Friday, 30 January 2015

An Understudy of Jeanne d'Arc

I'm left behind to violate only unoccupied space, to create grotesque modalities for externalizing and afflicting upon the world the schematic constructs of some of my more disturbing dreams.


Contrapuntal breathing techniques take shape in my proximity; the energy, unhindered, of catastrophe botany, manœuvres from monochromatic to dichromatic and superimposes itself upon a landscape of blank faces rapidly speaking without tongues, from orifices that don't exist.


I masculinize the heart of Jeanne d'Arc, before swallowing it to replace my own... I desired so much to lead an army of bohemian dreamers straight to the grave. Jeanne said that I'm a fucked up émigré in my own place of birth; that I am all that is alien to me... but my xenophobia only contours and shades the finer details of my self-persecution and an ahistoric sense of guilt.


I'm afraid of the destination, terrified of human multiplicities, and I'm staggeringly inept at self-persecution, so I turn my quasi-feminist gaze upon those surrounding me, and offer up annihilation of the Psyché, obsessive cauterizing of severed appendages, detached phallic symbols of Œdipal repression and regression, Story of the Eye children's colouring books, all at a discount rate.


I grasp a confused irony, labelled detached analysis, and abandon "mauve" sensibilities that often led me to a duplicitous variation on objectivity; difference theory glaciates my left frontal lobe; I plead for seizures and accept the gentler oblivion of a hangover, the quasi-mythical tranversal awareness vibrates only me, or so my fierce desire for a unique ubiquity insists... was Jeanne d'Arc as paradoxically proto-imagistic and violently gentle as me? did she shatter the vessels holding an exiled primacy of ghosts just like me? did she paint the post-future-pictorial death scene of this lost boy, as I have painted the pre-past-pictorial death scene of her own beloved Gilles? 


Did she meet me in Warsaw, at the Kraków Gate, and offer a proverbial explanation for...?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Sutton Pass 2014 to Tiflis 1901...

Sutton Pass. I spent my first days of 2014 there this past weekend. Of course, me being me, with my overwhelming notions, I did not take any photographs. Sometimes I adore photography, sometimes I despise it, almost sensationally; regardless, I didn’t want to be thinking about snapping photographs on this first day, the very idea of it seemed scandalous. So, a journey into that magical forest, up that magical creek bed, amongst boulders both big and small, it infiltrated the hours of my Saturday and Sunday days.

I struggled with the idea of scrubbing moss of forested boulders in the shade on such lovely days, so I leapt into the sunlight of the talus fields, and the creek-bed, and found boulders with so little cleaning needed, the moss and lichen disappeared in moments, white chalk was brushed auspiciously across random spots on these granite boulders and upwards I went, well, to be perfectly honest, the downwards falling was likely much more frequent than the upward successes, a lazy winter without climbing and with little training, it left me rather awkward on the rock, and much more time was needed to climb each problem than I would have generally desired. A few curses echoed across the valleys after too many successive falls on a single hard move, a hold snapped and hit me in the face creating another overly difficult movement, so I begged a temporary reprieve from my persistent failings, and sat down with the myth of Dagny Juel.

Madonna (Dagny Juel inspired) ~ Edvard Munch


Somehow I feel as though the “Queen of Berlin Bohemia” (around the end of the 19th century) and myself, we’d have been, or would be, fantastic lovers, in some less structured version of time, where a century is not a measure of temporal separation, but perhaps instead a spatial gap that one can step across with an outstretched leg. An objectively offered object would create the new paradigm, because, seriously, fuck gifts. They mean so very little. Dagny Juel and Benjamin Arthur. Her Todestrieb, my Solipsistic tendencies... we'd create some new Gesamtkunstwerk, we'd find our Aša,  oh... how I wish I could have written out a portrait of Dagny while she sat for me. Her modeling for Edvard Munch must have been sublime. Jealous of Munch for that, I certainly am.

So, there I am, three in the afternoon, Sunday, April 13th, 2014, creekside, Sutton Pass, reading Zurab Karumidze’s Georgian masterpiece Dagny, or a Love Feast, dreaming myself into 1901 Tiflis (Tbilisi), with its Occident meets Orient Cultural mishmash. Myth and reality meld together in this story, like they do in my day, we cross paths with a young Joseph Stalin, George Gurdjieff and the sacred dances of his fourth way, the anarcho-terrorist Camo, the poet Vazha-Pshavela… Anarchy, religion, modernism, Gnosticism, Esoterica, Magic, Linguistics, Science, Pseudo-science, shamanic art, surreal poetry (from before surrealism existed), it’s all there, in some ridiculous cosmic orgasm of factual fantasy. 113 years vanished from the annals of time, as I find myself there, walking those streets, drinking in the scents and sounds of a phantasmagorical world, and it’s so absurdly difficult to let go of all this, to come back to reality, to give up Dagny Juel, to get back on this powerful, overhanging granite boulder, and to attempt the crux movement over and over again, falling each time.

Dagny Juel Portrait ~ Konrad Krzyzanowski 


I did so. I abandoned my book, I wrote a few words in my notebook, I pulled my climbing shoes back on, dusted my fingertips with chalk, and fell another twenty-three times, before I finally latched onto the hold desperately, as I tossed myself towards it. From the beginning, six tries later, The Cosmic Orgasm of Dagny Juel came into being at a not-so-difficult grade of V8. I dove into the icy waters of the creek, froze my brain a little, lost touch with my ahistorical notions of Dagny Juel, and began to feel that spooky action at a distance, that quantum entanglement with a single soul halfway around the world; ‘tis only you that offers me this, this knowledge of you, this awareness of you, this subconscious reacting to each of your actions, this feeling what you’re feeling so very often. I have said before, and I’ll say it again, I’m that ghost in a plaid shirt and skinny jeans and leather wingtip shoes, walking by your side, waiting for you outside hospital doors… hold my hand for a block or two? let’s light the candles, open a bottle of wine, listen to records, and dream of a day where we're not walking side by side as only ghosts, stuck in the ultra-paradoxical phase, with no lanterns lit? Perhaps we'll discover our own sacred primeval dance.


Saturday, 23 November 2013

A Few Days Before The Fall


before,
   break fingers, underneath late afternoon bridges,
   in cities of minimalist
                                                          houses;
covers mouth; emaciated clothes; dissolved cars stop;
    walk away from the lonely version of a policeman;
    is murdering a step-father still called
                                                          patricide?

after,
   conversation as an epitaph,
   we dug our graves - still young - then tried 
   to call fucking inside them making love or chance or
                                                           poetry...
taken aback, patients undressed, maybe sidewalks,
   trinity street slept midday, lips apart
   darkening, prophetic, cold sores;
   restless, the way shadows expand
   devouring eyes; bones; feet;
   faceless death; destroyed nameless;
   dwelling on the promise of a landscape without
   motion; the end - violence - a new
                                                           perspective.

now,
    the adventures of a forgotten bureaucrat,
    no leading role, no responsibility for his dreams;
    the trigonometry of his
                                                            chaos
makes hospitals collapse,
    no one is sorry, they were drab;
    grass in the ghetto; a blind singer guards the unbroken
    end of the bench; a chessboard without pieces on his lap
    (does he beg for pawns?);
    his pointless dreams asleep on the world's floor;
    our secondary species; no ship to save us;
    so many lights on eventually brings darkness;
    regeneration through
                                                            artifice?

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Not Quite 12:19 On A Saturday Night.



This. It’s not bad. It’s not good. It’s only one version. Apotheosis of the style, my ass. It needs something. This can’t be it. I feel apathetic. Uncharged, undone. I want it to unmask me, to expose me to the world. And then I want to hide this painting away in the closet. To have it there, alone, in the mildew and the darkness, hidden from the damnation of eyes until I pass, and then immortality. Immortality, an alternate history, ahistorical, without such cycles of despair, without cinematic tropes of violence and war. I surrender to it, first, the world will follow suit. Clubs, the suit no one adores. Spades and Hearts are always predominate, even diamonds has its adoring mob… Clubs, the suit of the misanthrope, the suit no one adores, am I the only one, a pre-op, untouched, left to disuse. Fuck Charlie.

This is it; this painting shall be my resignation from love. From love. From whimsy, from dreams, from possibility. The world doesn’t offer it, it’s invented for us with the propaganda of the artist’s brush, the fountain pen, the tongue… If we understood this, we’d collapse back to all fours, crawl back into the ocean, and slowly grow larger, less sentient, until we’d reach a zenith, and tumble down the far side of the pyramid before striking rock bottom, amoeba it is. 

I hope he dies, asphyxiation would be appropriate, on his own laughter. He laughed at me this morning, I hope he gets the bomb in his mailbox, and his amoral memoirs without stories disappear, I hope his name disappears. Charlie, you hear that, I hope your genitals fall off, and you and your singular brand of sweat, semen and blood are castrated from history.


Where’s Alan Vega when I need him, I want to be the Be Bop Kid. I want to write that song about real life, I want to be put in jail. I want to survive being martyred, a partial martyrdom, I want no one to notice, I want to start anew, I want to start a war, I want to dream, baby dream. Forever. Forever. Fuck this painting. That’s not right, I don’t get to make that judgment, condemning all that I find cliché, starting a hate war, growing candid and caustic, admitting my unenviable status as an artist without art. Someone needs to knock on the door and interrupt this revery. Now. 






Friday, 18 October 2013

Landscape Clad in Smoke


Cigarette number three. The number never really meant all that much, maybe just a way to smoke a cigarette without also finding a lover… And the ash from the tip drops into a glass of wine she assures herself no one could enjoy. (She thinks) it shows her lack of addictions (and maybe ambitions) that she can smoke only a half-cigarette and then toss the remainder in a glass of abysmal wine. Yet still, time doesn’t pass and children don’t grow into baristas and bartenders and chambermaids in resort towns that only get intermittent sunlight. This is her version and she’s always 21 and nothing has become all that bad for her yet...

Jess. Number six. So as not to fall in love with herself, but isn’t it always a little late for that; this is the age of narcissism, is it not? And she wears green shirts and rainbow striped scarves to attract a certain shape, and she dreams upside down about attracting shapes of other sorts, for her Marbolo Light smoke signals weave a web for such unique souls. Dreams, drains, drops, drips, comic strips; she wrote one once. Moving on, or not, Jess says hi to trees and rocks and vacated film reels and abandoned shopping carts that no one wants. She also says hi to Evans, Michaels, Stephanies, Valeries… Evan number nine ran away when he saw her wine stained and unfiltered teeth. Irrelevant. Backwards, forwards, the dog outside the restaurant ate her last cigarette. Some dogs eat kibble, some eat blueberries, and some eat choice cuts of beef, but it’s a rare dog that eats half a marbolo light cigarette. Jess thinks mostly about cities with flooded streets, wading thigh deep in some cultured version of a lake, art transformed into garbage or garbage transformed into art, she wonders at times about what she would wear to events like this, but the options are far too many, even if clothing is a given; sometimes she thinks naked, or in a clear plastic garbage bag, or painted a forest shade of green, smoking the butt ends of last weeks cigarettes, blowing inconsequential smoke from her undersized and twice pierced nose.

For now, she wades in the mineral baths with an empty bottle of cheap red… And the mineral baths are also empty today, except for people.  People have a tendency to do this, turning up in otherwise unoccupied space, the suggestion has been made that this is a disease. Blue sky, without sunshine… She makes way for everyone until arriving at a corner, bottle left on another edge; she stops, turns, and watches. The girl in the blue and white striped swimsuit, Jess, never fell in love with herself –nor anyone else-, never held a steady job, never finished anything begun, never followed through with any dream, never sang in public, never walked around the world, never… The girl in the blue and white striped swimsuit can make herself invisible with little effort, in her corner, and she watches with eyes that give away her own life to those they linger upon regardless of what Jess number six wants. When she loses so much of that uncertain vital force she becomes close to invisible, amongst those rather more alive thanks to her accidental gift…

She speaks to herself about the print of Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych “Temptation of St Anthony” hung on the wall behind the baths, and her voice is tender and pliant and delicate like a recently replanted rose. It’s not quite so surreal as the Dali, nor so lucid as the Fra Angelico, but it means something nonetheless, it is the grotesque. Nonetheless, omitting certain possibilities of paint by number dreams, and crossword clue calumnies, nonetheless leads Jess to dead ends in backs of alleyways lacking old iron fire escapes, the only way down is to jump, she likes this idea. A slow version of incineration or a sudden leap… Jess number six despises the one and adores the other, so she feels it would be preferable to mix the two together to keep things in that vague, pallid neutral and make a sudden flaming leap... Maybe taking Grunewald’s or Schonegauer’s “Temptation” with her, for the plethora of artistic versions or visions drives her mad, even more so, all the prints, and she wonders at times if there should only be one copy of each piece of art on this earth, one manuscript of each book, one recording of each song stored upon only one piece of vinyl? This seems like a way to reopen so many possibilities.

She went on just another date last night with a ubiquitous type, a type who never had his own dreams and she spoke of Domenico burning atop inanimately charging Roman horse in “Nostalghia”, and he spoke of sparkling eyes; and she spoke of Da Vinci’s “Adoration of the Magi” and it’s appearance in “The Sacrifice”, and he spoke of full lips; and she spoke of a piece of music by Mihaly Vig playing as Janos creates a solar eclipse out of drunkards in some forgotten Hungarian bar, and he spoke of amazing curves and fingertips and her teeth. Banal. Her words or his? She hadn’t quite figured this out yet, but she was slightly less than devastated with her attraction to such stultifying ilk. So she took the mixtape he made; so she ran; so she skipped once or twice; so she counted 2666 cracks crossed in the sidewalk, while the streetlights lit up her darkened face at irregular intervals, several passer-bys were less than startled, almost stoic, and she reciprocated fiercely. Thoughts lingered in her head on diazepam and flunitrazepam and temazepam and flutoprazepam and alprazolam and clonazepam and oxazepam and… the cause, the effect, the side effect, unlit mineshafts carved out of the bedrock of her brain. There was always that perfect pill in the pillbox, just one; maybe given away by a infinitesimally more vibrant colour, or a slightly more perfect shape, or an ever so subtle scent that none of the others had, but there was always that one pill that did something none of the others ever managed to do, it took away the disease, the debility, the darkness, the sorrow, the irrational terrors day and night, and she could breathe free, unobstructed by the shadows looming just like the heaviness of the psychosomatic future overhead…

Jess number six, on her flat steps, stands only on the one without the broken board, it’s a meditative place, and no raindrops are falling, and no stars are ever visible, and there is no cancer in the air just yet, so she smokes half of just another Marlboro light and laughs at the irony of her own bit of space on this earth, whatever that is, she’s not sure, but she’s sure it’s ironic, when she has doubts a frown replaces laughter, and the unbroken board starts to sound brittle, and meditation is for idiots only, that should be the caution tape sign on all such bullshit books, and there is only the noise of her neighbour’s air conditioning unit, at night, wasting the air she yearns to breathe, so she picks up and throws invisible rocks until she’s sure it no longer cauterizes the night sky, caustic metal on a window ledge, fucking virus of aluminum and plastic parts… Eventually, flat steps bring her back, steps painted a greyish shade of blue, last years coat already starting to peel and crack, to tell those stories she’s never cared for, and the board has lost so many memories with the layers already stripped, enforced amnesia, no one said anything had to be fair, Jess murmurs in consolation, and this isn’t something that really needs to be learned, it’s intuitive at birth, and she pulls unpaid bills and unsigned credit cards that do not work and keys for apartments and houses she left unoccupied and unused tubes of lip chap and unpublished poems on paper scraps, and when she pulls her current keys out of the handbag and steps to the top, and places them neatly in the lock, she becomes just another one of those people she spites with all her might in only her most recent daydreams… She thinks hard, just for a moment, but she misses the point, she doesn’t mind, with blue green striped stockings, and ripped suede jacket, and a feather braided into hair, it’s the way she abandoned ubiquitous, mixtape boy that rights all wrongs tonight.


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Post Post-Cigarettism to the Death


-Is writing to yourself a healthier insanity than talking to yourself?-
William H Gass The Tunnel  (p 8)

I’ve been considering the idea of writing a review of this book; yet, there’s something difficult for me with regards to reviewing a book I haven’t read several times. For most books two readings works, occasional fluff can be unraveled with a single reading, and then a book like Nádas’ Parallel Stories, Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, Krasznahorkai's The Melancholy of Resistance, Olga Tokarczuk's Primeval and other Times, Drago Jancar's The Galley Slave; one of these eventually comes along and after a half-dozen readings I still feel like I’m missing so many salient things. That's postmodernism perhaps. Sometimes I wish I lived in an impoverished setting like Ohlsdorfer and his daughter in Tarr’s The Turin Horse, watching the world collapse inward upon me in some rather indifferent variation on an apocalypse; I'd only have one book, a book that I would read over and over and over. Add to the list above a couple of Krasznahorkai’s works, Irmtraud Morgner's Trobadora Beatrice, Angela Carter's Infernal Desire Machines, Beckett’s trilogy, a collection of Borge’s short stories, and I might have a shortlist from which to chose. My choice might become a bible of sorts. No, wrong word, too steeped in frailty is the biblical idea. However, I would like to know one book almost as though scripture, by rote, in this lifetime. Just one (well maybe about a dozen in the interests of full disclosure). One of Borges’ characters in A Weary Man’s Utopia speaks about this briefly. He suggests that it is the rereading that matters, not the reading, and that one can only truly read about 4 books in a lifetime. Printing… was one of the worst evils of mankind, for it tended to multiply unnecessary texts to a dizzying degree. Now I certainly would be loath to agree with this, but I understand the inference. And it’s why I want to choose a book, or maybe 4, or a half-dozen to read 30-40 times in my life, alongside all the other reading I do, those lighter, less obsessive books that warrant just a reading, or maybe two.

I woke up this morning feeling the need to do something different, to break out, whatever that means. I often wake with an impulse to radically change my life immediately, but I have no idea in what direction; so it's as though I’m captaining a rudderless ship in moments like these. I scream orders to an imagined crew of brigands, and try as we may, the ship will not change bearing. It would help if I had a bearing in the first place. I’m not really lost though. Just dreaming it. I drew tessellations across the backs of my hand instead of a radical transformation of purpose. It was like some infantile artistic vision. Escher would not have been proud. Maybe if he saw the Penrose triangles I create at times with 2hb pencils he might smile? perhaps not? I need to go surfing. I need to go climbing. I need to go check out a play. Need… so unnecessary. I should stop abbreviating my days with statements about future endeavours, the wardrobe is overflowing with partial geographies of ambitions and dreams, yet if I pull out just one, flesh it out fully, put it on, wear it around town for a while, what do I do if I choose wrong, if it fails? No matter… I’m misleading disingenuously here. I’ve fleshed out so many already and the failure to hold doesn’t so much bother me, it is more so the idea, that eventually I’ll empty the wardrobe and discover not a single dream left, and still I won’t have found the one for me. Irrational fear. A proverb for a paranoid, to paraphrase Pynchon. I adore the fractured life. The extreme to extreme. What do we need a single sticking point to bear us through life for, I want a thousand instead, no absolute decision to ever be made?  A film without a story, a mimetic diegesis, absurdly long takes fused to random jump cuts from movie reel to movie reel.

Solipsism is sometimes prevalent for me but when one imagines the reality of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus as a world model, one sees a tenebrous version of hell, of the anti-genesis. There’s something so ahistorical about the idea of the world is all that is the case. Not for me; instead I watched the kids, late on Sunday night, strung out on everything but life, coalescing in the streets with cacophonies of discordant voices and screams. I wrote out non-thoughts and non-ideas. I don’t posit existence because of thought. It’s a circle. I’m afraid of Eternal Recurrence still, of the Nietzschean varietal, but that’s beside the point. It doesn’t really matter to me or to you, my imagined reader, likely me, as I’m the writer and the reader. I’m never really sure which comes first. Do I write before I read as would be logical, or is there some kind of backwards logic involved where I read the thoughts in my head before I write them down.

I often spend a couple hours in my garden watching the flowers grow. Grow being a rather misleading word in this circumstance. Imperceptible is what that is. Though after enough time I often think I can see these infinitesimal movements of buds beginning to open, new shoots crawling skyward. I should likely take the time to do some time-lapse photography of this garden of mine. It might be of interest to this particular boy. Oh, I mean, this silly twisted boy as Hercules Grytpype Thynne would suggest, those immortal words, beloved by me at least.

I’m going to place something here that I wrote back in 2009, in San Francisco. I spent three days exploring the city as a break after four months of walking and surfing. I want to create something of it someday soon, I have an idea for a novella, or maybe even a short novel. Some other writings I rediscovered last night while searching through notebooks of derelict text seem to fit well with it. And I wrote something new last night, almost episodic, to add to a later part of this work when I get there.

Apathy (usually comes in an unknown 2am shade of green. I breathe in its amorous amorality and recede into the depths of a black dinner jacket. She shudders when I say fuck the neo-fascists and place my hands in my heart. Colourblindness was the twelfth symptom of her illness, sanguine, half-prophetic, she touches the chemicals, and we dance away the night. One more crisis, she often forgets to help me shift back into the world again)…

Sometimes I hear only fragments of conversations from nearby tables while she plays the itinerant invalid on the barstool next to me. She. Remains. I never allow more than one foot to dangle helplessly in the air. Irrelevant. There is something so quotidian about this indifferent eavesdropping five minutes before the vague neutrality of a barman shifts us out into the street.

“Words should only be used for the cause…" "Her variation on blindness was caused by the smoke that rose and then settled from the first book burning…" "The painting on that wall was an original Renoir before Matthew spraypainted it black…" "The front door was also painted black…" "My jacket was once a Quixotic shade of black, now it's just one more myth I use to explain creation…"

Make of it what you shall. I make much. Hay? Oh. It’s time, to do something other than sit here, dreaming about "language as oppression" and a transgenerational transmission of memory. Instead, outwards I go, into the æther. I am not an ætherist. Though I do adore the nineteenth century field of luminiferous ætherics. That’s just me. Michelson-Morley fucked it all up for the rest of us with that ill-fated 1887 experiment in Cleveland. And special relatively dumped that coffin into the sea with a rather damning finality. Although, rumblings in the scientific community with Dark Matter theories seem terribly similar to the ideas about luminiferous æther 150 years ago.

I go out into this day now, diffracted indifferently away from reckless bedsheets… I go out to join this ubiquitous world, and my post post-cigarette generation. Wish me luck.