Meet me on my horse in eight seconds

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From a time of life when I had leisure and limited tools, the intention to interpret deeply.

We – my peers and me, in different times, different places, and with different dubbed copies from household VCRs – watched again and again this scene, this season, this series. It became, as texts do, part of the teenage patois. Which was your favourite line?

Flashheart was both anachronism and relict of his imagined time: equal parts Renaissance shapeshifter (Marlowe walking to the tavern; Hawkins casting off for the Indies) and 70s horndog. With loudness and lust one could navigate the court and the world, turning gender and sexual tastes upside down in a manner that included, momentarily, everyone.

This miniature carnivale stayed with me, not only in its performance (the fey, innocent Bob suddenly the agent of gender confusion) but also in the dream of its writing. Here was a group of writers and performers who seemed to know something I had hoped to be true: that everyone might have a stake in desire, no matter their age or gender or social standing, and that to blow up this notion, with this character and in this way – “Woof!” – might not only be funny but also fun. Flashheart, in silliness and in chutzpah, was a man for a hopeful future.

(In memoriam Rik Mayall.)

 

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The ambitious contemplative

My precious attention!

A friend of my coined this phrase in service of a socially conscious argument, and I have turned it into an object for lament. I don’t know what to do about my attention.

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New poems in May

An ongoing project at Bat, Bean, Beam.

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New Poems in April

An ongoing project at Bat, Bean, Beam

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To the World’s End

My DVD copy of Shaun of the Dead I ordered from the UK, not because it was unavailable in this country but because it was quicker and cheaper to find and buy DVDs in this way at that time. Instead of the usual simple structure its case had plastic hinges that kept it closed. I never saw this design again, but came to associate it with the film: as a way of keeping the (comedy) horror in, or the fact of its enjoyment, its value to me. It was like those barely-lockable diaries in circulation when I was younger: known, recognised, and yet still for a limited audience. I taught the movie to my film studies students in a pairing with Napoleon Dynamite, a lesser film that ran out its tenure more quickly than its zombie companion.

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