Friday, May 1, 2009

All the ghosts came to that party ...

From Derek Jarman's Kicking the Pricks:

Adam and Eve (that's you),
And Pinch-Me-Not (that's us),
Went down to the sea to bathe,
Adam and Eve were drowned,
Who do you think was saved?

What was Pinch-Me-Not up to? Well, years ago he danced to a wind-up gramophone on the deck of HMS Invincible with his mates. Afterwards the lads went below decks, stripped off, and fucked so hard they forgot the war. The ship sailed on and on, and reached a desert island. Was it the Isle of the Dead? I'm not certain.  It could have been Easter Island with its giant statues, or Stromboli, where in the sulphurous smoke of the volcano, he discovered a wild flower growing 'essence'. He picked it, and pressed it, and sent it home, to the neat little back-tobacks which he had left far behind.  His mates were pirates now, deserters, they fucked each other all night; no one came less than eight times; in the dawn they were like a clean room, minds opened.  The fucking burnt away the cobwebs, and broke their manacles.

One day, as the sun came up, they reached the very edge of the horizon. They lay in the dawn, crushed in each other's arms, satiated, but still erect. Who made love to whom that night? All the ghosts came to that party: Alexander the Great threw himself to the battalions that died for him, Socrates pronounced a blessing. Many were there secretly, but I'll not give them away. There was Richard Coeur de Lion with Lord Kitchener, who pointed at us and said 'Your country needs YOU'; Gaveston had his cock up Edward's arse; they had minstrels-Tchaikovsky was blowing Britten-and painters to record them: Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Caravaggio.  The guest-list was endless and they built their own world far away from yours, with doctors and dentists, bricklayers and ploughmen. The authorities never caught up with them because they were wizards and witches and faeries.  It was a queer old world; you can stamp on a fairy ring, but it will bring you terrible luck, and neither you, or your children, who know how sweet the faeries are, will sleep soundly ever again.

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