get laid, get paid

the urban landscape is a vast unpublished library of materials and textures.
of stories, sedimented into layer after layer of stratified space-time.

all you’ve got to do is learn how to read.

battered worm-eaten wood
polished metal
crumbling brick
pockmarked concrete
scratched-to-shit plasticky crap
covered with spraypaint graffiti
wheatpaste gigposters
pigeon shit 
and shit adverts
in various states of distress 
ranging from spotless 
to quite clean 
to slightly soiled 
to fucking filthy
befouled, besmirched, begrimed
dusty, rusty
smeared, smudged
smooth, rough
bumpy, wrinkly
splattered with cement
and pissed on by passing dogs 
and drunks

and would-be poets.

i don’t clearly remember coming up with the idea to redecorate the world with my personal pseudo-philosophical sticker-form gnomes. but i do remember deciding it was a good idea. i do remember deciding to do it.

i was sat in a cafe in shrewsbury, surrounded by a coffee-press of hipster baristas and a fluttering fairy-ring of yellow postits, formalising, in three-inch squares, a preposterous pseudo-dadaist statement of intent for my long, long, long-latent pipe-dream pseudo-lit punk-projekt, aka pseudoliterary dot com.

my intention with these stickers was to somehow make something out of my morning pages. something out of nothing. it didn’t have to be something big. actually, the smaller the better. distill each full-english entry into whatever word-soupçon i could fit on a sticker. that was it, really. just make something. 

i half-hoped, in this way, to create some sort of archaeological record. breadcrumb clues for the cryptically-inclined palaeopsychologist loafer. scattered, incomplete bits and pieces which might give an idea of the shape of the long dead dinosaur.

something, anything, that might be stumbled upon by the sort of person who notices this sort of thing. in other words, my sort of person. 

This is a book about feeling like you have nothing to contribute to literature and that your efforts will make no impact on the world and that your writing will never reach anyone, and writing anyway.

M.J. Nicholls – Scotland Before the Bomb

all that happened. i made something. actually, i made this.

but that’s not all.

you see, the actual act of sticking stickers necessitates a new sort of urban safari. it forces me to explore in an active, not passive, way. to investigate. to go down alleys and climb up ladders. to get close. to touch. to move slowly and deliberately. to look, and to linger. 

to remember. 

the art of broken things

brick walls and broken windows
and lampposts
and palisade fences 
and manholes
and doorways
and railings
and graffiti'd electricity meters
and backstreet alleyways
and abandoned washing machines

in a weird and roundabout way, these stickers might be the way i start to remember things. the whole process (rereading, rewriting, sticking, writing these posts) creates closeness and ambiguity between events and places from the past, present and future.

the past, because i reread, and re-remember, each entry to make each sticker.
the present, because, well, that’s where i am now. rereading, rewriting. sticking. writing this.
the future, because each entry i write now almost inevitably reaches a tentative tendril towards the day, a year from now, when i’ll be here again, rereading, rewriting, sticking.

they blend irrevocably together.

in my head, it looks something like this.

previously, i considered it important to keep my memories in some sort of order. i did this, then this, then this. this happened, then this, then this. however, by prioritising maintenance of the correct placement and relative order of my memories, i inhibited my ability to empathise with, and learn from, my self-preserved past-self.

i inhibited my ability to make connections. to create curious juxtapositions. my memory-palace was full of long empty corridors with numbered, yet otherwise anonymous and undifferentiated doors, like an office. it was, in a word, boring.

no more.
from now on, i’m making a mess.
i’m mixing paint.
i’m mixing my metaphors.
i’m deliberately muddying the water.
i’m discombobulating. 

and it feels so fucking right.

it feels like my thing now, too. it’s a weird sort of thing. i’m not sure anyone has ever read one. apart from the fact that a few have clearly been deliberately peeled off, i wouldn’t be sure that anyone has even seen one.

all that is irrelevant. i do this for me. other people are noise, but i’m the only one making music. 

At the same time I’m discounting what I have to say, however, I also want to say it. And believe it’s worth saying. But I want the reader to know that I’m well aware that the world couldn’t care less about my opinion on the matter. 

eric jarosinski

here’s one more thing the world couldn’t care less about. 

i have become a finisher of things.

i finish sketchbooks. 
i finish notebooks.
i finish classic novels. 
i finish postgraduate degrees. 
i finish thoughts. 
i finish sentences.
i finish sandwiches.
i finish jar after jar of weed.
i finish the food on my fucking plate. 
i finish implausible long-term projects like putting an apartment inside a panel van and driving it to scotland.

i finish things like this.

this fucking post. 

it was not always thus.

i used to be a serial starter. an unfinisher, if you will. my life was a drawer full of prematurely aborted creative projects, abandoned and reproachful. a pitiful paddling-pool of entelechologically retarded thalidomide tadpoles, all tail and no legs. 

i finished my first notebook at twenty-seven. something clicked. now i have a shelf of the fuckers. every blank page unblanked, front to back. in some cases the covers too. from left to right, it looks like this:

sky blue
astroturf green
black latex
pink panties
king crimson
newspaper taxi
tangerine sky
shades of grey
bible black
blood red
submarine yellow
green machine

others, i store in a box. a fucking box full of notebooks.
sure, it’s a shoebox, and the notebooks are full of shit, but that’s not relevant. 

if anything, it makes it more impressive.