99. New Classes, New Consciousnesses, New Solidarities1

and each time we return we shall receive illumination
a real team I say rooted in bodies still
a process run on here of sharedness & little children
blameless improvisation now2

To Apply a Gloss3
Is there memory still of Dion Fortune in this town? Where unmade roads on its disordered edge lead up to new millionaire mansions & cheap executive apartments? Here, where Dr Moriarty’s eyes pierced her shell of flesh to lay bare what that flesh could emerge into? Oh, a practical Englishwoman making up magic in a home counties country town, through force of will, self‑cultivated power & skilled improvisations. Here’s what there is: where we return to is what root there is.4

Oh loveliest Hertfordshire, Karla & Darrel don’t like you much, & who can blame them? This little southeastern tip of Offa’s empire (remember her?) joined on just here to a small lump of East Saxon land: let’s make a new start. We still do avoid Hertford, I guess – better down into London (another lost part of Essex). Maybe at our roots, even to Harlow, just to doss there & wait out the bad times in the company of mates. And I’m not sure what D.F. would have made of them, that is of us. I’ll just trust she’s lost by now that racial crap, & knows how identity comes from circumstances & will, enlivened through the fertilising energies of hybrid vigour.5

Now, food made & shared together is magic too. Everyone who is real knows this: bards, sea nymphs, small children. That’s why the Christian Church had to cut out the love feast & replace it with ludicrous small-scale professionalised rituals: a symptomatic compulsive repetition. Wasn’t it so much simpler? And in this case can’t it be again?6

Listen to this. That will be when the overcomplex systems stutter into incoherence & we improvise our own new world out of the bits left. Yes?7

 

 

1 “Oh thingummy! He’s off now!”

 

 

2 “Improvisation! More like shuffling around the same old words again.”

 

 

3 “Well, maybe if I’m doing these notes, I’d better say there’s a bilingual pun on “shine” here, because I don’t think you’d get it otherwise. And I wouldn’t blame you at all.”

 

 

4 “No! Not magic, please. I thought he’d forgotten all about that – but it comes flooding back now I suppose. There was a note about this stuff somewhere I think – but I can’t be arsed to look & I’d be surprised if you did.”

 

 

5 “The boundaries of Dark Age Hertfordshire. Can you get that? Who could really bloody care about all this malarky? Who would read it? Well, yes. That question’s answered. We’d better humour him. Tom Williamson, The Origins of Hertfordshire (Hertfordshire Publications, 2010). Oh, it’s all academic. Still mad suppositions about the unknowable, that means – just with a bibliography. And there’s a good photo on the cover: The Devil’s Dyke. I like that all right.”

 

 

6 “Don’t you just hate it when men go on about children & domesticity, and how important it all is? God save us, please!”

 

 

7 “Well, alright then, maybe we can follow this. It’s a good political programme – but I don’t what the jesus this is to do with poetry now, do you? Or is that indeed the cunning avant-garde trick of it? Am I being bloody naïve here? Or not naïve enough? And I’ll tell you one more thing – I’m surely now fed up to my teeth with his bloody old poetic prose.”

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