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A Seizure Of Life; charcoal and chalk


Perth, Australia

Artist's Description

Charcoal and Chalk on plain pastel paper.
120 × 90cm
I used the title of this piece in a song I wrote, played and recorded in 12 hours somewhere in the same week that I did this piece:

yes. this is the same song i posted in “for a moment we are strangers!” recording is hard and i am bad at it. i need to be more organised but then i may be less well mad and stop being so interesting to myself of an evening. when it’s windy. but not humid cuz i hate that.
Here, these are the lyrics…
(I LOVE this song.)

(these are the best)
In the morning I watch you cry in your sleep.
Make up in lines all over your cheek
It hurts you the most when people are kind
Like a burn or a scalpel in your mind.
It’s only me, just me, that’s all.
Going mad outside in the hall.
You’ve got a messy heart cutting up your ribs
Sex and sweat and blood red lips.
It’s like a heart in the heart sometimes
You sleep with me in a sickness of time.
And now it’s happy hour on a Friday night
And I’m walking around with a head full of light.
Exhausted and lonely
Fragile and ugly
Tricked into empathy
Hacked out of destiny
Find some truth,
When the sun stops
When the last letter burns;
While the blood…
I know it’s my fault x 10
Murder the light with your skinny arms
Smokin’ and crying cuz you know what you are.
In a seizure of life my sweet born liar
Where-ever you touch me is a white hot wire
You were shaking naked above me
Tearing the pages out of my diary
And all that I want is to take you to bed
But you scream at me cuz I lost my meds
Now it’s happy hour on a Friday night
And I’m walking around with a head full of light.
I know it’s my fault x 8
Push my head to your chest so I can hear your heart.
Open your eyes and see the dark
Hold me down and read what I wrote.
Open my mouth
And f-kg scream down my throat.
Scream down my throat.
I did this piece almost as an act of rebellion. I incorporate an undercurrent – yes, I like the word. Under-current. Not as in currants – currents! As if beneath a frozen river, wild fast and cold water hissing black beneath the wind-scoured ice. Though now I want a scone. With currants.
And with… jam.
And… cream.
Wild digression involving scones there. Can a digression be wild when it involves scones? (Paul cogitates…)

“… yes, so therefore, the meaning of life is… oh wait man, I have to tell you about this: last week I was at a party and SOMEONE broke out all this cocaine and we were drinking champagne out of the bellies of girls dressed only in stockings and an odd collection of authentic 19thc millinery, and then we started doing lines from between their breasts, and HEY they ALSO had these fucking GREAT scones there oh man oh man! They had currants in them that were so RIPE and PLUMP, voluptuous almost throbbing with juicy life! Sorry, bit of a wild digression there, where were we? Ontology?”
End cogitative imagining. Not been to a party like that, and I have been to MANY parties.
The rebellion I suppose is formed against the very romanticism that I try and conjure. There is that truth within me, and a much darker, uglier, more brutal and powerful urge bound wire tight enmeshed with it and to it. And there is wildness there, with or without scones.
The same urge that compels me to the forms and ancient truths of beauty drives me back towards the deep sadness and tragedy within us all. So before I started and dove into the cool smooth shapes, chaste and sensual, I let go. For a few days I went a bit mad and I did this piece.
It will always be like this, for me.
Oddly, the title of this piece originates not with the drawing/painting, nor from the song; but from a letter I wrote when I was desperately wrenched by heart-break and love, such love. Then I stole the line for my titular needs (the title) and as part of the song Happy Hour.
This is the last letter I wrote to one of the great and devastating loves of my life:
Ah yes, late again my sweet and I lift my fingers to my lips and my thoughts wind around me in curls upon themselves, and it is your face that I see in the darkness before me. I think perhaps you are wild-fire, bright and beautiful and believing, leaving ashes and sweet smoke behind you, and who is it that does not turn to see, to look, at a fire, a light, in the dark of their lives. And in this you are like me. You know that.
There is some deep singing rhythm under our voices that turns people’s eyes from the inside of their heads and makes them wish that they could really see. I think that it is a part and apart from our beauty, each of ours. Sweet smelling and weightless each in our cocoon of arrayed and arranged sense, here, HERE we go again.
Ah, yes. I think of you, I do. Too much, also, of course. I picture you, the things that you do, the softest touch of your hands, the strange sensuality of the soft muscular skin of your neck, the impenetrable hiss of your beautiful, perfect eyes. I imagine the things that you do, sometimes. I see you reading, turning a page, uncoiling your body and moving with the grace of an idea that has caught your mind in a carousel. The intensity of the fascination that you have for experience, each one. Running perhaps, showering, doing weird creative things with food, lifting a glass to your lips and sitting in odd masculine repose with unconscious feline strength. I pretend to see you. Sometimes I do. In a bath, naked and smiling dreamily, bubbles on your nose like a dope, drinking tea in a fit of existence, in a seizure of life.
As I probe the world in my staggered mismatched learning. As I burn the hours, exquisitely aware of the worn charm of moments. As I miss you. Yes.
I wonder at our difference… I am so afraid of so many things that for you seem to be more lush offerings to be eaten. And I am not afraid of some things, of few things, that I think drown you. I don’t think either of us has a choice.
And, yes, I think that we are both charmed, flipped with incense, majicked up, wearing luck and choice on a string around our throats. Skipping school. Getting away with it. Cross our palms and vacuum the corners of our rooms.
Liberty is a bitch bedded on a mattress of corpses. Someone French sad that. Robespierre. I think.
I envy you and I pity you, and I don’t know what it is you have chosen, and am too afraid to ever, ever ask. I am going to find some really BRIGHT golf pants and wear them EVERYWHERE and you’re not going to see.
That sucks.
You should get to see.
I want you to see.

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