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The Beginning of the city I don't know



You don't know the brilliant new city

which builds the tired horizon

and creates the order we love.


The city, and you the troubled,

muddy sky, but a fine principle of majesty nevertheless,


The God of the sky in a flat, muddy land:


Immobile, silent and with considerable authority;

An immovable presence in a flat relentless land.

an uncomfortable prescience,


a bloated majesty,

crumpled and smeared

by our sublime ambition


and lastly,

puzzled by the size of things.


Don't believe the hard edges

of the city,

it is soft


as the beguiling voice

of a pliable civil servant is soft,

when stretched to capacity,


but comfortable with his universe

of meticulously labelled alternatives







Fuck the city.

there lies the beginning of an empire,

A fecund plea that will deliver monsters.


The city blesses the God of a flat land

The city blesses its harbour

and its slaves to a glorious fortune:


keep it deep men,

keep the trough deep,

with modern means.


They have a necessary scale,

those means.


The city blesses itself

with well salted slogans,

a self-apotheosis

existing in the word:


like organs in glass jars

decorating the well-written walls

of the divine laboratory

of a mundane evolution


and the generous splash of fresh water

against cracked, dry skin,


from spacious fountains,

spurting a powerful, manly jet

which goes up, and up


and comes down again

in a reasonably well-orchestrated fall

to earth


a great release of the universe

in your tiny mind.


The city fountain

is a guarantee of constant optimism

Eternal renewal, endless return


And the predictable failure

to transcend gravity


But in the fall, lies the fountain's beauty

The fountain is

A grand theatre of urban godliness,


god's lines


which radiate from the staggering genius

of well-groomed men,


Who believe in their good gestures

and warm concern for the names of things


They proclaim the city

from marble genitalia

marble tits spouting an abundance


of full, filled motherliness,

the birth of the city is relived in the fountain


the city blesses its divine cause

its divine origins.


The whores caress the wild men

"Thank you for making me"

are resonant words for a creator.

they keep him in a good mood,

for a while


The city chooses itself

As the perfect centre of the world


The modest point at which

Heaven reaches down to earth


And earth lends a helping hand

in formulating an intangible existence

a perfect variation in the mind


in the sky, the sky is the divine mind

a mysterious epiphany


The Sumerians were right

we should thank the gods of the city

give them our whores to do with

what they please, to tame them with hope.


In the words of the city filled with hope

In the single language of the city

The glorious purpose of a single language:


The building of the wall

The wall that makes us look up

and pray for free passage


The building of the tower

the tower that links heaven with the earth

and makes the guard a gritty god


the tower

which makes the city spread

which opens the canyons of our daily pilgrimage


into a wide expanse,

a panorama,


the only purpose of which

is to proclaim in sodden, saturated

complacency that "It is good".


But with knowledge of what

the divine guard sees

with knowledge of what the office clerk sees

comes division, a common tactic


The ringing commands of those

who see where things are going.


The language of each district

which cuts hard edges,

and burns a fierce belonging.


In an echoing metaphysics

of light panic and moderate despair

and a deep-rooted culture of complaint,

the people lament.


They would pull their hair

If their hairdresser had not

performed his meticulous magic

at considerable cost.


A delicate health,

a light landscape

of small obstacles

and only scuffed shoes to show for it.


The song of the autumn leaves,

a whispered threnody

mourning the loss,

in the endlessness of what is to come.


The boots of the bald racist

stretching his face

to enjoy the hatred.


Words of the large comedian:

"dancing is praying with the feet

marching is cursing with your legs"


A strong power that statement.

But marching is a greeted tragedy.

Marching is the rhythm of belief

it only ever makes others curse.


Marching is what people do

when they have decided on a common purpose.

a common theme


They shall have their cursed tower

And God shall have his languages.


The jolly note of a cursing march,

Which selects its threat,

which beats meat because its different


Blowing through the tall,

exotic canyons of the city.


The honeycomb canyons

strong with work and filled with a bare confidence..


A solitary dance of discarded plastic bags

enacts a divine metabolism.

It prays.


A hungry craving for movement:

They are so transparent,

so easy to see through.


The prayer of the discarded:

blessed are the discarded

for they shall dance wildly

with conviction


and in that conviction

lies their prayer:

an aesthetics of the wrong.


The world is our mother

Large, stretched, full and

growing from within: croissance

birth is a metastasis


The pain a prescience

of an unknown

and a happily predictable future


Our modernism

A well-intentioned wrong

the umpteenth fall from grace


“The ism forms when a solvent idea

congeals, hardens into a fossil

and becomes the form of itself”


of itself in death,

while the hungry priests

keep the mummy walking.


They crush and crumble

in their delirious creativity

within the funnel of their wisdom.


They run the dead king round his court

and the eager public proclaim

a great and wonderful miracle

and they are right.


a revelation

an epiphany

of the tragedy that is laughter.


And God is a lonely echo of the last laugh

A fine and clear shout

through the wild landscape of our

mediocre comprehension.


With an innocent clause

that this wrong

is ours.


It does not possess

we possess,

we unfold within


like white, nubile, willing virgins

in garish colours (lots of purple).


Arranged according to

the festive trappings

of our dizzying expectations.


The apotheosis of the mundane,

our single problem

has become, among the jolly voices

around the dinner table,

our challenge.


Our pioneers have changed life

into an urgent game;

That is the packaging of our time.


The city is our organism,

we its lowly servants,

the humble agents of exchange.


The city is the cancer of the world

The city is the disease


The city is a bright infection

leaking pus,

smearing that cooked yellow pus

over the peachy skin of the world.


But the world,

despite the layering of space

is still too large to see in one go.


When the city is the world,

The world will be our organism

our carcass.


Infested carcass

comfortable, rigid and slimy home

to teeming millions


Hollowing the carcass

Following our leader to the next feeding tree

A mute and impotent wrong.


A wrong for which I would still be

eager and happy to blame another God.


So wrong, that we have only

the comfort of our cynicism.


But is it wrong?

It is.


But is it wrong?

If it is wrong it can also be the secret.


And if it can be the secret

It could also be right


And if it is right,

we will plant our melancholy poetry

where once there was breathing


A breath we could afford to ignore,

Afford to take for granted.


There, an aesthetics without direction.

a medal for the impossible.


Spill your lust for knowledge


and it will collect into a mirroring puddle;


In which to admire your self

transformed by the colourful reflection

of spilt oil.


Love beautiful, gorgeous thought.

Thought impressed upon pliant,

curved surfaces


Luscious thought,

mendacious thought


Gruesome emperor whose wish aligns the axis

between the beautiful city and the meagre, poetic

and finite image of heaven, that sells.


The froth, the crescent foam

that is the lust to escape,

the grind, that is freedom.


Freedom dances to the release of direction

Prays for the achievement of direction

within an overwhelming wealth.


The flight of wings over the city

Whole flocks of black specks

bellowing and turning.


Pliant, unfaithful to everything but the autumn and the spring,

generous to their desire to have things right,

The flock folds, twists, fills up and stretches...


It knows the city.

It is the time of the city

But obeys different boundaries


Henry Moore(')s in the sky

fleeting and transitory forms

to describe them is to attempt capture.


and imprisonment

and at such a moment

they themselves become

the futile object of desire,


a hopeless definition of freedom:

freedom is the discovery of

direction within wealth.


Freedom is the ass

Do you want freedom?


Freedom, above all, above the world

is a beautiful thought,

unformed, as the flight over the waters of darkness.


What is beautiful thought?

Here friend, a label on a homely jug.


It can be emptied

of everything but

its visible purpose.


You will see the perfect circle

you will think a perfect circle

is the shape of a perfect world.


A divine figure,

a beautiful simplicity

starting from a mundane and everyday infinity,

the infinity that is a lack of an end


The kind that turns around in circles

meticulous and awe inspiring

because it is not over there.


Has not been there for a while

Has not tasted repetition

on an industrial scale


Has not fitted normality

as the metaphysician of will

fits his shoes and his delight in poodles,

to his quaint ambitions.


Beauty is what you see,

when you see it.


There... is beauty.

It is over there,

over the fence.


The high fence,

the fence that directs your eyes upwards

to the sky;


To that node in the mind

where heaven reconfigures itself

according to your mood.


There, in the emerald green meadow

where the cow has given up resisting.


Over the other side,

where things are better and worse!


Where I gather everything

around me in a glorious self,

a solipsis without a mirror...


Over the crushed horizon,

The third way,

heavy between heaven and hell.


Where the sun slots into the earth

defying what we know

where a circle merges with a line

through the door.


Where arrival is always celebrated

and dicky blunders into yet another tired world.

Beauty is always there.


The city is a beautiful thought,

a blot, from above an old fire with burning embers

covered with ashes.


From afar it looks just right, just so:

A blameless smear on a green carpet.

a print, a pile of presents.


The physical surface of memory.

A pattern of huge decisions,

taken, as they should, by little men;


Off the cuff, with a slight impatience

cutting a space of quick Choice.

swelling to a well-mounted dilemma.


Indescribable, because

of a tedious lack of breath;


a wish to forget the steady trickle of

of mute consequences.

which, naturally, fail to exist.


There is so much.


Revel in the rain, the abundance,

the wide smile.


Choice is the epiphany.

Of wealth, of God.

of a perspective in abandon.


Everything moves majestically

as J. walks.

He stays still as the world walks around him;


Dances around him to present him

with new places of purpose.


The perspective shifts and slides,

flickers on and off in the warm sun.


Layers of matter fold and dance

The warm, dissolving air

caresses my awareness;


seduces me,

but fails to overwhelm.

For that I am man.


I am man...

pronounce the words

as if they could lead an independent existence;


An existence without you

The sentence creates a drawn sigh.


It draws the finger,

through a liquid language

and creates a wake,


Which goes elsewhere,

but makes waves which caress

the banks of the gentle river,

wearing down their resistance.


A line between two points:

I and there.

The line is "am".


It has no character,

it deserves no adjective.


Am is the line between I and there.

An invisible line,

which assembles and gathers my world

and makes it mine,

that is,

makes it possible to acquire an image


My perspective is a treasure

my analogue world,

which is huge

and where I am a happy God.


My cave of wonders

A perspective,

where the world arranges itself;


and rearranges itself

to suit my view

between two points:


I, and there.

And the verb,

THE WORD is the axis.


I am.

This magic curse

does not supply the predicate there.


So that I

and my line

Am, can move.


The predicate of I am never rests

It is restless

It moves.


It is movement itself.

First a line,

a chance discovery


and then a line

which assembles everything

around it,


and then a dictator of direction

to be disobeyed.


Being is a dictate, an edict

thrusting you onto the stage

to make you in turn ruler of your being.


What a laugh.

What a scream, J..


The whole purpose

of my glorious existence

is movement


thought is movement

an economic exchange,

a slight of hand

Thought and product.


Thought is the making of staircases

treads of distinctions

runners of similarities


thought orders the existences

encrusting the line between me and there

and distinctions generate names


Genesis 2,19


present movement,

represent moves

(move thought)

translate thought into language


an understanding science or an irritable art.

The similar creates and



It holds truths together

and pulls them apart.


The similar is the broad girth

of another joke,

a manifold slithery sweetness:

philosopher's vomit.


Picture some heinous earthly god

simply dividing at whim or will;


Dividing this and that happily

as if he is a child, a child god.


This in this bucket, that in that bucket.

This bucket is emptied into that hole

that bucket is stamped and compacted

turned over and made into a tower.


Highest means deepest hole,

deepest means widest hole

widest means thinnest.


And narrow,

cuts like a knife through

soft unsalted butter.


every category stands

because it is supported.


Some have

marvellous muscular tissue.


They are strong and enjoy

getting up in the mornings.


Others have well carved crutches

others lie discarded,

limb torn from limb,

in the wasteland,

in the rich fruitful silt of the river

they spawn frogs from the mud.


The city with its endless limitations.

infinite boundaries

endless ends


each an inappropriately thin diaphragm

stretching and bellowing

to the demands of growth and consciousness

A gorgeous divide.


The grid, a matrix

of hopeful movement.

of fair division;


Of endlessness

and-less and-more.


Measure the number

of beginnings and ends;

A hopeless measure

With its measureless number

of existences;


each caught in a scale


Each scale with its own microscope

and its own telescope.


Its own in and through.

other and to,

here and bitter

despair and under

of belonging and throwing


Its own glorious future and

indolent wake

into the imagined,

into the (nothing)


Please God, make them go away.


ground and stack

place and worries.


Oh yes, J. whispered,

worry is a category of place.


Dying in spectacular architecture.

(There is a building where he lives.

It is white and glass.

It is thick glass.


Inside, a huge, grandiloquent atrium,

which softens voices,

and quietens the spirit,

is crossed by high bridges

where civil servants perform

the theatre of their significance.


They walk making

gentle gestures of purpose

With bridges just for walking across

to another meeting,

another potent measuring.)


Spectacular space

from one credible purpose

to another.


People like dying there,

they enjoy falling

to their peace

in a grand space.


They are hungry

for the poetry of their death

and do not think too long

about the mess,

the strawberry jam.


What a pleasure, what a hit!

What a bit of luck

with such generous buildings.


And what is so marvellous

is that their private tragedy

their knowledge,

stays with them.


Underneath the Eiffel tower,

people lie down to look up.


They look and wonder

at the human spirit

in long-lived phrases,


which are made of steel and glass

of transistors and experiments

which never tire


never mind being conjured up

to add effect.


To add a lonely sparkle

to the magic silence

of such moments.


Which is why they look deep

into the organisation of supports

beams, ties, girders, nuts and bolts.

cladding, trims and a simple fascia.


Their looking is profound

It reaches the fluid, mendacious depths

of the barely understood.


And people who died from their

magnificent leap,

their wild decision,


used to lie there

until they were cleared away

by men who were paid

to do that sort of thing.


It is no longer easy to jump

from the Eiffel tower.


So people now look up

And in ascending,

they look over


They transcend the lowly city.

The surface foam,

risen as Christ the soufflé.


(There is an emblem there:

people look up

to what they can see in the distance

and make their world.


People leap down

from that distance

to become one with the world

they never held,


like a confident man

holds his dick.


and the news switches

its subtle coverage

only in times of need

in times of a heightened sense

of self preservation)


The glorious, divine, messy artefact.

Hyper-mess, a frenetic littering

a glittering landscape of waste and

short-term purpose.


Where is littering different

to building?


The sum of our purpose

The wish to reunite as a cold clump

through a dramatic suicide.


J. noticed a predilection

for large generous words. Read on...


The city is a theatre

of grand gestures.


(See...? Grand. But actually, grand

is sometimes a mean word meant to demean the other,


it constructs a geometry

where broad an generous premises

have to be compared

on narrow terms)


Beauty is good. That is true.

And what is beautiful?


Everything has its beauty and its ugliness

in equal measure.

But how does a brushy statement like that

stop smelling trite?


Huge gestures of the everyday

a cutting example:

something that makes things small,

the gesture cannot grow

cannot expand generously

into the great.


And J. wants greatness.

A foolhardy, fearless, reckless greatness,


Which seeps in to his shoes

and supports the heel


A greatness of the small

The small and the hardcore sublime


Enjoy the anger

of the mad woman.

with her wealth:


her countless plastic bags,

her dirty rags.

She shouts her visibly delicious obscenities


at the well oiled and incontrovertible



are we talking of the city

or the tram?


Is there a difference?

A place for throwing things,

spinning a gorgeous humour.



I want my poetry

to sound like a garrulous cascade,

a delightful, controlled waterfall.


A delicious sequence

of fresh thought.

Thought freshly


a meal with an endless row

of light and heavy courses,

sometimes related only

through their proximity.


My poetry as the mayonnaise

being made in the pipes and vats

of an old and dilapidating factory.


My poetry as the strawberry jam

wiped off the face of a young,

impatient child


who thinks only of red cars

and special ways of shooting and killing

in mystical sounds and furious gestures


My poetry, all mine,

no one else's until it is read.

All mine as long as possible.


The thought makes me giddy;



it makes my heavy body feel

as if it is being plunged

in soft, bright red cushions

among smooth bodies

of foolish and knowing virgins.


The idea fills my sodden mind

with the smells of a wily seduction


that begins

with the hysterical attempt at apotheosis

of the ecstatic greeting.


Oh Joy!

And then?


Drinking, laughing, smoking,

fucking happily

at the edge of the precipice.


Our avaricious society bellows

With a garrulous lack of care


with a warm and well-spoken concern

for the world we see on screen,

filtered by the well-understood keys to our angst.


We will not move.

No! we will fill our world, our city

with laughter and fine insight.


and we will sing songs

to that purpose.


Our objective is to live

and invent names.

That was our task.


(Genesis 19,2)


The wind is blowing hard

The trees are waving at us and calling

that they want more women

The flags at the entrance of a building

have turned upon it


They are hitting the building

As a fragile nameless creature would hit

desperately, powerlessly, helplessly

at the immovable presence of a young man


buildings rape the land

to force the birth of places.


Sometimes the rape is melodramatic

when it is possible

to impose a distance

a chill, a marble chill


and always this noisy rape

is intimately dramatic


rape is an insistent creation

a drama under the blushing skin

about events between ,


about something as absurd

as a mechanical movement

a piston engine.


The world is so rich,

so wealthy, so full

so pregnant,


occasionally it makes me cry,

in the street,


in a room

a room by agreement

that quietens the spirit


regulates the metamorphosis

of the pavement, the shop window,

the steps, the street, the gaps, the litter


into light furnishings




And the dilemma is this:

I have children. They are young.


They face this rich world

It looms over them and shrinks

(they are growing fast)


How do I, child of my time,

prepare them, fathers of their future


Do i build a wall to protect them.

And within that wall

build my poor ideal?


Or, like the Spartans, do i deliberately

leave the wall away, to encourage their

vigilance over the city

a wake against rape.


or do I mourn my weakness

and pray?


How do I get them

to digest the obscene wealth,



to eat and consume

the wealth of the diligent city


Wind is like that, Enlil.


We were thrown out

of paradise for our curiosity,

for our sense of adventure.


But that belongs to another

heavenly state.


Find the limit of your curiosity like Gilgamesh


And God placed that tree there ,

knowing that the one

uninteresting and useless fruit

came from that tree;


The tree of detours


He forbade the fruit of that tree

Because it was uninteresting,

Beside the point, a waste of time

an all-consuming detour.


which would make one forget

the point of heading out.


Oh, all too human Father!

the thought

Makes me so light-headed

so woozy....


Because it leads,

by way of a summer detour,

to mild obsessions

about good and evil,


a knowledge

that is a knowledge

of narrow perspectives

and clear purpose.


it is knowledge that

turns in upon the self


It is a knowledge about

use and usefulness.


it is knowledge with direction,

it uses sophisticated maps.


And that is precisely

where the world was

lead astray,


to think there was a hidden

purpose. What fools!


Die in the poverty you have created.

Fools. Die in the wealth you have ignored.



we are not capable

of husbanding the earth


we will use it

until we have consumed

our very essence


that is life

the consumption

and digestion

of essences


Our bodily functions

prevent us from doing anything else,

even if we should have wanted to.


Can you hear me?


The earth was created to consume itself

Do you want to listen?


(long pause)



a silence.


I would like to call it deathly.

Although it is not a silence of death.

It is not a silence, really;

It is the changeless cacophony

of created purpose.



in tempting us with that tree

and its fucking fruit

you have tempted us with purpose


And we succumb


..a changeless cacophony

of created purpose.


Of blind mobilisation

Of a glorious, stone-deaf doing

a loud background noise.


Mind you, in all the activity

We have made up a lot of names

Done our bit for God.


Created things that one cannot see

but in their symbol:

Country, nation,


Things that exist only

in their re-presence


The best truths

are beautifully thought.


A noise I have learnt to love.

But enough about my love,

my being in between


poor Eros, always in between.

Have you ever been

in between the thighs of a woman?


Have you been in between jobs?

Where was your love?


A Turkish lady walks

through the street in a city in ...

One child holds her right hand

and pulls her along.


Wrapped in her coat

she has a baby against her breast.


They walk among large,

tall mirroring buildings.


Buildings that are her theatre

easily bounce back her image

using the most recent developments

in glass technology,


the theatre of her exhaustion

while remaining unmoved themselves



Is man a parody of godliness?

And is this cheap question

not the writing on the wall?


The economics of true drama


Do the geese, in the autumn

in the poisonously green meadow,

near the sprawl of the castle,

reflect upon themselves?


The tram is filled with a black girl,

black as velvet

with her newborn

white baby in an expensive pram.


she laughs with her friend

whose skin is not perfect.

Who gives her son a sweet.


We move along the city

among metal noises

and endless small drama,


within a matrix of

games and sincere pursuits

no less trivial than creation itself.


Games of relation,

Sweeping geometries

and relative heights


john stands on the altar with Mary

an older woman.

man to man


A Moroccan man

tears up a piece of paper

with explosive drama

in front of a large office building


He crosses the road, his fat short legs

goosestep to a dramatic resolution.

he makes the flakes of his decision

snow to the ground.


His hands are washed of the affair. 

he is clean and angry.

And his wife will not ask questions.


And his doubts will not appear till later

And his balding head with its weeds

is quite forgotten.


And the proscenium in relation

to his brave gesture

speaks the truth.


The bible is being relived

in every little gesture.




Ecstasy, St Theresa,


you lie there

so seductively,

so open to your dream,

your legs wide apart


so closed to the audience watching

your most private moment.


What a grand story, this everyday.


On the concrete viaduct next to

the railway line,

an intellectual graffiti artist

has written the following text:


Know ya history!


in a bold an beautiful script of

magenta letters and gold spray paint shadows

with delicate highlights in white


Who was the young

man or woman who painted that

in large colourful bold letters

on the newly built viaduct?


Had they combed their hair,

Had they brushed their teeth,

Were they warmly dressed?


History merges into one large truth

The written word our only means to

differentiate the past.


to build that ruin called the past

yes, build that ruin,

I fancy a Mexican beer.


And then we are in the station,

the centre of unrest,


The single file procession of thought

passes in triumph through the door

hits the platform,


an almost meaningless

grid of 30 by 30

defined by ubiquitous concrete tiles,


with which the whole city

has been paved and overlaid,


only children and obsessive people

see the pattern and respect it,


plants and insects use the in between

for their own domestic arrangements


The young men stand like Greek statues

on the corner of the street, on the pavement


do they see the grid?

Have they forgotten their games?


Small boys play marbles on the pavement

The lines are tricky


Skates and prams and scooters

feel the rhythm of the lines,


ka dug ka dug ka dug


Now we are back on the platform

and we go down


And down the escalator,

the plug through which a refreshed man

drains into work everyday.


he walks at right angles to the rail track

to escape the station.


(you invariably do so),

the right angle

is an efficient mechanism

of escape


Man has escaped the dust

by means of the right angle


He has escaped an idea

by maintaining the right angle


The right angle = man:

Kevin Perpendicular


What a heroic epic! What a story!


The world and its plumbing,

its fortuitous structures

its leaden conscience


and its marvellous ability

to ignore and escape, to enjoy.


That, my friends

That is the story

of our being the world,


our centrifugal fecundity.

Our blind delight in creation,

in doing.


The city is the purest creation

pure shit

created blindly,


without the intention of smell

without the history of touch,

without noise


Without purpose

beyond the clods of worry

that require defence


and the whisps of desire

that conquer and slaughter

in a light champagne

of bubbling blood


an exquisite abandon

over life and death through

a wicked technology


a gorgeous freedom

and without guarantee


plough the outline of your city

respect its borders,

believe in its elusive gods

cherish them


We could at this stage recite a cynical

Mesopotamian poem.


But I have fought cynicism

I have struggled against the great wave

And won! Cynicism is dead.


Dead without a just deserve.

Death has nothing to do with deserving



Death has everything to do with space.

And now that my cancerous cynicism

is dead, I have space and time.


And if you babble like a madman,

you might just be really mad.

Really furious.


The ball bounces against

the old lady who wanted to cross the road

Up it goes.

Balls do that.


In the space,

in the  quietness

of my inertia,

too dead to stop

the juggernaut of human progress.


It will move.


Of the wild party that is purpose

Self-absorbed around the spectacle

in its own fascinating processes


It does not care what happens

during this gripping episode

of creation.


God the director,

Gaia the soap.


And the soap is drama.


Grasped and codified

Conquered and meticulously organised:


thought blown into the net of habit

A threshold, a garage,

a rediscovered response.


The intimate epiphany

With a glass of wine:

I am your dead God.


With a glass of wine

I am speaking to you.

Through the glass


Knowing that you

have made the world to speak to me.


Knowing that I will plough myself

back into the soil,

to become food for thoughtless creatures.


(I cannot be sure

of their thoughtlessness)






(J. paused)






The city is receding.

It's skyline has become a jagged edge

against the momentous flatness of my land.


My land is, however.


J. is travelling

in an eternal present continuous,

carryiing the past in a flat screen 

too another city.


With another skyline,

the same and different.

The same drama.


A whirlpool of blind doing.

A bubble bath of wild doing.

My brave land.


My brave world

My brave world

eternally returning


I am doing.

I do,

I have done,


I did

I wish I had done,

I would do,


I will do,

I should do,

I should have done,


I would have done.

I shall.

I am undone.


Good friend John.

Who never knew me


I thrust my friendship upon him

while he stands there

in that ridiculous shroud.


There is a deep mist out there

It dissolves the flat meadows

is sympathetic to trees


the mist allows

the trees to have their shape

and eat it.


My friend in the shroud.

Dead and alive.

How marvellous our world.


To be dead, perhaps for yourself,

and at the same time

to be alive for others,


who know in the depths of their stomach

that you may be alive,

but that you are really dead.


Go, you are not as bad as you think.


Chorus (I)

believe in miracles.


Chorus (I)

believe in the everyday.


Chorus (I)

believe in shaving cream and toothpaste

In painting cupboards green


In the train a man is talking

and everyone must listen.


G., were you like that?

If you had travelled on a train

would you have talked so loudly?

despite you predilection for mountain tops?


I rather imagine you would.


Walk through the street,

Walk through a door,

A procession through a triumphal arch



Only the wish for a cup of coffee

desire for a book.


The procession,

through the space,

the narrow gap of lofty names


the procession given shape

by the matter of the city,

where people come together

to live a good life in a rough order


the pattern of robbed space,

private space, space

robbed from everywhere


to create some where

to create a thoughtless structure,

to create a new empty place.


Life is naked theft.


Don't worry about it too much

why should you?

The flood is inevitable

if you look far enough


Your words will remain for a while

but no one will have time to read them

and when they do they will no longer

read the signs


that you have hidden among them




My poem of wood

has lost its desire for flight.


So full of a chilly lack of anger

An anger like a crystal ball full of snow

The city has dried up in my mind.


where before it was as red meat

full of hormones and grit

full of light tread and prayer


now the mind within it, is sagging

ageing visibly, cannot discover patterns

can see no end to the misery.


I did not want this poem to become heavy.

I wanted its violence to be light-hearted:

Drinking and laughing with our thoughtless

and irreducible desire to do.


To celebrate our motion.

Our purposeful move and exchange

To think of names as we prepare

for our full and happy dying.


Blind doing, blind motion,

and by blind I do not really mean blind

not a loss of sight

but its insignificance.


even though I shall cherish the word

I mean blind as I mean pilgrimage

as I mean goal,


as I mean the geometry of perspective

of single points towards which everything

else rearranges itself


without too much consideration

of the consequences to the other infinity

(of possible points)


unless that itself becomes part of the fun.

Thinking in words, thinking in images

playing with ideas drawing them from

a world of exotic fruits,


a world of abstract shape forged to use.

And with use come good and evil.

with use comes usefulness, a blush.


Blushing is the proof that use

was something which God,

ever a brave and daring principle,

wanting to be complete,


created, but wanted to spare us from.

God. I love the idea of God.

It is a good idea, God.


I like the idea of swallowing the

crumbling bones of saints

in the wish to become saintly


in becoming, we eat

eat the city,consume the artefact

that is city, the beautiful city


the ultimate work of human kindness

to itself


The place where God is.

The city as the epiphany of God.

where God the man is stretched into a place


We dance through the valleys of the city

The valley in the shadow


We steal space and create

our own little worlds,


comfortable worlds

in a city of infinite replication,

infinite multiplication.


Stolen worlds,

colonised spaces,

made into home,

with light and memories


Millions of angry walls

proclaiming wrongs and rights

in their belief in a true purpose


millions of walls of desire

with ample women thrusting hard pneumatic breasts

and strong walls proclaiming the truth,


'hallowed be thy Name

thy kingdom come

thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven'


a city of books, ceilings

never allowing the sheltered person

to see heaven,


a city of floors

to help the normal people

keep their feet from burning in Hell


and ceilings,

to have their humility


a city where the purpose is the place.

A city of a glorious metabolism

serving no end but movement


growth in plumbing.

growth in litter

growth in things arranged in a centrifugal I


an i spread

over the surface of the city

smeared over the informal paths

of a daily routine.


The ancient procession,


moves on

through the streets.


They seek an audience

and thus

become a line


in the diaphragm of the walls,

breathing with domestic rites

interrupted by the noise,


boulders of crashing anger

by the promise of judgement


Waving signs,

to the rhythm of their prehistoric legs,

walking the rhythm of the earth


channels of public space being claimed

by anger, claimed by the righteous

whose right is what they believe in


A right that exists

at the mercy of scale.


The classroom is empty, a lonely place.

Through the door

a corridor

through the corridor

there is no procession.


A corridor is not a street,

Its lines dictate the possibilities

too narrowly.


A street is a diaphragm

A street is a contract

A corridor is an edict,

a sentence to move towards the light


I love the freedom of the corridor

the freedom without choice

It is a freedom with the clarity of direction

A light filled direction,


where the light returns to us from the end

It is a statement that undoes the hinge

and allows the door to fall forwards

To reveal by light and shadow,

a narrow freedom.


What a wonderful lift

A vertical corridor

with one Copernican difference

A Ptolemaic truth:


The lift moves us

But we stay still

while the corridor is moved by us


through our movement,

stratifying an organisation

into a nation of organs


a corporation,

a body of majestic

and highly dignified organs

an ecorché exhibiting relations of function

Of use.


I prefer buildings to people

people make so much noise

buildings merely contain their echo



Use of


J. will explain that,

wearing his colourful hat.

In the middle of paradise stands a tree.


Did it stand in the middle?

like the tree of life?

What was its shape?

Was is a deciduous tree?

Did it have an impressive canopy?


Did its branches stretch over the ground?

Did they swirl like the dress of a dervish and

Prostrate themselves before God the Lord?


No one has told us

that it stood in the middle;

Why should the tree have stood

in the middle?


That centre that enlarges

the world around it


It might have stood

at the hard edge of paradise

a curiosity, a miscalculation

on the part of God.


Underestimated, like the snake.

Eating fruit from trees,

can be disastrous


While the fruit itself

is uninteresting when left.

I can picture god as a small man,

all too human.


Slightly hunched with age

well-preserved though and

all too certain of his considerable experience

with creation.


His beard is clean.

I am sure of that!


I picture him

standing in his glorious garden,

with shears, spade and hoe,


immensely proud of his creation

perhaps already convinced of his own infallibility

convinced he has thought of everything.

what a fool!


thinking: "ah  knowledge of good and evil.

Yes, Worthless knowledge really.

Not what we want as such.


But there you are, a lovely tree though

It blossoms well, lovely colours

a slightly pompous tree, slightly overdone


And if I warn them,

It should be all right.


Look at those absurdly luscious leaves

Those fleshy flowers.

Obscene really


and the fruit

is a waste of time,

Why did I bother? Oh well.


a slight misunderstanding

worshipping me


It will make microscopic things

take on a significance

that exceeds their scale and reach


And people will know that

And to hide their knowledge

People will start wearing silly hats


and stupid clothes with fine brocade

as keys to their useless

and frilly knowledge

made useful


to disguise their nakedness

And people will believe themselves.

And it will take over.


and I know because I am omniscient.

The knowledge itself is useless

as anything but a weapon."


Thus spoke,

the funny bloke

with his funny hairdo


The knowledge of good and evil

is like the desire for gold.


It is a coarse instrument of power,

magic and yet heavily inert

without metaphor.


power serves its own growth.

Symbols are the means of power

Symbols are the full extent of power.


There is no power

but for the symbols that contain it!


Violence is its most compelling

and dramatic language;


A new order its greatest creation

and entropy its inevitable waste and destination.


symbols ensure

that power becomes tangible,



And power lives and breathes


Symbols are a violence


And then one loves the man in the silly hat

Loves the magic gestures of his hands

loves the holy reverberation

of his imprecation.


Knowledge of good and bad is a weapon

of elegant self destruction

good for a succesful life,

in evolutionary terms


"Ultimately it will destroy itself, that knowledge

but not before it has destroyed me and them.

But I shall warn them, simply

without frills


Oh well, I had better get on."


Thus spoke

the funny bloke.


(I love my wife. She wears hats

To keep her ears warm

in the crisp, cutting air of winter


To shade her white thin skin

against the Apollonic sun.


The young god on his wild,

divinely driven


spoilt rotten by his nymphs.)


Bloody tree,

and we could have had such fun

doing what we do,


naming things,

without that silly sense of danger,

of escape from time as our purpose,


good and evil are a function of time in space

Without that sense of historic epos

In the beginning there was the verb.


Talking of verbs,

I wonder what Adam and Eve did

with the core of the apple?


Did they throw it away?

(The train is filling up.

It is nearly time to leave)


Was it the first garbage,

and where did it land?

And did it rot?

And why is hell below our feet?


It is very cold,

I have left my hat on,

I rub my hands

and tense my stomach muscles

and wriggle my toes.


It is still dark.

The buildings, large buildings,

with a large presence,

are no longer opaque,


they shine themselves into the dark.

It is no longer their opaque surface

that keeps them,

that controls their girth,


Now they have a chance

to really perform

To show what they are made of,



And they take their cue.

they throw out light,

throw out their inside to the world.


It is a dazzling show.

A convincing argument.


White ceilings everywhere.

The white ceiling

has no symbolic function yet.


No larger purpose.

It contains no good and evil.


That is strange really,

when you think of it.


Beacons of self perpetuating


self fulfilment

self fulfilling purpose,

of movement and

frenzied mobilisation.


Words are bridges to the unknown

Hitler said that, I believe.

But once built they become themselves.


They lose, to some extent,

their direction

as they themselves accrete mass

and develop a gravitational pull.


They become places to inhabit

places from which to watch an ebullient world.


They gather the sonorous rhythm

of the road its thousand simultaneous paces

and its frayed edges with

colourful litter and its memories.


The abbreviated landscape towards the far

and even the horizon: where

Nut touches Geb functionally and tenderly.


And the destination becomes an other,

becomes a hope

a hope that loses its intensity with a bridge


Bridges need maintenance

to feed their destination


And so the symmetry of love,

The in-between of loving

The constant struggle towards


On, on and into becomes the

object of maintenance,

an economic factor.


The word has lost the bond,

has crept into a dark ignominious place

in the tired, capitulating acknowledgement


of an impotence to describe

To re-create that fresh feel,

a flushed skin.


That sense of morning and evening

The feel of an endless afternoon

in a well kept garden.


When the world is set apart

to be preserved.


To sit back and absorb

all the tempestuous demands

and relations


Good food,

good sex,

good views


to expand the becoming

to arrive at the enigmatic point

at which a flat desire has been muted

for a moment


I don't know

I don't know

I don't know yeah


Tram: housing project

two old ladies collide and flounce

their faces beaten, carved and kneaded into age


their age harvested

their faces ploughed

with quiet wishes

but lying fallow

sprouting wild hair.


their eyes are like those of a mad cow

being slaughtered

in a modern abattoir


Their conversation is a baroque fountain of fear

and quick confirmations


"Look at the streets mabel."

"It's disgusting"


"And even the papers."

"You're no longer safe in your own home"


"Look at that Mabel"

"Its disgusting"


"They no longer bother"

"They no longer bother"


"Come on Mabel"

"Yeah Come on"


We get out of the tram.

The same spot.


There is a cold but unprophetic wind

Some of the rubbish

is still quite colourful

shouting the joy of unbridled consumption


A plastic bag whirls and swirls

pirouettes and curls

and dances its freedom from purpose,


Black children, brown children

Youngish men with dirty teeth

and dirty nails.


"Hey, a tourist" says a young black boy

sixteen, the right shoes, a girl.

That look, defiant, provocative, tired


I look round

He looks away


I smile,

He looks at his girl

Who sits between his long

well-shaped legs


I am a Tourist

Recognised by an authority

Belonging to the tourism movement


Movement is what I stand for,

my ism

my movement

movement through the city searching for

 lame truth.


Blind whirring noises

Of spiralling movement


A plastic bag in the wind

And the tourist is born

into the generous arms of the city,


My mother

And my camera,


The city is uncontrollably large

And each mind carries an analogous city.

The memories of a humiliation.


The disgust and excitement of first love

The shock of the physical nature of death

The route to an awful house

with an innocent look.


Its proximity resonating in small signs

Fragments of youth and serious games

ordered by lines which we drew

with our minds plunged into wars

and sublime rivalries


The streets are littered with evidence

of great events,

trodden into the mud,

squashed between the tiled grid

of paving stones.


The bottle top that witnessed

a careless dismissal,

a dismissive laugh,

a laughable attempt at reconciliation.


That bottle top

"Its disgusting"

"Come on Mabel"

"Yeah, Come on"


that tin. trodden, kicked

carefully investigated for nutritional value

by the scavenging classes


Who, by the way, are meticulous

in their scavenging,

and then, eventually, cleared up


By great men

in bright orange uniforms

their importance is silent

not hidden in their uniforms


They are important

in their bright orange uniforms

But those bright orange uniforms

would appear to diminish their importance.


They come home at night

Full of their importance

and hang up their uniforms

On special hooks


Having spent the day

tidying away the myriad memories

in the city of significant waste.


blessed are the waste disposal men

for they tidy away our memories.


And what is your city like?

"'It's disgusting Mabel, come on"


There is hysteria in the inflection

of her raw voice.


Fear in her grip of the newspaper

But it is subtle.


well hidden beneath the veil of her beauty

and her beauty is a geological beauty.


stratified in layers of experience

and excavated by a sympathetic ear

and a kind look


a great big warm waxy sympathetic ear

an ear which can unlock the deepest

sewage systems of her heart

by simply listening


to her endless little worries

Be that ear George. Be that ear


The city rumbles with fears and worries.

See them loosen their hold

on the newspaper,


see them rustle the paper

check if they are holding the paper

upside down.


Imagine the hurricane

if everyone in the world

would rustle their newspaper

at the same moment.


The rustle would

no longer sound

like a gentle sibilant rustle,


it would sound

like a great applause,

a standing ovation

for little fears and small worry.


"They just come over here"

"and they think they own the place"

"It's disgusting"

"a national shame"

"come on Mabel, let's go"


and listen to the interlude

"Its the staccato in be minor"


Look at the city now:

Stacked landscapes

stacked memories

stacked domestic violence


stacked racists

stacked blacks

stacked oranges


stacked football supporters

stacked chairs

stacked atoms


stacked pigeon holes

stacked doors in the lift shaft

stacked furniture


stacked hard disks

stacked bricks

stacked coffee cups


stacked pornographic magazines

stacked ashes

stacked graves


stacked tins of soup

stacked cd's

stacked love letters


stacked books

stacked houses

stacked political manifestoes

old and new


stacked children's drawings

stacked fruit

stark naked truth


is she ashamed

and where, for god's sake, where

did you throw the core of that apple?


and was the ground well prepared,

fecund and willing

to bear the brunt

of yet more fruitless knowledge?


Billowing birth

The city is born from between

the bloody thighs of youngish women

attended by an improvising audience;


the birth is cleaned,

wrapped, fed and carried about

and knows the world as its mother


knows the city as its mother

knows its language,

or its tone, as its mother


it is an unfailing knowledge

but does not know its mother

is not attuned to her finer needs


she walks the streets

and drives the road

giving bits of her body to science,


to others

to her son.


Some of her body rubs off

on her clothes

on the sheets of her marital bed


her body empties itself regularly

when bits stop functioning

they are taken out,


replaced with imitations, prostheses

And so the body as city

is built, rebuilt,

and meticulously maintained:


I have married the city

at night I lie down

and gently make love to it.


the asphalt, soft, hot, pungent, infinite

and the light is divine in the city

it penetrates the glass,


like God the virgin womb

and it tells us It is here


to consume, at huge reductions

The light that is a jewel

in the New Jerusalem


our Platonic city up in the sky

which obeys the simplicity

the charming naivety

of our idea of perfection


no wonder the world

is thought to be in a mess

they can not see the perfection

which in itself is perfectly alright.


There is the philosophy of birth

and it is a good philosophy.


But is there a philosophy of hunger,

of consumption, of chewing

and swallowing?



The philosopher who eats thought


the movement of mastication

and swallowing

of redistribution in voracious consumption

it creates waste and recreates:


his dish, himself and,

through his excrement,

lays the condition for renewal


A philosophy of biological processes:

feeding and digestion

metabolism and growth,

reproduction and locomotion


The philosophagous

lies back to receive

mankind, envelop him

and describes its profound love

through mathematics


For love is a product of description

and description is a realisation of pattern

but ends up merely creating yet more being


and pattern

is a layer of the spirit

of geometry


To go deeper than a philosophy of

biological processes one arrives

at the philosophy of

surfaces and elementary



anything that lies deeper than the surface

is dead and is used as support for life.


the metabolism of the elements

the universe.

Its love is silent


it is


and can be taken for granted.


it will.


Smoke rises from the city

The city has woken up

has breakfasted on the forecasts


How many will have been

to the toilet so far?


how well hidden is

the merciful efficiency

of the slaughterhouse?


our temple of progress:

the slaughterhouse

which gives us our daily meat


and together with the other

heterotopias makes the city possible

as a mirror


And what would

such a pile of shit look like

as heterotopos


We would see nothing

If we could see through everything


What does God see?

He doesn't fool me


The poster in the rushed station

tells me to honour the name of God


faint heart

wild hope


The name of God? Honour?


I must be like Christ

shat on,

sung to


I like the metaphor of bellowing

if philosophy is a pioneering

through metaphors.


Then I will stop

for a while

at the metaphor of billowing


"It is strange

how the power of beauty

makes us forget so much injustice."


It is strange, how the arbitrary

heightens the power of beauty


injustice is the entropy

of a personal order


How clumsy we deal with the new

how awkward the new appears

when the new

is no longer new


On the train from the city 

a phone rings:

"yeah yeah.

"To Rio"



"I don't know whether you know him"

"Yeah, the copa cabana..."

"Nooooh, not at all, that is a big myth..."

"Earlier, yeah in the eighties.

But no longer."

"No, loved it. Not at all..."

"No, police everywhere"

"No longer. Yeah well,

You don't go into certain areas of course."

"They are dangerous. Yeah."

"No we didn't."

"Yeah absailing, caves yeah wicked."


At that moment another phone rings,

also behind me.

This man speaks Arabic.


What is he saying?

He talks in an urgent rhythm


"Ok Yeah bye. Yeah."

He hangs up.

And unfolds the magic of place

in one conversation


An unfathomable tragedy of place.

No, it is not dangerous.


'It' is the place,

but where is that place

that is not dangerous,

that is fantastic.


It is the place where

there are countless policemen.

Holding their awkward grip

on a baroque injustice


and banning that injustice

to an invisible periphery

which in the telephone conversations of

the deliberately young,

the excited, the hungrily careless

does not exist.


They lust only after the centre

And that centre becomes the great 'IT'

the fantastic 'IT' where IT is safe

to do exciting things

because there are tons of policemen


now just a memory of an intention.


A shell of intentions

a road to an everyday hell

Is a big word

a monument to the fine balance

of means and ends


At the same time

it has won a life as a real place,

no doubt.


a place where people

shit and fuck and eat

and make each other's life

a heaven and a hell


I am in the train again

Now to another lost city

and i remember my bicycle ride from the

evening station to my gregarious HOME


There is one path and that path is

many different paths


There is the path of surfaces

and it becomes its own poem:



gutter litter


asphalt, mud

asphalt, mud

steel sheets, thunder



asphalt brick








tram rail

brick bump

bumb bump brick

concrete tiles ribble ribble

pothole bump

brick, asphalt

tram rail

concrete tile ribble ribble

brick bump


Refrain: HOME

My daughter is at the window

she is waving to me

Fortune is smiling.


Same path:



Building work

Wide shopping street

Narrow shopping street


Sex shop

Violin builder




gentleman's club


prime minister's office

government buildings


shopping street

residential street with shops

residential street

residential square



Refrain: HOME

My daughter is at the window

she is waving to me

Fortune is smiling.


Same path:

I have a cold.


Same path:

bicycle from the rack

tire on concrete


tire through puddle





lots of hurried steps

tire over the bricks

and bumps



door slamming


rustle of gloves

against my nose


counter laughter


bicycle wheel over cobbles

silence (well...)


swearing (I am careless)


wheel over bricks


Refrain: HOME

My daughter is at the window

she is waving to me

Fortune is smiling.


The corral-like structure of cities

and their text of paths

and sensual impressions

does not overawe me.


Nor is it tedious in the slightest.



thE enD


Published by the author


Copyright © Jacob Voorthuis 1999-2006