Sunday, November 23, 2008

TIM HEMENSLEY'S BIRTHDAY

[TIM HEMENSLEY'S JOURNAL, '99-2000]

Monday, 29/11/99

...So, me Birthday's been & gone --much w/out incident, really... i spose by one's 28th, 'specially after going thru' all the shit-ups, downs & in-betweenies --that i have over the last few years in partic., but over my entire life-span in general, just the mere fact of having SURVIVED to 'nother year is cause enough for celebration, making the actual Birthday itself kinda insignificant... not to say that celebrating yer actual day-of-entree to this here planet & life is necessarily something one "gets over" (cue that hideous contempo trendy turn of phrase -- used for everything from train rides to rock gigs --"i'm over it now"... kee-rist!! Hearing folks say that makes me wanna PUKE!), rather that, at least This Year -- & this time 'round, i was content enough to not feel TOO let-down or disappointed or distracted by not celebrating in "traditional" B-day mode (e.g. : party('s), or other such type o'stuff). Main reason for this, me-thinks, is the fact that (as i briefly alluded to on the preceding page) for the first time since i became addicted in '96 & entered the slow-but-steady down-ward spiral of vicious circles & catch 22's that that particular situation necessitates by its v. nature (& it is INEVITABLE i now realise -- once you invite the Devil in, you gotta pay his dues -- as cliched as that may be, it's the only truth there is -- to use is, actually, to lose, & there's no other way it possibly can be, don't matter who you are or how "strong" ya fancy yourself to be mentally : once the monkey bites, it bites darn deep-ly... end of story)...

But i've digressed a little here... i believe what i was about to say was this : The main reason for my feelings of "contentment" as opposed to my usual state of frustration/dissatisfaction on turning another year older is that for the First time in years, my battle 'gainst the heroin monster has drawn to a temporary halt, due to my afore-mentioned joining up to the methadone program; it's still somewhat surprising to me that events progressed to the point that my only course of salvation should be via the methadone "avenue" -- so to speak --, a substance and system i've always been suspicious of & -- in theory at least -- opposed to (the concept of being a "state controlled junkie", addicted insidiously to a government sanctioned & administered drug no better than smack (in some scenarios, quite arguably WORSE, as a matter of fact) being a situation my determinedly Anarchistic nature has always found to be hypocritical & mebbe even EVIL...) , & one that even a matter of weeks ago i was in stern opposition to, but THERE YA GO; part of my problem, i've in fact come to appreciate, & part of the reason for the LONGEVITY of said problem, is the fact that i never realised -- nor would allow myself to accept -- how seriously i was actually ADDICTED... in the back of my mind lingered always -- even in the midst of the most glaringly obvious DESOLATION (: of mind, of spirit, of body) & physical DETERIORATION -- the almost Nietzsche-ian, self-serving logic that when all was said & done, i could just DUMP this DOPE-thingy & simply walk away unharmed... 'f course, THIS WAS NOT TO BE. But then, IS IT EVER? i mean, ol' W'm S. Burroughs --icon of JUNKIES thru'out the universe -- certainly didn't do any of his prodigious output of writing / thinking / creating during his first 15 years of smack-addlement, despite the myths (of his own making) that his classic NAKED LUNCH was written whilst addicted (it wasn't -- in fact, 'twas written/compiled under the influence of MAJOUN -- a pot/hash like substance) --&, "EXILE ON MAIN STREET" besides, Keith -- also a great myth-maker 'bout his own ability to create &/or FUNCTION even, under the most chemically adverse conditions, -- didn't produce anything of any comparable worth during his wasted years, either ... bringing me to my main point -- that Dope addiction equals naught but the DESTRUCTION, or at least the putting-on-ice, of one's creative faculties. ANYWAY -- we'll see how successful this 'done program is in terms of helping kick smack & the associated lifestyle (or LACK OF LIFE-style, as the case may be...) in the long term, but the initial results are something i feel very satisfied with -- so far, i feel my life is in a better state than ever -- already feeling better & more positive than i've felt in LONG TIME. & that can't be nothin' but a GOOD thing!

O.K. -- "W.C.W. MONDAY NITE NITRO" is on, so my attention's required ELSEWHERE!

More later! ...

___________________________________________________________________

[Posted today, 23rd November, 2008, on what would have been Tim's 37th birthday. "At the age of 37...", yeah yeah, sweet tune, sweet thought, and, regarding Tim, sad & happy memories.
Kris Hemensley.]

8 comments:

genevieve said...

Thank you for sharing Tim here, Kris.

collectedworks said...

Hi Genevieve, Good to have your response and to read you on your web-site's prolific news & views compendium... Your comment interestingly begs a question as to the private & public aspects of any person let alone the deceased... Tim's rock'n'roll life was very much "out there', as they say. His death was marked by large concerts where the musicians & fans gathered. His funeral & wake was memorable in same way. His friend John Harley swears that Tim's journals were written to be read, as it were, a public & literary project as well as the daily & personal necessity.I go back to an understanding I had after he died, that dying does not mean one ceases to be. Existence is comprised of the living & the dead. Tim is still around though conducted now by his friends. Very interesting experience transcribing his handwriting --getting into his language & head, feeling part of him, feeling him... Best wishes, Kris Hemensley

Vera Di Campli San Vito said...

Thanks for this, Kris. A priviledge to read, even though as John Harley says, the writing wasn't necessarily meant to be private. What strikes me is that Tim had something to say to people. He did it very well.
Viva the living and the dead!

collectedworks said...

Thanks Vera, wish wish wish it could be otherwise but there it is and has been since July 23, 2003... You touch on something else that once upon a time, in one's avant-garde past, wasnt really valued, namely having, in your words, "something to say to people". Not that we entirely cast it out and not that the attitude has entirely left one's thinking today : "assume the subject [or 'meaning'] and attend to the writing" was my creative-writing teaching axiom through the 70s & 80s, with the (learned) proviso that testament made its own demand which literature couldnt refute or refuse. But by the end of the 80s, the imperative of something-to-say had led me away from the meta-literary and back to the traditional address. The Philip Guston I'd been tickled by in the early 70s, notwithstanding running with the avant-garde, --and I'm thinking of his often quoted comment, "to hell with purity : I want to tell stories!"-- didnt substantially affect my poetry until the late 80s, early 90s when the lid came off and the stories just poured out! This is probably getting away from the point you're wanting to make, but Tim heard all our discussions, observed all our works as he was growing up in the households of the experimental poets & artists,and though he obviously had a sympathy for experiment his own contribution was direct --heartfelt lyrics, kick-ass rock'n'roll (as he would mirthfully say)... But, we know and he knew, it isnt mutually-exclusive, however much the progressivists & avant-gardists, or the conservatives for that matter, would like it to be... So, "viva the living and the dead" as you say. I join you in your toast!

collectedworks said...

correction ...21st July (when Tim died) not 23rd (November, when he was born)

jurate said...

Oh lord, Kris, Tim's words are so hard to read. Thus but for the grace of whosoever go we all etc etc. The dead live on, the dead live with us, it's almost too heartbreaking...

collectedworks said...

Hello Jurate, and oh dear, feeling the pain in your message here,for you & your dear late dad for one,and thank you for writing about Tim... It's not just poeticism when I say, using your words, that the heart does break and breaks through into the circle from the tyrannical line --the infinite circle. And yes, we all live and ultimately live on through each each other. We're here, substantial in our insubstantiality, like your recent on your site, gossamer beautiful as life is...Take care, Kris

collectedworks said...

correction : meant to say, like your recent photos on your site... You speak very clearly with your images. Congratulations!