29 July, 2022
Josie/Jocelyn Deane is Running Dog’s poet in residence for June and July 2022.
Each month, a poet produces new work, which is distributed via Running Dog’s monthly newsletter—Stray. If you haven’t already, sign up to our newsletter.
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There is not much future in the détournement of complete novels, but during the transitional phase there might be a certain number of undertakings of this sort—Guy Debord
In the city of Sigil, at the centre of the multi-verse in Dungeons and Dragons, floating above an infinite mountain (we must imagine Anselm arguing: the mountain is perfect; one of the characteristics of perfection is existence; a mediocre ice-cream is better than no ice-cream at all. Therefore, the mountain must be said to exist). In the city of Sigil, the Sensorium is a theatre, a locus, in which a memory may be extracted and played out/performed for a given client. Imagine the Black Mirror episode where a man analyses his own meta-data to find out if he’s being cucked, or that thing in Harry Potter, or The Conversation, in which Gene Hackman destroys a room listening to a tape, or Blow-Up by Michelangelo Antonioni, in which an assassin is possibly caught on camera. Let us imagine the thoughts of those decapitated— Anne Boleyn, turning her head at the noise the executioner makes to distract her from the task at hand, Marie Antoinette at the guillotine, becoming-metonymy, Hamida Djandoubi, the last man to be legally beheaded in the West— the few seconds of Oh. I’m a head now firing off in their cerebral cortex. I’m totally alone. The only brain firings that are mine, unreservedly. Totally.
Posting is always posting to An online newsletter. A SomethingAwful forum in the late 2000’s after Hentai is banned. The church door in Wittenberg. I am not owned. I’m not. It posits exact relations: the post, the church door, the nail, the hammer. It is a closed system, and nature abhors closure. The sun shines and we are full of 2 or more wolves. The radiation travels across the meaningless gulf of space, gives us cancer, warmth or the proportional strength of a spider. This is as constant as men telling you to kill yourself. Nothing can be done, the river can’t be dammed. In the way Borges describes in Kafka and his Predecessors, a work’s genetic code suddenly appears in the fossil layer, like a Boeing 474 in the Jurassic. Authors are said to be great posters: Marx, Lenin, Oscar Wilde, the affect of a specific medium. Lovecraft is said to be the first poster, the first 4chan Nazi, building a letter-correspondence/crowd-sourced, fictional universe around a field of absolute terror. Imagine a gun that fires pure Abyss. The end, and the askew door through which the end materialises.
Pissboy Lovecraft failed to imagine the rain, you said, reading how it’s still forbidden to pet the radioactive dogs of Chernobyl; Oh horror, Oh indescribable he’ll write, glimpsing a stubborn hole in stucco, like a tentacle, a thread unravelling. When the reactor broke, those who beheld its true form turned their own eyes to a desert. “He started with loathing when told of the monstrous nuclear chaos beyond angled space which the Necronomicon had mercifully cloaked under the name Azathoth” he wrote about the god-vacuum whose circumference is nowhere, who dreams of atoms folding into mycelia, archaeopteryx, a Ukrainian cracking his neck on a stained balcony.
Your grandfather was a physicist, living with your grandmother in Kyiv. The rain, you recorded them, telling your mother, telling you, was clean and the window appeared to have goldfish inside the pane. “A barometric low hung over the Atlantic” Robert Musil wrote about the border of various non-existent countries/families, “It moved eastward toward a high-pressure area”. He did a crossword trying to parse the new science of super-conductors, of star-fusion. Your grandmother was reading The Man Without Qualities, looking up occasionally, the wind guttering against the wall. Elsewhere, teams of decontaminators are walking into The Zone, where the laws of materialism go haywire. Their families know something, see strange colours emanate from beyond the pale, thick fog.
Your mother says her mother says she picked a mole on her cheek, testing her repeatedly on her six times tables/ long division. She encouraged her writing. “It was not that the sounds were hideous, for they were not; but that they held vibrations suggesting nothing on this globe of earth”, he wrote about a lodger violinist playing arias. As the reactor continued to seep unreality, ionising radiation, free neutrinos and gamma rays, a karmic chain of life, became the river particles, became the topsoil and rhizomes, the gust through a wing, the purple fingernails of a dock worker. Its squamous, ungulate, batrachian, cyclopean horror could only be suggested, he wrote about something true no doubt, no doubt. The rain was clear on the paving stones, the wind turned toward the north east, away from the city. That’s why I’m here, now, you said your mother said they said to her. The drizzle went on for 2 hours.