Sunday, 27 February 2011

Spot Not The Swan

This is FACT - not fiction: the foot in the door comes not from a swan's head but a cow's leg.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

A Dying Swan Takes Some Sitting On

A dying swan takes some sitting on: a Cover-up on an album-cover? All’s calm on the surface; the river’s swanless, the record’s swan-songless - although not quite thongless - notice the Air on the G-String (is there a pubic h missing?), and look at the horse - he senses ‘monkey business’, he recognizes a ‘swan-wrister’ when he sees one. 
And the swan-wrister’s wife: is she hatching a swan? Or trying to conceal the fact that she’s riding a white swan? Or are we (along with the blameless horse) witnesses to a ‘cover-up’ on an album cover, in the aftermath of a swan-murder? It’s a well-known fact that a swan can break a man’s arm with one flap of its wing. That explains the limp wrist. As to the rest, like the horse, I know exactly what happened.
It’s 1973 and inspired by the T-Rex song, ‘Ride A White Swan’ (1970), the blonde in the hat does just that… as the song goes: ‘ Wear a tall hat and a tattooed gown/Ride a white swan…’ But the swan’s having none this swan song and gets into a flap. The husband comes to the rescue: grabs hold of the swan’s throat (between his wife’s legs: sex and death are closely entwined) and attempts to wring its neck. The swan flaps, the husband’s wrist snaps. At this point a photographer comes punting down the river. The couple (she, still sur la swan) compose themselves for a picture. The photographer says ‘look at the birdie’. She does, literally: look at the evil eye she’s giving the swan - the kind of guilty look you have when you are covering up – sitting on something - something that shouldn’t be sat upon. They almost got away with it, except you can just see a bit of swan’s beak, craning round the wireless, and it’s not playing hide and seek.


Sunday, 20 February 2011

Thursday, 17 February 2011


Wrist-flapping – ‘ballet on the motorway’? If I were getting lifts in America: ‘ballet on the freeway’. Either way, I like dressing-up my hand as a swan. Worn when thumbing, doll-sized black-bras make swan’s-eyes at passing cars At the moment it’s only at the ideas stage; I’ve done the drawings but I can’t get my hands on a black bra for a doll. You can get a shoulder holster for an Action Man, so why can’t you get a black bra for a Barbie doll? And they do make beautiful swan’s eyes: black bras – doll’s size (the absolute ‘swan-wrister’ disguise). I’m always on the lookout... undressing Barbie Dolls with my eyes.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Irons In The Fire

And I’d forgotten to mention the tampon - I never arm-flap lifts without one. Why? Because if I’m picked up by a pervert and he gets to thinking about trying something on, I’d pull the tampon out of the fire between my legs and ram it in the lighter socket on the dashboard (use a ‘Regular’ tampon, ‘Super’ don’t fit - I’ve tested it). When it starts smelling (of burning), I whip it out and flap my arms in front of the pervert (it's glowing red-hot, and he’s driving, remember), and scream: ‘I may look like I’m wearing eye-liner, and you might have picked me up because I was flapping my arms like a swan, but if you touch me I'll torch you, no, I’ll brand you with a tampon’.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Swan Vistas

Hitchhiker as ballerina (think ‘Swan Lake’): an arm-flapper waiting for a lift? I arm-flapped 5 lifts - carried coal (by motorway, rather than by canal). During the journey I sat with the fire on my lap (‘he burned inside’: ‘with fire’, not, ‘by the fire’), but none of the men who lifted me (drivers not dancers, all) commented on it. Not once, nor on my black eyes – black from handling coal, then rubbing my hay-fevered eyes – when I laid the fire for the self-timer photographs.
Pre-digital - clockwork self-timer - no instant playback: I didn’t see I had black eyes -Swan’s eyes! But back then I didn’t notice (until I developed the film) that I was flapping my arm like a swan in front of a swan… swanning about? ‘He swanned around from place to place’.
White swan – black eyes: I match the swan in these ‘Swan Vistas’ (partner the swan?). I’ve just been to see 'Black Swan' (2010. Director, Darren Aronofsky) - watched Natalie Portman arm-flapping her way through ‘Swan Lake’ – that’s the ballet with all the expressive arm-flapping, right?
I was told as a youngster, ‘Stay away from swans - they can break your arm with one flap of their wings’… and is it a myth that swans sometimes land on roads because they think they are rivers when wet? 

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

She Was A Brick, He Was Her Rock

Two postcards, two sitters: She was a ‘brick’, He was ‘her ‘rock’- but it’s doubtful they ever met. I came across her twenty years ago, in Dalkey, Ireland; and him I found last summer, in Tenby, Wales. Both must be long dead, but they’ve just got married. I’m going to frame them together – put them on my desk, and tell everyone I’m related to them, and that they were an infamous ‘criminal couple’- like Bonnie and Clyde; but instead of blowing up banks, they threatened to blow-up quarries – working quarries. Explosives experts both, they’d send threatening postcards (these postcards – they weren’t afraid to flaunt their identity) to quarry owners - up and down the land - saying, unless a ransom was paid, explosives would be planted in the quarries - their quarries would be blasted.
Crime paid: by threatening to blow-up quarries they built up an empire; they had country houses, and houses in the town, and they collected motorcars like children collect toys (and remember, it was in the days when you had to be rich to own a car). This brings me to their death. They died together, but not as you might imagine, ‘in action’ - killed in the act, in some quarry. No. One Sunday they were driving from their town house to their country house, when someone dropped a brick off a bridge onto their car. They both died instantly. But their legacy lives on - is set in stone -  working quarries still salute them - pay tribute - with a loud siren noise, followed by ‘a two minute silence’, prior to every explosion. 

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Bricks And Stones

When having their photograph taken some sitters never quite know what to do with their hands (short of sitting on them). A very frequent fault, and one that usually betrays the agitation of the sitter, consist of tangled digits. Even more orderly clasped hands are apt to be disagreeable. The hands should be posed in such a manner that the individual digits are clearly defined. When posing, the sitter should imagine that they are clutching, no, wearing a holed house-brick - like a knuckle-duster - on each hand.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011