Dec 30, 2009


My knives have met the limpid air and crumbling spectral minarets. Would the scourge of mediocrity sully a fine mist with crashed regenerative torches? I can't see why easy answers won't wash away like flowers on a submarine, but I've been something else during grotesque measurements. When iconic transmogrify comes to the sleeping, ruminate how ice is an inert gas. I'll be there at the origin of humanity. Then we'll know who laughs first with rose bubbles of volcanic cellulite.

Dec 14, 2009


Triskelion birds inhale oceans with lizard ears and vanishing footprint geysers. Black silver meteors fly as moth lair photisms amidst caterwaul sitars. Concave meanings raise hollow lightning ships, my oroborous eyes.

Dec 7, 2009


Stuart Inman and I started a blog dedicated to Latent News, a surrealist game which seeks to 'disorder the mystification called news to reveal something of its latent content.'* The texts posted there are a result of cut and paste or optical collage-like actions done with newspapers or other media. Improvisation and chance creates a new sequence of events which is then related in a news-like fashion, with the only rule being the formation of grammatically correct sentences. Click on the title above to visit the site.

*I first encountered the phrase 'Latent News' in an article by Franklin Rosemont who described the essential features of the game.

Nov 26, 2009


Look at the contrived charade being promoted as 'Black Friday.' A big shopping day makes the culture take notice. The message is that we are fulfilling ourselves, finding a purpose within our 'all being in it together.' The bottom line is the hook to destroy the wings of the fish and real domination lingers on in haunted heads of colonized flesh. 'Black Friday' is the loose nose of a breathless sack of garbage in a brain-scum fingered into 'unique' ladders of triggered remorse, sartorial gargoyle brain-dis, the waste of words for imaginary fountain of fools.

Oct 18, 2009


What is a will to be well?
The incurable crisis of civilization
It's being transmitted from this yacht
It's the caressing action of fried oysters by their parents
In that redoubtable wood of monstrous circumstances.

Serves the presupposition of convincing our pupil, the horses in the seed machine, the old arcades of her past with a powdered wig, just as if the events were happening to him. On my belly I know the dead silently glow to the east before scrying dancing blue fishtail.

Her face again I realized I desired;
Neandertals dissected Fourierism.

--Chance text made by selecting random words from books

Oct 1, 2009


The slick zygote moth
wades in and out of my tongue

the third owl nebula
a synthetic constellation of footprints

My space-station mouth
with a venomous sponge
from the dark ocean floor

where diamonds form in a hot minute

Aug 28, 2009



In Defense of the Dark Side of the Moon

"But, for myself, the Earth's records had taught me to look for widest ruin as the price of highest civilization."--- Edgar Allan Poe, The Colloquy Of Monos And Una (1850)

Twenty years before a powerful syndicate of military-industrial criminals conspired to plant a US flag on the Moon, a similar clique of fiends plotted to fire a nuclear warhead-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile at the lunar face. Code-named "Project A119," this plan devised by Cold War-era Air Force and weapons manufacturers called for a massive nuclear explosion that would be clearly visible from anywhere on Earth. Researchers struggled in vain to find any pretext, any shred of legitimate scientific value, to glean from this sickening display of militarist impunity. But the sole objective of Project A119 was to terrorize into submission every human on the planet (especially those who had never heard of Hiroshima or Nagasaki) with a demonstration of how the US ruling class was technologically adept and morally bankrupt enough to commit such an unimaginable poetic atrocity.

And now, once again, there are plans to bomb the Moon. This time the unilateral strike is aimed at the Moon's South Pole and the payload will be delivered by the LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite) spacecraft; the excuse given is that this is an effort to find water deep under lunar surface. The craft was launched in late June and is currently orbiting the Earth until it finds its target; if all goes according to plan, the M-Day bombing will be 8 October 2009.

The plan is this: the LCROSS first shoots off its 2,300-pound spent booster-rocket at the lunar target zone. Four minutes later, in a scheme apparently inspired by fanatical terrorist airline hijackers, the rest of the robotic LCROSS craft slams into the same area. Like crazed kamikaze paparazzi, the craft will snap photos and transmit data on the first strike back to NASA's mad bombers before immolating itself in a second explosion. This violent hi-tech sci-fi spectacle will cost anywhere up to $600 million, a price tag that is an outrageous insult to the millions of working people unable to feed, house, or medically treat their families. (As Gil Scott-Heron lamented in 1974: "How come there ain't no money here? Hmm! Whitey's on the Moon!")

Of course, there is much more behind this attack than casual scientific curiosity on whether or not there is water on the Moon. First of all, since the long-range accuracy of intercontinental ballistic missiles has never been proven to work, the LCROSS suicide mission serves as a live-fire test exercise for US war strategists with an interest in the precision of orbiting satellite weapons--in other words, the southern hemisphere of the Moon will be turned into a firing range, making this mission one giant leap for the global reach of space warfare. Secondly, LCROSS has been promoted as "the vanguard" for the US military-industrial-entertainment complex's return to the Moon: according to NASA, finding water is a necessary first step for "building a long-term and sustainable human presence" there. Historically, the purpose of exploration has always been the exploitation of resources and the colonization of territory without regard for ecosystems or indigenous peoples, and clearly the Moon is the next territory coveted by imperialists.

Only people with colonized minds believe these things are positive, or that this type of "progress" can be beneficial to anyone beyond a small circle of exploiter-elites. And, as to be expected, there is no end to the number of those who seek to compensate for their own personal impotence by over-identifying with these grotesque displays of obscene state-corporate power. You can hear them chattering on the Internet: "Flying a rocket booster into the Moon at 5,600 mph to trigger a massive explosion is just flat-out cool," says one, while another sneers "Public discussion? Why should there be a˜ 'public discussion' about a NASA experiment?" Such remarks challenge our contempt. There should be a discussion, not only by the public, but also by oceans, weather patterns, plants, and all sorts of other living things; the most uninformed know enough about the "butterfly effect" to realize that changing one part of any system is going to have a cascading effect on all those things dependent upon that system.

This so-called "NASA experiment" is a hostile act of aggression and a violent intrusion upon our closest and dearest celestial neighbor. Does any love song or poem or fairy tale worth its salt not mention the Moon? Who can take a walk in the Moonlight with a lover and not feel the romance to your very soul? At night, when the Moon rules, we sleep, and we can visit the Moon in our sleep with ease. The Moon is our night light, our blanket, our grandmother, our mother; it is woman, child, domestic life, tides, bodies of water, liquids, circulation, comfort, nurturing, paintings by Remedios Varo, stories by Jules Verne, and so much more.

Let us assume that ignorance will rule the day and plans go forward. What can we as surrealists or lunatics or astrologers or naturalists or anarcho-primitivists or Greens or werewolves or pagans or psychics or UFO groupies or other concerned members of the general public do? We must soothe the Moon, we bandage her. We implore other celestial bodies and entities to aid her. We will not let her endure this crime or its grim aftermath alone.

We need to communicate to the Moon. Talk to her in our dreams, trances, or meditations, and prepare her for this shock and wound as best we can. Hold her, send out imaginative protection to her, and put our dream bodies out there in front of the bomb. Collectively, we can sabotage the bombing by imagining all manner of things going wrong, or encouraging the Moon to increase her own magnetic shields. Sing to her. Give her back just a tiny portion of all that she has done for us. We are all created from Moon dust.

We pledge solidarity with the Moon and promise we will do everything that we can to help heal her and to prevent any further such stupid, short-sighted, self-serving, man-made acts of obscene violence against her.

Gale Ahrens, Guy Ducornet, Beth Garon, Paul Garon, Joseph Jablonski, Renay Kerkman, Don Lacoss, David Roediger, Penelope Rosemont, Joel Williams

Surrealist Group in the US.

May 21, 2009


"My past slips out a wormhole brain so I can exhale like a horse"

"And dance forgetfully in spiral conch shell caves"

"Lining the cliffs by the ocean's bony phantasms"

"Where teeth rise to the top layer of soil"

"With a red wine laughter boat..."

"Racing the dusk."

"I'll wear electromagnetism, and practice levitation"

"Shrinking like a slug's antenna..."

"To hitch-hike on the cloth rays of wasabi engines."

Apr 23, 2009


I was able to briefly visit a small show of paintings, images and objects by Andrew Torch of the St. Louis Surrealist Group. It was held in a frame shop in St. Louis, where one room was devoted to paintings and objects. The most striking was a large painting ‘A Real Life Allegory...’' whose use of dense imaginative color commands the attention as ambiguous layers co-habitate in the substance of a seven-year process one can fall into. There was a box object nearby which created an optical synthesis through a special lens, as a bird-headed being lurked in the narrow box. A larger object-box featured elephants coming and going while the viewer found their eye and chin split up visually into a kind of humorous 'cubomania' when they looked into the system of relays within the box. I feel this may have helped provoke a dream I had later that night where it seemed I had another face, which I discovered in a mirror on a telephone pole near a house I lived in nine years ago. Another object at the show which I enjoyed featured an antique clock infiltrated by a small di. The random factor of chance is 'salt' in the wound of linear time. I also couldn't help but wonder about the old heating vents in one corner of the floor, beneath a wire grate. What sort of experience could happen down there, I thought quietly.

Apr 14, 2009


I want to take a moment to honor Franklin Rosemont who died on April 12th. I first encountered his writings in Arsenal #4 (Black Swan Press, Chicago: 1989) around 1991. Although I had read Breton's Manifestos of Surrealism and a handful of other works that were translated into English, I was not aware that the Surrealist Movement still existed in our era. After seeing parallels between surrealist poetry and my internal experience I tried to find everything I could that appeared in English, and Franklin's works were some of the most interesting and well-researched. In a period when too many works about surrealism in English were poisoned by falsehood and academic necrophilia, it was great to read Franklin's energetic and modern perspective that provided an aggressive counterpoint to the Salvador Dali imitators and the uptight art museum myopia. I have several signed copies of his books, including The Apple of the Automatic Zebra's Eye, Wrong Numbers, and Revolution in Service of the Marvellous, the latter two which he sent to the Portland Surrealist Group several years back.

My condolences and solidarity to Penelope Rosemont, the Chicago group and its affiliates.

A message from Inter-Activist Info-Exchange is reproduced below.

Franklin Rosemont RIP April 12th, 2009
David Roediger, Paul Garon, and Kate Khatib

Franklin Rosemont, celebrated poet, artist, historian, street speaker, and surrealist activist, died Sunday, April 12 in Chicago. He was 65 years old. With his partner and comrade, Penelope Rosemont, and lifelong friend Paul Garon, he co-founded the Chicago Surrealist Group, an enduring and adventuresome collection of characters that would make the city a center for the reemergence of that movement of artistic and political revolt. Over the course of the following four decades, Franklin and his Chicago comrades produced a body of work, of declarations, manifestos, poetry, collage, hidden histories, and other interventions that has, without doubt, inspired an entirely new generation of revolution in the service of the marvelous.

Franklin Rosemont was born in Chicago on October 2, 1943 to two of the area’s more significant rank-and-file labor activists, the printer Henry Rosemont and the jazz musician Sally Rosemont. Dropping out of Maywood schools after his third year of high school (and instead spending countless hours in the Art Institute of Chicago’s library learning about surrealism), he managed nonetheless to enter Roosevelt University in 1962. Already radicalized through family tradition, and his own investigation of political comics, the Freedom Rides, and the Cuban Revolution, Franklin was immediately drawn into the stormy student movement at Roosevelt.

Looking back on those days, Franklin would tell anyone who asked that he had “majored in St. Clair Drake” at Roosevelt. Under the mentorship of the great African American scholar, he began to explore much wider worlds of the urban experience, of racial politics, and of historical scholarship—all concerns that would remain central for him throughout the rest of his life. He also continued his investigations into surrealism, and soon, with Penelope, he traveled to Paris in the winter of 1965 where he found André Breton and the remaining members of the Paris Surrealist Group. The Parisians were just as taken with the young Americans as Franklin and Penelope were with them, as it turned out, and their encounter that summer was a turning point in the lives of both Rosemonts. With the support of the Paris group, they returned to the United States later that year and founded America’s first and most enduring indigenous surrealist group, characterized by close study and passionate activity and dedicated equally to artistic production and political organizing. When Breton died in 1966, Franklin worked with his wife, Elisa, to put together the first collection of André’s writings in English.

Active in the 1960s with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the Rebel Worker group, the Solidarity Bookshop and Students for a Democratic Society, Franklin helped to lead an IWW strike of blueberry pickers in Michigan in 1964, and put his considerable talents as a propagandist and pamphleteer to work producing posters, flyers, newspapers, and broadsheets on the SDS printing press. A long and fruitful collaboration with Paul Buhle began in 1970 with a special surrealist issue of Radical America. Lavish, funny, and barbed issues of Arsenal/Surrealist Subversion and special issues of Cultural Correspondence were to follow.

The smashing success of the 1968 World Surrealist Exhibition at Gallery Bugs Bunny in Chicago announced the ability of the American group to make a huge cultural impact without ceasing to be critics of the frozen mainstreams of art and politics. The Rosemonts soon became leading figures in the reorganization of the nation’s oldest labor press, Charles H. Kerr Company. Under the mantle of the Kerr Company and its surrealist imprint Black Swan Editions, Franklin edited and printed the work of some of the most important figures in the development of the political left: C.L.R. James, Marty Glaberman, Benjamin Péret and Jacques Vaché, T-Bone Slim, Mother Jones, Lucy Parsons, and, in a new book released just days before Franklin’s death, Carl Sandburg. In later years, he created and edited the Surrealist Histories series at the University of Texas Press, in addition to continuing his work with Kerr Co. and Black Swan.

A friend and valued colleague of such figures as Studs Terkel, Mary Low, the poets Philip Lamantia, Diane di Prima, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Dennis Brutus, the painter Lenora Carrington, and the historians Paul Buhle, David Roediger, John Bracey, and Robin D.G. Kelley, Rosemont’s own artistic and creative work was almost impossibly varied in inspirations and results. Without ever holding a university post, he wrote or edited more than a score of books while acting as a great resource for a host of other writers.

He became perhaps the most productive scholar of labor and the left in the United States. His spectacular study, Joe Hill: The I.W.W. and the Making of a Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture, began as a slim projected volume of that revolutionary martyr’s rediscovered cartoons and grew to giant volume providing our best guide to what the early twentieth century radical movement was like and what radical history might do. His coedited volume Haymarket Scrapbook stands as the most beautifully illustrated labor history publication of the recent past. Indispensable compendiums like The Big Red Songbook, What is Surrealism?, Menagerie in Revolt, and the forthcoming Black Surrealism are there to ensure that the legacy of the movements that inspired him continue to inspire young radicals for generations to come. In none of this did Rosemont separate scholarship from art, or art from revolt. His books of poetry include Morning of the Machine Gun, Lamps Hurled at the Stunning Algebra of Ants, The Apple of the Automatic Zebra’s Eye and Penelope. His marvelous fierce, whimsical and funny artwork—to which he contributed a new piece every day—graced countless surrealist publications and exhibitions.

Indeed, between the history he himself helped create and the history he helped uncover, Franklin was never without a story to tell or a book to write—about the IWW, SDS, Hobohemia in Chicago, the Rebel Worker, about the past 100 years or so of radical publishing in the US, or about the international network of Surrealists who seemed to always be passing through the Rosemonts’ Rogers Park home. As engaged with and excited by new surrealist and radical endeavors as he was with historical ones, Franklin was always at work responding to queries from a new generation of radicals and surrealists, and was a generous and rigorous interlocutor. In every new project, every revolt against misery, with which he came into contact, Franklin recognized the glimmers of the free and unfettered imagination, and lent his own boundless creativity to each and every struggle around him, inspiring, sustaining, and teaching the next generation of surrealists worldwide.

Apr 12, 2009


Daisy was shocked to set a small fire in the farmhouse just as Kevin was pistol-whipping Jeff. Edmund went into a rage and smashed the music box she was moving out of the mansion. After talking to specialists who had been knocked out for his latest project, Stephanie had second thoughts about nearly making love with Maxie. She had to have blood tests when Philip arrived home and said she received a job offer from the Vancouver Opera House.

--Collaged elements of a newspaper soap-opera TV guide column

Mar 27, 2009


Aorta clowns, aorta clowns, I know
Then laughter will have a place to go

A limbic owl twists the
Leaping tornadoes of chance
The glass bell of my mouth

Palindrome feet in a mongoose cha-cha

Aorta clowns, aorta clowns, I know
Then laughter will have a place to go

(song lyrics)

Mar 20, 2009


With its newspaper and the factory
this expression of the adapted vacation
the solar earth
running parallel to it

The most serious city isn't done with different dragons within it.

The daydreaming was a strong, naive alleyway with restored laughter and characteristic corals.

Behind the ultra-jovial water sleeping with birds is a mischievous destiny. The remains of a small crowd.

The path to instinctive trenches is now merged with the ordinary sensation of convulsions.

--Chance dowsing from The Exteriority Crisis: From the City Limits and Beyond (Ed. Eric Bragg, Eugenio Castro, Bruno Jacobs; Oyster Moon Press, 2008).

Jan 3, 2009

THOUSANDS OF SHOES TIE UP TRAFFIC (dedicated to the Surrealist Group of Madrid)

Miami--State troopers are looking for a charity to take thousands of shoes that were dumped on a Miami expressway, tying up rush hour traffic. Lt. Pat Santangelo said the Florida Highway Patrol received a call about the shoes friday morning.
Santangelo said he's not sure where the shoes came from. There were no signs of a crash, and no one stopped to claim them. He said he hopes someone will take them because he doesn't want to send them to the dump.
Workers using a front-end loader and a dump truck were able to quickly clear at least one lane by sweeping all the shoes to shoulder, but delays were expected until they could all be removed.

--From Associated Press