THE MEANING OF A CITYSCAPE AT NIGHT
(By means of an anti-clockwise 38 mile night walk around the Ginger Line in the company of Iain Sinclair)
Intermittent think-back city-scape and foot-foundered relief-map - in a very particular order:
Narnia - Simon Schama - William Turner – William Shakespeare – William Blake - BMW Bike - parked up quite late – Anna of Albion Drive e8 all-a-greet - well it’s not that late but it soon will be - 6.33 - pm and there’s work to be done - to begin again at Haggerston - tonight a gluey Buddha-on-a-bench in Haggerston - fermented food and cardboard duvet - lifeless in Haggerston - unlike the stench - where has he come from and why is he here? Pushed up through the cracks of the pavement - matted demeanor and felted new-age hair - Vikings - William Wordsworth - Janet and Colin Bord - Chris Drury - Chris Watson - Richard Long and there’s John Rogers - racer-on-ahead and recorder - capturer of moments from the future; nothing is ever planned - the pace is fast - we lurch into the night as John takes flight - a disappearing act of phantomic delight - Dalston Junction - Kurt Jackson - Nick Snelling - Jim Roseveare - Edward Chell - Roger Deakin - Emily Richardson and Simon Fisher Turner - Derek Jarman at Dungerness – St Clements at Romney Marsh and a boy in a dress - Anselm Kiefer – Gurdjieff – blizzards gales fogs and mists - Canonbury - Arvo Part - Thomas Hardy - land closures thickets coppices mounds and moors - Alan Moore -Thomas Pakenham - Margaret Tait - Robin Rimbaud and Tony Hill - Henryk Goreci and Andy Goldsworthy - Caledonian Road and Barnsbury - James Benning - Paul Nash - Cecil Sharp - Doc Rowe - Bela Tarr - Chris Watson - Richard Mabey rough trade and touch records - Anonymous Bosch - Hieronymous Bosch and Robert Smithson - Highbury and Islington - all’s a bustle – a hidden entrance and green plaque - bogs boulders bruises and scratches - John Constable - British Sea Power - Toby Tatum - The Golden Bough - Andy Stott - John Berger - pheasants pigeons swans and geese - Elgar - The Boyle Family and The Royal Oak - Emile Zola and Camden Road - Werner Herzog - Kentish Town West - Ben Rivers - Ben Hopkins and Gospel Oak - Pieter Breugel - Gerard Manley Hopkins and Eric Ravilious - dales dells scarps and cliffs - Hampstead Heath - Roger Deakins - Wim Wenders and things in relief - Brian Eno - James Lovelock and ECM CDs - David Darling - Long Barrows - Finchley Road and Frognal - lost lochs and lings - Long Man of Wilmington and an interloper in a coat as big as a tent - David Erdos - Stephan Micus - Nick Gordon-Smith - Peter Randall-Page - Philippe Ciompi - Alan Lomax - West Hampstead - Bruce Chatwin - Brondsbury - Brondsbury Park and Kensal Rise – commons heaths and an electric fence - Common Ground - Willesden Junction - amongst the trees - three-men-in-a-row-pissing-to-please-themselves - a tipple of whisky and on we go - Simon Thomas - Durdle Door - Wilfred Thesiger - Eric Newby - Ivor Cutler - Shepherd’s Bush and Kensington Olympia - at which point the old man’s feet fall apart - shoes off and slumped to the kerb - plasters and blisters and all-a-burst - a meandering Nigerian accosting him all-a-flirt - I devour olde men she drools - blood in the soles - dark but not yet olde old - West Brompton - and the gates are locked - the cemetery will have to wait another night - hallucinations of Chelsea fans climbing up the walls to The Shed - denim monkeys from ever-such-a-long-time ago - and there - The Straw Bear lost all-at-sea in a world of syphilitic marble columns - his word not mine - Doggerbank - Devil’s Dyke - Dervla Murphy - Imperial Wharf - the Thames is in front of me - glassy waters - closed quarters - nobody and nothing abound - without a stir - deserted save for televisions the size of the steam engines - Philip Treveyan - John Akomfrah - David Lean - Man Ray - Ray Mears - Clapham Junction - football on Clapham Common - bleak Sunday mornings and the sissy-boy slap party of football dive has no room for my rugby playing full-contact attitude and wanton drive - moths worms slugs and owls - Ansel Adams - Piet Moget - Jay Griffiths and Marina Warner - Wandsworth Road - Clapham High Street - Michel de Montaigne - Jem Finer - Walter de Maria and entrances2hell – Gareth Evans - Denmark Hill - Kings College Hospital and the A&E of my emergency nearly three years ago - befuddled ketamine induced delire – Marta and the reason I’m obviously still here - in whilst it’s dark - out lighter and vaguely refreshed - daytime has begun with a GoPro on my head - Peckham Rye and Queens Road Peckham - Tarkovsky’s Stalker - Ridley Walker and Surrey Quays - my old home behind us and Millwall to bed - a head full-to-overflowing with all that might have been said - those twenty years stuck in my eyes and up there our bed; Eden Kotting - Martin Parr - John Clare - Epping Forest - The New Forest – Rotherhithe - a short-cut through the Scandinavian Quarter - now passing the Finnish church towards the smell of the water - new heathens are amongst us it said so in the papers - onto a train and out the other side - legs on automatic - deluded the-lack-of-pain and a lift to the surface at Wapping again - Roberta and Charlie Gagliani and my brother Peter - now struggling - but writing it into existence long after it existed - Test Department - Cormac McCarthy - The Prisoner - A Field in England - Downriver - there HE is striding on ahead - head full of ideas to express - legs carrying him with his head full-steam-a-head - Shadwell becomes me instead - where memories come flooding back - I’ve been so lost in life that I didn’t notice the forty-five years falling off the edge - there I am beating the bounds of Whitechapel High Street as a runner for a shipping company - £6.30 my first wage packet in a pretty brown tongue-licked-envelope - with all the pavements of London were my company - and not just a Whitechapel Scarlet Tracing - Nuts-in-May and the Onedin Line – Erewhon - E.M Cioran - Shoreditch High Street - and the thoughts inside my head - they’re everywhere bigging up their own world order – a shattering rapture - misanthropic prophecies and self-centered-us-and-them-atrocities – misogynists and unreliable witnesses - Shoreditch High Street - shattered the very fabric of the morning light because they don’t-can’t see it - there it’s out - a mind blur and head wobble has set in - to-say-what-one-thinks? Shoreditch High Street - too frightful - my mind awash with bigoted miss-under-standing - either way as we career towards the finish line and our end game I become sadder than ever - John Hilcoat - Nick Cave and The Ass Saw The Angel - Joseph Beuys - Stuart Brisley and Bear Grylls - Hoxton - Germany France Belgium and Spain all over England and back again - Home - His home 16 hours later; Haggerston - but there is still time to stumble into a park in search of the hear-tell grubby Buddha - Stonebridge Gardens - a stone’s throw from his home - and there he is - head in his bags - back on his bench - I wander past him pondering the stench - inflamed legs and ill-fitting shoes - a sleepy stickiness - it is holding him together - an exhalation of breath - 10.48 am and time for bed - The Wizard of Oz - Jack-in-the-Green and a sore head - legs peddle me to sleep.
To be ‘convinced’ of anything is an unheard-of exploit, it is almost miraculous….
Drawn and Quartered - E.M Cioran