Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Slim pickings here at the Bank of late, I'm afraid. I hope I'll still be able to write a paragraph or two on Vivi Tellas, as previously trailed, though the promotional value of that piece is now somewhat diminished, seeing as how she left the country about three weeks ago. The interview with Rajni Shah is almost fully transcribed now -- a massively inspiring conversation, for me at least -- but will take a bit of licking into shape; that'll probably be the next thing to go up. I think I promised something on poetry as well, but I'm guessing that probably isn't going to happen -- I had intended that that post would include reports on the recent Crossing the Line reading by Tom Raworth and the brilliant Martin Corless-Smith, and on a brace of talks by Geoff Ward and Jeremy Noel-Tod: but I made it to neither event, in the end: life had me by the ear.

As it goes, things feel pretty low here: work currently is a slog at best, and at worst -- well, one project that's particularly close to my heart seems to be unravelling, which is always a grievous feeling, and makes me wonder whether I'm ever going to be in a position to make the work that I feel most personally compelled to make. Which is not to signal any disrespect or any lack of excitement in relation to the things that are definitely happening: loomingest of which is ...Sisters, which goes into rehearsal next week. This week therefore is mostly dominated by trying to write the version of the script that we're then going to -- ahem -- break. What I really want to be stuck into at the moment is the piece I've said I'll write for Plymouth, which is going to be a play about one of my longtime great heroes, the Victorian (so-called 'nonsense') poet Edward Lear. At a personal level I'm feeling just about sad and bleak and knotted-up and self-involved enough to be able to take that on at the moment. Everything currently feels like a retreat (I don't mean the good kind where you get colonics and finger-cymbals): and I could take that project to bed with me and pull the duvet over my head and not be completely wasting time. (It turns out, btw, that you can download from iTunes a 20-minute version of Stewart Lee's Pea Green Boat, which is based on Lear's 'The Owl and the Pussycat'; I knew about that show but never saw it; it's brilliantly, cruelly bleak, though thankfully it hits different notes than I intend to with my play. £7.99 is a bit steep, but so it goes.)

What else is new? Dennis Cooper came to town, which was fun, though intense -- which is not to say that Dennis is particularly intense, but spending that much time with anybody is pretty intense; Skins ended brilliantly but harrowingly and, I suspect, is more than a little responsible for my present state of mind; Alistair McCartney's The End of the World Book: A Novel arrived in the mail, and is a delightful, excruciating, warmly deadpan read, a sort of homoerotic mumblecore orgy of Barthelme and Perec and Laurie Anderson -- maybe I'll write more about it (and about Dennis's gorgeous new book of poems, The Weaklings) when I feel more up to the task; my favourite upscale porn site, Gay Teen Studio, est mort, which is genuinely pretty sad; so is David Eldridge's blog, which I regret, though I suspect it's a good decision from his point of view; the new Fall album is a rackety bit of business and good company, though the vague and inert and wretchedly despondent William Basinski stuff with which I'm intending to soundtrack ...Sisters feels closer to my current mood. You know, I think the failure of spring to really committedly arrive has become completely associated in my mind with the terrible horrorfilm resilience of Hillary Clinton. What's to become of us, eh.

Anyway, this is not a post; ceci n'est pas un post. This is just a placeholder to say, this blog is probably going to be hiding under its bed for a little while longer, experiencing the emotional equivalent of credit crunch. Sorry for the downturn.

In other news: Two biscuits waiting for a bus. Biscuit #1: "So, where do you live then?" Biscuit #2: "You honestly think I'm going to tell you? You'll just go round and steal my laundry."


Thomas Moronic said...

I'm sad about the passing of Gay Teen Studio. Even if I did just steal the pictures from free review sites. Never actually went on the proper site itself. Blood on my hands?


Hey Chris! Hope all is well! Damn it is getting on to a year since you watched me devour a Tesco chicken! Our paths must overlap soon! xo Tim

slatted light said...

Hey Chris. I'm really sorry to read about the pre-premature death of An Apparently Closed Room. Not only that but the working relationship that seems to have become tangled up in its demise. I hope Math is right and somehow, later on, you may be able to pull this back together. But I do know that once these things die, it's hard to enthuse over their corpse or believe conditions would come where it would ever reanimate. Needless to say, man, or I hope it's needless to say, I just admire you so much - not only as a thinker of massive insight, which you are, but as someone who develops that thinking into an artistic praxis so infused with feeling and radical political engagement and appreciation of the medium you're working in. I've learnt so much about theatre from you, what theatre has been, where it should go in your view, what it means for a space or place to be performative, how that collocation of expressions, gestures, bodily poses, modes of address inhabit the space or place and make it happen in all kinds of textual or non-textual mediums that cross tension and possibility. You're a true model of the artist, man, and this shitty turn of events does nothing to change that. The next thing, as Coop sometimes says, will be the best thing. I hope one of these days we get to meet up and have a beer or something. Take care dude.