Article Game Poem

‘The Flesh Steals Work That Condemns’ by La Sirena

Poem by La Sirena featuring in Jean Bonnin’s book, A Guidebook to Surrealism: Surrealism by Surrealists (2022).

The Flesh Steals Work That Condemns

The flesh steals work that condemns

The meat steals the work that you throw away

The mountain throws it back at you

We wear the coat of eyes in autumn

The bird told me a tale of autumn leaves

The heart is stolen from the work

The thunderbird flew out of the stone

When the cave was empty

Yet the flesh demands that we swallow the hours of her peacock clock

Meat is a wasteful job

The tower will dance when you see it

Silently the stars shone their shadow talk so that the smile was broken nightly

It has all gone asunder

Work disguises itself as life and holds time hostage

The body steals the work of resistance

I will return to the swaying clouds

‘Embrace the pleasure principle’ declares the flesh

But not before the books write themselves

Whose face is missing now?

Sinful deeds, damning works

Who can know the revolution of the clock more than those who toil in the fetid sweatshops of capitalist hierarchies?

The sleeping clocks pretend to chime

Does a backwards clock run faster?

The world will never know

The wisdom of the cats in medusa masks knows no equal

Who holds the keys to past doors?

Who steals the work he condemns?

When will the wind sing in my ears again?

The body steals work it judges

Their secret is the golden travesty that pierces the palimpsest of flesh

The cats whisper the secrets that were frozen in time

Cats fed on dogs’ meat 

And the wish cast in the placenta birdcage painted the trail to keys I cannot grasp

Embryonic fires burn out the future of time

Cats mummified in wishes and curses

Even their bones sing with the echoes of murder and the murder of echoes in triplicate

All this and a dancing amoeba

Collective poem by Doug Campbell, Taya King, Daina Kopp and Darren Thomas

Article Game Poem

‘How Much Longer?’ Collective Poem by La Sirena

Poem by La Sirena featuring in John Bradley’s book, Blue Will Rise Over Yellow: An International Poetry Anthology for Ukraine (2023).

Article Game Poem

‘I Am Still Here’ by Surrealists in Wales

Poem by Surrealists in Wales featuring in the seventh issue of John Richardson’s magazine, Once Upon A Tomorrow/Un Tro Yfory (7 January 2023).

Article Game Poem

‘How I Sometimes Feel’ by Surrealists in Wales

Collage and poems by Surrealists in Wales featuring in the sixth issue of Surrealerpool’s magazine, ’Patastrophe! (7 November 2022).

‘How I Sometimes Feel’ (Jean Bonnin, Steve Handsaker, Taya King, John Richardson, Darren Thomas, Tracy Thursfield & John Welson) 25th & 26th July, 2022 (29.5 x 42cm).
Article Enquiry

‘La Sirena Surrealist Group’

An article by La Sirena featuring in IMAGINE Vol. 2 (May 11, 2022).

Article Enquiry Poem

‘How Much Longer?’ by La Sirena

Poem and collages by La Sirena featuring in the fifth issue of Surrealerpool’s magazine, ’Patastrophe! (27 May 2022).

How Much Longer?

The torn map reveals the ghosts of the city 

Dreams of protesting with the Russian pacifists

Pleased with war’s dreadful and tumultuous roar

The locomotive has taken them nowhere 

Roll the dice and take your turn

The sunflower smiles through the blood of the rubble to greet the new day

He who cannot play chess only uses brutality

Butterfly children slaughtered by noblemen in the city 

Sugar the petrol, sell your guns and hide

The children roar in wild tears until they cry themselves to sleep

Ghosts should rise up to drag the warmonger to hell!

The desert queen serves the mad king 

The mad king is distended

Avenging strife embitters human life

What is invisible will light up the sky in incandescent colours

The doll child hides in East Budleigh 

Ivan Bilibin and Pushkin should curse the mad king to hell

A chorus of war cries from behind keyboards far from harm

The alchemy of dreaming heals the broken hearts 

Screams and curses across myriad media apps

Karkhiv can never sleep, can only dream of peace, can only endure in the hearts and minds of those who will carry hope to the highest mountains for all to see

A half-hearted re-enactment of old mistakes, but with real deaths

Extra points for the grim reaper for taking the mad king

Workers and refugees captured and tortured in a celluloid prison 

The young woman took her revolver to bed and was prepared to use it

Inferno awaits the mad king

The boys in the field are bored, or afraid or just excited by the game

My son is missing an eye and my mother’s wing has been ripped 

Dante should pull him down there

Inevitable as a pub brawl at closing time, last orders called

The imaginary letter, Z, doesn’t exist in Russian. Neither should the mad king

The inferno takes them all to his heart until they march to the beat of the war drums, the death drums, the holocaust drums

No one is leaving until we find out who really started it

Every embrace is a sign of hope, of defiance

Where are the angels now? 

The wind blows the shards of the silent mirrors across their broken faces and captures their death throes for all to see

A world left blind and toothless by the law of revenge

We suffocated on steam that turned into locks of human hair 

The mad king of antiquity belongs in the past, not now

We run and burn and fall and run over and over again

And midnight trembled to see such terrors 

The fighting leaves old men deformed in the streets 

May Baba Yaga escort the mad king to hell

A stain upon another generation, damned to repeat the whims of their rabid masters

All of this just to reset the board for the next time

Blood stained the monochrome city of ashes

We, the invisible demand to be heard even if we cannot be seen

May the liar choke on his lies

She hung up the remnants of shame like a ventriloquist’s flag for all to see

Criminals jostle to steal the clothes and words of the famous dead

The mad king is fragile, just like a chess king. And like a chess king, I want to throw him to the ground

The war is fought by actors and actresses, not by women and children

Who pays the price?

We bleed


How much longer?

Collective poem by Doug Campbell, Taya King, Daina Kopp and Darren Thomas

Article Enquiry

‘WHO AM I? Masks behind masks. Dolls within dolls. WHOM DO I HAUNT?’ by La Sirena

Collages by La Sirena featuring in the fourth issue of Surrealerpool’s magazine, ’Patastrophe! (14 February 2022).

‘Evolution’ by Darren Thomas
Article Film

‘The Dream Key’ Trilogy


‘I is another – and always multiple’. (Claude Cahun)

The Dream Key trilogy (2007-12) formed an integral part of the practice element for my PhD: ‘Border crossings: (re)presenting gender in surrealist film’, and included collage and assemblage, which built on, and were in dialogue with the written research (chapters on Un Chien andalou (Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, 1929), Rose Hobart (Joseph Cornell, 1936) and Les Yeux Sans Visage (Georges Franju, 1960).

This dialogical approach sought to extend the notion of surrealism as a form of research and knowledge, with the surrealists seen as artist-researchers, whose artworks are recognised as both tools and documents of their research; and, crucially, connected to a much wider, political, philosophical and revolutionary programme, aiming, ultimately: to change life (Rimbaud) and transform the world (Marx).

Transformation is seen as central to a re/mapping of the spaces, supposed limits and frontiers of surrealist notions of gender identity. Any single or fixed reading is problematised in favour of a blurring of the illusory boundaries between masculine/feminine (as process/flux); deconstructing and challenging any society that encourages the positioning of men and women according to binarised (patriarchal) discourses.

Each film explores gender identity in the form of a quest: an actress encounters a series of mysterious doubles, on a quest for her stolen voice in the ‘Doll’s House’; a lock of hair, a teardrop and a kiss are collected by the male musician, on his quest to embrace his feminine other; and a female dancer dreams of escaping the birdcage, embedded in Fisher’s chest, on a quest beyond the binary prison-house. Using narrative, non-narrative, live action and stop motion, the films work individually and dialogically, reflecting a complex engagement with the surrealist notion of gender identity as dynamic, fluid and multiple. Key surrealist themes of desire, liberation and transformation are explored as the three protagonists’ individual quests intersect and cross over…

Links to films in The Dream Key trilogy:

1. The Dream Key (becomings) [HD Video, 23.06 mins, 2012]


To watch online:

To download and watch on player, such as VLC:

If prompted for a password, enter: ‘xfiles’

2. The Dream Key (crossings) [HD Video, 24.13 mins, 2012]


To watch online:

To download and watch on player, such as VLC:

3. The Dream Key (eclipse) [HD Video, 23.50 mins, 2012]


To watch online:

To download and watch on player, such as VLC:

4. Trailer for The Dream Key (eclipse) [HD Video, 57 seconds, 2014]

To watch online:

To download and watch on player, such as VLC:

If prompted for a password, enter: ‘xfiles’



Article La Sirena

‘A Voyage to Sirenusa’ by La Sirena

An article by La Sirena featuring in Peculiar Mormyrid’s 10th issue on The Reinvention of Travel (Fall 2021).

‘Octopus’s Garden Concert’ by Daina Kopp