This polemic is not about the horrific events of Sept 11th 2001. It is, however, concerned with the hypocrisy with which certain Western leaders have used those events as an excuse for furthering their attempts at absolute colonisation of material, social and imaginative reality.
1::: the mighty seek to secure their power with blood (police), with cunning (fashion), with magic (pomp) /// the government does not aim to pass over people like a storm, it wants to engrave itself lastingly in their existence /// for how long will you maintain the decrepit cult of this god who is impervious to your prayers and the generous offerings you profer him in expiatory holocaust /// we regard the presence of Mr Blair at the head of the British Government as a grave obstacle to thought, a virtually gratuitous insult to the mind, a savage attack that should not be allowed to pass.
2 ::: I make poetry from the entirety of speech. Sounds clicks shrieks. Lies. Histories. All the possible permutations of the alphabet invaded by non-alphabetic signs. Variations and hybrids of meanings. The differing levels of account on the page : calligraphy the stubborn scrawl of charcoal : undulations of voice, different each time because ventriloquism is a dangerous skill because we know what the dominant culture has to say about hearing voices. An attempt at a viable political and ethical poetics, a space where its possible to move, within the space of a single sentence, from a bald statement of fact to a bellow of rage to a whimper to a cry of love. And in the words of a best-forgotten anarcho-pop song from the early 90s to make some fucking noise. Noise, not as an addition to the consumerist traffic hum of "the way we live today", but as a counter to Baudrillard's shameful quietism in the face of the 1991 Gulf War. Noise as unwanted information from within the system. Noise as the etymological relative of nausea. Noise in the face of every snivelling apologist for corporate reality.
3 ::: the Blair Government is possibly the most artificial ever. Through the late summer of 2002, as it attempted to build support for a proposed war on Iraq among the populace, a main technique was through the carefully posed photographs of leaders. Blair would present himself as a man grappling with deep and difficult ethical choices, all the while forgetting that such grappling takes place before the decision is made. A pretence of debate : in the Observer interview published on 29th September 2002 Blair said he was happy to listen to people who asked "sensible questions", which amounted to "how is it going to be done?". This would seem to forget the vital questions that many have been asking, "why is it going to be done?", "should it be done?", "who says its going to be done?", to list only the polite ones.
There are times when contempt should be dispensed only in the most economical manner, because of the great number of people who deserve it /// we know how much you like armies, you fistulous and grimy mediocrities, you slackbrained bastards you dirty shits, love from the unknown soldier /// we go round and round in the night in the end are consumed by fire
And, meanwhile, reality is closing down, quietly, without too much complaint. British Asians are encouraged to speak English in the privacy of their homes. You're either with us or against us.
The specific content of a totalitarian regime is considered less significant than the regime's determination to form the minds of the population through control of all communications.
I don't believe that the world changed on September 11th. A few things became clearer, is all. A few intentions were stated : war without end in defence of the profit motive. Absolute conformity promoted in every area of public and private life. TV culture, as if it was possible, became more anodyne. Make-over shows on daytime TV are more violent than Clockwork Orange.
In previous centuries those who deviated from given opinion were called heretics and burned to death. The burning continues, now transferred to distant cities or left to bands of fascists in hidden quarters of our own towns. Elsewhere the violent silence of TVs, radio waves, traffic, iconography. Human faces, apocalyptic manias, lifestyles. The yuppies stacked up in the ICA bar are getting into autocannibalism. No-one knows that the greatest English poet was Abeizer Coppe.
4 ::: for many years I had problems with the word "poetry" (thorngust mothfloom) because the official english story is one of modesty quietism self-satisfaction (black noise black noise) but the real line goes Gerard Winstanley Abeizer Coppe William Blake Bob Cobbing and on and on more more more (webcore webcore) the real line is wild
5 ::: I write to find my way out of that belly of hell whose name is the western world /// we can say without exaggeration that never has civilization been menaced so seriously as today. We see world civilization reeling under the blows of reactionary forces armed with the entire arsenal of modern technology. We are by no means thinking only of the world war that draws near. Even in times of peace the position of art and science has become absolutely intolerable /// The writer's duty is as a disturber of the peace /// I was born in the first century of world wars. Most mornings I'd be more or less insane /// The philosopher's stone is a brick tossed through an army recruitment office's window /// We live between two worlds - one that we don't acknowledge, the other that does not yet exist.
Most of these words are stolen or adapted from Benjamin, Lautreamont, Breton, Debord, Peret, Vaneigem, Rukeyser, Acker.