Mondee Oliver

I love Mondee Oliver. She created some amazing classic trax in collaboration with Larry Heard back in the day. Her voice & the spacey soul of Mr Fingers’ production takes me right back to that epoch of the late eighties/early nineties. I hear a deep ache in this music. What I remember of those times was how cavernous the yearning of our urban environments under Thatcher. We fucking meant it. Mondee Oliver pines, yearns, hurts, & this shit takes me right back. . . .

The Final Scene Of ‘The Long Good Friday’

where Bob Hoskins plays gangland boss of London underworld – tho this clip seen isolated seen clipped from tether of context witness this face channel subterranean London currents thru the apparatus of his expression become instrument conduit liminal threshold of past present future London tragedies an intercede between poles divining all deaths all births flesh portent of the resultant outcomes of entwined seeds tenets of crime politics greed corruption tribalism patriarchy machismo corporate-culture cultural-suicide death-wish Americana gentrification denial exploitation division abdication etc on himself death on his family death on London death on us all death a speeding black car heading straight for death . . . . watch this again you did not see it the first time watch again watch better watch harder watch closer.

A London Diptych

London: Two men step out of an expensive black car & cross the sad street – the sad street is sad as sad street secretes a sadness I intuit sadly & it is my wish & one eternal vocation to translate this sadness in its fullness some day this I promise – the two men have exited the car & are dissecting its tarmac angle promptly now arrive upon me & ask me if I would? . . . – as I attempt to answer a small child waves at the men from the vantage of my eye a small child resides in the island of my retina this small child makes a hand signal gesticulates a distressed motion from its perch within me – the two men take this child’s appearance as portent as divination of my innate unsuitability they turn around before enacting the action they had decided upon before setting out.

 

London: Whilst sat at the oak table before the two black-suited men who together form a panel assembled to reach judgement upon my suitability one man asks me the question which I have prepared the whole previous evening to answer – in fact have been preparing my whole life to answer – the question hangs in the air with its grave implication – I must answer I shall answer I have the answer I am the answer now is the time for an answer to appear from my mouth – my riposte has hatched its intent borne the beast of my aspiration I open my mouth to deliver the answer to the question & a naked child unfurls on my tongue & lays upon the oak table kicking its legs at the ceiling’s expanse & biting its own hand – the men push back their chairs from the table as the eventuality of the naked infant has answered the question they posed to the negative I am a failure for the fated fact of this act of retching my naked child in an inappropriate setting oh the shame.

The Angel In Various Media

Ok so thought I would compile a post of some recent excursions into the moving image The Angel has made:

This vid is the first airing of me & Johnny’s band, Dirty Works, a sorta dub version of my poem, This Poem Is For You (If you got a decent system the bass on this is phenomenal)

This next piece is an old one I recently transferred from vhs & uploaded. It is a look into the gentrification of Waterloo & The Southbank. It was made back in 1999 – I’ve been on this gentrification-exposing calling-out-the-beast-it-is tip from day one! –  & was a project I completed whilst briefly a media studies & video production student at Morley College (I lasted a term until I relapsed again dropped out fell down rolled off drowned) I reckon it’s a good amateur effort, tho. We procured a decent cross-section of talking heads, especially the goldmine of oral history which are the old women of the Waterloo Action Centre – some of whom remember the social displacement of the people who lived on the site of the Festival of Britain in the Fifties. Gentrification has a long scythe-like root in this area of London.   

This next vid is a psychogeographical excursion thru the holy terrain of the Elephant & Castle shopping centre, which is, as I explain in the text in the piece, not the much-maligned & run-down waste of space of the cultural propagandist’s missives, but is in fact a secret cultural capsule, containing & preserving a vaporous visitation of working-class South London histories . . . 

I have also uploaded to my Youtube channel some other programmes of interest: such as the whole of Patric Keiller’s essayistic, poetic, discursive carnivalesque, ‘London’.

& also a very rare documentary voiced by Charles Bukowski, ‘The Best Hotel On Skid Row.’

HAPPY VIEWING X

My London Is Burning

You cannot write a straight line. Yet only a straight line will suffice. Sometimes I ponder how the behaviour which separates humans from animals is not art, as I’ve heard said, but denial. The blind man is not denied sight but has his hands over his eyes. You cannot write a straight line straight enough to prevail in the kingdom of the blind. There is a transient (middle/upper) class, rootless as they are heartless, lacking compassion beyond their own families, who move with the currency, mobilise the apparatuses of state & culture to the service of their compulsions: greed, avarice, status acquirement, power attainment, preservation of control, nepotism, accrued position. To witness the sorry spectacle of this machine moving thru its gears, rolling its tendons & flexing the width of its reach, to watch this living apparatus, this many faceted Moloch with its cold unblinking eye fixed upon its quarry of blood-assets & natural resource, the bones of yet another generation in its arid mouth, is to see, & see again. You cannot write a straight line. You cannot bear witness, nor serve testament. The straight line shall not be tolerated. London has for many years been an urn beneath which an ember gently heating its multifarious contents. But please do not say this. Say that a great pageant to commemorate our surplus of genius was ruined by those genetically disposed to deviancy. You cannot write a straight line. We no longer own the language. They deploy the binary trap to polarise the argument. Marshal the Either – Or snare. Nothing is Either – Or. Everything is all directions at once for ever & ever. But this implies infinite potential. Infinite potential, open systems, unfastened solutions are not permitted. You cannot write a straight line. The guiding myth you erected to marshal & console your class: That one can have everything – was a lie. This will get worse before it gets better. The addict shall know his rock bottom, survey the waste of his consequences, & be left with the starkness of his dilemma: Change or Die.

I Put The Psycho Into Psychogeography

back in london at the moment. the exiled boy returns home, for breath, the kindling air of his london inheritance. i am from a working-class quarter of south london known as the elephant, or walworth. this area is currently the scene of the largest proposed gentrification programme in europe. my mum lives in a house on a council estate in the shadow of the new strata towerblock for the rich. i walk the streets amongst the fledgling incumbents, those smug collegiate posh boys & the princesses of vacuity, the rugger hubbies & their horse-mouthed cheerleaders. if i ever lose my mind again & disappear to wilderness, i shall be found wandering this terrain barefoot & bearded, writing missives to the conniving ministers of misery on mile high glass towers in red paint, penning polemics of poison upon propelled rubble rocks of my inheritance earth lobbed venomously towards the apparatuses & practitioners of the new passive/aggressive colonialism, spewing incantatory verses of oppositional oration from a soapbox balanced on a precipice above an abyss in a void of mute information, painting hex signs in blood on my forehead, sticking fingers in my ears & wailing wolf-like to drown the droning propaganda voices of the new urban cannibalism.

yes, the prodigal son has returned to the tomb of his birthright, to bury the heresies of the cold currencies clawing his consecrated crib. i see all around me a space & scene expressing itself in signs, every person an icon to a prevailing political impasse, each urban signpost a divination of fiscal muscle & its flex, or of poverty & its faint hollow whimper, every interaction a correspondence between the poles of domination & submission, every vision a symbol of power or a pointer to its absence, i am oppressed by the bravado of the architecture of the new wealth, suffocated by the arrogance of its disciples. & most of all, after walking for a short time thru this panoply of hurtful signifiers, i hate my hate.

here, whilst putting the psycho into psychogeography, i made a definition for myself of incandescent rage: an anger which is undiscriminating, & hates even the innocent. yes, when in the grip, i hate their infant offspring, those grasping pasty orbs – babies, surely the incidentally associated, surely the definition of innocence? but such is the temperature of the cauldron once alit, to such depths descend the fathoms of the wound.

i walk further, the pace quickens, thru the elephant & onto the borough, intermittently stopping to scribble snatched thoughts in my black notepad.

the thorny question of london identity – in a setting as fluid, changing & transient as this it now feels like an act of subversion to identify oneself with this space & state oneself indigenous to it – the question of belonging –  the erasing of social history – the lack of a documentation of particulars – the failure to erect a language of rage – the difficulty in preserving oral documents – if we reserve a right to a space in this vaporous assemblage how to phrase such a qualification without combusting? – if this cannot be done then what remains of this endeavour, & what shall be done with whatever remains? – if i say that i feel the old widow river thames in my veins what could that possibly mean amongst the transient deaf –  & am i alone? – the only democracy in action is that of finances – those with stakehold have so by default of economic status – what of cultural stakeholds? – the preservation of the elephant & castle shopping centre from the plans of social engineers & profiteers on the grounds that the shopping centre is secret cultural capsule, containing & preserving living & vapourous visitations of london working class histories, an avid active art installation in which one enters to correspond with forgotten neglected london forces of ceremony, ritual, initiation & spectacle a dome documentation of london cross pollinations & diasporic fertilisation, a situationist project signifying arcane london traditions defiantly located directly in the dark heart of achingly wanna-be-modernist london, &, more than any of this, it’s where my mum, & the community, buy their fucking groceries, a holy site by another name with no defenders to take the mantle of public discourse & dogged defence, am i that man, & who but my fury, bloodline, curiosity & love would elect me to such a position? – the displacement of the poor & aggressive change of the demographic of urban communities reclassified as violent act & to be defined as such – an inventory to be made & a working definition of the middle classes created for the purpose of naming, referencing, & the assigning of clear demarcations: they are a particular tribe & culture with their own vampiric values & callous customs of self-realisation self-aggrandising referencing themselves as the axis of entitlement, they are an unspoken undeclared alliance of a culture of interests who operate silently/deadly beneath a collective project of self-obsession self-sating attainment nepotism control ascendance negating of obstacles/people in the path of their voracious avarice project anything not them will be invalidated sidelined suffocated, they care only for their own kin would push a pram of their clan thru a famine without a second thought & do so every day they will not be challenged or take responsibility as they will tell you ‘this is just how things are’ ‘we don’t make the rules’ ‘you’re really upsetting me don’t you see that i’m the victim in all this?’” they display the classic symptoms of an addict: denial, obsession, self-centred, self-obsorbed, compulsive, resentful, selfish, never sated, never satisfied, recline in perpetual state of dis-ease, seek instant gratification, seek to medicate internal malaise & malady thru the controlling & manipulating of external environment, create & serve idols of their own making, namely: power, ego, feelings of comfort, material security, spiritual vacuity, inability to take responsibility for actions, blissful unawareness of consequences of their actions on others, speak in riddled justifications of their methods & ideologies, mistake bare-faced lies for guiding myths, choose & erect convenient mythologies which serve & validate their selfish purposes, will not respond nor seek change unless rock bottom reached & consequences of their set course become intolerable & only recourse for salvation the surrendering to a new force or direction of energy from outside the fortified parameters of their fixed life-negating paradigm.

my legs motor tho heavy with grief. i am sad as denied the reverie i associate with walking, key component of my poetics. the realisation that those of the working-/under-classes cannot be considered flaneurs whilst walking their indigenous byways. the detached repose of the middle-class dilettante is not open to adoption by those with the streets & her signposts running in our veins.

 

Gentrified Times
Men came to the neighbourhood,
Their women in tow,
 
Wide-eyed with wealth,
Pale-skinned & pregnant
 
With their soon-to-be kinfolk.
The men tore down the sweetshop,
 
Outside which
I once groped my first kiss.
 
They demolished the flats
Where my sweetheart lived.
 
The park’s green blades
Where we played
 
Were raised in the furnace
Of Progress. The house
 
Where my mother was born
Was torn down.
 
Where am I now? Still
Here. Which direction
 
Is what? How
Do I divine North
 
From South, when
The landmarks which bore me
 
My bearings
Are no more? It’s only
 
After the symbols
Of your address are demolished,
 
Once the signposts
Of your tribe vanish
 
That you realise their purpose:
Those markers
 
Were sacred & placed you
Within your location.
 
Those holy sites
Were psychic anchors,
 
Guardians of your dreams.
Stone omens defending
 
The clan’s legacy.
The question now
 
Is this: How
To re-orientate yourself
 
In a place
You no-longer recognise
 
Where your sages
Lay dead?




©2011 Miggy Angel


elephant in the room – visit to the infoshop

flying revisit to the smoke. back to the elephant (& castle). sometimes takes a tick for me to readjust to the chaos & cacophony, being exiled in the midlands, but once i hear those sweet cockney voices of the manor my heart fills with rubies. popped into the infoshop on the back of the newington estate. (infoshop 56a crampton street, by the sacred pullens) these guys have been there for years, doing their thing, selling organic foodstuffs, quietly promoting radical thought, simple living, social cohesion, local activism, healthy eating. can’t be bad. i went in there as soon as i landed back south, left me mum & the lil junior & popped round. my main interest in paying a visit was the extensive radical literature & zine library they hold. i’ve just got into this whole zine universe (more of that later, elsewhere – check the posts) & i can’t say i was disappointed. show a bookworm like myself a fusty room teeming with words & the worm turns in its happiness. spent about an hour & a half perusing.

there was a bike workshop going on outside, which was nice to see, some fellas from the shop were helping local kids fix bikes. inside i met a couple of women who work there (it’s run by volunteers), one woman named sherry, an american, & another whose name escapes me. i told them i grew up in the area – i did unfortunately have to apologise as i vaguely remembered a group of us scallywags going in there many, many years ago & being arseholes. fortunately, all is forgiven.

i do wish i could remember the names of all the amazing pamphlets & zines & radical booklets & political & anarchist & how-to & diy bitsnbobs i breezed inside there, but i’m afraid i didn’t take notes. you’ll just have to get down there yourselves. saw a book called i am not a man, i am dynamite, which is a book drawing the parallels & strings together between anarchist thought & nietzsche. if anyone should claim him then it’s anarchists.

when i go back to the elephant & see the evidence of the ongoing gentrification & overhaul of the social demographic of the area it’s hard to describe the extent of my boiling blood & sadness, so it’s good to know there’s a small quarter of resistance existing, & a written resource of current, recent & historical political thought, & recorded action & defiance, in the infoshop’s radical library, ready for any locals who might wish to consult the template & mobilise themselves. from my perch in the midlands i am mainly resigned to writing poems for the cause. but we could just make molotovs & have done with it . . . who’s game? x