Monday, 7 September 2009


Once, neurones cross-wired by lysergic acid, I came to the startling conclusion that life is a series of people coming and going: people enter, people leave, people return.  Revelatory, I know: drugs have a habit of imbuing that which is entirely banal with mystical significance, and we can excuse this embarrassing episode, especially as I was struggling to differentiate between “dry” and “wet” at the time. Nevertheless, my sentimental side wants me to remember this fact, as I begin to write again I am reminded that where once I went, now I have returned.

But for why? I am back merely to share- once again- the romance of concrete. Gliding ecstatic through the east end yesterday, and now ensconced in bed, shutting out the foxes and beggars and creeping cold, head swimming with grey-green dreams, buddleja sprouting from cracks in the masonry. The city turns and shows me another side. Keeps turning, keeps revealing another facet. I will die still thirsty, still hungry, still crying for more, enraptured by fantasies of being utterly assimilated by this wicked mistress. The moon, the moon- something beautiful and yet annihilating. Doe-rabbits buried in threatened warrens, bellies full of proto-rodents, absorbed their young back into the womb-wall because there is nothing with which to feed them. Nothing is wasted, only reproduced. Bright eyes, burning like fire. Turn around. Every now and then…

Death, death, death. I don’t want to die. I am happy to say that. I am happy and smiling and glad to be alive. But we will die. We are flesh and bone and everything is transitory. There is no me to be swallowed by the city that spat me out, the city never spat in the first place and the city never existed. What is real is concrete. When I die I want my body cast in the support beam of a pedestrian bridge. Maybe across the river. Not like an east end villain (Jack the Hat McVitie)?. There will be a place where they say I was buried. Some broad column stoically bearing  share of the load. And my myth will be not what I did or said or who I was, but whether I am really there at all:

“He paid a fortune to be buried there, but the council couldn't grant a licence. Something to do with consecrated ground. Public hygiene. Health and safety. They burned his body and poured his ashes into the composter.”

Then someone will shrug and talk about something else, clip-clop above my rotting corpse, skin on face and peeling lips to reveal a semi-permanent grin.

A line in the landscape, joining up he dots, an indistinct lineage, the frayed ends of the thread, tapestry bayou crocodile clip joint account. 
Post a Comment

Share buttons