The Unknown: The Red Line.
  Johnny Rotten met us at Heathrow. He had to take us out to the car one by one, in wheelchairs. We were all on heavy tranquilizers. We were really crapped out in London, man, we were drunk in Soho stumbling around, we shot pool with Martin Amis. Something Dirk said about poetry really pissed him off, I can’t remember what, or maybe it was the way he faked an English accent when he was talking about T.S. Eliot, but it was cool anyway because Amis really liked William.

We were a hit though; we were in the tabloids next to the page three girls. We read at Blackwell’s and Dutton’s and a couple grocery stores. Johnny Rotten kept us supplied with good smack. I remember drooling, and shooting heroin, yellow dusk in misty morning fog thinning red veins. Or arteries. Whatever. I don’t know. Oh fuck. We were wasted on the BBC, but somehow we sounded perfectly coherent. What Dirk said made a lot of sense, sort of.

I remember so little. The bitter beer of pints and pints. There’s a lot of ash there still. We went to that wax museum named after the French lady. Dirk was tripping pretty hard and freaked out, screaming about Winston Churchill melting into Marilyn Monroe. I think we pissed off Prince Charles. I still have no idea why he came to our reading. Man, do the English do a good breakfast. Their bacon makes ours look like nothing but a charred strip of pig’s ass. So, anyway, we sold a lot of books there, I think, and there were a lot of groupies and they all had cool accents. We were glad Tony Blair was in charge instead of Thatcher or that pea-soup guy. Ugh. There was a lot of sickness in London, having nothing to do with the city, which has a lot of cool history, like beheadings they explained at this one place where William was chewing on some horse tranquilizers he’d stolen when we took that day trip out to Yorkshire and got shitfaced with that veterinarian guy. The, uh, Tower. Yeah. The Tower of London.

I remember thinking about shit when we were at the Tower of London, or specifically, that people must have shit, when they had their heads cut off, right there in the courtyard, where an immense raven was pecking at the pebbles and a Beefeater was doing a show for the tourists. Those guys eat a lot of beef, let me tell you. I know I’d shit if my head got cut off. Wouldn’t you? William refused to go to the British Museum, because, he said, all of the shit was stolen. I walked around a lot of the time, feeling sick to my stomach. Dirk kept doing imitations of Austin Powers. Except for breakfast, the food was pretty mediocre, they seem to boil meat a lot there, though the fish ‘n’ chips were quite good. Never mind the curry in the Chunnel, on our way over to Paris. Suffice it to say that I ruined three suits during my time in London.

Read 4/15/99
at the AWP Conference in Albany, NY
292K RealAudio Clip

novel META
al bull
shit sort of
a doc
ary corr
ence art is
at art live

The Unknown at Spineless Books.