This weekend (apart from spending a wonderful saturday evening with Phil From Uranus seeing John Cooper-Clarke) I set up a dedicated website for the The Twisted Times novel, up loaded the whole book and spent this morning editing and adding links. The site can be found here
The Twisted Times of Bella Basura
Blabbliography In Psychogeography
The eternity heavy slow movement of dark wood and brass rotating doors spin in soporific circles, delivering me into an age-old hotel lobby off the high street. I gaze dumbfounded around the vast cavern inside. I’m looking for Dolly who has an appointment with the Princessa Pestilence here. I look around and decide this not a place to feel comfortable in, dark globes of stolen light of night hang from the nicotine brown ceiling, their throb barely piercing the gloom, arrangements of low-slung leather chairs, hardwood circular coffee tables and the polite coughing of the aging patrons desiccating in air dark with constantly re-respirated smoke of century old acrid cigars and cheroots.
I notice a wafer thin smear of black velvet lurking at a corner table, and recognise the skull-faced medusa head of the Princessa...more…
Chapter Two (Continued)
…it was the light early hours of sunday morning. Far off in another room I could hear Gordon Tripp reading aloud to nobody in particular.
A duller spectacle this earth of ours has not to show than a raining sunday in London, and so, using a technique of transient passage through varied ambiences, literally drifting, I fell into the grappling embraces of the first junkie that asked me to buy him a drink. The image of the eternal quest for the gold buried beneath the filth and horror, an initiation into nothingness. Destiny, my evil destiny, lay in wait for me once more…more…
Plunging deeper into my alphabetically-deranged memory, the second chapter of Twisted Times.
I’m shaking rattling at the cubicle door, flop down to rest and realize that the cubicle door is shaking rattling banging on it’s own. I step back away from the anthropomorphic door, step back into and through and pass right through the cubicle wall. A gold feather boa drifts down and settles on the floor. I turn and look out into a dark courtyard at midnight, entirely enclosed by derelict warehouses, now lit up and gleaming with fairy lights, pink satin and works of art. A neon sign blinks on and off “The Cavern Of The Dead Machines”, and up on the roof, brilliant against the night sky a tonsured monk leers down on the growing crowds, he’s swinging a cauldron of flames on a scaffolding pole tripod. He calls to me “Bella! Bella!” waving.
I’m shaking rattling at the door at the bottom of stairs, crashing through suddenly into Dr. Gordon Tripp’s cluttered consulting room – The Laboratorium – a large-lavatory sized single solitary cell. A bed, A window, a medicine cabinet and three tight walls closely covered by bookshelves. “Sit down” He soothes in his familiar deep hypnotic voice “Make yourself at home, this may take some time, there’re food and books, help yourself, feed your head” He trails off into a mutter. He was measuring out nano-micro-milli-grams onto perforated blotting paper, so I began to browse the bookshelves, nibbling at his drug-soaked canapés…more…
Twisted Times of Bella Basura 1994
Under the influence of the strange aftermath of my inconceivable shenanigans in Spain as a foreign language teacher in the early 1990s, I produced the initial drafts of what grew into my first novel – The Twisted Times of Bella Basura. It was finally completed in 1998. A self-published DIY A5 booklet, printed on my PC, hand folded and stapled in the kitchen. I harboured hankerings for the community print shops I remembered from the 1970s. The finished book reached maybe 11 people in total.
And so it slumbered.
Things moved on, other things got written, got discarded, forgotten.
I revived the printed text in 2001, reducing it to A6, sewing and binding 2 multi-section round-backed hardbacks for an exam in traditional bookbinding.
Then it slumbered.
At Yule 2011 I was given a Kindle e-reader and the idea was mooted that I re-edit Twisted Times to republish in e-book format. This may still be a possibility, but in the meantime I have decided to publish it online in regularly posted in extracts. Taking Charles Dickens ‘Household Words’ as an inspiration…
The original proposal for the novel. Here
Follows is the first extract
In The Bordello
I was blasted off the streets by the icy winter wind and buffeted through the heavy swing doors, tumbling down the steps into the warm seedy cellar bar, a dive amongst dives, a hotbed of crime and confusion – The Bordello.
Sympathy for the Devil was bouncing off the walls, the tiny dark low-ceilinged room was crowded, a buzzing market place of the illicit.
I was in my element and swimming in with the tide. I ordered a coffee, in a glass cup with extra sugar at the bar. While I’m waiting a good-looking young man in a skirt sweeps over to me claps me on the back…more…