Spent today working on my next solo chapbook – Clutches of Love – due out early February…
Here is a Boxing Day taster to whet your appetite.
At the looking glass rotunda
In the centre of the city
I saw you
Of covering smoke
I saw you
Slipping off sideways
Thin through the mirror’s edge
Disappearing from sight
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.
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. ”
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
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…
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.
A new ocassional Flash Fiction Series from Bella Basura
Dream Theme One
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.
Two performances for Bella Basura coming up this month…
Scarecrow Corner Springtime Benefit Gig, Cambridge
At The Devonshire Arms, 19th March
Poetic Springs, Bury St Edmunds
Anselm Community Centre, 23rd March
Limited copies of The Short Answer chapbook will be on sale at both events.
by Bella Basura
In my dream we sit down on the bed in the hot thunderstorm afternoon, and we talk. We tumble headlong into conversations around tantric psycho-sexual experimentation, and intimacy, trust, adventure, and systematic exploration of kundalini energy and control of its transits through the etheric body. I liked that bit best. All that stuff about psychic electrification of each of my chakras in slow-motion pulsations of pure energy.
I wake into empty house twilight, sick taste in my mouth, my socks twisted and damp, hair sprawling unkempt.
In the kitchen I make a pot of tea and wait. Slipping in and out of the memory of the dream, story-telling it into existence, into a finely polished narrative, into a gleaming moral with a twist in the tail and happy ever-ending.
I try to hug you when you appear home, in the kitchen doorway. But you step back saying “Put me down, I’ve just come in from work”.
I step back, snubbed.
You storm upstairs.
I think fleetingly that your hair, tonight in particular,
smelled of stale sperm and too many rushed rancid coffees,
the taste of reality I dare not admit.
Addicted to Tantra
For weeks I have experienced this kind of activation, awakening of my Kundalini Serpent. It’s like I’m fully alive, in every cell fully aware all the time and I’m constantly aroused and endlessly scattered amongst the whole of humanity, every sentient being, and all vibrating with an efflorescence of love and ecstasy.
But I’m totally useless, can’t get anything practical done, I eat by happenstance, sleep not at all, all I can do is waft trailing my aura around my flat, sprinkling the glitter of my ecstasy across the known and unknown planes of the multi-verse.
I am kundalini-drunk, Doctor.
Bella Basura 2017