Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Jew Year!



The Downtown Dorothy Parker herself, Sharyn Jackson, one of my all time favourite Jews and maker of incredible pastries. Yummy!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Magick



I love magic, but sadly have a very hard time finding it on the island on which I am currently exiled. So, I thought I would compile a list of my favourite magical things so that I may feel the Holy Spirit through me once more. They are, in no particular order:

Ming tea (the blossom opens up in hot water)
That MGMT record
Quantum
Roses (the bar) in Berlin
Max Steele's zine Scorcher
Kristahn's faux queen drag closet
Lanvin's embroidered copper derby shoes
The unicorn tapestries
York Minster
Stevie's butt
Justin Bond's version of The Twenty Second Century
The redwoods
And this video (mainly because of the music box soundtrack)


Bottom of the cup


Hot, milky tea with two sugars, barely even warm, barely even tea really, more of a soup of milk in a very large cup on my grandparent's couch on a Saturday afternoon. My feet barely grazing the carpet, dangling down from a mountain of cushions. Sometimes I fall asleep as my grandmother knits and sings to herself quietly, and solves the blocks of the crossword puzzle that stump my grandfather.

"Seven across, 9 letters, that's 'sanctuary', Jack."

I dream dreams saturated by the sounds of Saturday afternoon soccer pouring in from the television set as my grandfather whistles along with his team, makes sandwiches, answers the phone, attends to the easy warm business of domestic, married, retired life on the fourteenth floor of a tower block looking over the Mersey, leading out into the langorous Irish Sea.

When I wake up, bleary-eyed, relieved, my grandmother sings Good Morning Sunshine though it's the middle of the afternoon, and there's more tea waiting for me on the table. I pad across the carpet, thickly, calmly. I kneel on the chair and stare out over Liverpool's vista, counting the Churches, confident that the pretyt ones are Catholic. I look for my house, where my sisters are probably squabbling over a dolly, where my Mother is undoubtedly steaming cabbage and screaming at her husband amongst it all.

I can't find my house, I don't see it, this doesn't worry me, I take to the sea. I press my palms to the cermaic surface, unconciously testing the temperature. The tea is warm, dreamy, sleepy and I have a whole plate of biscuits too, two of each kind from the tin; two digestives, two chocolate digestives, two shortbreads, two rich tea and even a blue ribbon too.

"9 down is 'impenetrability'."

Enjoying my hoarde of biscuits, my buttery, sugary treats, I splash them about in my tea, like Gene Kelly with his umbrella in the puddles of a musical. As I come to the end of it, draining the blue mug to the last opalescent drops, I am startled, genuinely scared, to see someone looking back at me, scowling, staring directly at me, right into my eyes from the bottom of my cup. Looking at me from I don't know where, another world, another existence, I can't say but he's looking at me hungrily, deliberately and I am convinced immediately that I must not tell anyone what I can see, that I have discovered this face, or else I will be in terrible trouble.

I think I make a pact, silently, with this face, I think that we are bound up in something now, though I don't know why he chose me. Why he chose to appear to me out of all the children in the world, but I do know he's a dark power, black magic, pagan, heathen, witchcraft, Faust in a tea cup. Slowly, I lift my eyes away and up, I break from his gaze, and panicked I acknowledge that as long as I never meet his eyes again he can have no power over me. I swear to myself and Our Lady that I'll never, never look down at the bottom of my cup, ever again and I ask her to keep all of us safe from the Devil.

"Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Hail Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

"Seventeen down, nine letters, that's 'salvation'."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New York Magazine explains my appeal, brilliantly.



We like Ves Pitt’s she-man because she-he looks like a woman dressing as a man dressing as a woman, or like Cindy Sherman dressing as David Bowie dressing as Cindy Sherman. And also, there’s something incredibly compelling about a glitter mustache. Must we have a better reason? Pitts is on view at Christopher Henry Gallery through January 11.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My God, I miss New York.



Walking after midnight with Meow Meow.

Time Out London



Bored this festive season? You needn't be.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Things I meant to tell you over the phone.


1. I had a dream last night that Gordon Brown (the British Prime Minister) was a very ill killer whale and also my best friend.

2. My Mother convinced herself that she had the beginnings of a moustache and persuaded me to wax it for her with a veet home wax kit.

3. I have written three chapters of my novel Everything Must Go (working title).

4. I discovered Gay Romeo in Berlin and am roughly as successful with that as I was with manhunt. Which is to say not very.

5. I snapped my sunglasses and they're really expensive to replace. I found them in Chicago for $1.99, but it later transpired that they were original wayfarers from the '60s.

6. My five year old sister told me yesterday; "I never used to like you, but now we can all be friends together."

7. Seven is the Holy Sex.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who's That Girl?

I am seemingly on some sort of list trip, so humour me.

Eve


Madonna


Robyn


Eurythmics


Hilary Duff


Go figure.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Six times Oscar nominated character actress

Was there anybody Thelma Ritter didn't work with?



Monday, December 15, 2008

If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it.

Just saying.

Your candle burnt out long before, your legend ever will.

Every so often I run away from my life, leaving the stages of the world's art capitals behind me in favour of the loving arms of my family and their solid charms. I come over all "Substitute for Love" when I get off the train and see my little sisters in their pyjamas, all sleepy and excited, telling me about seeing Santa. I get home and the dog climbs all over me, and my nieces scream with all of the commotion. It's magic.

This emotion lasts for roughly twenty minutes before all spirals out of control, descends into chaos and I dive under the table, shaking like a speed addict without a fix.

I have a lot of time to contemplate things and brush up on my favourite topics, namely Beyonce videos and Elizabeth the First. Why is it that there are so many adaptations of this particular queen's life? I mean, I think she's fierce, but usually my taste's don't exactly match up with popular taste. There's never been a TV mini-series dedicated to Paul Cezanne has there? Anyway, here are a few of my personal favourites from the hallowed list of Elizabethan impersonators, you know, just for kicks.



Miranda Richardson in the notorious BBC series "Blackadder".



Quentin Crisp in Sally Potter's "Orlando".



Anne-Marie Duff in the TV mini-series "The Virgin Queen".



Cate Blanchet in the movie "The Golden Age".



Helen Mirren in her Emmy award winning role in "Elizabeth I".



Celebrity Blonde in BoyfriendRobotique's "Red Heads of History Solve a Murder Mystery".

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Learn it!

Knowledge I have gained in Germany this week:

When it comes to music, Pagans are as bad as Mormons.

A little bit of acid is healthier for you than a spoonful of wormwood.

Radiators actually heat by convection.

To entertain yourself, all you need is a wobbly table and an overactive imagination.

Also:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Live from Berlin!


My dear afflicted Californian friend, Stevie is hosting me this week in his really very lovely Berlin appartment, he`s established here. We are preparing a ceremony to present on Friday at Studio Saint Saint, Berlin´s only gallery owned and operated by transvestites. I love this city.

People beat each other up on the subway, everything is covered in grafitti and every building functions as a gallery, an appartment, a store and a cookery school. Plus it`s wildly cheap, rents seem to be around 250-300 Euros (ie $320-388) a month. Peaches, Bruce La Bruce and Vaginal Creme Davies live here. I bought two pairs of earrrings and a scarf today.

"I´m not a moody guy...but such a life I´ve never known."

Monday, December 1, 2008

LITERALLY



Interview currently features the superlative Max Steele, looking like a Pink Narcissus /Peter Berlin/Fassbinder hybrid, and I for one am buying a million copies and giving them to everyone I know as Christmas presents. I tried that once previously, with Other Voices, Other Rooms actually.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Meanwhile across town.....



Ves Pitts' new exhibition just opened at the Christopher Henry Gallery and features this outtake from the "Notorious Beauty" sessions we shot in July. The print is right there across from a shot of the glorious Max Steele, and is available to purchase for a modest $1,200.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Live Art






I do love throwing a bit of paint all over the floorboards don't you? Since I debuted this number at Duckie, wherein I sing torturous love songs and get covered in acrylic, I have spent an awful lot of time in the shower, scrubbing manically. I had the great, drunken idea last night of trying to get into the sink at Bistrotheque in the vain hope of having some sort of baptismal episode there and thus not taking the night bus in such a painterly state of disgrace. It didn't work, I merely saturated myself (and the bathroom) further with the blood red post-show run-off, it looked like a scene from "American Psycho".

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My feelings on the matter



This is happening next week! An hour of songs and stories; reflections on my first two years in NYC.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Art Acts at ACTART



ACTART is an annual happening in London that draws a crowd of about 1,000 people. This year the lucky audience got to witness the world premiere of "My Dick is Just a Metaphor".



I only messed up once, which is little short of miraculous since that piece has 11 sound cues in 13 minutes. To rectify the error I stuck my tongue in Jeffrey's mouth.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My dick is just a metaphor



Sound Cue 1 “S’Express”

When I was 8 or 10 my favourite song was S’Express, I had it on a tape cassette called Hits ’88, it was a double cassette with two tapes in it. When I was supposed to be tidying my room I would put it on and dance to it and at my birthday party we played pass the parcel to it. When I was 8 or 10, my step-dad put me and my two sisters in the bath together every Sunday night. Then when we were all clean he’d take each of us to our bedroom, separately, and spank us over his knee – because we had been bad. Because our rooms were untidy or we had stolen cookies or something else very bad. He always hugged us afterwards though; it was bath, spank, hug – just like that. He did it because he loved us and didn’t want us to be very naughty children like Suzie who had to go and live with a different family because she was so bad. We must have been very bad children though, because he did it every Sunday night.

Sound Cue 2 “S’Express"

I’ve been listening to Karen Finley’s disco music a lot lately. It really makes me want to dance, I find it very sexy. You know, there’s a sample of her work in S’Express? That line; “Drop that ghetto blaster,” – that’s her. I only just realised when I saw the video on youtube.

Sound Cue 3 "S'Express"

When I was 8 or 10 I really loved dancing to music and I really wanted to go to a rave, but they were only for teenagers and bigger kids and the news said they were very, very dangerous. I wanted a swimbag for school with a big yellow, smiley face on it, but I got Garfield instead. Garfield’s cute, but I wanted a smiley face. My Mum heard all about raves and said she thought they were trouble too, she knew danger when she saw it. I was lucky to even have the tape cassette at all I guess, but I’m glad I did because we played it at my party and we all danced and Rachel got dizzy and said she thought she was going to faint!

Sound Cue 4 “S’Express”

I mean, maybe I was the only one getting spanked over the knee, religiously, every Sunday. Even when I was a kid I thought that was a really old fashioned and, kind of kinky. But maybe I was the only one getting spanked, maybe my sisters weren’t, I never asked.

Sound Cue 5 “Tales of Taboo”

When I was 8 or 10 my Mum got another divorce and my step-Dad had to move out and my Nan was very upset about it all and said that one divorce was bad enough. My Mum said that sometimes grown-ups stop loving each other and that it wasn’t fair on the children but that it wasn’t the children’s fault and that the grown-ups never stopped loving their children. I liked it better without him anyway, when he left we hardly ever had to go to school at all and I got to listen to a lot of tapes.

Sound Cue 6 “S’Express”

My Mother actually divorced her second husband because he was run out of town. He was babysitting the neighbour’s kids, the parents came back early and found him….Well, no-one ever completed that sentence but my Mother kicked him out anyway. My Mother only told me recently the real reason for the divorce. She only told me, not my sisters. She only told me because I have a penis and I’m capable of hearing stuff like that, because I have a penis and need to hear stuff like that. Was it a warning of the dangers of a man’s body? Did she expect me to perpetrate myself, to perpetuate the family line? To fuck a little girl for myself? Too bad I can’t get it up for babies, huh? Too bad I have such a taste for dick in my mouth. My penis is just a metaphor. But, we never spoke about that. Anyway we had enough to discuss, because a week after he left, he returned, in the middle of the night, picked up a hammer and smashed everything in the house into infinitesimal pieces. Kristalnacht, right? Every plate, the TV, the gold-fish bowl, doors, cabinets, mirrors, glistening fragments. It was like a disco, light bouncing everywhere, the neighbours said we’d be finding bits of glass in the carpet for months and I wanted to go dancing so badly.

Sound Cue 7 “Tales of Taboo”

When I was 8 or 10 I went to the park with my Grandad and all my cousins and we all had ice cream sandwiches and my cousin fell in the duck pond and got all slimy! I needed the toilet and my Grandad told me to just wee in the bushes because I shouldn’t go to the toilets in the park because they were full of perverts. I always felt very curious and sorry for the perverts, but that’s because I am a pervert too.

Sound Cue 8 “S’Express”

I was watching the S’Express video on youtube in my living room, I was dancing around, I always laught when that Karen Finley sample comes in. I was thinking about being 8 or 10 and getting spanked every Sunday night like clockwork. My friend Thain told me that he had a client who he would meet at the Golden Corral in Coney Island at 8 am, and this client would rim him for hours and implore him; “Please, do it Brad, please, shit in my mouth.” Thain was always too squeamish to do it, 8am is very early for that kind of business I guess, but even kinky people have schedules right? Eat ass 8am-10am, spank babies 6pm.

Sound Cue 9 “S’Express”

I was watching the S’Express video and laughing about Thain and Karen Finley and getting ready to turn a trick on Park Avenue. I was making sure my dick smelled clean and that my pubes were trimmed, when my Sister called. I thought he was just spanking her, I never asked. We never spoke about that. But she wanted to talk now, although she couldn’t actually. Find. The words. She told me about the flashbacks and the nightmares and how long it had taken her to piece it all together.

Sound Cue 10 “Tales of Taboo”

When I was 8 or 10, my friend Suzie had to go away and live with another family and everybody said it was because she was very naughty and that’s what happens to naughty children, and they don’t get any Christmas presents either. Everybody said that Suzie was a very bad little girl but I knew it wasn’t true, she told me so. She told me it was because her Daddy did bad things to her, she never did any bad things and it just wasn’t fair.

Sound Cue 11 “Tales of Taboo”

When I was a little girl, when I was 8 or 10, I liked dancing and I liked Thundercats and my Daddy fucked me. When I was 8 or 10 I was the best at reading in my class, and I was the May Queen at Church and my Daddy fucked me. Oh but big girls grow up Daddy, and I’m a big girl now, just look at me Daddy – look at me! I’m taller than you and I’d spit on your grave but you’re not dead. Yet. And now I have a big dick and it gets very hard and don’t think I won’t fuck you in the mouth with it until you gag. No don’t think I won’t choke you with it until you’re crying like a baby, until you puke. And don’t think I won’t push your face into that puke and don’t think I won’t suffocate you in it and don’t think I won’t be fucking your ass ‘til it bleeds. No, don’t think I won’t smear your blood and your shit on your face and kick you in your vomit covered head. I have a penis, I’m capable of that. But I’ll bathe you beforehand Daddy, don’t forget there are steps to be taken, rules to be followed. I have a penis, I’m capable of that.

Sound Cue 11 “Tales of Taboo”

END

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Lighter Side of Domestic Violence


From a conversation I had, this evening, with my Mother.

"Do you remember when we moved to that place in Rossall, that estate that looked like it had been transplanted from the mid-West? All the neighbours were terribly posh, all painted their houses and mowed the lawn once a week. And I was married to Phil and we were having that big fight and he went to punch you in the face, and me and you and Nicola got together and pushed him right out of the front door?

Well, I was calling him all the bastards I could lay my tongue too, and the woman next door was out there washing her windows! Oh, well, she nearly wet herself, she just stood there with her mouth wide-open and Phil kicking the door in, and us all inside, hysterical. But she never took her cloth off the window.

That reminds me off the time we had to go and save Lynn Parky from herself, when she called me up in the middle of the night and said, 'I'm gonna kill 'im. I've got a knife in me handbag an' am gonna kill 'im.' I don't know what he'd done this time, he was always beating her up or taking all her money, but she was serious.

And do you remember that we had to go 'round at three in the morning to stop her from driving to his house? When we got there she was plastered, she was slurring and hiccuping and she had this great big knife in her purse and her make-up had smeared all over her face. We had to stay there for hours telling here it wasn't worth it, me and you in our pyjamas at four o'clock in the morning."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Haunted

"Tranny performance isn’t all Eddie Murphy in a fat-suit. Why, it can be a fat tranny in his birthday suit doing a reverse strip (Glenn Marla), a troupe of thin and muscular contemporary dancers in tight dresses (the Pixie Harlots), or a beguiling New York City schoolteacher on piano (Our Lady J)—all part of Justin Bond’s Lustre. This was definitely the year that trannies ruled the New York stage, what with Taylor Mac and Joey Arias ruling the upstairs and downstairs at HERE; Novice Theory and Our Lady J coming together in a powerful double bill at the Zipper; and boy-lesquer La JohnJoseph escorting us through a gender confessional at Dixon Place. But taking the cake, for sheer numbers alone, is Lustre, which Bond developed at P.S. 122 and later moved to the Abrons Art Center. Bond amassed the widest array of tranny talent found in his phone book and put on a tremendous and unforgettable show."
- Village Voice Best of 2008

I think it's quite an achievement to get a sentence in amongst all of that, don't you?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Squabble



You know, I really do love New York. This extract from OUT! magazine reminds me just what a magical place it is.

"Well after midnight the Mattachine 2.0 crowd spills out onto the sidewalk. I ask performance artists Joseph Keckler and La JohnJoseph and their friend Stephen Kent Jusick, an experimental filmmaker: Why are we getting all verklempt about a painful, dangerous time for gays?

“Danger is exciting,” says Keckler.

“I think a little homophobia goes a long way in keeping us strong and not soft.”

Joseph, who’s sort of dressed like Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan but with black lipstick, disagrees: “As much fun as homophobia might provide us, there are kids in places who aren’t as lucky as us. If they want to wear black lipstick, it’s a hassle for them.”

“The assimilationists win -- that’s what happening,” says Jusick.

Joseph takes offense. “I am hardly the face of assimilation!” We’re all interrupted when a huge, belching garbage truck backs up on the sidewalk. “Dive in, dive in!” people start shrieking. A garbageman in a do-rag that reads PUETRO RICO scowls at us. It all feels very Old New York, with rouged nelly queens and surly trade mixing it up."

- OUT! October 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I licked my spoon in delight.


Saturday, ate a banana split with the sun pressing up to the window. Cream on top of ice cream, a few fat fruits, ground pistachio like moss, a banana like a longship, Viking vessel of exploration, oak tree hewn in half to tell the time since life began, in concentric circles. Frothy like the birth of Venus, bottomless like a heartbreak, waitress with a lisp like an old room mate, the fair rumble of traffic grounding me. The spoon, Greta Garbo, throws a haughty shadow across the glass, prisiming, dives, Esther Williams, solo synchronized swimming in an innocent soup of honey, Shirley Temple. I licked my spoon in delight as I realized that I hadn't been this happy since we smoked our brains out in your room, and coloured in pictures of dinosaurs on your bed all afternoon, with just the cat for company.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Speech!


My earliest memory of Nicola, is she and I ages 8 and 5 respectively, stood on top of a rabbit hutch in the garden, huddled together for dear life and screaming, because our very unfriendly dog was snarling at us. I don't remember how long we were stuck there before we were rescued, but I do remember thinking; "We're in this for life, girl."

I can't think of a better way to open this celebratory speech in honor of my sister, than to talk of her loyalty, compassion and kindness - wherever I've been in the world I know that she's always been there with me. We've been booed off-stage together in Paris, we've been accused of shop lifting from the Cathedral gift-store in New York, we've convinced people in San Francisco that she was the Duchess of Wesham, and we've been stranded in London with no place to sleep and only a fiver between us. Usually this is all her fault, she's not very organised, but since she's my little sister I've always forgiven her. Well, except for the time she ate a multi-pack of Cadbury's creme eggs and put the papers in my room.

I say she's my little sister, because she's so short, but actually she's seven years older than me and as such she's taught me a few things over the years. She taught me a mnemonic to help me spell the word necessary; never eat chips eat salad sandwiches and raspberry yoghurt. She taught me that most important things to look for when buying diamonds are the three c's; cut, color and clarity. And she taught me (and all my friends at university in Berkeley) that if you light the bottom of your glass of booze you can inhale the fumes which really, really messes you up. It's called freebasing, isn't it? And honestly, all that advice has been invaluable to me.

Like every older sister should, she has been there for me since that day on top of the rabbit hutch in the back garden. When we were in High School, she kicked a particularly mean boy in the shins on my behalf, she played a chain smoking chambermaid in our Halloween show when she was six months pregnant with Isabelle, and one night a couple of years ago, she somehow saved me from getting arrested for underage drinking in Florida, when I insisted we walk down the freeway to TGI Friday's and order strawberry daiquiris.

That's not to say that I haven't been an equally incredible sibling to her; I have helped her disguise her outlandish Dorothy Perkins bills as necessary expenses. That is to say, whenever she spends more than she should she simply tells Michael; "Oh, it was JohnJoseph. He must have bought it all on my card, in my size, in my favourite color, without telling me. How strange, but you know what he's like."

But we're not here today to talk about my sister's impulse buying or personality disorder, sorry disorders, no. We are here to celebrate her as she becomes Mrs Nicola Dawn Euphrates Ypsilanti Darlington the Third. I remember when she first met Michael, well actually I don't because she had just taught me the trick about inhaling alcohol fumes, so that whole period is a blur, but for the sake of this speech "I remember when she first met Michael". The only other boyfriend I remember her having before him, was during her final year of junior school, but Michael was different. He was tall and knew how to fasten his shoelaces and didn't wear grey shorts everyday. Maybe this is what first caught her eye, I couldn't say, I wasn't there. I remember that she ditched the other boyfriend after a week, at age ten, because she said he was; "Sexist and racist and every other ist". She's always been strong-minded. Some people say hard-faced, but I say strong-minded. Famously, as a little girl, she would start debates with anyone and everyone, leading my poor old Grandad to decry; "You'd argue with Our Lord, you would."
"No I wouldn't," she said.

And so, in conclusion, I would like to toast the bride for her endless, loving nature, her incredible sense of humour, her loyalty, compassion and kindness and her horrible taste in music. I hope she takes these talents and qualities that have made her a somewhat above average sister, and uses them in her quest to be a suitably, quite alright, wife. If not, all I can say is that, she still doesn't really like dogs, and that rabbit hutch is still outside in the back garden. God save the Queen.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fabulous Riviera


When I lived in Brooklyn I would see this lady all the time on Bedford Avenue, and I thought she was fabulous, so I nicknamed her Fabulous Riviera. I was always too shy to speak to her though. Last year she was in New York Magazine's look book section, and here she is on the face hunter blog from Sept 2006. I was lead there after I saw a picture take by old FH, of a girl on Brick Lane (my new 'hood) in the dress Legs Malone bought me! This reminded me of my initial meeting with FH when he took pictures of me and Gigi at a Klaxons gig in Brooklyn, where I also met Sia, who is the featured vocalist on that record Our Lady Steele is currently crazy about. Full circle realness!!!!!

These Days

These days all my friends are very young children and very old ladies. The situation is complicated since I can't hear with my right ear, and none of my friends can really communicate in linear, legible paragraphs. Sometimes we all end up talking concurrently out of impatience, incomprehension of social graces, or forgetfulness.

Our conversations are like circles within circles, optical illusions that lead nowhere, they get messy quickly, loose threads of conversation sticking out like our chatter was a frayed ball of yarn, wound up in a hurry. Dialogues that look like baby's first wall painting, done in very berry lipstick all down the hallway, looping back on itself with the occasional recognisable symbol appearing startling, at random.

I thought about a starling, sweeping over the pond in my childhood, as the train rattled by, at the bottom of my garden making the fencing wobble.

At tea time, when we all come together, it's like the Mad Hatter's tea party, only we don't say the 'm' word, it's a little insensitive, and more over everything's relative and more over everyone's a relative, and people shouldn't go pointing glass fingers in glass houses. The web of kinship that sews us all together is not exactly clear, since she can't remember who I am and I can't hear her mumbled explanation, and nobody knows who invited her in the first place.

As waitresses multiply and come and go and extra plates are continually ordered and continually disappear down the table, I take the time to look around at this collection of women, staggered like the evolution of man, an illustration over tea cakes. There's a tragedy etched into them. They're unaware. They went through the war and came out the other side, the other side where everything looked the same but everything was different. Different from how they had been told the world would look in the capital 'f' future, that capital 'f' future of space travel and self-cleaning fabrics and endless technology. Endless technology they don't understand, though they try to get a grip on mobile phones, and try to respond to text messages which always read garbled, and try to understand computers but it's hard to understand computers in one hour a week at an underfunded library a bus ride away from where you live.

Where you live, is just around the corner from me isn't it? Oh, you've moved have you? When? Really, that long ago? And there was me saying to whatshername that we were practically neighbours, you know whatshername? You do. Lovely girl, tall, dark hair, goes out with that fella from the pub. Nice lad, shaved head, looks the spitting image of his Father. And you, you look just like your Mother, you do. Same eyes you see, same long face, I think you're very handsome. Is she your Mother? Oh, she's your sister? Oh well you look nothing a like. Well, I can't see it.

Older women do have sex, sex in their heads at least. They find gentlemen friends at the charity shop where they volunteer, who come and take their hand and remind them of what it felt like when they were nineteen and blushing on the promenade, talking about a certain handsome chap just as he strode over, looking dashing in his dress uniform, epaulettes glinting in the sun. A gentleman friend who makes her remember how she felt when she got a letter from him, far away in India, and how she felt when he came home on leave on tore her skirt in a fit of lust and how they rolled around and broke a vase in her Mother's little house on the Wirral, and how she blushed to herself and smiled uncontrollably the next day as she picked up the pieces and mended that ripped seam. And how she felt when she got that telegram.

A gentleman friend she maybe met at the supermarket, she's an independent woman still, who approached her at the deli counter to say what lovely eyes she had. A gentleman friend she introduced her friends to at the Church social, they all said he was a real catch, and she blushed. But blushes turn to bruising on the heart, I hear of an elderly lady arranging her wedding (nothing much, nothing special, it's her second time) who learns the day before the service, that her gentleman friend dropped dead that morning. And so she enters another fifty black years.

Sometimes, in the middle of the night, at about 2am, it must be the mail train that comes by at 100 miles per hour because everything shakes. We've had things fall of the wardrobe before, and I always say to Bill; "Bill, did the Earth move for you? No! It was just the wardrobe." Have you met our Bill?

You will live as long as it takes for you to really learn pain, until you can speak it like your native tongue, until it's your first thought, your initial reaction, primary response, your frst answer to every question. They say the Lord only gives you what you can handle, it's just that some people can handle too much.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Learn It!



The Hot Peaches seminal theme song; performed by Java, lyrics by J. Carnicia.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Rhianna rings like a bell through the night.



Watching Rhianna do Madonna's seminal pop hit, "Vogue", at "Fashion Rocks" prompts several trains of thought doesn't it? It's fascinating how when a performer pays homage to a more powerful icon, it confers legitimacy to their own legend. Madonna doing Marilyn is a good example, and before that Marilyn doing Clara Bow for Avedon. On one hand it's a humble, "She's my inspiration" on the other it's a sly announcement that there's a new queen in town. "The new Madonna" - every female pop star who has been landed with that moniker has, since 1988, limped into cultural obscurity; Paula Abdul through Gwen Stefani.

Do you remember when Gwen Stefani was all anybody could think about? I never even bought her records, but all those hipster faggots were pissing their pants over her, and little girls the world over sang the refrain, "Take a chance you stupid ho," like a hymn, at recess.

Rhianna however, has managed more than one successful album, and seems bizarrely to only grow in popularity. She was smelted from the forge of perfect pop perfection thus her every move is both, well, perfect and entirely unsurprising. She's a hip Beyonce (which is to say she doesn't wear her Mother's dresses, looks emo and probably totally loves The Ramones) just as she's a square Britney/Winehouse (which is to say she keeps her sex life to herself and doesn't throw up at award ceremonies). She is not reckless, but her skirts are always short enough; her deeply unsexy career satisfies everyone. She is responsible, but she can be naughty, but she's not a drunk, and she's beautiful but in no way provocative and has a hairdo that makes fashion people think she's stylish.

She is proficiency personified and as such her performance of "Vogue" was a marvellous example of Madonna-by-numbers. Every theme of the elder stateswoman's career was there. She threw the Hollywood sexpot look in with some vaguely avant garde silk dancing and the traditional, confused post-feminist boys-drool-girls-rule attitude, garnished it with a few baroque gestures, and lip-synched flawlessly from behind the iconic headset microphone as she recreated the choreography from the original video. She was even dressed like Kylie Minogue on her last tour; and if that is not conclusive proof of robbery from Madonna's tomb then I must surely surrender my case.

I am not averse to a bit of appropriation, obviously Madge yanked the whole scene from some broke uptown queens and laughed all the way to the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. On one of her previous tours though ("Re-Invention" I think) Our Lady of Perpetual Cultural Aggrevation in fact re-created her famous Eighteenth Century powdered wigs and frilly drawers "Vogue" performance, but ladies and gentlemen, she updated it. Yes, new choreography, backbends and headstands, and video screens that merged Antoinette and Hitchcock. Madonna doing Madonna, fifteen years later so to speak, whereas Rhianna gave us a bootleg Madonna karaoke dvd filtered through "High School: The Musical 3". Her attempt was less of an homage and more of a not terribly special recreation, which in fact revealed that, like it or not, Madonna is the new Madonna.

But it's also kind of sad because Madonna's previous work in the popular musical genre set the bar so high for pop stars (qua pop stars, not 'musicians', 'artists' or any of those other elusive mythical creatures) that it's pretty near impossible for anyone else to match it. Even herself. So, wildly, since the standard has been set we must bear witness to every other pop star aping Madonna, until someone presents a better version of Madonna than Madonna - who as previously concluded is still the best Madonna impersonator around. As my dear Mother would say; "It's political correctness gone mad."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Everybody's Doin' A Brand New Dance, Now.







My Mother and I are both mortally afraid of bees and wasps.

This evening in Blockbuster, whilst trying to avoid paying the late fees, the creation at the register announced; "I don't want to alarm you but there is a rather large bumble bee just above you."

And so there was, it was huge, half the size of a tennis ball, and what it was doing in Blockbuster in late September I do not know.

My Mother and I, being that we are both mortally afraid of bees and wasps, ran screaming towards the door only to find ourselves headed off by Mr Black and Gold, at which point we ran back to the cash desk.

The creation at the register could not have been less interested in helping us out of this pickle, so you can imagine our relief when a dude with tattoos entered - "Surely he will save us," we thought.

But, no. He was a scared as my Mother and I, and so the three of us ran about the store, knocking over the cardboard cut-out of Paris Hilton and sending the low hanging sale signs into disarray.

It should be added that my Mother strained her groin last week and that I was wearing my pyjamas. The sight of the two of us flailing around, she staggering and me ready for bed, would have been hilarious if anyone with a sense of humour had been around to witness it. The creation at the register was unmoved and still insisted that we pay the £18 late fees, miserable cow.

For the record my Mother chose 27 Dresses and I chose Inland Empire. In retrospect the bee should have been interpreted as an omen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Question?

"Were you ever happy?"

Once, in 2003.

"Do you ever think about faking your own death?"

Everyday.

"What's your secret to homemade porn?"

I keep the lens cap on.

"What are your politics?"

Filth are my politics, filth is my life.

"Do you remember a time in your life you thought about suicide?"

I don't remember a time in my life when I haven't.

I used to, now I don't.


There was a time, not so terribly long ago, when, paralyzed as I was by my feelings for you, I was a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I understood crimes of passion and knew what it was to break a person with a table leg, out of sheer frustration, desire. I knew chloroform, I knew kidnap, I knew rape, I knew involuntary suicide pacts. I knew fucking you from behind with a gun in your mouth, one bullet going off like an orgasm, through your brain, through mine. I knew threesomes with a Smith and Wesson model 40 and two unrecognisable corpses, two faceless, bloody bodies in flagrante on the bed.

Then I left and I knew nothing.

I woke up, knee deep in snow, shell shocked and I began to forget, to unlearn; so when I see you now you're the kitchen sink, the price of jam, mid-afternoon, Sainsbury's. You bend too easily to yesterday's news and ignore the pull of the moon, your mind is limited at best, lumpy, univestigated, buttoned-down. You're fearful of addiction (which is to say experience) and evolve with the enthusiasm of a grave digger; it's true now that I run circles around you. It's true now that you'd be hurt if you read this, but it's unlikely that you ever will because you exist solidly within your own life. Not for you electronic stalking, technological wanderings, online explorations for solice, social investigation or anything as silly as the news.

In that fleeting moment I would have considered going straight for you, buckling down for you, wearing pants and going to work and monogamy and soap operas and 5-a-day. I would have beaten my own body into obedience (yes, with a table leg), polished my face and travelled on the Eurostar. But now, oh the truth is so grimy, and I have been around the world for two more years and I can't help noticing that you're just a person and your bathroom ceiling is filthy.

(Pic by Inbal Sivan)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Have ribcage, will travel.


Today Anna and I sat around for four hours (in the coffee shop that we were kicked out of on Friday) decrying how modelling had damaged us.


Strangers on a Train


"Would you like some supper, my love?"

'Well, whatever suits you. I'm not ravishing.'

"Ravenous, my love."

'Yes, Ravenous.'

"Did Sheila cook for you or was it bought in?"

'Bought in, very good steak pies actually.'

"Well, this is very good quality Marks&Spencer, which we don't get at home. It's very good."

'I'm not fussed.'

"Mmmm."

'I'll take your word for it.'

"Well, I don't suppose you'd like anything else? I have a yoghurt if you'd like yoghurt."

'Yes, I'll have a yoghurt, but I'll wait five minutes. What's that?"

"Oh, I only got one of those - I just didn't think you were into jelly."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Traitor's Gate



At least the Tower of London had a library.

Tea Shop


"I used to work up here, in the offices at the Robertson's jam factory but it closed down."

"But you still see Robertson's jam on the shelves."

"Oh yes, but it's made elsewhere now."

"So, you're just visiting today? You and a group of ladies is it?"

"Yes, just a day trip for the sake of memory."

"Well at least you've got some nice weather for a change, bit of sun. It's been nothing but rain."

"Oh, yes, it's been a terrible Summer."

"Now do you remember that pub, The George?"

"Oh, it's dead now. Empty."

"It used to be such a popular place, you'd go from there to The Beehive and off down the High St."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

She's a 28, so just back down.


Today at the tailor's, where I was being fitted for my sister's wedding by the world's least qualified suit pusher, I got into something of a tiff. I had sent them my details two weeks ago, stating that I am a 28" waist, wear a 34 jacket and a 15 1/2 collar. Apparently these measurements are entirely impossible and obviously a figment of my admittedly warped imagination. When I arrived I found myself faced with pants in a 32" waist and a jacket in a 38, which the salesman assured me I would need in order for it to; "go around." Around what? Me and my inferiority complex? Lord above. After negotiating my way into the correct jacket I began to tackle the trousers, much to the annoyance of the pusher who wanted to know if I was sure I knew my size. I have been buying horribly outdated slacks for a very long time now, but apparently his eagle eye overrules my own life experience. Throwing just a little bit of Hollywood bitch realness I snapped, "Well I am a 28 at Dior so I expect I am a 28 here!" So now I have a suit that fits. He wanted to debate my collar size with me but sadly couldn't find his tape measure.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Regrets, I've had a few. But then again, too many to mention.



I didn't want to say good bye like that, I didn't want to part with you on a dirty street corner. On the phone, on the other side of the Bay. I didn't want to say good bye to you like that, waking up and finding you dressed and in the doorway and on your way out. I didn't want it to be bleary-eyed, panicked and half-kissed; I wanted us to all sit around a table and reminisce, tipsy but not plastered. I didn't want to say good bye to you all covered in baby powder and half-dressed, hugging, clinging in a public space with a spotlight on us, choking me. I didn't want to say good bye to you like that, via email, text message, voicemail, two missed calls. I didn't want to face the truth, I wasn't capable of taking responsibility, so I let technology do my dirty work and act as an intermediary. A flimsy membrane between you and me, pressed up against a glass wall mouthing wet-eyed heartaches. I didn't want to say good bye to you like that, so casually, almost vindictively, as though it were your fault. To just throw that "So long" at you and leave you, holding it, shocked. I didn't want to say good bye to you like that, so unprepared, so disorganised. It wasn't supposed to end in a line at the post office, weighed down with boxes and a $300 shipping fee. It wasn't supposed to end under mundane fluorescent light with you all planning to get tacos afterwards and me feeling like I'd been boxed up myself. No. It was supposed to end with a midnight drive to Canada or a sunburnt haul through Mexico, not with a trip to the post office. I didn't want to say good bye to you like that, I never wanted to say good bye to you at all.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dublin

After a deliriously chaotic flight and a l-o-n-g bus ride through Ireland, I made it to Dublin with Spooky. I feel as though I am coming off the longest speed jag of my life; oh wait...

Today watching street theatrics on St Stephen's Green, I heard an Irish granny say to her pal of the underwear clad acrobats, "Ah would you come on now Mary? When you've seen one you've seen 'em all."

Mercifully I have found myself in the dysfunctional arms of Spooky, Saori, Baby Brook and John Moran who are all here being wildly famous at the fringe festival. In between their techs and their TV interviews they are helping me to forget that my life is in fact in tatters.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

This one gets his mug everywhere!


So said the wise old owl that is Earl Dax. And as if by magic in the week of my return to the UK I have finally made it into the British broadsheets. In The Guardian today, journalistic dreamboat Ben Walters (cousin of non-other than choreographer to the stars Vanessa Walters) mentions me favorably in his write up of Joe E. Jeffrey's Drag Video Verite. He also spilt the beans on how I spent my time at Marina's apartment this Summer, details I probably wouldn't have shared had I known he was a filthy hack. Oh, who am I kidding? Had I have known I'm sure I would have told him even more lurid details. You can read it all here.

Furthermore, those darlings over at anti-mag have just put up the interview I did with them a few weeks ago, the feature includes a lovely little gallery too.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dictionary Definition

Pickle Queen; (informal, slang, polari) one who is a constant state of chaos, moving from one ludicrous panic inducing situation to another, ie always being "in a pickle". EG "She left her cell charger behind when she went to LA and now she can't get a ride to SF, and even if she gets there she hasn't actually figured out where she's staying though she does have 5 performances in a row. She is such a pickle queen."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Strike!


Last week I went up to Asbury Park to perform with a delightful array of harlots, in a bowling alley. The dressing room was built over the lanes and so bowling balls came hurtling through all night long, really it was quite something. Legs Malone took this picture as a record for the future.