the autogeography of a no/body

Jul 20


Yes, yes, I was talking to my lover, a man I have spent nearly twenty years of my life with, and he is away, breastless, breathless, without the comfort of my nipple. Oftentimes my arm is crooked under his head, in that space between his neck and his skull, while he suckles, drawing me into his mouth, indicating his desire for relief against my outer thigh. Of course, it is always a half question, his erection, re/questing an entrance, a seclusion, against this dark world.

Jul 18

nerve meter and response

people who come out of nowhere to try and put into words any part of what goes on in their minds are pigs.
the whole literary scene is a pigpen, especially today.

all those who have points of reference in their minds, i mean on a certain side of their heads, in well-localised areas of their brains, all those who are masters of language, all those for whom words have meanings, all those for whom words have meanings, all those for whom there exist higher levels of the soul and currents of thought, those who represent the spirit of the times, and who have named these currents of thoughts, i am thinking of their meticulous industry and of that mechanical creaking which their minds give off in all directions,
– are pigs.

those for whom certain words have meaning, and certain modes of being, those who are so precise, those for whom emotions can be classified and who quibble over some point of their hilarious classifications, those who still believe in ‘terms’, those who discuss the ranking ideologies of the age, those whom women discuss so intelligently and the women themselves who speak so well and discuss the currents of the age, those who still believe in an orientation of the mind, those who follow paths, who drop names, who recommend books,
– these are the worst pigs of all.

you are quite unnecessary!

i am thinking of bearded critics.

and i have already told you: no works, no language, no words, no mind, nothing.
nothing but a fine nerve meter.

a kind of incomprehensible stopping place in the mind, right in the middle of everything.

and do not expect me to name this everything, to tell you how many parts it is divided into, don’t expect me to tell you its weight, don’t think that you can get me to discuss it, and that while discussing i will forget myself and that i will thus being, without realising it, to THINK – and that it will be illuminated, that it will live, that it will deck itself in a multitude of words, all with well-polished meanings, all different, and able to express all the attitudes and nuances of a very sensitive and penetrating thought.

ah, these states that are never named, these eminent positions of the soul, ah, these intermissions of the mind, ah, these minuscule failures which are the nourishment of my hours, ah, this population teaming with facts – i always use the same words and really i don’t seem to advance very much in my thinking, but actually i am advancing more than you, bearded asses, pertinent pigs, masters of the false word, wrappers of portraits, serial writers, groundlings, cattle raiders, entomologists, plague of my speech.

i told you that i have lost my speech, but that is no reason for you to persist in speaking.

enough, i shall be understood in ten years by people who will be doing what you do today. then my geysers will be known, my ice floes will be seen, then secret of adulterating my poisons will have been learned, the games of my soul will be revealed.

then all my hairs, all my mental veins will be buried in lime, then my bestiary will be perceived and my mystique will have become a hat. then they will see the joints of the stones steam and arborescent bouquets of mental eyes will be crystallised in glossaries, then they will see stone meteors fall, then they will see ropes, then they will understand a geometry without space, they will learn what is meant by the configuration of the mind, and they will understand how i lost my mind.
then they will understand why my mind is not here, then they will see all language drift away, all minds run dry, all tongues shrivel up, human faces will flatten and deflate as if sucked in by hot-air vents, and this lubricating membrane will continue to float in the air, this lubricating caustic membrane, this double-thick, many-leveled membrane of infinite crevices, this melancholy and vitreous membrane, but so sensitive, so pertinent itself, so capable of multiplying, dividing turning with a flash of crevices, sense, drugs, penetrating and noxious irrigations,

then all this will be accepted.

and i shall have no further need to speak


antonin artaud from the nerve meter (1925)




i rather like the passage for its passion and pathos … and because it reminds me of why a wild heart. purely viewed as an insult tho, well it’s right fucking creative, anger can be a beautiful thing in the hands of a genius and, crucially, the destructive tendency can be artistically productive.

i love artaud. somewhere in him and his writing is an element of truth and profanity. maybe it’s because his madness, at times, left him completely unmediated. and i was thinking ‘to just speak, all bald like, without posturing’, well, there is something to be ad/mired about that, to refuse the audience, to say exactly what one believes to be true and hang the consequences, there’s a peculiar honour in such a stance, because art, real art, isn’t a corruption, it’s not the art of writing or the art of entertainment, it’s not a manipulation for the sake of an audience or to garner popularity, you can’t go put a bridle on it and break its back so you can ride the damn thing, art is fucking wild and untamed, it’s a shit stream of chaotices built from twigs and mud, who the hell cares about the right and wrong of it, it’s not there for judgment, it doesn’t exist for approval, and that’s my relief, how come i can breathe, the profanity of the whole thing, that’s what’s sacred about it.

there was this one time, way back, when i went on a demonstration calling for the shutdown of the bnp headquarters in london (the bnp are a far right fascist organisation). of course, the cops wouldn’t let us go towards the actual building, so ten thousand demonstrators were stuck in a dead end road. i was in class war then, an anarchist federation, and we had this thing, supposedly, about direct action (blow it up, burn it down, kick it til it breaks). i say supposedly, because that day i learned what a bunch of gobshites my fucking ‘comrades’ were. the cops attacked, full mounted charge, peeling back to reveal several phalanxes of riot cops, and they meant business … now, right behind me was the southall black sisters collective, hundreds of them, some of them with their kids. what did my comrades do? they jumped the wall and fucking ran. you can’t jump a wall with a pram. you’re fucking stuffed. you’re stood there like a target. and snaking down the side of the other wall was combat 18, the military wing of the bnp. i’ve never been so scared in all my life. i was actually crying. i couldn’t run. how do you run away and leave women and kids? but there was this guy, skinny dude, and he said we all had to link arms, that the horses wouldn’t charge if we linked arms, only problem was he was a commie, full red flag regalia, and anarchists don’t like commies. he was right tho, the horses don’t charge, they just push up against you. the feeling of a horse’s flanks, so much more weight and power behind their movement, and they stink, and they froth at the mouth, and they’re fucking huge. when the cops couldn’t break through with that tactic they changed their strategy and sent the riot boys in to crack a few skulls. the line held tho, we just kept passing the casualties back to the black sisters. there was blood everywhere. and noise, the noise was phenomenal. the stand off went on for about a couple of hours. despite the full weight of the state brought down to bear on us they couldn’t break through, linked arms you see, something so simple and so nakedly human, you stand with the man next to you, shoulder to shoulder. that’s what i learned that day. bollocks to the semantics, the apparent philosophy, fuck the mob, that beast without a brain, fuck the cops, they can’t do anything, fuck it all, it’s just about where you choose to stand, and you’ve always gotta make that choice, either positively or through an act of omission, and i’m always gonna stand next to the man with honour, the one who sticks his chin out, cos without that fucking insane bastard we’re all gonna get mashed. he don’t care what the odds are, all he’s gonna do is stand up for what he thinks, what he believes, and he’s never gonna be any different, because he knows it, right down in the heart of himself he knows who he is and why he is and no one’s gonna convince him of anything else.

Jul 18

wolf peach (lycopersicum) – edited

She was growed up to be A Shamed,

like a hot tomato, ripe with embarrassment

(and lust),

head branch bent, too fragile, too guilty,

(smelling of chlorophyll),

constantly praying her skin would keep her in

until she could peel it off.

‘You reap what you sow,’ her mother said,

‘the fruits of your labour’.

Oh yes, the woman’s knees were grass stained.

And what knees! God made them for kneeling.

She never stood up straight,

broken backs and pip pip pip,

‘Please leave a message after the tone’.

Weight curved

(the fundus umbilicus),

heads hung like parliament;

eyes to the left and nose to the right

(Picasso would have been proud),

while she was tied to the middle ground,

a stake (in her future) for a spine.

‘The fruit never falls far,’ her mother said.

‘But I wanted to be a flower, a white rose

with wedding dress petals,’ she replied.

Her belly swelled. Her skin stretched.

Inside small seeds of desire waited for harvest rape

(to split, to tear, to rip).

If only she’d read Latin instead of romance.

If only the fullness of time wasn’t so empty.

Jul 14

Altered Ego

Whenever she felt bad, which was pretty often, Miranda hid behind a mask of thick make-up and an accommodating smile. It had been obvious since she faced herself in the mirror that morning how the day would develop. She drew a thin brown line around the outside of her lips then scrabbled to find her favourite diva lipstick. Red. It makes a statement. Only women over the age of thirty can wear red lipstick and not look like silly tarts – with the exception of undead gothic princesses, goddamn Winona Ryder.

Pout, bend, dab. Is that the faint trace of a moustache Miranda? Perhaps you should get it waxed or bleached or electrified. There. See? Some of your powder is not entirely in contact with your skin. Moving swiftly on to lavender scented hand lotion while ignoring what looks like an age spot. You really should wear rubber gloves, Miranda, especially when doing the washing up.

But this is not part of the illusion, because once on stage, under the lights, Miranda shines brighter than any star, and domesticity has no place in fantasy, at least not at the Catfish Club. The audience love her. They know her. They own her. She has been treading these boards every night for the past six years. Six years! Day in, day out, through thick and thin. She has become quite an institution, brick built and municipal.

Of course they applaud, some insist on standing and whistling – even Winona Ryder has to deal with such coarse behaviour; but no one ever brings flowers to Miranda’s dressing room, Miranda’s small, drab dressing room, where she sits, on a chair borrowed from the main floor, swabbing the make-up off her face after yet another show, with man sized tissues in her man sized hands.

Jul 8

funky toilet boxter trickster rich man poor man beggar man thief

I was thinking today, right after I passed the drunk guy lying unconscious in the park, I was thinking about ownership, being owned, what I own.


And sometimes the inside of my body feels like it’s water, or I’m going to turn to water.

She said “Perhaps it’s your OWN internal counsellor”. We were waiting in a queue to get on a boat. “Have you thought it might be your OWN internal counsellor?” No, I hadn’t thought that.

The old lady in front of me was penguin walking, weight planted heavily with each footstep. If I could just tap you on the shoulder, dear, because I need to know exactly what that colour of pale lilac is called, surely it has its OWN name?



I would say coarse haired, a touch of Irish Wolfhound. Well you would, wouldn’t you, because you try to classify everything. Not everything. Yes, you need those boxes. I hate boxes. You hate them because you need them. I don’t need them. So fucking rigid, big, bad show of gymnastic flexibility but at your core … Your core? No, MY core. OUR core, that’s what gets you. It doesn’t get me, totally false construct. I know the arguments. Argue this bitch.

Everyone wears their death mask. Occasionally they get a glimpse, out of the corner of their eye, as they pass a window reflection, when they stare at the stranger in the mirror, at the point they realise the person in the photograph is them but SOMETHING is missing. Less frequent are breaks in memory.

Tips of tongues.

The man in the park will wake up in a few hours and he will remember nothing. What a luxury. Imagine remembering EVERYTHING.

Enough, both of you, sit down.

Give me some thread, any thread, word thread, silk thread, because I’m feeling ropey tonight.

Here is the issue. “Silk milk.” That’s not the issue. Funky toilet boxter trickster rich man poor man beggar man thief. I can hear the clouds moving.

Unbidden, the stuff that OWNS you.

It had been a late one, bed at dawn, never a good idea, if my sleep gets disrupted it adds to the scramble. “How do you feel?” he asked the following morning. “Discombobulated,” I said. I can’t stand silence. It reminds me of waiting. Always the radio.

1989, Spain, standing in my parents’ sitting room, bare feet, stone floor, whitewashed walls, evening, faded heat, mother in the kitchen, metal-metal-water-pan-pong, my father’s hand in the small of my back, smiling, I can smell brandy and cigars, I have my hand on his arm, just above his elbow, half my palm against his skin and half resting on his shirt, cotton, an open weave. “Follow me,” he says, and we begin to dance. Hand in the small of my back. My body matches his. Sweet sweat, a slight grease sheen on his forehead, hair combed back. The steps, and feigned steps, are quick. We dance with our hips. I flick my head from side to side. Holding his other hand, rough, big, such big hands my father had, thick, muscular. Mother joins us. She is standing in the doorway clapping Arab style, ringing her tongue against the roof of her mouth. We are in perfect rhythm. He can lift me. He can spin me and pull me back to him. I am completely weightless, entirely subject to this wild lubrication, and I am laughing and laughing and my whole body is on hinges. The music finishes.


“I dreamt about my father, about the time we danced.”

I went to the beach and collected peebles.

A force ten gale blew in off the sea. At the top of the steps it was so windy I had to secure myself to the stair railings with the dog lead. He is bomb proof. Low centre of gravity. Funny animal. Onto the roaring beach. Horizontal rain like needles. Rock pools. He swam in the deeper sections. I watched the sea plants clinging onto their hosts for dear life, dear, dear life, costly and salty, piquant right through to salinated. And I thought about him, the time he told me how they had to chain themselves to the railings to avoid being washed overboard. Seventeen years old. He loved the sea, all his dear, dear life, that cost him, that cost me. He loved the beautiful, wild sea. Oceans of guilt and regret. But I never did remember the dancing before. Like everything with him, it was a crazy, energetic and alive. With my father you never felt you were just treading water. He was the sea.

I stood on the beach, wind lashed, soaked to the skin, blown away by it all.


“Yes, I’m done.”

“Can you see his death mask?”


The last thing I did was hold his still warm hand.

Jul 4

wolf Peach (lycopersicum)

She was growed up to be a shamed,

like a hot tomato, ripe with embarrassment

(and lust),

head branch bent, too fragile, too guilty,

(smelling of chlorophyll),

constantly praying her skin would keep her in

until she could peel it off.



‘You reap what you sew,’ her mother said,

‘the fruits of your labour’.

Oh yes, the woman’s knees were grass stained.

And what knees, God made them for kneeling.

She never stood up straight.

Broken backs and pip pip pip,

‘Please leave a message after the tone’.



Weight curved

(the tomato plant, the telephone receiver),

heads hung like parliament;

eyes to the left and nose to the right

(Picasso would have been proud

listening to their talk of mental institutions,

ropes and bullets in the brain),

while all the time she was tied to the middle ground,

a stake (in her future) for a spine.



‘The fruit never falls far,’ her mother said,

about other people.

‘But I wanted to be a flower, a rose,

a white rose with wedding dress petals,’

she replied, ‘I wanted to be beautiful’

Her belly swelled. Her skin stretched.

Inside small seeds of desire waited for harvest rape.

(split, torn, ripped).

If only she read latin instead of romance.

If only she knew the secret of wolf-peach.

Jul 2

talking with angels

Raphael, copper throughout, a long beard, flaming hair. And he asked, so I replied, for her, being as he is the healing angel. “We learn about ourselves from how we respond to the suffering of others.”

Michael, sword in hand. He held it up and sunlight hit the blade. “There is a choice. You can blind your enemies and illuminate the path for your friends. You can blind your friends and illuminate the path for your enemies.” Dazzled by the brilliance of reflection. He thrust the blade deep into the earth. Sensing my surprise, he said “Truth is not hewn into stone”.

Gabriel, messenger of God, the sayer. He casts a large black circle, a concave obsidian mirror. “Here.” And in the middle of the dark there is one speck of white light. “Like this.” Cellular, it divides into two, and the two divide into two, and on and on, until the whole black mirror is obscured by the white disc cells. He turns it over. Now it is concave porcelain. “Here.” And in the middle of the light there is one speck of dark. “Like this.” Cellular, it divides into two, and the two divide into two, and on and on, until the whole white mirror is obscured by the black disc cells. He nods. “I am the sayer.”

Uriel, carved in stone, sitting on a stone throne, old man, his plinth at the top of an endless flight of stone steps. I stand in front of his silence.