Thursday, 17 February 2011
CLICK CLICK ON THE ABOVE IMAGE TO GREATLY ENHANCE TEXT SIZE.
Hey presto lo and behold today we read that ancient Britons - here - were cannibals alas, and used human skulls as drinking vessels! Religions sanitise the past - as I contended last summer on my Sicilian travels when cornered by a POLIZZI GENEROSA "believer". Would I like to participate in an organised pilgrimage walk to a local mountainside church - see here - which walk would extinguish - if I confessed them - my past sins? I had none which I wanted to confess so no. I instead requested that they take on board that I'd totally prefer for God or The Pope to somehow arrange things so that at my age now I did not get tired on making my mountain journeys on foot. Put in writing my above alternative request sure extinguished their interest in my continued participation.
Anyways back to Vauxhall Civic Society, Picking Up the Pieces (accepting responsibility) and Dennis Nilsen at Chelsea Bridge. And to Professor Andrew Saint's talk on 15th February re the SURVEY OF LONDON which touched upon Nine Elms and the riverside areas. Including Battersea - as the promotional publicity - here - had advised. Indeed in his interesting and very well illustrated talk Prof. Saint even recommended visiting Nine Elms Sunday Morning Flea Market - maybe unaware that relatively recently the said Market has become significantly depleted by comparison to how it thrived less than a year ago.
Of course the riverside embankment areas in the vicinity of nearby CHELSEA BRIDGE within full view of Nine Elms Power Station - much mentioned by Prof. Saint - has significantly changed in the past decade or so particularly with the construction of the luxury apartment blocks at the southside bridge embankments. In the early Nineties a Sunday morning attraction adjacent to the Bridge was BUNGEE JUMPING which said activity quite by chance occasioned a visit by an observer who equally by chance happened to be reading "KILLING FOR COMPANY" an account of the life up to the mid 1980's of convicted serial killer Dennis Nilsen. Although it is an extremely unhappy book it also curiously discussed his professional activities as a Police Officer and subsequently a local Government Officer - and in both capacities serial killing aside he was credited with having performed his responsibilities conscientiously. These aspects of his background helped to encourage interest in his doings given the appaling propensities he also had which led him to commit his incredibly gruesome series of murders.
So Sunday morning Bungee Jumping is in full swing (no pun intended) on a summery Chelsea Bridge morning with an observer present amid the calling out and screaming who happened to be reading "KILLING FOR COMPANY". Of course such reading isn't everybody's cup of tea (understatement) but that said not everyone can abstain - as with all incredibly and gravely difficult unfortunate happenings there are those with responsibilities who as it were absolutely have to "pick up the pieces".
The above poem "DENNIS NILSEN AT CHELSEA BRIDGE" which in part very significantly evolved from that Chelsea Bridge Bungee Jump occasion went on to occasion even further trauma. To properly understand the content of the poem one would need to have read of the incredibly macabre and deeply crazed and weird introspections of Nilsen detailed - so far as they reasonably could be - in the volume. They involved Nilsen's amazingly macabre introspective use of mirrors, and curiously - in the immediate vicinity of the Bungy Jump - items of 2nd hand collectables were being sold on Sunday mornings!!
The poem touches on Nilsen's imagined introspections, on his self doubt, on his utter alienation and the sheer brutality and inhumanity of the behaviours in which he indulged - which in addition to murder included gruesome victim dismemberments and secret burials. At the time of the visit the author of the poem had been a sometime member of the LONDON VOICES POETRY WORKSHOP but that poem effectively closed off that continued participation. Its content was deemed to be too brutal and off-putting - exhibit such a poem said LVPW and no one will come near our workshops! So much for "picking up the pieces" by LVPW!! Of course it is NOT an easy poem but it is one that was graphically born out of passing events as they played on the imagination, in part as a direct result of that Chelsea Bridge Sunday Morning Bungee Jumping visit. Of course Bunjee Jumping of itself has extremely fearful undercurrents which are very obvious.
In the Nineties - alas now no more - we had the amazingly free and open-minded BRIXTON POETS GROUP - we had a lovely unique rule to stop endless repetitions - namely that the same poem is not to be read twice. However you always otherwise read whatever you wanted. Steve Micalef''s beautiful poem VAMPIRES SUCK PUSS! - here - is already posted on this blog. If only life was 100 percent vanilla
with no "pieces to be picked up".
Alas life isn't and never will be.