1: Maybe Cynthia Chapter
6: the substance of life and painting the city
Chapter 2: Past Lifes Chapter
7: Three Portraits of Lucky
Chapter 3: Stoner Chapter
the Sacred Chapter
9:The Psychic Lover
5: Spring 2015 Chapter:
the Devil's Story
There are four or five creepy
things I've done (1)
that I should write
about if I am honestly to tell my story...
I remember screaming at Jessi
she was Jessica back then, Jessica Anyway.
Just outside Val's not-a-commune I yelled, "I do have to scream,"
I bellowed, and it echoed all over College Crescent and the playing
fields. And that's not even in the top ten creepy cringe-worthy things
no maybe it is. It's probably right up there. But...
Creepy Thing Number One
The creepiest things I have
ever done, number one: when I was seven and measles or mumps and neighbouring
Sam came along, I jabbed the Kleenex box at his crouch saying "Sly
little foxy goes
That totally blew my mind! Who was that?
It wasn't me, was it?
and back then I inventoried
my creeping doings, rehashed if not rehearsed them. At
eight nine ten years old I would trouble my nights by listing, remembering,
the five or ten things of which I was most ashamed. Weird little nerd.
I can only remember the one item clearly, oh no, there's another. But
they were simple childhood peccadilloes, not worth noting (footnote
them, then! )
Creepy Thing Two:raging
The beagle ran off across the heath at Crowther's Field: above the
Don and Don Valley Parkway. A rabbit? She'd do that. Catch a scent run
and be gone, oh twenty minutes, or till you chased her down - on two
or three of these occasions she returned fattened... another shape,
what did she find?: but here in Crowther's Field she flew down and across
the steep meadow a hundred, a hundred and fifty yards. I bellowed for
an aside: see the poem (or skip? scroll down?) "all I could
do was scream"..
and all I could do was
they went chasing into the
cornering something in the fen
and all I could do was scream
my voice breaking
and all I could do
was screech and holler
and of course they'd never come to that
so I ventured in
in towards the swamp
saw them hounding some
critter at the edge of the water
me yelling the while
too long and too loud
I went in through the rough
to the bog
where now Lucky had most
of a muskrat's head in his mouth
while the beagle worried its ass
doing their best
to maimed and
and they'll kill it promptly
so for a while I didn't scream
Lucky shook the critter
but It hardly seemed to be dying
so I screamed
and pulled the dogs off
they broke to harry the creature again
and I screamed them away
it seemed alive
it on its rounded back
in the mud
looking at me
the other muddied and
I pulled the dogs off
covered in black
and left the muskrat
to its painful fate
or painful living
cause all I could do
Creepy Thing Two: resumed
But, back at Crowther's Field
the beagle had run off far down the field harrying a what? And I'm bellowing
for her to come back, and totally blowing my stack. I stomped across
the fiend, screaming...
Sometimes I call her Miss Decibels because she won't come unless I yell.
And why this time, I was really losing it... I was going to whip that
dog, whip that bitch, with the leash perhaps yes I fumed now closing
on her, she cowering
and I've the leash in my
hand raging about to whip her
"Here, don't do that,"
someone, a mountain bike, riding the trail, stopped , perhaps fifty
yards below us, and shouted as I loomed over the quivering beagle
I turned towards the voice,
and I turned my rage towards this...
And then my rage collapsed.
And I thank the Lord for that coincidence that brought this good fellow
to intervene and save me from a deeper shame (and the beagle from a
When Teresa and I were breaking
up, start of the 90s, I found myself in one of our arguments with this
"spite", observed "spite" passing through and went
off and wrote...
I am his own devil
who skews his eyes
and covets the purse
and the pussy
who stifles delight
I am his curse
his I'll be damned
I sour the milk
of all my achievements
I'm just mean
spike you for spite
spit in the face
of all your longings
I scorn to be soft
I grab for
to be first
take what's before me
I'm Lord of the Manor
or some angry madman
in gutter cursing
fuck you arsehole
spoke earlier of meeting Luk. Luk, and his dog, Zander, made quite an
impression on me. The cattle dog, of course, reminded me of Lucky. And
Luk is suave, yet worldly wise. Steetwise, too. He'd left his ghetto
home, and school, at the age of thirteen. But he soaks up culture, sharp
Often after meeting Luk, we'd go back
to his house.... He lived on the same street as me, as I, Craven, but
south of the tracks. We'd smoked, toke up, Zander's chin on my thigh.
And Luk has introduced me to some of the
coolest things, spiritual things. Corinthians 1:13, "if should
speak with the tongue of men and angels..." That first day
visiting, Luk recited it in Jamaican patois, and that, dear friends,
was as compeling "spoken word" as I have ever heard. (Here,
click on The
Jamaican New Testament
and that will bring you to the "Bible Society"'s page. Scoll
down to the window which (after a few moments) will show a big
blue "B", below which will be listed the chapters of Mathew
1, 2 etc (it reads: "Bible Society - Mathew 1") and now (in
that window you have to scroll down to Corintians 1:13. Click on this
to hear this poetry!)
Oh, and another example, I really love
Alan Watts tube video "what
if God got bored."
So sometimes I see Luk as the anti-creep. But we'll speak more of this.
to Norman's creep list...
had a "block" on this subject, this chapter. I started writing
this back in January 2015, ten months ago
a year ago... .not
surprising, really (so edit it! Creep
(Creeps and trolls? Back
then I wrote, "Most of us have had our creepy moments. My creepiest
moment is something that I'm ashamed to talk about, and I may yet
get to keep it a secret. I'm going to write a draft here, and see
if Amy says I can show it. (Amy was the poor lady I creeped on.)
One of the next creepiest things I've done was to spill Max
Bear's secret. Bear was my closest friend in the seventies. An amazing
dynamic wildcat of a man, with a knack for lifting the energies of
those around him with his sharp sparkling sparking mind, who unfortunately
spiraled towards oblivion through booze.
I wrote a short story 'bout Bear. It
was/is called Spoons:
Bear in the Seventies; a decade of personal growth. My friend,
Maximillan Barefort. It starts, the story beings..."My greatest
hunger is for a friend." It ended, "The last I heard of
Bear he was arrested for shoplifting Vanilla essence in the Napa A
& P." I had learned from Bear, shortly before, that there's
30% alcohol in vanilla essences. So, all that was 1980. When I wrote
the short story in the late eighties, I was sure Bear was "gone".
Could not see how he could have survived. In that story, I told Bear
deepest secret, which we'll call "spoons". It was a secret
he had confided only in me, but, it felt like the thing to do, spilling
it. (I talked in the last chapter how loathed I am to keep secrets,
if they don't need keeping. And I felt this could be, should be told.
And Bear was in another country, and for sure the wretch was dead.)
Was it Bergman, or Donne, or Shakespeare who said, "But that
was in another country, and besides, the wench is dead." (No.
It's Christopher Marlowe in The Jew of Malta. Thank you wiki. But
I think Bergman references it.)
Then, 35 years later
Ah, but read Spoons:
34 years later,
this last summer, I received an email: "Bear is alive, and well,
and living in London." This Christmas, 2014, when I went to see
my children (and grandchildren) in the UK, I spent a day with Bear;
though he's no longer Bear. Just Max. And he's sort of forgiven me
for spilling his spoons.
I was humbled by a visit yesterday to the superwonder
gallery. Christian Aldo was curated a wonderful show, with a hundred
artists,.. and you know how arrogantly I've boasted about how wonderful
my art is (how i am
a equal to Tom Thompson and...so
I've boasted... though not Morrisseau)...
well, there were a dozen or so artist's works in Aldo's show that were
brilliant (as wonderful as it stuff!), and dozens more of fine fine work.
It was humbling. Thank you.
Three: Rab Best and Aspirin
When I was in the 6th Form
in London, up Holloway...(that's like the last years at High School,
16, 17, 18 years old) there was a lad in class, Rab, Rab Best, who was,
on the one hand, chinless, nerdie, curly hair on a willing face, but
no young lady's man... who was the wildest wit. A wonderful satirist
(give him fifteen years and he might have been your Monty Pychon). Rab
was lower class, lower middle class, almost your worker: sharp as a
pin, in Islington. And he was hanging out with us Hampstead fellows.
Where did he go to school? I mean University,
after our Holloway Comp?
Anyroad: Rab would turn up at them same
parties as what I use to call the Hampstead Junior Zen Men: course,
we were all "fringers": weekend beatniks. This is the late
50s, early 60s.
So one day, at a party, Rab asked whether
I had anything to smoke - which I didn't - but remembered that I was
carrying some aspirins, and I gave Rab one, telling him it was something
new and special.
Perhaps it was a year or
two later that Rab opted out, radically. Gone, gone. And perhaps my
little unkindness, untruth, unreliability, help nudge him over the edge.
Maybe not, but I count it among the creepiest things I've done.
Forgive me, Rab.
have a strange feeling about me as a child. I was nerdie and needy.
And I sort of cringe a bit seeing pictures of me as a child : oh, and
actually feel pretty cringy about most photograph (a few exceptions.
Recently Sherry Gee said I should carry photos of young Norman with
me and come to terms, to a peace with that child. And so recently I've
started painting from those photos. This, from a photo of me at 7.
I've found this creepy poem. below,
from my youth...
(I did not feel clean about my (would be, mostly
the soft touch of a dugong,
And the gentle kiss of leech,
I am perfume of the onion,
As I nibble on my peach.
My lust for ripe pineapple
Cannot be concealed,
So I try my crab-like fingers
Never to reveal:
But I pinch and bite you
In the night, you
Know I have no choice;
And I'd try to charm you,
But I'd only harm you
With the grating of my voice:
So I'll put you back in the fruit bowl,
And go off on my animal way,
I'm a bit of a ravisher,
Much of a scavenger,
And I loved you yesterday.
People have been weirding out on me, a bit, lately. Friends and
even best friends going creep on me... Ah, but that's the human condition.
Creepy Thing Four...
Oh, pit! I'm going to have to talk about
Amy, and the creepiest thing I every did.
Before we get to that, over in England this
Xmas (2015), I looked up Amy, and she reminded me of our mutual friend
Vee. Vee was the most adorable thing. A little younger then Amy and
I, and... And I once took took Vee's hand and placed
it on my cock, at the absolutely most inappropriate time. The most inappropriate
time. She a child of 17. And was I a young adult at 21? An asshole!
And now I learn from Amy that Vee is a publisher. Do I have the moxy
to send her this and my writing? I guess the question goes begging.
I can't find her on google or Facebook.
Amy, and the creepiest thing
I've ever done... Get
on with it! Ah no, but first, to get to there, I need to tell you a
little more about my father, Ted Allan. (Have you read TAiS yet? Go
one, Read Ted Allan
in Spain: the movie! Or at least look at the
provisional illustrations, with it's synopsis [then read TAiS])
1947 Ted went back to Spain, to Franco's Spain, as a reporter, and he
contracted Typhoid Fever. Repatriated to New York, he was dying. Lying
in the hospita in New York, hee recalls, he said, that the doctors did
not expect him to survive the night.
In the middle of the night, the duty nurse
came over to Ted's screened off bed. "She wasn't particularly good
looking," says Ted. "She was quite plain. And what she did,
I'm sure she did it to bring me back to life. And it did. She gave me
a blow job. And my energy changed. I brought me back to life."
Fast forward a quarter of a century.
I had a girl friend, Amy, and she had
had a brain aneurysm burst. She was near to death, and then recovering
very slowly. It was worrying. She was conscious, not comatose, but so
ill, and so slow, or stuck. And Ted reminded me of his Typhoid Fever
story, of the nurse fellating him back to life.
Oh, and that goes along with the Reichian
Therapy Ted was into in those days. Reich saw genital release as the
most important of vital functions.
Did Ted urge me to "sex" Amy?
I should say so. Does that relieve me of any responsibility? Oh, it
would have taken balls to reject the suggestion. (And I lacked those
I sexed Amy up there in her hospital room.
An inexpert attempt at cunnilingus. Oh, she survived. But our romance
didn't. (And I more than doubt it had any positive
effect at all. Know most certainly mine was a most negative input.)
And that is the creepiest thing I ever did: to sex up Amy in her hospital
sigh.) That's the worst of my story.
Oh. And the
fifth most creepy thing? I forget.
9: the psychic girlfriend
and do visit normanallan.com : the website