In The News
Breakfast Brighton 1996
Boiled eggs and Rachmaninov.
It is a good start to the day -
Ged stretched out on a bed of cushions
me strung out on another girl.
Some adolescent bivouac,
the pair of us clinging at youth's rim.
Yet this morning under a full Winter's sun
and the sea splayed yards beyond the glazing
it is a better camping than the cars which rush to a prescient 9.
We edge of England folk pushed to shingles end
where there is no stride other than
to turn heel or gill - it .
To the Ouse from Istanbul
you came to town with rocks in your pockets
and a scheme to jump from the old pier
or steal the balance from a high wire act
to hawk in New York City.
In 4 days you brought me back to cigarettes
and the haven of damn drunk kisses, cupshot,
and the bed where the last ones
long hair lay
Roxy cracked my ribs at the fair
thrown miles long into my side
at the jolt and spin of a pivoted seat
as we tried to disguise our attraction
from the carnivals sure gravity
from lover John stood static on the boardwalk
refusing to ride he said for he feared
he may throw himself headlong
from the flashing metal booths.
Half cut by half seven
out the door by 12.
Ged and I dance like boneless shakers
at the Catfish Club
knees full of liquor and blues
He would drink publicans shut,
the Channel dry - all that salt madness
to keep the small boy zipped up and silent
to a Catholic god and something dark
in his mama's milk.
TRUMP'S NEW HAND June 2019
Trump flees from a liaison with an ostrich. He has a new hand, - whilst the grabbin' phalange has been loaned out to a roster of Skull and Bones boys, his new paw is still capable of the middle finger farewell and the pull and grab of international diplomacy . Without an elbow in the mechanism for the simple act of waving , commentators predict a Goebbels type salutation may well be implemented in it's stead. .
THE BOYS OF NIGHT 1976
JQ Malcolm's pool party.
Girls from Brewood - chlorine rats tails, string bikinis.
In slim recall it was
'Wild Cherry' which was the song that was playing
over strobe light.
A cider slick floor seeping into tent kegs .
Then someone slapped on the Pistols
and in that vast gulf of seconds
nothing was ever quite the same.
Platforms, skate shoes and segged solatios were height and cover to the miasma of each secret household affray -
a tarp layer of Brut of Breaker and bummed Players no.6 -
a scant two or three out back huffing butane and through that vascular crack came a litany of unexpected guests.
Just priming the night for favour in all that was to come..
Some Wan Light 1985
Depleted now and a song title
recalling a time long gone -
Bren laughing like a drain
and I steering the green petrol wreck North,
supplied and set for another vast weekend
of genk ruin in turbo in the night lights of Manc'
Jo's flat and that whole side of Hulme is gone now,
so too the Washington gogo -
but all the tunes and times of those razed prolific years
transfused into Dave's own Pork vinyl
and likewise into the leavening jype of others.
Lyme news - circus contortions, heat and absence. July 2018
Two spinal taps - fishing for spirochetes.
The first, a junior doctor playing pin the donkey on my tail end whilst requesting a variety of obtuse yogic postures for maximum needle to spine access. It is a mid-day Monday ward bed, lamb hotpot beyond the curtains. Old men in straight back chairs starting in on the stew, in the right hand a fork, from the left arm an IV drip to suspended saline or choicer preparations.
An hour or more of this contortion and close to an exacted hernia and the guy still failed to de-juice me, - the epidurals were swift, the nitrous sadly absent. It was six weeks later that a German surgeon finally skewered the stuff from an acu-point on the spine known to the Chinese as the Mingmen - the core point of life energy. Never in my days have I felt so depleted, if the medic required chi for his syringe there was surely non to be had there. What could be derived from the spinal liquid was knowledge of whether the Borrelia had reached my brain.
A new house - Jacobean timbers. Sheep that crave bird seed. A yew tree of a thousand years.
It is a fine summer - a daily wall of heat. Windows open - a fan going 24/7 - - it is almost Andalusian. The moon has begun to rise from behind the forest ridge which I view from my bed. Deep into a Lyme protocol of herbs and roots , hitting it hard now adding in the last of my Indian antibiotics, self-injecting with Rocephin when the late dusk falls. The drug takes you to a deep sleep then waking with the solid weight of the die off, the herxheimer malaise of toxins released into the blood stream. The body a cement cast, bereft of movement or desire, only the churning head left in a suspension of cellular chat and recrimination.
Jailed in this weighted continuity, a day can become an interminable thing. To rise in pharmacopeia, to float in absence is the only reprieve from this wrecked process of healing. To ascend in years of acquired chemistry and selected imports, to ascend and simultaneously decline into the cushioned hold of Gaba provocation whilst not quite the arms of morphine it is a glorious vacation from the liminality of chronic sickness.
As a child Luca Mancuso would listen to trains at night
moving north up the coast from Calabria,
and in his dreams the statue at the station of some sainted hussar moved towards him closer by the day every month of his boyhood.
Took a plane only once – a flight to Milan ,
a brief romance and then home again.
By 35 the statue didn’t move anymore,
when he spat in the morning
it was marble that streaked the sink.
Weinstein in a continuum of stealth genomics
At the gates of Ishtar and every other palisade was he and will be 'til he is Christen - ed ,
named not from font water
flecked on his dark head
but by species, by jizz- type, by lineage - Creature.
And the Rags that would name him are he
and the punitive Beak a null mirror of kin.
Helmed Black Ships four and Gladio :
subprime for the scuppering . Pesos, starlets, labio - all is carnage and sugarcane.
Nor God-Box* nor the noggin nil save jolts and satiation
grabbin it grabbin it grabbin it boys for Gehennan copulation
And so is he golden,
only then risen,
anointed he be.
Summer 2017 - Lyme,crime and the brown rains of Noah
Six weeks of doxycycline - this then is the pinnacle of NHS insight . For the last 11 years I have chased a mystery illness and finally a positive Lyme disease diagnosis . Originally bitten in Morocco -'92 and India '93 - in the 90s the health service were clueless, it was a Korean girlfriend dragging me to a Chinese herbalist who saved me then, when there was no name or state intervention for an illness which hobbled me, drenched me by night, falling lame every 100 metres. The bitter herbs and roots , however, were just a temporary reprieve. Lyme is a persister, like Tuberculosis before it, it waits, rises with the opportunity of failing immunity or the companionship of other pathogens .
Intermittent then in the late 90s, reappearing at intervals in Brighton, Bolpur, Doha, Saigon, the train to Darjeeling, Ebeltoft. Stretches of calm, followed by intense bacterial manifestation. Primed in the deserts of Nizwa before a perfect storm in an oil town on the Persian Gulf, a weekly dowsing of compound insecticide, threats of mortar attack, arteries stacked with respondent cortisol and the Borrelia spawning like never before, building in a viral crescendo, invasive hegemony until full and inevitable bodily collapse. Scooped up, put on a plane. A medical repatriation.
24 years and still an IgM for active infection , and you think a month or so of some manila salve is going to touch it ? At this point I am 98% bacteria, 2% human, barely hominid, rarely walking, mostly horizontal.
'Do no harm' - squawks medico 101- and yet their inaction, condescension ,and wilful ignorance has left me body wrecked and a decade now of plans crippled and my prime years discarded to mattress, prone squander and the globes poaching spin. This health service prescribes with no accepted knowledge of L-form, cyst , and cell wall incarnations of the spirochete, or of the systems of evasion the organism has evolved in it's 15 million years of evolution.
And so I am left with the protocols of American doctors in the know, or the bitter tinctures of roots and herbs and the resultant purge in the brown rains of Noah , a deluge of long attrition to void progeny from my hosting flesh - ah well, beats two weeks in Yarmouth for summer kicks........
William Bradford IV abxs
In the days that he danced
It was the one foot shuffle.
It was the bitten lip, greased heel - neck all turkey.
Max Wall's ass and shoulders raised
in a heedless shug of bebop, bass, piano.
He danced in the kichen
on the terrace, in the hall,
all about the place,
before she died,
before his heart burst the year after.
The last time she danced
It had been an evening out
a dinner and dance band -
around the Spring of '93 .Max Richards
leading the old friends floor-wards
baited by that filthy riff -
that sure clarion to lard-shoe
Mr Clean's prow jam
the slickest sound of 65 - 'Satisfaction'
Jagger lips, hips ,vaudeville hand claps
polished patent leather now poultry wives
all 8 of them - chook necked - charged and fallen arches, arms up , knees wayward ,
as if 30 years had never happened
as if the babies and humdrum had never set in.
Beat striven and mouthy 'til his wrist watch left its strap and they slowed - then stopped
to pick at the cogs, the coils, the bits of glass.
Exit Right June 2016
Delegated dependence on songster, Brexit, nation or sports team is an abdication of self-sovereignty -projected valour, and an illusion that one's gross personal failings can some how be resolved in the proxy external.
Just as aspiration is foisted upon the sanctified delegate , - so too the dark denied horror which paces the personal belly and swims low amongst the biolight,- the rattling 3am whip hand is cast out too- flayed then slung upon the grave hooks of Other ,- upon Sikhs , the Meccan , Shias at the corner shop ; upon amyl boys and Balkan hod carriers ; chamber maids whose crime is a satori and lexis which lies far East of the Danube .
From Halifax and Newport ; from pork pie towns of closed-up shops, of dull rains and Vimto the disavowed canker flies , mutated now and passed on in gobs of pure vindictive hatred .
Huge congratulations to old friend Mary Branson whose new light sculpture - 'New Dawn' - was unveiled at the Houses of Parliament, London, last week. The work, six metres of iridescence which undulates in timed bursts of variant colour, commemorates the 150th anniversary of the push for votes for women. The radiance is all Mary.
Sited high at a historical lobbying point for many suffragete protests in the Parliament buildings, looking down on the dank individuals who scheme and fester in that bloated place, asking after their own inner light - after the brazen Blair who still muscles his way into column inches and strides unchecked like some virulent Brady, a Berkowitz, a Bundy. Mary's work will be there for time to come,- maybe it will be some far distant visitor who sits in triumph at the trial and final eviction of the very last diseased member from Pugin's great palace.
Some slept under fir trees out back, others in the crouch of the long grass , - it was new for them away from the grazed end of the rest of the hillside and still retained some sweet sap of the fallen apples.
Eyeing burdock and rosemary, they nosed at low bushes.Sheltered from storms off the coast in the lull of garden walls. One kicked legs , joyous on its back in the warmth of rare sun.
Soon enough, gone - small batches of straw strewing the lane in the wake of the high sheep truck, odd flecks of wool caught in the barbs of the fences.
All cataracts them, all oblivion, pushed up against the potatoes. Cataracts to this and every slaughter , save some slight sight to that sanctioned viscera of the Levant. .
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A time before Rod pulled on the leatherette shreddies* he charged his torn larynx with Woods slide guitar and torched out a caterwauling; a tremendous, tin torn blues scried from great slugs of grain, Afghan kush and The Faces backbone Ronnie Lane stamping out time with such 'Stiltskin insistency that the floor joists were double pinned - a sheer last legs soul charging from the Marshalls circa 1971.
Soon enough on a TV stage a slewn skin clutch purse inched his way about quite peacock albino, the throat now a tiny rasp and mirrored apotheosis of his fall into leopard slacks, - a slow and sullied gag reel of youths sad telling.
Feb 2016 Stay With Me
PORTENTS and THE OLD CROW
This bastard is punching well above its weight.Finally it is headlines because a magnate and his kin have got the pox, imagine the fuss if old Queen-i-o found one in her draws.
A 2mm carapace, enough to fell a man. I have been bitten several times in both the Atlas Mountains and the Himalayas and despite barrels full of artesunate and anti-bxs not a millimetre of shift. The body now a time caught host to all that wander.
Sold the car for scrap,kept an ash tray for entrees, a hub cap for best. Stopping is hardest with Winter coming on but a hillscape is not such a bad trade for all that slew of camber.
English is a second language here,the supermarket is full of farmers,the view from my front door on a good day is to Greenland and beyond. Maybe now I can get to work on the edit.
FOUR WHEELS AND A FOX
Tripoli Zoo, Libya 2004
At one end of Tarabulus park was the Colonels enclosure, at the other the city zoo.
Straight planes of render- stark interior tanks where the animals were housed.
The tiny fox slept in exhaustive fits from years of long repeated shifts tearing at a surface which refused to yield. Fast front legs in a corner where two levels of concrete met a thick shield of glass, where limbic traces still recalled space and motion.
Andalusia, Spain 2014
It is almost exactly a year since I left the forest – the routine of spark and collapse has not changed but the promise of fresh landscapes were essential after eight years in the sack.
Spent a long time in the Tabernas desert , Leone's New Mexico- up past Charlie Bronson's squint and the small town where Al Mulock fell from a window . A long way east and north looking for urbex , anything to keep the car fuelled and moving and far from dread stasis. If I could just keep the tyres turning long enough maybe I could out run the illness.
Two sets of clothes, a car and a camera - I will drive until the rubber concedes to steel til the chasis meets black asphalt. Short sleeved shirts , open sill elbow , the road into Cabo de Gata ,long falling sunsets and the breeze that comes with it . B roads and dust tracks,- six lane highways slicing through urban dregs - living off nothing but empanadas , San Miguel and the knowledge that tomorrow there will be something new on the horizon , something never seen .
Versatile Fourth Pig contributor Thomas Sheridan has been announced as the host of a forthcoming TV series on European megaliths which will encompass the history of structures from Iberia to the frozen North.
Filming on the Irish portion of the story has been taking place this August.
THOMAS SHERIDAN TO HOST MEGALITH TV SERIES
TRACY BARGATE AT THE NATIONAL
Tracy Bargate is appearing in the ensemble cast of Tena Stivicic's play "3 Winters" running at the National Theatre,London this winter.
Livewire film maker Cat Balan joins the Pig crew this summer for a series of picnics and filming on the South Downs.
CAT BALAN ON CAMERA
Eight months laid low with anemia- now slowly on with shooting the final segments of the Fourth Pig .First filming in a long time with skilled shooter Mr Adam Whitehall along on additional camera.
Last week , deep at a neolithic location hidden in thick forest and safe enough from picnic digits and the weekend brogue the work began.
Graffiti on the sandstone buffs reaches back to the16th century and becomes more sporadic post 1801 when the land was sent the way of the toff. A place of ancient caves, an executioners stone - folklore of a guardian ghost hound and spectral blue- three figures distinct beneath an ancient oak when footage was played back later that evening, then for two nights a loud scratching beneath my forest home, like some huge creature trying to get in, in my five years here I have never heard the like. Is it the mutt wraith now come ?
Neolithic May 2014
WAS IT THE GHOST DOG HIMSELF..........?
FISHKIN COHORT in DOCTORATE CASH BONANZA
Congratulations to Mr Adam Whitehall PIG collaborator from the get-go on securing a three year award of Doctors cash for a Film PhD at Sussex University.
Mr Whitehall celebrated the award with a tour of plaques and road signs in Eastern Europe, sporting an assortment of canoe shaped headwear. His favourite day he confessed was the discovery of a signpost in Latvia indicating a plough museum at 50 metres hence. Well done Sir.
Right- Mr Whitehall wears a 1932 paper Kayak Hat whilst plaque hopping in Croatia.
TEA FOR TWO AND TWO FOR FLEA
Fourth Pig actress Pavla Platchova has just had a research paper published-she has been feeding green tea to water borne insects with a team of scientists for several months.
Left- Pavla enjoying the l-theanine repercussions of months of green tea experimentation.
MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE
Bara Svobovoda, Fourth Pig actress, has recently returned from a years travelling in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands with a new man in tow.
"I love him dearly" says Bara, "but we're getting through a hell of a lot of furniture, I'm having to buy a new sofa every week, and he's not very good at Scrabble......."