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The measure of all things, underground


After our journey underground where we push to be downthen hush, shuffle, squash and muffle our words

After the underground where we part with the art of daylight and conversation


and suddenly feel more like the other face

of Calvin Klien: meat to market

than young, free and human

more Coco the Clone than sexually liberated individual

more monkey shuttling through darkness to underground laboratory

than the measure of all things


I want to feel something green beneath my feet

stretch my limbs and breathe the breath of trees


Perhaps it’s buried in our genes

an urge entangled in the jungle of our past

the forest calling us back to where we spent our days

massaging friendships and settling disputes with a show of teeth

before our journey underground

we slept in the tops of trees

before our measuring

we felt the forest:

humming birds wings, the depth of oceans

the speed of light

Poems and text by Mark Gwynne Jones as part of the Whose Common Now? .

Day trips on Primrose Hill


Where do you start? You start with the man with the remote control car. Trying to drive it up Primrose Hill but it kicks and starts, leaves the path, does a hand brake turn in the grass and heads back down at an angle. He’s got a fag on, smoke puthering over one closed eye like some steaming engineer and he’s getting frustrated. It’s doin’ my effin’ head in, this is! He’s my age or older and he’s taking it seriously like it’s his job to drive that remote control car to the top of Primrose Hill. It must be. He’s got to do it. If he doesn’t his passengers will have to get out and walk and by the time they reach the top it’ll be dark and they won’t be able to see the lovely views and they might get eaten by a passing cat or little dog, let alone a big, hungry dog. And furthermore people won’t get paid. And that’s why it’s his job. It must be. It’s 2 o’clock on a Thursday afternoon.

Mark Gwynne Jones Primrose Hill

In the arms of the man made of snow


Fee Fie Fo Fum the television siphons them slowly…day by dayseducing them to slide inside his hungry jaws.Kids with their heads in TV sex…sets!!Nothing left but the Nike trainers, kicking. He spits them out again of course.But be they alive or be they deadhe’s ground their bones to make his bread.


Or, they go for a walk. No, that can happen. Just to the shopsfor a packet of fags, a can of pop…and never really return.


Remember …in the arms of the man made of snowwho as he rolled and began to growwho pictured the world through lumps of coal who danced across the frozen woldbetween February and the summer’s glowwhere do the children


Fee Fie Fo Fumcount to twelve and then they’re gone.Your child won’t grow into an adultsomething steals them from this planet.


It’s somewhere between three blind mice on a school recorder and the anti social behaviour order;the wild screaming playground laughand the place where things are fuckin’ crap.Pants.

Like line dancing but without the excitement

It’s somewhere between playground and pubwhere swings are left for the wind to push.

In the arms of the man made of snowwho as he rolled began to growwho pictured the world through lumps of coalwho felt our breathwho held our handswho danced across the frozen landwho took us as far as we could gothen moaned and wailed upon the windcalling us to follow him,our wonder was blown over the edge and something of you was too wild to stay.



Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Aha yes Me!Not you… Me.

Who’s words would set the captives free?I feel those words must come from Me.The purest poet the world will see?Not I, but the poet inside of me.Me? Is that you, Me? Yes, it’s me.Oh Mee! It’s good to hear you me,Belive you me, it’s good to hear you… me!? One’s favorite sum is four take three; Because you see it chimes with me.Who now can understand the burning tree?I suppose that now it’s up to me.With arms outstretched I’ll part the seaAnd if follow you must, then follow meBut don’t suppose the road is freeThousands are driving in pursuit of me!

Poem written by a teenager at the Wind House on Primrose Hill


Sitting on the sculpture

looking for some culture

cranes in the distance

feeling no resistance

legs in the heat

jamming to the beat

looking at the view …

I’m thinking of you!

Triangular Pavilion with Circular Cut-out Variation H


It’s like a prism, a glass pavilion

built by the man who interrogates them

Let me get this straight … you materialised …


Ever seen what happens

when a hammer looses its head?

What are you? Talk! It’s a prism, a glass pavilion

it might reflect your face but it doesn’t know the question

Rupert, don’t lick it…don’t… don’t lick it, Rupert…

Mummy was it put here by Doctor Who? or Gordon Brown?

Rupert! Stop licking it.

Mummy…Doctor Who or Gordon Brown?

Oh for God’s sake…what’s the matter with Rupert?

It’s crystallised light

a slice of frozen time

something Alice could have climbed through

something you could only watch


Ow! It’s glass!... …

The door’s on the other side

Wow! … I love the circular…oh god! look at my hair…

It’s a prism, a glass pavilion

a magic eye through which we can see the world

and ourselves reflected in the world

Take a look. Look! You look like a ghost



Mark Gwynne Jones Holland Park Mark Gwynne Jones

Whose Common Now?