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  In an effort to both register and understand something of these events beyond the usual clichés, thecurrent issue is largely given over to individuals with first-hand experience of the protests in the UK and is entirely dedicated to thespirit of dissent and revolt. Thus, welcoming into our gaze andaffections the noxious cousins of the blackberry weed—“undocumented workers, the unemployed, the destitute, the homeless, the hopelessly criminal”—becomes an antidote to our violent, atrophicdrive to eliminate the “grass growing up through the cracks” (Skinner).

IN THIS ISSUE

  In an effort to both register and understand something of these events beyond the usual clichés, thecurrent issue is largely given over to individuals with first-hand experience of the protests in the UK and is entirely dedicated to thespirit of dissent and revolt. Thus, welcoming into our gaze andaffections the noxious cousins of the blackberry weed—“undocumented workers, the unemployed, the destitute, the homeless, the hopelessly criminal”—becomes an antidote to our violent, atrophicdrive to eliminate the “grass growing up through the cracks” (Skinner).

THE NEW POLITICS

  I visit, say, Amazon, and as I do so, I leave the electronic —for the Westminster Bridge KettleI am no politician, and still less can I be said to be a party man: but I have a hatred of tyranny, and a contempt for its tools; and thisfeeling I have expressed as often and as strongly as I could. I leave it there as a testament to the voluntary labour ofmy “browse”: I dig the hole and fill it with the information that is central to the accumulation of web-based capital.

THERE IS NO OTHER CHEEK TO BE TURNED

  the typeface sent me yes – no – skull can possiblyescape the willing tools of the project for you are revolt& fog & goat soundear to wood & ground & I am mythic ordinary peoplewith hearts of plastic, wire & nail: Of Artificial Fires, Of Invisible Writing,we have known it colder. At the core of ongoing student assemblies, they fuse teeth, cease tentativegestures and graft fully into the larger body of working and workless facing the next round of cuts.

10.12.10 Aftermath

  Symptoms blaze up in riled kettle-swell, mouse laser ground objective over the squeal of FACTS, prostrate gleams your black blow swindle decisive‘Page after page of filthy poetry’Stick to the FACTS. Attention it prostitutes a molasses bleeding drink cunt entropy as happy anger miss the shields.

GOAT FAR DT EXCERPTS

NOTES ON BRITISH POETRY NO. 34

  q.v.) beforethe Bank of England—our role is to agitate the nostrils of the imagination, to sear the surface of history, to kindle debate with ourcoiling black skins and draw the steady *thwuck* *thwuck* of“hecklecopters” o’erhead. I just kind of wandered around a bit and looked at the people there, and evenstopped and talked to some of them, to just like get a real sense of the place.

NOTES ON BRITISH POETRY NO. 44

  In an American context the conjuration of such battered concepts and clichés among the Left, however noble and well-intentioned, appears to be driven by a desperate, self-defensive confidence in the face of overwhelming powerlessness andstupidity, a confidence which is at once admirable and despicable. In some sense it is wholly absurd to speak of an AmericanLeft outside that part of the Americas that resides in the global south, and this is specifically the case in the US where words like socialism and communism are no longer operative concepts but filthy words in politically and culturally conservative quarters and, worse, irrelevant concepts for progressives and liberals thatunderscore more than a century of failure.

SCRAPE THE ICE

  In Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune—a film that promises to be as poorly received in the US as Oliver Stone’s South of the Border —one British critic smartly remarks, "Left wing politics was his career, but the thing to remember about Phil Ochs is that whatwas in his heart was not left wing politics at all; it was John Wayne and Gary Cooper." In America it is always high noon. I mean, if thefiguration of the lone gunman wedged at the center of theAmerican imaginary was gunned down in cold blood, Americans would organize in a wave of revolutionary hysteria to hire a newgun—and the more progressive or radical we are the more lonesome he’ll be.

NOTE FROM LONDON

  November 10th shocked everyone, when a standard demonstration—against cuts in university funding, threefoldincreases in student fees and the abolition of the EducationalMaintenance Allowance—ended with the anarchist flag flying from the roof of Tory Party HQ, with bonfires lit in its courtyard,windows smashed, offices ransacked, and the end of at least two generations of political apathy. Lord Browne, from politeness that particular thought isan opportunity, a response to that thievery, his silence –he is though, representative of certain constellations of orderobvious studies of number, and the present apocalypse isa structural problem, this eschews metaphor, the enemy‘is’, a defining molecule he is though, a childfuckera swarm of goldened thinking dead behind the rose trees.

THE POETRY OF REVOLT

  And in this context, we might remindourselves that making revolution is not something new forEgyptians—having had no less than three “official” revolutions in the modern era: the 1881 Urabi Revolution which overthrew acorrupt and comprador royalty; the 1919 Revolution, which nearly brought down British military rule; and the 1952 Revolution whichinaugurated 60 years of military dictatorships under Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak. On January 26, 1952,Egyptians emerged onto the streets to protest an array of issues— including the corruption of the monarchy, the decadence, powerand privilege of foreign business elites, and the open-ended British occupation.

HOW TO DO THINGS WITH POETRY

  The poetry of this revolt is not reducible to a text that can be read Consider the most prominent slogan being chanted today by thousands of people in Tahrir Square: “Ish-sha‘b/yu-rîd/is-qât/in-ni-zâm.” Rendered into English, it might read, “The People want the regime to fall”—but that would not begin to translate the powerthis simple and complex couplet-slogan has in its context. We have already seen one example of this re-scripting in the extraordinary, original pamphlet from Egyptentitled, “How to Revolt Intelligently.” The poetry of the streets is another form of writing, of redrafting the script of history in the hereand now—with no assurances of victory, and everything in the balance.

POETRY AND CONTINGENCY

THE POETICS OF THE POSSESSION DANCE

  And yet even that “misdirected” hostility is progressive insofar as it maintains what Adorno would once havecalled a “negative relationship” to truth: the desire to abolish the privilege that a particular group is afforded is almost always a tacitacknowledgement of the value of that privilege, and as long as the desire persists, the worst danger is deferred. This at least you allege, following the words you just did then to this one nextat the end, where in your straining heart communism makes amends; I amstill here, and so long as I am I am the fire blind in sunlight, burning outthe entire sky, orgasm of immortality, and the finance aristocracy who ownthe freehold for morality will fry, not in hell but in the blackest oilunderstating their bonuses; it is that simple to say, so say it, now say itagain and watch the novelty wear off.

10 DAYS IN A SATELLITE TOWN, AND AN AFTERMATH

  The formalism of ourintervention and the cosmopolitanism of that mob—which found itself obscurely and recognised in the face of each friendship andalliance, drained of resentmen—could at least be claimed to operate in the same field, be part of the same process. We were responding to a sense we had that something was We had some friends at one of the colleges that wanted to get going after Millbank, and we specifically wanted to supporttheir efforts to underpin a process of mobilization—but the thing was for broader circulation too, at the other colleges and even, alittle at the universities.

THE WHITE ALBUM

  I like how quiet it gets and the bright light next to the bed as I lie there reading, and how hot it gets sometimes and even how there’s always a bug that flies around the light. I woke up at some pointand after a while, lying very still, I was able to make out the cracks in the ceiling plaster, lit up every now and then by the swoop of headlights from out on the road.

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