n-n-n-n-19 Days

April 6, 2010

the best first and last.

Charlie Folorunsho dropped round this evening to research his John Crow character. Whilst he understands that John Crow is not me, he’s keen to base his back-story on the peculiar events of the night of 23rd November 1996, when John Crow first walked The Goose – and channelled the first Vision Book of The Southwark Mysteries.

So I talk him through it, the pre-history of John Crow – how, at a tender age, back in the summer of 1970, your author shape-shifted into a crow; how, in 1982, in Trinidad he kept encountering the stories of Anansy and one of his crew, Broken Wing John Crow; how then, in the summer of 1996, he heard St Paul’s school steel-band playing in Borough Market and received the thought: ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ and knew at once it was my life’s work; how I researched the history of Southwark, and the Winchester Geese, but had never heard about the Crossbones Graveyard, until…

On the night of 23rd November 1996, I was doing a little automatic John Crow writing, when The Goose weighed in with such assurance:

“Let’s all go bait the bear!”
What madcap tomfoolery –
if it wasn’t in the service of such a
pox-ridden Majesty.

And proceeded to hi-jack – first my Crow narrative, then my entire life, to good effect – a very benevolent possession it has turned out to be – by dictating – first a sequence of poetic Prophetic Books in the line of Master Blake, then a cycle of Mystery Plays, then a complex and rigorous discipline of works at the Crossbones Graveyard.

And told Charlie how The Goose had walked John Crow – first in mind, then in body – out of the house, up to St George the Martyr, along Marshalsea Road, then up Redcross Way to the gates of what was then a derelict works yard.

Then Charlie and I walked the walk, up to the gates of what – fenced off  from the now teeming works yard to the north – is become our Goose’s Garden of Remembrance.

We followed the way The Goose had led John Crow that night – ‘Crossbones to Clink by Mary Overie dock’. Then on to The George where Charlie stood me a rum ‘n’ coke, the only alcohol I can take these days and even that in temperate measures.

There were many more halves to this Day 19, some of them harder to take. All good, and as promised, the best, first and last.

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