word engineering
Aug 23 '11


Since arriving in Spain I have checked in on Gowalla a couple of times and glanced over the motion patterns of friends and online acquaintances. Yesterday I went shell seeking with my little ones and picked and sifted through the end result of millions of years of greater, slower migrations. Our concepts of time, our fragmentations, are illusion. A human being exists for a nanosecond in the great glacial slide of the cosmos, connected to a deeper tide, but most spend that impossibly brief instant worrying about ridiculous shit, blind to the depths. Sometimes the idea fills me with horror, I feel like a sack of skin floating on an infinite ocean, but mostly I feel elated, energised, both aware that there is no time to waste and that we also have all the time in the world.

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Jul 22 '11


blood words of the migrants

driven through trenches, sick and spaced

waving tired flags, imposing surrender

on the minds and dead opinions of their oppressor

fat soaked mind pig of the dirt people

endless idiot and slave to a power

that evaporates on impact

that will never survive death

unlike the wraith knots of the sooth

that make love, ensure people are cared for, embrace holy fire

reanimate and push back fear

but all too little far too late

demons easy vault the gate

the human animal is deeply mad

wretched and glorious

and unique in the universe

but fuck me sideways

I wish we could explain our

sad and rended selves

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Jul 21 '11


I love audacity in any art form. I read some Moorcock again the other day and love the fact that the guy just spewed themes and ideas relentlessly, whether they found their level in the pulp tradition of Elric and the eternal champion stories or occupied a more rarified atmosphere (Mother London et al). The more discerning reader would miss the visceral power of the former, the devourer of comics and fantasy the latter. Only someone open enough to follow ideas and stories wherever they lead would be able to embrace the entire ouvre and understand Micchael’s art in its entirety. I just finished reading American Gods, a book constructed in simple, almost translucent prose, before that I was immersed in the ultra-dense word arcs of The Scar. Both enthralled me to some degree, both were flawed.

People are flawed. Language is not some platonic ideal - it too reeks of mess and the struggle to express the ineffable, and that’s the point. Explore, fail, seek and burn the world with the language of obstacle. Rough, lazy is as bad as haughty and pristine. Fight in the trenches and destroy demons. Your readers will understand.

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Jul 17 '11


the head of a saracen

spinning in space, eyes white

circled by the sick poison of stars

dreaming of crusades

carried out


by unlimited ancestors

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Jul 17 '11


Programming languages comprise sets of instructions. Whether the language is functional or procedural, whether its instruction set is a long sequential list or a series of messages passed between objects, ultimately it all boils down to black and white, one or zero. On or off.

Human languages occupy another level, as remote from computer programming as Newtonian physics is from quantum physics. Similar in structure, with statements, verbs and imperatives. Similar in the metalanguage used to describe them. But a bit is either on and off. Human verbs and statements can act as both wave and article, switch meaning depending on context, transform into entirely different entities given enough semantic velocity, and survive the ravages of space and time through dialect, translation and curation.

I think the closest parallel between human and computer languages in 2011 is innovation. New words and new technologies pop up daily to describe and map out new domains and avenues of communication. Sometimes this can point to a dead end, a vapid nothing, where the language fizzes and spits, then either vanishes through disuse or becomes a fossilised strain, only utilised by historians or people ignorant of its death.

But sometimes whole new poetry¬†emerges and this is the fundamental creative force of language. The ability to forge new symbols to outline things we don’t even truly understand yet and give us a light to shine on the path of possibilities.

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Jul 14 '11


Ran. Dominion over words and pictures, flicked flickered from a mind in crisis flowers gods flames and rebellion. Thrones and golden calves chosen at. Ran. Domain of thetongue witch, selecting forests and bodies from the great dark earth scorched with the fire blood of a thousand sky bulls. Ran. Ran. Domes of the black city, crowded with dreams. Dominoes, dominoes ransacked by angels and toppled, each one a skull, each one a bone bag of memory.

The universe creaks and whines, the girders are slipping. Ran, ran, demented and shivered I ran through mazes of glitter and handstorms, ahead of the rain that ran, ran, dumped warm water on the roads where trucks full of geese swerved and shunted.

Ran. Moderated by dream, surfaced from sleep into a dry quiet room. A single light a pencil of white on the wall. A siren and the sound of a dog scolding the moon. A dream, a kettle of random boiling the head. Breath and more breath, the images melting. The moon mixed and massaged, a white fever. Orbiting. At. Random

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Jul 4 '11

bones etc

I’m a rough and tumble of bones

Long bones, ribbed and stacked, sockets and curves

A wild engine under the skin

I love my lips, my hair and especially my eyes

But they are wet mollusc excuses

Which will melt in the heat of time

My bones, insistent and white

Will remain, get discovered in some black cave

No record of my eyelashes

No clue as to the hot glue of my personal organism

Just a frame, skeleton exo

A physical hex on the battery of space

And then dust, motes, holy death


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