

Intriguing striking mysterious haunting theme soundtrack set on location impressively photographed fanatical guerrillas huge gold doorway leading to modern day troubles detailed black and white sets words from all twenty-four books stunning use of graphics intelligent ambitious key example of avant garde poetic metaphors traditional training rituals courtship marriage greed life-power-money original tinting and toning

In the throes of new lusts dying multi-billionaire explores opposing cultural worlds teenagers who like Salsa and Carmelita’s monologues women’s prison films (subverting stereotypes of mature ladies and post-modern men) complex subjects of social identity what exhilarating nerve what a dazzling display of sheer zest comic romantic melancholic drawn from space-age pop dawn of hi-fidelity original talent dark companion showcase high end audio reproduction indispensable veers from surreal hilarity to political upheaval and back again

Zillion trends in hi tech jinks with gangs of twatted clubbers lurching about like idjuts to unfashionable springy rhythms neon-lit underworld sea of love river of hate spiritual journey through Hell On Earth and back again

A glossy comeback vehicle no more editing with razorblades no more quirky signals etched on walls no more lonely soul-searchers ruthless specialists in military flesh piercing long-fingered aristocratic fops Celtic daydreamers potential suspects celluloid visions of secret agent or menaced assassin involving themes of fun hugs and cuddles sexuality and violence just watch our jet-set gaucho zoom into overdrive

Where’s the supernova?

Sombre skies link dotty monologues drag performances over the top production numbers drugs booze and drive-by shootings peek inside the editor’s war room complete with quantum beam splitter and a cornucopia of collectable rarities try impersonations with improvised dialogue sharp cruel witty no more pimply street-boy types just examples of red-hot live merchandise a solo performance until the cops show up and follow a group of women who set sail in a Chinese junk seeking adventure new life far from this shrieking abrasively satirical foray into wanton abandonment crazed family abducting stray refugees incorporating them into Golden Age of Hollywood shock

Echoes of mad interviews packed with astonishing revealing moments

Spaced out like a toothpaste commercial projected over dark intimidating housing complex we immerse ourselves in an amazing neural world exhibiting flare to spare and aural clich├ęs holding this thing together is Leon Theremin’s Ether Wave an all-too-regular feature rising to the forefront of memory unusual poise pazazz playful provocative tip toeing along Boulevard Haussmann skirting the middle of the night neatly tongue-in-cheek outlandish costumes neither sympathetic or understated script dense awash with arty French movie tropes revealing the killer a young violin player

Back from the land of the dead like the poet who knew too much I arrive on Bitch Island grim cyberpunk world desolate wasteland populated by a few anguished young men looking like Pasolini threatened by environmental disaster and loops of Barbara Streisand songs amplified soundtrack roll call of the great and gorgeous no plonkers no chaser standard situation indefinite TV self-portraits lots of silent black and white photography

(We have been working on this since that mid seventies first feature about a young woman bored with her boyfriend smashes violin sucked into universe of downmarket noir features with the all the hallmarks of knee-jerk gore this means we reassess our future

Visions of irrational netherworlds suppurating ecstasy pleasure-pain downtrodden masses thousands of extras unforgettable hunger trendy interiors classic seductions Antipodean disco-dancers showcased in epic productions watch the crowd go crazy depth emotional insight vast international nuclear conspiracies mixing politics with myth and fantasy these were both our strengths and weaknesses plus my poetic fascination for the interplay between inanimate objects sinister metamorphoses split screen contrast situations and the dark malevolent tone of the post-war Absurdist tradition)

Meanwhile on the far-out fringes of ‘the permissive society’ lurks an irreverent humour explicit material which may offend some viewers with luck and a fair wind hey ho precipitating usual yuppie nightmare of young Manhattan literary agent pushed ‘over the edge’ into the whip-cracking world of a wicked dominatrix plastic clients prowling through labyrinth of rooms acting out grotesque parody of undercover secret society pain humiliation so-called assassins lurk in corners elaborately montaged astute media manipulators can you have the rock without the roll the swing without the…

In Europe nothing has changed steam still splutters from the pool leitmotivs rain down from the sky in gay abandon buildings are old dirty magnificent stylish and dramatically allegorical I erupt into frenzied bloodshed over two hundred locations two thousand costumes elements of a giant fresco running time three hundred minutes with intermissions to allow for sinister moves towards our hero a local boy scene a remote country house where Gladstone spent many a weekend researching The Estranged Attractor background modelled on vague vista-vision cosmopolitanism celebrated climax at the Royal Albert Hall as a bunch of hard-nosed space-marines pitch headlong into a web of extracts from Rimbaud’s poems a network of cross-border kidnapping and one of the best loved British thrillers

Naked as tortured emotion

Singing symbols back to front round and round all places the poet used to visit on the run in London one of most terrifying moments in current drama not so much a search for the East more a deflation or ‘deconstruction’ of big time aspirations as he festered underground in Mrs Scarlett’s Rooming House Camberwell dosser’s paradise brilliant new wave language of verbal colour criminal love paraphrase of maybe/maybe not rewrites off-cuts personal memories found objects old bus tickets possibly work of fashion-conscious metro-centrics excavating rich vein of neo-Dadaist humour cheeky enterprise harsh times something for everyone skipping through chance encounters semi-abstract associations old punk style ‘no wave’ link-ups with cool jazz

We can never know the answer we can never express the dynamic like an assassinated poet on acid oddly life-affirming oddly oddball familiar faces well worn amnesia device another nice one make you sound like one of last year’s top media personalities

Series takes off uncompromising production design externalising desire warped limits orthodox syntax in equal measure farthest reaches final frontier unearthly terrain mapped out by intrepid explorers of inner space alienated outsiders yes we are at the outer limits of representation folks from the sublime to the ridiculous forget those arty classics rediscover the night with its needlepoint of stars just die for this one brooding visuals heavy head-nodding deep breaks obscenity charges baton charges Goth girls with attitude sinking Chinese junks trippy paraphenalia grief murder dark electro feel months of planning now we can all kick ass lotsa love…

Wailing gnashing teeth true variety style trash stunts back into cinematic night moves comic songs dirty plates juiced up vibes deranged hobos mad tender dark suicides muggers lounge lizards killer docs nasty nerdy head-cases mouldering polemics lie detectors literate dramas wheels within wheels unspeakable obsessions boundaries of known pathology ignore the hype try not get too excited even holiday snaps and old home movies send strange signals to shabby weirdo stalker types unshaven smelling of dog’s piss levitating in back alley laudro-mat fear reflecting degeneration

Sublime gloriously textured hands in air recall my former life as an assassin in drag orange sands visceral energy mirror trick melancholic dawn over cityscape– now, you tell us a story…

Illustration: The Estranged Attractor, 2001

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Medusa Cascade

Ladies and gentlemen,
The image you see here may well be an ideal work of art.
Perhaps it is a lurid and melodramatic allegory of the creative process?
You will observe how, on one level, the symbolism is obvious – an uncontrollable force overwhelms the ivory towers of pedantry and the bastions of patriarchy. It is a force from ‘beyond’ – it is the dark energy of unconscious drives, it is a monstrous incursion from the paraxial realm of Desire.

This oracular vision is presented to us by that Pythoness of Subliminal Terror, superstar choreographer of the Ballet Plastique des Noctambules, Ms Medusa Cascade – watch your step!

Illistration: Cometographia II, 2002

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Nowhere Imperfect

A Provisional Cosmology

There are secret motions, out of sight, that lie concealed in matter – Lucretius

How can a self-activating universe emerge from nowhere?
Activity in the cosmic substrate (quantum vacuum) involves an indeterminate relationship, governed by the Uncertainty Principle, between the complimentary quantities of energy and time. The Uncertainty Principle is not an intellectual construct but a fundamental characteristic of phenomena.
This uncertainty relation allows for the transformation of ‘borrowed energy’ into a particle called a pion. At a subatomic level pairs of such exchange particles or mesons, provide the attractive intra-nuclear force between protons and neutrons (nucleons) within the atomic nucleus. These ‘virtual’ particles are the objective source of The Casimir Effect, a phenomenon that confirms the existence of minimal energy entities in apparently ‘empty’ space.
There is no absolute void and no such thing as absolutely empty space, even though the Uncertainty Principle ensures that subatomic activity in the void, or quantum vacuum, cannot be described with precise exactitude. A field of absolutely empty space cannot ‘exist’ because the Uncertainty Principle prohibits a field fixed absolutely at zero. In the quantum universe no field can have both a precise value (zero) and a precise rate of change (zero) simultaneously, consequently there will always be a minimum level of uncertainty, a certain level of irregularity, slight fluctuations in the density and velocity of particles. These non-uniform perturbations would be as small as they could be, but would, nevertheless, lead to anomalies in the otherwise smooth regularity of any emerging points of space-time generated by such irregular fluctuations through friction.
The Big Bang event can be understood as the explosive after-effect of an extended chain of irregular perturbations among fluctuating virtual particles generated by borrowed energy comprising the indeterminate pre-cosmic substrate at the quantum level. The density fluctuations already present in the initial space-time singularity, and observed in the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background), formed the basis of subsequent physical irregularities in the early material conditions of the universe and eventually gave rise to all the astronomical features of the observable cosmos.
These astronomical features are the by-product of a quantum eruption, much as the material expelled from a volcano is the by-product of a violent subterranean event. The outcome of this ‘eruption’ is an expanding red-shift universe of galaxies in space-time that, in due course, having exhausted its propulsive momentum, will revert to an original quantum state. In the interim, over immense periods of time, complex chemical chain-reactions, together with the interplay of forces and the synthesis of stellar elements, will engender all the phenomena of organisation and animation humans call ‘nature’, including living organisms such as bacteria, plants and animals on diverse planets. Notwithstanding the vast time-scales involved, ‘existence’ as experienced by these organisms, is as transient as the universe itself – a universe tending to disorder, reflecting latent chaos and where time is an emergent property arising from the red-shift expansion.
There is no substantive role for intelligence, imagination, self-awareness and other capacities of sentience in a value-neutral and non-purposive universe, although the development of sentience in humans gives rise to anthropomorphic interpretations of existence. Such interpretations are based on a false identification of structural organisation with thought. Even though these capacities – survival strategies of evolutionary adaptation – are of great value to physically weak organisms, they have no intrinsic significance. The same is true of all metaphysical speculation which, being a by-product or side effect of self-awareness, is disconnected from the factual basis of actual reality.
A condition known as the ‘no-boundary condition’ applies to both the manifest universe and the pre-cosmic quantum vacuum. Thus, just as there is no such phenomenon as ‘empty’ space, there is no possibility of any ‘edge’ demarcating either the physical macrocosm, or its quantum substrate, from any form of ‘outside’ above or beyond the manifest sphere.
Even taking into account the possibility of ‘other’ dimensions or the possible viability of the hypothetical ‘many worlds’ interpretation of quantum mechanics, the substrate and the cosmic totality are indivisible and coextensive. There is no exterior or transcendent sphere of existence, just as there is no possibility of ‘non-existence’ because there is no absolute void: total nothingness cannot exist.
The answer to the perennial question of origination (where does the universe come from?) can be answered with reference to the quantum vacuum. But if we ask how this vacuum in its turn can exist and from where it derives its existence it must be said that the answer cannot be formulated with absolute exactitude. This failure of exactitude is the natural consequence of the Uncertainty Principle governing indeterminate relations between complimentary quantities, ensuring that the ‘given’ substrate perpetuates itself. Furthermore, this self-perpetuation cannot be seen as a 'genesis' or 'birth', or mode of becoming, for such an idea would imply that a void lacking a space-time continuum emerged from a state prior to its own existence – an outlandish and superfluous assumption.
The Uncertainty Principle also explains how, through non-uniformity (anisotropy) and the process of ‘borrowed’ energy, the quantum vacuum may give rise, from an imperfect ‘nowhere’, to any number of expanding space-time universes of finite extent .

Illustration: Spontaneous Creation, 2007