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Diaries
of
PAUL K LYONS

1979

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JOURNAL - 1979 - MAY

2 May

Here I am in May, a long way from April. An era of life is over and now this time there is no line; no frontier that is at one time uncrossed and, in the next moment, crossed; no clean jumps; no fresh roads; not the novelty of a new set of blows and the recoveries thereof - none of that, none of that, this time. This time we have, we have the expansive borderlands littered with remnants of recent past, work and environments and peopled by the same eyes, sounds, patter of toes. Nebulous spring. What am I trying to say. I am too obtuse. 179 degrees obtuse. All plans are changed. Let's all change to the new Jubilee line. It's grey on the map. All so grey. Not gay at all this time round. Grey. Wrenching grey.

A day of freelance work back at MORI. Is it me caressing these papers, and those other papers, that give me money - the figures, the organisation, the typing, the market research of opinion polls and Robert Worcester, the pollster (Robby the polly). Anticipating, creating news, embellishing, battling with the bugging beeps on the phone. Is it me?

Annabel was the most important thing that happened today - And how often do I meet people? I saw her face, I saw her move, and I moved in, to talk, to walk, to inquire. I wonder what they all thought, all those people in the office I used to work with. Never was I so sociable and chatty to any of them, yet there I was spending the whole day with a temp. I left her a card, and how to get in touch. There was laughter, connection and some of the old old words - the same little quips I've used a hundred times before. How will she find me in Leyton. How will she find time out from Pete, Jo, Reg and Becker and the bird books and knitting machines, and Kent. What should I have said or have done to ensure we meet again.

7 May

May it seems is not my month. I have somehow drawn away from everyone I love here. Only with M has the change been in a positive direction. Most of all I feel hurt by Manzi. She was beginning to spend more time treating me like a stranger than a friend, and I was finding it difficult to handle. I was starting to find myself resentful and wanting to hurt her in exchange; but, it felt like, I didn't love her enough to want to hurt her? That's complex. My ego is dead, my body is dying, my sensuality turns to lust, my sex becomes narcissistic, my love is partridged and stuck in a thorn bush. Life is hell without a lover. I can't even imagine what it's like lying naked with a woman. Last night I dreamt of going to several stationers in search of a Playboy magazine but that I couldn't find one.

Harvey mumbles on, taking photos of rotten trees, blending his thoughts into natural sculpture, the one that's so brown and rotting, no-one could ever tell. I offer him my neurotic conversation on the logic of conversation. He understays, underweighs the situation. Harvey's my man. He's all right, the lecherous moor-ass that he is. Who else? M is delirious with purpose, love and affairs of the world. My mug runneth over for her with constancy.

Did I mention Peter Graham - that bastion of folk music from New Zealand. We met, we spoke about old times; and today I read over my NZ diaries - about the beaches, the skiing, the drunkenness, Ginquin, the mountains, Ted, Ross, Lisa. Peter was upset that I didn't remember half the people I should have done. He told me Lizzie hadn't had any serious boyfriends since me!!!, but that Lynne was prone to get involved too easily. I have their phone numbers, I might try and ring from the office.

Jean-Christophe and Cecile have not been well. Cecile is pregnant. Their immediate reaction was not to have the child, but then they got to thinking about keeping it, and went through mental torture. Cecile is approaching her 30s and would be quite happy to pin a man down to a baby compromise - of course, she wouldn't admit it, but this instinctive sense to have a child is very strong in a woman. And Jean, he got caught up in the idea of having a child - and the feelings of manhood and mature stature it would bring - but, it seemed to me, he did not weigh up any practical considerations objectively. They've made up their mind now, and Cecile has been vomiting for days.

On the tube, I follow the career of Zachary Swan in the cocaine trade - care of Robert Sabbag. He romanticises it slightly, with a twist of Hunter S Thompson, and crams the book full of facts about drugs and the trade.

8 May

The Navarino Mansions - he lives there in a short-sighted world, peering into his bread bin, plucking crumbs from the corner, giving them names, such as Piggledy and Arnett, smearing them with last week's margarine. With his nose resting on the table, he places them in patterns in front of his eyes. Then, he disappears to the other room and switches on the radio to a music station. Returning to his kitchen, he sticks his tongue out, waves it from side to side, then plunges forward licking each crumb from the table in turn.

The pink girl was lovely - pink stockings, pink plastic jacket, rouge on her freckled cheeks, youth in her curls. She was rollerskating between the bollards, a young American, full of the joie de vivre. Meanwhile, Manzi has disappeared.

10 May

MORI has decided to send me to Spain and Portugal to organise some market research in Madrid, Barcelona, Majorca and Lisbon. I don't want to travel, but I shall treat it like a holiday. Friends connect me with friends in Barcelona, so that should be good. A change is as good as a zest. Then I'll return in the few days of June and go to near Salisbury with Jean-Christophe. After the summer, I'll go to New York. I don't want to travel. NY scares me: those very tall people, those very confident people, all shining.

I'm reading Anais Nin, she constantly talks of the rhythm of NY, but that was 35 years ago. She writes very simply, factually, and then meanders into the analytical. But there is something missing, always something missing - her emotions, her loves - if they are there, they are coldly and decidedly boxed. She talks plainly and openly of the emotions of others, but her own feelings are restricted to the analytical. I find a gush of iced water running through the paragraphs. Was her diary really so uncompromising to herself? Where are her own love affairs, her very own passions? Where is the confusion of personal relationships in everyday life. The trivial?

I'm not a star, R said, but then Dominique popped onto the roundabout.

11 May

I sit here in some light trying to tie myself together without too much pain. You know when you tie tight, the blood flow is constricted, restricted, leaving areas of the body bloodless, sapped of strength. The day blew up, I blew up, everything is wretched. There is no lust for life left in me. My smile is false, my conversation echoes back to my sense of losing all. Rolling hill downwards. Crisis heading towards crisis point. The modern world would drown me in therapy. My intellect saves me - God help those more emotional beings but with the same free-range awareness.

Manzi is coming soon, what shall I say to her? I don't want her to feel bad, why the hell should I do that. Hurt for hurt is not worth the bother. There is this ghastly engine in me, egotism of the extreme, wanting to punish desperately those who cast their madness on me. I feel feeble, weak, incapable of sparkling, incapable of the extraordinary, incapable of taking risks. And now, I feel my age imprisoning me in wrinkled concepts growing into frowns.

Dominique told me of her cocaine smuggling adventure in Columbia. I wanted to know everything, and related everything she said to Sabbag's book 'Snowblind'. She and her Italian friend were stopped and searched leaving the country. They found cocaine on her friend and she was sent to trial for complicity. After six or seven days in solitary confinement, she was led along corridors and up stairs and down passages and down stairs, where she was put together with her friend. The two of them were then thrust through a door where they suddenly found themselves on a stage confronted by an audience of hundreds of hooded people, and one non-hooded person. Dominique went in shock, and couldn't speak, but her friend was more composed and answered the questions of the unhooded judge. What are your names? Where are you from? Why are you here? And, then, almost as suddenly as they were thrown onto the stage, the interrogation was ended, and they were taken elsewhere and put into a prison. She spent four months there until, by a miracle, Columbia television featured her on the news one day - probably only because she was a beautiful Dutch blonde - and paid for her release!

And Ruben is a clown I like. Abrakadabra. He has such energy, takes such risks. He gets full audience participation, and makes people laugh, but not by making fun of them, and he handles difficult situations impressively in character.

Tuesday 15 May

I caught a feeling of excitement in me at the thought of an evening alone writing. Sometimes this happens: things I've done and ideas collect in my mind and I know I want to write them in my diary. This gives rise to an anticipation of the process, about the way I shall present them, how they will look, how they will read after they've been written, and how they will add to the diary as a whole. This diary book has lasted nearly half a year. The journals of Anais Nin contain 360 pages for five years, that's about 70 pages (of very edited material) a year . My eleven journals span five years, and I'm sure I could edit them down to 360 pages. Nin became a close friend of Durrell who was 26 at the time, and he had already published 'The Black Book'. Perhaps I really do want to become a writer.

I felt chagrin towards H and R last night for wanting to dress up and dine at Joe Allen's. Why?. Trendy film stars are supposed to inhabit the place. They delight in the fact that there is tomato ketchup on the table, and valpolicello wine is served. Rosina tore out paper flowers from the tablecloth. H spread herbs over the table as he rolled his concoction for all to smell. The waiters were tip wary and time aware. H let Rosina's cousin pay, but I felt bad because no Spaniard in such a position would ever let an Englishman pay.

A pool of stagnant water is ours now. We are not ever creative together, the force is dispersed into other channels: H into R, and me into becoming a Don Juan. H becomes complacent with R, and is compromised thus. Somehow, with her here life between us is halved. But I cannot approach him on the subject - she has become a wife to him. He says she is going away, but she will cling, and he will pay for all she has given him. Meanwhile, I am a Don Juan. It seems Don Juan was only interested in the beginnings of relationships, he would go from one to the next avoiding the jealousies, the pitfalls, the cranking mind and games. I supposes that's really what I do.

16 May

It is good, very good that I am going away. Harold thinks so too. He came to me last night feeling very low, aware of the pointlessness for once. I told him, he must learn discipline, otherwise his life will disappear into the vanity of the moment. He asks: 'do you think I could live off my art'. Not until after five or ten years of work and development, I say. I am the real, the rational, the honest, the destroyer of illusions and fantasies. Come, come to me with your hopes and I will crack them on my knee, and wipe your tears and ask you to be sensible. But how wrong I am? How much is achieved on misplaced or assumed hope, energy and excitement. Enthusiasm carries through and knowledge is gained from failure or success. I am the damper of enthusiasm. I do not like this role. Be positive. Sometimes, I think, only negative, destructive currents run through me.

With M, I have pure joy, at her happiness in the moment, but with H, I do not always wish the best for him - deep down, very occasionally, I feel some need for him to be punished

19 May, Barcelona

DREAM

I am taken to a sort of theatre school. There is a large open entrance hall, with a curtained alcove in one corner. Some people are standing around, one is Manzi, for a moment, and Dominique is also there. I go for a walk dressed only in my velvet trousers, but around the corner from the school my trousers fall down. I know I can do them up, but I don't instead, I cover my genitals with a book. I zip my trousers back up in the hall, then I see three male students preparing to go into the street totally naked.

I finally spent time with Dany, after all these months of wanting to go home with her, or take her with me. We went to her flat, in a housing association short-life place. She and friends are still in the process of decorating it. They all still sleep in the lounge. An adolescent song writer and a slow spectacled South African take speed. Dany and I had no room to be alone. We slept together by the side of Pat and Attilio. Tentatively, we moved closer together to caress. The love-making was quiet and soft. She told me the next day that I had made a good impression on her friends. But, meanwhile, I am falling a little in love with Dominique.

We - Graeme, Rosy, Dom, Maureen, Rosina, H and I - met at Speakers' Corner on Sunday for a 20s picnic. We dressed decadently so as to stand out in a crowd. The day was hot. H and Rosy disappeared into the crowds, feeding off each other's exhibitionistic tendencies - there extravagant clowning not hindered by Rosy's scant clothing. There is something desperate about her behaviour; and, sometimes, I see hypocrisy in her smile. She is a crude performer and H is a subtle clever performer. Where do they meet? Of all the strangers we invited to entertain us in Hyde Park, with scarves and shoes hanging from the branches, I remember only Takako, a Japanese girl, who struck me as neither naive or stupid but fresh and sparkling. Harold has promised to keep in touch with her while I am away.

I spent time with Dominique. Her beauty is astonishing, overpowering any clothes she might be wearing: she could walk into the most expensive club in town without make-up and wearing an oily boiler suit. The smoothness of her skin, the blondness of her hair, her height and shape, all give her a beautiful uniqueness. Gorgeous would be an apt description. She is almost too attractive for her own comfort. Men are always trying to flirt with her. I was already in love with her beauty when we met Amsterdam but I never thought for one minute to be with her - partly because she's 5ft 11in, three inches taller than me. She was with Lenny for a year, but he pressed her into being his girlfriend and nothing more. She was afraid of him, of his overpowering personality. Now she feels free and Dominique and alive.

After Hyde Park, we repaired to the Secret Garden, where we danced along the pergolas. Maureen was sad to see Harold so completely occupied by Rosy, but Graeme held her hand. I approached the garden first, and encountered the red sun in a window setting surrounded by climbing plants and tree branches. Hermosissima. The sun withdrew but the air was so warm, we stayed to talk and dance some more, and feel the dew wet on the grass. I don't think there is a friend of mine who doesn't know what I mean when I say 'The Garden'. When it was time to go, Harold was as sharp as ever, as good a friend as ever, shouting above the commotion, organising departures, encouraging people to come home with us. And so it was that Dominique found herself at the flat, naked and in my bed. To begin with I was not confident, sexually; but, eventually, the sex was superb. I fell a little in love with her, her naturalness, her softness. I thought about her often in the following days.

I wanted to see Dominique again before I left for Spain, so I went to visit the inflatable workshop where she works. I ran into Harold in the street. We all went drinking and dancing. Maureen, Dominique's friend, was in love with Harold, totally and without reserve, and Dominique didn't know what to do about it. She and I talked and grew closer and closer. We went to the flat but R, who had been sleeping in my bed, didn't understand the situation, found it strange. By this time, Maureen had understood that Harold was not sexually attracted to her, but crawled into his bed anyway. Eventually, Dominique and I were left alone. While she slept, I had to pack and organise the following day. It was four or five in the morning when I entered the bed, delicately, and woke her for lovemaking; and it was long past dawn before I slept.

Friday, one of the busiest days in my life, went like clockwork. I kept my cool throughout. I tubed to work, final typing, checking, printing, organising interviewing in Majorca; to Nationwide (£250 cash, £250 cheque); back to work; ring people; ring flat agents; tube to Warren St; take my bicycle to Dad's office; collect more money; lunch in pub; collect suitcase; go to office to drop suitcase; take bag for M; to American Express (buy £450 of travellers cheques); to camera shop (buy £200 Olympus 1 with f1/2 lens); bicycle to Baker St; meet Dominique by chance, kisses and goodbyes; bus to my Mum's house in Child's Hill, M comes too and we take tea; I take a bath; M and I go on tube together, she is so warm (gives me mirror sunglasses and chocolates), I won't see her for a month; I go to the house of Jean-Christophe to drop sleeping bag; he walks with me to the tube platform, we agree to do a parachuting w/e, again it feels very warm with this friend too, I feel famous; to office where I pack the questionnaires and leave a note for Esther; with suitcases to the park to meet Rosina and Harold and then together to Victoria where we have a meal in a terrible restaurant; finally train to Gatwick.

And there remains to say a brief word about Carmen who joined us one evening to see a show about the great jazz pianist Fats Wallah. We met Carmen and Lucana on Hampstead Heath some months ago - Harold's job came via Carmen. She is very Spanish, young and petite. I suppose I played up to her a little. She came home with us after the show and slept with me. In the morning, we caressed sexually for a while, but I felt she didn't want to make love, so I wasn't pushy. Then she asked why we hadn't made love, so I jumped on her. For some reason, she felt safe with me. It might have been her first time. She was very lovely. I sent her a note on leaving.

Here in Barcelona, the morning is cool. It is Sunday. I have slept 14 hours of the last 24, and now I've taken my first coffee and smoked my first cigarette. The radio in this bar spits out traffic information. The regulars come for cognac or coffee and talk with the proprietor who doesn't stop fiddling with something. Everything around me seems fast. A shower would be marvellous. The throttle of passing cars grates my sensitive waking to this new world. I need to crap.

In Plaza Real, stamp collectors, coin collectors, paper money collectors all amble around looking at each others collections and stalls. Suddenly there is a rise in the pitch of talk and noise. I look up and see it, rain. Buyers, sellers and tourists alike scuttle beneath the arches and swarm around cafe tables. Now, the population of the square is enclosed beneath the arches, the plaza is sad, the branches of the palm trees appear to droop, the green and brown shutters turn dull green and dirty brown, the balconies are deserted where before half-dressed inhabitants looked down on the proceedings. But business still continues. In one corner a man with spectacles grips his album with a hand and retrieves a stamp with the other. He gives it to a buyer, also wearing spectacles. The transaction is watched by others. The buyer carefully places the stamp in his own album.

Now I'm in the country, at a villa listening to ancient Beatles songs spilling into the yard where a swimming pool stinks, where children climb onto a balcony and bring pink roses to a women. The atmosphere is casual, superficial. I am not wholly comfortable - is Luis?, is Nuria? Amaparo is with her friends, the children are sweet. When I see a beautiful girl walking down the road, I borrow one of the children's bikes and chase after her. She is young and exquisite. I say hello and hope for a smile. But then I speed past and return to the party. We are fed on cognac and bread soaked in tomato with smoked meat. I juggle, I read, I write, I don't seem to have much to say to anyone. Perhaps I am a little curt. This is their Sunday together. I am not a part of it. Later, we walk the Ramblas which is crowded with all classes of people. At one end, hippy bead and craft stalls dominate, while further along there are flower and magazine and bird cage stalls.

Wednesday 23 May, Barcelona

I talk with Nuria about the magic of Barcelona. I want her to show it to me. We sit on the waterfront, she watches a ship come in from Majorca. I take photographs of two boys who are fishing in a very improvised manner. She explains that the magic is in Las Ramblas, and then she says I have to live here years, not only a week. She is a little confused. Then, after a while, she says it is in Ibiza. I tell her if she came to London, I would show her the magic of London. But this is a lie, I am joking with her a bit. In fact, she has already taken me to special places. Plaza Felipe Neri, for example, late at night, holds the same kind of essence as my secret garden. There is a fountain in the middle, a very simple one. Lovers sit in the shadows. Then the theatrical plaza with a curved series of steps filling one corner. When three bells chime to indicate 11:45pm, two policeman appear and ask any lovers sitting on the steps to leave. Last night, some actors were performing a Catalan version of Hamlet; they were lit by a powerful floodlight placed on the roof of a car.

And Nuria talks of spirits, reincarnation and astrology, so I cannot follow her there. She keeps secrets, and will not tell me about her great loves. I am inquisitive. We do play like children, though, and there is nothing sexual in the air between us. On the contrary there is a tension between Carmen, her sister, and me; and with Christina to whom I am most attracted, her blond hair falls across the small pointed features of her face.

I find Luis open and vulnerable. He is not a lover to any of the girls. He is small, tight, fair and blue eyed. He wears metal-rimmed glasses. When he laughs, he screws up his face and shoulders and appears to twirl his eyeballs. He is not content with his lot. As he tries to remember something in a moment, he screws his hand into an awkward shape and raises it to his forehead which he wrinkles up tight. He asks questions and listens. We talk about discipline as we eat tapas, oysters, and molluscs soaked in vinegar. Then he takes me to see some of the magic he knows. Esquinas (corners). He knows two corners that are preciosa. At one, he points out a stone carved head protruding from a corner some 15 or 20 ft above the ground - it was one of the entrances to the Jewish quarter. He shows it to me with pride, and therefore I feel it as magic, and am impressed. Then he leads on to find the only other head he knows, the only other such entrance to the Jewish quarter. We walk towards the cathedral but this time he cannot find the corner. He swears it was there 15 days ago - but now it's gone. Earlier, I had explained how my diary writing suffers when I take photographs: in my diary, I no longer have to make a story or describe a picture surrounding something I've seen. However, on not being able to find the second corner, I tell him that now I have a story to write because I can't take a photograph of a head that isn't here. This pleases him.

I tease Nuria by telling her that at last I found the magic of Barcelona: on Luis's moped. We were riding around all afternoon through Montjuich (the pride of Barcelona, full of gardens, historic buildings, panoramas), creating wind, feeling insensible with the delight of motion, speed and sun.

Friday 25 May, Barcelona

I smoked some hash on the train last night. The strength of the affect reminded me of the stuff we smoked on the boat from NZ to Panama. Since being here in Spain, I have been reminded of so many things in South America. Today, though, I remembered a game we used to play as kids with a pen-knife. I think it was called Splits. Two people would stand opposite each other. One would throw the knife to the side and the other would have to open his legs to where the knife stuck in the ground. If it didn't stick then you didn't have to move. One could escape by sticking the knife in between the other person's legs to release one's own stretch.

Sunday 27 May, Madrid

Waiting for the Prado to open - flocks of European birds and American tits come buzzing, come coaching, come clicking, guided, snarled, barriered grouped, long since breakfasted in napkin hotels, long since shaven. Clicking up the slopes of the Prado, chicken clucking, money sucking. It's five to ten. I'm skipping, woo wooo, waiting for the Garden of Delights to open. I'm creeping, sneaking forward, but I can't stand qs, can't handle waiting. An old woman emerges, the cleaner. Her work finished, she slides under the barrier, eases her way out, and then another and another, through the swivel doors come three more cleaners ducking under the rope, all oblivious to the crowd. The Prado Cleaners. Do they dust 'The Garden of Delights'? the 'Temptation of St Anthony'? the mosaic tables? Do they use Flash on the marble floors? Here come two more. Eyes down, like nonchalant leaving the stage. Are they ever tempted to put a little Goya in their pockets? Or knife a Velasquez through the angel? Or spit on the cherubims? And yet more cleaners emerge - a whole army of them. I wish they had cleaned away some of the greyness, some of the dark shadows, some of the mustiness of the place. It feels more like a storage place than a great or famous museum. Most of the Bosch paintings are situated where light is refracted off the surface of the canvas - they don't have their own illumination. Some rooms don't have enough light, others are so grey and sombre that one hurries out. There is not one signal of any sort, no sign to say what is where anywhere. The Prado is an absolute disgrace. The pictures are not protected in any way. Only 'The Garden of Delights' and a painting by Velasquez of children have a rope cordon around them. You can touch, scrape, lick or shit on them if you want to. Often, there isn't even a warden in sight. The air conditioning does not function. I'm sure the paintings will shrivel up and die. 'The Garden of Delights' is more than 500 years old. It is totally and utterly priceless so it should be behind toughened glass with its own temperature and humidity controls. I personally had a very strong urge to ruin one painting just for the hell of it. I could have got away with it. I wondered who I would tell. Harold - would he understand. If only I had my tin of red paint spray, all the cherubims would go to hell!

 

DIARY 12: May - November 1979

28 May 1979, Madrid

Pictures: The black and white kitten darting through the closing market darkness; the ancient spanish woman with a wart on the end of her nose; the girl in bright green sitting at a white table in an empty bar decorated with brilliant blue tiles.

IGNACIO MARMOL

We meet Igncacio Marmol, a texture and surface painter. He says he was almost famous in Australia where he emigrated in 1962. Back here in Madrid, he adds, it is more difficult to make money and live like an artist. He is the epitome of the artist; the portrait of the artist as an aging man. He is very easy to be with, not overbearing, utterly friendly; very composed. It is the composure of a man satisfied with his art but maybe not with his life - since returning to Spain he's suffered a series of catastrophes mostly to do with money or health. He takes us to his studio where he works and lives. There are three rooms, all overflowing with pencils, paints, books, canvasses, gadgets, tools. His latest work is definitely more sculpture than painting - wooden frames with metal wires carved in and painted squares. It is meaningless and beautiful. He shows us his work on slides, it is all very professional, carefully designed, intimately executed. He explains how, at the age of eight, he was introduced into a school of ceramicists, and that only in one period only of his life has he painted on flat surfaces. He appears to be a skilled carpenter, metal worker, electrician, photographer and mechanic. What is evident from his studio, though, is a searching for spiritual answers. I found three I Chings, Carlos Castenada, Blavatsky, books on numerology and the Cabbalah among others.

BULLSBLOOD

The bullring at Ventas is fairly new, airy, spacious. There are few unoccupied spaces in the seating arenas, and the crowd, it seems, is more tranquil than at a football match. The intricacies of the sport escape me. I don't understand the clapping and the whistling. Blood is streaming down the shoulders of the bull. The sun glints into the eyes of the cheapest seats. The matadors, quick, alert, change position to cover the torrero who is preparing for the kill. The bull must have his front feet together or else the position of the shoulder blades won't allow the knife to enter cleanly. What pride drives man to stand alone in the ring with his arched back soaking in the clamours of the crowd? The evening dips its praise on the famous and daring. The white metal of the blades, the silver or gold spectacle of uniform, the sparkle of the jewel-covered brocade, the light reflecting off the bull's shiny skin. How the bull's stomach starts to pump once the angry darts are in, the bright coloured feathers, trapping his anger to the ground; then the red flirting sheet of death. Blood spot. Pink sheets to court, the red shirt to die by, the shiny steel. Three blind and bridled horses led by five stable workers dressed in red and green felt-like clothes drag the swaying bull across the earth of the ring. The body of the bull heaves from side to side like rubber, great mass of flesh, black with death, stained with blood. The ring is moist and thus dust doesn't fly up. How strange it is, the clapping of the bull. Clapping a dead bull's horns, clapping its dead ferocity. The applauding dies away, the bull disappears, the torrero re-appears to take more cheers.

[H's writing] Could you say size relates to feeling: has age to do with importance or growth. Let's assume that time offers potential and space. Let's conjure up the time of the dying 70s the rest of the best is just good for a joke between us - cos we're still jokers of the jokes on us. Together we're over 11ft tall. But does size relate to feeling to age to growth - time space and a little action. Together we're also 50 and don't have too long before we must each end up with a ball game - not a seal's ballgame. Better bouncing the world or better still juggling with three: you, Picolo, love and a liquorice kiss. Poco. [End of H's writing]

31 May, Madrid

Could you say size relates to feeling? Short and fat, yes, we're fat side by side. Tall and thin, yes we're supporting one another. Perhaps feelings are squared, multiplied rather than just added. Or is there division, rooting taking place as well. Perhaps all and one at the same time. But we look for the squaring the power sums of feelings. Square the love and root the hate. Has age to do with importance or growth? Age, I am sure, is the addition of experiences. Growth is the use made of those experiences. Importance is a trivial word. As Crowley says 'If I became Pope or Queen what importance would I hold when the earth's population was obliterated eventually?' Perhaps in this case we could assign some importance to the word importance and let us assume that what is important to us is the acceleration of growth, the best use of experience. The intelligent absorption of experience.

My throat stinks with pain. What is it - dryness or humidity that appears to curse my larynx? Saliva comes to tease, to swallow. The drawing together of the muscles at the back of the mouth - like snow blindness in the throat, like British sand or Elliot's broken glass. Eased only by the trickling of cool waters down the aisle. I would not live here in Madrid. I do not sleep well. My bed is too short and placed midway between a railway line and a motorway. The noise disquiets the dream, disturbs it from its place. And then, waking in the morning, my throat feels like someone has built a brick wall there during the night.

Paul K Lyons

June 1979

 

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