Went to the palace at Fontainebleau today. It was home to Francois 1, Henry
II & IV, Louis XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, Chas X, Louis-Philippe, Nap 1 and 3. There
was a Louis XVII but he died in jail before he could be crowned, a victim of the
Terror. I say Terror since this is the usual bourgeois liberal bollocks designed
to provoke disgust in the minds of voters who might go Commie or Labour. There
were far more innocents killed by the govt in the reaction to the Paris Commune
(20,000 at least) and more have been killed by Renault, Peugeot and Citroen
since, and they've not been stigmatised - idolised more like by every piss-head
boy racer in France of whom there is no shortage.
And there was a Nap 2, son of Nap 1 who Nap 1 handed over to after the
debacle of 1814 - at Fontainebleau as it happens. The table they used for the
abdication is the size of one you'd have an espress at in the Bar des Sports.
Nap 1 probably thought he'd do a Putin by saying to Wellington and the Czar - "er..no
mate I'm not in charge. This is the geezer you need to talk to" - pointin to Nap
2. But the allies weren't takin any of that old shite and they kicked both their
arses out of it.
All the above rulers were rich gits as can be seen by the high class decor
reminiscent of the top class John Lewis catalogue available only to MPs, yet
none of them could have wandered down the road to the Mercure hotel and logged
on to find the weather in Singapore or the latest test score or wot some Yank
film starlet got up to with a donkey. Of course the internet had not been
invented then but even if it had the rulers might have baulked at the price - 10
euros for 3 hours - and said "Fuck the Mercure, I can get free Wifi at
MacDonalds - well not quite free since I have to buy a cheeseburger - but I
don't have to eat it coz I'm King. I can donate it to the Pope sayin it's the
liver of Mary Magdalene who was both a soak and a goer."
One wonders, alluding to MPs, how the lives of our own rulers might mirror
that of the Sun King. One imagines John Prescott spending a morning on the
croquet lawn, then a few pints in the library (Have you read all them books
John? Books? Wot books?) after which some gentle coition with the mistress in
his favourite wheelbarrow position - ie on her back on a John Lewis occasional
table (none of that Boulle and Chippendale shite) with the deputy PM standing,
holding her legs as if he's pushing her over a bump in the lawn. Then a snooze
in the adjustable old git armchair, a Parker Knoll Lazeeboy Imperial Mk IV with
a lever on one side and a shelf that slides out for your legs. Around noon, his
valet de chambre, Braithwaite, approaches, shakes him gently by the shoulder and
whispers the magic words "The pies have come your excellency"
These were the ratiocinations wot went through my head as I wandered the
corridors replete with gold and ivory and porcelain and fat Japs snappin
everythin in sight - being Zen Buddhists and Confusionists your Jap ruler lives
in a cardboard box and squats on the floor. No wine just shite green tea. The
palace doors don't even have hinges they slide on runners like some cheap Ikea
room divider. Poor sods. No wonder they go mad over here. And their girls aren't
naked with their tits on display like the wall paintings of the kings of France
but geishas swaddled in reinforced concrete cocoons so impenetrable they'd make
a 1950's corset look a piece of piss to get into. I glean this from the films of
Ackroyd Kowasaki and Ken Mitzigaynor.
Yet rather than these reflections of a cheapskate oik I should have echoed the
words of Ozymandias, the top dog in some god-forsaken ancient mid eastern
shithole who famously proclaimed "Gaze on my works ye mighty and despair" And
where is Ozzie now you ask? He's no more than a pair of stone feet in the
desert. So it just goes to show.
Tomorrow I hope to visit the house of the great poet Steve Marmalade. I'm
sure there'll be free wifi there since most of his stuff was so short you could
send it in a flash or so weird no fucker would think it was French. If the
Maitre d in Macdonalds came over and saw Steve plonkin about without buyin owt
Steve would just look up and say "No squire - this isn't a communication - just
look for yourself" and he'd swivel the laptop round so that the boss could read
it and the maitre d'd say "Cor! You're not wrong Steve! That's bleedin gibberish
that is! Sure you've not honked into the keyboard? Praps the cat's been walkin
on it." Then if Steve finally did want to connect he could have got away with
logging on in the bogs, connectin for two seconds, an then dashin out shoutin
"Balls to your cheeseburger an stick your king sized fries up your arse!" It may
not scan too well but it has a certain je ne sais quoi I like to think.
These'd be the cruxes of poetry and kingship in our time and it is incumbent
on us to try and imagine how former geniuses and nobs would have coped with what
we have to put up with today.
Ron Horsefield - Fontainbleau - September 2008