Wednesday 3 July 2024

Essential Sadness

I want to see them starving 

the so-called working class, 

Their wages weekly halved 

Their women stewing grass 

When I drive out each morning 

In one of my new suits

I want to see them fawning 

to clean my car and boots 


To write about the working class today, though, it is nearly impossible to be of the working class. -Someone

Bad day at the office

In the next few weeks, I hope to undertake some work. It has been work that has undergirded me my entire life. I hope that by writing this, I can somehow mend it into vision; that by asserting it in the small corridor of life I have cut out on this blogspot since the beginning of my time tasking myself with brown speed in Augustine House with a stolen Macbook Air. Reader, I did not actively steal it was merely a moment of good fortune mixed with steely sense of opportunism. My municipal dell was simply no longer fit enough to work, I was paid so little on one of the many zero hour contracts, that the aspiration was all I could manage. I remember the libraries of the past, the shame I felt that I could not afford to simply join the guard of anodised aluminum. I can feel it now. It is only those experiences which create distance from our ordinary, habituated experiences that are also politically potent in recall.

The following might be a slightly mixed up attempt to articulate a desire to write more, like this on one of many subjects. I thought about bullet points & maybe that will help with the mess. 

All of this has made me think of the situatedness of where I am writing this & exactly what I deem or consider to be my writing; where is it founded in many senses as much as where it might end up disseminated. I am not a social historian, nor a political activist, or political organiser & so, writing this I am meaning to work out in the trough with my poor bleedin hand. Since I never was never formally educated in any writing discipline, I naturally gravitated to what seemed the most visceral and immediate poetical consequence. It made me think of this, 'the dialectic image should not be transferred into consciousness as a dream, but in its dialectical construction the dream should be externalised and the immanence of consciousness itself be understood as a constellation of reality... as it were, in which Hell wanders through mankind' (Adorno) but maybe this rather heavy refrain is to be pitted against the casualised and proletarianised workplace as a constant measure, as a kind of constant anti-work as a large majority of my poems are written precisely on work time, stolen time or time-and-a-half back as just both the inevitable condition of work breaking socially necessary labour time into fragments of choice, preference and availability. 

These are the sort of contact points at which poetry, or poetic work takes place or rather that those are two competing conditions of work.  When i originally started to work on poetry proper (referring to my first actual book of poems CC: death chartered & personnel development (titles are important for a reason)) it was some small attempt to respond to the malignant operations of power through a particular language. A sort of counter preservation in billet-doux, a sweet letter returning back even sweeterThe letter (the actual physical letter) as you know, I received was sent from the future by some HR Employment Relations Officer, marked two days before I received it and had an exculpated name floating underneath the address line. 

Ryan. Joy-long. I had my living wage terminated from the future by a spectral force, a relations officer. Who the fuck is that? tommy gun tommy gun tommy gun 

I wondered who that was, why I had been markedly plunged into physical/financial danger from a futural announcement. These are all little things, that I am now thinking again in the sweltering heat of the office I write this in. The remainder had been interrupted by numbers, a URL link to a well-being page, decimal points for no reason, abbreviations that made little sense, and acronyms to the reduction of my wage in half on the sacrum. I kept on replaying a quietly distressed recording I made when I received it of as some kind of anti-lullaby. One of the most important poets in my heart, once wrote that minimum wage 'must not self-defeat' and thought that whatever that means, that such a positionality is not a negation but that it is foreclosed, prevented in the vital need, the mustering of must. Must not. 

We know what self-defeat means. 

Must not. Mean. 

That it must not in the face of minimum/ultimate didactic costing of life becoming more chaotically futile or hopeless. I felt that many, many after the election of 19' felt this hopelessness, were the strange affiliation to a figure/party had brought down a certain set of people who were all entirely paused on this moment. As if it was wrapped around your throat and you go down hopeless and inhere that particular harm in the brain. Many did not seem to recover from that moment, but I remember the strange moments of walking into csm in 10' and the student riots pumping its chaotic energy throughout. 

If only to say that the application of the term 'must not self-defeat' is strangely curated in particular historical moments and are obviously distended in or by the particular flurry of the london riots, student riots and the london olympics. A w(hole) emerging causeway of events occurred in quick succession and under a coalition government, wherein the temporal experience of history changed so rapidly you felt as if the occurrence of time was just simply out of joint. 

I just recently knew that the Garden bridge proposed by Boris Johnson is to be plonked on top of the land-scraper Google HQ, the whole material history of funnelling public resources into an imaginary semi-privatised bridge gets evaporated into workplace nap-pods. 

What I want to truly discuss, is what is working-class life in the 21st century, post-Blair, post the great post-war upsurge in social mobility. I have in some capacity an answer to belie it all, a tease that I cannot but relent to. I write it with unremitting sincerity. The only real condition of the working class is death & that such a death (or the many therein) is hooked any real profundity; it simply is the boring death, the dull little death of little value, the meaningless little death accumulating as little by little the ever nearing inevitability IS & in this feeling IS the rootedness to which working-class experience is. No amount of cultural or economic capital will ever erase. 

I think in attempting to discuss these intricated things, experiences, emotions & actions I will likely splay some biographical materials. I will start with Radlett Darth Maul


To write about the working class today.

Is nearly impossible to be of the working class.