Jun 272014
Pix NOTE141 031

‘Writing I believe is a sort of co-production’. In the continuing ficto-documentary spirit of this dialogic project of ours, I now also read and repeat : ‘If it is not fair, it is not Christian either’ (Alan Bennet LRB Vol 36 No 12 19th June 2014).

To begin with: we are all are equal in the sight of God. It is a reasonable idea and one might have a liking for it, as we think how it might help us to prosper at the end if we succeed in living better lives. But as we continue our journey through life with this great-great-grandfather (nineteenth century) proposition of egalitarianism hung around our neck like a dead and rotting chicken, we observe fewer and fewer grounds for believing in it, neither as an objective truth in the world nor as an equal chance in eternal life metaphysically speaking.

Equality. Dare we speak of Luis Suarez, let alone of God? If it is not fair…

If it is not fair, then it is always exceptional. What does the exceptional genius of a young Venezuelan footballer care about fairness or equality? Or an Isis jehadist, or a red-headed ex-Sunday Newspaper editor, or HM British government for that matter – what do any of them care for equality? If you can argue cleverly enough, there are always grounds for making an exception.

What does HE care for equality?

Don’t even ask, you say. But here’s the thing:

“A funny old man of Hot-ass
Refused to make jokes at the Mass.
When asked, Ain’t it odd
Not to chuckle with God,
Said, Yes, it’s quite an impasse. ”

Hilarious Life/Death – I am for full disclosure and Agnes agrees. SHE, in contrast to most of the other implacable divines, is always game for a good laugh, and can be relied upon to bring me to another climax in holograph whenever.

I don’t like growing lists of exceptional States of Emergency whether they involve the toothsome violence of a young football celebrity, or the heavily armed violence of the forces of the constituted State or a would-be Caliphate. Nor does Agnes… and SHE is best not aroused, since an angry Agnes, demons beware of Krodhakali, refuse to make any exceptions – even of God.

No joking, I think somebody should be talking to HIM.

once bitten twice shy?

 Posted by at 9:23 am  Atelier, Fundamental Perversions, Holy Fool/Hero  Comments Off
Jun 272014

In a dream last night I was trying to get home on a train. From a doze I woke in panic to find the train stopped in a station but I wasn’t able to discern the name. The windows were grimy, perhaps it was dark, or perhaps my eyes hadn’t quite started functioning. I got out at the next station but wasn’t sure where I was or how I might reach “home”. There was a discussion with a woman railway employee who made various suggestions and at some point I must have left my bag and other bits and pieces because I suddenly remembered that I had left them on a wall some distance from where I was talking. Everything seemed to be safely in place except for my wig(!) – a long red haired affair which a young woman was walking off with. I thought it looked good on her, probably better than on me, but I had to have it and she willingly relinquished it.

Could the wig refer to the Rebekah who is back in the news having been found not guilty. My immediate reaction was there was no way that she could be not guilty but it sounds like the jury had done a pretty good job. I saw this morning that she was quoted as saying that she hoped that she had learned valuable lessons from her experience. Fat chance, I thought. Then the other biter in the news is of course Suarez who seemingly is unable to stop himself sinking his fangs into opponents. And then to complete this trilogy of subjects that we may wonder about how they function and why they do what they do, is the multiple abuser Savile who was also in the news this morning because the extent of his range of operations has been found to be even greater than previously known.

To reassure you, I won’t be wearing my dream Rebekah wig anytime soon – dreams are one thing, daily life another. For some the two things seem to get mixed up. A bit of power, a bit of celebrity status, a bit of getting away with it, a bit of friends in high places, all seem to give a shot in the arm (heroin probably) to one’s every impulse.

In the closing moments of dream before I woke I set off on foot for home, up hill, following the direction indicated very positively by the helpful female Samaritan. So where is home? Probably right here!

(The dream really happened and the gobbets of news are from the Guardian)

Jun 162014
Guest Kiosk 2, Izmir station

How did I mount my first assault on her?

It is one of those curious questions I often get asked and fail to understand. I want to protest but given the way Agnes looks these days, and her terrible croaking voice, and raucous one-way talking on and on and constant complaints, and her bad habits for too much wine and white spirit, and the foul smell of cigarettes on her breath. The askers are all incredulous. What was there to love? they ask, Just look at her now. And sometimes they make tired old jokes about covering her head with a paper bag and so on.

Time was, I always begin.

Once there was a time I used to tell her story to justify, and boasted of her beauty, and many have preferred to choose to see her that way. The seductress. You horny dog , the men said to me then. But to be honest they were only serving their own imaginations. They would want all the dull details of her anatomy, and layer by layer of skin and bone and tissue I would have to give it to them. Down to the imaginary centre that didn’t exist so that in the end there was always disappointment.

So these days I don’t tell stories of her previous youth or beauty. Nor of her wildness, although that was the other way the men have wanted my love-making story to go. The sea witch. How did I tame her? they used to ask. And their voices would grow as small as their cocks as they frightened themselves with their own words and thoughts of the cold grey sea. Those of them that claimed to know a thing or two would drone on about Sycarax and Mesalina, and sometimes it made them sound as brave as lions. They said they were entirely confident that they knew exactly what they were talking about, but I never felt their words dispel their fear. Deep down they stayed as scared as all the rest of them.

Comus her son was wild I admit, but he was not my child. The wine god was his father, and of course that ended badly as it generally always does. Substance abuse. So that when you look at Agnes now, I know it is hard to remember that once we used to call her, along with her like, implacable.

Impacable. And we said that word with love in our hearts.

… and now we have forgotten so much of what we once knew about the dark places of wisdom.

Story telling I admit I still feel a dreamlike quality with her, and that she was not – She was not the same as all the others, that is simply implacable like the rest of them. The difference was in her voice. It is strange I know hearing her grim Glaswegian crossed with Greek way of speaking now. But once upon a time before, when she was not unhappy and broken down like she is today, she looked and listened before she spoke to me and then her voice held my own words back to me as if on a gentle summer breeze.

So I loved her.

Before fate intervened. Fate. Just as I am broken as well by this all too much fore-knowledge I have been given. And broken by the raising of the three children who were born as our fruits, and especially the one ‘from a far place’ who comes  between us, and follows after me with his inescapable spear.

Yes, it was her listening words that drew me in. Time was, I always begin.

Jun 032014
Pix NOTE141 024

The clash of her sparkling rings and painted nails: there is something indecent about us all as we grow older.

I know she is a shocker with her flashy jewellery and clumpy ornaments, and bright hair tints and high colour make-up, but Agnes still has the way of drawing me in. Yes, let’s talk about indecency.

Starting with me! Just take a look! Pot belly, saggy tits and spindly legs. I am not the picture of your western hero am I?

The thing is I doubt I ever was. Fighting the road? There is the inertia of my ageing days! I like to think that nobody gives a shit, and least of all her. But I know that isn’t true either. She is still so demanding. I need to get away.

There is the famous story that the soothsayer Tiresias went through a similar change in older life. Grew big breasts. Became just like a real woman. I asked him about it that time when I made a journey of a very different kind – katabasis - and had the opportunity. What did your wife think afterwards, I asked. What did she say?

“All I know is this:
he went out for his walk a man
and came home female.”
(Mrs Tiresias is a poem from The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy published in 1999)

At the end the wizened old crone had given me a knowing wink, as ‘she’ left me. A wink, as if to say that the two of them had eventually worked it out. Living together. I don’t think Agnes would be so forgiving. “Stand up and be a man!” would be more her kind of thing.

When I am alone I sit for long periods of time in front of the door. It is almost closed. Almost closed, but not quite. There is the slither of a gap, and a dim light on the other side. I can believe.

Oh dear, but nobody is going to knock from there, are they? Who would knock from the other side, and ask to come back here? I mean really, some kind of frickin’ idiot it would have to be.

And nobody is going to answer if I start knocking either. Knock as much as you want. Bloody your knuckles, nobody is going to answer. OK. Because I’ll let you into one of my dirty little secrets. I’ve tried, and I’ve learned that it is not the way it works (‘held fast by Justice’).

Still, I could insert my little finger if I tried.

The trouble is the hinges have all rusted. That is what I think as I look into the mirror, and see the pair of frightened eyes staring back. Lost.

That is the issue. The children I mean. However much I have been trying to forget. Forget them, especially the one whose name translates along the lines of “Born Far Away”. And the prophecy of course. In these epic cycles there is always some damn oracle isn’t there? Some jack-ass in the story, who gets put up to give out a dire warning.

And spoil things. Otherwise in many respects my life would be fine really. Real fine and dandy. But it is too late now. It is because of what I know. That along he comes one day and spoils things. Don’t believe in death?

I want you to know that in this story, apart from the indecency of the father, I haven’t really done anything wrong. After all mostly with Agnes it is all make-believe, smoking mirrors and magic. We are not talking Oedipus. But just try telling that to the child.

And I would. Tell him that is. If I could have the chance. Honestly I would. But this story is broken. Lost. And all there is, is this door that isn’t quite closed. Not quite. And a dim light which I keep trying to make myself believe is coming from the other side.

Fluid narratives

 Posted by at 1:38 pm  Hitting the Potholes  Comments Off
Jun 032014

So now we learn about high frequency trading (see John Lanchester’s piece in the current LRB), millions made so fast that it has to be described in nanoseconds, or what it sounds like is how to make money without risk, transferring the risk to . . . Well anybody who happens to be standing around outside of the privileged loop. But then we have potlatch – wild gifting without limit, giving until I don’t even have any clothes with which to drape my naked body.

Strange how I can be pulled into both these ideas – embracing the riches on offer and giving everything away. Sounds like a party doesn’t it. Which might be the point. To party until death comes knocking at the door. And then we can join a death group and chat about the meaning of it all. Break the taboo with Plato and Tacitus. After all we need a bit of perspective on the whole business. 

Seen it all before mate!

Allow me to bring play into the arena. We could say that we have two systems that are playful: theft, legal theft as practiced by the international financial industry, becoming rich because ‘we’ say we are and getting ‘us’ to believe in it and to accept the rightness of it. And the other, the play of art as gift. Richness is in the act of creation and the giving of it.

But then some neurotic anxiety will raise its head from that dark corner over there and demand payment and security and while we’re on the subject might I suggest that we get rid of death.

Screams and perplexity! I don’t want to be left behind! I don’t want to alone!

I want to play. Yes, even with the risks. Like this blog, I want to play in it with whatever comes to hand. This device at my finger tips. And get my mucky fingers into language and image – tools and material. See what comes. See who comes knocking at the door.