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Two men spat at me in the Royal Park

and the landlord wouldn’t throw them out

And looked so forlorn that I looked back in horror.

That was a mistake.

You can still smell it on me

it’s complicated.




It’s ok.

The library stairs twist down to history and back up.

I ripped a page out from Warhol with blue flowers on.

The buildings let you walk through them if you know the route.

It’s ok.




It’s ok.

I can walk to the cinema in snow and back on my own.

It’s ok.




I don’t know who sent those boys to the student bar in Newcastle

or why they kicked me to the ground.

Some bleak son of an angry man from an island on the west no doubt

– revenge for my deserting Irish genes

or for not quite knowing who I was back then.

I go back to myself and lean my head on to my head

to tell her about love.

 

 

 

 

I work out how to make the Speakings Standings, the start of my preparation for it.

My work is concerned with the bareness and complexity of the acts of standing with someone and of speaking to them; of what we might not say; how close we get. I wonder how possible it is to make intimacy and loss visible (not ‘acted’ intimacy, not acting) but through live images or visuals. These might be a conversation with someone I’ve known a long time. I orchestrate it, they go with it, they trust me, it’s watched. Something happens and afterwards the viewer might think “all the wonderful things are over”. I write, but lately I’m choosing to make my writing defer to voice, I’m returning the words from the page to the voice and I’m searching for a way of speaking that is so direct, so pure that the listener will be changed by it (see Frank O’Hara’s Personism manifesto). I’m looking at the work of Barthes and the immediacy he loves in the writers he loves – and his own attempts to speak directly. He talks about being able to Speak so that (a) the Listener/Reader learns to know oneself better (b) that afterwards, the Listener’s soul, absent, is returned.