Not a bit of it.
Like a greyhound out of a trap she began the
The reason for this activity is not unrelated to the fact that we have guests arriving in a couple of weeks and currently there’s nowhere to put them in anything that might pass as comfortable. So we start on what is notionally referred to as the guest room but is in fact a bike shed/furniture store/ old coat rack/second-hand book shop/staging post to the charity shop. Delving into the cupboard Debbie hauls out several boxes belonging to me that have not been opened since before I moved into this house – ten years ago.
While Debbie does all the hard work I rummage through the contents with the intention of throwing stuff away. I discover one box contains folders that date back to the early 80s, each one packed with poetry. I gingerly pick through this stuff as though it might contaminate me hardly daring to read any of it. The bits that I dare to scan cause me to feel faint at their hopeless naivety and well, their hopelessness. More delving produces a rejection slip or two. What I’m amazed at is my nerve in sending any of this out to real publishers.
As magnetically insidious as pornography I can’t help but peak a bit more and discover story outlines, early chapter drafts, notes and commentary. I don’t know what’s worse; the actual writing or my notes about my writing.
Did they go in the bin? Did I hurl it all away, casting aside pieces that speak (however inelegantly) of people and places, time and space now gone?
Of course not.
Although this stuff has been ignored, unseen and unloved in a box for about 15 years I can’t bring myself to get shot of it all.
In a piece of reverse archaeology Debbie hands me another box that contains cassette tapes from 1982 of me mucking about on a VCS3 at Spectro Arts Workshop. Labelled The Index of Enquiry And Information (it’s the early 89s remember!) this toe-tapping electronica consists of a long low drone that slurs every once in a while into another before fading irrevocably into a sizzling swirl of tape hiss. Another consists of me saying the phrase “I Remembered Remembering” in a sibilant whisper on tape-loop.
As intrigued as I was, after 15 minutes of patient listening (aka waiting for something to happen) I pressed eject. Alongside this were a bunch of articles I'd written for music fanzines in the 80s as well as some documentation of the "I Remembered Remembering" show which looked a lot better than the soundtrack.
More up to date and possibly of more interest to the readers of these pages who share an enthusiasm for King Crimson, I discover my notebooks for the ProjeKct 4 tour of the USA where I did the merch table.
Skipping through them I discovered that these were the original notes which appeared in a highly edited format firstly as a special edition of Elephant Talk and subsequently as the liner notes to West Coast Live by P4.
I might put the unexpurgated version on here along with a whole bunch of blurry pics I took at the time.