I rarely see myself in the day mirror anymore, having learned to disappear myself. The day mirror has become my third eye. The day mirror allows me to become magnificent, mercurial. I enter and leave it at will. Within its frame, I free range and, despite being close enough to kiss your ear, I look and listen to you at a remove, from a trick distance. The sea is silvered and I swim a slow and measured breaststroke upon it, in it. The sea is a millpond. I find focus and peace. I swim and I float. I view the familiar coast, its lines, its details, its shape, from new angles. The landscape is both old and new. Time shimmers and shines just beneath the surface, and all around me the sea sparkles. I ride its gentle swell and I pass between dimensions with a luxurious ease.
I sweep the floor.
The night mirror is reflective. It is charged. The frame is charmed with ephemera, with magic. I appear beyond and between the aspects of me. I am whole again. The moonlight spills through the window, flooding the room with slow movement and love. Old bones and chalk figures, like the throw of palmed knuckle dice, filtered through the almost-static sand and air and catch water, pool alchemic puddles on the carpet, the walls, the glass. The shadows of the trees outside enchant the weavework, the woodwork, the brickwork with leaf-play and bough. The clouds’ mysterious and shifting shapes bring butterflies to bloom in my belly. A breeze, though the window is closed, passes over my wrists, the apple at my throat. It kisses my ear. The walls are orange and favoured with flower motif and faces of familiars. The night mirror collects everything. Perhaps, beneath it all, there is a hum, a breath.
I sleep on the floor.
1 [postcard] David Bowie 1966.
My dear friend, the Ancient Skate Punk, sent this earlier this year. Mail, as if by magic, appearing on the doormat, out of the blue, is always a delight. The Ancient Skate Punk is a gifted theremin player and skateboarder. He has a confident and neat hand.
– ‘I was thinking of you this evening and then I discovered an unfranked stamp on an envelope from Christmas so I thought I’d take advantage and drop a line.’ –
It is a brief and breezy missive. He asks after my health and hopes that I am still writing and playing. We met 15 years ago, and once, we performed a ramshackle version of Mercury Rev’s Holes on a stage adorned with fairylights to a crowd of drinkers. I sat on the floor of the stage, picking out the notes of the chords, the words tumbled from my throat like spores while he summoned and assembled shapes from the air. We last met in a church, a concert given by the band Lambchop in 2018. Kurt Wagner sat on a chair in the shadow of the lectern and worked his fingers up and down the neck of his Gibson, all the while barely breathing out words and tapping now and then at a rack of effects pedals at his feet. It was the time between the Damaged and the FLOTUS albums and, sat there, only some three feet away from him, the air electric, was quite a magical thing. Kurt Wagner, in his trucker’s cap, his workshirt, his Levi’s, quietly essayed the congregation. We later joked that if there was going to be any feet-on-monitor moments that night, it would have been just as easy for us to achieve as Kurt, seated, as we were, that close to the stage in the front row of pews.
The Ancient Skate Punk has written in the space beneath the photo of the young and pensive mod version of David Jones…
– ‘I was walking down the High Street, when I heard footsteps behind me… Hm? There could be a song in there.’ –
It is the juxtaposition between the portrait of the serious young artist and the neatly written lyric and the considered afterthought of ‘Bowie’ that amuses me.
2 [postcard] David Bowie Strasse.
This was a free postcard from the Bücherhalle bookshop at 154, Haupstrasse, Schoneberg, Berlin. Haupstrasse is known as David Bowie Strasse in memory of his time living there with Iggy Pop in the late 1970s. I bought Graham Greene’s The Tenth Man (1st edition/German), some postcards and an arts pamphlet from 1933 (De Delver).
3 [postcard] ‘Berlin Jungen’
Another postcard (possibly from the Bücherhalle bookshop). It is an uncredited B/W photograph of three young boys sat outside a shop in Berlin in the late 1980s. I like the way that they stare nonchalantly into the camera. Two of them have beer bottles, though they are clearly not old enough to have purchased them. I am particularly drawn to the youth on the left as he reminds me of a young Pete Townshend.