I'm getting absolutely thrashed here. Completely hammered. Stuffed. James Ford is potting the yellows like he's putting eggs in a basket. I stand and watch him laughing as another ball plops into a pocket. Ah well. I'm easy. It's always enjoyable to watch the little ritual of playing pool in a pub. Or in fact, watching any game where men are involved. It's always the same. Whatever we're playing, we are really just wandering around like drunken monkeys, showing off the size of our dicks. And the way James is using that cue here tonight, it's pretty obvious he has the biggest dick of all of us. Mind you, that said, I did notice that Mark McGowan is a fair size too...
And I'm doing my best but I still have about four reds to go and James is down to the black, which is sitting, flirtatiously, on the edge of the top pocket. 'Too easy,' says James, 'gotta end on a trick shot.' He lines it up, shoots. The white just misses. I get a go. Try and pot a red. Miss the pocket. Take my extra shot. Miss again.
James is back at the table, looking across it, checking the angles, the deflections, the whole tricksy shot he's about to pull off. He eases back the cue and then lets it go. It clicks against the white which starts, inexorably, towards the opposite end of the table from the black. It rolls on, bouncing gently on its tour from cushion to cushion to cushion, to finally conclude with the gentlest kiss - 'tock' - on the black, which slowly drops, like paint being poured from a tin, into the darkness of the pocket, and clomp, clomps its way below. James pulls away from the table, stretches like a tiger that has finished feasting on its kill, and I realise that I, pretty conclusively, have the smallest dick here.
Even smaller than Lena's.
And she's a girl...
But never mind. Because less than hour ago I saw James dressed in bra and panties, waving his long blonde hair about, dirty dancing with a big red bedbug and drawing on himself with a black maker pen.
Ah, yes, it could only be the the wonderful world of Performance Art. And whenever I hear those two words I reach for my...business card. Of which more later.
We are in Kitson Road, south London. Well out of my comfort zone, thank you very much. I feel like I'm coming out in hives I'm so far south of the river. Mark McGowan is standing in front of James Ford's house, next to a large TV balanced, not entirely safely I think, on a big green wheelie bin. There's some wires trailing from the back of the tv up the front of the house and disappearing into the top window. This is the set up for Kitson Kaleidoscope, an evening of performance based work blasted out across the internet via a webcam in James's bedroom. Well, that's the idea. I'm not really sure if many people actually got the technology to work on this one, but whatever, I feel sure they'll be edited highlights in time to come.
Mark is handing out wine, beer and Ritz Crackers, so it's just like a real party.
There's a mixed bunch of people here, all invited to contribute. Some names I know and am very happy to meet. And, talking of dicks, as we were before, here's Sally O'Reilly.
No, I don't mean - what I mean, is that tonight Sally has a dick too. Right between the legs, exactly where it's supposed to be, just sitting there, while the rest of her is dressed in white. It's quite lifelike. We are all admiring it. There it is, above.
Sally is, I'm assuming, the same Sally who is a writer and critic. I've read some of her stuff. She is very clever and writes very clever things. As well as having a nice dick.
The lovely Sarah Doyle is there. She is busy taping boxes together and standing a big Barbie make-up dolls head on them.
Calum F Youknowwho is there dressed in fetching red tights and top with a red cut out mask. He's a bedbug. A couple of people question whether indeed bedbugs are red. 'When they're full they are,' he says. But curiously his piece finds him on the bed in James's room for the duration of the recording, croaking 'Bite me! Bite me!' at the end of each performance. But aren't bedbugs supposed to do the biting?
I also get to meet Olivia-Jane Ransley. And, surprisingly, also her mum and dad. She does works about the flotsam and jetsam of human interaction, like waving or saying hello - check this out - or, like tonight, about smiling. Her piece has her and her friends and her dad all holding a smile, all trying to outlast each other. Dad wins. He's like a big smiley, smiling machine. When he realises he's won, he smiles even more.
The pieces go by. Sally's was about Health and Vim (is that what she said?) and has her and her dick and a paper roll of written out headlines from health magazines of the past. Or maybe that's not what it was at all. To be honest, it's pretty hard to work out what is going on most of the time with anyone's piece. And then the beer runs out too. I think Sally has already done a trip to the shop so I reckon I should go this time. Simon Ould's piece is happening when I leave and is still going when I get back with the beer. He's spitting water and throwing sweets out the window onto everyone below. Sarah is complaining of loss of feeling in her finger from mass use of an aerosol can on the big Barbie head in her piece. Barbie ended up as a goth, I think, though what all that tape being pulled out of her head was about, I really don't know. And what the hell's this next bloody piece about? Someone wearing a wrestling mask and holding what looks like a giant...business card. Oh right. It's my piece.
'Mustafa Hulusi', says McGowan. 'Sort of,' I say. 'It's a rip off of his stuff.'
Then that's done and James appears on the TV in that bra and panties get up. Nobody says 'Mustafa Hulusi' about his piece.
C.Cred, who I've never come across before, do a full on reading piece based on Samuel Beckett novels. They hand out some info about it but I can't get my head, or my beer, round it. Very good to listen to, though.
Then it's big Brian Catling's piece. No idea what that's about, but he brings a certain weight, history and sensitivity with him, which is recognised, I think, by all of us there. Then a curious horror film sort of thing by Karina Thoren and John Chantler, but that didn't add up at all to me. There's supposed to be more. Katsonobu has turned up but decides it's not quite right so leaves. Paula Roush doesn't, I think, turn up at all. And Richard Dedomenici, who is billed but was never going to turn up because he's giving a lecture at the Arnolfini, has left some instructions that McGowan says he's going to follow, but, well...
Then we are in the pub.
And I, and my little dick, am getting beaten at pool.