Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A Festive Hallucination (Christmas)

Pink icing and multicolor sprinkles, glitter nail varnish, acrylic clothes and the flashing lights of commerce, this is my modernity. Just after Christmas now and the shopping streets, department stores and big malls are wilting the season's décor. Santa comes out as a fake, belonging to the mythology of consumerism. If there was a historical Santa, he perhaps lived in the shadows. The idea of him was exponentially inflated. In an industrial culture, shopping is an end in itself. Every item comes hundred-fold. A thousand shopping malls have given Santa a thousand faces. Illuminated window decorations of a thousand little places have orchestrated a fantasy land rich with reindeers, snow on slopes, furry boots, scrumptious hampers, glittering bells, and candy cornucopias. So many little objects, all from Santa-land: gingerbread hearts, snowflake jumpers, patent leather Mary-Janes. A world of miniatures dangles from plastic pines, when every product imaginable comes wrapped in red and gold. In my mind, a fairy tale fantasy with no story line rises from the myriad little symbols that meet the eye. It lurks behind commercials and in the voices of radio presenters, and seeps into the bloodstream by way of Christmas dishes, cakes and spicy coffees. It bewitches all of early winter, wreathig twinkling decorations on everything. 

This is my modernity. If there were no shopping malls, there would be no Santa. There would be no gift wrapping industry, no e-voucher platforms, and no Christmas specials. The soul would unstick itself from this mould that's been laid out for souls to fall into. Like a heavy trainer sole on sticky Tarmac in summer, it would leave a depressed trace in the ground, and rise from a cultured sclerosis.

Bad Luck, Saint Giles

One day, I remember that I got distracted from something, and went for a random city wander in midst the sandwich papers, autumn leaves and flyers on the floor. Between the slowly awakening neons winking moodily at the city sunset from sleazy windows, from behind plastic palm trees garlanded with Christmas lights, tinsel and fake sunflowers, pushing the violet hour away slowly, with flickering fits and starts, as the blue velvet swirled in convulsively, grimly threatening to drown out all of the day’s light and life.
I kicked before me some crumpling night club flyers and looked at the long road before me, noticed a drug store to my left and remembered about some nail varnish that I wanted. Inside the store, I stood momentarily mesmerized by the long row of make-up displays, full of pink and silver, purple, green and red colours, black, yellow, and gold, too. I slowly picked up one nail varnish, turned the bottle on its head and watched the glittery, poison-colored paste move slowly and sluggishly, like amoebae, through the tiny glass vial. The glitter was very fine, in dark silver and purple tones, and it seemed strangely animated, the way it slowly let an air bubble swim from one side of the bottle to the other, like a cute brat popping bubble gum.
I stood there with the nail varnish, thinking, “I wonder if they are actually all as ugly as this, or whether some of these could pass for good taste”.
I picked up another. Here, the glitter was much less fine and dusty, and it was multicolour, more like confetti. It was swimming in bubble gum colour pink fluid, and had a similarly caterpillar-like way of moving its gooey consistency about, as I turned the bottle over and a bubble of air went through the body, like a pulse, it seemed.
The lip pencil section, with fragrances and tastes as well, had me particularly transfixed, as a dance of words like “ballet pink”, “blushing nude”, “sexy cherry”, and “dreamy decadence” stared into my eyes. “Such crudely misogynistic, pseudo-girly conceptual tags for such pathetic, distasteful goo”, I thought, “what a shambles”, as a big and bulging pink cloud fell over my brain.
I started to think pink handbags, Barbie dolls and watermelon martinis, white cars and palm trees, and then again, I started to think that all the make up and nail varnish I ever wore was like so much dust from a poisoned cloud settled on my skin, and on everybody else’s too, like so many worms and maggots moving over my lips and eyes and nails, a thought I found difficult to shake off.
Yes, I thought, I had recognized the decay to be what it was, decay, rather than the lavish joie de vivre that happy people fondly refer to as decadence. Creeping out of a rotting cake like a stray worm and trying to make it on my own amongst the bubblegum-plastered streets, ducking the crushing boot of society, seemed to me just as insane as staying in the mold, hatching in the familiar nest of desperation and thinly fading southern comforts, and whiskey sours rubbing off and off on purple velvet bar furnishings like a big, fat, vulgar fungus on the soul. - See more at: http://www.indieberlin.de/art/inebriated-philosophers-polly-trope.html#sthash.zk4fR9qJ.dpuf
One day, I remember that I got distracted from something, and went for a random city wander in midst the sandwich papers, autumn leaves and flyers on the floor. Between the slowly awakening neons winking moodily at the city sunset from sleazy windows, from behind plastic palm trees garlanded with Christmas lights, tinsel and fake sunflowers, pushing the violet hour away slowly, with flickering fits and starts, as the blue velvet swirled in convulsively, grimly threatening to drown out all of the day’s light and life.
I kicked before me some crumpling night club flyers and looked at the long road before me, noticed a drug store to my left and remembered about some nail varnish that I wanted. Inside the store, I stood momentarily mesmerized by the long row of make-up displays, full of pink and silver, purple, green and red colours, black, yellow, and gold, too. I slowly picked up one nail varnish, turned the bottle on its head and watched the glittery, poison-colored paste move slowly and sluggishly, like amoebae, through the tiny glass vial. The glitter was very fine, in dark silver and purple tones, and it seemed strangely animated, the way it slowly let an air bubble swim from one side of the bottle to the other, like a cute brat popping bubble gum.
I stood there with the nail varnish, thinking, “I wonder if they are actually all as ugly as this, or whether some of these could pass for good taste”.
I picked up another. Here, the glitter was much less fine and dusty, and it was multicolour, more like confetti. It was swimming in bubble gum colour pink fluid, and had a similarly caterpillar-like way of moving its gooey consistency about, as I turned the bottle over and a bubble of air went through the body, like a pulse, it seemed.
The lip pencil section, with fragrances and tastes as well, had me particularly transfixed, as a dance of words like “ballet pink”, “blushing nude”, “sexy cherry”, and “dreamy decadence” stared into my eyes. “Such crudely misogynistic, pseudo-girly conceptual tags for such pathetic, distasteful goo”, I thought, “what a shambles”, as a big and bulging pink cloud fell over my brain.
I started to think pink handbags, Barbie dolls and watermelon martinis, white cars and palm trees, and then again, I started to think that all the make up and nail varnish I ever wore was like so much dust from a poisoned cloud settled on my skin, and on everybody else’s too, like so many worms and maggots moving over my lips and eyes and nails, a thought I found difficult to shake off.
Yes, I thought, I had recognized the decay to be what it was, decay, rather than the lavish joie de vivre that happy people fondly refer to as decadence. Creeping out of a rotting cake like a stray worm and trying to make it on my own amongst the bubblegum-plastered streets, ducking the crushing boot of society, seemed to me just as insane as staying in the mold, hatching in the familiar nest of desperation and thinly fading southern comforts, and whiskey sours rubbing off and off on purple velvet bar furnishings like a big, fat, vulgar fungus on the soul. - See more at: http://www.indieberlin.de/art/inebriated-philosophers-polly-trope.html#sthash.zk4fR9qJ.dpuf
One day, I remember that I got distracted from something, and went for a random city wander in midst the sandwich papers, autumn leaves and flyers on the floor. Between the slowly awakening neons winking moodily at the city sunset from sleazy windows, from behind plastic palm trees garlanded with Christmas lights, tinsel and fake sunflowers, pushing the violet hour away slowly, with flickering fits and starts, as the blue velvet swirled in convulsively, grimly threatening to drown out all of the day’s light and life.
I kicked before me some crumpling night club flyers and looked at the long road before me, noticed a drug store to my left and remembered about some nail varnish that I wanted. Inside the store, I stood momentarily mesmerized by the long row of make-up displays, full of pink and silver, purple, green and red colours, black, yellow, and gold, too. I slowly picked up one nail varnish, turned the bottle on its head and watched the glittery, poison-colored paste move slowly and sluggishly, like amoebae, through the tiny glass vial. The glitter was very fine, in dark silver and purple tones, and it seemed strangely animated, the way it slowly let an air bubble swim from one side of the bottle to the other, like a cute brat popping bubble gum.
I stood there with the nail varnish, thinking, “I wonder if they are actually all as ugly as this, or whether some of these could pass for good taste”.
I picked up another. Here, the glitter was much less fine and dusty, and it was multicolour, more like confetti. It was swimming in bubble gum colour pink fluid, and had a similarly caterpillar-like way of moving its gooey consistency about, as I turned the bottle over and a bubble of air went through the body, like a pulse, it seemed.
The lip pencil section, with fragrances and tastes as well, had me particularly transfixed, as a dance of words like “ballet pink”, “blushing nude”, “sexy cherry”, and “dreamy decadence” stared into my eyes. “Such crudely misogynistic, pseudo-girly conceptual tags for such pathetic, distasteful goo”, I thought, “what a shambles”, as a big and bulging pink cloud fell over my brain.
I started to think pink handbags, Barbie dolls and watermelon martinis, white cars and palm trees, and then again, I started to think that all the make up and nail varnish I ever wore was like so much dust from a poisoned cloud settled on my skin, and on everybody else’s too, like so many worms and maggots moving over my lips and eyes and nails, a thought I found difficult to shake off.
Yes, I thought, I had recognized the decay to be what it was, decay, rather than the lavish joie de vivre that happy people fondly refer to as decadence. Creeping out of a rotting cake like a stray worm and trying to make it on my own amongst the bubblegum-plastered streets, ducking the crushing boot of society, seemed to me just as insane as staying in the mold, hatching in the familiar nest of desperation and thinly fading southern comforts, and whiskey sours rubbing off and off on purple velvet bar furnishings like a big, fat, vulgar fungus on the soul. - See more at: http://www.indieberlin.de/art/inebriated-philosophers-polly-trope.html#sthash.zk4fR9qJ.dpuf
One day, I remember that I got distracted from something, and went for a random city wander in midst the sandwich papers, autumn leaves and flyers on the floor. Between the slowly awakening neons winking moodily at the city sunset from sleazy windows, from behind plastic palm trees garlanded with Christmas lights, tinsel and fake sunflowers, pushing the violet hour away slowly, with flickering fits and starts, as the blue velvet swirled in convulsively, grimly threatening to drown out all of the day’s light and life.
I kicked before me some crumpling night club flyers and looked at the long road before me, noticed a drug store to my left and remembered about some nail varnish that I wanted. Inside the store, I stood momentarily mesmerized by the long row of make-up displays, full of pink and silver, purple, green and red colours, black, yellow, and gold, too. I slowly picked up one nail varnish, turned the bottle on its head and watched the glittery, poison-colored paste move slowly and sluggishly, like amoebae, through the tiny glass vial. The glitter was very fine, in dark silver and purple tones, and it seemed strangely animated, the way it slowly let an air bubble swim from one side of the bottle to the other, like a cute brat popping bubble gum.
I stood there with the nail varnish, thinking, “I wonder if they are actually all as ugly as this, or whether some of these could pass for good taste”.
I picked up another. Here, the glitter was much less fine and dusty, and it was multicolour, more like confetti. It was swimming in bubble gum colour pink fluid, and had a similarly caterpillar-like way of moving its gooey consistency about, as I turned the bottle over and a bubble of air went through the body, like a pulse, it seemed.
The lip pencil section, with fragrances and tastes as well, had me particularly transfixed, as a dance of words like “ballet pink”, “blushing nude”, “sexy cherry”, and “dreamy decadence” stared into my eyes. “Such crudely misogynistic, pseudo-girly conceptual tags for such pathetic, distasteful goo”, I thought, “what a shambles”, as a big and bulging pink cloud fell over my brain.
I started to think pink handbags, Barbie dolls and watermelon martinis, white cars and palm trees, and then again, I started to think that all the make up and nail varnish I ever wore was like so much dust from a poisoned cloud settled on my skin, and on everybody else’s too, like so many worms and maggots moving over my lips and eyes and nails, a thought I found difficult to shake off.
Yes, I thought, I had recognized the decay to be what it was, decay, rather than the lavish joie de vivre that happy people fondly refer to as decadence. Creeping out of a rotting cake like a stray worm and trying to make it on my own amongst the bubblegum-plastered streets, ducking the crushing boot of society, seemed to me just as insane as staying in the mold, hatching in the familiar nest of desperation and thinly fading southern comforts, and whiskey sours rubbing off and off on purple velvet bar furnishings like a big, fat, vulgar fungus on the soul. - See more at: http://www.indieberlin.de/art/inebriated-philosophers-polly-trope.html#sthash.zk4fR9qJ.dpuf
One day, I remember that I got distracted from something, and went for a random city wander in midst the sandwich papers, autumn leaves and flyers on the floor. Between the slowly awakening neons winking moodily at the city sunset from sleazy windows, from behind plastic palm trees garlanded with Christmas lights, tinsel and fake sunflowers, pushing the violet hour away slowly, with flickering fits and starts, as the blue velvet swirled in convulsively, grimly threatening to drown out all of the day’s light and life.
I kicked before me some crumpling night club flyers and looked at the long road before me, noticed a drug store to my left and remembered about some nail varnish that I wanted. Inside the store, I stood momentarily mesmerized by the long row of make-up displays, full of pink and silver, purple, green and red colours, black, yellow, and gold, too. I slowly picked up one nail varnish, turned the bottle on its head and watched the glittery, poison-colored paste move slowly and sluggishly, like amoebae, through the tiny glass vial. The glitter was very fine, in dark silver and purple tones, and it seemed strangely animated, the way it slowly let an air bubble swim from one side of the bottle to the other, like a cute brat popping bubble gum.
I stood there with the nail varnish, thinking, “I wonder if they are actually all as ugly as this, or whether some of these could pass for good taste”.
I picked up another. Here, the glitter was much less fine and dusty, and it was multicolour, more like confetti. It was swimming in bubble gum colour pink fluid, and had a similarly caterpillar-like way of moving its gooey consistency about, as I turned the bottle over and a bubble of air went through the body, like a pulse, it seemed.
The lip pencil section, with fragrances and tastes as well, had me particularly transfixed, as a dance of words like “ballet pink”, “blushing nude”, “sexy cherry”, and “dreamy decadence” stared into my eyes. “Such crudely misogynistic, pseudo-girly conceptual tags for such pathetic, distasteful goo”, I thought, “what a shambles”, as a big and bulging pink cloud fell over my brain.
I started to think pink handbags, Barbie dolls and watermelon martinis, white cars and palm trees, and then again, I started to think that all the make up and nail varnish I ever wore was like so much dust from a poisoned cloud settled on my skin, and on everybody else’s too, like so many worms and maggots moving over my lips and eyes and nails, a thought I found difficult to shake off.
Yes, I thought, I had recognized the decay to be what it was, decay, rather than the lavish joie de vivre that happy people fondly refer to as decadence. Creeping out of a rotting cake like a stray worm and trying to make it on my own amongst the bubblegum-plastered streets, ducking the crushing boot of society, seemed to me just as insane as staying in the mold, hatching in the familiar nest of desperation and thinly fading southern comforts, and whiskey sours rubbing off and off on purple velvet bar furnishings like a big, fat, vulgar fungus on the soul. - See more at: http://www.indieberlin.de/art/inebriated-philosophers-polly-trope.html#sthash.zk4fR9qJ
Bad Luck - Saint Giles
Down from Gin Lane
The old gallows
In the cellar
Of a grimy church
They're doing twelve steps,
And yet still nobody
Finds a friend in Jesus
Any more.

A nurse whispers
“Here is your medication”
Your life is derelict.
Black abandoned mansions,
Lounges for stranded dazes,
Coming soon : luxury flats.
.dpuf

Bad Luck - Saint Giles
Down from Gin Lane
The old gallows
In the cellar
Of a grimy church
They're doing twelve steps,
And yet still nobody
Finds a friend in Jesus
Any more.

A nurse whispers
“Here is your medication”
Your life is derelict.
Black abandoned mansions,
Lounges for stranded dazes,
Coming soon : luxury flats.


Uncanny

I go through family photos after hear death, three bags full. Some are framed, under glass. Dust is blinding this oval glass, like a tarnished mirror. The silver frame has gone black. Oblong teardrop-shapes and hand-like leaves curl inward around the photograph. A gaunt female face with vacant eyes is embossed in silver at the bottom, gives a blank stare from her bed of flowing hair. Hair swoops up the frame like electrified, and becomes one with the surreal vegetation. This disembodied lady, I now imagine, has her mermaid-tail and body floating like a phantom beneath the mirror's surface.

The young woman in the photo hails from that same old world of snakeskin clutches and Egyptian amulets. We are distantly related, but our features seem so alike i feel dizzy. "She had my face before me", it pounds through my head, "she walked around with it, used it up..."
At first the vanity shoots through, and I wonder if she aged well. Then, what kind of man undressed her, slipped fingers into her, and how she liked it. If she was ever raped. Probably. Most women at least once. The concept of having a doppelgänger suffering abuse is creepy, and I shake it off.

Did she have friends, and know people who looked just like ones i know? Soon, I see my whole life already duplicated in the past and all finished up, and even already forgotten. Bleak prospect. One day I'll just go out like a candle, and start the descent into total erasure from everybody's memory. Like this other me that came and went. Aside from the shapes of objects around her, the fashions, and the vernacular tongue she spoke, her life must have been just like mine. How else could she stare so dolefully out of an art-nouveau frame, if not by computing in her brain the exact same series of emotions that I have also felt. 
In the melting and psychotic plants, the wilting and heavy nature morte around the glass, the gaunt shadow, I recognize the drawn-out drawers of my life, its enchantments and its  exaggerations, pretences and elastic sub-plots. I recognize the grand insignificance of it all. Some would rush to say that's liberating, but in this attic, it only feels oppressive 
Some people talk about life after drug addiction, or after zyprexa and lithium, as life after death -- especially on conceited rock albums. Survivors of the Hollywood glitter and glam metal scene are particularly vocal about this, and I love their tribe. The huge spiky mullets, frilly shirts and leather bows, they secretly remind me of that arcane lady who looks just like me in her art-nouveau frame (which was modern and new at the time, so she would approve of my evolving tastes. Like me she was probably infinitely fickle when it comes to tastes, and knew the futility of taste in art). 
I secretly wonder if these mullets and cheetah print glitterati also found such a photo in their dead relative's stash. Perhaps they too found that their face is not even a one-off and their whole existence is a segment in an infinite loop. Until this moment, that woman's life had fallen into the well of oblivion.

That abandoned amusement park by the beach...

In reality, my life after drugs fell into a gauche cadence after the first year or two of rebirth, clarity, and upsurge. But let's face it, you don't hear from many of the artists after their first "rehab" product. After that, it's the sameyness of the self that weighs like a melting face on the shoulder. The return to things uncannily similar to the first round of life; the realization that there has been no true life, death or rebirth, but only a fluffy dustball of desires and frustrated wishes, followed by a padded and secretive flight into a fake new life, that claims to be a fresh start, spiraling out to blue skies and candy floss