Archives for posts with tag: Arts

LES

Courtnay

SH

 

The Boy Mondino

Google you

Late at night when I don’t know what to do
I find photos you’ve forgotten you were in
Put up by your friends

I do, I Google you
When the day is done and everything is through
I read your journal that you kept that month in France
I’ve watched you dance

And I’m pleased your name is practically unique
It’s only you and a would-be PhD from Chesapeake
Who writes papers on the structure of the sun
I’ve read each one

I know that I should let you fade
But there’s that box and there’s your name
Somehow it never makes the pain grow less or fade or disappear
I think that I should save my soul and I should crawl back in my hole
But it’s too easy just to fold and type your name again, I fear

I Google you
When I’m all alone and don’t know what to do
And each shred of information that I gather
Says you’ve found somebody new
And it really shouldn’t matter
Ought to blow up my computer
But instead…
I Google you

 

Vincent

Brian

Adam Rexford

Brett Wyman

 

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At this time of life it is time to take a good hard look at what is and what could be.  The obvious frailties: reading glasses, aching joints, the prospect of a life without enduring love.  If I had only invested in a surrogate child. All my fears may be allayed.

That, for the uninitiated, was irony. You know how I feel about those surrogate gaybies. Abandoned to nannies until they can talk. Dressed up like performing monkeys.

“They spent every weekend on Fire Island this season and didn’t take the baby once.”

I am judged by what I own, by the company I keep, the baby I can afford, the art on my walls, the boy in my bed, the ideas in my head, the club I belong to, the house of my dreams, the car in the drive, the clothes on my back, the God of my understanding. I am judged.

Who am I? Take all of this away and leave me on the streets of Brooklyn and I am content. I want to be just like you. My history erased. My name changed. Once again.

The fire sweeps through the apartment building. The fire captains excited by the prospect of a real fire, manageable, heroic. Nobody is injured. The windows are smashed. The art deco facade blackened.

The jews are on the streets blowing their horns for the new year.

“Are you Jewish?” The young Hasidic Jew asks me.

” No. I’m not a Jew.”

I change my mind the next time I am asked. “Yes,” I lie, “I’m a Jew.”

He takes out the ram’s horn. I stand there in front of this eager youth with boyish whiskers and a large black hat, (the bastard child hat of the sombrero and the fedora) and for ten minutes he chants incantations and blows his horn.

We walk to Park Slope, enjoying the multi-million dollar mansions, the Art Deco Brooklyn Library, the renovated Museum with oddly placed Rodin in the foyer.  Delightful Prospect Park adjoining the Museum could have been designed by Capability Brown but was (of course) designed by Frederick Law Olmsted the designer of Central Park.

We ate at the new burger joint in Park Slope. My burger was made of Elk.  As I was ordering my elk burger I opened an urgent email. My friend’s brother had been shot dead on his farm in Maryland. He was found, partially eaten by animals, on his tractor. They have no idea if it is suicide or murder.  I filed the tragic news as ‘pending’.  I called his Mother and offered condolences and help.

These streets. They yield all manner of fine opportunity. I can disappear on these streets.  Today it is dark, wet and grey. The wind is warm however, the rain splashes onto my face. The Little Dog sits patiently outside the coffee shop.

Yesterday I lay in the arms of a beautiful boy who wanted me to fuck him. His cat curled up in a shoe box.  After he came we lay watching Glee in bed.  Mawkish, sentimental nonsense, a world invented by gay men where periodically an entire orchestra will appear from nowhere and youngsters will start singing hearty cover versions of popular tunes. A world run by the LGBT community. Bullying each other with waspish bon mot.

The drama is lackluster and situational. The one-dimensional characters problems are slight, their solutions are wholly achievable. They worry to the point of suicide about their home town until they are saved by the gay hero.  This new gay frontier, where blue-collar dads talk like Kant, where black trans boys walk freely and unchallenged around a mid-west high school in full drag… this homo-utopia merely betray the dreams these gay writers had about their own youth. The dream of freedom.

The episode starred Whoopie Goldberg and Kate Hudson as teachers. Teachers masquerading as judges from America’s Got Talent.

“You’re Fired!” “You’re Cut!”

But of course Kate has a drinking problem and a lost dream and Whoopie wants to be Maya Angelou.

I took the dog and the train into Manhattan where I met with old friend Oscar Humphries who looked amazingly well.  We have had our fair share of adventure (all over the world) these past ten years:  Driving 24 hours into the Australian bush to a Bachelor and Spinster ball  for the Sydney Morning Herald.  Louche nights in Paris and London.  Son of Dame Edna Everage creator Barry Humphries he is perhaps one of the most talented yet self-destructive people I know. We went to an NA meeting on Prince St. Then dinner at Cafe Select.  I just adore him.

I had a late date after dinner with a charming man. We brought cup cakes and drank hot chocolate on West 4th St.  I climbed into bed at midnight and fell straight to sleep.

Nightmare: The Cohen’s, David and his 6 children are looking after The Little Dog. I bump into the youngest son who tells me without compassion, “You’ll probably be sad when I tell you this but…” they had to put The Little Dog to sleep because it was too ‘nippy’.

Were I the Moor I would not be Iago.
In following him I follow but myself;
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But seeming so for my peculiar end.
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In compliment extern, ’tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at. I am not what I am

Cocksucking Fame Whore

Continuing my occasional ‘Fuck you’ series of LA essays I nominate the ‘award winning’ illustrator and elderly Greek queen Konstantine Kakanias as my latest Fuck You.

Konstantine threw a party last night at Soho House.

Who put the kaka into Kakanias?  This guy has tried it all.  Artist, writer, illustrator, jewellery designer.   B’jesus with this much talent this homo should be a household name!  He’s tried so hard to be something but for poor old Koni, nothing seems to stick.  He’s  just a socialite with a great talent for persuading other socialites to take him seriously.

You know, I have known the rancid Konstantine for many, many years.  We first met with Manolis Mavrakis and Fred Hughes in New York in the early 80’s.  Fred loathed him.  Manolis laughed at him.  Koni painted my portrait then tried to have sex with me.  I declined.  He was smelly and creepy.  I left the portrait on the easel.

We periodically bump into each other all over the world.  Much to his chagrin and my infinite amusement.  It was he I referred to as Nona Summer’s vile Greek escort last week.  Konstantine attracts the WORST sort of people.  Nona, Peter Dunham, Justin Kern, Alex Hitz etc.

As his last incarnation he was calling himself an artist.   He had a laughably sophomoric show at The Light Box Gallery in LA before it closed down.  Kimberly Light (heiress) rues the day she ever let this cretin have his own show at her gallery.  He was the only artist who did not sell at the Angel Food project auction at CAA several years ago.  That’s how seriously the art elite take him.  Look for his work in the collections of important collectors and you will not find his name.  His work is absurd.

Yet, within that sub-world of dodgy socialites and rich kids looking for a purpose he has carved himself a ‘career’.   Some how he persuaded Swarovski to manufacture his designs.  Silly rings, “Inspired by Byzantine royal jewels.”  He brays.  Did they sell?  They were a total disaster and can now be found on the Swarovski website knocked down to a fraction of their original price.

Last night Konstantine was up to his old tricks.  Konstantine is now a film maker.  He has made a ‘film’ and to launch this seven minute animated masterpiece he assembled LA’s elite…  including ‘designer’ Justin Kern and his pretty side kick Stephanie Danan for whom the ‘film’ was commissioned and QVC favorite… fried chicken go to guy and Coca Cola heiress Alex Hitz and a gaggle of loafer wearing euro trash.

“They’re very collaborative people and they’re really creative. They like playing with other creative people and that’s where it all crosses over,” Indeed, Danan and Kern enlisted the efforts of friends like Tatiana von Furstenberg (heiress), “They’re not in a singular mind-set and they can pull from other mediums.”

I walked in and immediately saw twenty people I knew well enough to kiss and twenty people I knew well enough to ignore.  I waved at Konstantine… he flew out of his chair…

“Who invited you…”  he trembled.  His voice deserting its usual treble… escalating into a Maria Callas soprano.   Alex Hitz who I kissed lavishly (after all he had paid for a wonderful dinner at the Sunset Tower) said, “This is Konstantin’s party.”

“I know,” I said, “And I am the wicked fairy.”

Alex shrank into the shadows.  I turned to face the outraged Greek.  Like his country… in debt and struggling to save face.    He held out his fingers like 10 wands and told me to get out.  I left, greeting people on the way out with smiles and kisses.  Clo Perrin (heiress) looking gorgeous in white silk jersey.

Justin Kern waved.  Justin is proof that there is life after modeling… just.

“I’ll be writing about this!”  I grinned cheerily!

Before I left one of the guests, a beautiful young Parisian laughed, “Darling, what a waste of time.  You didn’t miss a thing.   Poor Konstantine.”

Dinner at Laurel Hardware with a cute jew.    Great kisser.

It feels like I haven’t written anything for weeks. Living this simple and unexpected life. I’ve no idea what comes next nor do I care. Occasionally I wonder what it would be like to be back at home…Whitstable. It is waiting for me.

Sunday, I drove 100 miles North East to the Inland Empire to meet my lover. We booked into a cheap hotel and spent the day in bed. It was languorous and passionate. We ate free ‘home made’ cookies given to us when we checked in. We left the hotel briefly to buy fried chicken. We looked at the pool but didn’t swim.

After he left I walked on my own through a huge discount mall, I saw vibrant, sequined dressed for unplanned Quinceanera.

On the way home I wondered what the ham hocks would taste like that had been slowly cooking in the stove all day. They were delicious.

I have, of late, developed sexual desires and needs formally ignored. Today my legs are weak from indulging myself.

I may drive to NYC next week to fetch the art that remains in the East Village. Dan has been looking after it.

I like driving across country. I should take a different route but the familiarity of Route 66 lures me south.

I spoke at an ACLU event last week in the lush Hancock Park gardens of a rich gay man. His large mock Tudor home filled with Arts and Crafts furniture and paintings by dead artists like Otto Dix. Even though there were many sofas and well upholstered club chairs there didn’t seem to be anywhere to sit.

The speech was well received.

One afternoon last week (May 1st) I spoke to David Cruz, the KTLK liberal chat show host. I felt primed and confident. It was easier to talk about the LA jail system than it was to talk about Dorian Gray. Ethnic Cleansing. Secure Communities. Institutional racism and homophobia.

I have not been to any 12 step meeting but was stopped in the street by the crazy Sean McFarland sex therapist who kissed me and hugged me. I told him that the deaths of his clients should be on his conscience. He wished me all the best and crawled, like the slimy reptile he is, back into the Porsche despair has paid for.

On Saturday I met another 12 step buddy at Gjelina but we didn’t talk much. I don’t want to hear about the cult. Even though he is an old friend I eyed him suspiciously. We talked about my 85-year-old friend Coach who died last week. I’m glad he never knew that I turned by back on AA.

Robby and I had lunch last Thursday. He is delightful.

I have been ignoring calls from people I’m usually happy to hear from.

Everyday I drive along the PCH to Venice where I drink coffee at Intelligentsia on Abbot Kinney. I take pictures of strangers for my portrait project updated daily.

We peered briefly at the Super Moon. It was large and bright. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as seeing the comet, Hale Bop.

For the past ten days I have logged onto gay hook up app Grindr to see what is going on…what I am missing. I’ve been sent many picture of cocks but had no desire to sit on any of them…many pictures of asses but have no need to fuck. Next week I am going to publish them all here on WordPress in a password protected blog.

Life is all at once full up and completely empty.

It’s my new obsession.

Court today.

Spent rest of morning with ACLU.

Breakfast with Ivan downtown.

Lunch with Robby. We ate octopus.

Love this picture of me.

Oh yes, I seem to have pissed off the cult. AA people…in LA.

Freaks.

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So it was, in the beginning…forever and ever amen. Don’t cry for me Argentina.

I loathe art made of ‘found objects’ with the single exception of Kurt Schwitters.  If you don’t know who he is…look him up.

It is such a beautiful day here.  I am wandering around the garden in awe.

I have terrible pain in my body.  I know what it is.

I want to steal the chairs from next door.

I want the pain to end.  Have been plagued with memories of Jake.  Not least because I am writing the script about him.   The script is really good.  There’s a great deal of tension.

I know he has a boy friend he loves.  But I know he struggles with wanting sex with multiple partners.

I miss his beautiful face.

I am jealous that he is out there having a life.  I hope he is ok.  I miss him.  I want to cry.

I wish I were dead.

Robby came over this week and we almost had sex.  It was so erotic and sexy.

There was a moment this afternoon when, yet again, I felt totally at peace with who and where I was.  Not only did I feel as if I was inhabiting my own skin but I wanted for nothing.  That is a wonderful feeling.

As in any full life there are problems…but nothing that seems to steer me away from this feeling of being settled, peaceful and at one with the world.

I walked to the new road…it was wonderful…it’s nearly finished…not that I will ever drive on it.

I want to cuddle up with someone.  To share my bonhomie.

75 pages into the script.  It’s fucking brilliant…even if I say so myself.

So, I went to court today.

If you want to know what happened email me and I will let you know.

I am not going to stop telling you how it feels to be me.

Arrived in NYC two nights ago.

Fashion week!  Fashion’s Night Out tonight.

Yesterday, I had dinner with Dan at Prune.   We had been to the Patagonia party at the Bowery Hotel and then ended up with new friends at Rogan.  Met Greg Long.

I had a great time even though my foot aches like hell!  Met Alex on the street.  He said, “Are you crying?”  I wasn’t crying…but I was distressed and there were huge rain drops on my cheeks that looked like tears.  I was thinking about the following day.  I just kept thinking how I had no desire to look at that man ever again and I knew that I had to.

 

Alex and I walked back up The Bowery to the Bowery Hotel, ended up at B Bar for new French label Surface to Air party.  Super cool.

I love the rain.  I love the streets.  If my foot wasn’t so painful I would have walked home in the rain.

Breakfast today with Jenny A and Robby at the Mercer.   That woman is a dream…such a dream.

You know that I got sober because of Jenny.   15 years at the end of this month.  After breakfast we went to an AA meeting and I felt the love.  Thank God for AA!

Spent afternoon with the most beautiful Russian at the totally revamped, gorgeous private club.

I love being here.

Jenny sat at the back of the court and was dumbfounded at the ego in the room…mine included.

She said, “Did you see that man’s suit?  Even his wedding ring is cheap.”

Exactly.

I am here all month.

I want to tell you that it is hard work hating someone, anyone.   It was hard hating my step-father.  He was a bad man.  He deserved what he got.

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I am sitting at home with my foot in the air swaddled in ice, listening to Joni Mitchell.   Well, singing along to her less pessimistic songs.  Relieved of the bondage of self.

The dog had his stitches out yesterday.

Henry has been very kindly driving me around.  We popped into Gjelina for a late lunch with Anna and bumped into Louisa Spring and the fabulous Chrissy Illey.  Chrissy, as you know, is a wonderful writer and journalist from London.

Read her stuff here.

I will see them again this weekend.

I had to buy new towels.  All of mine are old and miserable.  Nothing worse than getting out of the shower and searing your skin with an old towel.

Meant to be having dinner with a friend in H’wood last night but my ankle blew up like a big pink balloon so I hobbled home and lay in bed.  Iced.

I had a Facebook squabble with a well known writer who damned me for appearing on the ‘A’ List.   Why the hell shouldn’t I?  Low and High culture are there to be experienced.  I have certainly had my fill of High Culture.  Performance Art, Art Films…even my book (nearly finished btw) feels like it was written for the exclusive few.

Sorry publishers…I know you don’t want to hear that.

When I got home I tried sleeping but ended up not sleeping.  Instead I sat at the desk tidying my prose.

Perhaps I am perplexed by seeing you know who next week?  Perhaps I am worried by the future.  At around 4am I finally fell asleep.  Exhausted.

Malibu Chile Cookout today.

 

Damn..this is the last thing I needed.

Yesterday CNN fetched me over to their Sunset Blvd building to discuss the death of reality adjunct Russell Armstrong whose estranged wife Taylor is part of Andy Cohen‘s Housewives Of…circus/franchise.

Are you aware of how many reality TV stars commit suicide?

The problem with reality TV is that it’s never real, so when something real actually happens the reality TV community…reels.

I was on the show with Omarosa from the The Apprentice.   I really liked her.  She is so beautiful

Her take on Russell was more pragmatic than mine.   He should have gone for the cash.  I felt that Russell probably saw his wife’s involvement in the show as an opportunity for them both to do well.

Taylor threw her husband under a bus.   Claiming all sorts of headline grabbing reasons why her marriage wasn’t working…except the glaringly obvious problem…reality TV.   Essentially thrown out of the show poor Russell, swimming in debt and hideous accusation hung himself.  Fully clothed.

No more red carpet for Russell.

Reality is all at once intrusive and life affirming.  Getting the big bucks for being ones self.   As I have said many times before, I found the entire experience unexpectedly validating.

Would I kill myself naked?  I suspect I might.

Having been in two wildly different types of reality TV shows I felt very relaxed discussing my experience.  Of course, I mentioned the restraining order.  It was the perfect opportunity.

My segment here.

Had coffee at Groundworks with a friend.  The excessively large limo they sent  gliding back up the mountain.

Had dinner with Robby in Santa Monica.  We ate huge raw steaks.

When I got home I walked the little dog.  He was being tentative.  At the edge of my terrace, no more than ten feet from my front door, a huge coyote lunged at The Little Dog puncturing his back.  I lunged at the coyote screaming like a banchee but in my haste falling down a flight of stairs as I fought back.  As it ran into the night, I felt my ankle go.  I felt that huge muscle in my left leg tear.  In extraordinary amounts of pain I sat on the step and sobbed.

Then something weird happened.  I started to shake violently.  Teeth chattering, body convulsing I crawled back up to the house.  I tore off my clothes and dragged myself into bed.  I called Robby who came back almost immediately and very kindly iced my foot and leg.  That boy is a fucking dream.

Finally my body calmed down.  The dog was/is petrified and it will take a few weeks for him to recover.  Damn it, it will take me a few weeks to recover.

I thought about Michael Landon in The Little House on the Prairie.  He always carried a gun.  I always wondered why…now I know.

Slept badly, my swollen legs sweating.  Unable to go to the bathroom I pissed in a cup.  A portent.  Prematurely infirmed.

Jason is heading over this way.  I am staying with the Piette’s until I get well.

What was I saying about naked suicide?

It was perfect this evening in Malibu, I thought I would share it with you.

Alex and I hung the bronze lamp this morning.  I found it in a Beverly Hills dumpster..where they throw this sort of thing away.

 

How likely is that someone you know will kill themselves?  How come I know so many people who have?  How is it that I think suicide is a perfectly honorable death option?  Killing oneself not out of self-pity but because it’s just the right thing to do?  Because it’s time.

I am only 16 years younger than my mother.  I watch old age creep over her and do not want that.

I never again want to feel the pain I felt last year.

Until the startlingly handsome decorator arrived yesterday that’s really all I could think about.  In between tinkering with my book.   Hence the odd video posted.

Blue grey eyes, perfectly formed.  Beach, bleach blond hair.

You might think that I have been bored with all this death thinking but actually I have not.  I have been doing stuff.  Enough stuff.  Dinner at Nobu last night.  On Wednesday I went to the premiere of a TV show, yes…that’s LA for you.  They premiere TV shows.

I met a Navy Seal.  Dangerous.

I took Robby to the event at Gauchos in Glendale (such glamour!) where we were served about ten pounds of meat.  My poor tummy.

I am still mightily pissed off at the Twins.  Daily revealing themselves to be self-serving, manipulating and utterly self obsessed.  I am creating MONSTERS.  For example: when Robby drives, the rear view mirror is positioned so he can look at himself and not the road behind him.

Constantly checking his hat hair.

It never occurs to either of them that the adventures and people who I have introduced them to might be reciprocated in any way.  They are off with my friends of friends who patently want to fuck them, thinking that their scintillating wit attracts them to others.

We sat in Joan’s on Third on Wednesday, Robby was overly concerned that other people might think that I was fucking him.  What he doesn’t realize is that if a young man of dubious sexuality is out with any man…people will assume that they are fucking.  I think everyone is fucking everyone in LA.

Yet, they are both so friendly.

Their friendliness is often misconstrued.  It seems flirty.  They touch you but woe betide if you touch them.   I think Robby understands, he’s grateful…but not enough.

As for Miles…I can scarcely look at him.

They both take but rarely give.  Where’s the humility Christian boys?  Or are you just hung up on…what the fuck are you hung up on?

I am overdosing on the twins.  I can’t wait for then end of the month.  Not a day too soon.

I have been watching the Vlog Brothers YouTube videos.  I watch them at least twice/three times a week.  John and Hank Green.  Hank is a bit of an idiot with a huge brain.  A real nerd, well that’s what I thought…until…I’ll explain later.  And John, I rather liked author John Green until yesterday.

He said something that made me despise him.

He said that he didn’t like meeting strangers.

He said that he couldn’t give random hugs.

His excuse was pathetic.

I don’t think John Green is a nerd, I think he became one to keep his brother company.  I think John Green is erudite, sophisticated, intelligent and  handsome.  I think I would be scared by his intellect if I met him.  I would be scared if I met him.

You should check these guys out.

On their own, performing for their cameras they become the men they always wanted to be..yet, because they are now famous…internet famous…and successful, this strange act is obviously just that.

The pressure to perform must be HUGE.  It is apparent when they are together in the same room…who is more authentic.  Hank is softer, more at ease.  Gentle.  Off stage Hank might be the one.  Off stage John looks surly, miserable, dark.

John has a great deal to prove.  He has the bigger career. He has the wife with a big life in the art world.  The adorable kid.  The conflicted Christian pre history.

He wanted to be ordained.

I’ve always thought that it takes a huge amount of ego to be a priest where as most people think that it requires the absence of ego.  To stand up and channel the word of God wearing fancy hats and garb.  You need balls.  John Green has balls.

The decorator returns today.

I am going to VidCon at the end of the month.

I want to fuck a hooker.

The twins will all at once irritate, frustrate and delight me.  Miles has this notion that he wants to direct.  Am I expected to help him?  He needs to make something.  If he wants to direct…he needs to make a film so that he can show people what he’s made of.

If he has any art, has an understanding of detail.

Shoot something!

As for Robby this is maybe his moment.  He wants to be an actor.  He is not a great beauty.  Not really, he has crude features yet there is something mesmerizing about him.  He has something.  I don’t know if he can act.  If he has the strength.  If he can overcome the fear that often walks hand in hand with self obsession.

Here are some of the pictures Dan took last week at my party…I will add them as and when they arrive.  I am having my LA birthday party tonight….should be fun.

Lady Rizo

Lady Rizo sang Lilac Wine, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend and a Brittany Spears mash up.

Devon, Aleksa and Me

Aleksa came with her husband Devon…straight from the set of Boardwalk Empire

Dan and Stephen

Dan took all the pics but thankfully had one of himself.

Ian and Bradley

Ian Drew and Bradley from US Weekly…who told me yesterday that I am indeed in the upcoming A List.

Rob Roth who sang ‘I’ll Melt With You‘ rather wonderfully and the legend who is indeed Chandler Burr.  The performance artist and NYT scent editor…

Duncan and Robby

This trip to NYC changed darling Robby’s life.

Sweet friends from LA Jess and her lover.

Victoria Whitbread and her friend Tom with Dee Mansfield who flew from Hong Kong for my party.

Yaniv, Michael (GLADD) and Cyndi Stivers who started Time Out NY

The Black Soft

Chase and Joey from The Black Soft came and not only performed their new song for me but totally wowed their new audience.

Zach and Alex

Joan, Lady Rizo and Joe

Greg Lucas and David Stillman Meyer

Kaolin, Friend and Zach

Lady Rizo and Donovan.

Duncan, Charlie Parsons and Tom Desanto

Jeff and Robby

And over to you LADY RIZO!!!

OK, that’s it!  More tomorrow from tonight’s party.

It’s none of my business what you think about me. Remember that. Duncan Roy…asshole.

Busy past few days. Mostly interested by the end of my novel. Eluded me until last night. Then, just as we are serving dinner (Michael B), it hit me like a rock in the head. The dignified end that had been requested of me.

I have had to really listen these past few days. Listen to somebody I have never met yet whose opinions I trust. Somebody who although several thousand miles away, is as engaged as I am with my book. It is all at once disconcerting and exhilarating.

He asked if I was wedded to the idea that this be a ‘gay’ novel. Don’t! That’s what I thought. Please don’t do this to me. Then, without a moments thought I said that I wasn’t wedded to the idea but didn’t know if I could write it any other way. He suggested that I re read a certain novel with similar themes. That I might be inspired. Well, I did and I was. He was right.

As a result of his suggestion..everything has to be re-jigged but it is smoother, less…his words…’self conscious’. That seems to be what he levels at me most often…that my writing is ‘self conscious’. Then I think to myself, you are out there helping me write a better novel. Do you want to write? No, he says. That’s not my job. I don’t have those aspirations. Like a therapist he is loathed to talk about anything else other than my work and me. He is a closed book.

He helped me with the POV (Point of View) which I had thought about a million times when making a film but never when writing prose.

So, there’s a beginning, middle and an end. That’s that.

What else? Well, I have been in the garden for hours. It looks amazing. I am either at my desk editing or I am in the garden planting and pruning. My nails are constantly black with mud. There is a trail of dirt through the house where I can’t be bothered to take off my shoes but get very grumpy if anyone else forgets to.

I went to a dinner with Tom and wished he didn’t want to sleep with 19 year old boys but wanted to sleep with me. I had sex with the deaf boy whose deafness kinda turns me on. We fucked. I wish I knew him better.

The Dane arrives this evening and we set off on our adventure. What is it with me and adventures?

Have been to therapy every day. I feel great. I feel complete. I know, God damn it, that this will pass but being active in the body and the mind seems to placate my yearning heart. However, I am acutely aware that when I feel good like this I start hankering for more. Where’s mine?

LIly

The day passed slowly and uneventfully.

I watered the garden. “Why don’t you have an automated system for that?” I hear you say. Well, I do. But…a bit like our mad bad Prince of Wales I like watering the plants individually and chatting with each of them. The citrus trees especially respond to gentle coaxing.

There is something charming and rather annoying about the ‘we’ pathology of twins. We are with each other a little too much. Consequently, when we left for Lake Malibou, I wasn’t in the best of moods.

We all helped Jennifer with her Out of The Box Wednesday pack then Miles set off with the delivery.

Robby and I drove into Hollywood. I wanted to stop in at Fresh and Easy where I buy English staples. Tea, bacon, marmalade etc. I can’t do with out them. We, me and the Little Dog, sat in the ugly court-yard outside the supermarket drinking coffee waiting for Robby watching lithe men heading for 24 hour fitness.

A woman from Chicago, who had arrived in Hollywood two nights previously, looked down at the dog and said, “There’s a little person trapped in there.” She fed him chicken breast. “This has got to last me two days.” She told the Little Dog. She was plump, dyed black hair and red lips. She told me that she was here in Hollywood to pitch reality TV ideas to…God know who. She was going to pay to pitch her ‘concepts’.

I was overcome with pity for her. She told me a couple of ‘ideas’ she had thought of pitching.

It occurred to me that for forty years not one original thought had been formed in that sappy brain.

I went for a walk.

Hollywood is grimy. There is nothing of any beauty to look at…to be inspired by. I yearn for my garden.

Robby picked me up after an hour in the gym. We had planned on going to an art/film/glamour party in Beverly Hills but I was tired and irritable so we drove home.

Well, we drove back to Malibou Lake and I helped Jason cook dinner for the children. After dinner, as the children were going to bed, I sat at their Steinway and tried playing the piano. I had not played for thirty years. I was shocked by how clumsy my fingers were. No longer able to slide effortlessly over the keys. I began to sweat. Evidence of my old age. Evidence of my own mortality. It was so frustrating! My left hand refused to even practice the scales in unison with the right.

I lay in bed last night thinking too much. Waiting to be dead.

Not so fast Batman!

Next week I set off on my ‘great adventure’ culminating in the birthday hootenanny. There are people flying from all sorts of wonderful places to help me celebrate my 50th Birthday…before I am not. I am stunned that so many old friends even exist for me let alone want to jump on a plane and be with me. You know, this is what I should have done last year…but last year I was with him in the back parlor of Wheelers.

Last year there was no room for anyone else. WTF?

For those of you who have this blog emailed to you daily I just want to remind you that after I post my blog I usually spend an hour or so editing it and making additions.  Just to let you know.  You may be missing essential details. Ha!

It is raining today.  Can you believe it?

Yesterday I pickled some beetroot.  I cleaned out the drain at the back of the house.  I spent another day happily in the garden…weeding.  Moving pots of rare shrubs.  The strawberries are producing.  Delicious.  Pottering, just like my maternal grandfather. Picking at weeds amongst the cacti.  I like that I might be like him as I get older.  For all of his faults he was a good man.  From what I can remember.

Perhaps my Mother might remember him differently.

On My Grandfather's Lap

He was useless with money, a real dreamer.  I think it drove my Grandmother to distraction.  He had asthma and died during an asthma attack beside her in bed.  A terrible way to die.  Choking to death. She never really recovered.  Catholicism unable to calm her.  She wasn’t a very happy woman.

I remember visiting my Grandfather in hospital, he was sitting outside in the sun surrounded by huge apricot coloured roses.

There was also a sick clown from Billy Smart’s Circus.  He was sewing diamonte buttons onto a silk costume.  The clown told me that he would be on television the following Christmas.  I held onto that memory for six months.  My parents hated watching the circus on TV but I insisted.  I didn’t see the clown.  He must have died…or lied…or both.

The clown gave me some spare diamonte, I still have them.

http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=62917

Listening to David Bowie.  The boys are subdued.  There is a huge cloud hanging over the canyon.  The weather is most peculiar.

Last night Tom and Anna came to dinner.   We grilled chicken, sautéed kale with garlic and I made a huge salad with Out of The Box produce.  Tiny new red potatoes, green beans, free range eggs, olives, a tiny gem lettuce, golden beets.  Delicious.

It was a chilly evening so we built a huge fire and gossiped.  I felt oddly insecure knowing that Tom was so incredibly successful.   I was tongue-tied and felt a bit foolish.   For someone who has done so well he is just about the most humble person I have ever met.

Tom brought chicken, Anna brought a huge fruit salad and ice cream.

Finally, a friend of mine called to tell me how much I have changed these past few weeks.

“It’s like being with a different person.”  She said.

It’s true.  Without the demon penguin possessing me I am just my happily old self.  Nothing to prove.  I must just tell you…I forgot to mention it before:  I had a treatment from a Dutch friend of Jennifer’s.   She did this deep tissue massage/healing and made a rasping sound every time she touched me.  It was amazing.  She said that I was so full of poison she began coughing.  Hacking.

The combination of her treatment (I was skeptical) and actually seeing him has done the trick.

Only now when I am out of it I can see clearly just how in my addiction I was.  The demon drink, the demon opiate, the demon corn chip, the demon penguin.

It’s all the same.

I look at my blog site stats.  A bunch of fluctuating numbers posted throughout the day behind the scenes of this blog.   I used to be mesmerised by these stats.  Especially when thousands of people read the blog every day.  Now, those numbers have dwindled.

I could do more to boost my numbers but choose not to.

Each morning I get up and write everything that is on my mind.  It isn’t particularly interesting to most people what happens to a man living on both coasts of the USA.  Living on a small stipend delivered monthly from various investments made many years ago.  Living with a small dog and a pair of beautiful twins.  Living with bi-polarity.  Living in his dreams.

Yet, every morning I feel compelled to write my life for you to read.  I try not to boast, I try not to be too self piteous.  I try to tell it as it is.  Sometimes I am just talking to myself, sometimes I am talking to my Mother.  Mostly I am just talking.  Last year I seemed to be engaged in a one way conversation with him.

As the days pass between who I was and who I am, the years pass between what I thought I wanted and what I actually achieved, the decades between an impetuous youth and a contemplative old age.  I become less frightened, more at peace.

I know that my writing about him has chased many of my regular readers away.  I worked out that terrible obsession here on this blog.  Do I regret writing it?  What sort of diary would this be if I hadn’t written it?  What sort of man would I have been if I sat here suffering and just candy coated what was the most bitter of all pills?

Of course I am capable of telling you lies but for the most part I get up and tell you whatever truth is presently haunting me.  I have not written things and regretted it.  When I was with him I often excluded him from the narrative and as a consequence the most beautiful moments we shared have been lost.  Making love in the wood.  I didn’t write about that when it happened and now it is as if it never happened.  Writing retrospectively about those moments somehow devalues them.

I know that you hate me writing about him but he has been on my mind.   When I stop feeling angry, foolish, sad…I still find myself wanting the best for him.  Wishing him well.  Hoping that he resolved his stuff with her.  Praying that he now has the gay life he wanted so badly.

After all is said and done…I loved him.  For good or for bad.

I wish that I did not now have to see him in September.

At this moment I have climbed fully out of the straight jacket I designed for myself.  Life has become simple and manageable once again.  My head no longer in two time zones.  No more longing, fantasy, false hope.

I listened to the singer Adele talking about how her first album was crafted after a nasty break up.  How she punched her ex bf in the face then wrote her album.  This is what artists do.  Copper’s Bottom, the play I showed at Sadler’s Wells in my mid twenties was all about a love affair I had with a policeman.  The deep scars it left in me.  This is what artists do.  We craft something from our own experiences, we do not disguise our vulnerabilities, our history.  I cannot deliberately disfigure the past.

When I was nominated for the BAFTA I finally had proof of sorts that being true to oneself and the stories we tell can reach much further than those of us who hide away.   I have hidden away for most of this year.  Licking my wounds behind my site stats, my failed love affair.

If I am to remain credible I must do what I do best: create.   Wasting the rest of my life hankering after what could have been is just plain stupid.  Whilst many of the folk I grew up with are considering retirement I must do what thousands of artists before me have done and just get on with it.  Do the work.

Regardless of how many people are watching.

This morning I have watered the garden.  Listened to the birds.  Made strong coffee.

Miles is vomiting in the bathroom.  He drank too much last night at the Whale Wars premiere.  He is missing his girlfriend who has moved to the mid-west.   Watching him struggle somehow helps me.  I have no idea why.

“I’ve never been this hung over.” He moans.

I don’t have ANY sympathy for people who drink too much.

Now, what next?  Apparently the niche publisher is not so niche and the nice woman there has already read my book and wants to talk further.  I wonder what that means?

I put my film on ice but am ready to warm it up.  I am meeting producers this Sunday.   Whilst I was in New York I met another producer.

I seem to be getting back into that grove.

PS  I got a 4k reduction on my property tax..which is now only 13k a year.  Hurrah!

Do I ever think about him?  No, not really.  He is gone now.  How can I tell?  Because I am listening to love songs and I just get the vaguest memory of him.

Here are some pictures of men I have explored:

 

I had a lovely time today with you.  You must have been twenty years old when I first met you.  Now look at you.  I like when you wear your jeans tighter.  Cargo pants really don’t suit you.  I like when you read poetry to me.  I like when you crack my fingers.

Help yourself.  You can have whatever you want.  Take what ever you want.

 

1.

Before I hit the doctor’s office I stepped into Regen Projects on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Owned by Shaun Regen this is by far the most interesting gallery in LA and consistently shows challenging and stimulating work.

Regen Projects is currently showing work by German artist John Bock.

Born 1965, Gribbohm, Germany

Lives and works in Berlin.

The show reminded me (inevitably) of fellow German Martin Kippenberger.

Kippenberger is one of my favorite artists.  His work has been inexcusably and crudely plundered by the YBA (Young British Artists).

Bock influences  include: Paul McCarthy, Otto Muehl, Paul Thek and Maurizio Cattelan.

John Bock is a performance artist and sculptor whose three-dimensional works often serve as props for his performances.

Bock creates entire universes using a wildly eclectic range of materials, described in multiple languages, and presented with an antic energy that is equal parts mad scientist and Buster Keaton.

A dizzying mix of pseudo-scientific, aesthetic, social, and political commentary,  Bock’s works defy logic.

This view of the world has various precedents, notably in the post World War II Theatre of the Absurd, a movement whose goal was to shock audiences into facing up to life “in its ultimate, stark reality.”

Bock believes the pre-conscious associations inherent in words are unavoidable and that only through experience and empathy can we penetrate what he terms the “heavy numb dumb world” of daily life.

Bock’s lectures seduce and confound, simultaneously proving perhaps, the inexplicability of the interrelationship of man and his universe.

2.

When I let God take the reigns of the humble buggy I drive down the promised path of happy destiny I am sure of one thing: things are going to turn out just the way they are meant to.  Good and bad.

When I angrily push him out-of-the-way and drive myself I am sure of nothing.

I used to think that if I let God take control of my life, my life might be ever so slightly boring but that simply isn’t the case.  God and I can still go on a wild ride, we can still have excitement and ambition.   We just do it the right way.

I get to have all that life has on offer without paying the terrible price I seem to pay when I wilfully drive the buggy myself.

I used to think (convinced myself) that doing the right thing meant that I had to live a pious life.

This simply isn’t true.  God doesn’t want me kneeling at his feet all day praying that his will be done.  He knows that I believe in his will being done, but what I have come to understand of late is that his will needn’t be dull.

Everyday things get better in my head.  Everyday without the grip of obsession, compulsion and the like I am calmer, more centered, more and more in my own skin.

Getting back to work and in touch with my God-given desire to create (and a means to do so) I feel more like the man I was meant to be rather than the man I have been lately.

Yesterday I went back to the doctor, had more scans and lo and behold there are yet more problems to deal with.  The difference between this time and the last is that I now have a skill set to deal immediately and healthily with these problems rather than the last time when I associated the problem with him.

It is remarkable to me that for nearly a year I let somebody else rule my head and my heart.  By so doing I allowed the deep shadow cast by another to blot out the sunlight of the spirit.

When I talk about God I don’t mean a christian…organised religious God.  I mean a God of my understanding, a higher power to whom I must defer at all times if I am going to live a healthy life.

Spent the past couple of days in London. Stayed at Dean Street Town House which is just perfect.  Perfectly well-appointed.  Huge rooms, pale pink curtains, heavily interlined.  A wonderful shower and a great coffee-making facility.  Delicious, hand-made biscuits.  The little dog and I luxuriated in acres of white linen and huge, fluffy pillows.

This morning I walked to Oxford Street through Golden Square.  Lovely to be home in London.  Lovely.  I was stopped by a beautiful, blue-eyed youth who wanted to talk about the little dog.

The beautiful youth not withstanding the streets are unusually crammed with ugly British people Christmas shopping.  Big faces on bald heads.  Prematurely middle age.  Marching up and down Oxford Street clutching at grim paper bags and their final straw.  Pasty, miserable, bespectacled boats.

Boat race=face.

The damp streets.  The gray sky.  Oh this is my darling England.

Stopped in at a pop up gallery on Berwick Street and bought:

By Christian Brett.

I thought in the circumstances..very appropriate!

Anyway, if you are interested in this and other work go to:

www.picturesonwalls.com

As a free gift, comes with every purchase, they gave me an original art work by Banksy….a brown paper bag with a Marks and Spencer type logo that reads ‘Marks and Stencils’ and is already selling on eBay for ninety quid.

Had a long chat with the curator Sam (knows Wendy Asher) who felt that the whole STREET ART movement had been suspended in aspic for the past decade and I think that he may very well have hit the nail on the head.  He didn’t feel as if he had ‘grown up’ that things had remained static, unevolved, complacent.

My own contemporary art world gripe: how come so few artists have anything relevant to say about world altering current events like Iraq?  For instance?  Who is making work about that?

Most conceptual, contemporary art is so bloody insular and self obsessed.   The entitled, bloated Tracy Emin (for instance) has become unashamedly bourgoise and so, I am sad to say, are the rest of the YBA wankers.

Why make work about a corrupt war when I can tell you all about my vagina/blood/self?

The art of ME.  I am all I ever think about… etc.

It’s Jay’s fault.  He loves a good title and a decorative flourish.  Jay Jopling has never been interested in political art and that, my friends, is very sad.

I mentioned Joseph Kosuth to Sam the pop up shop curator as an example of an artist who might have an opinion about the war and the bloody peace.

What is conceptual art?  The ‘value’ of particular artists after Duchamp can be weighed according to how much they questioned the nature of art.

Conceptual art is based on the notion that the essence of art is an idea, or concept, and may exist distinct from and in the absence of an object as its representation. It is called Idea art, Post-Object art, and Dematerialized art because it often assumes the form of a proposition (i.e., a document of the artist’s thinking) or a photographic document of an event.

Conceptual art practices emerged at a time when the authority of the art institution and the preciousness of the unique aesthetic object were being widely challenged by artists and critics.

Conceptual artists interrogated the possibilities of art-as-idea or art-as-knowledge, and to those ends explored linguistic, mathematical, and process-oriented dimensions of thought and aesthetics, as well as invisible systems, structures, and processes.

Artists such as Joseph Kosuth and members of the Art & Language group wrote theoretical essays that questioned the ways in which art has conventionally acquired meaning. In some cases such texts served as the art works themselves.

Dinner with Nicola and Chris on Saturday night.  Lovely.  We ate oysters, game pie and vegetables.  Ended up flirting with a cute doorman with footballers thighs in some club on Dean Street.  He was ‘straight’ so I walked away.  Damn.

This evening I met Charlie at a huge ‘A’ gay Christmas event.  I met loads of people.  Lovely (sexy, charming, witty and down-to-earth) Dutch/Kiwi man and his friend but the BEST was a gallerist/singer songwriter called Robert Diament who I could totally FALL for.  I kissed him goodnight.

Out sexy gay man with a brain.  Huh?  How did that happen?

Well, it’s not going to happen  In the cold light of this sober day (Monday morning) he’s far too young and until my heart is mended…I really can’t imagine letting anyone near me.

Drove back to Whitstable with Alma who is very funny and we giggled for miles.

Anyway, as I have said before..after letting you know my initial impressions of someone ‘special’ I won’t be writing about them again.  Can you tell that I am having a nice time?  That I am happy?  Can you?  I am safe and warm (house is a bit chilly) and enveloped by love?

I forgot to mention yesterday…I bought a hat at Kokon to Zai.  It is rather splendid.

Then I went to bed…good night…sweet dreams.


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