three hundred sixty five

31/01/2010

And I’m thinking about breakfast at Veselka’s and fractured biography and The Idea of Kate Jackson and why narrative shouldn’t be restricted and all my fictions. And I’ve got a pint to my lips. And Bridle’s got more ideas than time. And Webb kicks me into gear with the phrase “beginnings matter”. And I think they really do. And so, what next?


three hundred sixty four

30/01/2010

Gillen has this line, inspired by a scientist, wherein motivation is found with the question: “What’s the most significant problem facing your field?”
And, you know, if you aren’t doing something about it then you’re part of the problem.


three hundred sixty three

29/01/2010

“Have you seen my tie?”


three hundred sixty two

28/01/2010

That line, that line I keep hearing, that phrase I write in my bones and bleed: “What next?”


three hundred sixty one

27/01/2010

You know, I fucking hate Italo Calvino.


three hundred sixty

26/01/2010

Thompson’s heading Downtown. The Auteur’s fucked off long since to tear up the meatpacking district. Morley’s sidetracked by a beam of light coming from a street corner in Williamsburg a river distant. I’m left outside of Veselka’s with Johnson, after Nick & Norah melt inside.

“Telling stories is telling lies.”
“Lies aren’t always bad things.”
“I never said they were.”

And while he pitches uptown I’m left on the corner of four points wondering where to head. Little lines I should have said come back to me about cultures we dip in and out of, about channels we create. I’ve populated a landscape with the shape of some people I never knew, some of whom I can’t know. I’ve wound up being more honest with them than I expected. How did I start a story here?


three hundred fifty nine

25/01/2010

And in the first few moments of the new year there is snow.


three hundred fifty eight

24/01/2010

That’s the moment Warren turns and says “Matt, if you had funding you’d be in control of half of London by now!”


three hundred fifty seven

23/01/2010

Mark’s fingers, bitterly cold, grasping the digital strands left by a decade departed. I’ve written the 00’s away in a spate of Doctor Who and poptimism, and he’s done what’s been asked of him; lone flagbearer for the Festive Ten.


three hundred fifty six

22/01/2010

Confession: in one of the most painful moments of my life I used a Doctor Who quote, letting the words “You were brilliant” slip from my lips. It’s a strange moment, over a year later, when I realise that the death of the Tenth Doctor rocked in exactly the same way. I wanted to go for a huge walk and cry in the rain.


three hundred fifty five

21/01/2010

Somewhere I hear The Idea of Kate Jackson whisper the words of VV; “I want you to be crazy ’cause you’re stupid baby when you’re sane.”


three hundred fifty four

20/01/2010

Pete Doherty died in the early months of 2005, I’m sure of it.


three hundred fifty three

19/01/2010

For a time I accidentally find myself earning money by doing what I want to do.


three hundred fifty two

18/01/2010

Powered by robots, slowed down by ink, stalled by budget. Poor girl.


three hundred fifty one

17/01/2010

Marc and I should throw more stones.


three hundred fifty

16/01/2010

You could say I am the son of Tom Humberstone, Paul Gravett, Kieron Gillen, Warren Ellis, and most of their ideas. Bridle would call the conception something like ‘bookake impregnation’ before adding his own spit to the mix.

You shouldn’t say that sort of thing though, because it leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth.


three hundred forty nine

15/01/2010

His arrival is unassuming and soft, and he brings with it such overwhelming concentration and chaos that you imagine he has been around since you first stepped up to the counter clutching Young Justice. He comes to define comics as much as Joy Division define music. For a long time he was a missing element, alluded to and mentioned but unseen for the most part. He is brilliant. Everybody needs a Humberstone.


three hundred forty eight

14/01/2010

Second, Humberstone changes the game.


three hundred forty seven

13/01/2010

For the first time in a long time he felt like he hadn’t broken The Rule. Aimee would be proud.


three hundred forty six

12/01/2010

Unknown Pleasures revolving: “You’re at home aren’t you?”


three hundred forty five

11/01/2010

First The Girl and I build a home.


three hundred forty four

10/01/2010

First The Girl and I consider the merchandising opportunities.


three hundred forty three

09/01/2010

First The Girl and I run away to Oslo.


three hundred forty two

08/01/2010

First The Girl and I get too drunk and fight fences


three hundred forty one

07/01/2010

First The Girl and I find a cave, then a houseboat on stilts.


three hundred forty

06/01/2010

Morley picks up my tab at Veselka’s, and I hope to repay the kindness in future. “Don’t worry about it. There are far more important things to worry about, I’m sure you’re aware. For example; think about where Simon Cowell was when Kylie regenerated. Ask yourself what shape a new Damon Albarn might take. Stare at the sky and throw stones in the water while drumming up rhymes about why none of it would work if Eno hadn’t written ‘An Ending (Ascent)’ or if Bowie hadn’t sung ‘Heroes’.”


three hundred thirty nine

05/01/2010

I’m usually somewhere in England, dreaming.


three hundred thirty eight

04/01/2010

All the hayfever in the world.


three hundred thirty seven

03/01/2010

We are now far too close to now to have any perspective.


three hundred thirty six

02/01/2010

Denver International airport is now my most hated location in the world. Surrounded by empty nothing, perched between endless space and void. Made of boredom and strip lights. Just shit.


three hundred thirty five

01/01/2010

By this point the shadowplay ghost of Ian Curtis is something less than present, something further from the inside of the front of the head than perhaps he had been.


three hundred thirty four

31/12/2009

“I came away to kind of think about myself, think about what I wanted to do next, maybe make something on the way.”
“Yeah?”
“Yeah… it sort of happened, not as expected though…”
“Yeah… yeah”
And we don’t have to say much more to get that it’s been a strange few months for both of us. When we both go home it’s going to be to something temporary, a stop gap, and it might be a couple of months before we get ourselves together.


three hundred thirty three

30/12/2009

The Girl has abandoned the crossroads, and wants to build a home.


three hundred thirty two

29/12/2009

Somewhere Marc is thinking about the future. I’m beside the sea.


three hundred thirty one

28/12/2009

Echoes of Greenfield on meeting Katie (whose breasts are famous on the internet); starting to know the people I think I’ll know forever. Of course, all this way above the docks at San Diego, a vista of parking lots and heat.


three hundred thirty

27/12/2009

BANG.
L.A.
friends are nice but this city makes me dislocated and sick and I don’t feel the need to stay here any more I want to be taken to ink and paper and booze and the bit where I make new friends and speak to people whose words have sat in books in boxes for something less than a lifetime but a little more than a shopping trip


three hundred twenty nine

26/12/2009

Jeck is too fragmented and beautiful to make it onto a coffee table.


three hundred twenty eight

25/12/2009

No snow.
We’re walking up the mountain, hours before more flights, and surrounding us is the snap-sparkle of a thousand tiny fireflies. It’s breathtaking.


three hundred twenty seven

24/12/2009

Somewhere I stumbled over the headstone of an ex-, or someone like her, and got distracted by Animal Collective.
BOO!
(open up your, open up your, open up you throat)
(MATT!)


three hundred twenty six

23/12/2009

There really is enough Whiskey. Quite the embarrassment.


three hundred twenty five

22/12/2009

“I’ve been thinking a lot about The Idea of Kate Jackson”


three hundred twenty four

21/12/2009

Storm roiling through St. Laurent, they appear to be on a houseboat. It is good. Stevie Wonder leers in the distance, gurning slobber attracting vicious interference.


three hundred twenty three

20/12/2009

A little shot of energy from the Far East, that a Lost Boy thinks of as sacred; ‘I know I’m not at rock bottom if that stays sealed.’


three hundred twenty two

19/12/2009

Somewhere around Parc I begin to relax.


three hundred twenty one

18/12/2009

An idea in the shape of a decade where forgetting what you were and pretending this is the fully formed article that existed forever is, essentially, as common as breakfast.


three hundred twenty

17/12/2009

To our eternal disappointment The Idea of Kate Jackson does not appear at a table in Veselka’s, clear of our breakfast dishes, set to stand atop it and belt out “Nostalgia”. H.S.T., crown King Gonzo, passes me the flask and I’m away after one huff.
A lot of ideas as we make for the door. He tells me I should do the things I have to until they hurt.


three hundred nineteen

16/12/2009

Field agents; assets; resources; friends; co-conspirators; the right team for the right job.


three hundred eighteen

15/12/2009

In a moment’s notice images change context; Adam Cadwell’s pencil creates upheaval, repositioning The Idea of Kate Jackson into a position of power she wholly deserves.


three hundred seventeen

14/12/2009

Marc throwing stones in the water, “What are we doing? I mean it, what are we doing?” and I’m thinking ‘What do we want to do?’ And I’m not sure either of us know, but the sea is a good place to think about the future, talk about the past and throw stones.


three hundred sixteen

13/12/2009

A little less B. S. Johnson, a little more ‘notebooks targeting the collapse of artistic writing, pointing knife-like at the throat of my to-do-list’.


three hundred fifteen

12/12/2009

Somewhere over the Atlantic there are two hundred ‘zines making their way to the house of illustrator Ben. Somewhere in MontrĂ©al Aanand and Quintin are making new lives. Somewhere in New York Matthew is falling in love. Somewhere else in New York there is an awful lot of booze gathering.


three hundred fourteen

11/12/2009

Oh, toner.


three hundred thirteen

10/12/2009

Persistent references to The Auteur’s ‘Fear of Flying’ do me good. There’s spit and spite and special restraint there, all of which I would like, some of which I would argue I need.


three hundred twelve

09/12/2009

Bouncing between Sutphin Boulevard and a hotbox. Sweat and tears. Mostly sweat, for all the right reasons.


three hundred eleven

08/12/2009

And, yes, the water’s running into his shoes, but Coney Island looks great in the rain.


three hundred ten

07/12/2009

Somewhere in the sky she’s curled up, head in his lap, her mind somewhere else altogether, her foot throbbing in pain. Metal sky bucket fling them toward America.


three hundred nine

06/12/2009

Of course, every trip will always be shorter than expected.


three hundred eight

05/12/2009

Harried: The Girl books flights not long after The Boy.


three hundred seven

04/12/2009

I probably aim at North America wondering if, each time, I might bump into Lottie.


three hundred six

03/12/2009

Letter from me to Lottie:

You wouldn’t even know me anymore. I mean, I wouldn’t you, but sometimes it’s a few seconds before you realise the changes time’s made.
So, I last saw you something close to eighteen years ago. We were children. I think it was San Francisco you were heading towards, I’m not really sure. I stayed in Hedge End. Not sun tan my end, that much is true, and school changed a lot too. I haven’t got that Turtles poster anymore. I haven’t got those Thunderbirds bedsheets (I wish) and I haven’t got that micro-machines goodbye present you left me. I don’t live in that house anymore. I don’t wear shorts, or baseball caps, and I don’t have a uniform. And I’m older now too, which counts for something, right?


three hundred five

02/12/2009

So, the faded ghost of Ian Curtis reminds The Boy that he never quite made it to North America.


three hundred four

01/12/2009

Cut, again, way too close.


three hundred three

30/11/2009

Several names, some familiar, The Girl at The Crossroads is forever and after best known as The Girl. The Idea of Kate Jackson approves.


three hundred two

29/11/2009

And it all comes together because the noise is too much and the distance is quite short and the view is pretty and the booze is cheap and the company feels good and he should have kissed her anyway.


three hundred one

28/11/2009

“Can I have a hug?”


three hundred

27/11/2009

“I wonder if sometimes we all seem trapped in versions of Let’s Get Lost,” says Morley to the lot of us, breakfast at Veselka’s long since over. He pushes the salt around the table “It would be beautiful, wouldn’t it? Some detemporalised, black and white collection of ideas, loose connection, the shape of a man’s life through a medium.” “Maybe,” Johnson responds, “but haven’t we all already written that?”


two hundred ninety nine

26/11/2009

Quinns and Sheret, wandering Hackney. There’s something pleasantly gormless about the pair of them, enough so that a young mother is moved to nickname them The Lost Boys. There is probably mileage in that.


two hundred ninety eight

25/11/2009

There are stops, if not a route: New York, Montréal, L.A., San Diego.


two hundred ninety seven

24/11/2009

In a basement club hiding undercover Kohl and Shambles sit amid the Coven. A ways away The Girl enters, stands with the next generation, waits for an introduction.


two hundred ninety six

23/11/2009

Echoing, forever and always, back and forwards though time and space and stuff; a room full of people yelling to ‘Song 2’.


two hundred ninety five

22/11/2009

Mirroring Veselka’s, but boozy; Webb, Jones, Bridle, Sheret.


two hundred ninety four

21/11/2009

Someone, somewhere, thought The Charles Lamb Pub would be a good idea. And they were right.


two hundred ninety three

20/11/2009

“Oh, I always pronounced it knee-ill-ism. Or Neilism.”


two hundred ninety two

19/11/2009

Like a beacon on the internet: ‘Get Excited and Make Things’. Time to plot.


two hundred ninety one

18/11/2009

“Paper is for wimps”


two hundred ninety

17/11/2009

Sitting by the water’s edge I’m listening to Marc talk about things he’s seen. It’s not pleasant. I can’t imagine how hard it would be for him to tell me this in his own home. We start to think about the future.


two hundred eighty nine

16/11/2009

L.A.T.E.R. that week.


two hundred eighty eight

15/11/2009

What’s that Orwell line about re-writing history?
Ignore that.
I start this project around this point. I can’t remember why, now, but I can point at the things that led to that moment. I had been asked by someone slightly crazier than I deserved if they might find themselves as a character in The Polaroid Press, and that horrified me. I wanted to put autobiography to bed, to think about it on such a demanding basis that I was left with fiction, and stories, where I hadn’t got any before. The problem is that it worked, and I am left unfinished with a too-recent history to consider.


two hundred eighty seven

14/11/2009

Sat in Covent Garden, thinking about Veselka’s, he begins a work-year.


two hundred eighty six

13/11/2009

The idea of Kate Jackson features a little in this narrative, but she perhaps demands her own story. In that would be a chapter relating to the thunder and lightning she launched at the Astoria, and another about the cut of her cardigan on the cover of Plan B. There may be a passage on the restraint she feels in the vision of Erin O’Connor, and another about the power of “Nostalgia”. She will make it clear, by the final chapter, that the things worth dwelling on in life are the lived experiences, but at the very end she’ll imagine another world and dwell on that anyway.


two hundred eighty five

12/11/2009

We arrive during shift change at the crossroads. The idea of Kate Jackson is retreating, just a beret speck in the sunset. Her replacement has no name.


two hundred eighty four

11/11/2009

Dancing to ‘Canonball’ ought to come a little later, but I will forget that and instead write about ‘Brother Sport’.

BOO!


two hundred eighty three

10/11/2009

“Friendly, but dull.”


two hundred eighty two

09/11/2009

The boy kicks around London. There is, really, a sense he should not be here.


two hundred eighty one

08/11/2009

In reference to ‘Dig Your Own Hole’: I’m unlikely to write as much as I ought to.


two hundred eighty

07/11/2009

The delayed Auteur, morley, Doctor Gonzo and Mister Johnson have been waiting a long time for the boy with the skinny tie to arrive. They had almost finished breakfast at Veselka’s, and empty dishes and bottles clutter a table, showing hints of discussion in the residue. It looks like ideas, mostly, with borscht and waffles.


two hundred seventy nine

06/11/2009

Chelsea to Slope, he enjoys what he knows of this town. Greatcoat kicking at his heels he stumbles at Bleeker and Broadway, nabs a Morley in L.E.S., dances with go-go’s at Trash and drinks away a slower year. He then walks through the doors of Veselka’s.


two hundred seventy eight

05/11/2009

As lights explode in the sky every measure against pressure changes fail. A pop, a bubble, a nightmare headache; still and all the plane does not crash.

I consider this a victory.


two hundred seventy seven

04/11/2009

I spent much of Christmas day alone, feverishly jabbing refresh to punch through the lag and be entertained. I was too cold to laugh, but knew a-change was a-coming.


two hundred seventy six

03/11/2009

Dark eyes, she cornered me in a sentence: “Come to New York with me. Really, come to New York with me.”


two hundred seventy five

02/11/2009

This goes somewhere now. I have been a lot of places, in a short time, and it is important to get it down. There is a distinction I want to make between the meditative process of getting to this year and the year itself. The year starts, like so much else, in New York: I have almost found Veselka’s.


two hundred seventy four

01/11/2009

This is about the idea of fiction.


two hundred seventy three

31/10/2009

This is about distribution of fiction.


two hundred seventy two

30/10/2009

The shadow of the ghost of the idea of Ian Curtis looms large over a pocket of North London. He remains unaware that perga paper and print will disrupt his intentions.


two hundred seventy one

29/10/2009

“Look, just don’t go listening to Joy Division.”


two hundred seventy

28/10/2009

An overnight reappraisal of “Heart Swells/Pacific Daylight Time”: Instant transmission of intelligent heartbreak.


two hundred sixty nine

27/10/2009

“You are thinking about a too-recent history,” she said “But you don’t have to worry that much about the future.”


two hundred sixty eight

26/10/2009

“Heart Swells/Pacific Daylight Time” is a song of two faces.


two hundred sixty seven

25/10/2009

Boxes,
Echoes,
Spaces,
Empty, fill furniture, move furniture,
The shape of the watch hanging, reflecting sunlight, losing battery


two hundred sixty six

24/10/2009

There’s a Polaroid Press entry written after a date in Canary Wharf where I remark that buildings don’t reflect the trauma of the financial sector, they seem oblivious. It is telling that I wrote this just days before being dumped.


two hundred sixty five

23/10/2009

Of course, Temptation’ was playing.


two hundred sixty four

22/10/2009

The beginning of the end involved table-tennis.


two hundred sixty three

21/10/2009

The Lady’s Mum made a coffee I couldn’t refuse. I became quickly hooked.


two hundred sixty two

20/10/2009

The boy winds up on the W3 again, watching the weather. It is colder now, and wet.


two hundred sixty one

19/10/2009

Julia’s image, hidden by a gas-mask, clawing at the sky. I liked the angles of her pen, rough-hewn and feathered.


two hundred sixty

18/10/2009

Morley and the legends around the table over breakfast at Veselka’s: A “Nighthawks” for those arch-spined, close-sighted, Peel Sessions listeners.


two hundred fifty nine

17/10/2009

The artist, all angles, reached for the sky.


two hundred fifty eight

16/10/2009

Did you wonder where I went?


two hundred fifty seven

15/10/2009

She wasn’t playacting.


two hundred fifty six

14/10/2009

I met Marc later. I like to think if we’d met years earlier then we’d have thought about our futures on the stony shore of Southend, and laughed about it later.


two hundred fifty five

13/10/2009

Much of it passed uneventfully, and that seemed good.


two hundred fifty four

12/10/2009

The Lady threw away stress with a baseball. Occasional snow and tombstones formed an unseasonal backdrop.


two hundred fifty three

11/10/2009

Mirrors, clammy hair, scattered towels, pumps out the door, hand to the wall, the cold, snatching privacy.


two hundred fifty two

10/10/2009

When I’m home in her house it all makes sense.


two hundred fifty one

09/10/2009

What he doesn’t notice is the heart-outline of his latte foam, swiftly covered as it is by a plastic lid. She loves him, if only for a second.


two hundred fifty

08/10/2009

Am I the son of Xtie?


two hundred forty nine

07/10/2009

The last time we could have crossed paths E- wasn’t there, appropriately.


two hundred forty eight

06/10/2009

“Hey, Gareth, I’m a mate of Kieron’s!”


two hundred forty seven

05/10/2009

Would I still well up to think of ‘To Build A Home’ had it not been for 2008?


two hundred forty six

04/10/2009

Winter dragged, that year.


two hundred forty five

03/10/2009

Winter dragged, that year.


two hundred forty four

02/10/2009

And I started to focus, body wrecked by some torturous poison, dripping with sweat on a cold November night, legs buckling and stopping me shifting even a yard while I clutch at bags and vomit. And this focus brings with it gasps for air, whole leaves of spinach plucked from my nasal passage, bile and couscous pouring forth, frothing, and I wished the focus would pass because in this clarity, in this precision, in this ecstasy of pain the only thing I can hear beyond my heartbeat is The Lady waking up and saying “Can’t you do that somewhere else?”


two hundred forty three

01/10/2009

Stressed, teeth ground: The Lady wore earplugs at night.


two hundred forty two

30/09/2009

Dun,
dananun Dun,
danunan dun,
dunanun Dan,
dananan tlashclitch


two hundred forty one

29/09/2009

Marky Mark and I holed up in Bristol at winter, night rolling in, curry on our laps, totally devoted to the celluloid masterpiece as soon as Samuel Curtis starts walking on Ceres. EVERY DAY IN EVERY WAY IIIIIIIIIITTTTT’SS! THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT!


two hundred forty

28/09/2009

“There are points when it all almost works, when you wish everything would just click into place and move.” B.S. Johnson looks whistful at Veselka’s, eating a breakfast waffle.


two hundred thirty nine

27/09/2009

You can’t see it, but these pages are stained with use now.


two hundred thirty eight

26/09/2009

She took me to the Sunday Upmarket to escape the week and it helped for a time, but I preferred it on my own. Why? Just go.


two hundred thirty seven

25/09/2009

No good comes of writing about music.


two hundred thirty six

24/09/2009

I’m not saying life in the Tea Building was a mistake, but it was well on the way.


two hundred thirty five

23/09/2009

Old Street: Intimately shabby station in an area locked in entropic stasis. Around it the slow wheel of progress is halted in motion by the process of perpetual decay.


two hundred thirty four

22/09/2009

Ambitions extended no further than a friend’s couch and quiet drinks. And being remembered.


two hundred thirty three

21/09/2009

I’m in a strange land of fanboys and mayhem when I’m rescued by the poet.


two hundred thirty two

20/09/2009

You might say it all worked out fine in Bristol.


two hundred thirty one

19/09/2009

Notes:
Coach to meet the former flatmate.
Stumble upon a break-up.
Bristol Sucks.


two hundred thirty

18/09/2009

Lacking vitriol, I needed Haines to become a hero. With bile and fire his lyrics lurch towards inspirational diatribes against the weather-beaten shitness of being English.


two hundred twenty nine

17/09/2009

This is all about beginnings.


two hundred twenty eight

16/09/2009

Luke Haines, forever delayed, a beacon amid gestures of kindness.


two hundred twenty seven

15/09/2009

While smiling in the language of “I hate you” The Auteur arrives late to the party.


two hundred twenty six

14/09/2009

Outlines fingertip-traced on shoulders.


two hundred twenty five

13/09/2009

Pop Music as prayer. ‘He’, ‘She’, ‘You’… abstractions that bask in the transcendent, sound as a grand, rolling call to the divine in all things and a dedication to the spiritual. Britney’s slave – for You – an angel, not a sinner.


two hundred twenty four

12/09/2009

It’s an aria. Leaking up the stairs, down too, it’s an aria accompanied by the splash of shower water.


two hundred twenty three

11/09/2009

I am thinking too much about my answers. I should think less.


two hundred twenty two

10/09/2009

Ah, Stuart, wonderful Stuart, just kept getting it right. A little on the side of the divine, blessed with the Devil’s attention to melody, full of poems and harmony. Stumbling upon Belle & Sebastian a little late she loved those mornings with Tigermilk lazily spinning at thirty three and a third.


two hundred twenty one

09/09/2009

Back seat of the W7, late, work-tired, trundling into Crouch End, her head resting on my shoulder.


two hundred twenty

08/09/2009

I have in my head a snapshot of Paul Morley, sipping coffee at Veselka’s over breakfast, humming ‘Make Out, Fall out, Make Up’.


two hundred nineteen

07/09/2009

The Idea of Kate Jackson gave up waiting at the crossroads. She’d be back later, only the faintest of knowing smiles on her lips.


two hundred eighteen

06/09/2009

Zombie. I called the cat Zombie.


two hundred seventeen

05/09/2009

At 20 I didn’t quite know what I wanted, so The Lady never knew the Sloaney blip of a night and a morning. I never had to explain that and I won’t start now.


two hundred sixteen

04/09/2009

24 hours sweating and vomiting and hallucinating the visage of an illustrated Damon Albarn for the sake of, unknown to me then, love.