I was awoken by a flash storm this evening, one which carried with it great thoughts and consequences. An epiphany was delivered to me - as an article, fully formed in my mind - and when I finally roused myself to put pen to paper (so to speak), the first drop of ink landed at 3:13am.
Decadent Romanticism: A Poetic Definition for Contemporary Society
My immediate peers, that is, members of what society currently defines as ‘the Decadent Romantics’, will not forgive me for what I’m about to do, for it will be essentially turning a tongue-in-cheek term into a definition for a school of thought (without said ‘school’ having existed, at least in an institutional sense). Unlike the Brothellian Movement, which brings together like-minded individuals to share in the common goal of igniting a new cultural renaissance, the ‘school’ of Decadent Romanticism has been born not from an ideal, but from revolutionary attitudes handed to us through global situation and circumstance.
It is not an institution and it does not have a manifesto; it is the unblessed spirit of verve and vice. The Romantic age was a glorious one indeed, one born through the struggle for liberty and retreating at the march of blood and discovery, but what vanishes from sight does not simply die; such inspiration has the power to return under the correct, revolutionary circumstances. The previously mentioned school of thought is a spring founded on these circumstances, a source from which we all drink and draw inspiration.
But we are not simply Romantics, for we have earned wisdom and philosophies from our predecessors, and we can see the vanity in championing naturalism to an already jaded civilisation as clearly as the necessity to endorse the need for aestheticism in contemporary artistic society. It seems that we are all damned to the global pandemic of sanctioned lust, celebrity culture and mass consumption, and in this way it is apparent that we have become the next 'poetes maudits': accursed by society, not the self.
And so my definition of Decadent Romanticism crawls, naked, into the night. We use this flawed, jaded society as the motor for our art, and revolutionary spirit as it’s fuel.
- taken from the Brothellian Manifesto
“Brothellian individuals understand that our creative talents and imagination are sexually intriguing, and that this holds great mystery to others. There is no shame in ‘sexing up’ the arts establishment as the appeal is already there, it’s just rarely…
Apologies for being slack in my posting as of late, I’ve been preparing for ‘The Caravan’ and ‘Gomorrah’, (both carnivals of artists ‘prostituting’ their work for the public, in association with the UK Poetry Brothel). There will be a Poetry Brothel, of course, but there will also be a number of rather wonderful sideshows, each tailored for those daunted by the idea of hiring a private Poetry Whore.
Both of these shows will be held in Leicester City, England. The Caravan is on Saturday 20th and Gomorrah will be Saturday 27th August. You can check out more details and precise locations on the website: www.gomorrah.co.uk
- Taken from the Bankrupt Beats Project -
There’s often two hookers at the end of my street, old Emily and fat Anna, but the other night there were three. I had no idea who the new girl was; Em mentioned they hadn’t been introduced, but went on to speculate that she’d soon suck their regulars dry - and presumably knew little English.
Now, I was dressed up to the nines with my waistcoat and collar turned up, so I didn’t really feel like street-talking, but there was something about this girl which intrigued me - something different: she looked almost intelligent (not the kind to tread spattered pavements without a knife in her pocket anyway), and dressed pretty sharp. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t exactly want to see her red hair engulfing my pillow (I’ve got my own girl), but that didn’t stop me from wanting to know her.
I remember how she leant against that Irish Bank, and when I crossed to her corner she greeted me with a puff of cigarette smoke and a delicate “Hello”, (in what I’d like to describe as a ‘girls boarding-school’ kind of accent). She gestured to the wall next to her and drew out a silver hip-flask emblazoned with a phoenix. “Come, share this with me” she cooed, unscrewing the cap. I guessed my being there would put off potential punters, but before I could voice my concerns she laughed “Ah, fuck the punters” and nodded towards the girls, taking a drag. I took a space on the wall beside her and she handed me the flask.
She asked why I was dressed like a twat. I told her I wrote poetry. “Ah, that explains it”, she smirked. I took a swig from the flask, coughed, and handed it back to her. It was stronger than I expected, but the more we indulged in that fiery liquid, the more we talked – and not of trivial matters: we voiced opinions on artistic truth and discussed the unsettling saturation of celebrity culture. I was surprised but invigorated, to say the least.
Her cigarette slowly fizzled out, but as soon as she realised she crushed the filter beneath her right stiletto, pulled out another and flicked open a Zippo. The shadows instantly disappeared from her face and I saw her eyes, I mean really saw her eyes, and through those thick, green-speckled windows, I could see nothing - but pain.
"You working, Pandora?" A dark Chevrolet had pulled to a stop in front of us. “Of course, sugar, just give me a second”, she replied, kissing me on the cheek and walking over to the passenger door. I made it clear that I still held the flask, but she just smiled. “Fill it with ink", she said.
The shadows of the Chevy engulfed her body but her eyes still found mine, and somewhere behind the car windows, within captured clouds of cannabis-cologne, I caught one last glimmer - of hope.
- Best read out loud to Michael Silverman’s Piano Rendition of Scarborough Fair -
I finally got Kieron’s portrait of me mounted…in a Victorian frame, no less!
Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s visit to America to give lectures on Aestheticism, I plan to visit the US this October to tour from NYC to Chicago and then on to Little Rock, Arkansas, to host a number of talks on Brothelliana and the Brothellian Manifesto in various Poetry Brothels, radio stations, festivals and colleges, (this audio file is a speech of me explaining why I feel I must visit). If we successfully manage to secure funding, I will be accompanied by Miles Marr of Studio 68, who will be filming and photographically documenting the whole tour and uploading our progress onto the internet every day.
I would never usually ask this, but if you could reblog this message, it’d really be appreciated as we will be starting to raise funds in July. The above link will be to one of the blogs where you can keep up to date with our progress - and *fingers crossed* tour!
Here’s a photograph of the notorious Talulah Blue taken at Belshazzar’s Feast, Saturday 4th June. Thanks to everyone who came down; it was certainly nice to put a few faces to [tumblr] names! If you’d like to see more photographs from the night, here’s the link, (you may be in one!)
All images copyright Miles Kenneth Lance Marr, www.studio68.co.uk.
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