Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Hackney Wick/ Dalston/ Bethnal Green/ Wapping-----








---revenant houses facing canal. Yours once, given away a decade ago.



- – MDMA still in your system,.. that music still haunting you,,  Nguzunguzu,  Evian Christ,, —- lying on the concrete floor of that warehouse, next to the speaker cab, wanting to climb into it, letting the moment explode the darkness that had been hanging round since Limehouse. You feel the heat in your veins, the synthetic pulsing of chemicals,, something that had had erupted a week before being acted out again.
You get flashes of people in and out the flat, doors open, a warren of black chambers.. chopping up lines on the speaker,, jagged drinking straws and smears on glass. You remember the shards of black coming in cascades,, then opalescent shivers of pleasure as the MDMA ebbed through you--

Your face is grazed. You look a bit thin and your body is covered in scratches.

Canary Wharf blinking –
- -paranoid vista.
And the traces still pulsing … sunlight bleaching a landscape of scars and cameras,, troops nested under railway bridges.

Along the Hertford Union , away from the Lea Valley, steps activating buried currents, .a series of encounters-- the marshes and brutalist estates of Stratford, Leyton and Hackney,, relics emerging in the Olympic zone-- 

Hackney Wick , that moment where the city came apart,, gave way to a landscape of industrial ruins  -. You drift through spectral thickets of sloes and brambles, traveller sites, fridge mountains and scorched circles on the ground,; 

Parched stretches of the canal ,,. Music coming from an industrial estate, melting armatures, scorched black circles. You try to keep it together but the sounds are so affecting , articulating these shifting moments,
this new time you are in.
2013 
shells of new cities emerging
from riots and abandoned construction sites.

The concrete floor, the speaker cab..
in that moment you were communing with the dead.

violets on towpath, honeysuckle tracing the walls of abandoned hospitals..
You drift through woodsmoke, bonfires in the forecourt,,
stadium collapsing under a bindweed canopy.


//1994-//2013

Canal vista opens, Lubetkins Cranbrook Estate- , into Bethnal Green,, that knot of bomb craters and yellow taverns. You drift through yards of bust up fruit machines, lock ups with nicked Dreams beds. Vallance road… stop by the arches where the kitchen appliances are,
a car slows down , windows open and that song
Grace—
--not over yet.
You are transfixed . You gaze across at the new towers of the City… Heron Tower and Bishopsgate. You are momentarily alone and the song scuttles over you, little explosions of heat darting through you…and you know that, for all the diversions, the parties and the drink, you have no desire to forget.


You feel the heat rising, put your palm flat on the bricks and dream of those moments, the tender and the raw, when his face split, from the wanting and the anxiety ,, and you remember the shock of his brown eyes, glassy and young, and you’d remembered them older, and blue.

You pass Rinkoffs and that house you always wanted with the interlocking rooftops. You’re bored of being skint,,. you dream of money rolling in, you fantasise about houses, gardens ,, cocktails in highball glasses, sediments of peach and mandarin-- you channel the tension in these streets, the seething hatred and class anger as the spoils of international finance sprout in towering clusters round Aldgate.

…the heat is intensifying--  
Whitechapel High street ,,burning arms, burning faces..…that girl with the fucked up face,, you remember her from that night in January, the unravelling in some tourist dive in Brick Lane--
and now , passing Paddy Power and Bombay Plaza, two blokes, dogs, a four pack of Tubourg.--
Just a glancing moment, she looks at you.
-
humani nihil a me alienum puto", I consider nothing that is human alien to me."

You turn off the High street at the Hospital Tavern and enter a new labyrinth of PFi
corridors,; flourescent lights, swing doors, fields of magenta paint. 

Another full moon, the one you had hoped for.
An intense cascade of letters.
Bonding…indelibly marking…

- you return to red brick courtyards, crumbling structures of the old hospital, the ivy and tangled rose gardens,,,
pass through narrow streets,, heaps of rubbish stinking in the heat-

Commercial road, bleached like 1976,, melting off the map..
you can slide into the bricks here, city has become porous, a coral,, portals opening onto rooftops, alleyways,, you wish you could drift back to where you were a fortnight ago.. but that was another era, another lifetime… he was a chimera.., constructed by you.. iridescent threads woven together.
You think back, all that time ago, to the Clockwork Pharmacy on the Narrow Way, how you wanted to meet there because of the name, of what it signified to you,, , violence,, sensation pushed to the limit… of darkness channelled, choreographed into an intense life.. and the walk across the marshes to those damp hives where faces bruised in the rot. 
 Seems so far away now… he recedes then appears suddenly again.. .. You remember the white paint thrown across the ground by the river,, how you dreamt it was black,,, saw the shores and steel structures coated in viscous pigment-- and felt in that moment the keening sense of separation/

Streets at the back, corrugated fences falling. That maze of estates. Darul Ummah Masjid.

Washing hanging over balconies…black sheets, red covers///
///
Prismatic glow in the stairwells..

You cut across Cable street onto the Highway at McDonalds.
The Old Rose, boarded up. Black paint and dusky pink flaking.. a flashback to 84, stopping in here for rum and cokes before throwing half bricks at TNT lorries--
You walk through the desolate acres of News International--
Waitrose,, Telfords Yard , Tobacco Dock.

You find that abandoned shopping mall, brick arches and postmodern atria.. a frozen relic of docklands development,, for years you could walk through maudlin music and empty shop units, a sprawling network of chambers, 1981/ 1989/ 1992,, traces of cinnamon and ginger seeping through the bricks.
you remember the heat--cigarette smoke, the European scents of coffee and dark chocolate-- tinned up now with sheets of black--
you think about breaking in,,
peer through slices of dusty light--
Spectral markers, future troops-- the city under siege, how this place becomes a dark reversal of your dreams , you eyed it up a decade ago-- conjured up a subversion of that space, a satellite occupation and now it becomes Aldershot, Catterick, Colchester— a garrison suddenly formed.

You return to the canal, property speculation and international finance,,
80s development channelling Amsterdam. ,.,.concrete steps suffused with heat.. You want hours of shimmering conversation, you want to sit and drink and let booze unwind you, let the panorama dissolve in a haze.
That courtyard, with the missing black cat and the violet light and the luminous yellow cross on the tree. He is always there.. haunting the paths of hawthorn and wild roses ,
 walls of derelict buildings erupting with fig trees, clematis and passion flower.

You pass little pubs,
that music,, you keep hearing it, your head in a speaker cab,, his dark hair, glassy eyes, the concrete floor. And you dream of those idle afternoons, drinking, talking, hiding out in bed.
Hot bricks, your palm flat on them, his face leaning into them.
Round the sweep of Thames, the Island, the towers…


Shards of black coming in cascades,, then opalescent shivers of pleasure as the MDMA ebbs through you--
Canary Wharf blinking – - -paranoid vista.
And the traces still pulsing … sunlight bleaching a landscape of scars and cameras.