Monday, October 31, 2011

Poem: Original Eve

Original Eve

From this vantage she
says it’s hard to believe

now in a god’s blunt urge
to assume what must

always have been the world’s
strangeness into one order

into endless rededications
of nouns arcing

tribally through the milky
collusion passing

for experience. I went
after something (some thing?)

nameless though not caring
finally if it were only

a flung clump of fatted night
or a blue orb of rain.

One noun, one thing,
one verb, one action:

everything sheathed cosily
under one skin:

do you know she says
in those days just

like my arms my clitoris
was under voluntary control

I could make it swell
and quiver like raising

a finger, a stint
of pleasurable oddity

that never came close
to outshouting that unsafe

bristling I sensed
I was formed around.

As for the serpent tale she says
serpent my eye I

just watched myself
thinking in a river

until one of us said
if you walk away the world

will discover you uncover
you recover you just

decide if you want to know
a new word pain.

I did.
I do.

© Ger Killeen

Friday, October 28, 2011

The End of Days that is every day

“The End of Days that is every day”[1]
How to characterize the meaning of the Occupy Movement has become, among sectors of the mainstream media,  a genuine fetishizing of “clarity” with respect to who the participants are and what they want. The relief at being able to get a handle on the movement is palpable on both the right and the left: from the Daily Mail’s fearless undercover operative’s description of Occupy London as a “Rabble without a cause” to the earnest research in the Huffington Post which found the Occupy Wall Street protesters to be “a population more motivated by reform than massive overhauls of existing systems, a group well-educated and well-versed on relevant policy issues rather than a radical movement likely to resort to violence”, one sees the same desire: to define the movement as the latest incarnation of  already existing political agendas which may or may not or not for long cohabit harmoniously.
 Surely we have a better way to think about, and through, the Occupy Movement, conceptual tools which allow us to account both for its uniqueness and the degree to which it unsettles or should unsettle all of us (a positive thing for me). I’m talking, of course, about the work of Giorgio Agamben, particularly his notion of “the coming community”[2], a community not to be defined in terms of essence, but which names new forms of sociality, strictly unthinkable in terms of the political identities I mentioned above.
 In his essay ‘Tiananmen’[3] Agamben writes:

 “The novelty of the coming politics is that it will no longer be a struggle for the conquest or control of the State, but a struggle between the State and non-State (humanity), an insurmountable disjunction between whatever singularity and the State organization. This has nothing to do with the simple affirmation of the social in opposition to the State that has often found expression in the protest movements of recent years.”
 I believe the joyous specter of ideas such as these haunt both the Occupy Movement itself as well as opposition to it. For me the Occupy Movement is an image of what Agamben calls “potentiality”, “which no identity and no vocation can exhaust”[4]. Human existence is pure possibility, and thus fraught with terrible dangers and potential liberation and joy. For those of us who support any aspect of the Occupy Movement we are reminded that this is not “the Revolution” or any kind of political end process. It is not the advent of a single transformative event but a whisper of a possible future community which could incarnate justice and equality. Nothing is guaranteed. Ever. It could be utterly otherwise. Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow the tanks could roll in. But today is the end of days that is every day. “At the point you perceive the irreparability of the world, at that point it is transcendant”, writes Agamben[5]. It is in this way that all who make up the Occupy Movement are together beyond the imposed and self-imposed political identities which preoccupy the media, the pundits and the professional politicians. The anti-Capitalists, the anti-Big Bankists, the Jobs Now marchers, the End The Wars activists, the Legalize Pot groups, the Stop Foreclosures groups, the drummers and the singers, the dancers and the meditators, we look at each other and see something we can hardly name but which we sometimes recognize. “Seeing something simply in its being-thus—irreparable, but not for that reason necessary; thus, but not for that reason contingent—is love”.[6] This is our Occupation.

[1] Giorgio Agamben, ‘Profanations’
[2] Giorgio Agamben, ‘The Coming Community’, Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1993.
[3] Giorgio Agamben, ibid. 85, 6
[4] Giorgio Agamben, ‘Potentialities’.
[5] ‘The Coming Community, 106.
[6] ibid. 106

© Ger Killeen

New Poem


It was a sound
the size and color

of a ripe almond.
I took it in,

breathed it out
day after night after day.

I follow the rain;
I run towards the thunder.

© Ger Killeen

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Terrorist As The Letter T

The Terrorist As The Letter T

#1.       I toss this into the mix from outside
            the high-voltage trammel lines.
            I wouldn’t want to be tardy, if I were you.

#2.       It’s a graven invitation to the marriage
            of Terpsichore and Trinitrotoluene,
            two distant branches of the one tree.

#3.       Tanzania or Togo will always pick up
            the tab, so don’t keep a tally,
            tally-ho, tally-ho.

#4.       Such tidings! Until now the trajectory
            of my bloodline was a tractrix,
            tomorrow it will tend towards a catenary.

#5.       (This is taboo. They are taping
            all your tangents,
            taping them off.)

#6.       ‘Time Ain’t On Your Side’,
            intone Tiresias and the Thebans.
            It’s topped the charts for ages.

#7.       Tranquility
            is armed
            to the teeth.

#8.       If your troops are T-cells
            in the immune system of the body politic,
            I’m reverse transcriptase.

#9.       Wedding bells: I say
            tintinabulation, you say tocsin.
            Here comes trouble, time for toil.

#10.    I toss up a theme
            and topple your towers. Tada!
            I’m ten public enemies in one.

#11.    Tragedy! Thunderbolt!
            Titanic throes!
            Tumult! Tyburn trees!

#12.    If your tropes are T-cells
            in the constitution
            I’m reverse transcriptase.

#13.    My tell-tale traits are on the tube.
            Not to worry, hard to tell: Toulouse-Lautrec’s
            mugshots touched up my good side.

#14.    I leap in my Chevy Tahoe
            with my tommy-guns and my tra-la-la,
            take the low road towards Tiajuana.

#15.    My tracks and traces
            are everywhere,
            top-notch disguises:

#16.    a topiarist
            of erotic tableaux
            in the tawny privets;

#17.    a translator
            of Tibetan mantras
            into Telugu;

#18.    a tippler
            of fine teas
            in tenebrous tasting rooms.

#19.    Township
            to trembling township.
            Tragedy! Tyburn trees!

#20.    All night the tom-toms thump
            in Terminus Alley, east L.A.
            Tlingit Indians are chanting

#21.    ‘All the way
            all the way
            all the way with Tokay’.

#22.    The silent c in Tucson
            is a trap in the tarmac,
            a shibboleth.

#23.    /tu:ksn/
            means death,

#24.    Time is not on my side.
            Who’s that tearing down my door?
            The tetrarchs of trouble.

#25.    Tie, truss, torture,
            trick, twist, turnscrew,
            torque, test, truncheon.

#26.    “Take a vacation from temporality;
            trail the Templars through
            the tropics of televised fabliaux”.                          (Good Cop)

#27.    “A Tazer is a sex toy
            for exhibitionists.
            Je t’adore, ma tazer”.                                           (Bad Cop)

#28.    If your traps are T-cells
            in our tête-à-têtes
            I’m reverse transcriptase.

#29.    Tie, torque, Tonton Macoute,
            Thus can one trust
            the testimony of tarantulas.

#30.    Where was I
            when the first tower tottered?
            I was babbling about tragedy in Timbuktu.

#31.    Truss, turnkey, truncheon,
            tunful of turds
            and all the time in the world.

#32.    On live TV
            tumult and tribute
            under the Ty, under the burn, under the Tyburn tree.

#33.    I’m not theatrical,
            I’m not weeping,
            it’s the gas, the teargas.

©  Ger Killeen

from 'Studies In Starlight'

4. Sidereal time is mixed up with the rest of the time

    In defiance of collection there are the random pickings and discardings. Unlike cliché, this is not an idyll. On Sundays it stinks of burning twigs. On Mondays it stinks of Sundays. The rationale of my week is wreckage and not destruction? Dream on, dream on the input. The consequences are very unfunny: phantom limb, exact change, torture. They neither sow nor reap, neither tendon nor recipe. I strain from it, from out of the frying pan and into the soup of the symptom. It takes ages. It takes rocks. It takes me back.

© Ger Killeen

What kind of writing is this?

This is a link to some thoughts of mine on Elizabeth Willis from whom I learned to write prosepoems.
Optimism of the Will

from 'Studies In Starlight'

3. Star trek

  What relief. Serene Columbus among the branes, remember-me-nots sprouting in the accretion discs, sanctus sanctus sanctus Lord God of onwardness and recentness. All around, the optative anthem without recoil fills the air, augments the lungs. The cool eschatology of blip and blink sinks in and rises through me in dreams of gyndroids: this is my own planet, this is the bliss of being alive among the compliant undead.  To have bet on the Schwarzschild equation and escaped, one beautiful plus among the minuses. Like a surgeon, I explore. Purely.  Hier ist kein wahrum.

© Ger Killeen

from 'Studies In Starlight'

2. star without atmosphere

 Dark archipelago sensed from inside, such expansive poverty! Wind you can never get a fix on, veering from one impossible dimension to another. I drift past a boutique selling emotions, ‘The Tears of Things’, am splashed by a lorry where the mopped up leakages from memory slop about in blue plastic barrels. A sneer draws a line in the air, dares me to cross. The magazine’s probably empty, but I make a show of taking the safety off. Everyone gets lost. The best subscribe to the soundtrack while the worst scavenge for missing photographs among the middens of their native transit camps. I believe I can hear and smell the ocean. In the thundery weather of always being hidden in plain sight I perfect the assassin’s flit. I’ll take what I want, riddle the glee, slip behind the sentences like rain.

© Ger Killeen

from 'Studies In Starlight'

1. when the morning stars sang together

  TV in the bedroom, TV in the kitchen, TV in the bathroom, TV in the livingroom. In defense of sullenness I stake a claim on the dawn, plant myself in between the cranked-up speakers wringing out the hired mourning of Joy Division.  It makes a big difference to me. The Haiti earthquake becomes earthquakier, various senators become more pitiful and pitiless, buckets of fried chicken glisten like coldsores. Gods are being whiplashed all across the spectrum, everything detransfigured from within. From within this very day.

© Ger Killeen