http://baroqueinhackney.com/2013/12/31/the-turn-of-the-year-darkness-light-art-enemies/ a poetry reportage / blogging phenomenon, Katy Evans-Bush's Baroque in Hackney has kindly mentioned my EVP performance at the rich mix in May 2013 and my book Enemies, and it's intro, in her end of year wrap up on what happened and what happened to her. Such a pleasure to get mention in such a widely read and esteemed put together, and she is kind enough to call back to when I was lung bedraggling into a bucket on stage in london, and really giving my whole whack to scare people up. That's me below, in my true form, my bear form.
The turn of the year: darkness, light, art, enemies
We keep doing it
The picture at the top represents a blog post I never wrote, back in the thick of things. It’s SJ Fowler, living Dada, on stage at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green, in an experimental mixed media spoken word show called Electronic Voice Phenomena. I was meant to review the show, which was brilliant and included a variety of pieces from people like Hannah Silva, Ross Sutherland, and others, but somehow got bogged down in the bog of life and – though I spent months feeling guilty and unfinished – never did. SJ Fowler was the compere, and came on in a different sort of persona each time. As the show went on his linking acts became more and more broken down, more and more unstable, more inaccessible, until – I think just after the break – he came on in this amazing bear suit and started reading in a stentorian chant. Symbolic communication only and WOW. It was a bit terrifying from below; you can see where I was. The show ended with Mr Fowler coming on and ranting in German, on and on, building in fury – and fury is the word – until he finally melted down and gave every realistic semblance of being violently sick into a bucket on the stage.
This isn’t sounding appealing, is it! I asked him afterwards what he’d been reciting, and he told me it was a recipe. Full of eggs. (There, that’s better.)
The show, produced by Penned in the Margins and Mercy, was brave and exhilarating. It poked around in the idea of what lies beyond, but left the beyond firmly in the beyond. Rather than the usual ghosts and gloating hints of the paranormal, it gave us shadows and fragments of meaning and perception. (What is ‘normal’, anyway?)
SJ Fowler has a book of collaborations put with Penned in the Margins, called Enemies. By ‘enemies’, he means those personal influences and interactions that spur us to action – I think – I mean, I think he means friends. He opens with a surprising epigraph:
We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only though our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.- Orson Welles
The introduction is a very satisfying essay in its own right, and among other things he asserts that poetry ‘lends itself to collaboration as language does to communication… in the shaping of every fragment of language there is a response taking place’.
Where does creation spring from? What was that voice? These may be my questions for 2014.
Happy New Year!
Here’s to 2014. Let’s do it this time.