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.”

59. Particular Dust

All these things here where
Hertfordshire drops into Harlow & Essex
and people eat & drink as they will

I’m planning to doss at my mate Mark’s
as Karla said, time to stop running
now to gather our memories & see
what we should do together now
make up our choice, decide how to act

This is what she said – she’s the one
really good with the language we use, she sd:
What we need like some vast disordered feast
where we consume all our enemies together
w/ rye bread, cheese & cool beer joyfully
get rid of them all in a single natural act

It could be anywhere we start, just
not some ludicrous gross out but let it be
a holy meal of our enemies’ flesh
we shall be joined – no one left
on the outside now, only us, a we
ready to improvise, tenderly & in wonder
a new world out of the mess we made of this old
that’s why we will start anywhere & even
the particular dust of loneliest Hertfordshire

OK then, girl, I said, let’s separate
go off into the actual wilderness there
then return & meet up, our voyaging
our vagrancy focused & transformed
oh, I can manage it sometimes as well

that’s how we are a real team I say
Karla + Darrel 4 Ever Where Ever When

Pleasant are the cries of children in this winter sun

OK then we’re held here too it seems
illuminated by this transient sunshine, pale & cheering
a little bite to eat & no big feast
but we’ll share in it together, freely & commonly
give Karla & Darrel a little space & time then
to sort out their heads & next make sure
they’re rooted within their bodies still: sometimes
we are old & sometimes young, but life, well
is always like that don’t you find? really
time to move out, or in, or deeper in
wherever the dimensions’ doors will open and
the imperceptible revolution of the world transform us
light into life & liking & licking
not explaining: listen to this:

58. OK, Then, Let’s Take the Road East to Harlow & Never Mind the Dark

In London
& the Duggan Inquest shows that
the police can shoot you & lie
& lie & fake the evidence & fool
some people still

Darrel (or Karla)
you left your parents’ house
you really did need to
your parents can’t afford your room any longer
& next they’ll cut your Housing Benefit
So you’ll’ve nowhere to live at all
     – har har hardy-har har!
     snort the Bullingdon Boys
     & all their little hangerson

In Sainsburys
oh white lights of infinite choice
– we still live within
this state of illusion

On the way home
the moon inside her armature of light
cuts a silver window through cloud

. . . Build the new world out of reality, and new vision
we come to find out what there is of the world
to understand what there is here in the world!
to visualize change, and force it.
we worship revolution1

Amiri Baraka, “When We’ll Worship Jesus”, emailed to UKPoetry ListServ, Fri, 10 Jan 2014 by Anthony John on hearing news on the ListServ of Baraka’s death

Just written
You don’t accept improvisation – just do it, tenderly & in wonder.

The practice of outside
where the vagrants live
all the cold & pain
we hit against
each other

     He had to get to Harlow before dark.2
In Hertfordshire the loneliest certainties are
     trod into pavements of the patient dust.

Simon Jarvis, The Unconditional: A lyric (Barque Press, 2005), p 17

Things fit together. We knew that – it is the principle of magic. Two inconsequential things can combine together to become a consequence. This is true of poems too. A poem is never to be judged by itself alone. A poem is never by itself alone.

Jack Spicer, “Admonitions” (“Dear Robin, . . .”), The Collected Books of Jack Spicer, edited Robin Blaser (Black Sparrow Press, 1975), p 61

Fröhlich vom Fleisch zu essen, das saftige Lendenstück
Und mit dem Roggenbrot, dem ausgebackenen, duftenden
Den Käse vom großen Laib und aus dem Krug3
Das kalte Bier zu trinken . . .

Brecht, “Fröhlich vom Fleisch zu essen”, from http://www.fleischwirtschaft.de/dokumentation/kunstkultur/pages/2.html on fleischwirtschaft.de



1 Another embalmed head cult here, so watch out. Anything needing or demanding worship is self-evidently a demonic or delusory fetish. On poetry, revolution and psychotic delusion, read Sean Bonney, Notes on Militant Poetics, http://www.mediafire.com/view/ez1idi117qns675/Bonney%20 %20Notes%20on%20Militant%20Poetics%20%28imposed%29.pdf. I think he records symptoms rather than any remedy. There isn’t – carry on adjusting & attacking as we adapt to it & it to us. Cutting through it all in desperation merely detaches heads and fetishises the consequences.



2 This line I admire most of the poem, when the inherent & self-regarding London-Cambridge axis admits (though of course in suspension) another path for movement than its own mock-epyllionary oscillations.



3 Grossness is all

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.

48. & All the Silver Geckoes. . . 1

what do they dream of
we’re crossing the line now
to improvise power
briefly against or for

do they know more than the cats
leaping across the fenceways
a whole new geography
superior to our own

does our flesh know
accepting its comfort
whatever really
it might sleep after

we give to all vagrants
one single name
but every name different
every one so

like the gods much the same
all you’d imagine
centreless & white
then clear as a mirror

any escape will do
to get us outside
we blame & we love
out into wildwood

escaping like people
just denying this nightmare
let’s see what it is
really around us

the words are our wonder
yes we can learn
wander into these schools
& understand what is said

the year ends and
we’ll see then through vapours
the first glimmers
a new fragrant tone

our age doesn’t matter
does it Karla & Darrel
tenderly hand in hand
oh, this city now is ours



1 Crossing (or Xing) the Line reading series, organised by Jeff Hilson (with Sean Bonney), held, at the time of writing, upstairs in The Apple Tree, Mount Pleasant, Clerkenwell – the room redecorated in the summer of 2013 with a gorgeous wallpaper, black with silver lizards, as background for the poets (plus photos of Marx & Lenin – for the benefit of CWU meetings also we guess). Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/140494812663758.