NECESSARY: we need them more than ever. We live in a time when the dominant system dominates not because people agree with it. It rules because we are convinced there is no alternative. It is an understatement to say that NYC has become a city of gross inequalities . It is not "change", or the compounding effect of the Metropolis itself that is destructive: it is the exploitative quality of its rampant greed.

UTOPIAS: they offer us a glimpse of an alternative. Imaginary worlds, strengthening our own ideas and ideals. Without a vision of an alternative future, we can only look backwards nostalgically to the past.

The main themes of RIPP all point towards Necessary Utopias or What are the risks that people take to make a place their own?

The Bowery: Music, Escape to, Escape from, The five points, poetry, fliers, friends, nightlife, lowlife - dreams and insomnia

Ethan Swan
Max Blagg


Need music here, not the small bells
of regret rung by cheap chimes
on some stall in Chinatown.
Give me clarity or give me meth,
turn my dreck into cake
and I will feed the multitudes
fine chocolata.
So much depends on pure intent,
the way the wind carries music,
weightless, a spear tipped with leaves,
harmless as angel food emerging
fragrant from the stove.
Double indemnity dual identity
layers of cake in my head
threaten every working space
thin mind remembers nothing
narcolepsy urging me from solid chair
to the swansdown of the couch.
Oven bleeps at 400 degrees
'Sleep, sleep!' a voice says
like the children in Blake's poem
who sweep and weep.
On Canal Street fake cakes fly
from the shelves projectiles
erupting like swords
from the swallower's throat.


Big June spews out its brilliance
each dawn lovelier than the last.
Lucinda Williams' steep-tipped voice
drips rosaries down my sweaty neck.
Jesus Buddha Percocet
who is calling who has something
that will cool me down?
Five o'clock on June Fifteen
in the year of my disgrace,
Jupiter enters my sign with
a smile that smells like gasoline.
Ohio Blue Tip trembles
in my fingers.


Talked all day about
nothing at all, beggar
took the cake mom baked,
strawberry inflected cheese,
best I ever tasted
standing on a corner
in new York City,
living as if dying
was not an option.

© Max Blagg 2013

Catherine Despont
Stephane Coutelle
Hubert Poirot Bourdin