Friday, October 19, 2012

Amstel Station. Last Minute. Autumn 2012 ~ Richard Barrett

The level of information was –
And the delivery of information was –
Please tick one box only
Then list, in descending order
Your top three presentations of the weekend
This three day weekend
In Amsterdam
Just concluding

I’m scared by disconnect

Feeling my legs and my head now
As separate from me, yes, I’m walking, yes
And aware that I’m walking, or at least
Aware that someone’s walking
In a way that I might once have

Come on, shall we look for a cab?

Cheese is round
We think

We think

Of work colleagues also

They think of us

Crossing the divide between subjects
Was thought by Sartre to be
Something that couldn’t be done but . . .

I’m ready for any questions

Together, here, in Amsterdam
In the big old church hall here
In Amsterdam

I think greatly increased empathy occasioned by

A use, though

Could render Sartre’s impossibility
A considerable amount more possible

Any questions?

If someone presents
At a conference in Amsterdam
When Richard Barrett
Is elsewhere in Amsterdam
Does the person presenting
Make a sound?

It’s been said
Amsterdam is hell
After Dante
Arranged in circles

And though, yes
We end-up always
When out walking
Right back where we began

If this is hell
Well, I like it
Very much


The fear and paranoia, however
I don’t like


Wondering: the cab driver – does he know something I’d prefer him not to know?
The check-in clerk – does she know something I’d prefer her not to know?
Passport control – do they know something I’d prefer them not to know?
And my fellow passengers – do they – as well – know more than they’re letting on?

I guess there are known knowns
Unknown knowns
Known unknowns
And other permutations of those words
I’m too tired to bother with at the moment


Our present eco-crisis
Is due to writing
Separating man from nature  
According to the bloke there
At the front of the room

I ask later – 

What did he mean?

You suggest something about representations
Leaving the direct thing
No longer experienced

Which sounded persuasive

What sounded less persuasive though
Was the idea
That the solution
Lay just in getting high

Still . . .

When was it then?
When did posse get misheard?


Shit, something seems to have changed here . . . 

Though clarification came, and
With it


So I said, yes, that does sound like a plan

So plans were made. . .

Though remember

A little does go a long way
Educate yourself by asking the staff about the effects and just ease yourself in slowly
Selections in Amsterdam are quite strong
The results can be overwhelming

If you don’t know what you’re in for


I don’t present with ease
Snatched breaths, snatched
In the middle of, and between
Words, rather than more logically
As the sentence ends, yes
I find presentations hard
So I sympathise with you Teri
Up there, before this crowd
Yes, I do






We ask directions –  We ask, excuse me
Sorry to bother you –
But do you know the way to Central Station
Reasoning that from there we should find more easily
Our flat
                And, yes, we
Do get pointed on our way
We find the place
And it’s gorgeous
The rain forgotten

And while you’re showering

I get my head down

For half an hour or so

Then we’re out again.

Ha ha ha ha ha
The fella laughs
That’s your Lamborghini
That’s your Porsche –
The flash goes off
And it startles –
Or I’m anyway startled
By something else
As I
Want to say something, but
I don’t know what –

It’s a photo
It’s good

Look, pay him please
When we get there
Put your hand in our pockets
Give the guy the cash
That is owed by us
This journey
This journey
This journey from
Point A to Point B
This journey across the city
Leaving tonight at 10
Panicking –
But –

Everything will work out okay in the end


The steps to the smoking bit
Those steps are steep
Um – do you want to go down before me?
Someone says
And someone says
Ladies first
Reminding us –
On the coach trip out here
Someone said, then, as well
Ladies first
We laughed at his chivalry  

Um – do you want to go down before me ?

But, you know, I could
Well, just fucking live here

Breath coming
In gasps
Short now
Making it hard to talk
But easy for you to laugh
Though I’m not arsed
I’m laughing too
Whilst trying not to cough
a) that wouldn’t be cool; and
b) it’d disturb the guys behind

Those steps –
How’ll we get up them
I don’t know –
Failing in
Trying not to cough –

Ack Ack Ack . . . cough . . .

You write
Richard says –
Prompting my response –
LOLs have more fun –
Now I’m laughing
And you’re laughing, though –
What at, we wonder?    


We need to off-load the dope
Shall we give it to him?
Ok, then, lets . . .

Chichaya, the guy says
Is kinder to women
Than men, men, unless
They specifically request
The goddess offers protection
Will be
Vomiting for days

Someone asks
So could this drug then offer
Ways of reconnecting with the earth mother?

The guy doesn’t know
Saying: there’s more research to do


In this consciousness of skin

Seeing no windmills in Amsterdam
Actually, is that wrong? Is the lyric
Tulips? I don’t know. I know just that
It’s a shit song
Anyway, however you want to put it
There were neither windmills
Nor tulips

Just arms

At the bottom of which were hands
Thrust resolutely in pockets
Arms still
Though feeling very like they were moving
Though they weren’t moving
Those arms

Not windmilling

I feel, I feel I could drown in
Skin, and be happy to
I want this feeling always

This, capital city of skin
This, two day conference of skin
This, plan to travel of skin
This, good/bad weather of skin
This, groovy accommodation of skin
This, asking directions of skin
This, recognising accents of skin
This, canal of skin
This, misunderstanding the menu of skin
This, text from Hans of skin
This, half litre of beer of skin
This, chance of skin
This, friendship of skin
This, coach seat back of skin
This, not being able to sleep of skin
This, having known each other years of skin
This, public exercise park of skin
This, humorous shop name of skin
This, walk of skin
This, light in the morning of skin
This, coolness of skin
This, preoccupation with the centre of skin
This –


You get me, right

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