I. Rhythmic Back-Story (the makings of a )

they packed and left in the middle of the night

he got a job selling shoes

she pressed pants in a local dry cleaners

the children read the books they found in the new place

and at night cried quiet soundless

he coughed germs in bas-relief (positive negative sculpture) each stuttering moment in 

time is frozen post-expulsion

in her head

in my head

i’ve found a way back home

his lung particles hang in the air

unsure whether to waft or fall

II. It’s All Over (a flunky life)

the yellow brick road

i cried for tuberculosis when i read about penicillin

haven’t you ever died in a dream and upon waking felt tired of life

going back to sleep as protest / cheaper than banners and paint

renunciation of capitalism in eating dirt and french lentils

i’ve liked you so many times / i mean i really like you

click / endless click / i’ve set the controls to the heart of the son (hi mom)

IV. Admission (I’m just like you, you can be just like me)

i need a break / a small documentary / a tiny novel / a wee cuppa soup

my Esoteric and Occult Online Store is corporatism’s antidote and progeny (EOOS)

the child is the father of the man

V. The First Setback (you will be stabbed in the back, you will come out alive)

he’s sleeping / no one knows why / someone wants to wake him but doesn't dare

he might have pressed pants

or collected his kids from school

instead we’re sitting here holding a crocheted tea cosy between us

talking about ARPANET

the fridge hum pulsing / a rising tide / a phenakistoscope / more stable than it seems

we’re the opposite holding a tea cosy


coughing a communal bas-relief / someone could make an opera to those arcs

those molecular molehills

VI. Dorothy and Toto (you’ve found your abettor half)

the modern opera is soap / is television / is space

there’s no place like home / there’s no place like home

it’s where the heart is (i’ve set the controls)

i need a tiny novel in a way

in a way there’s nothing like it / except a lie-in / which is rather like it

in another way there’s nothing really like anything really

VII. How to Wake Up Everyday and Love What You Do (HI-NRG soul)

i could search almost anything + aristotle and find something to write about

but it’d be cheap wouldn’t it / probably published in frieze

when aristotle discussed plants etc. / introduce artist’s work / talk about the hot house

of culture / use all plant metaphors / in bas-relief

germs are so stately in gas chromatography

visualising the electromagnetic field is very sexy foreplay

VIII. Look in the Mirror and Say I’m Worth It (everyday’s connected)

the whole world of chemistry comes into the simple act of pressing pants

and coughing

educational toys for the creative child / i see a boom coming

i never think about bust / i’ve liked you so many times / i mean i really like you 


Some accidentally produced “little piece of the real” (the dead body) attests to the success of communication. We encounter the same mechanism in fortune telling and horoscopes: a totally contingent coincidence that is sufficient for the effect of transference to take place; we become convinced that “there is something to it.” The contingent real triggers the endless work of interpretation that desperately tries to connect the symbolic network of the prediction with the events of our “real life.” Suddenly, “all things mean something,” and if the meaning is not clear, this is only because it remains hidden, waiting to be deciphered. The real functions here not as something that resists symbolisation, as a meaningless leftover that cannot be integrated into the symbolic universe, but, on the contrary, as its last support. For things to have meaning, this meaning must be confirmed by some contingent piece of the real that can be read as a “sign.” The very word sign, in opposition to the arbitrary mark, pertains to the “answer of the real”: the “sign” is given by the thing itself, it indicates that at least at a certain point, the abyss separating the real from the symbolic network has been crossed, i.e. that the real itself has complied with the signifier’s appeal. In moments of social crisis (wars, plagues), unusual celestial phenomena (comets, eclipses, etc.) are read as prophetic signs.

Žižek, How Real is the Real? in Looking Awry, p.32-33