Friday, 26 August 2016

Mono-print


When she looked up the meaning of her name it said gift of god and if I ever did that I forget what I mean though at eighteen I thought four letters ended too soon I've always wanted a tail and that term realism was irrelevant even more when the dirty by design rag yellow T-shirt with oriental characters I had no idea what they meant was the thing I felt most myself in mixed over English words which I think was a story about love in the annexe to the print room she told me yellow was the colour of suicide untrue there were mono-prints I made over and over but once on the silk screen no colour control and the lines slid from my hands now I know.
I am not a reproduction model.
A woman shape cut cardboard and teenage words like he didn't even know my name in the darkroom time exposure and red dyed negative scatter words on the radio an insect with fizz wings a blood feeder the house in her bedroom backs to my house the gardens earth touches earth on the news a woman suffocated her young in the house close and the end of earth touching earth I didn't know her the print permanent report cuts words insect noise dropped out and there's feeling hair like legs behind the bend of my knee diamond fishnet holes made a smooth entrance for bug needle ladder just the two of us I am drink and she stopped their breath to save them she said from our evil world mono-print on cotton I let this insect complete two wings six legs abdomen thorax drinking needle head blood vision hot from my flesh.
I am not a reproduction model.
And the swelling stuck deep I could twist with a mirror to see insect years drunk on my blood is the definition parasite at home her bedroom faced my bedroom mirror on the wall sees me and my yellow T-shirt face of someone mono-print and the hole in my skin anti-fainting the voice on the radio is the room and me and the voice and the insect.
I am not a reproduction model.
All of this earth touches earth flower press land in the dark suffocate then dark examines the hardness under my skin penetration in flight my blood insect lighter than words like death I didn't know her.
I am not a reproduction model.
Needle faces pin me I made mono-prints face out from the words suspended like wings from a voice on a radio scars go in time my yellow T-shirt a face words I don't know the gift of death my mirror earth touches earth mono-prints.
I am not a reproduction model.
My blood anti-fainting and swelling an insect lighter than dead words.


Teenage Feminism


Too young to make an ally of menstruation and nearly done with sixteen I had a ticket to see We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It. I wanted to be something but didn't know what so seeing those four girls from the Midlands I got a glimpse of the sea of possibilities.

Fuzzbox were tarted up and opinionated; the first time I saw their picture in a magazine I caught hold of a bubble-gum punk ribbon hanging from a star. Just like looking in the mirror I saw four different colouring book versions of me looking back.

I'd been waiting to hear a song like Rules And Regulations since my O-level term. The lyrics were the sort of challenges going round my head. In my first six months at Southend Tech I dyed my hair pillar-box red, alpine green and marine blue and I'd been sacked from two part-time jobs because of my appearance. But it was their song X X Sex that echoed words a seething fairy hissed in my ears whenever she landed on my shoulder. A mini alter ego or imaginary dressing up doll I based my attitude and look on. I remember what I wore that night in 1986 when Fuzzbox played the Chancellor Hall in Chelmsford - 3'' stiletto ankle boots, ripped acid green tights with black fishnets over the top, a black leather mini-skirt, a junk shop tatty black velvet top, a belt and necklace I'd made from hardware store chains, panda-eye make-up and at the time my hair was frizzed-out black and green. The place was packed and sweaty and once I stopped dancing my feet refused to walk.

In working class Essex in the 80s everyone I knew who bought a newspaper read The Sun. And at sixteen 'know your place' was a brick wall I had no hope of climbing over but I could charge at it laced into my gothic armour whilst singing X X Sex until someone noticed me even though the wall didn't feel a thing.

Sam Fox was the queen of page 3 girls and page 3 stood for everything I objected to. I was her skinny opposite, decorative to my own designs and getting various angles of femininity out of my system before I got serious about androgyny.

I didn't have a problem with being around men at home, in college or on trains who chose to look at page 3. I'd been brought up with a healthy and relaxed attitude towards nudity; my problem was with the expression on Sam Fox's face. I read that look as, 'I am better than you, I am what a young woman should look like'.

There were a couple of girls at college who were goth-punk goddesses; one had hair the colour of dusty cornflowers, the other had the healthiest- tanned even- skin, unclogged by all the make-up I used as a mask. It was obvious they knew how to look after themselves and earnt enough money to get their hair dyed so cleverly, not just from a tub of Directions and help from their Mum. I admired these girls as style icons, and wanted to find out how. It wasn't a secret they worked as glamour models.

By my late teens I discovered the Women Against Censorship movement, which nurtured opinions I still run with, and my feelings towards Sam Fox's fuck-you work mask changed. The audience she must have imagined while she modelled for page 3 were men, not a teenage female searching for what to think, who to be and what she wanted.

I don't know much more about Sam Fox other than her as the most famous page 3 girl of the 1980s, then she became a pop star and that she's gay. When I found out she was gay an almost conspiratorial smile touched my face. How that must feel to by choice have pictures of your tits become mainstream everyday culture, but you are sexually immune to your audience, but they don't know it. How powerful a concept is that!

We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It + Sam Fox
= Feminist Icons to this 1980s Essex Teenage Girl!

                 

Hurricane '87


It was the best night's sleep ever. A deep sleep screen split in half by background noise; one of me as still as coma the other taken under like I really wanted to be that creature in A Company of Wolves. Let's just rough things up a bit so it doesn't look like the first time. Hekate got the blame but some kind of collective claustrophobia or rivalry between Essex and Kent, they would say they got it worse, shook our low autumn skies through a maniac night.

Imagine a Nissan hut with two ways out but then you realise another Nissan hut is over the first one; facia boards all trying to outdo each other with promises of ideals born in the 1960s. Rattling the shackles but when those so obvious slogans turned into framework a ribbon of air made swishy little dance moves between steel and wood, lowering the volume to, 'you can't see me but look at what I can do.'

The sunsets were impossibly real; all those artists trying to get it right while I wanted to up the contrast and get it wrong. Some days when I felt like I was walking on the world I told myself I should hate our housing estate and towns with concrete box coats over metallic bones because they're ugly against nature. Personality splits between shelter and oppression swelling from the guts of the earth conspiring with the sky.
 
Hurricane life in London, she circled and diagonaled indoors as if some underworld Goddess had come to change the d├ęcor. Rehearsals by charging up Victoria Avenue she made movement in a skirt difficult with a hard slap on the legs by an art case. It was truly scary outside the museum all that history in storage; while a fast road goes and goes don't even think about bad breaks.

Seeming captive everything fell in on itself. Trees and masonry gated roads and the Southend Victoria line was blown too weird for trains delivering us to Leda and the Swan, or any other mythical trickster. So it was romantic destruction while teenage girls were safe and asleep; lucid dreamers fell in love with a vandal.

    

Suicide, Nail Varnish and Soft Cell


When I was thirteen I stopped biting my fingernails, bought blue nail varnish and manicured every Sunday morning. This ritual tore another week off the calendar and painted me with defiant colour until I left school after my O-levels.

School kid life fitted me badly and when my music teacher's suicide was announced after registration the pressure in my haunted house shattered a window and a new emotion spread its wings but somehow didn't end as roadkill.

My form teacher told us in the same double-glazed voice she used for everything; and when she told us about Mr L. silence thickened in the classroom and even if I felt big enough to scream if I opened my mouth the silent swarm of air would evaporate any sound.

At thirteen I didn't know what noises to make about suicide and when I saw the write-up in the local paper of where and how he'd ended his life I flew back into safety and thought of him as someone off the telly, not my favourite teacher.

A quick cosmetic repair job was done on the cracks he'd made in the life of the school and his name was never mentioned again.

Soon I made an hour of Sunday mornings into shaping, polishing, strengthening and varnishing time until my nails became so symbolic of my rebellion I refused to cut them even when I was called into the head mistress's office.

A combination of new opened emotions stopped me biting my nails, one was Mr L's death another was Marc Almond.

 
 

Monday, 22 August 2016

One-dimensional bang


New construction of one-dimensional bang steps to an anti-noise wave breaker is dormant in masculine heat by one giant tombstone or sundial a crane invites motion and all sound is dead until replaced by a butterfly who becomes sound lighter than sea-spray and louder if change is in view as realisation lands she moves on and if sound is for eyes machine  built  monuments for  the  sun