(jottings to myself)
9:10 a.m. or so
Have no idea what writing will come. I am too deep in the middle of a sleep-deprived recall - on Kings Rd @ the 'stockpot' - slavic-women-run 'simple' restaurant where I just wolfed down a complete English brkfst -- too much -- too fast. Walking in a mostly but not entirely awake semi-stupor - but oddly (as in a dream) sure-footed -- out of Gloucester Road tube into instantly almost shockingly familiar London. I can't get over how many 'things' - car dealership, restaurants, food shops - haven't changed - some (like the 'star of india,' my first indian restaurant good heavens - down the road from my first gay bar) not since 1971. Can't get into my room at Aston's yet (which won't have a balcony but somehow I look forward to its cocoon, esp. today) until noon. Meanwhile: Neville Terrace, Onslow Gardens - South Ken turning into Chelsea - as excruciatingly pretty & settled as ever - after this I'll walk to the Thos. More church and the river - Cheyney Ct. and Henry James. Cool/warm damp pleasant not rainy, exactly as overcast as my dream of it. Then S-L-O-W-L-Y will track back up towards South Ken & dip a bit into the V&A. But I will need to lie down somewhere soon. Rush-hour tube train ride from Heathrow absolutely SILENT. Forgot how quiet Londoners are en (that kind of) masse. Actually surprised to see a lot of "English" (stereotypically so - blond, pale, appealingly pasty) people in London -- wasn't expecting it. It really is stamped with itself, this place. Walking down Old Church Street, past what had been the Eden House Hotel Richard & I stayed at 25 years or so ago -- it's astonishingly THERE, in situ. Flowers sold on the corner, just as back then.
in my room now. They 'upgraded' me to a double room because they couldn't get me a balcony room ("they" - a pretty blonde girl who happened to be at the desk) - and I like it. Brit TV on whilst I napped -- now need to struggle back up & out & make a sort of more waking mark on the place, shake myself into gaping, stimulate myself into stark fatigue again, so I can sleep tonight (which will be easy to do -- shake myself into gaping anyway) --
this after that dip into a harrowingly over-gorgeous V&A -- god, it's one thing to see all that English self-glorification at the Met, but whoa - HERE - again -- well, talk about The Thing Itself. Compulsively endless. Really almost frightening -- this after a long moment spent in an entirely empty St. Lukes (on Sydney Street; I know it from an AA meeting I went to in its prodigious back last time I was here: morning meeting - will probably go to it tomorrow, not least just to be in that building again) in Chelsea - one of the first gothic revival (1824) churches in London -- golden Bath stone fucking cathedral of a place -- nothing in the USA built in the 1820s is anywhere near as grand: again: the empire insisting on itself almost offhandedly -- just because it could - but (because of the 1820s) with grace. Dickens got married there I think. Oh, I know this is just 'stuff' -- but it's all in some sort of swoony marvelous almost slightly scary dream: not least a product of my physical state. But I really am loving it. Took a phone-photo of the swatch of 'garden' - presumably the one after which Rosary Gardens is named - out my window. here it is.
much to come, but/and am gladly staying to my determination simply to "be" here. I forgot I hae a little kitchenette in this place -- will go out & get little overly fussy british snacks & stuff.
'poems'? maybe this is a proto-one. drawings? we shall see.