Watched over by the Man

 Posted by at 11:18 am  Anti-Gravity Surgery  Comments Off
Jun 282015

Cicadas and drum ‘n’ bass compete, the cicadas drown out most of the drum ‘n’ bass. But then I notices the good strong voice, male voice, singing a Beatle’s song. I can’t think of the title and then there is the next Beatle’s song which I cannot recall of the title of either. I cannot see the singer, the voice seems to come from outside the garden, perhaps he’s busking on the steps that lead up to Piazzale Michelangelo. I am sitting in the shade of the trees, amongst the roses set in the grass of the Rose Garden, il giardino delle rose. It is late afternoon and the sun is still hot, the sky a cloudless blue.

How did the world become divided between good and evil, God and Satan? There are some good stories – but what happens when we shift from stories to claims of truth? How did that happen? And that is another story. One in which the lust for power is thrust on to the stage. Or is it a story of our need for leadership? The two sides: the one with the lust for power and our need for salvation and guidance.

If I cannot find my way out of the wilderness do I look for some other to show me the way? Did I, alternatively give up and accept that I cannot do anything with what this life of mine offers? What is on offer? A one way trip into slavery? A con-trick? A promise of needs met, board and lodging, cardboard and an old sleeping bag I found abandoned? Abandoned to scrounge. I suppose scrounging is a form of entrepreneurial behaviour much loved in our neo-liberal economic times.

How to claim ownership, I wonder. Ownership, precedence, entitlement? Talk fast and furious, like Irimias in Satantango. My name is Medici. I am the devil. And yet I slip through the crowds unnoticed, unremarked, unmet; a slippery eel. Did you see me? I think not! 

And the large bronze statue catches my eye: L’envol crafted by  Folon. Flight to where? To the distant hills. On tip toes, he can’t wait to be soaring up to the blue heavens. Or the blues angels that we listen to later in the old prison of Le Murate drinking martini cocktails. I am transported to someplace such as 1969, embracing those driving rhythms. My life still to open and evolve into what it has become.

Tue future’s looking hot!

 Posted by at 11:32 am  Fundamental Perversions, Holy Fool/Hero  Comments Off
Jun 152015

Just as there is no such thing as death, so there is no such thing as the future. Added to which the past is a decidedly murky sort of place. And the present, of course, is a tangle of shouts and screams plus a few moments of beatific peace. But don’t get lost in the maze of despair because hope is eternally available at a knock down price in the narrow, dimly lit alleys of your dreams. Eternity is just round the corner and we wait with bated breath for Apple to finally produce the device that will open all the doors.

As we all know, stories must have a beginning, a middle and an end, in order that we know where we are. How old are? The crone asks with that wicked grin of hers. Where are you in your life? Don’t get lost in the maze of her lined face, you will never get out again. Past, present, future: the fiction of time. I was very impressed recently by my 6 year old granddaughter telling me about fiction and non-fiction. Wow, I thought, she’s getting ahead of the game. What else do we have children for but for their children to put us straight when we can no longer see the world clearly. It’s all a race to the beginning. As usual.

Each day I have to get up and rewrite the story so far. Remember, what I mean is dredge up, a few dodgy fragments of the past and weave them into what the day is looking like. Was there a yesterday I can be sure of? Not really. And as to the future . . . Well who’s to say? 

I think where I’m heading with this line of thought, this fragile thread of nonsense, is towards that elusive goal of freedom. The terrifying freedom in which one has been cast aside by the conflicted narratives that are hurled “willy-nilly” (do you remember willy-nilly?) at our overwrought minds by the many faces, the whirling arms of the fiction industry. 

This modernism forces us to abandon history and progress – we can hang on to neither dystopian nor utopian fantasies (well, you can if you like) – to hang free in some sort of mysterious space that I can never get the hang of. Am I strong enough, I ask myself, to live this freedom. I think the answer must be no. I need a myriad of global corporations, the Empires (no not that one in Leicester Square) with their tamed story tellers, their glitzy, ever optimistic stories to shore up my failing mind. Then I will be able to slip into the warm bath of their generous offers of slavery.

No worries . . . ahhhhhhh . . . 

Can I see a space, can I open up the space between the act and the potential? There, is the door, the door marked thereness and here is me, Iness, call me your’ighness.

Jun 122015
Measuring Your Own Grave2003

I happened to pick up my copy of Death at Intervals by José Saramago this morning (opening words: ‘The following day, no one died, this fact, being absolutely contrary to life’s rules… (etc)’). I was  also reminded that the front-piece of the book quotes Ludwig Wittgenstein; If, for example, you were to think more deeply about death, it would be truly strange if, in so doing, you did not encounter new images, new linguistic fields.

Harry Kratchnikov has been away on a mission the last few days. Suspending time. In mid-air. There is the figure of a man falling towards the earth – except that the present tense has of course also been withheld – and accelerating as he falls in the landscape, not hanging.

“Landscape”, meaning like in the painting ‘Landscape of the Fall of Icarus‘, although they now say that the work is by an unknown artist –  Circle of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, they say – and thereby also suspending the lines of Auden’s famous poem:
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters…

Except that the motion has now been placed in the past tense by the poet’s lament: the landscape was the falling man’s death. It was sunrise. It was over the wine dark sea. It was Mediterranean. Then it was: he had not meant to go there, but, flying too close to the sun, he had, while the other man (it was not his father) flew on.  Only it was not heroic and distant according to The Old Masters, the death was everyday accidental and close. People were hurt by it. Imminent and contingent, the body of the man was not disappearing into the water besides the merchant ship sailing by with only the legs remaining visible after the splash, he was suspended in mid-air. Above them.

Dio and Trixie were walking along the beach hand in hand. The temporary absence of Harry Kratchnikov had changed the way they were behaving, or they said that they thought it had. Harry’s absence they told each other had taken away the pressure of time. They were as if on holiday. Walking hand in hand, pretending to be lovers. Which they were in truth, only in a different sense from the young images of themselves walking along the beach in shorts and short-sleeve shirts, and bare feet and toes digging into the already warm sand. Dark glasses. Not saying anything of consequence to each other. Not even thinking of sex for a time. They passed by.

There was no forsaken cry.

In plain and everyday language through the medium of the story, Death at Intervals, how well the writer Saramago did his thinking more deeply.

Futurism I

 Posted by at 1:44 pm  Catastrophe Games, Hitting the Potholes, Holy Fool/Hero  Comments Off
Jun 052015

A questioning puzzlement as to the future has appeared on the horizon. The sea is calm at the moment and I have to remind myself that this is not the only state that the sea loves to express. Surely it is ecstatic when the Atlantic winds can hurl it at the coastline, moving beaches, tossing a variety of life forms to their deaths, taking away the earth from under our feet; just as the present hurls the hubris of the past into oblivion and challenges us to face the future.

More of the same? Is that what voting conservative mean? Is that a smirk of gloating triumphalism on their faces? As they slip into their self-belief of their being the natural form of government. How much destruction can they achieve in the quickest possible time?

I am accelerating, casting time aside, the speed of light beckoning and I don’t care about the haggard face and hooded eyes, the grey flesh tightened over demanding bones. Such attention is called for as the imminent pulls at the thin layers of paper-skin.

I am acceleration, I am time, I am the speed of light: I flay death alive and I will stare unblinkingly into the future. 

Yes I know that we are a pair of clowns on a broken wheeled tandem looking in despair at the holes in our shoes, the toes poking through the socks. Of course we notice the absence of progress, we glance askance at uncle death with his grinning mask and wonder at his lack of teeth. Hasn’t he heard of the NHS dental service. I know it’s not free, but the prices aren’t too bad. There’s always a bit of haggling to be done with the struck-off dentist. Deregulation is the name of the game. Tomorrow I’m a surgeon, the next day I will be trading in futures.

Jun 022015
You and I Soapbox141

‘A Sweet Disorder’

Pardon my sarong. I’ll have a Shirley Temple.
Certainly, sir. Do you want a cherry with that?
I guess so. It’s part of it, isn’t it?

Words! It is the words, isn’t it, that are increasingly hard to believe in. Without terminal humor (sic) that is – the above lines come from the beginning of a new poem by John Ashbery (age 88), and are published in his latest collection Breezeway, of which a New York critic writes: “The poems anticipate death but hold it off—they filibuster—by transfiguring it into comic forms.”

Harry Kratchnikov was nowhere to be seen but then deep in the Snigger Space with men beyond fifty, if not MB50, this wasn’t a history lesson either.

Yesterday – it was Sunday afternoon and I was being roughed up. Yesterday – it was Sunday afternoon and Dio and Trixie were being roughed up by an older man – and one old enough to know better – a monk no less in a sarong or something like it…
…The monk was about thirty silent yearswordstalk. He sat in a chair. Dio and Trixie sat side by side facing him. He spoke. They listened. No answering back. No cherry on offer either.

Afterwards Trixie said that she was not amused by this capacity men have to take themselves so seriously, and that there was no mistaking this marketplace:
Men only

Ignorance? You don’t know the meaning of the word, he said. Hardships. Trixie winced at the hard line of his bony jaw. And above it his burnt face and lips. Years and years in the outback.
You don’t know what hardship is, he said.

He spoke like a man stood at a bar, a bar where Dio couldn’t find a place to stand. Dio was hearing one thing, but seeing something else altogether. Cold anger swept up his spine. Was that meant to be a mistake for love he thought. Love? That’s a dirty Word. That’s a really dirty Word mate.

He went on and on, poking each one of his words into Dio’s softy soft belly.
Y’are not hardcore at all are yer? He said.
Ye bitch!
Try some kind of middle position between Love and Hate then: Did you get over the beatings eventually?
You’re fucked mate, he might as well have said. Go down.

A hot dusty wind. Bare arms.
What he was saying was rubbish. Sheepshearer, outback nonsense. Round and round it went, birth after rebirth, life after life, and every word filled with misery. He’d have looked as good with a beaten mongo hat and red-brown with outback dirt.

Only that Sunday afternoon there was no beer on tap, and despite where he’d come from being hellish hot and sweaty, Jeepers, here it was cold, not hot. Still he wasn’t about to get soft putting on extra clothes. Over his brown sarong or whatever he liked to call it.

Sure it was madness. Nonsense talk, every word rubbish. Taunting Dio to step up. Toe to toe. Yea, he’d probably even let you land a few punches, just to draw you in even further. Then PkoomPhoom out cold, flat on your back.

Easier ways to get there, Trixie said guiding Dio towards the exit.

Sure it was madness. Thirty crazy years too long stood staring at the sun.

Holy Men, I ask you, Trixie said.

But the bitter sense of what he had said was not missed on them.
A Sweet Disorder.