THE DIARIES OF PAUL K LYONS - 1978
I may not have been travelling topographically, but I still wanted movement, exploration, excitement. The world of performance seemed full of bright lights, so I gravitated there; and, no longer afraid of intimacy, I sought out intoxicating love affairs and friendships. This was the year I started clowning (not least with the Demolition Decorators), silk screen printing and photography, it was the year I met Harold, and Rosy, and it was the year I fell under Marielle’s spell. Drama and passion both fuelled my writing, in different ways, the former inspiring me to write plays (I renounced market research after persevering for a year), and the latter (by dint of uncritical encouragement from lovers and the emotions sparked) towards exploratory forms of writing, both in my diary and in short stories. In particular, a modern ballet called ‘Cruel Garden’ precipitated a sustained piece of stream of consciousness writing.
These diaries, it is worth saying, introduce me to the person I used to be (as my memory of him is so poor). I find it extraordinary that he was so promiscuous, not only in his relationships, but in his head.
Diary 7 starts in December 1977 and continues through to May 1978. By January 1979, though, I’d got through three more books. Diary 8 was probably the most unusual diary I’ve ever written. The book was made up of different sections of coloured paper, and I wrote the diary entries on whatever page suited my mood, rather than in an orderly fashion from page one to the end. Some of the entries are accompanied by a reference to the colour of the paper, and these don’t sit well in a typed up version of the diary so I’ve edited most of them out. And, because I didn’t date entries all that often, I may not have put them in exactly the right order. Diary 9 is a thin tome of hand-made paper given me by a friend which, unfortunately, does not contain nearly enough about two wonderful weeks I spent in Greece as part of Marielle’s commune. Diary 10 is also a thin volume and documents only two months at the end of 1978.
In general, I have edited these diaries quite heavily. There is much writing that is flowery and makes little sense. I have also edited out passages where I find what I’ve written too embarrassing; and I’ve chosen to cut back some of the more intimate descriptions.
Paul K. Lyons (September 2007)