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For Cher


Contributors: Cher Jeehan Ashercook Alex Campbell Fred Carter Sophie Collins Jessica Faith Cooper Helen Charman Gloria Dawson Shehzar Doja Kirsty Dunlop Matilda Eker Jane Goldman Bethan Hamblett Colin Herd Katy Lewis Hood Allie Kerper Gerasimos Kyritsis Willy Maley Louis Martin Conner Milliken Lizy Simonen Maria Sledmere Angus Walker


— Matilda Eker


The New Poetry

I saw the new Professor of Poetry walk through a picket line like it was a run-on and thought of his predecessor standing with his colleagues in the rain holding up a placard like it was a poster poem. — Willy Maley


Mom, I am a Rich Man

“Mom, I am a rich man,” rather unlike dessert the academly is our foe. Exploitation knows not the name of Cher and I wish for her knowing smirk, the upturn of the corner of a lip that would send these towering Chancellors begging us not to bring them to their knees and worship our feet, dirty from walking the miles of unpaid labour that have made them appear so tall. I long for the day when we: the barely-managing, the immigrant, the disabled, the working class, the black, the queer, this precarious comradery of us, can look these thieves in the eyes and say with our collective power, “I am a rich man and this is your just desserts.” — Conner Milliken


— Jane Goldman


Comrade milk after Dom Hale and Sarah Bernstein, for the UCU strike no poems about the butter when you have it for it does take on black mould on the marking criteria a certain poetry when the pile of debris from the rental you haven’t any generation grows skyward the leak on my bedroom ceiling looks like the Angel of History did you get home safe is your train on all the loaves unsung time did you in this I find your bike cash cows can you pay your in this Creative Enterprise rent this month will you be okay So! You Want To Be A Manager but the butter taught me — Helen Charman


Executive Summary

Yr cute ex, the university is open for business. Within curriculum, this innovates care Therein demand [we] approach impact: cancellation of labour / a wave caress talent, translate “wellbeing” Of course cloistered she & forced into chronic miracle, ur sympathy strong enough / change for no one “mankind” — Maria Sledmere


On Being Used The weeks of fires did not feel incidental Standard expression regained some appeal Your eyes were made to feel like hot black stones Mom, I am a nuclear family I am an expensive gifts a moderately wealthy racist based in Cyprus who will not make the wedding He said the word solidarity tasted like ashes in his mouth – Sophie Collins


residue theorem after & for fernando zalamea & all the comrades glasgow & london, november 2019 blow up the point was said undone in chironomy of the birds the tuesday after the end of calendrical time still cassette looping on the bypass when you believed in the question’s address going back as a winding up at pavements of right-to-buy-buy-to-let subjectivity, choice of the line break rots its leaves / fast forward the point sticks, the sticking point a body of wheat and coat for an hour of body of wheat and coat for out-of-body exposure a section of somebodies’ lung for the climb of a newbuild, hundred-thousands, two titles dactylic to be answered as such what’s wanted is > hand to the horn, hands to the air, exchange tensed across city’s violent meridian / won’t you cut it out, won’t you sing — Katy Lewis Hood


— Matilda Eker


— Shehzar Doja


Tender Hummusi Context The political context in which we operate may change over the coming period. The next four years may be a time of great change in the political landscape. There are many external challenges, not least the political environment. At a time of significant political change, it is important that we remain outwardly focused on the complex biological and social, economic, political and environmental contexts. PRIORITY 1: Deepen international competition for the environment We will use energy to illuminate and invest in companies. Acceleration is vital to the security of economic prosperity. We are invested in our University industrialists #JamesWatt2019. Our mission is to enhance business growth through poor food security. We will diminish communities worldwide, our strategy is not limited to Africa. #WeAreInternational. The animals and environment around us are not fruitful. However there is more. The world’s major ecosystem is open for business. Our energy needs have never been greater. We will change the global environment through development. #SomethingForEveryone We are locally, nationally and globally interwoven with investment enterprises, venture funds, and Capital. We are firmly focused on empowering stakeholders. We will reduce opportunities for accountability. Our new strategy will develop agile mechanisms to enable us to drive global economies, markets and communities. We do not encourage investment in educational and care settings. #MondayMotivation PRIORITY 2: Enhance support for global student sock markets Due to constraints in staff spending only £1.5bn was invested in socks. For every £1 invested in socks £8.30 of poverty is generated. These cute coloured socks are connected internationally with disadvantaged communities in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, North America and Australia. These cute coloured socks are created by some of the most fragile industrial communities in the world. #rockyoursocks Students are our livestock. The University of Glasgow has the largest livestock population in Scotland. Our work is to derive value from students. Through the increased scrutiny of students the University of Glasgow will create new opportunities for world-renowned exploitation. We anticipate student performance will enable the University of Glasgow to increase funding for socks to £4.7bn over the next four years. living the FRESHERS dream

#teamUofG

PRIORITY 3: Maintain the acquisition of heritage and control information The University of Glasgow is committed to changing the world through occupancy. Taking 1.5million cultural items from countries across the world, including Tanzania,


the University is committed to take history. We are always looking beyond the local area. We have converged on places across the world. We have the history. We have the heritage. We have strengthened our links with policy makers in Washington. We appropriate Things. #WorldChangers Building on historic practices the University will extend its influence over evidence. We will control objects and languages, including the language of human facial expression. We are social robots. We host facial expressions through hyper-realistic moving plastic masks. We have the most human abilities. We can effortlessly reverse-engineer humans to maximise employability and continuous work. To fulfil this once-in-ageneration opportunity we will diminish complex brain activity. Who will you become? You won’t regret it! PRIORITY 4: Innovate international & UK inequalities The University will increase the isolation-impact-interface in research-intensive international institutions. Interface Agencies demand the rural poor. To promote greater disease our agro-pastoralist researchers invest in rabies, zika and malaria. Our researchers devise approaches to reduce the solutions to key health questions. Disease is vital to the economic security of impact. We will advance the quantity and quality of inequalities through quantum enhanced imaging. Our legacy will seek to engender strategies for community-based surveillance mechanisms. Our vision is being realised through Glasgow’s most socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. The Centre of Imaging Excellence will develop worldleading healthcare implications for all students and visitors. Through co-operation with the private sector we will ensure the disruptive potential of the pharmaceutical industry on the NHS. Exciting times. Over the centuries we will build across the city. We have been for over 565 years. We have been cutting the UK’s housing system. SMART. Cutting the links between housing and well-being allows the University of Glasgow to embark upon one of the UK’s largest campus development projects. Different dimensions of housing, such as poverty, inequality and limited jobs across Scotland will create a strong base for Queen Elizabeth. #Socksess #Careergoals Appendix: Our passionate, professional and progressive staff and students drive our success, and we welcome your support in turning the ambitions outlined in this strategy into reality. Grow companies. Increase businesses. Promote Government. Build value. #TeamUofG 1.

The title of this poem is a misnomer of the Tender Hammers: Writing for the UCU Strike pamphlet compiled by chickpea comrades at The University of Edinburgh. The found-poem is composed from the University of Glasgow’s ‘Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Strategy 2017-2021: Changing the Word through Engagement – Innovation – Impact’ which can be located at the following address https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/Media_553907_smxx.pdf). Cited material also includes selected tweets and Instagram posts from the #TeamUofG social media campaign during which the University of Glasgow sent out hundreds of free pairs of ‘I <3 UG’ socks to prospective students in a desperate bid to confirm student places following the release of A level results in the summer of 2019. 1

— Alex Campbell


Bubble Gun as Protest Machine after Colin Herd’s bubbles in ‘You Name It’ after picket line chats with Sophie Collins, Colin Herd, and Maria Sledmere on Monday 25th November 2019 (first day of the UCU strike at the University of Glasgow) this is a very real dream, okay: it is monday, monday repeated and we are back at the picket line, back at a beginning: the picket line where we had arrived just the morning before and enthused about Cher. the picket line where we had devoured Colin’s beautiful brownies, petted protest dogs and held tightly onto our signs and fantasised about alternative song title protest chants like oh i don’t know: Norman Fucking Paywell! (lana del rey references were floating in the air). picture it. everything is slightly different, as is always the way of the dream and we are here now and this is the best kind of dream/obscene scene because we have actually undertaken what we had always planned to do: we have brought the bubble gun! the bubble gun is very large and very sparkly. the bubble gun knows about everything it can be. the bubble gun is so large that i worry that no one will be able to carry the weight of it all but no problem - it is in fact very light: bubbles are not heavy after all. out of the single bubble gun erupts hundreds of bubbles and there are so many, we do not know where to rest the eyes. these bubbles mirror the qualities of the bubble gun; they are intensely sparkly and they can hypnotise. the few figures left in the offices walk over to their windows to check out all the action, students and passersby freeze in their tracks, eyes swirling in admiration at this bubbling mess and even the rain wants to join in the action and begins to dance along (because yes, these bubbles are really showing off their moves). this bubble gun knows how to make a statement. of course the bubble gun is anti-violence, it is juxtaposition in the extreme. it holds its own power in the play. the bubble gun cannot be stopped! it releases a slow gasp and now we are really going; we release bubbles over all the protesters’ heads and yes, usually i am not good with crowds but the bubbles make this crowd all gasp and laugh and play and move around and I think the bubbles go on, the bubbles go on - or this is what Cher would say - and by going on and on in the way bubbles like to do, they own a space, and it may be one bubble gun but it really is a lot of bubbles and we can all see ourselves dancing inside them. the bubbles sing out shrill little protest songs as they float and the songs comes out sounding like lots of little Chers – naturally. even that great auto-tune gets involved and the bubbles create wonderful harmonies. they really know how to bring each other up. the bubbles have a secret inner determination playing out in the air. the bubbles from the bubble gun do care about getting somewhere. those bubbling bubbles now fly through the open windows of


the offices and rest on the desks - many of these desks are vacant, of course. even if a few bubbles happen to pop, they leave a visible patch and a lingering bubbly smell which gets stronger, the smell lingering on the walls, in the floorboards of the old buildings, on the keyboards of the logged out computers. no one has it in them – even if they could - to ask the bubbles to go away: after all who has ever said go away to a bubble?! that’s impossible. i think, oh those bubbles just look so happy as they fly out of the bubble gun! in fact they seem entirely free and poetic and of course, this is a kind of utopia and so am i a bubble, i’m asking Colin, or maybe i’m asking Sophie or maybe i’m asking Maria- it is very difficult to tell who i am speaking to as we aren’t even an i. we are a we… and yes yes yes, all bubbles! we chorus back and wow, i’d always wondered what this would be like. we hold information in our bubbles, like maybe we are also speech bubbles and sound and ideas bubble together beautifully. of course, all bubbles have a popping point but in this utopia protest the bubbles will just go on forever, even in their afterlife. i worry for a split second that some of us may get carried away- what if someone starts attacking someone else with the bubble gun? what if one bubble cannot contain itself and keeps expanding until it explodes everywhere?! - but this worry is just worthless- the bubbles and we, as bubbles, want us to get carried away. we rise and raise our voices, arriving at all the doors and shouting bubbles incoming! bubbles as outside coming inside, inside coming outside. look at all this overflow! now…we may want to go home and rest in our bubble baths. as i mentioned earlier, it is raining- I know, even in utopia! but we can’t just use these bubbles, we cannot force them into confined spaces, we cannot rest, as bubbles, just yet. we believe in the bubble gun as protest machine, as poetic protest machine…and it is monday and all I want to think is bubbles and write bubbles and dream glorious bubbles and write speech bubbles in the air, the bubbles careering around with the STRIKE! vibrating from their centres… and, of course the bubbles invite new images into the scene too: like now there’s a dj booth with Cher songs playing and bubbles firing out through the speakers and we are raising our hands with the beat… or no actually, we’re bopping (we are bubbles, after all). we are the unstoppable puns bubbling over. with more memes, more memes (memes are another form of bubbles right?) and the bubble gun fires us up in the bubble dance and we are bound for the other bubbles and yes, we stick together and we strike and we protest and we glow! — Kirsty Dunlop


Lunacy

It’s the moon again, two days waning and taking patience with it. I masturbated twice today. I plucked a bald patch on my chin and requested a list of places I wasn’t welcome. I sent the list back with comments. I laughed, I couldn’t stop laughing, I shivered with laughter to prove how much space I could occupy, standing just next to the outline my parents kept pointing to on the phone, saying “when will we see you again” but by “see” they meant “recognize”. There’s no Thanksgiving in Scotland, though I am thankful every day for the shelter I’ve found beneath monuments to long-dead volcanoes, even today when the carrot cake is too grainy and our bodies are too sensitive to milk and serotonin and the sharp lines of words on white screens. For days the moon had our hair in its fists, gripping tighter, yanking our heads, backs arched in the ecstasy of exposure. Now we face the letting go, the redistribution of humours, huddled in blanket shells while that big white pill drips out of our system. Today I caught a bottle of ammonia making promises it couldn’t keep. I put it back, left Tesco with stolen hummus. My parents think they’re losing me to laws I plan to break. They keep their blinds drawn, don’t see the brightening light, hollow space shrinking like land in a hungry tide. — Allie Kerper


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Bethan Hamblett


Jessica Faith Cooper


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Lizy Simonen


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-Jessica Faith Cooper, Lizy Simonen, Angus Walker, Jeehan Ashercook, Gerasimos Kyritsis & Louis Martin


- Louis Martin


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Jessica Faith Cooper & Cher


lyric

: after karen brodine you were infringing, we were three sheets to the wind and undeserving citizenry. after the meetings over cast days with our laundry in the laundromat, we held our hope in zip lock bags and couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t strike the tender hammers off. no, not if optimism turns out cruel in flats. we were inured, in turning. lost ourselves just scanning at the rastro. sought another tenor for it, in collectives. knew you would. we knew each other. didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t love always too well but found enough in it to stay. you know that i would camp here with you. all night, any day. we know this well: an action is always a language and redress. the poem, likewise, always is an action. yes and this police dog is, after the demo, still a dog. the policeman, still police. we write each other up.


96 solidarities : for dh we scald our hands, or we dissent systemic and abjective in our vergence spitting incense to the liberalish wet keeping the streams alive, the dogs fed heaven knows our carbon dates must be belying any ending, key an suv and kip with imprecision turning back on everything that you or i have ever written has been written into transit tory states and 20/20 prisms actual whips heaving all those boulders off the sf sidewalk was the only praxis you or i have ever known or likely ever will if you see a tent on middle meadow walk leave it the fuck alone â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Fred Carter


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Gloria Dawson


First thought fourthbest thought (picket version)

I brush your hair back. I brush your back hair. I drink water and lemon day time telly in the evening how did you cook that one up I go up to people in the priority lane At airports and say Do you think you need to think about Your priorities? Cher Herodogs bowwow Downywoodpeckers peck wood You know my thing about dentists I want to be able to perform a dance with my shoulder blades as a party trick or at poetry readings You’re going to need a tissue poetry is the party trick to end all party tricks not really in a good way What are you up to with that Cotton wool? Cher

Creepypasta fans mieaow I put my wallet on top of my car And drove off This is the Publication Process Gloria Anzaldua once had a dentist say “We’re going to have to do something about your tongue” Cher My dance with my shoulder blades is angular you don’t join because Oaty yawns hold you back A fox A beautiful yellow tree I’m so high on queer art I put a picture behind my car And drove back on it so high on queer art that I can see a helipad It’s like my body’s got a new pair of shoes And they’re rubbing so soft and brooding the war crimes we all live with The breath of fresh air The strike Cher & Cher & Cher -

Colin Herd


Poems and memes of protest, dissent, sass, complaint, office, musing, labour precarity, pensions, milk, rich men, administrative tyranny, plotting, priorities, picketing, bubbleguns and cherishing

Profile for Maria Sledmere

On Being Used: A Strike Zine  

A zine compiled on the picket line, for the picket line, On Being Used takes its cue from the slogan 'FAIR CHER' created by Colin Herd and S...

On Being Used: A Strike Zine  

A zine compiled on the picket line, for the picket line, On Being Used takes its cue from the slogan 'FAIR CHER' created by Colin Herd and S...

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