Friday, 30 March 2012


My article for Art Wednesday on the LOUIS VUITTON-MARC JACOBS exhibition at Les Arts Decoratifs is up now... Really nice show!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Death of a Ladies' Man

♥ Leonard Cohen!

So much so that I am naming my novella after this song. It's just about finished now and will be serialized on 3 A. M. magazine from April onwards... It is about a politician.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Socialite Manifesto

Spotted! [Available in Urban Outfitters, Society Club Shop, and various other bookshops]
[It's a book of illustrations, caricatures etc. Published 2009 by Beautiful Books.]

The Wrecking Ball

Photos from the launch party etc, in 2008

Friday, 23 March 2012

Praise for 'The Socialite Manifesto'

At the "Companions in Guilt" exhibition to accompany the launch of "The Socialite Manifesto"< Emanual Ungaro kindly attended and described the drawings as "reminiscent of the early work of Tracey Emin and Allen Jones... The book is a game, a beautiful game." Nice of him!


Nice Fitzgerald story, nice bit of failure:

You can read it here:

Thursday, 22 March 2012

love this scene

Carlos Amorales

My review of Carlos Amorales at Yvon Lambert Paris, for Art Wednesday:

Monday, 19 March 2012


I'm revising all of these poems now...

Friday, 16 March 2012


We would drive around a lot and
smoke Cloves, listen to the bands
You wanted me to like,
To be a little more like you.
I loved the music more when you left me,
But not in the way you liked it,
I don’t think.
I don’t know – you were only twenty-two and
I was seventeen and there
Weren’t enough hours in the day
For driving around.
We could never go far enough away
From Memphis, Tennessee.

I was never the escape
You wanted to be getaway driver
For, I was never allowed
To cross state borders
Without a note.

You couldn't understand why I loved
the smell of gasoline so much,
The dry green trees, soft dirt
Those deep blue skies
Where you saw only planes.


The baby rebels cradling round
Suckling soft on rolled up silver
Dribbling eyes and fading smoke
From their new found
Mothership: A piece of foil
with charcoal smears.
Curling edges, folded corners,
Creasing surface,
Creasing conscience.

Childs play – a tiny boat on
An origami ocean
Make-believe painted silver and
Pale baby blues,
It takes you back
To the warmth that you lost,
And it's hard to know whether that
Was a dream or this is
For they seem alike
In dissolving you
And your fears all at once.

But even here you still feel sad
So have a little more,
More little sparks, inhaled emotion
Creasing reason, rolling motion
Watch the wave, chase the wave,
Try not to drown too long.

A golden cross on the wall
Was once a decoration, but now bears
Down on us, its edges defined as the hours
Pass by and the sky is only
Walls around us
Closing in.


I needed a friend, in London,
When I first went back
And he opened the door, tall and sarcastic,
And smiled, and we talked for hours.
There were books coming out and addictions to
fight, and memories to erase, (unless there’s an
advance) and a lot to do, for us lay-abouts.
We went to the Colony Rooms and Blacks and
Met writers, drank Bloody Mary’s and irritated people.
We went to a Lolita exhibition in character, and
entertained people, for a little while.
The memories came back, then the drugs came back,
Then we irritated each other.

He said that lives on cocaine and lives on heroin
Weren’t compatible, really,
And we didn’t speak for a few months.
I went to Vienna, went blonde, and went silly
For a while, and met someone else.
Eventually we talked again and went
Back to being friends but
It had all ended really.

When I went to see him he was painting again
But he was sad, and everything in his flat
Was chaotic when it had always been neat.
Torn sheets, scattered books, dry paint, dirty sheets.
Poetic throes or rehab? Modern art, laying in.
He started smoking again. He needed twenty pounds
For art materials. He needed needles for an installation.

I was sad when I left him, as I had never been before.
Maybe I knew it was over, and it was the last time
I would ever see him. He said he’d been happy to see me
But nothing was making him happy
Art wasn’t working, these days.

In June, I was at a garden party with Nina
When Robert called. “Sebastian’s dead. I just
Had to say it – I’m sorry. I know you’ve had your
Ups and downs. Crack and heroin. This morning.”
I looked at Nina and I told her and then I looked around
At this perfect garden, blooming and easy and pale
With the light. Nina said, “I’ll get you a drink.”
We drifted through the rest of that afternoon.
I got sun-burnt and we went to a party and saw James and
Everyone and I said to him, “I can’t take it in right now,”
and I drank some wine and had an odd time,
almost ready to crash myself.
It was the day after that other scandal,
which seemed to matter little now.

There was a lot of black lace at the funeral, of course.
There were a lot of girls and artists and writers
and Soho. I sat next to my publisher in the church,
and cried, though I thought I wouldn’t.

I wasn’t sure what to do with myself afterwards.
I met a little girl, seven, called Kuki,
And ended up spending most of the wWake with her.
She had a little black Puritan dress with Doc Martins
and we chatted about this and that
and she said she wanted to be the next
Kate Bush, and I said, go for it.
The hours went on. At midnight, Laurence called a taxi.
We’d been sitting on a velvet chair for some time.
Laurence said it was the last place he’d seen him.
It was all very strange.
He didn’t know what to do either.

I took the taxi to Chelsea and as the girls were there.
So was Peter, and he gave me a hug. I was still floating above it all
Possessed by the deathly party,
The costumed denial
That the coffin was real
And he was too close to the light.
And we were not close enough.
It was dark now, and about to rain, and we got another cab.
And kept going, more cabs, talking about casual things,
Entirely adrift. I left London soon after.


I did not know how
To say goodbye to all of them
At once. A funeral, a break-up, more deaths,
More disappearances. Two murders.
All in one year. I was twenty-two.
That summer, I lay on the lawn at home,
And counted all the people I had loved
Who were not here.
And then I tried to think of new people
As if that would make it better.
It didn’t, so I tried to work as if that
Was as important as all I’d lost
But it wasn’t.
And then I left the country and spent
Some time in New York with my runaway friends
And that was nice
Until one found another girl
And another found drugs
And then I’d lost them too.
I ended up spending my last week in New York
With two women I’d never met before.
They were very kind but I was sick of
Always ending up with people I didn’t know
And standing on another balcony with a cigarette
And a stranger’s wine glass
Wondering what it would be like to
Have friends who didn’t run away
Not realizing then that I had
Just become one.

Cambridge 2.

I had been under for the past few terms
And then I met you and we drove
To the river and your freedom
So clear, destroyed anyone else’s
Attempts to drown; your flight was mine.
Hours and days and months passed,
Fresh green waves, escape, wet skin,
New dark blue nights and marks on me.

When you came back you weren’t there anymore,
You had withdrawn, your freedom taken away in
Mind as well, it seemed to me.
Slowly back to letters, words, and wishing well
green waves lapping up and
fearlessness, a best friend, I never see.


I had breakfast alone with the other
Guests and then I went and stood on the balcony
With some coffee and looked down and
vaguely, thought,
“I used to dream of this height.”
I left breakfast and went back to my room
And tried to figure out what to
Do with myself.


Elise took the floor and
We sorted out a way to tie the door shut
Since it wouldn't close otherwise.
It was a red scarf, tied a certain way.
We shared wine and chocolate until
A Russian man got on at Spandau
And Elise had to leave and go back
to her own compartment.
The man didn't speak very much but
smiled nicely and had dark
blonde hair, blue eyes.
But the door kept opening because
Elise took her red scarf,
And he played classical music on
his laptop.

I gave up on sleeping early on and
Decided to worry about work later.
Germany got dark and lights were rare
And the other lady slept

The Russian kept trying to fix the door
Which involved a lot of slamming.
I tried to explain the previous solution
but it was pointless to tell him that.
He just wanted to fix it.

Again he'd try as the German lady
tried to sleep and I offered him a chocolate
for trying anyway.

The door opened again,
But this time he ignored it.
I turned on Bryan Ferry.

Later on he gave me a clove
The first one I'd had in six years
Since Memphis probably.
This one was golden, kind of,
And in the back of the train
With two French boys
smoking Camels.

He said I could take up two seats
If I wanted.
The German lady kept sleeping
The door kept opening
Then everybody slept
'til Paris.


You push me down, I start to wonder why
I like this so much more than safety, softness,
love and easy
All the things that felt the hardest,
Felt the death of doubt and blindness, seeing strength
All ending light. Not hard but easy, easy rest
Just rest just rest, my head by yours
Just rest, hard floor, soft fall, soft fall


We talked about movies and I
Pronounced things wrong and we laughed
About those things and his impression
Of actors, and another man said,
Look at the stars,
We all looked up but there were no stars because
Of the fog. We laughed more, his
Game was up. People in the bar
Down the street started singing and
Someone brought out more rum.
The Sacré Coeur was lit up and
He said, Have you taken photos and shown
All your friends? And laughed at me
And I said Yes, but it makes
Me feel guilty. I wake up every day and it’s
So big and glowing and all.
But why does that make you feel guilty?
I thought about it and
I didn’t feel guilty anymore
After all. It was gone.
The church was just beautiful, if looming,
And we turned back to the party
And decided to go to some exhibitions
Go visit the painters who had
Always been my true gods really.
Their gold leaf and new perspectives
Were my loves.
In mourning people I had been so taken with
Their grave stones and talk of hell that
I forgot about the elegies
And art works and the light
Still on.

STROPHE [Toby Zeigler's new show]

Biblical figures fade
Beneath pale rose spheres
Past obscured, then lightened, briefly
As lands empty out beneath

Women sulk behind their graphics
Monks bleached almost to negatives
Of photographs
Of how they were once captured by the Masters,

Or to clouds – forgotten
Details of past attempts at art:
Revolution – provocation,
(Now remembered)
Between circles of light and pale pastel
Paint marks.

Virtual reality nostalgic for
All it is obliterating:
Compelled idea, tempting canvas.
Beauty and death, at endless play,
Recreated on spent card.
Computers and Old Masters'
Pornographic off-prints with delicate graphics –
A coup, of a kind.

New voice and light to near-dusted subjects,
Blank spaces, lost titles –
“Dying artist defeats another’s” past by
painting over it
With appropriations of
Computer graphics.

Viewer, judger, Saint:
Be taken in and pushed aside
By pattern obscuring
All’s that’s near-been taken down.


Blue paint and lost limbs
Wine sprayed with the movement
All over closed eyes:
Dark paint, smudged life.
Burlesque with a lasso and
Health, to good health
Come die little moment,
‘fore dancing's rebirth.

"Yves Klein, we love you!"
So sprinkle gold dust
With your worldly sky
Figures on walls
Their moments of leaping, and
Nietzsche’s lost love,
has bound breathlessly with
us too.

In thrall with your death –
white lights, black eyes, green wine,
strung words, and hold:

Keep dancing, keep falling
“Pretend it’s a dance”
Keep falling, keep catching,
Distortion, relax.

My birthday, you caught me,
Then threw me around
All the bad things I'd heard
Were untrue
Happy Birthday, not Deathday,
Keep dancing, sweet girl
Keep losing your limbs and
Your head to it all.


In the flickering leaves and the
Tiny wine glasses, stories spark up
All over again, and lying on lawns
Pale coloured as absinthe
We fall apart
So happily gone

Thoughts beat at the coat-tails
And golden-haired lost
Things, cerulean nightmares are
Shrouded in fire
And you say it’s a drawing
But it’s really the future,
Two hours from now we’ll be
Watching for land.

Pére Lachaise

Some were alcoholics, others it was opium or
Maybe cocaine for Jim Morrison, now with
Bubblegum stuck to the tree next to his
Grave, by teenage girls.
Whiskey bottles, too, taped
To the trunk, and dead flowers.
“Maybe they were tired.” Someone says,
after hearing all the stories about the artists
dying young, all the
affairs, jail, disease, work,
dance. Tired enough to die of it.

Victims by choice and gambling
Souls, lovers of all and each other
Now withdrawn beneath life, oblivious
To the glory days of their Parisian spring,
Of love in hindsight and selected histories
And undeclared love in vague elegies,
In requiems for the ignored.

Wine and sleepiness, despair becomes
just neat dissent
and stories to tell.
Erect that grave, dig them in. We
Walk on, past dead flowers
And candle lights
Floating on, bearing back
Lights and crosses, bars, rebirth.