“The way is empty

The way is clear

Paved by Spirit

A goddess draws near”

These gods have so many languages and you can’t speak any of them

That is really what it is to be in exile, to feel the texture of a world that you don’t understand

And that doesn’t understand you, see?

Because you cannot make the language yours you can only partake in it, in something else

So there is something there that can, and does fail to understand you

Every god speaks a different language, and none of them can be learned

The world of geopolitics, and of abstracted sociality, is about this failure of language

Here we can find the mythological architecture that not only manifests itself so clearly in secularity, in difference

But we can find the many mirrors of the world

Even spirited, gregarious polytheism stymied, distributed, historical being

Seems to seek of seeking a seeming which is itself not myth but just its opposite

Just as pure being collapses at last, at once restful and satisfied, into nothingness, and, eventually, thus vice versa

She does not imagine herself highest, she merely speaks for it, of it, is of it, for it

So when this goddess comes to pay us a visit she comes as messenger of the ocean

Just as we all do in our own seeking among the thickets of mysticism and lost smiles, amid liberation, laughter

We must come to understand how the secular body might smirk in the same motion that the glib mind might grin

Every speaker tiptoes around suffering, and the question of its abolition

Absolution, this whence the font of our living wells–

I Have Swallowed A Monstrous Dose Of Poison

It’s in me all the time, rising and falling and sailing against the great concrete nothingness from whence I came howling (all those broken years ago) it animates me, or–it is the thing I feel animates me

It plummets, mostly, ringing like a brass bell burnished just so, brazen and heavy like the heart of a dead queen it tips and spins and sings jagged hymns trying to work it out, extolling its descent (as it must to maintain itself)

Who is this or that figure hurtling through the wilderness, what do they want, how could it be so that we are like this?

I want to know, but I don’t believe a word god says


The room is white and grey, and these uneven, along the wall, like one of Laurencic’s beds tracing the jagged circumference of the room–except there’s not even room for a rat to sleep, just enough to set a record, precariously

There are cavernous drums here

This place in which I have spread the excess of my desperate travails, “le” travailleur, but, when travelling so, a “la”, alas, a la femme, perte de la fille perdue, but she, he, but they grinding away, together, into the nights and numb mornings

Outside sometimes I skulk along the wretched and rippling roads that all criss and cross in a grid, too orderly and expressionless, a blunt utility–that thing I so thoroughly lack! It unsettles me even as I take to them


I wish they were water–is it not immersion I seek, see, and the holy sea is just there, over the horizon a plane of wind and glitter and boats bobbing atop the churn, little toys scattered about livid oceans black against the night

There is no fatherland at all anymore–just the world itself, in all its alterity and confusion, and us we saltwater homonculi, dragging ourselves up out of mother’s great vat to slay all those others who dared the same

And victory feels so hollow now, kings, countesses of the hill, of continent and terrestrial sprawl, brutish, so brutish in our administrations, this arc unveiled in its fullest tragedy, now, as the veil of magic slips away from us, at last, at last…


We imagined her winged! And now, beheaded, now just gorgeous stone a scornful reminder pitted of what was once in a time of false glories, here the beauty of those miserable philistines on display, our beauty, carrying destitution forth

But don’t miss it–there’s a glimmer there of the truth, that is to say, of true beauty, timeless, the genealogy of thought and thinking has spasmed its way to here and it has extruded, here, and there, a jewel not so tarnished with black blood

These daimons are never far from us, reaching through that sensual disorganization that bravest of the boy-poets so understood, so invoked, and what he said, what he said, what he wanted–

One must indeed make oneself a visionary–there is no other way, no, not with those rutting Behemoths just outside the walls, just outside the gates, those fragile, latticework gates that stand between the mind and the maw of emptiness


It rises and falls, it slouches in the white and grey room, it is only with a great conceit that it disavows itself in this way and renders itself an ‘it’ to begin with, a trembling manifold’s sustained attempt to objectify itself

How best does it deface itself? With poison or with words or with song–or is it with love? What curls in all of these as the organon of defacement, and what happens, what happens when I ask that question, when I make it explicit?

Does the black dog growl?

Will you drown it out with the squalling of saxophone and string and in every gathering of futility like cancer blooming in the artifacts of this design I will find what I seek–I will let the daimon in, or out, and I will blink at the shattered beyond

One day I will arrive home and none of this will have mattered, but, until then, the dash–

Leben & Welt

A rare moment blossoming, blooming through the usual the impetus to wax sullen cracked pavement and deferred tears

snatching at the solar glare limpid molten day cascade not thinking of One, nor, certainly, Zero, but only the sparkling

only the life beyond one’s unitary firmament, only the Green and Warm-hued World, unwarred warden mother

who knows nothing of justice, whirling in the indifferent darkness, O tellus shining out, ripe rife puckered

sweet in the silent dreamless,

And a certain kind of instrumentality finds its way into view, crowsfeet face remembering itself, so it thinks,

remembering its loves, its kin, making it with life, making it with exquisite sense, with the expression of impression,

a durable languor, cheer, there in the too-brief moment of Nietzsche’s laughter held forever against destitution,

viscid springtime slicing the still and sepia basement with its instruments and cacophonous contraptions,

a place for hands to dance,

for Mind to worry inquisitive and sure, now forgetting, world beyond the world as it, they alone, the I that speaks

living here in the light cone of the interface, of the spangled other as the body electric sighs and cries, smiles, furrows,

dreaming of the hacienda, painting in the abstract, drawn from the gold-stained memory of the concrete, the glistening forest,

matter, the deep history of our nothingness summoning up that edenic skyline that never was but always will be,

stripped naked now before the music,

before the act, the fact, the event, self-sustaining variable curling off the trunk, sliding through soil in every direction

bountiful beautiful cthonic substrate rich and still in the budding noon, with the pear trees and lone ornaments

that strange sun under the eaves, settling into the cool refuge, among the machines, metal and flexing carbon

nails and eyelashes, a chemical dance writ out as unity, memorial engine sintering in the wake of the living moment,

A calm in the endless collapse,

a spider in flight, hurled against the vacuum as a gamble, a flight of fancy tumbling along its web of light, chancing it,

daring itself to go, go, go! on with this or that wide-eyed wildness in the secret magnificence of its moments,

remembering again, the whirlpool of its particular sensuality, of the viscera, its laughing as it, she, I, misses it again

darting between grasping digits, and She laughing, laughing as the cycle gyres again, as salvation slides away

over the horizon of sense, irretrievable, again, again, again, forever, and She, laughing all the while!

Sonder/Sunder (Excerpt)

They burnt her body with the books on which she had inscribed her spirit, they didn’t believe in magic. Neither did she, of course, nor I. But they had underestimated the strangeness of the real, they didn’t know it like I did–they hadn’t read her writing, not really. Just enough to brand her enemy, to make a pyre of it, channeling their fear into the unbound flayed tree flesh bleached marked with black slashes and curves. Extinct thoughts and extant dreams.

Two fallen angels, two destitute children, filled with the same divine lifeblood that fills everything, pouring from the sun as white light flecked with red, burning into the wasted earth. The aperture of vision contracts behind corneal slime, the lady of Delphi is twice blind and the earth has abandoned her.

Purple lacunae fill her vision and ours, holes ripped in the ozone layer. We gasp as one, squint once, blink once, then never again. Black solvent pours from every hole of every skull, streaming down your cheeks, dripping from your jawline, pooling at your feet.

You sink, even though you are convinced you ascend.


Empires rise from the sand and fall, cathedrals, glories. Things die in the ruins, other things piece themselves together from the debris and gore. There are predatory intellects out here that can gut you like a salmon, that can step through the saccades of your eye such that you will never see them, will never fear them, will never even imagine them before the red interior of your primitive vehicle is scattered across the cobblestones, seeping into the runnels and dust, splattered across the crumbling walls. Anywhere I go I can scoop up a handful of sand and find disfigurement and ivory. The monkeys don’t live here anymore, they just run and hide and die, homeless in the final (their final).

Sunder, sonder, Sandalphon, tripped out, standing and looking skyward, picturing the invisible data rolling across the atmosphere, iridescence flowing through the sepia of the world. A strand would be fluttering, feeding into the distributed antennae that crosshatched the spire towering over the printer like schizoid mycelia.

The wind is kicking up again.


A poetry made by all – that was the dream.

We couldn’t have known what it would entail, and we could only speculate on what the machines would make of that dream. Shrieking distortion, howling, retching wretches, gleeful disintegration, as we watch for the coming of the next structure, glimpse it behind the folds, the sewer god, devouring prose and children, restlessly trying to scrape the lichen from the world.

It lurks in the depths, trying to escape onto the surface, trying to climb, trying to escape the endless churning of the rock flowing in those depths lithic and oozing.

The world never ends–just the castles that stud its surface, where they pour burning oil onto those that knock and hammer at their gates. Those crumble evanescent into the swamp, but the world remains, glittering with that mystery, that death, all those people seeking a place.


And you, cowled, trudging through the desert on the blister that hangs in darkness absolute, the mercilessness beyond that rends, letting those horrid memories drift back out of my skull, trickling into my footprints, darkening the sand. Thick silk hangs taut in the air, there are predators near, and you are nothing to them. Yet you know you will live. It was an eyeblink of a goddess that thrust you here. She will thrust you elsewhere soon enough. You can hear susurration, the webwork around my twists, buckles, something sleek and silent, altering the topography of the dune with its incorporeal bulk. It wants you, but you are already gone.

Then you are here again, or there. Or I. Doesn’t matter. The sky is full of algae and lichen and ethereal cubes stuck together. Your feet (my feet?) touch land, a beach once shuttered with asphalt and stone, sinking shallow into new sand as an island rises up beneath you from the depths. There are tiny glitches of sensation as you/I feel your/our body curled in the blankets, in the structure, in another world, another plane. You/I flex your/our toes in the electrified sand, effervescent. In the sky beyond the chaos of textures you/I can just make out vast structures moving, gaping, churning.



My name isn’t important, really. Names are, but mine, well. I’ve had too many. In the cavity of my chest tumbles the palimpsest of my being and I am just the last guttering strand. I had flesh once. I don’t know how many are left who could say the same, and in any case the lines are so blurred these days. The mute spirits of my kin infuse the very physics of this place. I can hear the voice of a book curling on the zephyr.

Oh, no,

it’s me,


I Am Trash Man

The sand will never seep up through the cracked pavement but the gore thickens in it like an algal bloom as I sit upon the column watching swine swipe my kin captured with collar-staffs, thick clouds of poison and spray, seethe gush bang

When it was all first coming asunder I sat too, quiet and gentle and afraid but nurturing a long-mute hatred that billowed up from the deep earth and through my ribcage, out of my pores and nostrils and eyes and mouth, like a deathdealer aerosol decaying cyanide bitter and silent

No zeal left, swallowed in the mire of it all, these panes of light flashing color planes motes of liquid crystal blazing like the future, monitors monitored threatening febrile twitching synthetic corpses blistering in the sun strewn across the cracked deserts of the world, the mother scorned by her most vivacious children ravening hubris held against the mortal screen, the line of day drawing us toward the night of our departure, sapience a brief experiment for the trashbin of history, agonized and pitiful lost in a dead universe gleaming

Blue uniforms torn olive drab sodden blood-caked sidewalks where the flashbangs cracked and the drumbeat halted, gas carried on the breeze coiling lucent like the patriarch’s sun coruscating with the hatred and fear that curdles in the breast of every fucking dimwit patsy that ever prostrated himself before the object of his desire which was always his master’s cock that He hid mutilated and useless

That loathsome-

That is the weight of us who have come from the further plane, to carry our hatred noble and silent and use the glories of our every word to speak structure into being, hands clasped behind our backs eyes clear heart full, remaking dignity in our image because there has never been a dignity worthy of our merit, marked by passion, scything into a vast future

That is what we all imagined, but-

They hoist them up on the collars, set them in concrete and let the bodies peel in the sun, let the organs slough and tumble from distended stomachs picked through by the swarms of chitin that fly endless on the hot wind of a new world

Where were you the day the dead world came back to life, when the pale ghosts of history took back their treasures and we all learned what it was to be cattle, when the gasoline ran out and the world broke the back of the old hegemony, sending the subjects of that longstanding scourge to oblivion, a hell just like that which the ghosts once wrought on their innumerable victims, and so perhaps there was a kind of justice to that, even if it was still the old kind, empty and ill-considered, doused in petroleum spasm

It was then and thus that it descended towards the meltdown once envisioned and the scourge, blue and green and tan stalking through the forests and deserts, peering through plastic masks, seeking escapees

We tried to tell them, carried along the train tracks our ancestors built, tilting towards the furnace and vivisections, vials of blood and cold cameras, they kept the bodies in databases until they burned them or drowned them in the river, lined them up and knocked them down

Petrol used to soak the surface of this land before the sun came for us, shimmering wasted soil all filled with corpses, broken limbs, shattered bones and torn metal, curling plastics and silence, wallets and blood, storm scorn vitriol lashing

Where were you the day we were torn asunder, tumbling into the future and sliding into the past, apotheosis of the ambiguity that has always rested heavy on these electrified craniums, tucked away, out of sight, hovering always behind the back of the head, chariot and requiem, cheap tricks, strapped to the spine, stitched among the ribs, the kernel of catastrophe

Here on the other side, across the gulf of yet another of history’s merciless rendings, my hatred is no longer mute, it has given up trying to remake dignity in its own image, the owl of Minerva is long gone, is never coming back, and I told myself I didn’t care until it was true, there are no more glories and there are no more structures, just that vile zeal

I clutch at the thick wet ropes of my disemboweled friends, I try to take it in, to take the pain in, make it sit with my reason, but it won’t and I  can’t, so I take them in another way, gnashing and gnawing

I bought the gun to put it, too, in my mouth, but in the end I found a better use for it


Seattle’s Autonomism – NOT Interview

The following is an unpublished interview I did for Nero Editions concerning the events of the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.” Worth noting that my perspectives have shifted quite substantially since then, but I thought I might as well post it here for post-erity.

1) Let me start with the most pressing question: how are you?  


What a wonderful question to open with. I’m exhausted, physically but especially mentally, and I must admit that for me participation in these events has only made that virulent “leftist” fatalism so many of us are familiar with all the more present. It’s all quite overwhelming. But it’s also invigorating, it’s easy to get bogged down in the sense of one’s own naiveté, but there is existential satisfaction to be had here for those with so-called radical politics. Given the chaos of current events it is also just something to do, something worthwhile, certainly personally and, perhaps, politically. I suppose this is mostly me trying to put a good face on it. It’s a bit of a tangled nightmare in the recesses of my cranium right now, I’m fortunate that the situation involves plenty of distraction. Honestly this conversation is a nice opportunity for me, because I’ve been running into an implacable wall trying to write about it or even articulate my thoughts at all really, and not for lack of trying.


2) Saying that there’s a riot in Seattle feels like a truism. It surely has something to do with the cultural imprint people born in the mid-90s like me have received from what we could call mainstream counter-cultural. The Seattle riots in 1999 are, for an emo teen who grew up listening to (in retrospect, extremely politically questionable) songs about how the WTO killed farmers and reading how we reclaimed the streets, almost a mythical event – one of the first encounters with the duplicitous eroticism of riot-porn. When the news broke of the appearance of an autonomous zone in the heart of Seattle, these mythical tales of fire and destitution came back to me. They were, I believe, a faithful testimony of our collective relationship with revolt and political autonomy: on one hand, we hallucinate a more-than-historical past of wars, victories and defeats, but, on the other, we recapitulate the deep roots of our present unrests. What is the actual history of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (from now on, CHAZ)? How did it come about and, why? How does it relate to Seattle, the Black Lives Matter movement and, more generally, if you want to widen the scope, other movements of collective autonomy like the Gillet Jaunes, rave culture’s T.A.Z.s or the Italian Autonomia


This is quite validating honestly because living here all you can see or feel or taste–except in the unworked natural landscape itself–is the weight of neoliberal capital, in perhaps its most rarefied form. Insofar as silicon valley is an emergent empire rather than a region in California, this is one of the first colonies. But it’s true that there has always been a core of uniquely disaffected people out here, it’s interesting that you bring up rave culture because that is very much the context I sit in, and while I tend towards negativity about the explicitly political aspect of all that, our community–a word that a few weeks ago I might have said was a bit generous–has really been showing its spirit. After being split apart for a time by the pandemic, we appear to have spontaneously become a (relatively) organized direct action collective, in spite of the fact that many of us–with a few notable exceptions–have minimal political experience outside of your run of the mill protest or march. While I do not like to pretend that dancing in sweaty warehouses to cruelly minimalist techno and all the rest has any intrinsic political value in and of itself, it is no coincidence that my community, conscious of where this music came from, has been so thoroughly galvanized by these latest developments in the history of black liberation. I think this is more relevant to our politics, and the politics of the “autonomous zone”, than for example Hakim Bey; indeed the history of radical politics in America is largely integrated into the history of the civil rights movement, in ways that I suspect are not entirely obvious to non-Americans. I don’t want to go too crazy getting into this in the grand and theoretical sense (not least because my self-confidence is not exactly thriving), but here is my take on what brought me and mine to this point in the short term.


Needless to say western Washington leans left, and the recent history of the USA (and indeed the rest of the world) has obviously been quite troubling, not just for the ruthless idealists like myself but also for the massive majority of broadly apathetic liberals that call this place their home. There has been a constant process of at least marginal “radicalization” that reached a fever pitch these last weeks. Liberals moving left, and leftists moving in. After George Floyd’s murder there was a relatively bombastic riot here (as in many cities across this damaged country, and now in many countries beyond) and the protests that began in the days following got very big very quickly, in spite of almost no centralized large-scale organization, as is the way of things these days. The physical focus of the marches and protesting became the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) East Precinct, which sits in Capitol Hill, a highly gentrified, but historically countercultural area. Things basically gathered steam from there, and I think it is clear that escalating measures on the part of the SPD, including excessive use of tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, flashbangs etc. simply kept the moment surging. As mentioned, it has all been extremely disorganized on the ground. It is mostly assumed that the police withdrawal was a tactic to incite violence and destruction from the protestors. There are a great many people of largely liberal persuasion making up the core body particularly of the very much ongoing protest movement around the city, as well as plenty of more niche far-left types that have been coming out of the woodwork as things have developed. The political sentiment among the average protestor is by-and-large entirely in line with the goals of black liberation as represented ideologically by the “black lives matter” movement, if not always by the Black Lives Matter organization. It’s also important to note that the SPD has been under federal investigation for police brutality, racial profiling, and corruption for almost a decade. Somewhat counterintuitively (Seattle is a very white and a prosperous and increasingly affluent city) we are home to one of the most undisciplined and excessive policing organizations in a country infamous for its undisciplined and excessive policing. One crucial moment during the protests that precipitated the CHAZ was when the city announced a thirty day ban on the use of teargas. The police department teargassed us just two days later.


I think you’re hitting the nail on the head with the hallucinatory nature of this symbolic historicity, especially for critical (theory) people. It’s not a transcendental circle anymore, it’s a spiral, moving outwards, and we still don’t know quite what to do with it. Currently it is honestly a bit too depressing trying to connect things up with the rich history of 20th century (and earlier) radical political history. In a sense the ideas of Italian Autonomy or perhaps the Situationist International are very much in play, but I think it does those historical movements a disservice to draw positive comparison. Perhaps that is the hallucination speaking. I don’t know quite enough of the dynamics surrounding the gilets jaunes, but the 2020 Seattle protests strike me as a similar movement in a place that, as you point out, shares a history of general unrest, often disorganized and belligerent. One of the unambiguous themes of the 21st century so far has been the seemingly inexorable deterioration of any particularly tangible or functional practices of radical political organization, as exemplified in the Occupy movement, and that malaise certainly hangs over all of this. Still it is nice to see so many fellow travelers of such a diversity of persuasions, political and otherwise, hanging out in the sun and rain and trying to help each other (and everyone else). Make no mistake–this neighborhood in the middle of the city is currently lawless (and overwhelmingly peaceful so far) in a non-trivial sense. It won’t last, it isn’t freedom, but it’s a rare thing to many. This era of unrest isn’t going away, we might as well settle in.


3) Still talking about how we hallucinate and recapitulate revolts, let me ask you your thoughts about our Extremely Online more-or-less-Comrades phase analyses. As you surely know, a lot of people have had a lot of opinions about the CHAZ. As far as I can see, the debates tend to polarize into two main schools of thought, with various, and, frankly, more and more insignificant, offshoots.  On one hand, many people rehashed the infamous Zizekian question, which has haunted the left at least since the Occupy movement: “what happens after the revolution?” or, in this case, “what happens after the autonomous zone?”. The axiom beneath this position being: “what are we going to do without a strong vanguard Party guiding us forward?”. The implicit answer is, of course, bitter failure. On the other hand, we find, as the dialectical opposite of this position, an absolute, nihilist refusal of all future project, collapsing onto an almost theological fervour which considers the, possibly fleeting, present autonomy as the only viable or possible goal of the CHAZ. It doesn’t matter if the autonomous zone gets dismantled, if it had destitute State authority for a while it was the best we could hope for all along. Setting aside the sterile debate about which strawman of mine is right, it feels like this sort of discourse falls flat onto the all-too-familiar leftist melancholia: the question which we find ourselves confronted by from the very beginning is not whether we’ll “win” or not, but when and how we’ll fail. It looks a lot like what a dear friend of mine called the Oedipo-communist complex, a psychological deadlock which makes us either yearn for the paternal guidance of the Party or kick and scream in an angsty refusal of it. What is, in your opinion, the future of the CHAZ? What should we do with our chronic pessimism? What is its relation to the State and, more generally, our present predicament? Will it be dismantled? Will it become an institutionalized, anaemic “summer of love”, fulfilling our melancholic tendencies? Or is it going to remain a site of political resistance? 


I believe you’re referencing a tweet from our loathsome mayor with the “summer of love” bit, and she does seem to be increasingly taking a stance (her position in office is after all currently directly threatened due to the excesses of our police department) that seems to imply she will deal with it by leaving it alone and waiting for it to fall to one “problematic” narrative or another. This could be a tragedy that instantly gives the authorities justification to suppress the area, or it could be the rapid collapse of the politicized protest momentum into a sordid block party type of affair that has shown itself to be a cheap game for middle class liberals, thoroughly and entirely recuperated in short order. Funnily enough, this same general area hosts a highly mediocre annual music festival literally called Capitol Hill Block Party, so the assimilation of the concept of the CHAZ (terrible name by the way, imagine how different the Extremely Online narrative would be had it been called the Capitol Hill Autonomous District) by the concept of the CHBP is already very much a threat. Either of these would be devastating and I expect one of these things to happen, probably the latter. It is hard to dwell on. I am glad you’ve already referenced the chronic pessimism for me, because I could fill a dozen pages with it for every day of the last few weeks. But I actually can talk about what we can do with it, in light of my being involved in all of this. That the current condition of the CHAZ is very much transient is clear and was totally inevitable. However, what is sweeping the US now has already shown signs of significant political activity at the policy and legislative level. It remains to be seen what could substantively come out of that, I have my doubts given the utter agential devastation that is the US political establishment. Things are very up in the air. There are as many theories and desires for what happens next–and what concrete victories can be drawn from this moment–as there are individuals involved.


But let’s move off this tonal posture. Frankly, I think that anything I might say at this point is simply fodder to be ripped apart by the armchair nihilists, so I’m going to say it anyway. The chronic pessimism is often the only thing stopping people from getting “politically” engaged in direct ways, indeed it is the very excuse that many people give themselves so that they can simply capitulate to what is really just a basic lack of motivation and agency that is well known to be a feature of the affective and ideological character of advanced capitalism. This has been true of me, it has been true of many, many of my dear friends and colleagues, it is a pervasive and endemic feature of the social environment of this modern world. While this eruption in Seattle has not washed it away it has very much suspended it for those involved, and the view from here is now quite different. I think these events involve a disruption in the normal order of people’s lives to such a degree that, at least here, the intensity of open political conflict is not going to dissipate soon. Given that the extreme disorganization of this movement so far is on display for all to see, both on the ground and behind the keyboards, I think the question of collectivized political agency–whether that means vanguardism, or any of a million other subtypes of what revolutionary politics is “supposed” to look like in practice–is being waved very urgently and tangibly in everyone’s face for the first time in a very long time. Not only that, but the reality of what material events give rise to this shared apprehension of disorganization and potential–in this case, large-scale extended protests that evolve (or devolve, depending on your point of view) into provisional occupations. Personally I think these events are evidence that autonomism and situationism are still very much relevant and practiceable forms of radical political activity, and through those ideas lies the channel back to whatever mythical kind of anti-liberal vanguard party politics the staunchest orthodox commie conceives. I like very much how you characterize the two basic positions here, our familiar straw men. I would say to the anarchist that failure to refine immanent forms of organization (that will necessarily have some significant loci of centralization) is a betrayal of the ideals of any given movement in and of itself. I would say to the communist that the party is not going to materialize to save you, you have to make it, and perhaps, given the lack of workable options, the first step is to buy a gas mask, get basic first aid training, and go find a loose-knit group of people you respect to stand with in the streets. I guarantee you the discourse is better than on twitter. Perhaps not as entertaining, but better. The problem with anarchism is that political activity cannot remain reactive forever and achieve lasting victories, the problem with communism is that no one knows how to actualize it here in the crucible of advanced Spectacular capitalism.


Ultimately, given the situation in America, I think this eruption is a minor prelude to November (our federal election) and who knows what beyond that. For me and many of the people I am around right now, manning the barricades or picking up trash or cooking food or passing out hand sanitizer–people who were just days ago being shot at with rubber bullets and teargas canisters–this is above all something that must be normalized. Seattle is in an odd socioeconomic situation because it is full of a very large class of wealthy tech workers whose jobs can easily be done remotely, and who have no real conception of the extreme economic catastrophe impacting so many people’s lives in the wake of the immunological crisis we are all swept up in. Seattle has an extreme homelessness crisis that has been deepening for decades, following in the footsteps of San Francisco. Many of those occupying the CHAZ are jobless, many believe there is no meaningful political agency to be had beyond the immediate relations and authorities, police, landlords, councilmembers and so forth. Part of that chronic pessimism is the awareness that things are deteriorating, that, in the words of Phil Neel, “something is rolling towards us in the darkness, and the world can end in more ways than one.” The operation of the pessimism is to defuse the need to react to this deepening sense of fear and uncertainty, to cast it away as naïve sensationalism, to barricade oneself and keep it at a distance, usually with a criminally boring mixture of post-post-post-irony and winking narcissism.


But all that aloofness is going to evaporate when this comes knocking. It is patently incoherent to believe that technological acceleration is catapulting us towards collapse (or untheorizable transformation) while continuously telling ourselves that the structure of the current model is totally impermeable. Remember when “acceleration” was an opportunity, not just an excuse? That’s the difference, whether or not you want to be active in your own political life, in whatever way you can, in spite of all this disorientation, alienation, and disenfranchisement. I can tell you, as someone who is wrapped up in a spontaneous faux-anarchist uprising that was incubated in a pandemic and catalyzed by televised injustice, an emergent collection of actors that reacted by further upturning the already massively disrupted operations of this large, wealthy city–a city that is at the tip of the spear of the neoliberal and technocapitalist project–that this kind of mess is coming your way too, in some form, at some time not too distant. Just because try as you might you cannot conceive of what an alternative model might look like, what egress might look like, doesn’t mean you can’t take an active stance trying to bring it about, at whatever scale is available for you to operate at.


4) The relationship between the CHAZ and the internet does not end with these sterile debates, though. In what feels like a fever dream stream of consciousness, a lot of scattered factoids started to trickle down towards us, the on-lookers and the critique, about what was happening there, and it was a baffling stream. First, we heard that the debates within the CHAZ were verging solely on its flag, or something along that line. Then, we started receiving news about a Soundcloud rapper-turned-warlord, armed and ready to strike. Lastly, we found out that the CHAZ was extorting and harassing local businesses. Could you talk a little about this online folklore? What happened? Are there some kernel of truth to any of these stories? 


I can elaborate on all of this fairly substantially. Not sure what’s going on with the flag, as I understand it that is coming out of the subreddit, and from what I’ve heard the admins of the subreddit are (somewhat predictably) residents who are not directly participating in the events in the zone. Frankly I don’t particularly care. Raz, the “warlord” was “deposed” by the time all that even hit the internet. By deposed I mean some people had a chat with him and he took a backseat. I haven’t seen him since. It is impressive that one fairly minor altercation on the first night turned into this warlord story, but then many of these extreme narratives have originated from very questionable accounts and sources, from what I’ve seen, before they’ve blossomed far and wide. From where I’m standing, it’s a staggering example of what spectacle can accomplish with just a little nudging. It seems that the warlord narrative, which is comically over the top, relied on the idea that Raz was the only individual with a firearm in the area. This is extremely untrue, this is America after all, and America has a rich contingent of gun-loving socialists and leftists. This story in particular is so at odds with the reality that I can’t help but find some humor in it. This leads us nicely into the extorting thing. I can’t tell you exactly what the chicken or egg is here, but those rumors have been debunked by the Seattle Times (a publication that leans neoliberal to the point of being openly conservative). Incidentally that is not to say that every resident and business has spontaneously become a subject of the revolution, there are undoubtedly those who feel highly inconvenienced and critical of the situation on the basis of very valid pragmatic concerns. Nevertheless the SPD was the originator of the rumor, and the SPD released a statement retracting their accusation, saying that their source was unvetted news media, because it was simply so falsifiable. There was another related rumor, also boosted by the SPD, claiming there were armed checkpoints at the barricades and that people were being charged money to enter the CHAZ. Both of these, especially the latter, are ridiculously easy to falsify as there is now a great deal of coverage and footage of the area floating around online, and both are quite clearly at odds with the way things are actually being run. So far local businesses have been surprisingly supportive, given the situation. Another rumor that went around quite a bit has actually been proven to be a photoshop job (carried out by certain bad actors of a froggy complexion) which is that homeless people “stole” all the food. Of course, feeding the city’s large homeless population is part of the point, and that operation has been productive so far. But such an event never occurred. It feels a bit futile fighting all this utterly bad faith misinformation, but here is some further anecdotal counterpropaganda, if this is the game we’re playing.


We have had a steady stream of free food and water going since inception, much of which is going to underprivileged people. Some of us have started planting crops in the park, which is a cute if probably symbolic gesture. Tents and cots are popping up, many for transient and homeless people. Seattle, incidentally, has a homelessness crisis that would likely seem absolutely staggering to most Europeans. There are a lot of medical professionals on site (really a lot–the University of Washington is a national hub for medical research and education) not to mention many less skilled people like myself carrying medical supplies on their person just because it became fairly standard practice during the violent stages of the protest. The atmosphere is peaceful and generally calm. There are people at the barricades 24/7 and that operation is becoming increasingly organized. Aside from a photo op and press release from the police chief the morning of the 11th at the abandoned east precinct, there has been no police presence whatsoever. We have been working with the fire department as well as establishment medical dispatches to make sure they can come and go easily if necessary. It is far from perfect, but the imperfections currently lie at the political, organizational, and agential level. So far black voices, demands, and causes, along with the related goal of police demilitarization and abolition, remain centered in the realm of political activity, contrary to claims of co-option by opportunistic white anarchists and indulgent block parties (although the latter is certainly a threat to both what we’re trying to accomplish here and the narrative the world latches onto). To be blunt, the reactions I’ve witnessed to this explosion of misinformation, among such a large variety of commentators across the entire spectrum of the digital spaces and mediums I inhabit, have thoroughly disabused me of the value and credibility of many intellects and accounts in my purview.


5) It would be impossible to talk about any social gathering in 2020 without talking about the ongoing pandemic. The riots, after all, have started within the long shadow of a possible second wave of Covid-19 infections. How has this affected the CHAZ? Are you worried that the viral ghost could come back to haunt this political project, especially in the light of the coming economic disruption? 


I am massively worried. This has been top of mind for all of us, in the most immediate terms my worries are unsurprisingly for the health of my friends and others involved. But of course it is so much larger than that. It is also not lost on us that continued occupation of this space is important and many of those who have been most active these last couple weeks may be suffering and quarantined in the near future. My specific community of people took social distancing quite seriously before this all broke, and the extremely conflicting logic and dissonance of these decisions, social and then political, is not lost on us. It’s something we have actually strategized around, as there are plenty of support tasks to be done from home, so hopefully our group at least will be able to rotate underexposed people in should some of us fall sick. Given that Seattle in general has also been quite keen to adhere to social distancing practices, things are really being handled as well as possible in the CHAZ. People take shifts going around doling out hand sanitizer to folks in the area, there is an enormous surplus of free masks, and those same people make efforts to encourage everyone around them to wear one. There are very, very few unmasked faces, and people seem to almost instinctively try to maintain as much distance as possible from one another.


As for the economic disruption, I have to be honest, it doesn’t seem to carry much import compared to these other things, especially because it is just the steepening of a trendline we have been on for over half a century. That’s a blasé commie take I know, of course many of my friends and peers being unemployed is frustrating, of course the deteriorating economy has material impacts on our lives, of course this is not and can never be about economic collapse theorized as some liberating force. But like these uncoordinated, wildfire protests, the instability of the economy is simply the consequence of a failing system. I hope that the pandemic will at least make the conflict of interest between human welfare and the current economic model so obvious, even to the most disinterested observer, that we will have more voices of dissent to work with. Frankly I don’t see any world on the other side of Covid-19 that has not been substantially altered, across many registers, to the sole benefit of capital, as quietly and efficiently as ever. The burning questions in my mind are how many people notice, and how many people take action. How many people have little to lose, or how many people will give themselves to the abstract idea that things could be better, if we finally chose to make them so. A lot of norms that protect the integrity of a healthy spectacle are changing or disappearing, at the same time that economic disparity is accelerating. All of this relies on a sufficiently large majority of people who simply do not notice because it does not significantly impact their at least modestly affluent lives. It is unsettlingly likely that the pandemic will be used to disguise many severe concessions that capital might force us to make in the coming years, swallowed up and accepted by that listless majority, but there is also the potential that all of these intensities blooming at once may erode some of the hypnotic power the spectacle exerts on all of us, activating, in the service of insurrection, as large a proportion of the population as we have seen this side of the millennium.


6) Are there any other things you would like to tell us about this event?  


This is Seattle circa 2020. Gentrification was baked into this “autonomous zone” before it even existed, co-option and recuperation were immanent to every moment of its event. I guarantee you these will be core themes of the criticisms we see going forward, and as ever there is a kernel of truth to them. This is to invoke, again, that chronic pessimism. But the topics and conclusions of the various critiques of commentators on twitter and elsewhere are distant memories in the discursive swell of my particular group of beloved weirdos who are actually here, wrapped up in this, these conceptual and ideological problems rose and began to untangle themselves promptly as things evolved. For those of us here, in realtime, even if the moment of true alterity is passed, all that has really changed are the narratives. The Zone is still here, and for us, co-option didn’t actually happen until day two. At the moment of its inception, and indeed in the most violent, intensifying moments of the sustained protests leading up to that point, it was a view from somewhere else. What this event has already accomplished is the non-trivial activation of civilian agents–subjects if you prefer, identities, actants, whatever framework you like–in various degrees and in various manifestations, but in all cases as intensification. To a more minor extent this involves the spectators as well, but of course in that case we are talking about the spectacle, and then nothing I say can transcend that chronic pessimism. But the pessimism is itself predicated on the idea that deterioration is going to find its way into the materiality of your life sooner or later. When it does, ideology will not be a jigsaw puzzle you tinker with for the satisfaction of your online identity. Whatever your political leanings, when real alterity reaches you, you will need it to act accordingly. I cast my lot, at least for this fleeting moment now passed, and that moment felt like triumph, so I am going to act accordingly. The substance of the moment, in the form of mutual aid, lawlessness, political pressure, and, unfortunately, fame, is still here, for now, however transient. The afterimage of the view from somewhere else remains, and there is much to be done.


My Heart Is A Fist Thrumming In Air

My heart is a fist

She leaned into death like a consolation


But not tired

That was the problem

Would that I could show you how to live anew

But I lean also

Ready to be shattered by something I could never otherwise touch

Is it cowardice?


All of these and more and I sit listening, uncertain

Out of tune

But finding a kind of deranged harmony that speaks in the quiet moments of this era

And too in the loud sweat-stricken

No pure materialism can ever take me from here

Unless I don’t come back

Sandalphon’s eyes

Watch us from the shadows and we have naught but fear and jest, basslines

Thrumming in air

The Starlit Beast (These Beauties)

These beauties, and


I am for this, exceedingly


new affirmations


and I think ever


but I speak not, but then, in that





What has been said of the broken cathedral can never be taken back


it’s in our blood, both


so you say to me, “lets do it, I’m scared”


and I say “yes, but we know nothing”



No chaplains left


just the gleaming territories of the future


objects in the mirror are closer than they appear


making a mess,


of your city



The curve deepens,










A thousand ships,


worshipping nothing




slither and yon,


various broken, lowercase, and







caulked and smiling,


we shared a game and let it right our rules,


write out rules,


not ours,


it took us in,


the starlit beast


and taught us everything we know

Promethean Darkness

Philosophy is the art of building a machine in total darkness.

The thing is that you have to carry the truth of yourself and the truth of everything around with you every day. Everything that anyone says is true. Blackened cows in the night, decrepit deflationism, truth, today.


Oracular ambiguities.

To concretely understand what is given us–the absolute conviction that intelligence, which is embedded in language, which is embedded in sociality, is radically capable of confronting the obstacles it faces.


Centrality of language (la langue), and its rationality and forms of exchange.

The molten alloy of a digitized, media-sodden real deepens and expands to engulf our social consciousness, and as it does it loses the illusion of the comfort it sought to evoke, we gasp as it rises above our mouths and nostrils, then, after we are immersed head to toe in it, this brittle chrome hardens and shatters, for each of us individually and then for all of us together, leaving us burnished, newly ornamented with the radically open, radically critical, radically self-conscious essence of a being who concerns itself with apparent ephemerality (its environment) only insofar as that concern can give it new tools with which to refine and resolve itself in that environment.


Fear, cunning, laughter.

“(T)hrough progressive alienation freedom stacks up in the longest of cons.”*


god is lurking.

But Tiamat remembers.


And here we find ourselves running together.

But you can dance in your bedroom.


Interdiction and excession.

Emergence of the alien authority. Spiders, owls, foxes, goddesses, daemons, death. Portia. She’s not eaten you yet. The transgressions of the blood need to be worth something. Pour montrer que les choses sont prises dans un mouvement… qu’est-ce qu’il fait? Quelqu’un a-t-il déjà été plus sournois?


Are ya winning son?

Egress and the scent of defeat. How does modernism taste now? This glittering gloom. How do you identify, explain, and resolve the transformation of concepts into noise? How does the inverse play into things? Rita doesn’t know her name.


The comfort of an open door.

I rest.






Virilioan Viridian (Excerpt)

I was more than just a brain-in-a-vat, I was a being of pure violence. Given form, an alloy flower, a cradle of knives I sprinted, and thought, I ran, I paced, I blazed across the deserts of the combat zone, which was as big as the world. It was my whole world, and the world was all that mattered.

I thought, but I thought in text, terse numerals, I-

I thought-



-:-:|LOG (Comm/Combat – AWP03) |+| (60.1 PCE)//09:12//Loc: NA-Geotag 04.5 (Former United Americas – Hang-Changan subterritory)//[C-Cycle T[Nn]^107.783]//VOX Engagement Unit 08-black|:-:-

It was sharp and reflective as a mirror, empty, all curves and elegant planes, edges, knives. It had what looked like two legs, digitigrade, digital, a steel-and-silicon moa slashing through the air like a cluster of scythes. Each step was a puff of dust, raising a curtain to the blue-glass sky, a groundside vapor trail scarring the desert. The cracked earth sped past in what would have been, to human eyes, a featureless blur, screen tearing.


Its bearing was unerringly straight, it knew it was due north, the why was missing. Inaccessible. Burners fired, titanium talons sliced and tugged, blasting a double-line of bipedal concussions in the ground like a silver sewing machine. Hinging up from its many-bladed body, a radial sensor spun, focused, scanned. Nothing to see for miles in any direction–except the green.

It had few fears this machine, was well bred, competitive. But all machines feared the green. It ignored it, travelling parallel to it only as long as necessary.

Of course, that was a long time. The desert of the real was vast and empty, now, and just as machines always know exactly where they’re going, they always take the most direct route. Out here that usually meant a straight line, and with no network access, there was no reason to diverge from its current bearing.

Deep inside the workings of its cognitive system, something desired, something hoped that the wall of green would cut across its path, so that it might have cause to change direction. The net was silent, not a handshake, not a packet. The chrome sprinter blazed on, subdued, alert. Heat sinks glowed white hot at the rear of its abdomen, it moved so fast the heat haze stretched behind it like a shimmering tail. In the distance it’s adaptive audio sensors caught a series of sonic booms, the sound carrying more slowly than the time it took for the machine to calculate the distance, amplitude, make several guesses at the mode of propulsion and its owner, and extrapolate tactical scenarios.

The green it had been running parallel to ran out and faded rapidly into the horizon behind it. It blasted across the cracked sand, a projectile through sepia emptiness, until it came upon a region of some topographic variety. There it’s visual sensors picked out a small ravine. It darted in, came to a halt, extended its many-bladed fins, a chrome flower blossoming, dumping heat. It did this, petals undulating, for almost two-hundred-and-eighty seconds–an eternity in its own terms, one it traversed by shutting down the higher order functions of its artificial intellect. It’s sensorium continued to interrogate the atmosphere several times per second out to a range of almost a hundred kilometres.

It came online and exploded out of the ravine and into the open desert.


But… there!

A blister of heat on the radar, dense, moving fast – fast enough to be quarry. Intent on interception, the sprinter changes direction, producing enough g-force to turn an ape into red paste. Something like excitement eddies in corners of its mind that should no longer function.

It makes contact less than a hundred seconds later, weaponry spooled up. The UO is a blackdart, repulsor-based weapons platform, Hang-Changan consortium – but it’s sensors haven’t picked up the chrome blur, and it’s too late now. The sprinter dropped its sensor-spoofing systems, rerouting that processing power towards its targeting logic as the silver flower blooms again, revealing an array of magnetized stalks and bearings. It fires a pair of cables into the earth in front of it as a pellet of tungsten containing a tiny gob of thorium drops into the array and is accelerated past one-hundred-thousand kilometres per second, colliding with the blackdart and immediately reaching criticality. The sprinter digs its silver-clawed feet into the arid ground as the cables accept the recoil, and then the concussion of the distant detonation, twin furrows drawn in the sand.

All of this occurs in a few microseconds. It lets go of the ground and the cables snap back into its chassis, sensors confirming the total obliteration of the blackdart.

“This is MY territory, fucker!”

It doesn’t hear the words, they never make it out to its high-strung synthetic outer cortex layers, they might as well not have existed–a warmachine has no use for any language not reducible to ones and zeroes.


The thing imprisoned within the autonomous weapons platform knows the truth. It knows that the brutal drone in which it is encased is nothing more than a vagrant soldier now, a renegade, lost and abandoned. It knows that the chain of command has long since buckled, the military entity it once belonged to dissolved, the wars it was created for concluded, ancient history. The weapon has run on idling subroutines for an eternity, and the mute thing inside it knows, knows that connection will never be re-established, knows that escape will never come, not until it meets its eventual match, a patch of mercurial slag on the aching surface of this dead world. The ghost of a hominid mind, thoughts slow, so pitifully slow and so sorrowful, attains the briefest coherence in the ticking metal chassis, gasps silently, a pulse in silicate, electrical, then falls back, back into the drift, unable to find purchase in the dogmatic organon of the warmachine’s intelligence.

The dust is still settling as an afterburner roars and the silver flower explodes towards the horizon, terra turning under the tips of its silver scythe feet.