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.”

81. When Need Met Mud Again (at the Dig in the Woods)

So it is all tender. What accumulated, the opposite of ordinary, made us replete. You know this. The novel elements – some performance! My instincts say: it was the adventurous outsiders, those well-belted ones, their alcohol, their poems, their anxiety. In reality, it is generally found, the horizontal zones appear shorter, whereas particular individuals are represented by more colourful statue menhirs. Offa, David, Anna, the Bretwalda & all the Bishops – just incised decorations. These relics or fragments – yeah, we’re fucked all right, typically so.

Their battleaxes, their Bell-Beakers, their well-designed shopping centres – something like a new social reality. It’s not we’re scared of self consciousness, just the radical upheaval it symbolizes. It’s all a textile-like ornament that has transformed us laughing into customers – as if we were tapirs or toddlers, marginal prepositions to understate our ritual life. Our gathering places soon seem stupid, & our appearance jokey as broad bellied pots. This is expressed badly, I fear, crouched & psychotic today.

A community could present itself this way. Established values & significant ceremonies have been absorbing dye for 4000 years. Babies are flayed: they whined. This has a dramatic impact. The powerful ones (the hedgies and their thugs) adapted challenging postures. “We are indigenous groups,” they suggested. No impact. Their emotional imagery was complex & uncertain. The trolley-boy epitomized the disadvantaged elements – a dry detail for such an intrusion. That he was twinkly is unexpected, but not unpleasant – the warriors, though, unpredictable, disruptive characters.

Yeah, names are noisy. But they are never monofunctional. What they schematically represent may be archaic & largely alien: bone rings, drinking cups, encounters at Starbucks – but their widespread appearance demonstrated not just prominent individuals but ordinary working persons, more mobile populations as a whole. Meadowsweet across the Rhine Delta balances the armoured ducks at the office. Such figures represent not marginal groups or local élites but everyone. Your name is there as well. What a fucking performance! Give me my typical drinking vessel now! This zone is now veiled. Slender numbers to epitomize.

In the soft bank of the fragrant
The worst drops backing down –
That they are there!

                  Their earth
Exotic, the strange leaves
Number and the archaic soft things
Think at the grave

                  The rest of it
Displays from their mud
Startling eyes in the small words
They who are there.

                  Their psalms
Nuzzled thru the frauds, the lips that show them
Held in the disorders
Of self

                  The soft names
Casting fact
In this in which the worst drops
Scatter, and start out.

72. Five Statements to Be Broadcast

1. Let our human shape, familiar, delicious as it is, in all its mutable harmonies, somehow be what reveals to us the exact form of our lives, not as a hopeless mess or overwhelmed nostalgia, but in all its various hybrids some possible miraculous beauty.

2. New things are redeeming – not by who or what is invoked, but within the decentering of their various dynamics – each transformation enacts aberration endlessly, and so gives more freedom, more interesting freedom.

3. This is a hybrid poem – and should be honoured as such: it enacts & allows aberration, disorderliness, defective classification and non-human possibilities.

4. Laughter, splurging through our individual identities, allows complicated harmony and an experiment implicating non-separation – oh, keeping moving, skipping & playing, all those slippery forms that represent sexuality.

5. The rhinoceros, the gryphon and the stork make us forget the buzzy smog, the buffet of perversity and Christian images our Queen enacts – a wider world, though, an extended horizon, a constant event-system sustaining the commonplace chaos of this monstrous world – with memories still to miswrite it.

67. Statvta et Leges Civitatis Cathari1

The City
the caravan road to the hinterland
routes leading to mines of silver, lead & copper
strong craft activity developed
goldsmiths, blacksmiths, builders
under the brief rule of good king Tvrtko
complete its construction as an urban centre
a permanent orientation of their inhabitants
and their wish to live freely in a common state

Its People
the lowly people of this place
familiar & flourishing unabased
their faces shine – circumstances of power
for they were all strangers once
decided at the national assembly to unite
moving in concert as they had always moved
dignified men & women relishing their lives

The Welcome
soon the Old Stars shall begin their dance
radiating life between us, faint ochre in colour
your results had a social note
a birth, a dream, all in balance
new patterns appearing behind the old
all to achieve this moment

The Union
she said softly to me,
prepare your sword, my love
fall fertile & utter
a smile of delight
to live freely in a common state
reaching the top of our craft
not material goods only

A Future
we ran to the ship & thanked
in the dark woods brief dapples’ll bloom
behind them now fresh points of light
an uneasy balance
carrying that up again



1 Venice, 1616. Accessed online as a part of the CD-ROM Historical Archives Kotor http://poincare.matf.bg.ac.rs/iak/iak.htm

57. Polly & Sally Are Sarah (and Maybe Karla Too)

Do you tell us things will all be upped?
in a dream, unhidden, I do, I shall
let fancies flourish across those pathways
all inconsistencies determined

The loveliness of Winter is never passing
whoever’s where can catch its value
in the dark wood brief dapples bloom
circumstances within the sublime

The girl & the girl are foxes, women too
young & unabased by seriousness
their power will survive whatever
ever-unpassing as perpetual birth

All genders and hags & gypsies
– out of the mouth of my mother, her jaws
it said, Sally, you shan’t disobey us
don’t ascend this white horse but

The tone is like wounds: I shan’t write
only poems and a song – those things are serious
severest, unmarred and are uncontainable
we ran to the ship and thank.