On Dark Entries by Richard Cabut (Cold Lips Press, 2019)
Photo: Ronnie Randall
Cold Lips seal their kiss with a Richard Cabut’s debut Novella;
A Psychic scream, punk rock ravaged, from the base of the soul
To scarred streets. In which its ‘wastrel’ protagonist, Ray,
Swathed in spunk, blood and sputum uses porn as a weapon
To spear and confront love’s defeats. From first fired page to emotive last,
The heat filters. Broken then burned, Ray’s desire is frustration’s catalogue,
Folded, sold. From boy into man and back again through surrender,
As tears meet the tissue, youth’s soon jaded gaze becomes old.
Ray, wakes, stumbles, shakes having drank his fill of abandon.
Cabut’s book apes De Quincey in some lost London room,
Thick with void. As he tries to survive the bland day, lessons from the past
Seek to claim him; the malign bully who shames him,
Along with the daily abuse dark enjoys. Urban Pulp. Cocaine Blues.
That slice of life most fall to prey to, when the beautiful people grow tarnished
They leave patterns of Ray on their wall. Ray seems to know this and blogs
About the miasma he peers through, like an East End Henry Rollins,
Headbanging his heart through the wall. Ray is in his 20s but shot
With middle aged ammunition, his musician mates discuss music
Without ever contributing a chord. They have already reached the end of the road,
So seek to create their own landscape, with drugs and porn as black rivers
Sinking excalibur’s hope coloured sword.
Why marry? Why try? Better Cabut says to just barter;
‘The more toxic the hangover the more evil the images needed to address it..’
And so he details each thought, certainly in his opening chapter,
Dismebowelling Ray’s days and habits, along with his vision,
Smeared by origins and a familiar form of half life.
An Anal BDSM orgy online is a kind of deodorant to him.
This is not just a man for whom wanking provides the thought and form
Of escape. For Ray’s river runs deep as he represents how we’ve fallen,
Each individual trapped by the body that society spurns, as its shaped.
Every day starts with a wank as the ‘flacid penis’ receives ‘tremour’.
Rays’ prick, an antennae for a darkened age on the rise,
Or rather, the fall as he probes every further,
Extracting the pleasure (and treasure) from everyone’s taboo exercise.
As Ray is caught in the act by his intransient girlfriend,
Who passes in and out like a shadow in an already shadow draped flat,
His anxiety flares, but he is not freed from Prick Prison.
His own hand commands him to defend his dulled dreams from attack.
This is a comment, its clear on the growing detachment of people.
Even those we love become strangers when do not understand our full need
Which is to commit to and search for every new desperate idol
By which to measure indulgence and submersion too, as it feeds,
On what? Not a soul. That has been seeping for ever.
Millie Radakovic ‘s cover image shows a leaking white stream at the mouth.
This could be soul, spit or cum, and considered this way rivers pages
That are already full with the fluid that in granting life soon runs out.
The book honours the black sparrow press, with more than a touch
Of Bukowski, its smooth design from Anne-Cathrin Saure, and cool Berlin feel
Draw you in. It is an experience through the hand of what its subject is doing,
And a path between pages and the immediacy of your skin.
Cabut stems from Punk and as old punks age that first music
Loses some of its power and all of the stance that once shocked,
As its survivors both thriveand fade those who started there find fresh sources
With which to convey punk’s primed power and let the roll of time
Glaze the rock. So this is a book that stains hands as they hold and turn
Those smooth pages. As Cold Lip’s first publication it makes Punk’s primal pose
Holdable. Suddenly all the rage and all of that prepossession, is delivered again
To the devil, which is, as part of us all, malleable. We shape what we need
From what we fear and desire as a way to contain our depression
As well as our awe at the dark. As does this bitter book, that bites the hand
Moving for it. The Cold Lips kiss is instructive. As it seals and soothes,
Trace its mark.
‘Happiness isn’t a state.. Its an activity..’
Cabut tells us.
And so it proves: wanking’s writing.
The pen is a penis,
And a vagina too.
Sex as art.
David Erdos 13th July 2019