Don't Look Now, Now, or Now Either

I'll have twelve pages of nonsense to give away at the upcoming event, but it won't be what it was because the untrusty laptop has finally died, of complications, it was a simple beast. And I am also a simple beast, and not the kind that backs anything up in any kind of regular or systematic way. So what I was preparing is not what I am now preparing, and I wonder what it'll be, and how to print it without spending more than the few chunks I have left.

One of a possible many

He didn't even look me in the eyes. He played with a pair of scissors while he told me no jobs, no jobs, you're best off elsewhere because although this is an employment agency there are no jobs, like although this looks like a beach, you can't go in the sea. We got done in two minutes what we could've done in two seconds with my raised eyebrows and his quick shake of the head.
A different one said there might be something in November, like there might not be a November.
It's good that they're not lying to me like I'm going to lie to them.


We thought it'd be fun because it couldn't possibly be what it said it was. It's a cautionary to scare the kids with now. Just recalling out loud the number and shape of the balloons terrifies them. And the music: I still have the Roger Bingbing live album, and I only have to threaten to show them the front cover to get them to obey. Their healthy aversion to niceness somewhat makes up for their lack of actual interest in anything. Any tips?
The last thing I built for them was the Neckhorn. It wasn't much of a hit. I think I gave it too many necks. A bit Medusa-like, but you could get inside it and each one made a different noise. Getting out without a scrape or scratch was hard though, and once Optical got stuck in there for half an hour and was rescued by the man in the tent across the field, who'd heard this whooshing mournful S.O.S call and wanted to know where it was coming from. He'd've got there sooner except he spent a while spellbound, "unable to believe morse code could be so beautiful". I sold it to him, after Optical was out of hospital, and he installed wheels on it and trundles it into the woods now to practise. Since then I've had no new ideas and not really looked for any material. I miss our hammering collaborations, really, I feel we had more to do.
Good to hear about Shuttlecock. He sounds more coherent than usual. Did his shoes match? There was a time when he refused to wear a matching pair, said it stopped him going stale and "makes hopping easier". This was before his wife stopped talking, and I rode to his place with some shoes I'd found in the rubble of a house and all the doors and windows were open, "to let the rain in", though it wasn't raining, "yet", and he'd just started collecting incomplete sets of things. The best was a little jigsaw-postcard of a cat, complete except for the eyes, and he'd taken two photos of his bad eye and stuck them in the space. "Cats", he used to say, "are fucking twats". And "a goat is a hairy dustbin". You won't regret getting to know him, which may well happen now his life's taken a turn for the better and worse.
Good to know you're good. Come round sometime and we'll make something. The Bald Mutineers are playing next month and they've asked me to help out. I'd have to shave, again, but it's an option...let me know.

Halloween Heads

Sarah Coleman likes the dark. She has put together a show at the East Gallery, Brick Lane, imagining what might happen were the Pendle Witches around today. It features Tom Hare's wicker works, Anthony Saint James's photography and my words, around and within and amongst her inimitable inky curiosities. The opening will be on Thursday the 29th of October at 6.30. The closing will be sometime on November the 5th. Your attendance would be welcome at any time. Please let me know if you'll be there for the opening, though, in case the capacity is exceeded and the law swoops in looking for blame. There'll be music by Demdike Stare and small delicious things to eat by Jed Smith and a witchy brew to wash them down. A strange time is guaranteed.


Yes it was and yes he was. Schemes aplenty, that man. Schemes for breakfast, plans for dinner. No lunch. I was doing my best to not get involved. Reckons his mate's invented a new soft drink. Was asking for startup cash, basically. Told him I'd have a think. Who drinks those, these days?
No I wasn't wearing my invisible hat. I put it down somewhere and can't find it now. Reckon it was nicked. If I ever see anyone wearing it, there'll be litres of trouble.
Odd to hear the kids disapprove of your wardrobe. Maybe it's a sign when they're older they'll make some sense. Which will look strange to you, if you're there to see it. When was the last time you built something for them? Do they still have that big iron thing? With all the snouts?
Shuttlecock turned up hopping and grateful and worried in his overalls, talking like an ant's nest, all kinds of subjects, I couldn't really follow. But yes, told him a couple of things from my experience, and to not bother praying.
The book is nearly there, it's myths and maths and called "□" and is rabid. An advance is yours as soon as it's been swept for errors one last time. I'll put it in the cannon and shoot it at your face.
Odd thing: The Ministry of Happy Endings got in touch. I thought they'd shut down. They'd mistaken me for someone else, though. They invited me to the Nicequake. Disgusting, hey. It produced an instant shimmering flashback. The grinning, the beans...why did we do it? I blame and forgive you.


It's been a few whiles and I saw you with Johnny Moccasin the other day, scheming, I'll bet, and thought I'd write and check what's what and who's how and why. I went past on my bike. The big one, with the chair. You looked different but I can't say how. Were you wearing an invisible hat? Has your neck been growing? Have you lost a rib? It's an improvement anyway. My own appearance is beginning to scare the kids. They beg me to take the goggles off, and to stop sneezing so much. They said it's ruining their equilibrium, but they had no answers when I asked what do a pair of six-year-olds want equilibrium for, you should be into carnage and volume and pranks, go to your tent and ruminate.
Your book about corners: any progress? I'm sure with the right title it could sell trillions, wish I'd thought of it. New genre maybe. Let me know how it goes and please, if there're any spare advance copies...
Shuttlecock stopped by last week. His goat's giving up. I told him maybe you'd have some tips and techniques, so don't be surprised if he turns up sweating on your porch. His eye is getting worse but his wife's started talking again, so he's peculiar and giddy and might want a Valium, especially if it's before noon. I mean, even if he doesn't ask for one...

A Five and Five Ones

Bad Liebenzell is a valley village full of flowers, where walkers carry a spear in each hand and pairs of pumpkins live on benches with no explanations, a large one next to a tiny one, all down the street and no-one sits down next to them.
Halloween enthusiasm stretched out to the border, where just inside the first service station entrance stood sixty witches, all with the same mouth-agape gleeface, some three feet tall and some three inches small, rubber or plastic and welcome to Germany. Oktoberfest was nowhere in sight, but Lidl is rife and cheap beer cheaper than in France, and if you take the bottles back you can put them in the whirring laser-tunnel that eats empties and kerchings a voucher into your shaking hand, which, if you can hold onto it, can be spent exactly like money, on delicious seasonal goods like beer and wine. Why isn't there one of these in every supermarket in England?

Two Groups Repeat Themselves Senseless

Didn't see anything going off. Just jostling and shouting and riot-horses shitting and a hairdresser sweeping the shit into a grid. All the police had their face-shoving gloves on and I saw some faces get shoved. I climbed various fences but could not get a good view of the nazi scum. There is an abundance of fences due to all the digging-up-of-roads going on in the city centre. While up these various fences some blokes would ask "Is it kicking off?". I saw Westwood walking away from it all, looking tall and smelling expensive. In a record shop a man said "It'll get grim round here come nightfall", like there'd be ghouls and werewolves. Krishnan Guru-Murthy was lying when he said "thousands of protesters". It was thousands of people, watching hundreds of protesters declaring their dislike for a handful of whatever you want to call them. There was a sign that said "patriotism is not racism" right next to one that said "no more mosques in britain".


The baboons, in the grass-and-rock moat surrounding the zoo-fortress, on the hill above Besancon, have good hair. From the drawbridge we watched them, facing away from us and the sun, twelve massive haricuts on legs, shimmering in the breeze, little hunchback Bon Jovies overdosing on Vidal Sassoon. The sign doesn't say who let them get that way. On the other side of the bridge the moat goats clop and trudge, looking depressed and lost. They are Indian and rare and whoever took them off the mountain isn't here to see what they have to put up with.
The other two animals the zoo displays for free are an almost-eagle and a surely-some-mistake "45kg guinea pig", which has a large enclosure overlooking the city and leaves no trace of any existence.
The following week we chugged through the clouds to Geneva, which has tiny brown birds instead of pigeons which come into the bakeries and sit opposite you and your croissant. The city's buildings are like paris's and not unpleasant, arranged around a lake with a million-gallon fountain that hisses at the moon while the wind wafts misty rainbows toward the bridge. They say on a good day Mt Blanc looms brightly over everything and the people say the french for ooh look at that. It was hidden this day but the sun did shine and the clouds did cloud like mountains themselves, squashing the air below, and breathing was like chewing a hot sock.
The seven blocks around the station were an orderless market full of families selling yesteryear's trinkets all curling in the sun. Foodsmoke drifted around the people and rolled into the lake and large and colourful swiss money was spent on mexican treats and the news. Later in Fnac it was a choice between The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and 2666. I bought the former and it's hideous like it was written to provide headaches. I thought I was saving nine francs.