Thursday, December 15, 2005

This Is My Rock And Roll

It's getting late in the evening again, the moon is nearly full and i'm a tired rag of a thing tonight. Nearly Friday, nearly the weekend, nearly Christmas. I'm kind of contented in my exhaustion, a spent battery that's been on full power all week long and can now, well almost now, rest. After I've finished writing this, that is. There's a bath with bubbles nearly up to the ceiling waiting for me, a cup of tea just ready to brew. But something won't let me stop until I have connected, no matter how feebly, with this blog.

On Tuesday night I went out to a gig of some friends of mine. I've been pretty reclusive lately, working in the days, and in various states of writing frenzy by night. And it was only there, out in the relative social whirl, that I realised how much my twilight hours of writing and obsessing over music has affected me. I have changed. All those hours, labouring over books and pages and computers and printers, endless cups of tea, glasses of rum, pieces of toast, so little sleep, so much adrenalin, turmoil, trouble, bitter self - doubt, envy, joy, alleluiahs in the dark...and I stood in the doorway of the club, watching figures on a stage, and all those pockets of fear, all those holes of inadequacy and insecurity built up over a life time had gone. All the avenues I have gone down to look for myself, I never realised I would find myself so completely through the words from my pen. And I feel so much gratitude that I started doing it when I did, that I didn't turn my back on it, I could stand there and fucking weep.

I think I need heroes and religion. I need figures and rituals and a vision to pour my obsession into. I have poured it into lovers and teachers and musicians and buddhas and characters from books. I get obsessed with Rilke, and I see all reality as a terrifying angel, I get into Lorca and I see only blood, sweat and a dying bull in the sand. I watch Pete Doherty on Newsnight and I feel the spirit of Rimbaud back in town. I worship rock and roll as the last rite of Dionysus. But at the end of the day, I've still got to live with me, and after all, all those people and all that energy, it lives in here, in the heart of me, where I tap tap tap with my own fingers. And tonight I feel full up, there is no one else to go to, no other place I would rather be. The need for someone to validate my existence, to say I'm alright or not alright, to hold up a mirror that I can see my own reflection in, has gone. Is she beauty or beast? Ugly or fair? Righteous or slovenly? Young or old? With it or failing?And I think that may be what they call contentment, or perhaps it's a little bit of grace that's touching me on the back of my head, at this cluttered and uncomfortable desk. The only mirror is the page in front of me, the only person who's holding it is me.

I was going to write on all sorts of important matters tonight. I have been thinking about it all day as I wiped woodwork and listened to Radio One. I was going to talk about libertinage and integrity, men and sex and why they are so obsessed with the bumps on our bodies. I was going to issue a call to arms in the name of militant feminism, moralistic hedonism and anti - success. But the bath awaits, we can't have it all, and I am a shameless happy one tonight.

1 comment:

theseus said...

Progress is one of the greatest things about life . . .

I just read "Howl" again the other day--we are having a celebration of it's 50th anniversary here tomorrow night, replete with several poets et al.
(The segue to your post...)
So now, whenever I hear someone mention Lorca (Which is probably more than most people since I work at a used bookshop) I think of hearing Ginsberg asking if that is him over in the fruit section next to Whitman.