PAUL K LYONS
JOURNAL - 1978 - MAY
1 May, Labour Day
Clowning and miming (Decroux technique) at Action Space have kept me too busy to read or write or be depressed for a week. But not it is such a quiet day - I hear the birds, I shower the orange tree, I read about Crowley's Magick - a mixture of Astral plane and ancient Christian religions.
One night during the week, I had a choice of lovers: a man or a woman. How often in my life will that happen. I chose the woman, but I suspect the woman chose me because the other man wouldn't have her. I did not mind making love through the dawn in a wordless space of bodies.
Tonight I go to a party. Tomorrow I go to York - six hours on a train - how boring. Harold went to Paris. I got a letter from Edgar Brown. There was a communist coup d'etat in Afghanistan.
Almost a uniform greyness out there, beyond the window glass, the stillness is grey, the trees, bushes, roads are all grey, even the green is grey. A horse flashes by and I catch its eye. Inside, the only life is my heartbeat, bodies judder occasionally when the train shunts. A lady is changing a nappy on a baby. Her face is yellow, her skin sags, her nose is pointed and long.
Am I in love with two French girls and a Spanish girl? What it is to be in love, will the tides rise with me, will the winds fly with me, will the moon be full for me? I am an undergraduate of desire.
Wednesday 3 May
It was 9:30 when I awoke this morning. Within five minutes I was on my bike riding down the Kilburn High Road. My head felt like an anvil being pounded by heavy hammers, the light, the sounds, the noises.
I have nothing to print tonight at my silk screen printing class. My imagination is sulking or skulking in the corner. I will not tempt it out, I cannot tempt it out.
Today on the tube, in the street, I was trying to be aware of all the other heads around, trying to visualise what all those silent brains were doing. I imagined a row of television sets, myself in some of them - with pictures, sharp, out of focus, gentle, crackly, complex.
I sit in my office, typists clacking away, violin music playing on the radio. The sun is perfectly beautiful outside but unreachable. At 29, my life is a crazy maze. I am just keeping my head out of molten lead. My enemies are holding hands. I struggle not to worry, just to believe and feel the bodies I am touching.
At Finchley Road and Frognal Station a train stopped for two and a half minutes. Through the large lighted windows of a huge factory building I saw a gigantic mouth slowly purse its lips together. The vision wasn't precise, but misty and vague. Nevertheless, I saw it - a gigantic mouth, 15ft in diameter - gently sway from open to closed.
I am afraid to finish this book even though I have a new one ready, one with coloured pages. How frightened I have been of time and its order. We, it and I, shall form a new order, a new time, one that is dependant on mood and emotion and not on numerical progression of man. I shall write my entries in the new book's pages according to my feeling and their colour, not on the chronology of time or their order.
One clown said to another clown: 'I think you are a good clown, we played well together.'
'Why thank you.'
'You really are talented.'
'Why thank you - you are quite pretty.'
'Would you like to make love to me.'
'Why thank you.'
'You are so sensual.'
'Why thank you - nobody has said such things to me before.'
'Come again tomorrow night before I leave at dawn.'
It seems I will go to Amsterdam.
A French lady stole my heart, her smiles were so full of games. But I am without a rose in my back pocket, or a sweet and sour lemon in the garden, and even Joni Mitchell falls ever so slightly by the wayside.
All is not what it seems. Sometimes I think about men and sometimes women. Sometimes I think about struggling and sometimes I think about performing free undiluted somersaults in space. Sometimes I think about my shitting technique and sometimes about food. I think about me a lot, how I am relating, how I am loved, and how I love. Sometimes I think about spaghetti tying all the gods and gurus together but none of them being strong enough to break out of the knots. Sometimes I listen to music and sometimes I wish. Sometimes, I try to dream, and sometimes I write and wash or run or walk. I even work five days a week which is more than sometimes. And sometimes I come to the end of a diary.
DIARY 8: May - September 1978
The book of rainbow coloured pages [with the entries here re-arranged chronologically]
Thus Spake Z - the famous sages: verily ye know only the sparks of the spirit; but ye do not see the anvil which it is, and the cruelty of the hammer! Ye know not the full extent of the spirit's pride! But less still could ye endure the spirit's modesty should it ever want to speak! And never yet could ye cast your spirit into a pit of snow: ye are not hot enough to that! Thus are ye unaware, also, of the delight of its coldness.
Onto the tired pages, the brown pages. I am very tired. And I dare say here that I am a fool - a real fool, one who drives with his eyes screwed tight, letting hands slip from the steering wheel, but then, at the very last moment, screaming, gripping the wheel hard, wrenching the car away from the cliff face, and opening his eyes in panic.
Sunday 14 May
The originality of the situation: I am sitting in a cafe - but wait, I am working there too, stuffing my guts with cream and buns. A lady arrived. Tina - quite an important person, mild and bitter. He life is interwoven with people I have known, and ideas I am learning to enjoy. We walked and talked. All is good, the mystery, the completion, the openness, the foreignness. She did alight on my mind, even with a third-rate joke about my job and the inevitable 'which sign are you?'; and me defencing and defenceless.
Actually it is not a very pink day. I wrote letters yesterday in green about my garden to lovers, to Didier, Lynn, N and Pam (that last is a new name! - how nice to have new names on new pages). Saturday night I played games with repressed sexual desires for the sister of Harry; and there was one lover who took another lover home; and, after all, I had to sleep. Tina did alight on my mind.
There is a large grunt from my insides, maybe it leaves as a fart or a burp or a piece of anger or cigarette smoke or a violent dream on the bus. Last night I did some gardening, I ate, I drew a little and went to sleep. All day Sunday I wrote letters and cleaned the flat - this is where the grunt comes from, a lack of self-discipline. My tongue is so sore. I picked rhubarb and spring onions and mint in the garden and lay them on the step. It was a sight that evoked a whole emotion of countriness and farms and advertisements for pure butter and cheese etc.
I am wearing my purple suit, purple shirt, and a knotted scarf around my neck.
Monday 22 May
The giant UZ lived in a land called LOVE, and UZ was ten times bigger than ME, and ten times taller than YOU. Then UZ came to the great whirlpool and sunk lower and lower into its depths and was never to live in the land of LOVE again. At the time that UZ was sinking to his lowest point, a toad called NOW appeared and said goodbye.
There was a man in York who sang songs while illustrating them with pictures which were clever and fun.
Paul K Lyons
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