Generic Ramones T-Shirt

and there was a kid there a fifteen-year-old with a generic Ramones t-shirt you know the one the one they all wear nowadays the generic one with white on black and the circle and crest the Ramones t-shirt you’ve seen a million times on kids everywhere they’re all wearing the same one from Primark or Tesco or wherever no bloody imagination the same Ramones t-shirt and of course none of them even like the Ramones probably none of them have even heard of the Ramones let alone bought their albums gone to their gigs they’ve all trotted off to Primark or Tesco and bought the same fucking Ramones t-shirt without knowing the first thing about the Ramones and what they stood for without knowing the first thing about punk rock these kids shuffling around in generic Ramones t-shirts they got from supermarkets or their mums got them from supermarkets when they don’t know the story behind the t-shirt don’t know the story of the band or the music Christ they’d have a heart attack if they heard the music they have no idea it’s not exactly Justin Bieber is it not exactly Taylor fucking Swift they have no idea what the Ramones represent the music they made what the music meant it’s like when everyone was running around in colourful Che Guevara t-shirts remember that everyone was running around in Che Guevara t-shirts grown men and women not just kids though admittedly it was mostly the young crowd that were into it running around in their generic Che Guevara t-shirts they’d bought in The Gap or Next or Top Shop or wherever thinking it was really cool not having the slightest fucking idea the tinniest fucking idea who the fuck Che Guevara was or what the fuck he stood for it wasn’t like everyone was suddenly reading Trotsky and plotting the overthrow of the bourgeoisie far from it they were nipping into Starbucks in their Che Guevara t-shirts and slurping lattes before sauntering down to House of Fraser and Debenhams and buying overpriced home furnishings not a thought for the oppressed masses the needy the disadvantaged Che Guevara meant nothing to them his image was just cool they probably didn’t even know his fucking name or if they did they had some dim feeling that he may have been a screen icon after all wasn’t he in that film what was it you know the one about touring South America on a motorbike what a cool thing to do that’s all his face meant to them cool just cool nothing else there was no other story behind it and they didn’t crave another story the one the fashion retailers had sold them was fine Che Guevara was cool as fuck and now his face had been co-opted by capitalism any alternative to that economic system was unthinkable the bourgeoisie had won and it’s the same now exactly the same now with the Ramones it’s like punk never happened everything is just image and entertainment

are you having a fucking laugh the Ramones were not entertainment punk was not an image it was an attitude a lifestyle a revolt against the social cultural political economic musical status quo the Sex Pistols had everyone in the Establishment shitting themselves they nearly brought down the monarchy they pissed all over the economy they destroyed the UK Top 40 and nothing was the same ever again are you fucking joking a Sex Pistols t-shirt is a symbol of insurrection a Ramones t-shirt is a symbol of insurrection everyone should be shitting themselves when someone comes down the street in a Ramones t-shirt are you trying to wind me up they weren’t just a band it wasn’t just music they destroyed everything that had gone before their first album killed half the people that heard it the songs were like poison to the old farts thousands were admitted to hospitals across the USA and Britain complaining of extreme nausea and existential dread so don’t tell me it was just music it was a revolution and these fucking kids today should leave it alone it’s not theirs it’s mine it’s ours it means nothing to them why do they even think Ramones t-shirts are cool they were never meant to be cool they were meant to be dangerous they think their generic Ramones t-shirts are cool because they’re told to think that by their corporate masters at Primark and Tesco the white on black the circle and crest have been neutered punk’s been neutered it’s had its bollocks chopped off punk’s bollocks were chopped off in a boardroom but never mind the bollocks here’s a generic t-shirt



Sitting before her mirror, she paints herself. Her eye tracks the external workings of her mind, the ghost made flesh in wrinkles and a faint frown, her mind spiralling down a staircase of itself, vertiginous, into the pit of all the things she thinks she wants and thinks she needs, spiralling out of seashells into empty hells and the appalling peals of final bells, spiralling nowhere maybe just out of sight past the house at the end the pub on the right the tower block blocking the sky a place where land and water meet and mingle huge sea birds lost along the wastes scouting for familiar waves a place where matter is neither one thing nor another and never itself where people get lost and get wasted and lose themselves and try to work things out in their minds but they can’t their minds spiralling into dark tomorrows and smudged horizons sifting through caws and squawks for anything resembling a human voice and words that could be understood shifting in the creamy void artfully framed by two black slashes each a bird carrying death in its wings panicking towards the smudged horizon and in the foreground something that might be real or that takes as its starting point the representation of something that might be real a face her face framed by the black mass of her hair her frowning face sadder than hope looking out from the canvas into other eyes that flit from mirror to canvas to mirror flitting like birds tearing the horizon with razor wings flitting from canvas to mirror to canvas fleeing stillness flying from the stasis of the scene as it would appear to an observer she just sitting there sitting for hours her eyes moving but little else her arm her hand describing lines and curves guiding a paintbrush falling now and then into the murky palette rising again making little lines she just sitting there while a second she watches from the mirror and a third gathers on the canvas not one woman three women distinct but the same the same woman in three bodies and who could tell which came first which was authentic the woman in the painting the woman in the mirror the woman in the room looking at both looking like both. 

Improvised piece, masquerading as a poem

Writing without purpose without sense without a sentence in mind
Letting the words take me
Romantic notion!
Words don’t take me, don’t transform,
Don’t ennoble or perform alchemy in the night
I reserve the right to contradict myself
And don’t like the look of that cloud
Shaped like an ostrich
Reaching for me with wispy neck
Slippery as eels
Lippy as seals
Without purpose without sense
Quite happy
If sometimes anxious that the great granite legacy
Of Blake Whitman Ginsberg Césaire Paz
Diminishes my nightmarish miniatures
Not that I’m seeking gruff greatness
Just a readership
A dealership of rust cars on blasted borders
Impossible to describe to tell to trace to face it outrace it
With my face my composite face disgraced by things fluttering
In blank margins
Blank as a gun
Blank as love
Blank as the spaces the white spaces in hospital corridors
Between green and grim grins
Endless as nothing
Futile as abstractions
Ending unending easy paradox
Without purpose
Without me


All texts on this site are the copyright of James Knight and even in my haste and waste I type copyright notices how pointless

Sylvia’s Eyes

Sylvia’s eyes make disastrous confessions. They glaze red then green then black. On Sundays they swim in a red currant sea, their currency bankrupt, ruptured and enraptured. Sylvia looks grimly through the window at the wino winnowing winsomely inside-out, and laughs with all her fight. At that moment the door enters with an excuse-me, sipping silver. What’s this annoying crackling noise? It seems to come from you or perhaps from Sylvia’s deadly aunties, who lie folded up at the bottom of her wardrobe. Their mouths are full of sausages and they hum in the night. A knight waves from somewhere far off – not me, you bastards! Yellow moments drip from bleak taps. Drip drip, your nose is gone. Which is all very well, witch is all very – well… which is not to say, knot to say, so difficult to say, I get tied up. The hanged man weeps and his cheeks burn with my shame.

This was never going to be a good idea. Try to concentrate, Sylvia. Try to concentrate ON Sylvia. So. Sylvia’s eyes are wormholes into the devil’s dreams, spy holes into squirrels’ foragings, dirt holes filled with sugar, spite, lies and full stops. Why all this crap about her eyes? Does a woman not have any other bodily features worthy of comment or cement? Poor Sylvia, with her hopeless unhoped-for eyes, with her eyes like smashed lightbulbs, with her eyes like laughing testicles, sits at last and finds a piece of god or cod stuffed into the cushion gratefully receiving her terrifyingly angular rump. She falls to prayer. As her words ascend, the disgusting hatch at the top of her head is thrown open and her internal organs attempt their escape. Her brain does not want anything to do with it, however. How wise!

Soon, Sylvia is a husk. But her eyes, her eyes, you should see her eyes, still open, still limply inky and languid and smoky like coffee and sex with strangers and regrets at 3am. Her eyes point at nothing, at you, at me, the person responsible for all this.

This is a piece of automatic writing, originally tweeted in manic haste a couple of evenings ago.

All texts on this site are the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.

Music into words

This evening, I listened for the first time to a piece of music called Realms by Adam Wimbush (who composed a brilliant piece for the Bird King recently). Whilst listening, I tweeted the words and images that Adam’s evocative piece put in my head. The exercise was like automatic writing, in that it was spontaneous and I had no opportunity to correct what I was writing as I went.

Below are the tweets, amalgamated and given headings (corresponding to the titles of the four tracks that comprise Realms) but otherwise unedited. Make of them what you will.

Realms can be downloaded FREE here.


Realm A (Rococo)

A silence, an almost nothing. Something moving, watery, deep, growing.

Then rains and something rasping. An electric falling, a collapse.

A small voice, plaintive, bird like, in the storm.

Hints of speech in yellow and black, nature’s danger colours.

Hammering hammering hammering in yellow and black, yellow and black.

Juddering fish.

Cut to an interior.

Your broken machines make milk, meat and faces. It’s close.

Can you hear the sea?

That nagging rhythm, sagging under the weight of water.

A beach – outside now – where the colours are gone. Metallic light on set sand.


Realm B (Under the re-plosion

A pause, a scene change.

The next realm is made of insects. They flutter & pullulate in my ear, in my hair, in my head.

Other things too, dropping from the sky. Machines or creatures.

I feel as if I’m being laughed at. The rhythm again, insistent, cold.

All the lines and graphs here look like words, a forgotten tongue. Peering closer, wasps in my ear.

An aluminium sheet covers a corpse.

A hive of industry, a nerve centre, a nervous centre of electrical buzzing.

Buzz buzz, metal wasps.


Realm C (The Permeated Anomaly)

Another breather. Another scene change.

The third realm seeps in like bad hypnosis, like a torrent, like light.

I can feel the wings of the mechanical birds as they flutter blindly across my forehead.

A voice chases them.

What are you saying?


Is that a gun? Why this furious activity?

Searchlights melt yellowing faces.

Then we’re processed. Their voices are indifferent. Orders, observations, conclusions.

Red light along the yellow and black lines.

What at first I took for a dialogue isn’t. Two hemispheres of one silicon brain exchange bursts of information.

Is this me thinking or you?

Finally we’re taken somewhere else. Units beep.

It grows dark.


Realm D (In Loquaciousness Lay Insanity)

One more realm. Under the waves, morse code.

People walk by, trying not to look at the chirping tangled angular shape hovering above us.

On the horizon, the sea is being hoovered up.

The chirp is not a message. Don’t listen: it will drive you mad.

The sea is gone. Look up: the sky is a mirror.

You look like an android.

Still that sense of being laughed at. The light goes again and the textures change underfoot.

Sonic beacons or will-o-wisps?

The sensation of sinking, very slowly. The hovering creature or contraption or phantom or god is still there, invisible but felt.

Being sucked into it, engulfed by it. Lunatic loops.

The brain of god is a cloud of insects.

Cold cooperation, metallic harmony, glazed eyes.

In the brain of god there is something like a thought or an idea or something trying to speak but unable.

Everything gets greyer, weaker.

At the end, just a beach, a disappearing cloud.

And a maggot on the grey sand.


All texts on this site are the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.