“poetry is love in action”

was at
a poetics
and heard michael
golston say in a paper
on clark coolidge, ‘poetry is
love in action’. i jotted it down.
i desperately want that formula to
be true, like bubblebaths make you
sleep well (i haven't slept well in the
bath since we first got together, because
it frightens you to think i might slip under
and not wake up. you forget i'm a little large
to drown in our bath, i barely fit in, so could
i drown?) but what kind of love in action's
poetry? when i was a teenager, i was
hopelessly in love with some guy
(this happened rather often, with
more than one guy so i don't
have one in particular
in mind) and i
a song
with him,
sometimes a
song i'd heard
him hum, or sometimes
a song that just happened to
play when we were both in a
corridor. i'd lie in my bedroom
and play the song over and over on
cassette tape. play. rewind. play. rewind.
play. rewind. i would do this for hours and
i have to admit that although in the first instance
i was filled with desire for the guy, gradually this
shifted to being desire to hear the song, until at
some point it would dawn on me that my
desire was strongest for the gap in
between when, with my finger
on the button i would hear
the very familiar buzz. i
love that faint whurr
and my anticipation
of the assertive
click-click. desire,
through a conviction
that it wouldn't ever be
fulfilled, focused on the
act of rewinding, a repetitive
act, passive, lonely and, because
i would lie there for hours, i surefootedly
can say i was in the throes of a kind of erotically-
charged boredom. it is surely not difficult to speculate
why i so fixated on this act. i was obscenely obsessed
with my own self-pity, always going back to the start
and playing it through again. schopenhauer said
that boredom is just the reversal of fascination,
that both depend on being on the outside of
something rather than the inside, and that
one leads to the other. i certainly felt 'on
the outside' and as i rewound pop
songs on cassette tapes my
intense boredom and
equally strong
outstripped each
other like long-distance
runners. when one dropped
back, the other steamed on. or
like dough kneaded full of air and
knocked back to deflation, and then
re-kneaded, and so on. i wasn't doing
this through a conviction that i'd find back-
tracked satanic messages that had been leading me
and others so frighteningly astray a la the band 'cradle
of filth'. (scratch that, maybe i was. up in my room rewinding
tapes, i think i must have been looking for messages, my
desire so used to pointing outwards fruitlessly towards
guys at school that i would be willing to find some
kind of response anywhere, be it spooky as you
like.) i'm not sure whether it comes across
for anyone else but when typing this out i
sometimes felt as though i was back
listening compulsively to that buzz
again, caught up in conflicting
senses of possibility and
boring inevitability.

Colin Herd


Sin is a cluster of amino acids in the retina of the eye, called Opsin.

They position the retinal to absorb light, and it is relayed to the optic nerve and brain for vision. This is a heavy chain and it lays directly on the rods and cones in the retina, blocking their ability to absorb God’s bright light. His unabsorbed bright light is reflected by these cells; because the wavelength is lowered the light appears black in the center of the eye. This causes God’s unabsorbed light to fall to the ground as a shadow. LuciFer (Fe) the devil controls behavior from the ground and Hell under the earth.

[leaflet distributed in the Union Square subway station, March 2011]



The heavy chain of amino acids amount to 9 billion in each eye.

These form millions of free radicals per day, digesting the DNA. This causes disease, cancer, aging and death. The genotype of males is XY and females is XX. The gene or code to synthesize the protein is on the X chromosome. The entire human race will die. This is the structure of the fruit Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden, disobeying God’s commandment. This structure is made from a chain of alternating DNA bases by the fallen angel LuciFer and inserted into fruit. The DNA bases are adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine. A code would be: CCT, CCC, CCA, ATT... Gene sis 3:1-24.

[leaflet distributed in the Union Square subway station, March 2011]



Adam, the goodliest man of men since born
His sons; the fairest of her daughters, Eve.

Paradise Lost


Of the picture of Adam and Eve with Navels.

The Navel being a part, not precedent, but subsequent unto generation, nativity or parturition, it cannot be well imagined at the creation or extraordinary formation of Adam, who immediately issued from the Artifice of God; nor also that of Eve, who was not solemnly begotten, but suddenly framed, and anomalously proceeded from Adam.

Sir Thomas Browne


Heva, naked Eve.

She had no navel. Gaze. Belly without blemish, bulging big, a buckler of taut vellum, no, whiteheaped corn, orient and immortal, standing from everlasting to everlasting. Womb of sin.




The Task of the Translator

In a 1964 interview, Barthes said that there was, in contemporary French literary criticism, “une évanescence progressive du signifié, qui paraît bien être l’enjeu de tout ce débat critique,” and his statement sets a problem for the translator. For the phrase “a progressive evanescence of the signified” is not one that creates an instant image in the mind of the average native speaker of English. Something like “the gradual vanishing of subject matter,” or “the disappearance of content and its replacement by form,” or “how you say it is becoming more important than what is said” does not have quite the same disadvantage. However, it does suffer from another drawback: it is not exactly what Barthes said.

Philip Thody


Was David Foster Wallace’s hyper-sophistication actually a sign of his essential provincialism?

“His voice was regional in more than one sense—the fastidiousness about usage, for instance. Only midwesterners will waste time over the grammar of small talk with you; nowhere else, when you ask, ‘Can I get an iced tea?,’ does anyone ever say, ‘I don't know... can you?’”

GQ review of The Pale King