The Demolition of Pleasure

I could weep for the Camden I can’t find, I could bloody weep.

I thought I had written all I had on my momentary past there of not much interest but all I can write today is that all trace has gone.

The tutor who failed my essay (Haunted London discussed that nostalgia was always looking back and thinking life was better than it is now. But life wasn’t better, just the physical presence of the places were actually there.

All traces have gone.

Deflated in soggy fur and Camden rain at the ridiculous price of fake vintage dresses, I thought of all the things around the corner that would cheer me up. All gone, all utterly gone, even the smallest pleasures.

The heavenly smell of fresh cut oranges by the bridge. That stall was a small delight after the open space where I drew tattoos, in the frost, beside the reggae stalls, was transformed into a Thai restruarant.

Gone is the little man we ritually bought banana frittas from in paper bags.

Gone is the woman selling those expensive, handbound leather books. She had a basket of damaged ones that I could afford.

The next gone was the last hope squashed. The poster stall, £3 for Charlie Chaplins, the last stall of the market. It used to blast out Gogol Bordello and was run by a man with huge septum ring. Anyone thats gone through the pain and snot of a septum piercing is a septum buddy in my system of linkings in life.

Glum, I decided to walk down Hawley crescent and see the derelict mansion I had always dreamed of living in one day.

Gone were the big hippt blankets that used to be pinned to the brick wall beneath the bridge. The bridge displays the name ‘camden market’. It should have ‘once was’ nailed to the top.

The house wasn’t there. I performed stumbled pirrouettes in a puddle to check it was the correct street.

The courier garage that had taken over the front garden has become an Apprenticeship scheme HQ. The high blue boards of demolition circle the house.

I couldn’t see it because its colour has changed. The salmon pink stucco has faded to white like a dead fish. Its black peeling columns on the porch are just about viewable over the fenching. The black has died to look like the defored and pink peeling skin of my immune damaged limbs.

Oh Camden, plastic wrapped cadaver kept propped up on tourism and steel supports. They should have buried you with all our crazy memories and friends. I felt so old there, crushed in the wet anoraks of European tourists with no idea how everywhere used to look. They are sold Camden on the promise of difference and alternative London. Discovering the lie, the conglomeration of hoodies and falafel they traipse to make the most of it.

‘We are going to Footlocker,’ an American child insists to his parents being dragged along the stalls.

Children have replaced the punks.

The worst of it, the bulldozer in my guts is that my dream of the life I wanted, with my lover gone, my grand pink gothic mansion and dream of piano and pets and more tattoos is out of view in that house forever.

Bury it well. May its ghosts plague the luxury fucking flats you will replace on its stones.

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For Sale ; Autoharp

I’m selling a 1967 Oscar Schmidt Autoharp B model. It has been newly felted. The F7 chord has been altered to an Em but I will include a free felt if you wish to change it.

It has the guarantee card and original books and advertisments. Usual marks slight dents to the back but is very solid, no sound hole.

Work needs doing- restringjng as original strings. The chord bars need something to stop them sliding. The tuning pegs are quite tight (hardly ever used I’m guessing.

Is in playing order though.

Collection only from South West London. You are welcome to come try it out.

Sensible offers taken.

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The Violet Hour

‘Do you remember Soho when it used to be really dirty and filthy and there was all these underground basement drinking dives.’ Ask a man to his friend passing the latest contagion of construction works.

But it still is, if only just this moment on your lips.
A gap between buildings in Berwick Street holds no scent like it should along bottle green titles and foot falls.

This is ‘the violet hour’ so many have scrutinised and critiqued on their Eliot papers, forgetting to look up, witness the colour, the emptied alleys.

The Best Possible Distraction for You…

When I was miserable with a drunk schizophrenic neighbour and chronic fatigue I scuttled off to my old circus institute ( as I type this the song from my debut trapeze act is playing in the coffee shop) and the ex teacher and CEOs of the Hangar told me to not do aerial dance anymore; what makes my soul soar. They suggested knitting.

The title here is from a letter from Wyndham to ex girlfriend and fellow Vorticist, Jessica Dismorr. She had a nervous breakdown after being a nurse in the First World War.

The doctors told her she must no longer paint. Wyndham told her otherwise, that once she was stronger the best possible distraction for her would be her painting, her striking Modernist way of painting.

I think he just became my hero in a Casablanca watched on rainy Sunday’s kind of way.

I must cast quite an absurdity on the eye in my mothers fur coat, Hilda Ogden headscarf and pin curls, using a white cane along Regent Street. Under my arm a puce A5 clump of a book with Blast in diagonal bold print. No matter how many times I see it I still misbelieve it looked that way in 1914. It is retrieved from the library like gathering a mud riddled Great Dane dog from the park that has terrified all the pugs in quilt coats. The spine shoves another student I didn’t see and I apologise the same way the dog owner would with amused shame.

The dissertation title still alludes me. After a girly cry turning Wyndham corners soggy, I got off the library steps determined to find the room the second time around. It is a gaggle of twenty something’s with Topshop tabs and I am, well, Hilda Ogden…..

The seminar proves to be very helpful and reminds me that once apron a time I did want to study literature. The best advice was that to find my title I should think what drew me to the topic and what I want to find out,

Well…..um….

I was drawn to Blast opening it on the front seat of a double decker bus in rush hour. It took up both seats. It shouted and mocked at those behind me in print so big you couldn’t ignore. It looked a bit fascist in style. It was like trying to introduce Johnny Rotten to your father with a tongue in cheek grin.

It’s only a book. No one sat next to me on that bus.

It was punk when university felt like a terrible mistake.

Wyndham, darling Percy, became an ally to my fragmented. Tantrum of an intellect. And then T S Eliot became the genius in the mirth.

I quote The Waste Land every time I cross the Thames, my invented superstition to cross London and survive. How do I tell tutors that. It is not academic it is an over emotional loss of reason.

And then I read Dismorr’s June Night poem and by the end could not see the words but only the images, my own journeys into London.

And so what do I want to know from these little, one time, London Vorticists?

What do I want to know?

I want to hide under the table in that William Roberts painting of them all. They would never have let me in.

Can anyone else figure out what I want to know.

February 9, 2015Leave a reply

Selfies are not false

So seemingly the only non intellectual on my literature course that uses social media I became quite silently flustered by a comment in class the other day about capturing who people are in photography.

A girl said that girls who put on lots of make up and post selfies on facebook are false to her. She then went on to say her gran back in the day had to make so much effort and stand still for ages for a photo….what just as fake then?

Sorry but I wear heaps of makeup, wigs, random objects on my head. I am not being false.

I am showing who I REALLY am! The real me beneath this scabbed scarred overweight hulk the Real me is lugged around jn.

Maybe us girls in all our slap and lace eyelashes are not being false but showing our inner selves at their stunning best. Maybe we are sharing because we want our Real friends we’ve known a lifetime to see us at our most beautiful. While we are out of reach.

These are all the real me I am many things. The Ghost of vorticism, the friend, the lyra dancer, the clown, the damaged legs en point. None of these girls are pretending.

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the Savage and the City…

…in the Work of T S Eliot is clutched in my arms against Blast 2 by Wyndham Lewis and comrades, and other works of Eliot. Two crossings back a knifed madman has closed the street, taken to the rooftops on some lunatic crusade.

I had sat outside the university eating sandwiches in the cold and wondered why so many police cars slipped along the empty backstreets.  Stumbling on the police cordon while looking for more old buildings to capture on Polaroid film, I didn’t linger. The security guard in the library chats about the cold and I spoke for the only time today.

While I stomp in fake fur, fake DM boots, hugging my books of Vorticists along Goodge street the knife man falls through a skylight. Of course I am oblivious to it all and only discover hours later through a helpful Twitterer what I walked beside. Time is out of synch like that and so is my literary tense..

“Is that the Shard?” a perfectly posh woman’s voice asks behind me.
All that is in view is the BT tower, the very round unshardish shard thing we built above the rooftops around here.

“Must be the Shard,” her friend assures her.

I grin and lead their way to Tottenham Court road where they overtake. She has the same proportions as her “shard’ tower; supermodel physique no high heels. Her friend is an incredibly short ginger man wearing various tones of ginger suede from collar to soles.

I rushed corner to corner, across and across to St Giles.

In the drizzle the gates to the Phoenix garden were open, silently waiting. It is the garden I wrote of blogs ago all locked up- ‘The Girl in the Rookery’
The garden holds all the faded, lingering plants of a new year queuing up for spring. Unsteady brick paths wind me around to secretive benches tucked behind the church spire. It is like a garden in a parcel you can pause in. A black cat licks itself clean on a bench.

And a man in black I can’t look in the face of mumbles with lost mind ‘isshittt’ over and over to his shoes but isn’t scary or aware of anyone. The ghost of Rookeries past.

Haeronymo’s mad again

I am still peeling off the Purse Curse. It started with losing my purse on a neverending journey with a present from my dad. It was a cigar box guitar; Cuban cigar box, fence stake and only three strings.

It plays like my heart rattles when it rains and the streets are all mine.

But so dear was the need to take it back to London without injury that I lost my purse. Hence the purse curse.

The jinx has offered 4 hours of mobile calls to HMRC, missed classes, sobbing mornings, electric shocks, lost post, exhibit rejection’s, play plagerism, aerial equipment refusals and (what I hope was the finale) failing humiliatingly failing my essay on London- the only thing I understood. In 17 years of education, I did a lot of courses, I never failed one deadline. Even the dissertation I wrote in one week about circus still got 51%.

It wasn’t the failing, it wasn’t the appalling grammer unnoticed until I uploaded it here days after. It was being accused of imitating the writer I included in the essay – Iain Sinclair. Despite being the last woman of flanery, the ghost of Camden Market and performed barefoot through this grubby city that has pained my bones for life, I am seen as ‘attempting to be creative’ and ‘tempted to imitate’.

No!

The time I did strip tease insude a giant pumpkin was creative. Teaching myself aged 30 and 12 stone to walk en pointe, like ballerinas, in a hostel bathroom while homeless was creative!’

All I did was write words. Words from before the 6 pages of Iain Sinclair I read were ever known of.

I am not a shit imitation. I am a shit actuality of me.

If only they knew what reading Nadja had done. You could have remived rust from a ship with the tears Nadja gave me. I thought it was the greatest tale of lost love ever. It is surrealist writing that is so like my own view of city life it was normal. Breton made me think of my circus teacher talking about me and my loopy ideas.

Will the purse curse ever end? It has given me two beautiful blues songs….

On twitter I have asked for a huge ragdoll of Wyndham Lewis….with a big velvet moustache…and Blast pyjamas. The icecream comfort has run out.

In a bid to stop my melodramatic crying at being a literary eejit, I went back to Thomas and his Waste Land.

This is quite amazing, please listen to the link. What odd coincidence Ted Hughes is reading. The Waste Land and Ted’s Horses are my favourites.

Bedtime story telling at it’s best

T S Eliot