Top deck of bus, watching , closed shops with yellow lights ,, dusty palms, offices broken down with clutter.
Thinking of that back room., brutalised , blackened, eyes shut with bruises.
Wanting it. In there. Steeped in a sordid morass.
Tower bridge. South of the river,, you are in another territory, out of the grasp of the East, that maze of biography where faces loom up one after another.
That little snarl off Tooley street,, narrow cobbled lanes, gantries, riggings, spars,…
You push through lunchtime crowds—
postmodern pastiche,, 80s docklands.. a surge of people until you reach that imperceptible boundary where heritage London dissolves and leeches into Bermondsey, that dank repository of ghosts.
You peer through fences at vast empty factories, rubble and wasteground, these are places you’ve ventured through before,
there are echoes of those times now, you slipping in and out of intensive states,, torn in different directions..
feeling lost somehow, you’d forgotten how that felt but it returns, that anxiety of only being half wanted..
You remember the catclysm before, the destruction, self willed and immediate, you remember the elaborate way he’d sought to avoid and attract it, the desire to pull you into a vortex. , chamber after chamber.
,, reappearing suddenly, after all these years, a bold presence, saying all the things you wanted to hear.
Bermondsey,, The Angel , concrete platform opening next to Thames.
Blistering heat,, intense June.
England shirts, burnt tattoos,
faces crimson six pints in.
29 degree heat,,, camaraderie turning destructive, becoming heat stroke, sickness, lurching into blindness, violence,,,
you walk past and you absorb it,, feel the tension and want the visceral hit.
Dissipates in Southwark park.. back to now, Spring pushing into March… no one here yet, London close at hand, its monuments and markers visible but you walk through revenant territory,,
London has taken you.
, clutter and ornaments,
fake flowers, wishing wells,,,,,
you want to sneak in, round the side, like a cat.
You remember walking down here,, back then, and this being the beginning of little pockets of viciousness…
You remember the shrieking, the blood in the street,
You think how there are only ever constellations of moments never linear sequences---
Pulled back to the Thames,
crosses, monuments, sandblasted white,,
glaring cenotaph. A bench with white emulsion thrown over…
you think it should be black and you want that, you will it into being. Black paint hurled all over,, a slick coating, viscous, flung at walls, monuments, scorched circles on the dead ground.
You think how you would feel if you saw that, you think it would make you cry, overwhelmed that at last there was someone else---
You pass Greenland dock,you think of the ghost canal, those walks from Elephant to Deptford,
that nexus of dissolution, a loss of self.
Absenting yourself from the life you had ended up with. That walk, the sprint at the bottom of the lifts to Burgess park , tearing up a diagonal path, desire lines slipping under foot. The promise of more, down the canal path,, .
you wanted it, the blood, in your mouth.
Violet light, warm on the skin—
fragrance is in turns translucent and seductive. The top notes are a combination of floral powdery notes, with hints of peony, lychee and springtime freesia. The airy, flirtatious head notes drift away to reveal the richer and more sensual side of the rose. This is accompanied by heady magnolia and lily of the valley, as well as subtle intimations of warm amber and elegant cedarwood.
Iris Absolute, Lilac, Hyacinth, Wisteria Blossom, Heliotropine
Orange Blossom, Pink Pepper
Your escape bid. You hated that estate , the cloying atmosphere,,it didn’t want you to leave.
. through burgess park, expanse of waste, bulldozed memories... through that razed labyrinth ,, forever imbued with rushes and pangs,
Him. back again. November 2011. Uncanny return. Strange it should happen now. already loaded. Intoxicated-- But he got to me. 15 years ago, a spur, to start this heady journey , of becoming., this. .
Outside. . He looks older. But still him.
That knotwork of bombsites, the weekly run ins with the NF in 2002,, a malign Easter. Dark pubs , Golden Lion,, hatred seeping out on to pavement. You went in a couple of times,,
got leered at by bawling hordes,,
felt the dirt and the dust,, the smeared glass,, and the blood about to spill,,—
You remember the transit van, how they swerved on the kerb and tried to wrestle you in.
Pepys estate,, the destruction of the labyrinth,, the attempt to sanitise . You wonder about the mind that could want the grid, could reject the shadowy maze for the brightly lit avenue.. you think of the unravelling and the risk,, the blood and the anguish worth it all for the intensity and desire ..
Pub yard, chalky ground and pink dust, black circles scorched---
… you crave those alleys, hidden bolt holes, you want the rookery, to drop through levels, climb ladders and shadowy roof tops..
You think it's the only life you could ever have ,, and you know you can never change.
It’s all or nothing,, the intensity in everything, when you draw you obsess, it becomes you,,, with love, with the drink… no half measures, a refusal to accept a shadow life… you know it makes it difficult,, you’ve seen other people mould themselves to adapt, you never have,,,many have wanted you punished for it..
but you punish yourself.
The Dog and Bell, you haven’t been in for years, its different since the smoking ban, feels more stark somehow but then you’re sober, this is your first drink of the day. You’re hungry but they’re not doing food, you have a bag of crisps, some days this is all you will eat, other times you will feast,, scarcity and abundance, your whole life.
You drink and feel better , dislocation giving way slightly though returning in sharp pangs at reminders of idiot drunken blabberings,,, you think how, when you’re really fucked you become your own writing, experimenting with ideas and phrases,, testing dialogue, reactions…
You feel a bit fucking stupid when it comes back in the yellow light of daytime drinking,, you bury your head in your hands.
that room above the pub,, crenellated tower above the street.
Your room. Pink in the dusk, amber lighting your face , pink lipstick, gold eyeshadow…
Backcombing hair, wondering which current will be activated next,, because there are so many, tangled and interwoven,, some pulsate , electrical charges sparking in crepuscular light.. others are ivory chambers, cool as marble, waiting to be walked through.
… twists and turns, baroque curlicues in acid neon, electric pink,,, you never know which one will spark up when you walk out, onto the High Street,, Deptford,
that Vietnamese restaurant ,, you walk down stairs to a basement where men sit in a fug of tobacco smoke fucked on whisky,, you hear a disembodied wailing, MTV early 90s,, dry ice, disco floor,, they look at you as you pass,,, then back at the screen, faces blue, flashing pink and violet,, singing, discordant, away from each other,, away from the music.. to themselves,, …
You feel that boldness again, the shock of spring, an assault on the skin, chalky white in the sudden glare..,, you smear fake tan, cocoa butter, feel the margarine slick across your chest, your back. You remember his hands on your waist, how he made the pleasure surge through you--
, red nail polish— black marker pen on your arms--
Deptford high street,, mist burnt off in the heat,, crowds surging out of Iceland, Bookies, into pubs, standing outside smoking, shouting,,
Tanners Hill, congregating under fucked up murals, neolithic stones.
into New Cross, you like the seething nature of it,, you feel the possibilities,, lights, magenta, amber,, you wonder what might happen,, feels like anything could, always
tidal , shifting….
interwoven crowds on pavements, criss crossing A2,,
, Montague closed,, keep going to Peckham,
the Red Cow,, mirrors, red banquettes,, you wish you'd had some smack before you came in here--- flashbacks to other times..shreds of September,,,that long hot Autumn., you and J and Robbo and a crew on the Isle of Dogs,,,, everyone sitting outside pubs, hot Saturday afternoon. Whitechapel, kicking off against EDL,, it all goes mad and you have to get out. You text him and tell him you’re going to walk from the Island,, crossing under the Thames to Greenwich and down through Deptford and New Cross. He wants to see you, there’s a crew of them and they’re waiting for you in some estate pub in Peckham, the Red Cow.
He waits out front on the pavement , hanging around smoking with that smile on his face,, hands around your waist pulling you towards him.
A massive construction site, the residues of a lost brutalist estate-- you’d seen it from the 23rd floor of that tower block---
, blade bone,, tanned hips---
dark hair // dark eyes,, flashing that look,
all kicking off, across WHITECHAPEL—NEWHAM—STRATFORD-----
Firing signals,, cross purposes, multiple intent----
, fires going up,,, destruction round Stratford City—
The pub is rowdy, packed, heaving with crew,,,, you get a fuss made of you,, cuts , black eyes—you feel the blood oozing from a bust lip, his kisses,,, rum and cokes, lager,,, ,, falling off benches, screeching and laughing,, you think you need to catch up fast…he goes to the bar for you,, you feel intoxicated ,, him,, this scene, ///the present more vivid than the past….
always going to be some fallout because god knows you couldn’t contain it,
…excitement,, sexual thrill,, the face ,, promise intensifying----
you’d known a lot of men but none of them had really been able to handle you, not like him…you’d met your match and it was the biggest turn on you’d ever known.
there would always have to be collateral damage……
and things are accelerating now.
The pavement is crowded, he steers you back inside ,,, you watch the riots kicking off on the big screen ,,, you sit snug in the corner,,,he is next to you, pressed close as the crowds mill around, laughing , shouting, spilling beer,
,the carnivalesque loopiness,,
all happening again,,,
Monday 6pm, the pub looks abandoned. It feels weird, like a waiting room… not how you remember it, the chaos, the carnage, the blood on the walls.
Big screen TV,
Deal or no Deal, genesis of looping superstitons ,..
Edmonds Heirophant,, cosmic ordering
you feel like wrenching it off wall, even more than when NHS reform bill comes on the news, Lansleys face, you want to break that,, but it’s early , you’ve had two drinks,, .. what you feel is an easing off of the eerie darkness that’s been pushing you back since Sunday morning..
you feel the blood begin to course through you .
He says things and then does something else,, you think of the neon, spaghetti junction viewed from above, interwoven fluorescent tubes, that’s what he is to you.
You don’t know where you are,, but the channel is activated , you are on the brink of the labyrinth again, this is the portal… the drift into Peckham is the immersion.
Rye Lane,, sinking into luminous tides of detritus, jagged stars,
heads, hooves, bulbous eyes.
Smashed and burnt shops,, it’s all stirring again ,close at hand,,
you know they think this is the vortex of terror, you know why they want to rip it all down, sanitise it.
You drift through the arcade by the station, roof caving in, blood on floor. You step over scorch marks, heaps of shorn hair..
railway arches,, temporary stop for cheap fix of strong alcohol/,, , dark rum, lime and ginger ..doesn’t matter that the place is full of the empty and ironic.. you are charged up,.,, lenses opening---
You think about earlier, heavy sentences being passed down, old bill trying to get crew on conspiracy charges,, some might think they’re closing in , you think it’s a reshuffling of the pack.------
Back down Rye Lane, noise, lights, cigarette smoke, --
vortex of Queens road,, you feel it, the pull//unmistakable now,, tension, intensifying..
You think of the blood and the smoke,, the fires raging, the roars and the shrieks, the dull, muffled roar as it approaches from two miles away./
Millwall… NF…class anger—hatred of Old Bill///over in Whitechapel there is still fighting,,
You return to New Cross.. you feel the hot night persuade him, melt his resolve,,
he wants this, he doesn’t want this,, tangled neon glowing in the black,, head swarming with intentions, broken intentions,,
--- wanting/ rejecting/ wanting=====
White Hart, Rooms £25 a night, you think you should stay down here,,a hideout.. until you venture in and see the seediness has been stripped out,, smell of new emulsion, magnolia and chrome ,
the coldness of order creeping in,
you want to puke black bile over it
—you remember the red flock wallpaper, the seedy alcoves where you plotted and schemed,, kisses hot and frantic—
Edmonds fruit machine,
you want to smash that,, you have had three beers now and four shots of rum,, you are at that stage,, ready to destroy something,, but always holding back, enjoying that protracted moment of tension,, seeing how it will manifest itself,
in the destruction of this,
whatever it is he might call it, whatever it is that is erupting in strange and beautiful formations,,, this shimmering black crystal.
Cross the A2.
Hobgoblin. You always think it’s the worst pub in New Cross, a grim assortment of punters… blokes in for a pint after football,, miserable old bastards staring at the wall. You wonder why you said to come,, they serve bad pints, the juke box is quiet but this is where it starts to crackle,, the multicoloured blitzing, 777, fruit machine sending out signs….
You know when you have reached an irreversible moment, when the terrain shifts and you exist out of time,, that this bears no relation to any other sequence, it exists now, for itself and of itself.. , you have been pushed and pulled, time looping and barbing,,
him wanting/not wanting///
You yearn for the dissolution , the rapid dissolve into blinding and bruising… the skin on his back, on his arms, scratched, bruised,, your bruises coming up livid purple, mauves, lemon yellow on the skin—
There is only this ,, a plateau, outside of time,, everything,.
, the flat of his palm on your lower back…
New Cross hideouts,, alcoves glowing rose red, bottles of lager .
Blistering heat, up to the roof, that interlocking tableaux of aerials and chimney stacks---
June 18th, mayhem in the city.
. A flash of recognition. Ten years.
you like the pubs,
Where your eyes could shut with the mess. Of blood, from the cornea, spanning across the white.
to that dissolute and tangled knot of Deptford.
You walk in.
table in the corner.. radioactive drink , glowing blue in the glass…
Juke box. White rum.
No filters. No barriers.
Most people were dull,/ you were used to drinking fast, to be pissed, so at least there might be some transgression to shred the boredom . You had always looked around and said who with? None of these could do it. Entertain you. Not really.
That or violence. But you would have liked both.
In a heartbeat it can happen.
You remember his hands on your waist, how he made the pleasure surge through you--
Top deck of the bus, watching , closed shops with yellow lights ,, dusty palms, offices broken down with clutter.
Thinking of that back room., brutalised , blackened, eyes shut with bruises.
Wanting it. In there. Steeped in a sordid morass.