The Prince Edward pub on the corner of my street has a new lick of grey paint
This is known locally as…
The Black Pub
and on the opposite side of the road is
The White Pub (housing the BNP)
And the wives and girlfriends
(defined as such by the husbands and boyfriends)
come out from inside of both of the pubs
and meet in the middle of street to have a drink outside the betting shop
And with every lesson learned, I learn another one –
This morning I was in the shower, I was shaving
Bearing in mind – it’s been about six months since I’ve ‘done my legs’
Because of this – the razor quickly clogged with hair
I put the razor under the shower head to rinse it out and
because I put the razor too close to the shower-head
All of the little bits of hair sprayed back into my face
and some of the snippets of leg hair went in to my eye
The city surrounding me places bets in betting shops because
the people want to know what will happen next
The one on the corner, which I just told you about
Is a Williams and Hill
Tag line – set the machine limits and stay in control
Why not win something from uncertainty?
And ‘what happens next’ feels like the moment my own leg hair sprayed into my eye
Spin the wheel of fortune, or get on the wheel yourself and wonder
Will the prime minister this time round just turn out to be a hamster?
100 toy ducks float down the river, Bob Geldof gets on a flotilla to shout at Farage whilst pretending to be a sailor –
We are slap bang in the middle of the BREXIT SUMMER
and even Wetherspoons has realised it’s political potential,
and I keep staring into space,
staring at my phone
and I keep wondering
HOW MUCH LONGER IS THIS GOING TO LAST.
because it really does last,
feels like constantly being stuck feeling the panic associated with an acute hangover
Do you think you would be able to CUT DOWN on your drinking because, really, it is a depressant and will seriously interfere with any work we get done here – says a faraway voice on the other end of the line
And the next day, despite this advice, you are being sick in the toilet and you put the shower on
so your acquaintance
(and from now on friend because after you get that drunk with someone there is a kind of bond)
can’t hear you
as you are being sick
you are sweating,
you have double vision
you can’t get the
PHONE A FRIEND option out of your head
‘who wants to be a millionaire’ was such a SHIT programme
Hangover anxiety, leading to subsequent bonding, is not necessarily a positive experience, it is just –
and whilst I do like the meme – ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you Sonia’
Permanently realising Jamie is dead
And later on, after a multitude of tragedies
realising that the woman who played the receptionist in Nathan Barley now plays your girlfriend in Eastenders – and she is cheating on you
(in the part you have had for the majority of your life)
Is not my idea of a ‘good life’
And being Sonia might be pretty repetitive.
I mean – you might be alright, you’ve got some strength behind you, that’s a great pair of breasts, give me a high five! Says a woman who has been wearing no bra since they burnt them all, and who has a hat that covers her face and is wearing gaffa tape as a bracelet –
Why? – I say and I laugh
Your country is in a bad mess and I wanted to make you feel better she says
And I am trying to make MYSELF FEEL BETTER
(capitals here signify SCREAMING IN A HYSTERICAL TONE)
To reduce my online time, in favour of studio time – ThisisalltobeinvolvedinthegallerysectorsoIactuallyhavesomeworktoshowinstead of all of this
The gallery, says the gallerist, is very ‘tongue in cheek’ its gross, false, its branding is based on fashion, it totally denies that there is any distance between artistic integrity and capitalist desire, it’s super funny, I mean I’m not hungry for gratification in these ways you know…
I mean ultimately…
I’m a ghost.
I smile through gritted teeth – I’m thinking:
I’m not a fucking ghost.
But… I concede…
I do get that feeling in the dark when you are so out (literally) on a limb that you have to go downstairs from the bed your friend is sleeping in
and sleep on the sofa and masturbate wildly
and you are on a ‘girls holiday’ and this old man can see you through the window on the balcony and you don’t stop
and he goes inside
and you think
Did I accidentally violate him in some way?
In the dark
Can’t come soon enough for me
And no, I wouldn’t PAY to hear me sing, but I’m in tune
And my friend said – on the holiday
My dad had a liver transplant and then he wanted to write a play about the liver transplant and I thought – oh that’s cute – and then he explained, the main character would be
– the new liver,
and the other character (who only had occasional monologues), would be
– the old liver.
This is an example of a laugh.
We need maximum laughs and maximum attitude so, yeah, joke with your mates that the current political situation sounds and feels like that song by the Rasmus called
‘In the shadows’
Yes – you could justify going in fancy dress as the lead singer from the Rasmus to a party
Yes – ‘2003’ as a theme would make a good ‘ironic’ birthday
But – don’t call your baby BREXIT for a joke and NO I don’t think that this year it might be a good idea
to write : 9 /11 The Musical,
I promise you babe, the world just isn’t ready –
(**BREXIT gets the left wing socialist hopefuls amongst us into a space filled with promise, but there are almost no resources to facilitate change and the want to facilitate change is primarily driven by neoliberal fantasies of looking like an activist on-line**)
Guess what also happened because of a need to be visible ‘on-line’?
A friend of mine
To stick a half eaten chicken drumstick up his arse
and when he pulled it out there was no chicken left on the drumstick
and this was a YouTube hit but really, I am not sure how pleased he is about it five years later
Captive on a carousel of time –
I’m walking to Tesco listening to Joni Mitchell and contemplating
buying low fat salad cream and
I can see an old paper plate with half a banana on it, collecting flies
Theresa May is on the front cover of every paper and I’m interrupted with a phone call –
I’ve been thinking – I think
I need to move out of my house, says a friend
(I spend the night and I lose my mind)
I need to move really, maybe even – (in a horrified whisper) out of London
Where I was living was OKAY you know, pretty cheap with a bunch of mates
Then my landlord called and said
OK my son needs to move in to the spare room
And we thought
Oooh might be a bit weird, the Landlord’s son, awkward –
A couple of my mates moved out
And the Landlord’s son arrived
The first thing he did was devise a net system in the garden
He didn’t tell us why
Then he got a snooker cue and sawed it in half
He started catching squirrels in the net, beating them to death with the snooker cue
And skinning and eating them
Then yesterday, I got in, and he’d made a wreath of bones and hung it on our front door.
I mean – it is cheap but I think this is a BIT MUCH – what d’you think?
WHAT DO I THINK?
I think everyone in the UK is either a little bit underweight or overweight, no one has mastered the art of a decent fringe and in short : society doesn’t love you exactly the way you are but it should do.
I don’t say this.
I say – move out – but don’t leave the country babe.
Emily Pope (b.1990) is an artist based in London. Her practice explores the potential of socio-political monologues and how these function within contemporary media. Her recent exhibitions & projects include: Got 2 B, a radio show with Resonance FM, Turf Projects – Wandle Park Poster commission – Croydon, Trace Programme – Nottingham, and On Coping with Auto Italia. Emily graduated from the School of the Damned in 2014, and has just graduated from the masters programme in Critical Writing at the Royal College of Art.