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La Samaritaine - 2015

Took a flight-footed cinematic pilgrimage tonight to the space-time intersection of two Leos Carax films – Pont Neuf and La Samaritaine department store, empty and haunted. I miss l'ange de la fenetre-ouest, of course, but we so intensely vibrate each other's hearts and minds that perhaps this space, despite borne of sadness and unfortunate dissent, is renewing; it certainly seems to be a part of the beat to which we blaze our tarantella. I sketched a configuration of buildings just west of Gare De Lyon and while I'm not my fathers peerless draughtsman there's an expressivity seeping into the my cross-hatching, texture and line. It's satisfying and something I'll watch and nurture as I do a sketch a day for the duration of my time over here. The backspace on my keyboard doesn't work – there's literally no going back – only forwards. I know on my purposeful bit intuitive navigating about Paris earlier that I passed Burroughs' old hotel; knowing on this occasion was sufficient - and as I think on it, the textural freeness I'm allowing my sketches does resemble Gysin's roller works.

Flirted a lighter from a hot Algerian boy in an over-lit late-opening convenience store as part of my mission was to break off from the parents and apply my self to some serious chain-smoking while a breath could be seized, and swiftly poisoned. Marlborough Reds – the first brand I ever smoked, at eleven years, courtesy of that speedfreak, mother-beating scamp who used to grope and punch me in a steady volley as he gave me a blowback from his cigarette. Reds still taste of that time and that time alone. I can clock why people consciously seek out echoes of what might be termed early abusive experiences – we didnt know it was wrong then and we're climbing the rope ladder back to 'innocent' times, the halcyon days of babysitters who used to fasten your six-year-old hand to their moistened teenage vagina after pushing you down the stairs, or the putrid crematorium yawn of a Marlborough Red kiss from the boy who'd stir your cock for the first time whilst depositing bruises like blossom on a pavement you'd rewalk for years to come. The walk was good; I shed the husk of the devil that's clung to my shoulders like a backpack the last few days; threw him in The Seine with the Victorian shoes, the shopping trolleys from La Samaritaine, a cache of Burroughs' used needles, the mudguards from Alain Delon's Lambretta and an unpublished Leos Carax script that when retrieved will tidily complete the Pont Neuf trilogy, once Kylie is scraped from the floor and pumped full of Gunther Von Hagen's elixir of eternal still life. This ongoing battle of tensions between the devil, which one might call the ego, i.e. he that makes all the worst decisions, and the pure spirit of being, who if listened to with humble and respectful attention rarely fails to guide with the kindest and softest hand, seems to become more manageable when externalised into such forked-path emblems – a god is a convenient name for a force, and this whole pantheon to whose broken family we give many names dependent on our culture and nurture, is little more than a prismatic externalising of all the colliding, colluding, high-fiving, cage-fighting, love-making energies at play within the burbling magma of our being.

Her fat Italian hands nudge a calculator through the hatch to illustrate the price to a non-Italian speaker. Her fingers swollen and creased like the gnarled tree roots I'd fearfully hop over on the banks of the broadwater when I was a wide-eyed child dreamer in a smaller, chubbier body. I'm still fearful not to trip over my roots. I thought at that point that all kids had kingfishers in their back garden when in fact they had snapped plastic shovels and useless trampolines. While I was communing with these slender, iridescent darts – imperious hunters in bejewelled plumage, other kids smashed franchised toys over each other's heads in an unconscious precursor to the abuse they'd come to unload onto their wives in an unbroken programme of repression and inarticulable rage.

I boarded the boat to Isola Madre, wishing as the brisk wind across the lake kicked at my cheeks that I'd brought the hoodie I inherited from my junkie ex. Hoods and cowels are the uniform of cults, of secret societies and there are few more secretive or cult-ish sorts than junkies. The lies of an addict spin out into a web like a stained glass window the colour of blood on the wall of their sad, warmth-less chapel. The hoodie at once anonymises and announces them – a cocoon and corset to darken their brow and make their wired eyes and yellow skin less visible as they ghost through the streets in thrall to their solitary faith. There's only one way to join this cult and it's a blood ritual of initiation to be repeated slavishly along a parabolic curve of greater need whereupon peaking, you either overdoes, die, enter rehab or simply cease to exist beyond the demands of the cult. If you're not in the cult, communication is impossible – like a car trying to decode Rilke to a pineapple. A pineapple in a hoodie that nods, smiles, its mind constantly navigating other plans while appearing to engage you in the present with attentive ears and eyes.

My Italian is poor and threadbare at current. I said to mother yesterday, offering to share the table refreshment 'my water is your house' and as I pulled towards Isola Madre, part of me, the un-pricked, ageless, innocent vault at my core hoped that stepping onto the island might be like re-entering the womb to be nourished and renewed with the amniotic fluid of our first supper; to be thrown out in my renaissance with fresh-polished armour and organs that don't flap or pulse fatigued with anxiety or gentle desolation.

Sometimes when I see a mountain I want to embrace it for not being temporary. Flesh withers, emotions die, opinions invert via the slalom of experience, but iron and rock, plugged into the magma of the earth don't bend or shift or fail.


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