Monday, October 26, 2009

Joyce Mansour with her dog before the war

It was during the surrealist game festival 2007, actually the first morning of the festival, 16/7 2007. I was playing the old Mass-Observation game "dominant image of the day" with myself (just make sure to choose for every day what has been the strongest image that has presented itself to you during that day). The dream brought up another well-known surrealist game, "Before...after" (where two pictures are put next to each other, more or less randomly selected, and interpreted as being one picture of the before and one of the after)

"I open an album of pictures arranged as in the game "Before...after", possibly by Sasha Vlad. One spread has two portraits of Joyce Mansour. The "before" is a well-known image sometimes reproduced in books. But the "after" I have never seen; Joyce Mansour as a teenager (fairhaired, surprisingly), sitting in a rattan chair, comfortably but with a defiant air, dressed in a toga, with a small dog (terrier?) in her lap, attentively but seemingly critically looking to the left, towards what for some reason must be a theatre performance. I don't know why this image is so incredibly beautiful."

(Comment: I half-remember some joker once made a popsong based on a supposedly atmospheric picture of "René and Georgette Magritte with their dog after the war". Now who wouldn't want to make at least a song based on this picture?)

During the following weeks I remember and seek out several different images of Joyce Mansour. While not at all being the two images in the dream, and probably not looking like them at all, I find the idea of having two other images stand in for them satisfactory: the first would be Gilles Ehrmann's portrait of Mansour, the second a "hommage to Joyce Mansour" by our friend Rik Lina. Before and after.


Before and after

Gilles Ehrmann: Portrait of Joyce Mansour
Rik Lina: Hommage to Joyce Mansour

The chair about the sound - Makrabet



should we fine roll o fine

on our toes but

the sound is flowing

should we eat o fine

polish the ladder

polish the soil

eat the soil

dragonblood between the eyes


the institute for asphalt

and concrete


and noise injuries

pink creeping magma

one mummified with the seriousness

nobody comes up to you

one mummified with wings

like red papers stain the air

before the butterfly

reaches for you

makrabet inschase


balcony under under

force syrup through the trunk mine

hands on the back just memories

of the sweat and others

birds the frame dung

the tree does not fend itself the sun

heaves itself

erso emno

chia so neytala



nya peta

closer onto it

a wheelchair with her dog

she is travelling over lakes

the forest has a folded

paper under itself

and not even that

only loosely coherent

pleasures and shards

there is the bread the people

the suspension

sheep eating on site

places against time

like every new time knows

about lips

you have the sound in your mouth

close to the floor

the sound the mouth

smile as the street

teeth eyes

your mouth wants

nails in apartment windows

smile that the street

knows about eyes

was flying in the dream tonight

was lying in the dream flowing like



sees ones image

in pouring rain

giggles your hands

builds the city lips

makes thinner voices holes

Emma Lundenmark
(transl MF)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Vagrant's notes


The green shoulder

Having made death itself scream

Is cut short with a sign

Looks down at its chair

The hands are taking the life of

A ball-played head of ice

All around the disaster


Appetite for breath

Snake tongue

Breaths along the body


Either ever seen them

not there right there

no warmth in that very body at the time

no ward in that very smoke

The doubt of iron

of sorrow and adrenalin

or menstruation blood

Old image

old cleft features

old deeply cleft features


You warm wind,

throwing evil threads

in my unrest hung loose.

The silence that circumvents the whispers of lullabies

in our silent costumes.

Prevent the eye take the wet faces,

hiding the fragrance in the moisture of my mouth.

The child's eye eats itself into each nile of skin.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

An essay about Joyce Mansour

An ordinary dream

I have been invited to a pub event in the museum attic, but I can't seem to get ready for it.

(Already within the dream, I connect the process of getting ready for the pub event with finalising a postface for a swedish edition of Joyce Mansour's Julius Caesar which I am doing these days. But I remarkably fail to connect it with larger projects that I am also supposed to be finalising.)

So I am walking around in the exhibit, they have already called for closing, I am eager to help, to shut the lights off, but I am not leaving, I am walking around there obsessively reading the exhibit signs in order both to proofread them and to extract information for my Mansour essay, over and over again, in the dark. In the darkness I am bumping into things, and in the dark I can only imagine how it would look to visitors if I would start suddenly bleeding profusely from the bruises.

A female security guard is working hard to get me out, and she keeps turning the lights back on, going on about the statistical correlation between darkness and flashers, so in order to eradicate flashing, a program is now implemented of zero tolerance against darkness, all streets, squares and parks should from now on be lit during the dark hours, and all public buildings too, and once they find a technical solution to it, so will the forests. In spite of my repetitive-obstructive obsession, I have nothing to counter this overly depressing tirade with, and so I allow her to push me out.

But then just outside the exhibition hall several friends of mine are sitting, having coffee and obviously also resisting the pub call. The only thing I need to do before I can finally go there is to change my clothes. So I undress, but I am completely unable to get dressed again. It is not embarrassing to expose myself naked, but it certainly is to display such inability. I keep walking around the pile of clothes cursing and trying, cursing and trying, but nothing happens except that after a few rounds I notice blood is dripping on the floor. I shouldn't be menstruating since I'm not female. My friend Jonas helps me out, he impersonates me and offers an excuse "Oh, I must have cut myself on my bike on the way here". As he is dressed (in a ridiculous biking outfit) the problem seems solved, and I can relax, sitting back and watching the long stream of danse macabre up to the attic.