March 2013

seeing Barney’s wonderful one-man show …Him last night …

…made me want to write a play again. Is this wrong?

I get the feeling something is being left unsaid.

And listening to This Mortal Coil today (“Holocaust”) gave me an inkling of what it is,

and where there is space in the market.

Send me ideas, donations, commissions.

luz es tiempo
National Scandal
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

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R.I.P. Hugo Chavez, July 28 1954 to March 5 2013


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“Gothic represents a ruined or fractured realism, excessive because its desire carries it beyond the ego and social convention; postmodern horror belongs to an epoch in which horror itself has become conventional, and so must be suitably self-ironising. It is the culture of an era too calloused and streetwise to be shocked, and so reaps its wry humour from the pointlessness of any such attempt. Gothic, by contrast, is funny in the way all excessive intensity is, as well as in the manner of an obscene joke. It allows us to indulge our repressed fantasies so unashamedly that we laugh at its very barefacedness, quite independently of its content.” – Terry Eagleton


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Against the Kingdom (c. 1995)

At the wind drop,

     tidal mangrove by the motorway,

the masts and pylons,

     these are the spires of the West in a smoke-blue sky

and I was going to speak again

     against the kingdom, a stifling obloquy

and commiserate the status quo,

     Henderson in the valley, the road ghost and abattoir

in the mind,

     but I’m not interested in its preservation, after my friends,

people whose faces are swollen beyond recognition,

     with the speed of trauma, make a living

off the film industry,

     after their denunciation.

In the glass apparent cars

     end to end like shopping-trolleys, silhouettes

that last forever, sunsets,

     the moon transparent as a lens dropped on a blue pall,

cracks white and sharp the cloud’s edge, a spot-knife

     where the light sits blunt and bright,

row upon row of screens in traffic, fluorescent tubes

     joined end to end down an endless immigration corridor,

highway, runway,

     and the shadows of drivers and passengers shall not

deepen, nor lighten; formerly

     I gave my thought fractured and poingnant

to the concrete apparition of the outer world,

     I experienced something like a loss,

somehow a shellfish, an oyster, hulled and discarded,

     the repression of a detail, of every fingernail,

and its formation,

     after the denunciation, the repression,

after the repression of names

     that are inserted to lay bare not themselves

but their disguises,

     the formed pink grey meat, the pearl frame

and then pull out: things that need to be said

     in an open letter

as if enjoying relationship with friends and lovers

     without consent, their calm distrust

of everything I sent against the kingdom or said

     to them, old friends, ex-lovers, and made denials,

because they wouldn’t say what needed to be said

     and conferred distant reassuring gazes

that were blank stares

     on subtle messages of dissent

beyond the range of human voices, I don’t believe

     I am making this up, the birds

left the trees in their eyes,

     their shadows by the bedside, at the end

of the motorway, the red beacon; and in addressing

     the legitimacy of a desire for prosperity and

happiness I have again betrayed myself

     to their fingers digging in the bush

for real-estate. On the shoot, the magic hour,

     mist round the stalks of lamps,

the hill strides, bows under a standing wave

     and loose cloud that is let down

at the wind drop, in strands;

     a frame perfect woman, blond hair with

dark streaks in a dry-as-a-bone on a rowan mare

     led into the ford to let a car pass

on the bridge before Bethells.

     And I, he said, I,

but I don’t want to talk in the I anymore,

     I’m left here caught

in the world of interesting ironies,

     the paucity of images

sufficient to overturning the verdict

     of anonymity, a boy

in a man’s body, nervous as a blowfly,

     small subversive practices won’t work

anymore and looking out is fraught

     with ambiguity, to make a fuss

about the facade’s not only dangerous now

     but pointless to me, I, I, still stuck.

Before the difference, the repetition before the end,

     before the end of a singular solution

to the problems in the inner life of any person,

     when I’m not hulled at Te Henga, instinct

with the pathos of an oyster, before

     the denunciation of my friends, the sweet

repression, a return to understanding

     every hollow instance of the real, then

I would’ve wanted to reserve my rights

     on this movie, soundtrack, I would then

have wanted my rights to hacking the land

     in its comic whale-like proportion,

to attacking the commonplace absurdity

     of this country

were preferred to the kingdom.

     O What’s happening now?

Can’t you hear its bones?

     The girder, the steel and concrete,

these are the deep blues and purples

     in the building’s skeleton

of spaces

     before the political skin is put on;

open markets, they promise, unstoppable,

     will soon lead to open pockets,

a red-tipped cigarette, they promise,

     in the bleak religious architecture,

will soon lead to open politics;

     he has to wriggle a little to stay on top

on top of his concessions,

     the coloured lights, the music and the energy

in the marketplaces, he has to dance

     to the tinny latin section playing on a tranny

attached to the popcorn stand,

     a samba or sing a tango

and I was going to speak out again

     against the kingdom but I’m going to speak

about myself in the black religious architecture,

     for that

I am denounced.

point to point

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