Discover more from Emotional Outbursts
On channeling lived experience
Worlds turn, the moon wanes, yet I remain the same my love.
I lay awake in bed, cushioned head, sweat-stained and pensive, restless, dead-lust. I do pine to arise from mine daybed a demon, bewitching: a threatening force to permeate paper and stone. A flourish of plucked strings ensue in minor key, as darkest poison doth enfold me.
I wonder, lover, if I do will myself to stagnate, to stay stuck in this rut, willingly so. Mythos, I know, to eternally move on and through. Historically here, this work of mine has entailed epithets of grief in few forms: friends and lovers and much crueler passed, and Stephen as a spectral haze before me.
I do not wish to wallow hollow in the muck, bloody and brooding - that is, by far, not what He would have wanted.
Maila Nurmi as Vampira in Plan 9 from Outer Space (1957) dir. Ed Wood.
With great certainty I now know that, pained, I deign to leave, to heal: for that may mean forgoing his memory altogether. I wish to keep that fire alive, white-hot cadmium, even if it scolds me. The longer I speak of Stephen in swashes and kerns, in poems and letters, the longer he remains in the here-and-now. “Live in the moment and let go” echoes through the living room - his voice is earnest, insistent. The film flickers, next scene.
I continue to write, and think about writing, into the witching hour. See, here, slither, a painting in the making of suede, silk, bone:
A piece of me, here
now hath left
O I doth feel weak, bereft!
upon thine sand
I look to you
as angels do
Light-beam dew hot spirit
Time is invariably short, reader, and I feel sincere guilt for wasting it. Do not neglect the dream, the dream! Opening scene: a salon of paintings against baby pink-walls, red-velvet floors, plush, prissy, nineteen-sixties. A solo show to behold. Glimmers and pearl-beads of ideas continue to grow, deep down below into the darkness. You may recall with love and fancy, that some time ago I had professed to paint Private View, black-oiled Blackletter detailing angst and anger against cruel men. I may now divulge that finally, this painting is underway.
Fenella Fielding in Carry On Screaming (1966) dir. Gerald Thomas.
The untimely question I now face, guilt-ridden and foreboding: how on heavenly Earth do you channel lived experience within your practice, feel it, reconcile it, without allowing it to swallow you whole? How do you honour a body, a full-life-lived, yet still somehow live your own? I am yet to understand, I am yet to find the answer. I ask the world for affirmation, for a bed of stone inscribed in his name, and realise all I do and make is a monument to his life.
All I can do is continue to write, paint, speak, listen, cry in private.
I CAN FEEL A BIG CRY COMING ON, that stab to the heart in oil-slicked tar, spewed upon baby-pink satin for lovers alike, is to be exhibited at Summer Camp, Eastside Projects, on 4th August. Speaking of self compassion within the previous Outbursts issue, for the first time I have chosen - fire rising in mine gut - to relieve all pressure and give myself grace. No, no new delights in candied pink, hot-glossed and tacky, but a work that has seldom seen the light of day.
I succumb to its force, and dance in tears.
I did consider for a brief flicker, babe, to once more have Valentine upon display, heart hanging heavy beneath the beams of the white cube. Only now, clear-headed, do I look upon mine work and feel that crying is most appropriate.
Ingrid Pitt in The Vampire Lovers (1970) dir. Roy Ward Baker.
I lay in dirt, black cat beside me, and wish I could undo all this work. Thinking, reading, making, the theory of it all, a can of worms that cannot be undone. Ignorance, in truth, is bliss and at times I long for it in earnest. These emotions I continue to experience, months and soon to be years on, are uncomfortable, unyielding. A phantom irritation I cannot cease. I have trouble trying to pass through, I do. I stand at the bridge and look over the edge. Anger, amber-brite, subsides to melancholia.
As of late, mine hands write feverishly for a project yet unseen, to be printed and bound. I continue to contemplate the role of Artist, in all its heavy-handed burden. Here, now, for you, scrawled script from its tender pages, until we meet once more:
The illusive role of ‘Artist’, until forever-death, contains a compulsion never to be rid: the want to wonder. To know and understand, to self-actualise ones’ own axis of identity, and affirm thine Earthly purpose. Faltering to the floor, on bloody knees I exclaim: “Who am I? Where am I from, and where am I going?”
With love, until July.