Pink Chair I & II

Within days of George’s 44th birthday on February 9th, 1990, I had been to his McCaul Street loft, which looked east to the buildings lining University Avenue. There, on the top floor’s tiny balcony, we would retreat for some privacy, late at night and suck each other off with his son spying on us… ever he spied on us and it became a definite source of one of our many volatile breakups that George wanted to watch whilst his son and I fucked. I am not about doing anything that I find repugnant. George’s son’s legs are ridiculously bizarre; the space between the knees and ankles inordinately short – he also has too much gum for my liking. Did not matter to me that he was very thick and big; I was not playing. End of discussion. In any event, that winter, after George and I had riotously fucked with his son’s conspicuous silence in the open loft definitely indicating that we were being spied on, I fell asleep whilst George, thoroughly, noisily ploughed right, went to shit and shower, which was always alone and a very lengthy affair. On exiting the bath, as I soundly slept, awaiting my turn to shower, George grabbed his polaroid and took several snaps of me in his sole pink armchair as I remained sheathed in a used full and droopy condom.

By the time that George would present me with the iconic, masterful serigraph, he and I were not then on speaking terms on conclusion of the work. Months earlier, in November 1989, Merlin had passed and as George made it perfectly clear that he did not want to be in a committed relationship, I walked away. He was, of course, pissed but I was not getting the support I felt that I then needed. Truth be told, the relationship with George was ideal, I could no more have given two fucks about his friends anymore than they did me. George was totally controlling – energy body of 9 – and in that way, I was his muse and a great fuck; this left both his family and friends off limit – of course, there was obsession with his son, which meant me fulfilling his fantasy. Not happening. So as I did not play along and began taking lovers of my own, as George wanted to celebrate my life in the event that I, soon after Merlin, perished of AIDS – at that point, I still had not gone out and taken an HIV test; I was simply then too solipsistic to have been any support to Merlin who was then slowly dying of AIDS. So not able to bring himself to name the serigraph after me, it became Pink Chair; of course, for his friends, it was a great dig at me whom they thought of dismissible and an utter non-entity. Of course, I never said more than two words to anyone at that point in my life – that is, if I did not think you worth my time why bother saying fuck all?

For the next three years, George and I saw each other on and off. During that time, I was rapidly self-exploring. Of course, at the core of it all, there was the one ritual that grounded me, each day as I went to bed, I closed my eyes and smiled, knowing that on awaking, I would recall a plethora of dream experiences which before sleep, I could not readily have fathomed. Each morning I woke up, grabbed the tape recorder and began audiocassette recording my dreams. For this reason, as it had been a promise made to Merlin, I had no desire to be in a living relationship. No, I do not want to meet your fucking family, most definitely do not want to be caught dead, wasting a nanosecond of my time, listening to your loser friends and their redundantly specious regurgitated anecdotes – been there… fuck that. With Merlin’s passing, I had found a new groove: go to a few bathhouses, fuck a couple or a couple dozen hungry bottoms, head home by bike and listen to either classical or Jazz and get on with reading, writing and looking forward to travelling to the next art exhibition or Jazz concert and, of course, collecting art.

At one point, George moved out of his McCaul Street loft and with his possessive son remaining at the loft, this opened the way for us to get back together. This, of course, was not without its angst. One evening, I was hellbent on ploughing George to the hounds but he kept on begging off and finally blew up at me and told me to fuck off and, perhaps, he wanted to fuck his brains out with someone else. Are you fucking kidding me? No need to sit about when possessed of that irrational cocktail of obsession, passion, lust and mistrust. With regards his sexual activity, George always lied… I knew this. The first time that he had lied, I noticed the tell-tale sign – his right index finger and middle finger would involuntarily quiver and he would always try to cover it by rubbing his right index against his right nostril. Whenever this occurred, he would always get up and walk away to try and better cover up the physiological quirk. As ever, nothing escaped my eagle-eyed perception.

That night, unable to sleep and more importantly being robbed of valuable dreamtime, I got up and hopped on my bike in the middle of a bitching winter’s dead of night. George, who then lived at 62 Austin Terrace, had me pedal like mad in the biting cold and after locking my bike down the hill, made it up to 62 Austin Terrace, which stood right at the northeast corner of Bathurst Street and Austin Terrace. Truly possessed, I hopped onto the mountain ash tree and began scaling the damn tree as though at 0300 on a cold winter’s night with a street lamp nicely illuminating things, my being a black male, climbing a leaf-bare tree in the Annex, was a perfectly natural thing to be doing, among other illogical considerations. The lights were on in the bedroom; alas, he was not being ploughed by someone who was not me. Of course, George always spoke in his sleep and in one of his little pernicious moves, days earlier as I ploughed him good, he let out someone else’s name whilst pretending to be more asleep and or drunk than he was. Of course, seven years of being the lover of an award-winning director, Merlin, I knew fucking bad acting toute de suite.

There were clothes on the bed that were not George’s but he could not be seen. Undaunted, I scaled and scraped my way down the tree with simian ease, passion-possessed and made it up Bathurst to the rear of the property where I scaled the slippery stone side of the hill and made it atop the garage where for walking across packed, crunching inches of snow, found George being plough on the large draught table in his study. I was beyond livid but wanted and gotten definite proof to slap down his lying when confronted. His response was, of course, feigned indignation at my having had the temerity to spy on him. As with all passionate lovers, that entangled, drama-rife bit of Sargasso was soon traversed to calmer seas. Months later, we got in from dinner, sat down for a drink at his Austin Terrace apartment and laughed and savoured our cognac, after having been out shopping in the early afternoon to choose a new frame for Pink Chair. As ever, George wanting to be plough long and hard, listened to Haydn’s Paris Symphonies – ever, I favoured the London Symphonies. I had just returned to Toronto after amour fou absolu had attempted to steal a dozen pieces from my art collection, among which was Pink Chair.

By March, 1993, I was hanging out in Washington D.C. with Bahamian relations when for walking out on my host, would meet Yuri, the most thoroughly consuming S&M bottom. This, of course, was at a time where all I did was crawl bathhouses partout, ever on the prowl, as finally I had discovered my metier with Merlin’s passing. S&M was the right groove at the right time in my life. So as I crawled predatorily the halls of yet another bathhouse, this one on the edge of a military base in the U. S. capital, I was hotly pursued by Yuri as my swagger and riding boots were just what and more his wildest dreams were in search of. We fucked for several hours, he professed his love and we returned to his place just southwest of Dupont Circle in Foggy Bottom that was the epitome of house proud faggot and way too minimalist for my liking. Alas, we went to his bedroom, which had a bed that was custom-built and made to service his every S&M whim. We were insatiable and it was just right. I looked past his drinking and excessive use of poppers, which second hand ever left me with a splitting headache, he had an actual freezer in which he kept handled bottles of vodka and the salacious bottom with the thick Russian accent was all mine.

Soon he took me to dinner, presented me a ring and demanded that I move to America and his position as lawyer in a queer law firm would allow me to live without the worry of working and the ideal Daddy to come home to. A city full of museums, he had season tickets to Kennedy Center and just a short flight to New York City for more culture and art, it was not very hard to say yes. Soon we went looking at places as I came down every other weekend from Toronto; we dined out and did all the things he had not before. On the off weekend, he had to himself with friends and family, which I made it perfectly clear were a non-negotiable in our relationship.

No sooner than having brought down choice pieces of art and much of my wardrobe as we chatted daily three to five times, I was returned that Sunday evening to no calls or calls going unanswered. Finally, that Thursday evening, he coolly answered the phone and wanted to know what I was bothering him for as, said he, he thought that he had made it clear that it was over between us. Perhaps, I was in denial but now he was with Tyrone who had a big 11.5 inch cock that he just couldn’t get enough of. Putting my master numbers to good use, I morphed and pulled out personalities 33, 47 and 56, all the while not so much as appearing remotely upset. Soon, he was answering the phone whilst being ploughed by Tyrone. Alas, my diamond cutter charm wore him down; we did after all have concerts to attend at Kennedy Center. So fool him, he accepted as Tyrone was going home to Philly for his mama’s 50th birthday – as if I could give two point five fucks.

Returned to Washington, I charmed him though he was wary and mistrustful – his guilt not mine. Finally, he gave in and we had one last S&M session. Tied up, he stood upright in the leather bedding with black bath sheets everywhere to catch his piss as I ploughed his arse, exposed by the thick leather chaps, rough, long and hard. I then slipped beneath the bed and got out the duct tape purchased earlier at Heckenger’s across town – everyone in the neighbourhood knew him and I had no intentions of anyone tipping him off. The hood zipped tight, revealing only his eyes and mouth, I smeared half a dozen strips of the black tape across his lizard-lipped cocksucker mouth and left just enough room for him to comfortably breathe.

As the opera fag neighbours below were in that evening, I turned up the music – Maria Callas CDs on the Denon stereo system – really loudly and pulled his big-boned body from the black leather sheets and hauled him by the harness through the 2100 square foot duplex apartment to the living room, took the strap to him as well he loved it; however, this was not about him, left him slumped and seated on the floor and quietly and meticulously cut my fucking art from the god fugly gaudy gold frames, into which the fucking racist moron had placed my stolen art, 12 pieces in all, including Pink Chair. Having returned my art into the tubes, in which they had months earlier been brought down from Toronto, I called my ride and with lots of time to spare its arrival, I hauled the blasted fool – who to that point had royally pissed off at least half my known 72 personalities, to his large bathroom, where clad in leather from head to toe, I heaved his bulky body – his legs and hands bound as he loved it during play, over the side of the tub, ripped out his butt plug, squatted down, violently ripped off the duct tape, replaced it with my gauntlet sheathed left hand whilst riotously fucking him hard. Hissing into his right ear, still hammering away at his ravaged mangina, ‘you fucking thief… what does that make you. That’s right, you’re a fucking nigger and don’t you ever forget it.’ Slamming the bathroom door shut behind me, my head ached from all the poppers he did. Coolly, I went to the freezer and got the handled bottles of vodka there, where else but America, and slowly undid his suit so that his welted body beneath could really sting from the vodka’s cold, unforgiving bite, after shoving his whimpering body into the tub. When I was done emptying all his vodka on his shivering, enraged body, I straddled his wet body below in the tub and whilst standing on the edge pissed and relieved my bladder which since removing my stolen art from his walls had been straining for release.

From there, I hightailed it to New York City and stayed a few days at Valerie Pringle’s only brother’s West 16th Street walk-up where I grounded anew by going to all my favourite museums by day and crawling the village in riding boots, making further conquests, which usually began whilst gyrating and face-fucking on the tiny dance floor down the mirrored winding stairs at the historic Stonewall Inn. Returned to Toronto with my art, over dinner at a tiny Spanish restaurant off Yonge Street, after we had taken Pink Chair to be framed, raising a glass of red, I winked at George and said of the vanquished amour fou, the best way to piss on a fool’s grave, is to do so before they actually are dead and buried. Dinner was beautiful and with that, we returned to his apartment at 62 Austin Terrace and George was no end of happy, reaching back and holding on to my riding boots, his arse high in the air, as I ploughed and staked my claim to his heart centre as never before.

‘What the fuck are you calling me for?’ On my return to Toronto, I lethally hissed down the phone at the racist boor in Washington D. C.. ‘We have no business together. Obviously, all you can handle, is nothing more than 11 IQ points. Let’s make this perfectly fucking goddamn clear, since your HIV status – that’s right, I have known all along, precludes you making it across the border, you will stay the fuck where you are and get over it. You’re a fucking thief.’ He then violently demanded that I return ‘his’ art and be man enough to bring it back. ‘What the fuck has AIDS and poppers done to your fucking pea brain? Bitch are you fucking nuts? You are dead to me. Shit, I already pissed on you… you are as good as fucking dead! Cutting him off as he launched into his foul, drunken nigger this, nigger that, I boomed down the phone into his gutted soul, ‘Hang it up! Hang it the blasted motherfuck up! Now! Go on, hang up your fucking phone now. You fucking drunken diseased rat. Now! Hang it the blasted motherfuck up now! Hang it up! Finally, the line dropped, collapsing his weak sobbing. A bottom to the core, he never dare dialled my number again.

Also, at 62 Austin Terrace, I announced to George that I had accepted a job offer in Vancouver and would be leaving in mere days. George was devastated as he felt that he was being abandoned for not having been fully engaged in a committed relationship. In the end, not long after I was happily ensconced in Vancouver’s West End, that George visited. We had some of our best sex deep into the musky wholesomeness within the woods of Stanley Park, lorded over by centuries old Sitkas. There in the dead of night, George buried his left cheek in the mud, held on to my riding boots as ever he loved to as I plough and took us both to beyond the edge of ecstasy. George’s first visit to Vancouver – there was a second, was passed going to galleries, having an early dinner, likely on Davie Street, going home for a nap before getting up late at night to go do that most primal of deeds, fucking surrounded by the sublime beauty of nature.

On the eve of Bob Marley’s birthday – a very brightly, crisply cold Friday in 1999, my wife and I emerged in full African garb onto Saint Laurent from Montréal’s palais de justice accompanied by George and my sister, Pandora, both serving as witnesses. That evening at our lovely Cote des Neiges home, the four of us were joined by a lovely Jewish boy from Hampstead. George and I were reunited after too long on the cusp of his 53rd birthday and among other things, we warmly celebrated his upcoming birthday. The evening was beautiful. Five years later, my wife and I relocated back to Toronto as both our fathers experienced health crises. My first visit to George’s Borden Street penthouse was beautiful, the view looked north to one of my favourite high-rises in the city; it is a deco affair at the northwest corner of Spadina & Richmond Street West. I am always reminded of Merlin and New York City where we met and how much he loved the architecture of 1930s New York City. Paris, my wife, and Pandora were invited to dinner in the late afternoon.

George seldom hung art about his homes, and rarely any of his; there was one however which moved me the moment I walked into the room. Who is it, I asked, to which George laughed and said, ‘it’s you, of course. It’s the companion to Pink Chair… it is Pink Chair. Back in 1987 when we first met, George had asked me to sit at his loft on Brock Avenue in the Queen West Queen neighbourhood. As a result of our carnal passion, George experienced a new creative drive; he became more creatively focussed and produced more. George’s attack was dazzling and he created with feverish speed. He was always grateful for that time, he was not yet 41 when we met and for him, it proved the mid-life crisis he needed. It was great, too, because Russell, a lover of his, had slowly been dying of AIDS and I became the anchor that kept him focussed here and now.

I was invigorated by this second Pink Chair, which had been completed in 1992 but which he had never shown me. Finally, George and I met separate of my wife, Paris, who has since transitioned and become Denver, for dinner at his Borden Street penthouse condo. Even though I had become a portly little cock-bottomed, short-breathed eccentric with age, I still wanted to return to being George’s muse and, of course, lover. As ever, we dined on another exquisitely prepared meal, which featured a George staple – asparagus and another sublime sauce with the right accompanying wine. At this dinner, however, George began opening up and told me of a murder at University of Toronto where he taught printmaking; it was a murder, George shared, for which he was a major suspect. For the next couple of hours, I watched George come undone as he talked of how unrelenting the authorities were in surveilling him. At one point, as he slumped in the chair across the table from me, George sprang back to life and said that he wanted to apologise; said George, all the years of hearing me speak of the insidiousness of racism and the effects it had on one’s wellbeing, he had dismissed and for that he wanted to apologise.

George trembled at times and he seemed to age before my eyes. Keenly, I kept a raptor’s gaze fixed on his every move. Never once throughout that dinner did I fail to look out for George’s right index and middle fingers’ movements; they never once quivered. George shared that he was terrified of sleeping because he constantly suffered nightmares of losing everything with his being pinned with the murder, going to and dying in jail. George said that he constantly felt as though his every action was being monitored, analysed to discern whether he was the murderer or not. Getting up, I went and knelt at his side at the dining room table and held him, hugged him. I let him know that I was there for him. Slumping forward, George hugged me and dissolved in tears, we both cried. I cried because I realised that there was no way that George could ever be passionate again; there could be no sleepovers – he talked constantly during sleep.

George and I never met at his condo again. Walking away that evening, I was struck by how neutered and consumed with fear George had become. At one point during dinner, with his back turned whilst cooking dinner, one of my notoriously loud sneezes exploded. Though George had heard that loud explosion countless times before, he responded as though a high speed train had unexpectedly zoomed past. George and I seldom spoke by phone and rarely emailed after that dinner. As a matter of fact, apart from meeting twice to catch a movie, we only saw each other whenever I turned up at Dr. Tsang’s. It was one of these visits – whenever I went to the doctor’s, George happened to have been there, George shared that he had cancer. I was stunned. Over time, George’s stomach became more distended, his look more wounded and what pained me most, was how much he remained as if possessed, thanks to having been a major suspect in the murder of a colleague.

After dinner, as I made to leave and we hugged long and hard, we then looked at Pink Chair, another of his masterpieces, George kissed me and said that whatever happened, it was mine; George wanted the piece to eventually become mine but for now, he was holding on to it because it reminded him of the passion we shared and how intensely I had inspired him to create and drove him, drove each other mad with the passion we shared. Getting down to Borden, I was so immensely drained at George’s despair that I walked with bike a block south to Adelaide, hailed a cab, securely tucked the bike in the trunk and silently wept on the ride home. I got in, lit beeswax candles everywhere, listened to Haydn’s Paris Symphonies, then had an extra hot soak in the tub with rose petals and Epsom salt, smudged my home afterwards with sagebrush, crawled into the pyramid, gathered crystals and upped my frequency whilst collapsing through the labiate folds of sleep’s sweet, welcome embrace. George died a dozen years after my return to living in Toronto from Montréal, and all attempts to acquire Pink Chair have proven unsuccessful. A lover scorned… indeed.

As ever, Life is like a flying dream; if you look down, you’re fucked. Enjoy the ride and fear no one!

_______________________________________________________________________________________

©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha. All Rights Reserved.

Buster En Repose Pyramid Green Room.

thumbnail_IMG_20190808_010603_147

(L to R,) Yonge Street Mask (George Hawken Lithograph 1971), Pink Chair (George Hawken Lithograph 1990 of yours truly; there are only three copies in existence) Woman (George Hawken Lithograph 1980) Sockeye Salmon (Bill Reid Lithograph 1991), Four Standing Figures (Henry Moore Lithograph 1978) 

Buster is a really keen familiar.  Recently, someone of dubious intentions visited my home; needless to say, I had dreamt of the encounter days prior.  As he spends long hours therein, Buster came from the pyramid and promptly hissed at the individual then returned to the pyramid where no doubt, he communed with his Egyptian ancestors.  He only ever enters the pyramid at the eastern corner and when meditating will face one of the four corners in the sphinx position and remain thus for long hours.  

Buster loves that duvet; therefore, year round I have to sleep with one.  Now that it is summer, I avoid roasting beneath the down duvet by having the AC on high 24/7.  Bad carbon footprint; then again, I don’t drive.  

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

At Last, The Day Has Finally Arrived.

20181116_091626.jpg

With a spring in my step, I came up for air at Piccadilly Circus Station, whistling Ludwig Minkus’ glorious recurrent melody from La Bayadère with thoughts of the astounding Natalia Osipova uppermost in my thoughts.  

20181116_091645

I was returned to the Royal Academy to hunt for coffee table books.  

20181116_091305

More than that, I was on a mission; returned to Fortnum & Mason was I, directed there by the gracious clerk at The British Museum’s Grenville Room.  

unnamed

Armed with just over a dozen rose petal jellies, there was no less spring in my step as by now I sang aloud my merry little melody from La Bayadère.  I truly felt as though, on this trip to London, I was lucidly awakened in the most sensual dream.  Dreams so luscious are the ones which cause you to pause, smile and whisper near-mischievously, “Arvin, this is a dream and you’ve earned it.  Now push off and start flying.” 

20181116_091753

At such times, there is no thunder more glorious than the roar of my very soul as I laugh, enjoying my creative soul fulfilling itself.  I was reminded of those early days in our relationship in Manhattan when whilst ambling late at night for staying at Merlin’s agent Joyce Ketay’s Upper West Side apartment, whilst holding hands, I would push down as in dreams but end up doing an assemblé, in place of flying.  His rosy choirboy lips would warm in a smile whilst the ubiquitous fag or joint was elegantly perched between left index and middle fingers. 

20181116_090916

Bailing into to Piccadilly Circus, still feeling mighty spiffy of spirit, I opted against heading back down into the Underground – the place leaves me with sooty phlegm each time nose-blowing.  With that, I bailed out of the Circus and onto Shaftesbury Avenue and made my way to a favourite joint, Ben’s Fish n Chips.  

20181209_063314

There at a cosy table in the rear, I leisurely pleasured myself whilst finally reading the HRH Princess Margaret biography; it is delicious.  

20181114_115047

Blisters be damned, I elected to walk from Shaftesbury Square up to The British Museum and take in more art.  This being a Friday, there were school kids everywhere; my goodness, children have got powerful noise-making lungs!  Then again, what is childhood but play for the soul, which after having recently lived and died is now reborn and gets to celebrate and run up and down in a brand spankingly new and excitingly different body – to say nothing of being in the company of reincarnational travel companions some of whom now you can get a good schtup off of this time around, seeing that last time he now she looked like Quasimodo and even so, you weren’t then same-sexed focussed.  Ha!  

20181114_122628

In the bookstore was a clerk with whom I shared an interesting conversation last winter; he was a dead-ringer for scholar soul, right down to the glasses.  He suggested that I could take refuge in the Japanese wing and avoid the madness that was happily reincarnated souls screaming their lungs out and running hither and yon.  

20181116_121128

Before I could get there, moving around one corner from one gallery to the next, will you look at what I happened on.  

20181116_121122

On seeing it, I was readily warmed of spirit and let out a celebratory, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!”  In that moment, the sense of fellowship and belonging I only ever feel when in Canada for being around First Nations cultures, whether at a pow wow or not, proved the most refreshing drink for my questing soul around a corner in my favourite city, London.  

20181116_121955

Up one elevator, down one corridor then up another elevator and one was then posited into the most serene of galleries.  Now this is more my kind of groove.  

20181116_122054

20181116_122149(0)

All this exquisite splendour and not a single recently reincarnated soul running about and screaming way too powerful lungs out for such a tiny body.  

20181116_122209

20181116_122321

This proved an interlude of slow-dancing with my very soul… the vibrations here were utterly harmonious with spirit.  

20181116_122352

Photography can never do this masterpiece justice.  

20181116_122703

20181116_122427

20181116_122438

20181116_122807

20181116_122927

I am reminded with this gem of the fabulous kimono of Merlin’s hung in our Cabbagetown home.  

20181116_123021

Can you hear my soul purring…

20181116_123145

Phenomenal. 

20181116_123201

My very favourite piece in the gallery; warm, fecund, sensual, curvaceous, feminine, grounding.  It truly is perfection; this after all is what womakind are: perfection of creation – we men just can’t handle it, hence religions which all without exception oppress womankind and tell them that creation is outside of themselves and some warring male god somewhere.  Ha… we men can never endure the pain of labour then get up a completely new aspect of creaturehood – no longer a woman but a mother to whom that child will ever be more closely bonded.  Love this piece.  

20181116_123324

This was the most beautiful adventure… for now, with a couple of coffee table books and toys for kids of a friend’s, I crisscrossed Russell Square Park and slept with my blistered feet raised whilst being held closer in sleep’s warm nurturing bosom and was readily tugged under into the world of lucid, inspired dreams.  

20181116_184606

On a gloriously balmy mid-November evening, I emerged from Covent Garden Station into a sea of humanity filled with love and laughter as the weekend was begun.  As lovers ambled past holding hands, I was reminded then of my life twenty-nine years earlier when the Berlin Wall was being toppled.  I was grateful in the moment because back then, two days before Merlin’s passing, I could not imagine myself being still focussed in this life with so much death and dying around me. 

20181116_184523

Yet, here was I with my happy little lambious (Merlin called me Lamb because I was more 9 parts enraged grizzly than timid lamb) self, in Covent Garden about to see a ballet because Marianela Nuñez, Natalia Osipova, Vadim Muntagirov, Matthew Ball, Francesca Hayward, Joseph Sissens, Steven McCrae, Iana Salenko were part of the most glorious group of ballet dancers.  

20181116_184800

Oh my, look at this; there have been changes afoot since last winter.  

20181116_184846

My pilgrimage to the shrine of high art is finally here!  What’s this, new coat check, new toilets, new dining area… wow! 

20181116_190238

20181116_190638

20181116_190622

No sooner than was I sat and along came a Jurassic hybrid, no chin, back so long may well have extra vertebrae and a neck that is too thick and long to be on a woman’s body but I am not judging just saying,.. 

20181116_204641

Well I did not cross the Atlantic just for this obstruction and her pheromone were decidedly reptilian.  As Frederick Jones would say, “I’m not havin’ it!” After a few gracious words with the accommodating ushers, my offer to stand through the entire performance seemed reasonable enough. 

20181116_190646

I stood on the steps up to the last row that was more centre of house than my ticket.  I did my best to ignore the chinless spinster who sat at the edge of the row, who promptly repositioned her handbag, as if it were a blasted Birkin!  Naturally, she kept eyeing me.  As I always carry Shaniqua in my back pocket, I was ready to hiss, the minute she stepped out of line.  

During the performance after the Bronze Idol danced his spectacular solo, I lost myself and yelled the loudest bravo in the house and wouldn’t the old bat have something to say, “Be quiet!” to which I leaned in and hissed, “grip harder on your butt plug and shut the fuck up!” Why do people insist on leaving their homes and act as though they are lord or lady of anyone else’s reality.  

Never mind her, the lovely Russian couple who sat in the front row looked back and approvingly yelled “Da!” at my exuberance.  Truly, what a glorious night in the theatre.  You cannot possibly begin to fathom the amount of flying dreams I have had since that night; it is as though, I perpetually am now flying-without-moving.  Of course, I haven’t yet shaken that exquisite Minkus melody from my lips but so be it.  There was something simply transcendent about having experienced the purity and perfection of the Kingdom of the Shades opening of Act III that will ever keep me richly inspired.  

Love is all and whatever it is that makes you want to fly without moving when awake grab on and tightly hold on – drugs don’t do it, they do you!  As ever, come closer let’s have a group hug and a bit of air frottage because life, alas, is the sweetest of dreams!  

___________________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________

© 2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

The Dream Chamber

Pyramid2

With some lovely sandalwood incense going, a beeswax candle and some late 18th century harpsichord breezily distant, evoking deeply buried memories of life at court in Regency London as a countertenor, thus one slips lucid, fecund and supremely feminine into sleep’s warm embrace.  For me the day begins at bedtime, the beauty of sleep is, one can never imagine the bounty of vistas and dream experiences about to be lived a few shorts breaths away. 

So come with me, take a few deep breaths, feel the bedding lovingly warm against your wide-open naked body.  You are a soul about to unfurl its wings and take flight into the dreamtime… what happy quests await…  As ever, sweet dreams and thanks for your ongoing support.  Thank you Robert Davidson, Susan A. Point, for sharing your inspiring light with me.  Windows are highly overrated intrusions.  

__________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Here’s to You!

Just a wee glimpse into my magical life where dreamquests are all begun in the groovy comfort of my collapsible pyramid.  I have had a pyramid since 1984 in one form or another.  This incarnation of my dream chamber, I rather love.  Being surrounded by art is about being greatly inspired.  

Happy New Year!  Thanks for your ongoing support and here’s wishing you the very best this year!  Sweet dreams as ever! 

______________________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________

©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Come Celebrate!

Come celebrate with me the launch of volume II of both Merlin and Arvin: A Shamanic Dream Odyssey and A Six Volume Michael Overleaves Appendix at my über chic Toronto apartment this December 22, 2017 at 2000hrs.

On hand will be copies of both volumes I & II of both the memoirs and the Michael Overleaves Appendices.  Great music, nibbles and an open bar.  

Owl Quartet2

Nature of Things I of III Artist Proof2

Books2

Sockeye Salmon

Owls

___________________________________________________________________________________________

As ever, sweet dreams and thank you so much for your ongoing support!

___________________________________________________________________________________________

©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Four Standing Figures.

Four Standing Figures Henry Moore

Four Standing Figures

Lithograph

12.5 x 15 in

11/50

©1978 Henry Moore

Provenance: Collection of Arvin da Brgha

Let there be art.  Let there be love.  

Back in 1982, Merlin and I were holding up at the Trockadero loft — home of Natch Taylor and his dancer lover, William Zammy Zamora.  Theirs was a beautiful loft in New York City’s Chelsea where across the street presided the block-long, imposing green edifice of one of those grand buildings found only in America.

One evening after rehearsals for a dance concert, I hung out with dancers from the Nanette Bearden Dance company, then finally made my way home late at night.  When I got in, Merlin was at the loft’s rustic kitchen/dining table with a large sketch pad with director, Jim Henson with whom he would be working in Toronto, filming the inaugural season of Fraggle Rock.  Tall, slightly drooped and intense, Jim briefly chatted but remained focussed on the task in hand.

Presently, he and Merlin were going over sketches and design ideas on respective pads for the shows.  At the time, whilst standing behind Merlin seated at the table, I remarked that the sketches were not unlike Henry Moore sculptures.  Both men simultaneously responded, “Hmm” to which we all laughed as it was reminiscent of the creatures in Mr. Henson’s feature film, Dark Crystal which had weeks earlier opened wide in theatres.  The film was a definite favourite of Merlin and mine.

Merlin remarked that the design were not dissimilar to Henry Moore’s sculptures whose massive curvaceousness, Merlin and I had agreed were feminine, .elegant and beautiful.  This discussion about art was had late at night, after having fucked like rottweilers at the Hotel Chelsea where he held up one weekend when in town from Toronto to both network but mostly to secure a right, proper ploughing of which he could never get enough… we both could never get enough.

On the whole, both men agreed that there were unconscious Henry Moore influences to their design sketches.  Those sketches would be further refined and were recently shared herein.  What none of us at the time could have known, was how spot-on was my observation.  As it would turn out, Henry Moore happens to be an old soul artisan who is an entity mate of both Merlin’s and mine.  Furthermore, Jim Henson who is an early mature artisan, also happens to be strongly bonded to Henry Moore, Merlin and I as he is in entity one of cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414, to all three of us being in entity six, of cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414.

Always, it is nice to find the ties that bind and it was really good of me to have picked up on that cadre connection when looking at the sketches and throwing Henry Moore ‘out there’ as it were.  The evening was lovely but I was in my restless youthfulness, dying to be alone yet again with Merlin and get on with the business of sinfully sweating whilst celebration life… love.

As ever, thank you for your ongoing support and do know that I shall shortly be starting a podcast, plus volume two of both my dream memoirs and the Michael Overleaves appendix will be launching soon, here at my art filled and recently redecorated home…

Sweet dreams as ever!

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Put Your Complaints ‘Ere

my-ere

Put Your Complaints ‘ere

Lithograph

41 x 29 inc

Edition: 13/67

©2002 Robert Davidson

Provenance: Collection Arvin da Braga.

My but this makes me purr…  Lovely way to start Black History Month.  

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Lily Cole

Lily Cole Print

Lily Cole

Inkjet on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Ultrasmooth paper, torn edges and hand finishing

61.5 x 51.5 cm

Edition: 48

©2014 Jonathan Yeo

This woman is phenomenally shamanic in dreams; then again with those eyes, that forehead and that shock of flaming mane, how could it be otherwise?  

_______________________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________

©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

In Memoriam: George F. Hawken

gh1999

George F. Hawken – February 5, 1999, Montréal, Québec

______________________________

This past Friday, December 23, 2016, I went to my doctor’s to get my test results for HIV.  The doctor whom I had not seen in long ages was unusually engaging.  When he finally cut to the chase, never had he announced that my test result was HIV negative with so much pleasure; I thought it odd at the time.  Brushing past all that, I then inquired of him how George Hawken was doing; after all, George years earlier on my return to Toronto had insisted that I have the handsome Sino-Canadian for a GP as well. 

Marta 74 George Hawken Intaglio on Paper

Marta.  Intaglio on Paper. 1974 George Hawken

 As he paused, I told him that I could appreciate his patient-client confidentiality considerations; however, forging ahead, I told him that I had sent George an email more than a week earlier and had not heard back from him.  Pressing on, I inquired if George was doing well of late as I had last been in touch a couple of months earlier.  In that way that the good doctor had mastered, he haltingly stammered back that yes, George was doing well…  We then left it at that as clearly he did not want to pursue the matter further – he had actually stood up to conclude our visit.   

arvin-nude-moi-by-olaf-gamst-1992

Pink Chair 1992 George Hawken  (Arvin)

About a week earlier, I was feeling especially uneasy about not having had a reply from George to my last email; he would always answer within 36 hours at the latest.  By then, it had been about a week; we hardly ever spoke by phone on my return from Montréal.  Previously, when we spoke by phone our conversations back in the late 80s and through to mid 90s resulted in an invitation from George to immediately get together where our passionate physicality was intense beyond the norm. 

Gordon and Janet, in their garden

Gordon and Janet in their Garden.  Lithograph 2009 George Hawken

 To still my worrisome mind, I began playing Joseph Haydn’s Paris symphonies; George favoured the Paris symphonies where I favoured the London Symphonies.  George  had actually introduced me to Haydn’s music; he insisted that I become better acquainted with the 18th century composer’s works.  When first I sat for George in 1986, at his Brock Avenue loft in the Queen Street West neighbourhood, he always played Haydn…  I would always love the way, he would play imaginary keyboard whilst enjoying a cigarette break as I privately sat for him. 

frans-kafka

Franz Kafka – Kafka Suite. Intaglio 1982 George Hawken 

 One of the funniest memories of George is lying in bed with him after passionate play at the Brock Avenue loft and laughing hysterically whilst we listened to CBCFM and a Florence Foster-Jenkins performance.  Afterwards, we indulged another round of Rottweiler style passion that was part Greco-Roman brawn.  On my return to Toronto, George and I never resumed our physical relationship; though, I had at least hoped that I could serve as muse to him again.  Alas, it was not to be. 

george-hawken-illustration

Book Cover Illustration. 1980 George Hawken

 One morning after work, with Haydn symphonies swirling about my mind as my apartment was sodden heavy with the Paris symphonies, I suddenly made a right whilst coming up Yonge Street and headed along Adelaide Street East.  Then, I went one better and hung a left up Sherbourne Street for the morning ride home; never had I done this.  Riding up Sherbourne, the familiar strains of Haydn’s Symphony No. 85 B flat major ‘La Reine’ spirited me along as I leisurely rode up the moderately icy, dedicated bike lane. 

george-hawken-fly-1976-etching-ed-25-1024b-559x650

Fly. Etching. 1976 George Hawken 

 Just above Shuter Street, George suddenly fell into my mind and I crouched forward towards the handlebar to best face into the cold winds barrelling down the avenue.  Whilst coasting up the bike lane opposite Allan Gardens Park, my mind as I whistled Haydn’s symphony began recalling moments of passion with George long years earlier.  I thought of those glorious nights of noisy, sweaty passionate play at his McCaul Street loft; I crouched forward even more as my face warmed into a smile at pleasurable memories. 

george-hawken-beethoven-asleep-1975-etching12x12in-image-ap-ii_1024-605x650

Beethoven Asleep.  Etching. 1975 George Hawken

 If only, I still had George’s numbers, I would call him on getting home; it was so unlike him not to have responded to the email that I had sent him on December 13, 2016.  Peddling harder up the tough stretch of bike lane between Carlton and Wellesley Street East, I suddenly began slowing down as a large black hearse slowly negotiated its way from the Rosar-Morrison Funeral Home & Chapel property at 467 Sherbourne Street; it waited in the middle of the bike lane for northerly flowing traffic to ease up. 

pink-chair-i-iii

Pink Chair I/III AP. Lithograph. 1990 George Hawken  (Arvin)

I rolled up and paused looking squarely into the hearse where a cardboard coffin was bound and en route to the St. James Cemetery and Crematorium over on Parliament Street.  This was the same route that my father’s cadaver had taken after his funeral in August 2008 which George had attended.  I was so appreciative of the fact that he had asked if he could attend my father’s funeral.  After the lovely service, I had approached George and we hugged and he seemed really pleased to have made the outing. 

woman-artist-proof-by-olaf-gamst-1980

Woman. Lithograph. 1980 George Hawken

 Moments afterwards another of my lovers, Owen Hawksmoor came by to start lecturing me about the importance of having many friends; after all, said he, look at all the people who had turned out to my father’s funeral.  Then said, Owen, as can ever be expected of him, “you should at least have six people who would be prepared to pall bear for you.”  Brushing him and his big sex cockiness aside, I rebutted, “trust you to always make for a bitter after taste.  What’s it to me, I’d be dead; it really wouldn’t matter anymore than it does now.” 

yonge-street-mask-1971

Yonge Street Mask. AP Etching. 1971 George Hawken

 I broke and hopped off the bike and intently looked inside at the brown cardboard coffin; it seemed an eternity waiting for the hearse to finally make it off the bike lane and into traffic.  In those moments, I again thought of George and that was when it suddenly dawned on me that I was never going to hear from George again.  Further, I had the distinct impression that what had prompted me to route-change for the first time, to be humming and whistling one of Haydn’s Paris symphonies: symphony No. 84 in B float major is because George’s corpse lay in the hearse before me en route to St. James Cemetery and Crematorium. 

2016-12-14-hawken-self-portrait

Myself  (Self-portrait) AP Etching. 2008 George Hawken 

Without doubt, this was why I was in this place in this moment before an austere black hearse straddling the northbound bike lane on Sherbourne which I had never used before en route home from work.  With that, as the hearse slowly pulled out onto Sherbourne and then made a right turn onto Wellesley Street East, the traffic in the icy snowy street was sufficiently slow that I rode alongside the hearse along the side of the cardboard coffin and accompanied all the way to the black wrought iron gates of the cemetery on Parliament Street. 

george-hawken-baudelaire-ii-1975-etching-6x5in-image-2-of-30_1024-426x650

Baudelaire II. Etchin. 1975 George Hawken 

 After I got in, had a shower and had my lovely home infused with Hoju incense, Haydn’s symphony No. 104 in D major ‘London’ played on repeat as I grounded anew.  Though it was not especially windy out, there was a loud noise on my balcony and wrapping up in my lovely woollen pea coat, I took to the balcony to investigate.  The first sight that greeted me was a heavy plume of sooty black smoke from the crematorium’s chimneys as they were being swept southerly in the cold wintry morning air.  I lost a tear and on returning indoors, though my Google search on coming home produced nothing for ‘George Hawken Obituary’ I still felt firmly that there was no coincidence to the sequence of events and synchronicity of the past several days which culminated in the black hearse across the bike lane. 

hawken_colin-campbell

Colin Campbell. Etching. George Hawken 

 As it is always tough to close shut, I gave the door to the balcony a bit of encouragement by heaving my right shoulder into it.  On turning away from the door, I noticed one of George’s gifts to me “Woman” was titled off its hook on the cement wall where moments before taking to the balcony it had sat perfectly aligned.  Yet another sign indeed.  Finally, today at work, as I kept checking the folder which bore all George’s email correspondences, then did a Google search for ‘George Hawken Obituary’ alas there was confirmation.  George had died the day before I had sent him my final email; it was one in which I offered to buy a copy of an illustration which he had done for an anthology of emerging Canadian authors. 

gfh

George Hawken, 1970s.

Again, today after work, I rode up the Sherbourne Street bike lane and it all fell into place.  Almost always when I went to our shared doctor, there would George be.  Finally, when I saw him after a long spell of not having been in touch, he sat birdlike in the doctor’s office and he was just as stunned to have seen me walk in as I was to have seem him looking so gravely ill.  George had said that it was cancer; we there and then made arrangements to get together and did.  I was so pleased that he had finally met my lovely sister, Pandora and it was lovely going to George’s Camden Street penthouse suite for dinner with my lovely sister when she was in town from Ottawa. 

Self Portrait 5. Etching. 1984 George Hawken 
Today, whilst riding up the bike lane on Sherbourne Street, the doctor’s excitable congratulations to my testing HIV negative made so much sense.  Too, his response to my query how George was doing of late and his response that he was doing well, indeed, made perfect sense.  By Friday, December 23, 2016, George was doing well and in a better place no longer suffering from the wear and tear of his end-of-life monadal illness.  Ours was a very private relationship and there were only two persons in George’s life with whom I enjoyed cordial relations: his son and his lover, Colin Campbell.  I rather suspect that Colin is George’s task companion. 

gerte

Grete.  Etching. George Hawken 

 I will ever be proud of having been an inspiring muse to George and for having facilitated the energetic work that he did in the late ‘80s to mid ‘90s.  Our passion fuelled his creativity; what’s more, our passion kept me focussed and grounded in this life as Merlin and his ravaging illness and the hideous ghouls who betrayed him in his illness made life at times more harrowing than already the illness made it.  George and his compassion and support were invaluable for me and Merlin was aware of it and openly and unselfishly encouraged it; he knew that I needed that support as with his passing the vipers in his circle would readily dispense with me.  Alas, all things being mutual, dispense with the ill-evolved lot I gladly did. 

hearts-flowers-1976-intaglio

Hearts and Flowers. Intaglio. 1976 George Hawken

Sweet and blissful dreams my darling ennobled George; I am honoured to have fostered and enabled your creativity to have lotussed into greater flower.  Yours was a most rare and beautiful spirit and yet again our love shall dance and soar to higher octaves.  My heart centre is wide open to facilitate your journey in whatever capacity of our choosing in the dreamtime.  Ever, will I love you more. 

hawken_gospic-1686-940x622

Hawken, George 9/2/46<O>12/12/2016, Owen Sound

This was a first level old artisan in the observation mode, with a goal of dominance, a spiritualist in the emotional part of intellectual centre.  

George had a Mercury/Venus body type. 

George had a primary chief feature of arrogance and a secondary of stubbornness.  

He was sixth-cast in his cadence and his cadence is second in the greater cadence.  He is a member of entity two, cadre four.  

He has a discarnate artisan essence twin and a scholar task companion who is alive and they do know each other but have not worked together in this life.  

This fragment is an artisan with priest casting, so his art will always manifest a spiritual component no matter what the medium.  This fragment was a well-known painter of placid rural landscapes in the latter part of the eighteenth century in England, and several of his works hang in noble houses.  

You were once a student of this fragment’s, in a life in Amsterdam in the seventeenth century and you were lovers for a short time in that life also.  

Twice this fragment has illustrated books written by his task companion and he was also an illuminator of manuscripts in the twelfth century of the Common Era.  

He was an architect during the reign of Augustus Caesar and several buildings he designed still stand, although one was rather badly damaged by the volcanic eruption that buried the city of Pompeii in the first century of the Common Era.  

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.