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Digital Poetics 2.3 kludge time: Fred Spoliar

Updated: Jun 8, 2021

The poem tries to look directly into the origins of public health in paternalism and policing, written around the Kenmure Street anti-raid action and in the stalling daily effort to hold time for grief and organising.

By the hands of the Queen’s men I lay down and

applied myself resolutely to work

Laid out as an annual

review of Time in the Street

Having been randomly selected to labour

Under zeugmatic monolith to Purity and Plague

Assigned to this machine under samesame

cut-off & crowning

the eleventh finger… now the twelfth...

Assigned at ergot-tipped despair

as hand-made // theory of phantom joint

between the doorstep and the park

stressed heterochronic dogging

delphic money in the street

Between the task of organising

the sunset and the value added Sunset

labour for a cities

we could live in

a laboratory for particular & peculiar forms

of reaction & happily

I was a molecule there

Assigned to healthful exercise

by a series of informed choices

I pushed all the buttons

feet on the tarmac

I felt myself

becoming one with the park becoming

one of the erogenous zones

of the state

of public knowledge

I was getting through this time

And if I see tonight

a state of complete mental physical & social wellbeing

coming over the hill -

the Year was healthy happy men

were not disposed nor was I one

in breathing with

the stalling community of the message of

the world // a function

of the double bind

between the regime and the romance

of wind-time

bin-brewed dandelion wine

of the leisure class

with its foundations and its content mills

Between the Visor and the Mask

I saw the origin of public health

coming over the common

Then Nothing,


Then I knew

that healthy happy men were not

disposed to procreation & bouldering

orogenies of fear

between the go-kart and the paint-ball

the work was boring

holes in my panoramic head

began the day coming in to

bring ibuprofen, that was my first job

heart-first and bodied forth inchoate

at the peripheries, knees and towns ache

you in the collective head

I want to feel you

like a held van

we could live in the cities of -

they have this indirect action

we have this many hands

it congeals on monday

as a luxurious crust

a damaged building you could reconstruct only as

more new sadness

we have this being held back

a strike leisure held in the teeth

while climbing# little vom globule

held in the mouth while

climbing# serrated work-grin held

in the face and hardly working

in two thousand and look at the spring

the Rec full of wrecked asters and kids

playing football on the tennis

pitch the occluded surviving

Present yes I have hopes

a lightning held in the dark

a homemade wooden boat

the mountain heavy with people

the gift of antidote

in two thousand and booing the cops off

we could live in this collective noun

a comedy held in a breath

& the horizon blazed

over aldwych and clapham

I looked directly into

The Origins of Public Health

coming at you through the daffodils in the name of Plod

coming at you through the seven-day week

a kind of bitten nomos persisting

through the six-day week

all cotton industry child labour


and the moral health of mechanicals

fixed on green circuitry

decelerating thru the 5-day week with terminal beating

rapt victoriana

piecework in the heart of citizens

with their private medical police

& the moral health of cyclists

to correlate with road speed

stuck on p.92 of the Grundrisse

against the moral force of trips over uppers

by the arms of the corporation

a proper family like I like

raids on delivery riders

& sushi at home

Between the French disease in italy

and the Italian pox in france

By the hands of Milligan and Dick

the foreigners’ disease like always

seized while walking

seized while out running

seized in their landlord’s

& the weather personally

crying hold me in economic

childhood mangles

a ghost worker in romantic time

with your plan

like an unfuckable orrery

clogged with temporary mercury

doing Thursday wrong

like the clouds do

a kind of special work

abstract from the POV of the real

abstraction //

this demeans

the daily struggle to produce

to recover thirteen senses

dragged thru oculi of firewalls

form a flash dew

perfume bomb a police

It was a bad time for

something links

between sport and bare life, just being

puzzled away in the vanishing

“silence” // it was a good time

to be exposed

to the liability of being touched

reduced to this


to be in glasgow to be having dreams

We ate the queen and said tender

not a word but ways to fly opacity

a mute pre-pinkness bodied

by styles of arduous arrhythmic drumming

the sanity of violence “itself”

establishing a violent baroque

need for the useless

counterpart to the oubliette

everyone who goes down there

you holding up

a silent night bus for this

the light, s o m a n y m i l e s f r o m h o m e


and turning waved

veers into morning-

There are no trees in London.

A green belt wheels in the clouds.

The time for how strange is stolen

All shadow

All fall down.


fred spoliar is a poet and education worker living in London. Recent poems can be found in publications including algia, datableed, erotoplasty, PIGS, and tentacular.


This publication is in Copyright. Fred Spoliar, 2021.

The moral right of the author has been asserted. However, the Hythe is an open-access journal and we welcome the use of all materials on it for educational and creative workshop purposes.

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