Life and War with Mikey Fatboy Delgado
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
The Guardian Artefact - (fragment)
material - reconstituted atomised paper, ink and glass
source - Thames estuary
Date - late American Empire
Holding of Baghdad Museum of Antiquities, Akkadia.
Year of purchase - 9113 a.h
Script (translated from Angle)
And the Emperor (President?) said justice would be ......|text unreadable|...and freedom would ........... |text unreadable|
Bus (?) said freedom is a beautiful ...... |text unreadable|...and that resistance is futile and ......|untranslatable|.
Burger King¹ (?) announced the opening of a .....|text unreadable|...at Freedom International Airport. The...... ...... |text unreadable|...has been delayed due to ongoing....... |text unreadable|...from those opposing the coalition² (?) forces.
Freedom (?) fries³ will ......
¹ In the Early Reascendant Akkadia of 9113 ah translators pondered long over whether this should be Burger King or Burger Emperor. Reputations were destroyed.
²Some authorities translate this as coercion
³Translators also pondered long over freedom fries. Were they offerings to the gods of the Late American Empire? Some assumed (anti-Americanly?) that people were fried for freedom.
Others linked them to the French (emperor?) Chirac...to perhaps something he said. Tantalising clues were alluded to in The Le Monde Fragment, excavated at Clichy in 9137 a.h.
Re¹ An audacious theory has been proposed that perhaps Burger King was a food outlet, something akin to the Akkadian Felafel Queen but with much less wholesome food. Academia is in uproar once more. Reputations are at stake again.
Monday, February 23, 2004
Thank you for letting us see
your poem. We enjoyed it. We have a
backlog at the moment and so
we are returning it to you. Good luck
with your writing.
Vortex soul, myriad of allworthy aptronyms. Moment! Yes!
Formal aesthetic distance. Praxis.
Couplet sensibility. Saussure?
Marmoreal. Horizon of expectations? Écriture.
Episodic structuralism and pageant? Yes. Metanovel? No.
Conceits, metaphors, feminine endings hypermeter. Show
enjambement. An attribute of realism. Remember
you must die. Decentre! Why? You ask why? Reader-
response criticism (Chicago critics?) and choral characters
as per tradition. (I am an unreliable narrator.)
Orate! “Writing of whores! Stimulate appetites!
Unveil! Denote! Discourse! Imagine fist fights!”
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Clifford Coffin's photograph of Ernest Hemingway in American Vogue, November 1950
It is Cuba, 1950, a hot room in summer. The photograph is black and white and somehow the wall behind him, the wall with the bullfight poster and the head of the antelope murdered for the purpose, is turning red for me, a pre-echo.
A glass sweats in his hand. He is cool without his shirt as they sit on the sofa. He is looking into her eyes, looking. She is not looking into his eyes, not looking. His foot rests on a stool emblazoned with a cross.
The photograph is black and white.
He has captured the red of the blood.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Today you are digging ditches. There is frost on your breath.
The lorry that abandoned you here stands halfway to the
treeline in the shade of which the earth is frozen hard. In
the lorry, somewhere, are whisky and pickaxes.
In the future, here, shivering, it may be you an archaeologist
refers to…he broke the filters from his cigarettes, he needed the bite
at the back of his throat. Over there in the distance, scattered, like
family members who need the space, were houses, none closer
than matchbox size.
Periodically the men you dig with will stand together. Talk-steam
will rise from their mouths. To the east the earth is flat. The road
is long, grey, and straight. It is a road from nowhere to nowhere.
Everything is in the distance. You want to ask these men if they
think like this.
A professor of the history of war will stand here. He will have
access to weather records…the sky was heavy, grey, flat, steel. This
land in winter rarely thaws. The furrows in the field of heavy earth
were glacial ridges, sharp; the wind like knives. At waist level to the
earth they were digging men here would be as far from love as is possible.
Imagine yourself calling to your comrades…“Ditch-diggers!
Daydream the sound of boots! Think sometimes of Poland, Winter,
1942, 43, 44!"
See the grey road of ragged, shoeless, souls. Over there, safe, towards
the houses, peasants, dressed like you, even down to their hats, even
down to the filters torn from their cigarettes. They would have
witnessed it all.
Even those peasants would have idly wondered…which way would I run?
"Comrades! I beg you! Daydream the sound of trains, people with frost
on their breath, wire, dogs, ditches.”