AMBULATORY ANARCHISM: On Walking, by Phil Smith

Illumination is most likely to be found where things are everyday and modest.

Reading On Walking is like falling into a dream, into mystery, into the revolution of everyday life. It is a handbook on the practice of mythogeography, Smith’s multifaceted take on psychogeography, an epic poem about the real and unreal, about the science of rational empiricism and the ‘damned data’ of Forteana.


not a finished model. It is a general approach which emphasises hybridity and multiplicity, but does not attempt to limit this to any single combination of elements or homogenous model of diversity.

It think it’s a Pataphysics of slow movement, a Discordianism of spacetime being, a gaming of the Spectacle both joyous and serious.


There is a season, détourne, détourne, détourne!

The mindfulness of magic, the magic of mindfulness, a spiritual discipline, playing to (re)awaken the world in your head.

No maps here, cartography is the artistic medium of spatial ideology.

A  wormhole whirls me back via mystical whorls of manga myth to visions of infinite gyres, circles within circles, worlds within worlds, back to the universes of old drifts (the Epiphany of the Gravel Train last thing at night on North Acton station, all that infinity in a grain of aggregate…those winter evening walks with my mother when I was about fifteen…crossing The Iron Bridge with a primary school friend and his mum…lone drunken wanderings from pubs to home at three in the morning through darkness visible…)

Reading this book is a kind of dérive, I drift through its pages, my brain wandering between thoughts of revolutionary praxis of the consciousness, the New Mind needed for a New Humanity, the shadow of Sebald’s East Anglian journey in the author’s reconstruction of it (it becomes its own thing, of course, not Saturnine), photographs of towers, prettily painted mass-death aeroplanes, a phallic stone monument, alleyways…

Was I a psychogeographer as a boy, playing with neighbourhood kids on the Western Shore (through another wormhole I go)…?

The map is not the territory, I am the territory. You are the territory.


This book is a meditation, a revolutionary pamphlet, a philosophy of being in the spatial realm, a Chymical Wedding of tarmac and shoe leather, a broadside against the alienated images we see through capitalist-tinted Spectacles.

It is beautiful.


On Walking is published by Triarchy Press:

Phil Smith is Mythogeography:


About misterdzhimbo

Anarcho-hippy fantasist, poetaster, psych-blues guitar strangler, co-author of Red Phone Box, a beautifully illustrated Urban Fantasy/New Weird story cycle ( I like tea.
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