Thursday, 7 July 2011

Neal Sparkes - affirmation ( the process of rituals) / on the corner

In London at moment, struck by its immediacy, its snake like charm, but all that glitters is not gold, just look at News International, anyway tonight I wont get drawn on that, the whole business is quite tiring, the whole way the media is, it needs desperate rearranging. The story seems to change every time I look on the computer, I suppose this is the power of the internet. It is nice to see Mr Camerons friends getting desperate, but we must remember their cunning and their deviousness.  liars and manipulators ,well practiced in the art of dark manouvering. It is nice to see the power of the people in this country getting listened too, but remember , where there is wealth, there is arrogance and lots and lots of spin, oh dear I did fall in. Will probably go down to news international on Friday to have a spit or two. Oh dear. 
On a different note an artist I have long admired is Mr Neil Sparkes ,best known for his work with Transglobal Undergound  and the Temple of Sound, curretly performing under his own moniker with the last Tribe. His work draws on a myriad of world sources, and resonates through both literary and cultural worlds. A questioning, reasonable mind   that offers hope, glimpses of positivity,  a fine wordsmith that give another taste to this strange ( but rather beautiful)  city I'm visiting. 
Here are two poems.

affirmation ( the process of rituals)
tell me when
that exchange
aching beautiful
as butterfly wings
slow opening
the best sex
was ever safe
- and i'm not
talking abut condoms

tell me we must
read medical journals
to know we are
dissapearing just as
fast as we're arriving
on the scene
- the ones that
make it that is,
not sucked out
on anonymous tables
early flushed
down the pan

tell me blood's
thicker than water
and the atoms
of the nuclear family
constitute a religious belief
- your creator's
packed his bags
and caught the
last bus to babylon

tell me we're happy
living in rooms
that cannot contain us
when once we slept outdoors
smoking summer leaf
turned on by the heat
of being alive  

tell me what we
know and believe

          tell me the sun
          is dancing on
          the river thames

tell me there's knowing
in doing and deeds
the physical knowledge
of making, of what
your body is capable
-even you'd be surprised

tell me of knowledge in memory
 served by instinct and necessity
in speech and words
the rhythym of hands
the heart beat of drums
and making drums

intiuition is that
known or a belief?
to trust chance and luck
on the back of doing,
certainly you will succeed,
in what?

tell me of the elements
the flesh and blood material
of the spirits that reside in these
their energies and forces tell me
of something ritual and instinctual
that cannot have one name
but to many will
individually be known
these we seek to acknowledge
to draw out
through rituals of music
sex and pictures
          a sacred dance
the process of rituals
does reveal and affirm
that which has been
        and will always be

now tell me we haven't
got anything in common

now tell me we can't
get along  

on the corner

city animal
urban ceature
spine of bass
their rhythm is the thing
chest and lungs
become djembe drums
beating out rhythyms
from the tombs
of our pain
singing the primal blues
sacrificial saxophones
weave threads between
thought and song
sexy as killers
hard as the red lips
of bought lovers
muted trumpets
speaking louder than the whispering
cruel corners of
the street
          on the corner
shopping for dreams
where you can
buy anything
if the price is right
betting shops the ace of spades
sleeping 'til mid-day
rising at dawn
rebuilding the city
in your own likeness
-in your dreams
       on the corner
speeding through the night
on the dance floor of a club
hot coffee in a cup
drank down before
it's gone cold
red wine rain water
pure grain alcohol
riding the main vein up town
catching the nightmare train
all the way home
          on the corner
tripping through a
city of sounds
dread warnings
fear and loathing
enough famine
and lawnessness
to drive us out of our minds
talking tall and still unsure
wanting everything
used to nothing at all
able and feaful
eating ourselves alive
          on the corner
lost in a city of sounds
as vast as the sky
and still, somehow
all up and down the street
the lights shining
from people's eyes
         on the corner

From : -Critical Quarterly
             WORD SOUND POWER
              volume 38, no 4, Winter  1996

Neal Sparkes has seveal collections of poetry available from Hangman Books. 

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