Residencies / Art Projects

Messy Pup Detritus 2004 [Gallery Interventions]






Short Lecture of
“Things that go through my head only partly invited.”
“The News including the Elk Problem”

(c) chris dooks age 35, 2006

i helped a child prepare for the first day at school.
i helped a child make friends at school.
i learned to type.
i decided what to study at university.
I kept newts.
i made lecture notes and created my own reading list.
i crammed for a test and broke the procrastination habit.
i found my own i.q. and tried and failed to join mensa.
i negotiated a pay rise.
i became a television director and learned about the four stomachs of a cow - they are omasum, abomasum, rumen (as in to rumenate), reticulum.
i updated a device driver and transferred lps to cds.
i prevented weeds and dealt with foxes.
i learned about deadhead flowers and made a dry martini.
i mixed a frozen margharita.
i found frogs.
i found the books i owned as a child and i viewed a lunar eclipse.
i made salt dough badges.
i overcame shyness and found the best places to meet people.
i kept a dozen red roses fresh.
One of the newts escaped. We lived near the railway line you do the math. Americans can’t say maths.
i asked for forgiveness and forgave those who needed it from me.
i signalled for help in the wilderness and handled family tension at a wedding.
i calmed a colicky baby.
I handled myself in a flower shop.
i made a family time capsule.
i gave a eulogy, delivered puppies for guide dogs for the blind and slowed the aging of a dog and taught a parrot to talk.
i prepared clothes for dry cleaning and aleeviated puffy eyes and conducted a testicular self examination.
i added vegetables to friend's diets and i got a massage or 1000.
i fought insomnia, broke a bad habit and started new ones.
i crossed from the wing, headed a football and relieved myself in the woods.
i tried to learn the names of all the fathers in father ted in the father tod umptious episode but could only recollect father spodo comodo and father chewy louie.
i picked up a lizard and it’s tail came off.
i spotted avalanche danger, changed motor oil and parallel parked.
i applied for a travel visa, travelled crease-free and treated jet lag and killed time in detroit.

But after all this, i was up all night worrying about infinity and maybe, just maybe it will all lead to divinity. and if i can’t have that then i want peace and less podgy cheeks.

They are offering free wireless internet access at the Traverse theatre bar now. I told Joelle I was going to have a latte there today. "Enjoy the wireless" she texted me. The funny thing is, is that "enjoy the wireless" would have been something my grandma would have both said and done. I used to steal whisky from a well known shop in Edinburgh and send her really high quality malts. She would tip two capfuls into her coffee every day. It was Nescafe. Maybe I helped pickle her liver slowly.

One breed of salamanders is able to have spikes pop out of it’s body from it’s ribs and poison any attackers in the mouth!

When we dwelling on potential names for a potential baby we came up with Imogen. Because we were still im(o/a)gining her.

At the narcolepsy AGM they needed four scribes to take the minutes. Sorry, that’s almost a genuine joke.

When my Grandma died, she'd stopped breathing about ten minutes before I got there in the car. I looked at the sky directly above her house. I was looking to see if there was any soul evacuating the chimney or any unusual pigments or lights and presence or stars. I wondered if a massive hand was going to pick her up and take her beyond the clouds. It looked like a regular cloud.

I have been researching all the words I could think of which are in the English language but are derived in some way or other from Arabic. I have come up with ten I know of:
Amber, Crimson, Sherbet, Alkali, Cous Cous, Saffron, Henna, Magazine and Tarragon. I recently corrected a racist football fan in a pub by telling him that his favourite team’s name, Arsenal, is derived from Arabic! That makes ten.

Here’s something I overheard

“I was sitting in a cafe talking to a woman who was at the same art conference as me. She said to me you wanna see a picture of my kid? I say sure and she shows me this picture of a dashing six year old boy. "Hey!" she says next "wanna see him at eight cells!?" and I was like "what!!!?" and sure enough, she unfolded a microscope printout of him still in the petri dish just prior to implatation. And it was just then that it kinda dawned on me, we are into a another realm of representation that perhaps is worthy of exploration and maybe er, a different kind of consideration.”

Hitting on the novel idea that he could end his wife's incessant nagging by giving her a good scare, Hungarian Jake Fen built an elaborate harness to make it look as if he had hanged himself. When his wife came home and saw him she fainted. Hearing a disturbance a neighbour came over and, finding what she thought were two corpses, seized the opportunity to loot the place. As she was leaving the room, her arms laden, the outraged and suspended Mr Fen kicked her stoutly in the backside. This so surprised the lady that she dropped dead of a heart attack. Happily, Mr Fen was acquitted of manslaughter and he and his wife were reconciled.

I was typing things out on my new ibook and I realised that my Americano coffee next to me had a thin film of bubbles forming on the surface. The bubbles had formed themselves into a perfect Antarctic-like shape. However, the ross ice shelf broke off and stuck to the edge of the cup. Probably the heat of the coffee I guess. I knew it was the Ross Ice-shelf because I had been to a talk about Antarctica last week. These are the kind of things that go through your mind when your latest flame has turned off the gas.

A swan crashed through the windscreen then out of the back window of Gertrude Effing's van in Germany late last year. I tried to find more information about this online but failed. Later I will sing you a song about it.

A drunken party of elks surrounded an old people's home in Sweden and had to be driven away by armed police, Sweden's media reported yesterday.

The elks attacked the home in the town of Östra Göinge, near Malmö, after devouring large numbers of fermented apples, the paper Dagens Nyheter said. Police with dogs had failed to scare them off, and the animals only ran away after hunters with guns arrived on the scene.

“It's not unusual for elks to get drunk," forester Fredrik Jönsson told the newspaper. "They don't recognise the difference between fermented and not fermented and stuff themselves down to the last apple." Mr Jönsson did not know how many apples the elks had eaten.

There have been previous problems with elks: a female elk recently attacked three joggers in Norway. Last year another elk in Sweden stole a bicycle from a garden, which it regularly visited to eat the roses. An elderly couple had used the bike to fence off their garden; the elk disappeared with the bike hanging round its neck. The bike was later found bent and damaged beyond repair.

Once widespread across Europe, elks now live in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics, Poland and the Czech Republic. Earlier this week, however, an elk was spotted for the first time in recent memory in Bavaria, after apparently wandering across the Czech-German border.

And now other news just in.

Recovering in the Scottish Poetry Library, I heard an old Edinburgh guy not far from me spouting loud talk about Japanese airports. He said they dress their dogs in suits and that earthquakes were a souvenir. But he’d rather die in his bed, over here.

When my heart is in my mouth,
I kiss it,
Gently return it back to my chest cavity,
Betwixed my lungs.

The back of his head sported a number 2 crop-cut. His iron filing hair was coiled in a perfectly formed
whorl, like a supernova, on the back of his skull. Maybe it was a universe, like the one round the cat’s neck in “Men In Black.”

Masticated bubblegum corpses,
Like dirty snow, form slowly evolving Wrigley-blankets
Over Waverley’s footbridges.

You might be wondering by now, what the hell have I turned up to? Just go with it, it’s easier that way, honest, you’ll be fine.

Tagging is the lowest form of Graffiti.
Dogging is watching sex in car parks.
What if Saint Peter turned up in Sunderland?

In a CUBAN themed café-bar,
In the SCOTTISH capital,
The AUSTRALIAN barman blesses me with no worries.

What to do with this boy? He didn’t come with a manual,
Booklet, CD-ROM or Lord God Emmanuel…

Get olives.
Throw some on a plate.
Count the clusters.
Compose the opus.
C, C, G, B, A.
Then A, B, E, A, A, D, B
Then D, A, F, A, D
The Olive Symphony.

Today, in a poetic slip-of-the-tongue, I asked the bus driver for a “Day Saviour.”

Fourteen thousand leaves on your favourite oak tree
and hub caps as snowflakes.

Stockbrokers, if they did but know it, are at an advantage with Buddhist teachings on “conditionality” because they contemplate how everything affects everything. Imagine the stockbroker as sage (not the herb).

My shadow became a black hole.
At first, it was just scraps of paper that were drawn into it, then small animals such as voles.
I worry, because it’s got my number now. When will it be satisfied?

When I arrived at the train station and realised I didn’t have the right ticket I just wanted a breast to suckle on and close my eyes like a baby pig.

Take my broken bones.
Grind them up for glue.
Feed them to the dog.
Use the marrow for a stew.

Sing this bit with guitar...

Masticated bubblegum corpses,
Like dirty snow, form slowly evolving Wrigley-blankets
Over Waverley’s footbridges.

Ladies and Gentlemen, that concludes the short lecture of things that go through my head only partly invited.