Dreamflesh revisited

In the 1990s one of my favourite small press publications was the seminal  Unlimited Dream Company series – Towards 2012 – it’s editor – Gyrus – produced a stable of beautifully themed cutting edge factual anthologies at the end of the twentieth century.

In 2006 Gyrus started a new journal – Dreamflesh, which he subtitled “A Journal of  Body, Psyche, Ecological Crisis and Archaeologies of Consciousness”. The list of contributors was an impressive roll call of writers working in marginal spiritual and philosophical paradigm, the whole was a smorgasbord of the strange and the alluring.

Dreamflesh Journal cover art by Amodali

Dreamflesh Journal cover art by Amodali

This month Gyrus has been posting the whole journal online, reprinting the articles and drawing out ideas that have persisted and flourished in the intervening 11 years.

In the web reprise  Gyrus summarises the  project: “Dreamflesh Journal documented an eclectic range of ideas, investigations and experiments informed by this complex ecopsychological framework. Essays, interviews and art ranged over many facets of human and non-human life that seem to be important to this transition: dreams, altered states, visionary media, occultism, sexuality & gender, animism, collective intelligences, psychosomatic healing, bodily symbolism, cognitive linguistics, new materialism, creatively disciplined prehistorical and anthropological studies, images & spirit (iconoclasm, idolatry, anthropomorphism, fetishism), death & dying, depth psychology, ecology… to name a few.”

Back in 2005, when I first heard that Gyrus was planning to edit a new journal I wrote a piece specially, my concern was female facial and body hair and I enjoyed myself writing a selected history of hirsute women. Then I sent in off to Gyrus.

A few months later  I heard it had been accepted. I was delighted to have my piece included in Dreamflesh, it  gave me the biggest readership I had ever had, I felt like I’d arrived, more than this, I felt I’d  been accepted into a publication so inspiring that it left me in awe. And the Journal was certainly well-received, The Guardian called it “a bastion of the esoteric”, and not long after the Journal was released it was reviewed in Fortean Times “There is a dimension way, way out where flesh and dream coalesce, explored by people with names such as Orryelle Defenstrate-Bascule, Gyrus, Bella Basura, Pablo Amaringo and Lars Holger Holm, not to mention the formidible Dave Lee”. And that wasn’t all, wonderfully, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, the transgender founder of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, wrote of Dreamflesh “I felt EXCITED as I read. No mean feat. I truly was inspired”.

In the original introduction to the Journal Gyrus evaluated the role of traditional publishing in an increasingly digitized world, “The existence of the web can goad us into a sharper awareness of how print media impact the environment, in turn encouraging us all — in both writing and reading — to try to make every piece of paper and every drop of ink count. ”

 

Links

Strawberry fair Armpit Hair

Dreamflesh

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Dream Theme 2

The second in a new blog series about dreams…

My Dream About Stevie Smith

I sat on the sofa, a blistering headful of ideas burning a hole in my skull, I am filling up and overflowing. I raise my arms up towards the east and I call out the name of my only patron saint,
my role model, my cultural mother, my meme mum.

In My Ethereal Stevie Smith Shoes Bella Basura 2017

In My Ethereal Stevie Smith Shoes
Bella Basura 2017

“Stevie Smith” I slowly begin to sound.
“Stevie Smith” Louder.
“Stevie Smith, I do call on you in my time of need”
And Stevie descended and we pushed our opened hands out to each other, pushed hard palms against each other and she poured her deep intrinsic poet-energy in through the pads of my fingers. A warmth growing through me.
A voice, my own voice, calls me
and whispers close to my ear “Wake up!”

 

Poetry

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here 

New chapbook in the pipeline

Beginning to think about a new chapbook of flash fiction to self-publish.
I am aiming for a february release,
and here is a preview…

Probably Inappropriately

By Dave Challis March 2017

When you done your tantric kundalini kali-spell on me I was lost enveloped in psychic love-haze, I was drawn, rising, filling, swelling emotions that confused me and had in the past lead to casually fucking someone.
Probably Inappropriately.

Warning bells went off somewhere in the distance and I felt us reflex, in unison, pull back, but stayed long hours, hung in giddy uneasy equilibrium, in circular psychedelic emanations, trident penetrates the sky.

Still. Still. Still.
Waiting, while unseen proto-cosmic arousals reverberate the air,
threatening to immanently unfold sudden into cataclysmic karmic collisions climaxing.
Still. Still. Still.

So we lay down on the bed, fully-clothed in the dull downpour afternoon. Clasped in yogic breathing intensely staring deep into soul-eyes we sank down dipped below the surface entwined long time waiting will you call.
Probably Inappropriately.

Bella Basura 2017

Poetry

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here 

Poem

I Got My Mole-Jaw Working Bella Basura 2008

Looking Askance
With a Nod to Brain Eno

Do something boring
Discard an axiom
Make a short circuit
Use unqualified people
Take away the elements in order of non-importance
Emphasise repetitions
Don’t be afraid of things because they are easy to do
Use filters
Reverse
Emphasise repetitions
Imagine the piece as a set of disconnected events
Always first steps
Always give yourself credit for  having more than personality
Emphasise repetitions
Always give yourself credit for  having more than personality
Emphasise repetitions
Emphasise repetitions
Retrace your steps
Name the sections
Consider transitions
Mechanise something idiosyncratic
Remove ambiguities – convert to specifics
Cascades
Emphasise repetitions
Tape your mouth
Cluster analysis
Ghost echoes
Emphasise repetitions
Lost in useless territory
Is it finished?
[blank white page]
What mistakes did you make last time

Bella Basura 2017

Poetry

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here 

Darling, when I think of you…

12. Salome

Salome by Pierre et Gilles Augmented photograph. 1991

Darling, when I think of you…
My skin tingles, hairs rise.
In my dry gummy mouth
I taste a metallic
Taint of terror.
In my mind
I see a red-flare distress beacon
Bloom glaring
In the empty dark sea night sky.
I hear klaxons ringing out
Harmonics of horror.
I smell the sweat of my own fear.
Darling, in truth,
I try not to think of you…
Too often.

Bella Basura
June 2017

Links
The Short Answer Chapbook

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here 

New flash fiction from Bella Basura

¡Que Bellisima!

From behind the huge ice-cream-laden pink-plastic sundae glass a child’s voice wailed out
“Strawberries! Strawberries! I don’t like strawberries”. Pandemonium rising up from an irritating bratty pre-schooler in the budget cafeteria on the ferry back to England.

I hadn’t heard an English voice for months, and now,  due to uncertain weather conditions passengers having been banned from the decks,  I was hearing my native tongue ring out around me, obscenely.

The sullen wet-dog stinking day-trip masses circumnavigated the duty-free and bars,  aimlessly damp and the boy banged his heels endlessly, in infuriating non-syncopation. “I hate strawberries. I don’t want it. It’s smelly!”. The infantile squall was still passing over.

I ambled my memory back to Spain, still not believing I was actually leaving. I stared back deep into shimmering days of purposeful inactivity, punctuated through with isolated monochrome stop-frame images of intense moonlit things.

“I hate it. I hate it. I hate you!” strawberry-boy shouts, and I think it into Spanish, out of habit “Le odio Le odio Te odio Le odio Le odio Te odio” ringing in my mind, like a joyful Hispanic pat a cake game.

Links
The Short Answer Chapbook

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here 

Sunday, Sunday

This Sunday I am performing at two typically Cambridge events…

 

The first event is the annual Strawberry Sundae – a bank holiday benefit for Strawberry Fair free festival. All day fundraising in the Portland Arms, looks like a sparkling line-up of music, poetry and spoken word. I’m looking forward to taking the stage at around 4pm.

 

 

The second event starting at 6.30pm at the CUC building in town, is the closing event for the Nasty Women – Cambridge Sisters Exhibition that has been running all week. The feminist art collective are raising money for CWRC and Rape Crisis, defending women’s rights in the city.

 

These two events in that seem to me to embody all that  is quintessentially “Cambridge”, what I mean is that these events reflect Cambridge “memes” that I knew about before I even moved here.

After squatting in London for several years I arrived randomly in the mid-nineties  at Drummer Street bus station with little more than a rucksack, and a couple of vague notions concerning Syd Barratt and an imaginary job in a bookshop. Aside from that I knew two other things about Cambridge – one of them came from Atilla The Stockbroker – “I’m going down to Cambridge to Strawberry Fair with a doggy on a string…” But as I rode in on the bus a traffic sign read “Cambridge Welcomes you… to go somewhere else please”.

The second thing I knew was an appealing rumour about the women here. Before I left Hackney I was twice taken aside by friends, in hushed voices, and told of the terrifying strident feminists of old Cambridge Town.

“Beware” They said “It was the Cambridge Women Anarchists who went on the rampage in Soho’s red light district after the CJA protests in Trafalgar Square. Fired up feminists vandalising sex shops and  frightening the pimps”.

That seems to me to be at the heart of what Cambridge is about – Strawberry Fair and Nasty Women. Both of them on this Sunday too.

Copies of “The Short Answer”  flash fiction chapbook will be on sale at both events.

Hope to see you there!

Bella Basura
April 2017

Links
The Short Answer Chapbook

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here 

 

Dream Theme

A new ocassional Flash Fiction Series from Bella Basura

Dream Theme One

Weird Winter Wishes
Photo: Phil MFU
Cambridge 2012

In my dream about Thurston Moore it was night, I was up by the Co-op  convenience store roundabout and all around there was this strange snow piled everywhere, like great banks of crunchy white snow – it was like some scene from a movie.
So I took my coat off, laid it down and began sledding through tunnels in the snow on my coat. Suddenly Thurston Moore was beside me and we were streaming through these glistening snow tunnels on my coat, laughing, O we were laughing, really laughing.
Eventually as we’re approaching the telephone box at the end of my street we began to slow. And there are smears of brown on the pristine snow. I look down and it is dog shit and my coat sleeve is dragging in dog shit and Thurston Moore disappears.
And I have to walk home alone in a blizzard in my torn and dog shitted coat.

Bella Basura
April 2017

Links
The Short Answer Chapbook

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here 

Bella Basura Live in March

Two performances for Bella Basura coming up this month…

Scarecrow Corner Springtime Benefit Gig, Cambridge
At The Devonshire Arms, 19th MarchScarecrow Corner S[ringtime Benefit Gig

Poetic Springs Bury St Edmunds

Poetic Springs, Bury St Edmunds
Anselm Community Centre, 23rd March

Limited copies of The Short Answer chapbook will be on sale at both events.