Archives for posts with tag: superstyler

The 7 days of Roman | a hypergram presentation / 4

With Wednesday, the mythical ‘hump of the week’ is being chased, and Roman has become a brine-pickled whaler under the command of a beserk silver-bearded captain with heart-attack eyes, seeking to harpoon the phantom monster of a rewarding existence / a demoralised knight in a faintly seedy quest, clanking in tarnished silver armour through a world of seething mutant briars and famine-razed villages, stumbling down a landslide slope of skulls, the chuckling, clacking, bobbing and popping bones of his colleagues who fell victim to the dragon of illusion and whose spirits still, trapped in the bubbles of marsh gas that now form their entire world, believe in the holy grail of a normal life and consider obedience to the system as the horizon of their ontology || Revolution in this immanently penetrated state is pleasure: the sensible indulgence in Class A drugs, the white water rafting adventure in a place which is, in essence, a glorified holiday resort or even (in the elastic miasma of Roman’s vision) a stylised jail in which it is difficult to say who, among the natives and the visitors, is the guard, and who the prisoner | Meanwhile, gigantic photocopiers blunder across the veldt, chundering and ruminating, and printers vomit | articles on cellulite and the bad days for Virgos || Roman, exhausted, in rags, with a parasol made of animal skins, must work late, and he weeps with despair beside his tree-trunk canoe | The server goes down, meaning that molecules don’t move, and the world warms by another fraction of a degree | The Mercury Lounge calls him: he will drink late and sleep little this night, but at least Dr Ethanol will anaesthetise him for a few hours as the next stage in the terrible operation of his life begins…

 


from the series superstyler (open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem, June 2012)

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What are we to do with | all these unnecessary words? | Do we really | make any more | sense with them? | Marked as junk | bounced | Theseus, the | Apollo programme || Long, brooding walks through | Romantic poetry | standing by the shore | looking out to sea | Hum and chatter of a metro train | lost in Gogol or Paul Auster | the strange | bat-winged project of Modernity | ladies and gentlemen in personal planes || Those carriages | in goods yards | that never seem to move | weeds | growing up around the bogies | daisies and fine-eared grasses | So many sounds | flesh | wilts under their light | weight || Shadows | of kisses | convulsive | nebulae of climax | the horsepower and the | mist | muscles shift into | when you | come || Oceans of | type and pixels | this | fragile spray | Nowhere to | park the oceans || Shelf life | Ovid and Naruto | the drifting galleons | of discarded | Victorian tomes | tons of | bizarre cargo || Space | inside a comma || Heaven | an erratum || The body | sends out its mules for | unspeakable supplies | and we | talk about pores or instinct || In Nevada | and here | a graveyard | of signs || Silence | comes for the voice and did you say | you loved the snow?

 


from the series superstyler (open-ended, 2012–present)

I kept a person in a bag | I took them out, then put them back | when I was finished with them | then put the bag | in the hall or in the wardrobe near my bed, or sometimes | the garage | Holes | in my memory | now | more regularly appear | and often I do not know how | I went from A to Z | whole clumps of letters seem to drop away | sometimes I find myself at Y, but am not | sure where | that is | Busy, busy, such a busy life I lead | it was nice to keep the person in the bag, to have them | there when I needed them | and zipped up tight when the need was past | And years passed | I no longer took out the person quite so often | and sometimes left the bag | in a locker at the gym or | even at the boathouse, or the basement room | but I was always very careful | to put the person back | in the bag before the zip was closed | Around me, tremendous changes came | hurricanes and entire neighbourhoods | cleared and re-developed | my nerves | treed off into silver or to brown veins | or inhuman green | reaches of the Amazon | What was the person’s name? | And their voice? | There was bracken and heather and a sound of pipes | I had in mind | Donegal or Zummerzet | perhaps mist-wet fleece of the Shetland Isles? | There was no | help for it | I needed to ask the person, but when | I opened the bag, they had gone | Surely, surely, the Shetland Isles? | I was called back to life at once | I used the bag for something else

 


from the series superstyler (open-ended, 2012–present)

A golden bug fell out of his head.

Then a post office. Then a sunset.

She’d had a hard day, servicing the needs of a negligent elite.

He had been lucky. He turned the writer into a fetish, and then the fetish into a career. Just lucky! Or so it had appeared to him. Suddenly, he wasn’t sure whether the luck of his life was good or bad?

Her heart was like that white-washed church abandoned in the middle of a sloping field of bronzed wheat.

Her heart was like a hut belonging to the beachcomber who had been caught by a freak wave, carried out to sea, her body never recovered.

She was stuffing her ex-boyfriend’s business cards into shells along the shore.

He was engaged on a great masterpiece, and had been for years. He was a Robinson Crusoe of the word-processor. Over a decade into his labour, and still there was no sign that he was near the end. Incompletion haunted him. What if the lightning struck before he had finished? No one would care for his work, his tremendous effort. He had lost friends, his family faded away, he was alone. He had crawled into the great shell of his work, and now it seemed quite possible that he’d never emerge. His fingers were growing nacreous, with a sheen like mother-of-pearl. He couldn’t move his jaws so easily. He was cramping up, becoming shell. If he didn’t get out now, he’d end up an ornate emptiness, filled with the illusion of the sound of the ocean.

Her heart was like a downed plane, lost during the war, the remains – pilot still at the controls – deep in a forest, creepers wrapping the wings, the shattered cockpit gemmed with moss.

She was obsessed with the idea that all her thoughts were leaking away into nothing, that she couldn’t capture or record them. There were no photographs of her dreams, no video of all those feelings she experienced. Why don’t you just live? one of her friends asked her. And not worry about trying to keep the life alive?

Because how can I be sure I’m alive, she answered, unless there’s some evidence for it?

Now, a dusty grove of pines, near the children’s playground. Now a train, with a face on it.

Now heavy traffic seen from the bridge over the orbital.

Now, a sunset.


from the series superstyler (open-ended, 2012–present)

Mr Farrago spent the day cleaning his collection of lies.

The collection wasn’t particularly distinguished — in fact, one cruel critic had gone so far as to suggest it was “hackneyed in taste, too obvious in the overall selection and, in the promotion of supposed masterpieces, simply lacking in credibility” — but it was Mr Farrago’s collection, and he rather doted on it.

(And in this tendency to favour a private, long-built, much-beloved collection of artefacts, Mr Farrago was perhaps not unique.)

He had been folded through illustrations from various planes to produce a donkey’s bray and a baboon’s arse. Small national flags, on cheap-looking white plastic sticks, stuck from his pockets. His garments were a veritable catalogue of Bros., Street and & Sons: tweeds, silks, polka dots, brogues.

Haw haw.

Haw haw, he went.

His limousine, with its imposing façade and Mock Tudor timbers, sat in the calm cool darkness of his garage.

His chauffeur, Peter Fluff, had the day off.

His wife — Mrs Farrago — was away in town, visiting relatives.

Her relatives.

They did various dances. They did the Poltroon. They did the Mosaic, the Fibber’s Mile, the Recession.

How the pipers piped, and the fiddlers perspired.

Mr Farrago was delighted.

Haw haw, he went.

Haw haw.

Who could have foreseen his rise? Transfixed by the beams, floodlit from above by droning airships, with his peroration in full flow — “Bloor bloor bloor bloor, faffle puffle, bloor, bloor, bloor… Bloor…” — surely, the more sane among the contestants must have been utterly bemused by Farrago’s promotion to host of the entire show.

Each man is an island, he assured his yeomen.

At night, he put on his wireless. He looked forward to his favourite programme: Live from the Bedlam — the world-famous Bedlam Theatre, of course, in Mayfair. They always had a good line-up: The Duke’s Minstrels, Vapid and Bunnie, The Burlingdon Quartet, The Six Stout Sons, all excellent and reliable artistes, not to mention the fun and fireworks provided by the ebullient compere, Bobby Bluster — the “Blonde Opportunist”.

Haw haw!

Haw haw haw haw haw haw haw!

Half a sovereign, and a penny for your jam.

What was on the telly?

Punch My Migrant.

Turn over.

Counterfeit Kingdom.

Turn over.

Some dreary avant-garde Scandinavian epic, The Passengers of the Titanic Applaud the Iceberg, utterly pretentious, who in the world, completely absurd, why would anyone applaud an iceberg, really, how do they get the funding, unacceptable, write to the Director General personally, we’ll see about this!

Turn over.

Independent Execution.

Turn over.

Name That Treachery.

Turn over, turn over, turn over.

Turn off.

Ah, the sweet rapture of nightingales in the haughty bower of the English countryside.

Words like “inalienable” — “inviolable”, for example.

Mud and brollies! Bulldog parrot. High jinks, low blow jobs, oooh er! Trilbies, fox-hunts, whist.

The village fete, designed around the theme of steam power and indestructible national ingenuity. Bunting.

One of us, and none of them.

All for me, and the last one out is entirely alone.

Sir Shut-the-Door, and Lady Rally.

Perks and nods. Knowing. Winks and bluffs.

Dave Camaraderie down the bar. Old shag. A light foam, and pewter dreams. A Hard Place, by Miss Doris Innuendo — turn a few pages before…

My work is done, thought Mr Farrago.

My life of toil and sacrifice.

My efforts on behalf of…

My eventual triumph, turn a few pages before…

Let others do the work now. Let others take the strain. I’ve done my bit.

Mon Dieu et Mon Droit.

Persona non grata.

Liqueur. Almanac. Confidante. Irish setter.

Garbage à la mode.

Monsoon. Dervish. Berserk. Chapati.

Grit. Scar. Pluck. Spunk.

Half a pint of Let’s Get Fucked, please, Landlord.

Haw haw, he went.

Haw haw!

Pompous, flatulent, fraudulent puffer of poisoned bubbles, we will fight them.

And fight them.

And fight them.

They’re having a whip-round.

The locals down The Proud Beggar.

How’s your father and who’s your tailor?

Eden of this silver. The birth of knowledge from the womb of error. Empires and umpires, tails and whites. Come, bite — mmmmmmmmmm!:

apple

crumble.