Have you ever done what we did, and taken a drunken walk down Hope Street to capture art in a no cameras allowed zone? Cos’ we caught what we had left there beneath a suspended girder metal roof in aging marketplace with empty stalls amongst the kitchen refurbishments and competing sitcom butchers beside horse fool knock-off brands like Ike and Didass. And we read the signs saying don’t feed the homeless and always remember to step on pigeon’s throat, cos’ they’re a menace, or maybe it was the other way around and there’s a difference between homeless and beggars, cos’ beggars are just another kind of salesmen. At least with salesmen you get something in return, even if it’s just a copy of the Big Issues of the day, the Issues which never really turn out to be so big after all. And didn’t you hear, kids of the millennium 90s, that your votes really do matter? That it is your duty to throw your name behind this sycophant or that, behind this plutolatrist or that or this economic wasteland behind oiled black hair and oiled white skin and the dead eyes of a cocaine user flickering with chandelier light above silent flutes of champagne?
So we stopped and stared at the picture we weren’t allowed to take and went to watch the revolution show – the gay theatre beside the jobcentre and the cheap club where drinks only cost a third of the price, so long as you bought four, and the jaw-hung rapists with evil little teeth lost themselves in music and motion and in reaching under short glittering dresses. And, there, the old men and women searched for themselves on a map of one-hit wonders and where has the time ran off to/the years bleeding away in the space between midnight and 4 o’clock?
And no, I don’t want eau du toilette from the urinal, and I don’t want a picture to commemorate a night like this, with blood drunken girls squatting the road and vomit piss culture broiling in my stomach, and I need Dante’s Virgil to guide me, or a Virgil all of my own, and carve a tunnel back through bedrock and water with his eyes and would anyone know if I stole Cecini pascua, rura, duces for my own grave inscription? Or maybe I should carve daub it across Banksy’s works, and tribute him with defacement and theft?
And in the street, with blood iron, they treat cigarettes as if they were incense. And they wave them like athletes, like brutal bullied middle working class muscle with absolutely no sense of the ground as it rattles beneath them. Don’t you know that David’s upset over the Wigan Pier analogies and there’s no place for hyperbole in newspapers? But its fine cos’ there’s no place for us either, us violent, revolting hopes of things that once, in blood and in bone, had the potential to be human.