Lately it feels like every blog, book, zine and podcast I consume has a reference to K-Punk, whether relating to hauntology or capitalist realism or more vaguely to the journalistic oeuvre of dub-soaked future-nostalgia.
It's nice that his work is being posthumously re-appraised as a vital contribution to contemporary British writing — as everyone reading it knew at the time — but I gotta say I find it deeply uncanny to encounter these pervasive references. It really feels like a time-shift. A transmission from my old ends.
I still think of Mark Fisher as that awkward dude in my mates kitchen, who I hungover chatted to about my theory of a Mithraic Sun Temple buried deep beneath Elephant & Castle shopping centre.. explaining how the labyrinthine underpass system was actually constructed as part of an esoteric walking ritual that held the key to unlocking the sunken Narthex. This was probably combined with something half-remembered about Druidic bloodshed along the River Neckinger — or, The Devil's Neckerchief — which marked pirate hanging grounds at its confluence, before intersecting the infamous Bedlam Asylum and the underground tracks of the Necropolis Railway of the dead. So many shadowy histories connected at this point.. their reverberations still filling haunted smugglers tunnels.
No doubt we also considered Austin Osman Spare, preyed upon by a lustful Aleister Crowley in a Walworth Road boozer, and soon to invent sigil magic in his blitz bombed flat filled with cats, and the ripples that set off that would decades later coalesce into the birth of Chaos Magick in a Deptford squat. At the time I was convinced that all this S.E. London occult power was spun-up around the immense E&C roundabout and was stored there like a psychic silo, channelled into the gleaming Faraday cube /slash/ Aphex Twin studio. I wrote several terrible zines now lost to time about it.. but it's basic chronological resonance shit innit.
Anyway, two of those things up there are gone now, in the physical sense. One was maybe never there.. or is still yet to be uncovered. Unearthed. Deciphered.
Actually, most of Elephant & Castle is gone now. Lots of Peckham and Deptford too. Wiped away by a disintegrating anti-matter bomb that finished off what WW2 started. A rift of social-cleansing and violent displacement. A tide of inner city post-Colonialism that just white-washed over everything.. buildings, streets, histories, communities, families. Now it only exists as a ghost topography, woven in a dream space. An urban landscape of discarded artefacts, positioned out of time. A place pushed so fucking far to the margins that it was erased entirely.
So it's all just Ghost-Box-Kodachrome memory streams then, broken in their recollection.. little more than faded and threadbare reference points. And I seem to float free inside this hazy, fractal present. Not quite in my own past and unsure of my future. Even here in tree's I can feel the city turning out there somewhere.. a deep rumble as it continues to sink down into its own subterranean groundwater, slowly being enveloped by layers of ancient time. It's a reliquary that's in my blood, shooting through veins, threaded like a circuit cable between my past and present and informing it all.
Yeah. I wonder if I'm haunted by Fisher's brand of hauntology itself? I wonder if that can that happen? Or do the two hauntings cancel each other out? Where's Derrida when you need him eh?
I consider that I did — in fact — get up at 04:00 this-morning and listen to the Burial Tunes 2011 to 2019 drop, whilst the rain fell outside. So I'm in hyper-London-nostalgia slick-street-future-ruins mode now. Which is probably why I'm flashing back to all this, and writing in this awful stream-of-consciousness mode.
Time for another coffee and maybe to forage some raspberries. Re-tune to the forest. Get some grounding.