Sunday, 29 August 2010

Writing Wrongs (Black Bottom)

I wish.
Excuse the pun, but what a life I lead. Writer, artist, art critic, curator, project manager, literary editor, fundraiser, waiter, barista, escort.


Yes. I do all of that, and then proceed to sell my dick. Isn’t that incredible? Does anyone else out there have quite that range of experience?


All of which, allied to my grasp of the English language, should make me a great writer, but at the moment, I am producing the goods only occasionally. I don’t know why. When I tell people stories they question how I could possibly ever suffer from writers’ block. I am seeing PL, PJ and GDN, all whilst trying to engage the establishment in important art/social projects for London.


Maybe it is just laziness. I sit at my keyboard at 0055 with my eyes glazed over, knowing that I will not complete 1,000 words. Maybe I don’t write at the right times of day. Maybe I don’t give myself enough credit for the work that I do. Maybe I don’t want to do this. Maybe I think I should, but really, actually can’t.


I just fucked someone for £150, and there was even talk of running along to the next guy in the same evening for another £100. Even at the height of my renting, when I was 22, I refused to see more than one client per day. The one time I did was almost completely disastrous.


There is something extraordinary about me and about what I do but for me it is totally uninspiring. Maybe that’s why I cannot write about it. I hate that I have to do it, never mind have to then relive it and make it sound beautiful. Perhaps it is the job of someone else, to write about it, to dream of it. Perhaps it is the job of someone who could never do it, to dream of it, be shocked by it, and appraise or judge it.


It’s even more boring that I was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and was personally devout. I took it upon myself to attend meetings when my parents had let their heads drop. I took it upon myself to work as an auxiliary pioneer, engaging in door-to-door service for sixty hours in the month of August during the summer holidays. I even took the lead in services, as the only baptised brother. That was one of the best times of my life.


Six years later, lying in squalor with my mouth fused shut from neglect, I wondered how I had got to that point when, stoned out of my head, I had allowed a stranger to ride me, take the condom off then ride me some more, before scratching a two-inch wound inside me with his cum-dipped middle finger as I wanked myself to completion.


I hate that I have to sell myself, but as time goes by I realise that some form of slavery will never be far away from me. I must be the only writer in the world for whom it is more natural to sell their body than their words. Even the project management work I do is unpaid, which is why I have to hold on to the clients who want my dick. Being top with a big, black dick is an amazing thing, but I’d rather be a bottom with a big, black American Express.


But while I stay slim and healthy, there will never be a shortage of middle-aged white men opening up their pink arseholes for me. And I shall never tire of it. I don’t have to talk; I barely even have to smile. Either can be detrimental to the level of devastation. Talking can force one to talk too much in the vain hope of reclaiming the sublime power one held naturally when one went about one’s life unconscious of being observed by the awestruck other. I don’t want to talk, but just to fuck. Talking and sex are mutually exclusive, and should never be combined. I don’t even want a big man to talk dirty to me. I’m the top, and you can just shut the fuck up. Smiling makes people think I’m just another cute little black bottom, and destroys their self-worth when I refuse to be fucked and flip them over. I just want to get my cock out. It’s big - not that big - but big enough on my small frame to cause jaws to routinely drop.


One day, nobody will want me for those reasons any more, and I will be forced to push through as a writer, as no one will even want me as a bottom, and there will be no easy option left, unless, as has happened with the bears over the last few years, the masculine ideal becomes that of the middle-aged black man, which is unlikely, to say the least.


I’ve had, and get, more sex than anyone, but it is never enough. I think I’m becoming cold, as when I try to imagine it, even the idea of being cuddled up tight within a strong man’s arms, nestled in the cleft of his beefy, hairy chest, fails to stir me. The more I think about it, the more I would rather be alone. I don’t want to wake up next to someone breathing sourly over me. I don’t want to have to fight over the folds of my linen. I want to fart and wake up in the middle of the night and jack off without waking or offending anyone. If I do have sex with someone I want him to fuck off straight back to his own bed as soon as we’re done. And don’t even dare try and push your dirty dick into my mouth in the morning.


For the time being, this will be my life, working hard, coming up with ambitious ideas and achieving their realisation, for free and so for no respect, as I write myself to sleep at night, having compromised my genital health in the living rectum of some middle-aged tosser with more money than problems. If it keeps me young, so be it.

Friday, 13 August 2010

The Thirteenth

THE SIXTH

It is a truly beautiful morning. It was a little foggy earlier but it seemed to clear in an instant, leaving beautiful sunshine, the faintest of breezes and a clear sky, such that even I can sit outside and write in a T-shirt.

The birds are singing as if never before, with the joy of the spring atmosphere. This is one of their busiest times of year; it is like an annual festival, and one, furthermore, in which there is good weather.

It is strange, because here, eight-hundred metres above sea level, some of the trees are yet even to bud, whereas lower in the valleys, as everywhere else, one would think it was mid-June, everything is so green. Apparently today and tomorrow are going to be the hottest days, so we must appreciate them while we can.

The mornings here will be a time to steal alone, to reflect, to wonder, to watch and describe. I wish I knew the names of all the birds and their songs. There are cows in a field in the distance, and in some of the fields, the dandelions are so pervasive as to resemble rape.

The sky is a pale blue, illuminated by the sun. But that is the colour it appears when I wear my shades, which are hardly rose-tinted. When I look above the rim of the lens the colours are much more vivid. The sky approaches a rich blue turquoise; the tulips turn from burnt orange to scarlet. Just to confuse me, Jim adds some Indian sitar music. This isn’t the France of Chopin or Berlioz, or even Boulez.

I don’t know how I feel about being here. I don’t know even if I should think. I feel that I should just relax and enjoy the clean air, and Jim’s company, and that of all the villagers and farmers. I feel that I should work, but would that not be a shame? I feel that I should write about how I feel, but I do that all the time, and that wouldn’t constitute a holiday of the mind.

The only thing that is annoying me at the moment is my runny nose. ‘Chase after it then,’ my father used to joke.

Jim and I talked about our childhoods last night. He asked me if I thought my parents love me. That is a difficult question to answer; if I put it to them they would put themselves utterly on the defensive. I should assume then that they don’t, but surely, they must? If they had an opportunity to save my life, of course they would, but they would do that for anyone. But would the notion of being in power once more over my life delay their decision for that split second during which I fall irredeemably into the abyss? My mother, particularly, would fall victim to that vindictiveness, like Lot’s wife.

I would compare my father to Lot. His heart is in the right place and I’m sure he is a wonderful man, but he is held back tragically by his wife. Hopefully he will keep his eyes on the road, so to speak, and not look back when she fails.

I am sitting with the sun shining on my left cheek, quite warmly indeed, but the breeze has picked up sufficiently as to make a cardigan necessary. The Indian sitar music is wonderfully gentle, soothing and unintrusive. I should begin purchasing ambient music such as this for my own home environment. It looks likely that I will stay in Whetstone for at least the rest of the summer, hopefully punctuated by a couple of nights in Covent Garden, but I don’t mind that. The sofa is going, I am selling all my junk and if I create a pleasing ambience such as I am experiencing right now, in my bedroom, then all will be well.

I’m not particularly a comfort and luxury person. If I find myself in the lap of luxury I somehow feel guilty, and cannot really relax or spend a great deal of time. I never feel, anyway, that I have achieved total relaxation. Perhaps that will be a good reason to take up yoga again. Even taking a hot bath, that most traditionally relaxing of pastimes, leaves me cold, literally and figuratively. It is as important, I’m sure, to know when and how to relax as it is to be organised and to work hard. I’m feeling a little hungry. What I’d give for some brioche and jam; but I’ll have a milky coffee instead, I won’t want to ruin lunch, it’s already 11am.

I always refer to it as being like a fan, that when switched off, continues for a few moments to whirr, and that when switched on again, reacts somewhat lazily before getting back to full speed, when trying to describe my reaction upon being displaced from London to Garde, and back again. For the first day or two I am still in my struggling, surviving, serious London guise; and for the first day or two back in London, I am relaxed and languid, when I really should be hitting the ground running.

I have nothing else to say for the time being – well, of course, I have a lot to say, but this isn’t the place. Later on we will have lunch and then go back into the garden to do some work, continuing the weeding and the cleaning of the flowerbeds. It is work that I like to do, small and intricate rather than heavy and taxing. The breeze has picked up quite considerably in the last few minutes, and the sitar music has finished. No matter; it will be useful when we are hot from gardening work later. The few clouds in the sky are passing, and there is little to come other than a few little scrappy slips on the horizon.

THE SEVENTH

It’s raining, persistently. Today was meant to be the best day of the week, the hottest, the sunniest. I’ll be damned if I’m going out there to weed on my knees.

It’s amazing how ridiculous it is, the ideas of, first of all, gardening in the rain, and secondly, writing whilst on holiday. If this were not my profession, then I would have to write, because I would not in my normal time have the time to. However, in my normal time, I have the time to write 10,000 words if I am efficient enough, so on holiday, what does a writer do?

I shall do the washing up, la vaiselle, in a second. It’s amazing how similar the French word for ‘washing up’ is to my mother’s maiden name. The sun is out again, so there should be a rainbow, shortly.

Jim has made the house look very pretty. He has bought a huge bunch of rosemary in and put it atop the wood next to the fire, which he has let die prematurely, as the weather has turned. It may have been very hot the last couple of days, but as we are seeing, the weather can turn at any time.

The cat is completely ignoring me, possibly as I haven’t fed her the entire time I’ve been here. Now that we’ve both come indoors (Jim sounds as if he’s just sat in front of his computer upstairs) the rain sounds as if it’s done, and a certain sunny brightness is coming in through the windows and door. As I’ve been using his computer, with its French keyboard, I’m now getting slightly confused using my own. French keyboards are weird, you need to press shift for full stops and commas and numbers and everything, and it’s AZERTY instead of QWERTY, but German keyboards are even worse.

The pussy is licking her pussy. Absolutely no manners.

I had, just before lunch, been reading a little bit about Caravaggio, particularly the paintings, ‘Sick Bacchus’, ‘Boy With a Basket of Fruit’ and ‘The Cardsharps’. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the information I glean but it seems necessary. I’m making a lot of mistakes with my keyboard now, particularly with full-stops.

It has become strange that my own so-called ‘boyfriend’ actually wants to fuck me. He even did, two nights ago. It felt very strange for a couple of days, such that had we Internet access, I probably would have written about it on Facebook. He doesn’t have a particularly big dick so it was nothing for him to fuck me; it was only a bonus that we had poppers handy, although I’ve been farting like a cow ever since.

Now that we’ve both come indoors, it’s stopped raining, as could have been predicted. I can’t believe I’ve learned so quickly the French keyboard skill of shift>full-stop, when French itself proves to be so elusive. I’m quite sure that other languages will come to me before French, so perhaps I should turn my back on it in favour of German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, before coming back to French. It would help if my so-called boyfriend would actually speak to me in French, but he’s being terribly selfish, claiming it to be a release for him to speak English. I guess he’s not a teacher, and so I cannot expect to rely on him.

Maybe I should learn German first, and go to Vienna and Berlin. 666 words. How many more signs do I need that I have the devil’s energy? That’s three times now that I’ve landed on that number. It’s never 665 or 667, always 666. What does it mean anyway? Isn’t it just a superficial human invention? I think that this is the key for this trip, to try to spout out a thousand words a day, which is easily done. Speaking of which, I had a dream involving Leona Lewis last night, incorporating an interview, and she was very pompous, but I claimed that she was allowed to, because she was a real lady, although she looked a right chav, with her Sweater Shop sweater, cheap perfume, lank hair and Argos 9ct-gold neck-chain, with – I don’t remember quite – a bear or a love heart pendant. Gross.

I used to yearn to look like those girls, as much as I yearned to look like the boys, with their adidas hoodies and Kickers. School was magnificently shit; the only lasting, good thing to come out of it is Beverley Bennett. What a cool name she has always had, and has; I can’t imagine why she would want to ruin it with the insertion of a ‘J’.

I suppose that is the reason I want to change my own name – although, in my defence, it isn’t a change; I have merely dropped my surname in favour of the promotion of my second Christian, a very Christian, Catholic even, name – we all want to sound different, i.e. better, than we actually are. The names we have been given by our parents, indeed our slave masters in mine and Beverley’s cases, we have been called for the last twenty-seven years, and we want to get away from the mediocrity that has otherwise characterised that period. We want to be called what we want to be called; we want to move on and become something new, but it would be a terrible contrivance to commit ourselves to wholesale change. We are neither Lady GaGa (Stefani Germanotta) nor Elton John (Reginald Dwight), nor do we purport to be. PAUL JOHN and Beverley Bennett. We are what we are.

THE NINTH

If I had a car now, I would drive myself away.
If I had a rope…

I won’t even attempt poetry, but there has to be a way of saying how I feel right now, and that I seem to feel every time I come here, within several days of being here. The fact I am leaving in two days makes my departure, and the chance to be away from him, tantalisingly close, but yet so far away. I still have to negotiate today, and we have a long social day tomorrow with four other guests, only one of whom speaks any English. I guess she’s about to become my new best friend. Or I could order for it to be cancelled altogether.

I’m out. I decided that when he called me a moron and an idiot and tried to fuck me, just because I asked him to brush his teeth and turn off the music because I wanted to go to sleep. When he once again tried to force his hand down my pants I asked him to stop. Of his own accord he went and slept in the other room. This morning, he’s behaving as if I’m the one who has done wrong. He was blind drunk, and I wasn’t going to let him fuck me, again.

I don’t know why I haven’t plucked up the courage to do so before, but I have to leave this man. He normally treats me well but now the negatives are outweighing the positives. We all have problems with our loved ones – I seem to have them more often than most – but we seem to have run-ins more often than most. The saving grace of our relationship has been his structure of living, i.e., he comes to London for ten days and goes back to France for four or five weeks. Every time I come here, whether for five days or a month, at some stage I begin to feel trapped and worry whether I will ever get home alive. I’m sure he’ll be nice to me before the day is out and my mood will change again, or I’ll simply back down and apologise for what little role I had in last night’s fallout. Of course that is exactly what he is waiting for me to do as a means of exerting his power over me. I only care because, on Monday morning, I will need a lift to the station.

I had a very strange waking dream, that there were a hundred or so of us collected in a room for a Jehovah’s Witness-style assembly, that included Beverley Bennett, some of her friends, and some other boys. During the break we went for coffee in various places. Afterwards we ended up dancing, in our shirts and dresses, in someone’s house, posing for photographs. I seemed to be terribly happy. My grandfather (dead since November 2002) then announced the results of a raffle, of which the top prize was £200,000, a relatively life-changing amount of money. He opened the envelope, and with the smile disappearing from his face, called out, ‘Paul John’. The result was met with whispering and muted applause, while I clasped my mouth with joy and the realisation that finally, my life would change for the better – I began to think of all the things I could do with the money, while everyone else in the room looked accusingly on. Finally, my grandfather approached me and said, ‘Paul, did you fix this?’ before I put him supine and said, ‘Just because I’ve come from this stupid family doesn’t mean I’ve tried to fix the result. How dare you accuse me. Fuck you! Fuck you!’ I said so as forcefully as to essentially fuck the life out of him. But he knew, and I knew, and everyone else knew, that one day I stole from my mother, and so was capable of anything. I counted my winnings. They amounted to £200.

I stole £20 from my mother. £200 is what I’d until recently been making every week out of D.K. in exchange for my dick, and has been my average weekly wage even in legitimate work, for the last several years – I’ve never been able to break out of that bracket. £200,000 – even £20,000, would change that forever, I would make sure of it. My grandfather, mostly indifferent in life, has become my moral accuser in death. The last thing he said to me while alive and well, as far as we were concerned, for he by this time must already have known he was dying, was, ‘Where is your respect?’

As far as the Jehovah’s Witness assembly is concerned, such situations are ubiquitous in my dreams, due to guilt and the idea that I am missing in action, unaccountably, and have been so for approaching ten years. Kath Tutton bent down to kiss me from a greater height than ever, and I couldn’t manage to congratulate one speaker, who performed bare chested and as sinewy as Brad Pitt in Fight Club, but with an ugly brace in his mouth, as he was inundated with fans and was turning this way and that, always eluding me.

Now that I have decided to break up with Jim I can simply put myself back on the game and see if I can make any money out of it. I doubt it; I’m getting on a bit, after all, but I must at least try. I will need D.K. to be with me for the next few weeks. I need to explore every avenue in order to make money. I need to be able to stand on my own two feet. I can’t keep on having to rely on belligerent individuals with only their own best interests at heart. I need a cigarette, and have run out of tobacco. I need to become a hustler, like Jay Z was. At least I’ve proved I can be fucked.

THE ELEVENTH

Stress. I can’t wait to get home, and it’s been a long time since I said that. I hate Gare du Nord at the best of times, but today, it was full of Gypsies and beggars and I was convinced I was about to be robbed. One shouldn’t have to be so concerned with other people.

I am daring for writing to lift me out of my ennui and make me feel better. I have to change everything, still, although I’m aware these things don’t happen overnight. At least I have changed my writing habits, for the better. Hopefully the rest will follow, but I find myself as penniless as ever. Jim has to go. I have to start making my own money. I have to get published. I have to be better organised. I have to take better care of myself. I am important – I can’t just give myself to everybody. I have to finish something.

I know I have a little infection in my dick, and I definitely have anal warts. These little niggles, for all I know, may be aligned with something bigger, and worse, their presence has coincided with a marked change in my relations with Jim. After a year and a half, almost, we finally had some meaningful sex – in fact, for the first few days of my stay, he was virtually chasing my ass around the house. I came in his mouth. He spat it straight back out but he won’t let me hear the end of it if I’ve given him something unsavoury.

I have to face up to everything I’ve done, everything, no matter how far back in the past, otherwise I will never be rid of this sick feeling of guilt. I love what I could be, but hate myself. I have so many complexes; how do I turn them into positive destructives? Now I’ve got my computer out, I want to go to sleep.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Early 'Indoctrination' Notes


The relationship between fashion and contemporary art has been long and illustrious. From Paul Poiret’s patronage of the Impressionists in the 1880s to the globe-trotting Hermès H Box, fashion houses have always sought to keep the company of avant-garde artists, and use their increasing wealth to maintain the arts. In an austere period of government funding, with some arts divisions facing cuts of up to 40 per cent, such institutions as Fondazione Prada, Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and Fondation Cartier are more important than ever as they continue to pledge funding and expertise to exhibitions, events, publications and schemes.

But what is the next step? How far can this go?

As a professional writer who in fact sees himself more as an artist who just happens to write, I have always sought to locate myself within the visual rather than simply literary realm. There is only so much you can do with words on a page, and who wants to stand for twenty minutes in a gallery reading a piece of text? I have thought about literature as an object (a display of beautiful books), literature as drawing (a handwritten text on beautiful paper hung like a final sketch, or as words and sentences converted into drawings based on an alphabetic grid) and finally, literature as installation/performance, an idea that really excites me.

In a performance – to state the obvious – viewers are watching you, scrutinising your hair, your nails, your varicose veins. Your planned actions are only part of the apparent picture. I recently saw a dance performance in which one of the girls was wearing dirty, grey tracksuit bottoms. I initially questioned whether they were a deliberate choice, but they seemed to fit with nothing else in the piece, so I can only judge that she hadn’t given any thought to her outfit at all. Her scruffiness – compounded by the bottoms’ bagginess, shapelessness and lack of support for her ample rear, not to mention the frizziness of her hair – compromised the performance. A projector had been installed to display a moving image before which she and her colleagues would dance and throw shadows. It looked as if she’d installed the work and in her excitement, forgot to get changed into something more suited to the performance, and at a Private View, on top of it. What the artist is wearing shouldn't detract from the actual performance, by means of being either too showy or too shit. There must be a balance.

An early idea I had in terms of merging art, fashion and writing involved ‘living’ in a glass box, that viewers could see into but I could not see out of. It would be a self-contained, furnished apartment, that I would never have to leave except in case of an emergency. I would eat, sleep and shit in it, wearing Prada, thereby enlivening the clothes as I sat at my desk writing my great novel. The installation would only end and be dismantled when I am done.

My written work is all about sex, art and religion. I tend to use the geometry and performance inherent in football as a motif, sometimes as the subject itself. As I prepare for my first group show, I must consider many variables if I intend to perform my contribution. I have earmarked my space within the gallery, a little closed-off room slightly bigger than the interior of a shed. It is a four day exhibition, not an unreasonably long period of time to spend installed within the space, writing. I want the space to be draped in black, with chiaroscuro lighting. Candles would be evocative but are precluded by Health and Safety, so spotlights will have to do. I want to sit on a cushioned chair at a simple desk, with beautiful stationery, maybe on a black cloth, writing. I want flowers, and canonical texts. I want the viewer to be able to see what I am doing, but not so that I am distracted, perhaps by means of a narrow gap in the drapery covering the doorway, and orienting myself away from the viewer by sitting with my back to the door. Already there are references to Caravaggio, Fantin-Latour and Duchamp, mindful of Christianity, Huysmans, Baudelaire, Goethe and Blake.

I want the viewers to see me from behind, and study the back of my head. I want them to crane their necks to see over my shoulder what I am writing. I don’t even really need to be there. It can be an installation or performance – the writing is as important a paradigm as me, so I can leave my desk and my hand-written work upon it and the piece will take on a different, and no less strong, meaning. If I am there, what I am wearing will take on equal importance to what I am writing and the rest of the installation. The clothing becomes part of the art. This is why I want to wear Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci. The clothing and accessories – most notably, and desirably, the crown-of-thorns necklace – possess a silky, pious, monastic aesthetic, with an underlying athleticism, that embodies my sex-art-religion model. I have to set my sights high. No market trader looking to make a profit will start low and hope the prospective buyer ups his price out of generosity.

Givenchy is owned by LVMH, who are famous for art sponsorship on many levels. Such a small brand cannot compete with, for example, its label-mate and part-owner Louis Vuitton when it comes to splurging millions on Young Arts Projects and sponsorship of Chris Ofili and Anish Kapoor exhibitions, but might be able to lend me a few outfits to illustrate an exhibition that seems to reflect their philosophy in every dimension, no?