Oh Morrissey

Sunday 18th September, 2016

In the middle of the night a spider crawled across my face – a blueprint of flower, a tear-star or ray-of-song crawled across the landscape of nose, freckle, eyebrow, lip – half way across I squashed it, felt its raw innards come apart over my check bone. I was only semi-awake. A dull-wrap-of-skin flayed, the juices glowed to me. I went straight back to sleep, fell deeply into a brine-pool, a bosom of plenitude. This morning I remember that tender little spider who got smeared between cosmos. It makes me shiver a little to think of an eight-legged creature sauntering across my face while in restfulness, maybe journeying up my nostril, or into my eardrum, or even into my mouth if it cracks open to expose a chasm of the dream world – when I ride across the milky way unencumbered by the weight of life. Then I saw another tiny warlock on the ceiling, flitter across the panelled wood roof, weaving in and out of slates, a fleck of shadow. The creation thinker woman. Or, grandmother spider weaving her web. 

Suddenly, I recalled that I live in Amsterdam and my heart sank. It’s like I’m not sure if we made the right choice to move here. I feel so displaced. I have none of my stuff and no budget to create a lovely space. The children are struggling. I need to fully become myself and go ahead here. I love that story that Patti Smith tells in Just Kids about performing at Max’s Kansas City in New York and fully becoming herself on stage while singing. I saw her perform it live in Melbourne and it was so powerful; a call to the liminal zone. To break through requires persistence. 

I listened to Russell Brand interviewing Morrissey on the radio the other day. On the program Morrissey gives an excellent definition of what an artist is: ‘Someone who is on a course and they’re unstoppable. They live and die by what they do. They cannot be moulded. They cannot be controlled. They cannot be directed.’ As soon as I heard his definition I instantly knew it to be correct. I realised over the course of the interview between Brand and Morrissey, in which they flirt incessantly, albeit quite endearingly, that I’ve finally become one of the Morrissey people. Not a fan. He doesn’t have fans. Rather, he has people who are for Morrissey. And apparently, he doesn’t perform. He appears.

Maybe if I choose to appear as an artist on a daily basis I will potentially radically protest patriarchy. I will affectively be choosing to employ my imagination in the affirmative task of making, writing, becoming myself. After listening to the interview I couldn’t stop watching Morrissey performing with The Smiths on Top of the Pops. I think that Morrissey’s sexuality is profoundly transgressive and fluid. Morrissey – a self-described poet with absolutely no obligation to art whatsoever, just to himself, that is, to exist. To continuously appear as himself. Despite his nihilism. Despite his extraordinarily narrow-minded view of contemporary music. How wonderful that Morrissey exists.