Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Which Side Are You On? [10.]

The Camera

       When it came to the die-in
       I could only watch
       this finger press down
       and feel the shutter
       catch the free light
       as the blood beat
       chemical time;
       to run away with itself
       and try and turn red.

       That light could have been staged.
       It gave everyone a place.


  1. Of all forms of protest, this one seems most akin to concession.

    We'll all be there soon enough, and everyone will then have a place.

    But one would have to be optimistic to expect it might be anything but singular.

  2. There is something futile in it all. Also, the numbers are shockingly low these days.

    A link below to the events themselves:

  3. I enjoyed reading this. A poem that catches the light.

  4. Thanks, Jonathan.

    Reading back now, I'm struck by the odd (maybe overbearing) presence of that I in the second line. It stays now, I suppose.

  5. No, the "I" is simply honest, and fair enough, as the photo series shows.

    Two nights now you've had me thinking about the efficacy (or lack of same) of going supine in the face of the bulldozer of Power.

    The fate of Rachel Corrie, ten years on, remains an open wound in the mind.

    There's just something so, what's the word -- hopeless? in such images. Consider this one from your own general neighbourhood:

    Sheffield Die-In, 1993.

    To flop upon the street limp as a sack of potatoes in the pleasant mid-day sunshine is not quite the same thing as taking a side and standing up for it in the face of come what may. Particularly so when there is no immediate danger at hand. Where there is no tension there will come no energy. Though of course acts of the stand-up sort, these days, would run the real risk of being futile, not to mention potentially suicidal. Still any last straggling images of courage of any sort, wherever one finds them, might still have a moral meaning,

  6. Oh well, wrong chapter of the Permanent War. That was the 2003 chapter, not the 1993 chapter.

    But who will remember those early chapters when in the 2013 climacteric Mitt dons the sacred Underwear and shakes hands with Bibi while the trumpet of the Avenging Angel blows?

  7. What a closing scene! Everything gone to dissolve with no credits to be had.

  8. "When there is no tension there will come no energy"

    This is the problem. The struggle has to be felt, not simply performed. And still there's the moral meaning there. They're good fools.

    The camera doesn't make me brave - a backstage boy. It may make me conscious. There's something in that distancing, that sharp dressed alienation, that gives space for a soiled reflectiveness. You can learn how to look harder.