PAUL K LYONS
JOURNAL - 1978 - APRIL
Thursday 13 April
Dennis Healey's eyebrows are amazing forests. On telly, he talks so gently to the nation as if it was his child, but how can one listen when that tundra demands such attention. There is spontaneous laughter as we listen to him talk of bigger and better pensions, child allowances, lower taxes, 400 kidney machines for the health service, and big handouts to British Leyland. We can't let the best of British industry die or be seen to die, but, as far as I am concerned, the Japs are better, our workmen are too damn lazy. We should ban television, ban British Leyland, ban bushy eyebrows. Maybe the Chancellor should be bought an eyebrow sizeed comb.
Ghosts from my past: Clare visits. She is petite, sweet and unchanged. I meet Ross in the park. He is red-haired and unchanged. At work, Barbara and Stewart have found something pretty; and I always always lose to Peter at squash.
The ministry of defence found a new breed of bat in one of their top security places. It's very secret because bat hunters aren't allowed on military ground. It's not been tried in pudding yet - four and twenty of them, baked in a pie.
There was a spectacle in Action Space's great hall last Saturday. Harold was there, and Nicko was flying, and Peter was in his black tie uniform. I danced all night and let the morning carry me to the gardens where pipe music played in the rain and the grey and two Germans laughed and laughed and sang songs.
Ab's smooth body was in my sheets last night, but did not have a desire strong enough to please. She thinks about rabbits too much.
30p of liver was enough for three meals, but I must buy more bat meat. Gheorge Zamfir plays his panpipes as I wait for the news at midnight.
I took acid with M - it was good. I thought it would be far stronger, dragging me along corridors of introspection and paranoia, along one way streets of thought, but it had a very subtle effect, most noticeable when we went out into the world. We gave each other to each other for the whole day which in itself was a beautiful thing. We were free and naked with our bodies, playing, fucking, crying, reading, dancing, cooking, talking. It was a day outside of reality. It will make other days seem so grey.
Didier rang - maybe I will go to Paris, maybe I will go to Amsterdam, maybe I will go to New York, maybe I will.
There is no way I am going to do market research all my life, but I cannot do anything else. I must seriously think about going back to college.
I went to a wedding in a suit, a wedding of an old friend who was so proud, his chest was sticking out. His words were repetitious monologues sweetened by a slice of bad wedding cake. But the vol au vent were good, and the people marvellous - I watched a beautiful girl in green. The high point of the evening was when, having run out of roll-up tobacco, I went for a walk in search of cigarettes. I found a pub nearby and inside there was a vending machine selling roll-up tobacco! This freaked me out. I have never seen Golden Virginia in a vending machine in England before. While a man with a loud mouth lost his game of pool, I was ecstatic with my purchase. I skipped all the way back to the wedding where great grandmothers, cousins and uncles were getting hot and tired. I stayed until I didn't want to stay any more and then I went.
Wednesday 19 April
Harold might take a word and challenge it regardless of conversational logic. He will hold your hand and fasten his hair up with rubber bands. He will make the smallest big, and ignore the large. He will move with you, and he will lead. He will dance with you, be a clown for you and seduce you. He will smile sardonically if you can catch him, between this and that; and sometimes one corner of the smile will be turned upwards, and towards you, giving you a warm feeling; and sometimes you will wait for his smile and his eyes.
Tenjojasiki's 'Directions to Servants' at the Riverside was amazing. The precision of the actors's movements, the flexibility of their bodies, the symbolism, the structure, the see-saw of energy, the balance of mechanics. There were always so many different things, often absurdly, happening across the stage (see booklet). The Director, Terayama, has done many other things. I saw some of his avant garde short films last night. However there was so much - just like the play - that it was impossible to take it all in, to digest it.
Here's a synopsis for one of them 'One inch magic man'. A small priest-like man brings into view large blocks. As he swivels them to place them down, the front face of each one is revealed to show a square of film. As he brings more blocks into view and places them together so the picture of a nude woman becomes complete. He fondles her, and then goes to collect a large rope to ties up the blocks (i.e. her). But the picture on the blocks' sides fades. Then the man finds the woman in different places, but she is always on a screen and he always tries to capture her by cutting round the image, but never succeeds. Then he tries to escape and rid her from his memory, but she appears as a film on everything he reads, whether it's newspapers or books. He screws up the papers on which she appears and throws them away. Then he sees her in the bathroom with her lover and on the beach and lying on a sofa; in anger he breaks through the screen. When he sits eating a meal, she comes floating by. He pretends to ignore her. He tries to rub her off the screen, slowly scratching the picture off like silver from the back of a mirror, but there is another image of her below. Finally, the man fetches some scissors and makes a slit in the length of the woman's belly (i.e. in the material of the screen she is appearing on) and climbs into it.
Another short, called the 'The Trial', starts with a naked man carrying an enormous bent nail, like a cross, across city wasteland, and it ends with 'plants' in the audience hammering live nails into the actual screen, while a man in the film tries to pull them out!
The third week in April was a very Japanese week for me, because I also saw 'Ai no corrida'. This is a story about sexual passion between a Japanese man and woman getting out of control. The couple move to a point where pain becomes so much part of the sex that the woman reaches climax by strangling her lover. In the end, he dies and she is sp in love with his penis that she severs it. The man was apparently selfless. I saw the strangulation as a release for him, for he was being consumed by this woman's voracious appetite, and yet could do nothing to stop himself giving to her. It was very artistic and gently done, hardly erotic, and far from pornographic. Although filmed in Japan, it was produced in France because, according to the director, Oshima, a developing laboratory in Japan would have destroyed the negatives.
Clowning in Russell Square - feeling totally able to talk to anyone, all you need is make-up and you can find smiles everywhere.
Monday 24 April
It isn't Monday every day, said the giver of the doughnut to the receiver of the doughnut amidst all the sounds of the office turmoil.
I bought three new Rotring pens and some green ink. I am the green ink man again. Just at this minute, Michele is telling Iris and Janet about her dressmaker - does Michele really have a dressmaker?
At four in the morning a moondancer appeared glowing through the garden window. The clown had phoned earlier to say he was coming, but not that he wouldn't arrive until just before dawn!
26 April 1978
I am racing to finish this jounal. But it's a stupid idea - if I want to finish it I could just stop now and start a new one. Am I eccentric? How can one be eccentric and also acknowledge the fact? Should I make love with Harold? Does one consciously decide these things? What is the opposite of eccentric? Perhaps that is what I am? Paul the conscious, the rational, the logician. My jeans are tight, I am in uncomfortable clothes tonight.
Paul K Lyons
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