Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Sunday, 11 April 2010



File:Soho Foundry.jpg

In the dumb foundry, through which your body passed,
stamped and cast, smelted and molded, with eyes wide open,
very long ago

File:Piec krepa.JPG

Soho Foundry, Foundry Lane, Smethwick, West Midlands: photo by Oosoom, 2007
Industrial furnace, paper factory, built 1907, now unused, Krepa, Poland: photo by Mohylek, 2006


Curtis Roberts said...

Remarkable images bracket this poem. I've forwarded the Krepa paper factory furnace image to a friend who is a historian of technology for his thoughts. I think we'll both agree that we won't ever hear Another Brick In The Wall on the radio again without mentally switching over to this Education. I wonder what Krazy Kat would make of the scary furnace face? I'm pretty sure most of my cats would scatter furiously and quickly if they saw it.

TC said...


There is a certain fascination (for me anyway) in the dead manufacturing technologies, at this point. The junk they have left behind embodies a history. Though I doubt any such aura will ever envelop our present technologies, as it's hard to attach any sort of interesting mystery of presence to something that is immaterial and lasts two seconds.

(In fact, if I have to hear the word "App" once more in what brief time remains to me... oh, well, not to worry, it will hopefully have disappeared by next week, once whoever it was wanted a profit out of it has got what they wanted.)

As to what KK would make out of that scarily anthropomorphic furnace, heaven only knows. For me it has the most curious mirror sensation. But then, I suppose my face too would put off our cats, were they not aware I am the soft touch who feeds them. Proving looks aren't everything (maybe).

The top image, though, has an odd resonance, of perhaps a rather different sort. It's the imposing faux institutional dignity of it, I suppose. Something about that image with this title seems to say to me, with a somewhat hollow swagger, "Well, I went to all the best schools..."

TC said...

Actually, having been born on Abe Lincoln's birthday (lie), I cannot, like the Cretan, tell a lie, and so must admit that the disused paper plant attribution is factitious. That's actually a photo of our furnace. (Just trying to throw off the city building code inspectors, as usual.)

Curtis Roberts said...

I spent several years working at a nascent advanced technology company where daily I was assaulted with the most irritating lingo ever. The most awful neologisms and acronyms abounded and perfectly good words were ruined by continually being put to unsuitable use in puffed-up conversations and on “white boards”. I quickly learned that complaining about this was counter-productive. The weird thing was that the young people who staffed the company and most of their friends were exclusively hooked on “classic rock” – music from 30 years ago. “App” is bad. “Killer app” is, I think, worse.

TC said...


Recently, after being mildly patronized once again by a well-meaning "app"-meister who, I am sure, attributes my apparent inability or unwillingness to attempt to "monetize" this blog to some form of brain damage (of course he may be right), I lay awake in the dark sorting through this whole "app" vs "not app" issue with myself for yet another time.

And a strange thought came to me. If you have a soul, and you put your soul into your work, and if your work is always on sale, what part of you is left that you can still call yourself?

Curtis Faville said...

Foundry doors look like C3PO.

Industrial wastelands. One of the great subjects. Like quarries, galaxy mist, bacterium slides.

TC said...


Indeed, a certain compelling rusty fascination in this area of subject matter.

(By the by, further dwelling on the "issues" of this post led to a sequel of sorts.)