under the skin

being a bit dumb,i thought we were watching an art house film knee deep in metaphor,but the next day i learn it was actually a sci-fi movie. had i known that,i’d probably not have gone in the first place,but i’m glad i did. for me it was more about human alienation rather than mere aliens.

have you seen it?…if you have, i’d love to know your interpretation.even though pinned to the wall, i wasn’t completely sure what was going on. it seems it’s a girl on a highly sexualised journey of sorts. some of the movie is real actors, while some of the men she attempts to pick up in her white van are true to life people on the streets of glasgow.i now read scarlett johanssen practiced picking up hitchhikers to play her role convincingly.

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she starts out as a predator of solitary men, then mid flight is made vulnerable by love,and then finally raped of something…or maybe it was herself shedding a skin.i could easily be wrong about this. a bright lady who i talk to on the internet says it’s about a journey of disintegration. she calls it ‘an internal piece’,and that definition helped a lot.honestly dear reader,if you have seen this film,i’d truly love to know what you think. aside from the actual meaning,it had a breathtaking beauty about it.located in scotland, it taps into the tough look of the more downbeat side of the country,the extreme weather…the miserable side of things rendered in deeply poetic visuals….i loved how the makers had taken a natural sea storm and added subtle effects that maybe weren’t effects at all..it’s hard to tell,and the bits that were unabashed effects were startling … it was a stunner,even if the cinema was indeed nearly empty. often things that aren’t big mainstream hits at the time, turn out to be classics in the end. the soundtrack alone was noteworthy.

that film left me feeling so odd and strange as we drifted back out into the evening air…it was that curzon venue in mayfair that i’ve written about before…i always bleat on about how RCA records was housed on that street in the 1970′s..i only know this cause of the bowie,sweet and nilsson singles i bought as a kid in portrush..the address was always on the paper sleeves….and i’m forever aware how keith moon and mama cass both died in harry nilssons apartment on the same street,but last night when leaving the cinema i clocked a convoy of rolls royces parked outside…it occurred to me how flushed that part of town is,and because of that it’s been diligently preserved…i get the feeling it was pretty much the same there decades ago…money maintaining money…on the way back to the car we passed those cute mews houses that highly privileged gentry live in..i notice they actually have potted plants on either side of their front doors right there on the pavement in the middle of london…no fear of them being vandalised due to the heavy presence of night time cops. inner city civilisation for those that can afford it.

dear reader…all my loving

mary mcwilderness

 

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telephone box libraries


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sometimes i think we’ve seen too much evil for this world. with every passing week the news at 10.pm seems to get more intense,yet in the midst of all that badness they’ll occasionally throw up a token piece of good news just to add a little bit of sugar to the horror. i was tickled when they featured a clip of a sweet guy washing the windows of his local red telephone box…he was totally out there with the fairy liquid,brushing the floor,then building neat shelves into the booth.who cares what low or high brow books fill those telephone boxes, just only that no pigs vandalise them….the fun chappy said he often wondered what the hell he was doing,knowing full well that any moron could easily turn it all upside down…or equally annoying that the actual government might in time deem these ideas a health/safety hazard…so this dear soul on the news at ten was laying himself wide open for a crushing … and wouldn’t y’know it…

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how very very uncool…those ruined books in the mud are like tears from the very telephone box itself, while it cries out in naked embarrassment. the rapists who destroy these boxes won’t even give it a second thought unless they’re rumbled…i looked on the dolly-net and learned how there’d been a few cases of arson on the phone box libraries. it’d be great if one day these killjoys realised the most rebellious expression during these extremely corporate times is to do something beautiful,and to do it for free.a true rebel would leave a little cheap mobile in the booth,and hope for it to remain there incase a phoneless soul needs to make an emergency call.y’know one of the neat things about those telephone box libraries is there’s often comics for youngsters where the parents don’t have any extra hard cash for their kids.

01-telephone-box-rushmoor-parkthose darling red telephone boxes play into my sense of nostalgia in the same way as a dansette record player..they’re colourful…electrical,and home to ziggy stardust…in my life i’ve watched those living works of art travel through time on their own bumpy journey…in the early 1960′s they were beacons of communication,then in the 70′s on my first trips to london i got my first insight into the world of prostitution from the sexy little cards mysteriously placed inside the booth … apparently steve strange in the throws of heroin addiction used to pin those cards into the telephone boxes around central london to finance his fix…then in the late eighties as the human race got even murkier ,they began smelling of pish,and now in the age of mobile phones they’ve been left adrift like washed up film stars……so when i saw a resourceful chappy on news at ten turning his local one into a mini library,it gave me a warm glow all over.

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i made life changing calls from those lovely red boxes…as a teenager in northern ireland i’d sashay out of the caravan i lived alone in to make calls across the irish sea to kick start my life…the last time i used one was in the early nineties,and noticed how sensitive i’d become to urban dirt when having to talk into the rancid receiver,and then only recently i had the brainwave of maybe acquiring one for our back garden , but was shocked at the price they were going for…the round pillar red letterboxes are now fetching eight thousand pounds,while the telephone booths are being exported to hollywood to sit aside swimming pools as funky outdoor shower units! so y’know it’s great that local people can buy their own red telephone box off the government for exactly one english pound to share their joy of books…it’s all too beautiful..libraries in telephones boxes…flippin nora..no one saw that one coming…i love it.

while i’m on the subject of books, i thought i might add a little recommendation by the way of a little video for the heck of it.

all my loving…sweary mary on your telephone line.

 

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hard times lately

this is a song i co-wrote with two chaps in cork called ‘fish go deep’. for the lyric i fantasized about being a heterosexual male … my lady is beautiful and we love each other,but something is wrong…i imagine due to unrest in the political world,there’s been a down turn in the economy,so me and my darling are making the best of this bad situation,and even though we’ve no money right now,she still has one fine elegant expensive gucci gown…it lifts my spirit to see her wearing it. due to lack of credit at the bank,we won’t be going out on the town anytime soon,but i urge her to wear her glamorous dress anyway…we slowdance around the living room of our sparse home, then later we make love…the real love that money can’t buy.. yes, we are sad due to our circumstance,but deep down in our souls we can find fulfilment in our love life.

then again of course,it could just be about a straight forward ding dong in a relationship where the fella is maybe trying to clear the air or wants to make his girl feel better…that’s the thing with songs..they’re subjective and always open to interpretation … often the fruit n nut songwriter is the last person worth listening to…hahaha

all my loving … fairy mary of the wilderness.

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bars of chocolate and gramophone records

3089045133_729059bed6it’s a staggering oversight how cadburys have ignored the ritual of undressing a chocolate bar with their new awful plastic sealed wrappers.

in a perfect world i would buy my bars from one of those wall mounted metal vending machines outside a chemist or a hardware store,where i’d enjoy every step of the purchase.i’d love slipping the coin into the slot, followed by turning the big knob at the side to retrieve my chocolate bar from the flap at the  front…y’know i always found chewing gum a disgusting commodity,but i’d even buy that sometimes just to engage with a wall mounted vending machine.i can forgive cadburys for no longer having those contraptions,since the world is full of pigs who’d love nothing more than to destroy them,but i cannot forgive the company for what they’ve done to the wrapper. dear reader…surely you’d agree that the darling silver paper lovingly embraced by a second layer of purple was as heartening as the chocolate itself. as a child, having scoffed the lot, i would take the silver paper and flatten it out,then bounce it in the air like a leaf or attempt to do something creative with it. for a while in the 1960′s that silver paper was truly luxuriant with the embossed cadbury trademark all over it…easter eggs had the same,but don’t worry… i won’t get started on the pigs ear they’ve made of the 21st century easter egg.

as a child i found life unbearable…(feel free to laugh)…i dreaded break-time in primary school where we’d all be herded into a playground to either fight or run around in circles. that ten minutes of hell seemed to last forever.heaven was in the lounge…the adult room back home that was often out of bounds. in the lounge was a drinks trolley dressed with lovely coloured bottles of rum and brandy…harveys bristol cream sherry…babycham…advocat…and a jar of cocktail cherries..camp as tents really..but more importantly a record player with a pile of 45′s that my dad brought back from air force juke boxes.at the earliest age i was listening to the bachelors ‘i believe’.. rolling stones ’19th nervous breakdown’ with  ‘as tears go by’ on the b-side….connie francis ‘lipstick on your collar’…’goodness gracious me’ by peter sellers and sophia loren…’the book of love’..’my boy lollipop’….all these pop songs of love…human promiscuity…depression and belief….hahaha. i scoffed a lot of cadburys dairy milk,opal fruits and rowntrees spangles while lording over that record selection.

bars of chocolate and gramophone records go very well together,and one of the loveliest things to happen recently is re-instating a gramophone player into our container (container is mary-speak for’house’).in san francisco last year i bought an original 45 pressing of the beach boys ‘don’t worry baby’,and only last night when i gave it a spin,my boyfriend came gently sailing into the living room from the kitchen, and danced by himself on the carpet, while i shyly watched and felt my heart near to explode with joy.

i have decided to curtail calling records ‘vinyl’..we never called them vinyl when they were our lifeline. vinyl was the plastic flooring in toilets and kitchens. one of my favourite things is to say “i think i’m going to put a gramophone record on”…or a *long player*…or an LP.

it occurs to me that rituals are,without us realising , a doorway into some sort of meditation…the two layer unwrapping of the chocolate bar….the coming away from  a record shop with a purchase lovingly bagged, to be unbagged and played at the spinning alter of feelings…….i miss that almost sacred deflowering of a chocolate bar. i’m left cold at these new soulless plastic sealed wrappers on display…i wonder if cadburys google their shit and have little think-tanks where they invite twits like me to ponder over their product for an afternoon. if they do,they could do worse that avail themselves the privilege of my company for a few hours. they’d learn how crucial it is for their chocolate bars to look pretty and unwrappable.

dear reader..i think i’m going mad.

all my loving … mary of the wilderness.

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brut aftershave

beautifulbrutthey say the right way to apply cologne is to spray a single cloud of the stuff  in front of you, and then walk through it,but i’m far too much of a tart to ever be that subtle,so what i do is i apply it under the arms like deodorant, then once dressed,spray generously again over all remaining skin surface, then finally,the lining of my jacket.

i fell in love with the stuff at the age of twelve when i would have laughingly called it aftershave. naturally at that time i was your perfect little problem child,but this was made all the worse after the jolt of having spent the last three years in sunny singapore air force camps, only now to be plonked back in freezing cold northern ireland.it was pre-bowie and the soundtrack to life back then was t-rex electric warrior…led zeppelin 4… deep purple fireball…melanie brand new key…rod stewart maggie may…cher gypsies tramps and thieves…..the piglets johnny reggae.

having now decided that my vocation was to be a rock and roll problem child,i attempted to cement this by locking the door to wreck my room like keith moon,topping that off with regular stabs at running away. the comic value of all this is in the acquiring of a curious combination of two things.the first was a friends elder sisters long to ankles double breasted overcoat,and the other was a green bottle of fabergé brut aftershave.you could smell me sailing down main street in portrush stinking of the cheap lovely muck, due to the splashing on every five minutes. on a night of running away i left the house around 8.pm, and with nowhere to go, got bored very quickly,so once again applying more brut,settled down to sleep in a red telephone box like in the finale of a topcat cartoon.when they came for me and opened the glass telephone booth door,the smell of brut nearly knocked them out….and because this public telephone box was only 500 yards down the road,i was in my proper bed within 15 minutes…..rock and roll, sugar tits!

this love affair with cologne had only just begun…i went through the usual male rites of passage..by the time i was eighteen, paco rabanne was the thing…then at 26 i graduated to christian dior eau savage…and then to the eau savage extremé. eau savage extremé for the innocent on-smeller was like having lemon sherbet sprinkled into your eyes.i wore that shit every day while recording my first album in london, where the recording engineer pleaded with me to go easy on the stuff,cause being locked in the confines of a control room with me all day was making it hard for him to see or breath.

it was also from the trenches of a recording studio in california that i finally fell for the cologne that i’ve been wearing now for 25 years.the record producer who is a beautifully cultivated man, bought me a book of postcards so i could write to folk back home .i never did send those postcards,but when the six months of recording was over and i was back in northern ireland for the wet and cold winter,i came across that book of cards….i flapped through the leafs of it, and the smell of his gorgeous cologne came wafting up at me…clearly he’d sprayed the gift for extrasensory gesture….so there i  was..back in the freezing wet weather, where suddenly i had this euphoric recall of a special time, thanks to the power of cologne…..as i sniffed the fading fragrance off those pages,i thought about that record producer…i thought about the huge cultural difference between him and myself…..were i was, and still am a fairly basic specimen,that chap skips through life with an elegance and lightness of touch that i could only dream of.i felt that even though it was great to be shipped out of northern ireland into a summery california recording studio for a while, it was equally a thing to be around a deeply cultivated human being on a daily basis..it let me see first hand how far the bar can be raised.he instantly knew that i was the sort of shaky character who could easily de-rail my own situation on a whim,and he saved me from myself…he played me like a friggin viola,got me working fearlessly to the very last note of that second album.it was real nice…so the fragrant smell off that book of postcards from the cologne that he wore everyday on that beautiful summer became what i decided to wear myself as a personal symbol of what a good feeling smells like…another thing about this man was even though straight,he could be very camp,and enjoyed being so. for me that’s often a sign of a heavyweight straight man..he that can enjoy some sort of femininity in himself…paradoxically they’re easily in essence the most masculine and handsome,as apposed to the lightweight thugs who love nothing more than to talk with their fists.

so yes…i clocked this mans cologne and wanted it for myself…it’s a classic common vetiver,and i will most probably wear it till the day i die. i feel it’s good that i found my smell through a sweet experience rather than it being marketed to me.one day i might buy a big bottle of brut again to use as a room odourizer … i’m also thinking of buying a pyramid of tampax boxes for an ornamental display…..a sort of andy warhol flourish.

another interesting thing about cologne is the gay leather bars. it’s not permitted!..i’ve even seen signs at the entry where it lays that law down firmly.in those places they like other odours. …sweat…leather…cigars. it often makes me ponder when i edit out the poof juice for the occasional visit to the oh so electric leather bar.i feel like i betray the best part of myself by not reeking of good fragrance.

dear reader,i hope this bollox finds you in good humour. i will leave you with some sound and vision..the first is a liverpudlian poet who i’ve been into for years called gerry potter..this poem of his called ‘the effeminate’ is well known and held in great affection by those who have chosen to prick up their ears for this life…it really is a blockbuster piece of poetry…the other thing is of me extolling how the smell of urine is almost a sort of cologne in itself. hahaha

mary of the flagrant fragrant wilderness

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scottee…*the worst of scottee*

Scottee_photo-1-2for the longest time,pop stars have been boring the tits off me.my difficulty is even perceiving them as pop stars at all, simply cause some power that be says they are. last night though i saw the real deal,and even though to me he is a pop star,he’d surely prefer to define himself as a performance artist,but the reason i feel him as starry is because he activates that very thrill in me that was once the field of those on top of the pops or on the cover of a colourful music magazine…i’ve known of this young chap for years…never met him…i’ve just watched him from the sidelines for almost a decade as he grappled and wrestled with his wild ideas,and last night i got to witness all his parts finally fall beautifully into place….this show is called ‘the worst of scottee’ ..it’ll maybe tour up and down the country as word spreads,or even hit other countries,so if you don’t catch it this time,do keep an eye out for it.

if you do one thing this week,try and book a ticket at the roundhouse to witness history in the making.all the originality,colour,and heartbreak you once hoped for in rock n roll is raving away in a whole other field.this chap has taken all his own crass mistakes, and mistakes done on to him, but used it for raw material, that for me had all the essence of a great rock n roll performance.the whole show was cleverly played out inside one of those railway station/amusement arcade photo booth affairs…i won’t give the game away,so all i’ll say is his story is extreme in places..hilarious in others,and it breaks your heart. i was pinned for every second,while he walked my mind through his central london housing estate….really….i hope you go,and if you do,let me know what you thought..it ends on saturday..i swear you’ll be so glad you went.

my tickets were only 12.50,and the roundhouse is a great venue…dripping with history what with andy warhol having done his pork show there…bowie midwifing himself under that very roof n’all…it’s only a few steps away from chalk farm tube,so the rain isn’t even a worry…prolly wise to book the tickets online http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/2014/the-worst-of-scottee/

fuck me..i sound like a publicity department,but i’m not…i was just blown away.

learning to love the flood….mary of the wilderness.

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the years

1392766_10202210561084105_1164612582_nthere’s over thirty three years between these two photographs…i’d love to celebrate the difference,but down there in the circuit board of the personality i’m still wrestling with the same old garbage..insecurity..inferiority/superiority complexes..fear/trust..laziness/discipline..love and hate……..dear reader,it can wear you out.

on the dolly-net, a bag of nerves such as i, is inevitably drawn to those buddhist kaballah type affairs that occasionally fly up on to our screens,and the one thing that draws me in is when they talk about how life’s all about transformation…how i love that idea.the idea that i could re-wire all this old muck.there’s a deep feeling of rebellion in attempting to shake off all those conceits that’ve been passed on by the previous generations,though blaming them is of no use to anyone.they were fucked up in their turn.

if there’s one thing i’d love to become it would be more of a peoples person.i’d like to feel more comfortable around gangs of folk.i’d like to throw the doors of the house wide open and hang looser. that would be so great…i’m in awe of people who can do that.they have a natural joy about them.sunnydaze

i’ll leave you with a little thing i did an age ago…i composed a tune around a philip larkin poem,and then intercepted the meaning of it further with a clip i shot of a beautiful transexual.there’s also a recent,and freely downloadable song of mine (old banger) that seemed appropriate.

all my loving…mary of the wilderness.

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