As there were 33 degrees of heat the two locks were deserted further down. The black and white arms of the gates remained in straight lines framing the still tealeaf-coloured water. Archipelagos of twigs bobbed on the water, their fragile shorelines occasionally punctured by bigger timber. Beyond the banks, slate roofs separated the ultramarine sky from the reverberating heat of the terraced facades, a confusion of brick foreheads in idleness. The bright as a blackbird bells were from the steeple. The atmosphere of an already written-off Sunday as well as a melancholy and universal languor made them the ideal accompaniment to the 200th coming.
‘But I revolted; esteeming it apt and proper rabidly to inveigh against these heterodoxies, affirming that I for one preferred a dignified death by hunger, rather than to transform myself into a machine, which, when filled by a pig, would produce literature paragonable only to sausages, flabby, flaccid, enervate, and obscene. And upsetting my tea, I fell over the dog (of course there was a dog); and away I went in a rage.’
Frederick Rolfe (aka Baron Corvo): Don Renato 1907–8
…and not because he’d knocked the ashtray.
‘That grey-brown is knowing from Virginia thoughts what this has if it could speak’, said Image.
‘Some is decorated too’, said Lucky nodding. ‘The concoction is too better, colours is priorities’, he said demonstratively.
‘But this has one unappetising capability. Glad I shook the console results…’
Image moved around the wickerwork chair.
‘Now picture the nimble defined clearly— thought right didn’t you?’
Made ‘softly’ the see structure cried some then. In its elastic breath, lively and upright wildflowers proliferated, much quicker than the corrosive real world. On the bridge of its nose the sum glasses throbbed green.
‘Whose page awarded it to the top voices?’ Lucky asked gently.
‘I don’t know, but the same pictures became mass, some of the worst on the console. Do you think Icefield with his keyboard and his forms, could do better?’
The see structure shook and was sad to leave marks. Green thinking was cruel. Working the green repeatedly was a colour protest at the ladies conference. ‘One picture’, they had shouted at the silent glasses, ‘big right’ they had declaimed to the 10,000 lucky no births.
‘So on screen in the background, the twin ‘a’s of arbitrary authority. Quite the starving Youthquake’, Lucky said nervously, ‘The media should at the very least be stunned’.
The see structure thought they were incompetent. It shouted inwardly while its screen clicked calm and still better. In its last seefall she had bent its symbolic. Unrestrained and with sad mouth, it had opened its pipe on purpose and with a mouse contradiction had made a part of the background basic inconspicuously blue.
‘Who’d carry blue?’, Image remarked, sharply.
‘A pipe decision, Ugh!’
It realised they had seen the background.
‘My neighbour and I
We are scared of each other
He is scared of my beard and I
am scared hell break
the fragile guyropes of
my tent with his car’
Pete Brown, 1969
The Humanishi and me
I had seen the Humanishi Yoghurt speak here on the 22nd and then went on to the burger restaurant that afternoon (I’d dropped my beads through the sound hole of my guitar and they had phoned to say that the Humanishi wanted to meet me). So, surrounded with flowers, I sat on a plastic chair in front of him and listened as he spoke. At a previous fast food pit stop he’d said all kinds of noteworthy things like Property is Poverty and Poverty is Property. After we had bowed to one another we started yelling for almost three quarters of an hour, all above the sounds of the kitchen and a children’s birthday party. He’d been discussing ‘disinfection of the soul’ and I had said that specific disinfection was for young people and creatives and that it was a problem troubling everyone in the restaurant that day. He said creativity was massively negative and at this point people were restless and looked to him for guidance. I said they were a bunch of suits. His devotees began shouting too so I congratulated them on not being silent and fearful. One mantra won’t fit them all I said and there wouldn’t have been anyone there to see him if it wasn’t for the burger place carrying a liquor license. Devotees gasped. He said wine damaged creatives’ nervous systems; he had some creatives visit him in his garage and had to herd them out because they smelled so bad. Despite some arguments he insisted that creatives smelled. He said he only wanted to disinfect and that his mantra was disinfection, disinfection, and disinfection. All in all I thought his musing not so much tendentious as evil and dim. His division of the creative problem into parts so that individuals can solve their own doesn’t fit his image of social messiah. There is an element of too much burdening at darshans (burger sharings). General peacefulness is what his organ-isation claims these events are for but for the Humanishi Creative Communism—Weakism.
Shortly before setting off for Boulogne, Sir Hubert Carpet was astonished to find a pair of swimming trunks on his head. ‘I say, what a fearful piece of luck’, he exclaimed, adjusting his glasses under the thick blue wool, and with a great laugh he threw himself out of the window and on to a passing lorry.
After his second wife passed away, Percy Rawlinson seemed to spend more and more time with his Alsatian, Al. His friends told him ‘Percy — you’ll wind up looking like a dog, ha ha’. He was later arrested near a lamppost. At his trial, some months later, he surprised everyone by mistaking a policeman for a postman and tearing his trousers off with his bare teeth. In his defense, he told the court ‘It’s hard to tell the difference when they take their hats off’.
Pop singer Hugh Nique was pleased to find himself the centre of controversy at a recent bazaar. No sooner had he finished judging the Gracious Grandmother event when he expressed a desire to enter himself in the pie-eating competition. After polishing off 51 pork and 7 steak and kidneys he was violently and some say deliberately sick over several of the spectators. The next day, a photograph of Hugh disgorging appeared on the front page of the Daily Bugle . His single record, ‘Macaroni Puke’ which lasts for three and a half days, enters the chart this week at number two.
Much as he hated arguments or any kind of unpleasantness, Ron Shirt thought things had gone too far when, returning from a weekend at Clacton, he found that his neighbour had trimmed the hedge dividing their mutual gardens into the shape of a human leg. Beside himself with rage, Ron seized his garden shears and trimmed his white poodle Leo into a coffee table. ‘That’ll fix things’, thought Ron. But he was wrong—the next day his neighbour had his bushy waist-length hair trimmed and permed into a model of the Queen Elizabeth and went sailing. Everywhere he went, people shouted ‘Hooray’.
Sometimes you just can’t win.
(Vivian Stanshall, BBC Radio broadcast, 1970s)
‘They want what? They’ve got plenty of that already. Let them wear it in their hair!’ He had flown in to London with his immense and gaudy sample book tucked under his arm and his enormous bellbottoms flapping wildly around his ankles.
When we met the great book was being carefully replaced amongst other similarly ludicrous volumes on the shelves of a well-appointed back room at ‘Even Stevens’ on Savile Row. His relentless enthusiasm had been only mildly subdued by recent efforts to evict him. ‘They just don’t have any manners dear boy.’ He had taken to tape-recording their altercations. The reel-to-reel was a device he held in unreasonable awe, opining that the cybernetic age entails a change in our frame of reference and we would all be suckled by motorcars in the future. In rumbling tones, he precisely minimised the contribution of the celebrated names at the recent Paris fashion week. Particular vitriol was reserved for The House of Chips, their collection based on the stress and strain of being a schoolboy. His own work, frayed and amorphous, had repeatedly failed to gain a foothold amongst today’s generational self-consciousness.
Mick Peter is an artist based in Glasgow