Justgone (For Iain Sinclair)
‘All cities are geological; you cannot take three steps without
encountering ghosts bearing all the prestige of their legends. We move
within a closed landscape whose landmarks constantly draw us toward the past.’
Gilles Ivain 1953 (pen name of Ivan Chtcheglov.)
There I am talking like a newspaper.
Head like a radio phone-in.
Holy God and for the love of Jesus.
Comes an invitation to participate.
He’s en route from Warrior Square to back there, where, the remembering has been taking place.
Collaborate with the things he finds – cipher to the tittilators that agitate his befuddled mind.
There, there, never mind.
“He had to start all over again, he had to go back and start all over again, here he goes, here he goes, it takes you right back to when things are a lot clearer now.”
He wasn’t . He was. He wasn’t.
Nowgone, lookedfor and notfound.
Lost : one deadads’son.
If anyone knows of his whereabouts or any other deadads’ sons for that matter please contact someone that might know something that might lead to his being : email@example.com. Gone.
Now to the lookback.
Where to put him?
Up there next to Sammie Lee?
Author of herself and her :
hallo peoples my name is Sammie Lee I am 15 years of age I come from New Cross No-one can fuck wid me cause I’m a bad gal ya unnerstan skeen my tag name is cutie and I am a skettel boom a shiner but only shine for there bus fare (peoples dogs free),
Over there ; inside the phone box.
The germ of blingbling and ting?
A sign plonkedinplace, reading :
If you want to bang me up I go to Blackheath Bluecoats School if you want sex, shines or sex phone me on 0181 694 **** we can have it anyway – Swimming Baths Bushes Flats/Stairs and definitely Buses especially 53 Trains oh yea I forgot my vagina smells like egg and I’ve got hairs on my breasts but I’ll wash just for you. And I only kiss girls/nothing else.
Don’t talk to her she’s rude. The unselfconscious innit wherewithal.
That might have been him? No, not at all. Never.
Yesteryears and a meandering inscape, outscape, upstairs, downstairs and in that lady’s chamber.
cocooning and clammy. Made him dizzy and then the offspring.
Her, the Garden of, our garden.
“He did it”, she once said, “I was asleep, I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
What to do? What a todo but that’s jumping the gun.
Back to before-that.
To the he-wants-to-be-a-bloke.
Sporty and porting the early stages of a manhood.
Days spent in a transit van: scrap metal on Mondays, the Tiger’s Head on Tuesdays, practise on Wednesdays and the markets of a weekend. (Thursday was his night off, indoors, perhaps Top of the Pops, a pickled egg, Beckett before bed.)
Ever the bloke rarely a mince.
-Here he goes, here he goes, he’d just launch himself off-
A South London, paradise.
Head fairly full-to-overflowing with the cacophony.
From the Café Gallery to Downtown, from Deptford Beach to the Lion Roars to Case to George Davies is innocent, from Jim and Bob and John Irvine to Cash and Fred and Dorian Crook. D&C Metals and Salter’s Paper to the Dog and Bell and selling wicker furniture with Jack Sharp in Deptford Market. From Amersham Road and Being Karnal, from Greenland Dock to Surrey Docks and the Seaman’s Church, The Prince of Orange to the Mayflower, from the Rogue’s Kitchen to the Old Den, from The Blue to Spend-a-lot, (hairdressers). From Dilston Grove to Heilco van der Ploeug and Penfold’s. He was well and truly there, see.
So to some scenes from the hasbeen life :
Lomograph as Post mortal snapshot
Billy Old steers his ‘Hollywood’ pleasure boat
and Malcolm Hardy speeding all wibbly wobbly on his ‘Wibbly Wobbly’,
Pilot and drinker.
Pilot and drunk.
“We toward London in our boat and thus I by foot to Greenwich and in our way observing and discoursing upon the things of the Pepys Estate.”
Lomograph as Post studium snapshot
Jack Sharp (now dead), sparring with Alan Minter,
father Terry beaming on,
me, all a fiddle as the super 8’s gone wrong.
aps in the memory. King Kurt and Julian Edward Frances, Test Department
and The Band of Holy Joy. Butch Minds the Baby. Gordon House.
Head furniture and clutterup.
(Is this his something intended?)
City as cacophony and don’t-give-up-on-me.
Cup of tea, a bun, thinly sliced ox tongue and Molin’s cigarette factory.
Tarradiddles and ‘there was a dead body found in the Thames’ riddles :
Yonder comes the devil with his pitchfork and shovel he was digging up potatoes in the turnpike road, riddles.
Another cavalcade of rethink springs up like the London Docklands Development. Corporation.
-Cement the Land; mine is a place of faded grey mine is a place to pass away. Cement the land. (Being Karnal 1982)
Across the road you go. Evelyn Street in the rush hour. The city of lookback,
The city of lookout! Speed humps and bollards. Let’s get down there.We can follow him and his oggle. He turns into Plough Way and we get twelve year old girls dribbling their eversotough little boyfriends’ seed, going; “like, knowhat I mean” and “butters” and “hench” then “tonk” and whatever it was that Keisha was saying. “She woulda went skeet and fickle him large”, so as an aside and because of the eyes, I like go : “yo chattleup the tonks,” which seems to make them say “Comere’nsaythat.” Such fulsome banter. So I’m thinking; Mantherethefoolklutt.
But now to home. The flat. Red brick, yellow insides. An entrance to the rear.
Puddled with piss in summertime and blocked with adolescent bliss in winter.
The lift gleams with spittle the corridors with polish. Up to the sixth floor, the corridor, second on the left and in. Home, their home. Good-to-be-home, home. Bence House, Pepys Estate, was home. We’re inside : knick-knack bric-a-brac hugger mugger with the memorabilia of their lives, lived together, home. And then the child. Sick-in-the-head, dribbling-rocking, life-will-never-be-the-same-again child.
She can’t walk and she can’t talk and she drags us down with her to a world of loopy repetition:
It doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t hurt. Despair.
But we’re not there to hide.
We imbibe the paraphernalia that is vertical living. Thousands of us, shuffling and kerfuffling about our busy ness. The smell of the place, the heat and pace of the place.
Spicey West African voices, slowly warming, booming and then echoing:
Rejoice! Rejoice!! Rejoice!!! Isn’t it a thing of joy to have known and seen the sacro-sanctity of the word of god?
(For further information phone 0171 or was it 0181?)
Outside, an old sheet flaps in drizzle, underneath the footbridge that connects us with Deptford Park. Umbilical chord to the world of misdemeanour and misbehaviour and The Den. It reads:
Marina your son wants to see you please mummy come home only 4 love.
The football supporter wants his wife,
The football supporter wants his wife,
The wife doesn’t want him or the child.
A news flash from yours truly.
Look at me, look at me with my I’m-from-Deptford-attitude.
Blimey. People drift and they leave their marks – traces of their history – dog’s droppings on the soul of the shoe. He’s left a few in his time.
What’s that he’s saying to himself?
He’s sat there watching. The inscape is gorgeous.
Now all lit up and still no Gherkin.
A reflection, half-truth and confabulation, a miracle of recollection.
Him, the heavy-set shire horse, meanderings then rememberings.
Gripped by the possibilities of everything.
-And I remember, I remember, I don’t remember much at all, in fact I’m one of these people that remembers very little and he’d get to his feet and he’d go : “Klipperty klopp, Klipperty klopp, Klipperty klopp, out with your cock, Klipperty klopp.” Docklands-
Lomograph as still life snapshot
The one from the Last of England.
We’re crossing the river to get to the other side, don’t ask me why, the river’s not wide but we’re crossing to get to the other side.
The river’s bend where little America looms you up opposite.
You’d think they’d keep canaries but they don’t, they keep small gorillas.
His psyche and its’ geography :
It takes me right back to when things are a lot clearer now.
Foggy wasn’t the word for it, it was well muggy, exceedingly unpleasant.
See I remember he said ;
He said, this my son is a sun, a prehistoric sun, and this my son is a sign and it was round here, round here, that it all began.
All round here.
It takes me right back.
Something better come of this.
Something better come of this.
Lomograph as the comedy of spectacular reality
The Redriff Community.
No more the bingo. No more the weight watchers. No more the gym.
No more the bar. No more the trophies. No more the social club.
(No more the Simon Hughes - our president and optimist.)
He looks to himself, hisself and that queer old bonce.
Come prick him you ‘punctum’.
Memory leap out at him.
What was it like? How goes the foreshore?
Entice him with your sticky embrace, mudlarking him.
Sweet, sweet river Thames.
Today the rapture offset the jitters.
Hindsight as a heavyweight.
Perhaps he never would have left. His future is now in waves.
The memories his barnacles.
When it was very hard it was very hard. When it was soft it was very soft.
It was spilled all the time when it was spilled all the time.
Spillage. Here a bit there a bit everywhere a little bit. He mustn’t lose his head.
He’s been witness to his past and it’s his heArt that quickens when he walks onto the stage at the Lee Centre, Lee, The Tunnel Club or the Fridge, Brixton; there he is again up at Cecil Sharp House. Befuddled and ready to perform the thing that is his regurge.
His existence an assimilation, his work the collation and this, his performance as bricolagic exaggeration.
Then there was Rotherhithe Baths.
Go to work on a swim.
A ride through the park, down the one-way streets to egg on toast, mushrooms and a cup of tea.
Now seems wayback in a city full of ps’s.
PS: To whom it may concern my daughter Harriet would like to chance her scooter for something else. She has already changed her scooter for another because the wheel had fallen off. What’s more this scooter has broken. I am sorry I cannot be with my daughter but I am unwell.
All moves him.
What’s more it’s a reassure, a moving thought to think, that there he is, his mind’s eye, alone in the corridor that leads to the front door, writing a reminisce.
PPS: The clear sighted person who understands himself, explains himself, justifies himself, and dominates his actions will never make a memorable gesture. (E.M.Cioran – A short history of decay)
Once resolved, we are rewarded for our endeavours with the feeling of pleasure.
His heart was in Deptford and now it’s near Bumptious Mansions, Warrior Square, up a side alley with othersuch there.
Justgone and hasbeen.
Lomograph as a new Series
He sees lots of fish swimming in the water.
And that little cod fish had a memory (hole) in the middle,
Look here comes Mr Stoppit.