the end of Kakania, for now...

In uploading the videos of the 4th and magisterial final act of the Kakania project I waded through all the Kakania webpages to change the tense from future to past. Not too sad a labour as I have stated so often, especially in the light of such an amazing final act, how satisfying the project now seems, how complete.

You can read all my past tenses here

Kakania at the Austrian Cultural Forum - March 26th 2015

The end, for now. But as Kakania ended with war, perhaps our hopes should be too high. This incarnation of the time certainly ended with a beautiful, graceful, varied and dynamic evening of works in the appropriately resplendent salon-like surroundings of the Austrian Cultural Forum. A night for me personally to appreciate just how extraordinary the project has been, and how much this is owed to the generosity of the artists and the almost unheard of support, trust and enthusiasm of the Austrian Cultural Forum itself. Theodora Danek and her colleagues have been remarkable, and this was a night where I able to thank them.

The final event was not to be a culmination, it was, as each event has been, it's own entity, curated with it's own rhythm and feel, relative to the venue and artists. Yet, there was a natural build towards it. It was built on language works, poets, both new to Kakania and those who have acted as a sort of creative spine to the project, read - Stephen Emmerson so beautifully engaging with Rilke (his son is called Rainer), Colin Herd so brilliantly evoking Kokoschka, George Szirtes born to write about Schnitzler. These poets were complimented with some radically different mediums, Josh Alexander with his abstract film on Paul Wittgenstein, which when screened in the dark of that room genuinely moved me, Fabian Faltin with a conceptual performance on Otto Wagner which was utterly unforgettable and witty and energetic, and finally Ben Morris, a sound art beast, on Ernst Krenek. 

The point was to create a specific energy and experience throughout the evening that rested upon complimentary and responsive artforms, artworks and artists. And more than that to show how powerful the connection is in 21st century London to the iconoclasts of early 20th century Vienna. Each work spoke to the next, as together they were far more about the artists through the ghost voices of their Habsburg predecessors, than the details of the individual artworks themselves. It was like all of Kakania, unique, and warm hearted and brilliant.

"The bleached is not a white" a poem in Well Versed: poetry in the Morning Star Very proud to have a work published in the 80 year old socialist paper that has a wonderful history supporting left wing politics and trade unions. Well versed, the poetry section of the paper is edited by Jody Porter, who I believe inherited the mantle from the great John Rety. You can read about the paper here

The bleached is not a white
for Robert Hitzeman
SJ Fowler

the bleached is not a white whale while I remember
it is more of a yellow, a security tag for the lion gates
as it perishes it’s heart bursting in attack, the salt
water damming its arteries, the whale turns eyes down

I've been reading about the great archival work the folk musician and folklorist AL Lloyd recently, and I remembered reading somewhere he was a pivotal part of the Morning Star. I asked Jody this and she managed to dig up this fascinating biography for me

2 poems in the Quietus

Two Poems By: SJ Fowler 
Karl Smith , January 26th, 2014 08:24

New writing this week comes via interdisciplinary polymath artist, poet and editor SJ Fowler
SJ Fowler is a poet, artist, martial artist & vanguardist. He works in the modernist and avant garde traditions, across poetry, fiction, sonic art, visual art, installation and performance.
He has published five books, the latest, Enemies, published by Penned in the Margins, and has been commissioned by the Tate, Mercy, Penned in the Margins and the London Sinfonietta. He is the poetry editor of 3am magazine and is the curator of the Enemies project.
The liver fluke cometh
though I'm dead & so very game from you
there are tugs on the seastrings running from the sea
stitched gut goggles to swim through in order you
inherit the next breathing please on in
to the next so I'm still keen as a mountain
as quick up as quiet falling off wood bars between
two quiet high points in space shuffling
rivalling the tory in the actual event, the manmade
is fielded with fat burs & begins to crank until stop
the liver fluke cometh, pack the ready bags

Though it hasn't gone very well
pity gutted in the hotel built on a wall
& though it hasn't gone very well I am afraid
if I go out my tail will freeze in pre-penicillin
wars with crows cawing in the forests
were this the past where the male version
& the not born children should elicit sympathy
sad I am to not remember that perfect line
for this poem that I had dreamed oh well
on with the end of the german basics
the lean to a spider you are afraid to become