Sex Pistols

When you spit on me

I keep falling in love with your

nihilism. Go ahead and lick

the scars left after the cuts. I’m

attracted to the scent of your

apathy. I just ripped my shirt for

the fuck of it. You tattoo anarchy

on my palm with permanent ink.

To know you’re flesh I watch for

you to bleed when pierced. So

you want to dominate my so what.

From 1977 (Ravenna Press)

The Rebel redacted
a narrative that has already been written / and forms form / a belief in the finality of history

As part of finding the right tone and context for my punk history of 1977, I redacted a copy of The Rebel by Albert Camus (Vintage Books, 1956, 306 pp.), working on the project between 2014.07.01-2017.11.24. Many themes emerged aligned with the punk attitude of the 1970s as well as my later interest in anti-narrative and history (like the page above).

Mr Wonderful

WHEN I CANNOT DISCERN

no arc nor halo

no narrative defined

scars from past cuts

no longer pink

they reported he took

a lot less than usual

there is only one way

this can end—

next time you ask

I’ll say “Yes”

from 1977, forthcoming from Ravenna Press

Like a wild drummer or your heart skipping a beat. Like a mind opening. Like howling at the moon or reliving apathy. Like old scars. Like a new tattoo. 

Not so much a history lesson as a shout out to the future. An artist picking through what we discard to make it new.

Complexity alternately unravels and tangles with context. These poems embrace the risk of obscurity.

 

1977
Cover art for 1977 coming from Ravenna Press in April 2018. Design by Jack Burgess.

Smashes history, both textbook and memory, into fragments and then reassembles it into an anti-chronological “narrative” (in quotes), this collage of memoir, charts and sampled text is tied together by the thinnest of threads for the reader to pull or be pulled by.

Taking nostalgia to its root in battle and sickness, the writer/illustrator challenges the notion that time that has passed between then and now.

If I had to sum this up in one word, I couldn’t.

 

1977
Cover art for 1977 coming from Ravenna Press in April 2018. Design by Jack Burgess.

As my artist friend David says: “The internet is magic.”

Subs

The catalyst: “Gimme Your Heart” 45 by the Subs (Stiff Records 1978).

How it happened: 1) I posted a newspaper clipping my Grandma C sent me in the waning days of first-wave punk. It told the story of a punk band that saved a couple trapped in their car during a snowstorm. (See story here.)

2) David added a comment linking to the song “Gimme Your Heart” by the Subs, the punk band mentioned in the newspaper clipping.

3) David’s friend Mike added a comment linking to Discogs with the Subs record (shown above) for sale.

4) I bought the 45 (made in Scotland) off the internet that evening. It arrived about a week later.

The result: The internet is indeed magic!