Lilith Burned

Katelan reading at the Albion Beatnik

Spending a day in the company of Katelan V Foisy was one of the most exhilarating artistic experiences I’ve had. We achieved more than I could possibly have imagined, and proved any dictum you might want to throw at us about the best laid plans.

With the owner of Tiger Lily, a great sport

The idea was simple. Go around Oxford taking pictures of Katelan dressed as Lilith, turn that into “some kind of art”, then display the results at a reading of texts related to Lilith at The Albion Beatnik Bookstore. All of which we did. Only instead of doing something on canvas, we bought a sheet at a soon-to-be-closed comic store,

this is an amazing store

kindred spirits. Look out for these guys again

which led to adhesion problems that saw us purchase freezer bags and safety pins, which led to all kinds of super and wholly accidental symbolism.

And we did more. We managed to get Year Zero invited to do a gig at Tiger Lily, Oxford’s biggest alternative lifestyle shop and tattoo parlour; we hooked up with some great guys from Canada who were in town before hiring a car to drive to Aberdeen;

art is about making connections

we were treated to an amazing set on the double bass by the incredible Susanna Starling, hotfoot from the recording studio;

the uber-cool Susanna Starling

we were treated to an impromptu reading from a guy who wrote a Beatish take on Isis and Osiris whilst we read.

the best art is spontaneous

What the day showed me more than anything was the joy of the spontaneity of art; the lack of boundaries between disciplines; and the irrepressibility of the creative spirit. And I learned more about Oxford in an hour of wandering around town asking strangers if they’d like their photo taken than I have done in the 20 years since I pitched up as an undergraduate. Most of all we met an connected people – and we connected them with art. Not bad for a day.

thanks to OVADA who gave us space to produce this

The artwork we produced, Preserved Specimens, Presumed to be Food, will go on sale from 15-19 June as part of OVADA’s closing premises auction to raise money for the arts in Oxfordshire. OVADA have been incredible hosts to Year Zero over the past month or so (including letting Katelan & I run riot in their studio on the 19th), so do bid online at the OVADA website from June 15th. You will also get a signed copy of Songs from the Other Side of the Wall and SKIN BOOK.

later that evening

Katelan read from Blood and Pudding, and I read from SKIN BOOK and works from Daisy’s forthcoming Siren’s Song. And this is the marvellous impromptu piece created by Albion Beatnik regular, Dot.

the ballad of Isis & Osiris

Osiris is a black god, they whisper

Set, in stone, mouth gaping


in hypostyle halls

his gaping maw swallows all

bright Isis, winged, wanted by both brothers

sits enthroned while

O laps her open O below

Set watches, teeth clenching

as I’s bright eyes widen and fists clench

her mouth an open O

‘oh!’ she says

Set throws a party, wine flows

his bro, late, stands at the rear

S wishes O would disappear

‘this beautiful box, one size fits all,

is yours if you fit in it’ S snarls

everyone tries, they’re all the wrong size

‘give us a go,’ sighs o

he slips in, fills it, gets snug

but gets stuck

S,  the badass, nails the box shut

swans down to the river,

box aloft

chucks it in, off it goes, to where

god only knows

Isis knows, sets Osiris free from the tree

growing round him

‘confound it’ hisses s

he waits in the dark for O to come home


white eyes widen when the knife flashes silently

severing black head from black neck

black legs from black hips

jetting red

O is dead


just to make sure

Set secretes all the pieces in secretive places

spitefully chopping off the cock

skipping down to the shore

and launching it into the air

a might pisces leaps

snatches tasty cock/snack from the sky

‘bye bye sucker!’ snorts serpentine Set

years pass

Isis years for her dark o

searches high & low

masters magick

seeks out the secret spaces

and stitches o’s pieces together

yet nO amount of detection can trace his erection

down below, submarine slitherings in unearthly glow

I fashions a golden dong, schlong

better than the real one


brings Osiris back from lifelessness

ends his status in stasis

she rides his metal lightening rod#back and forth

for all she’s worth



golden showers deflower her bower

‘I have a feeling this won’t end well’ thinks S

and as Horus is lifted to I’s heavenly breast

he winks once, black eyed


i’ll come back to the rest

~ by yearzerowriters on May 29, 2010.

8 Responses to “Lilith Burned”

  1. Oh Sweet Dark Lords and Ladies – Katelan looks fucking amazing as Lilith!

  2. Doesn’t she though!! There’s the full set of pictures on the knickerboker Circus site

  3. […] a piece of Year Zero history. You will remember last month, Katelan V Foisy joined me in Oxford for Lilith Burning. One of the things we did that day was to create the installation piece you see here. Well, now you […]

  4. […] first day I spent with Katelan was in Oxford for the event Lilith Burning. Based in the OVADA Gallery, Katelan dressed up as Lilith, and we spent two hours on the streets of […]

  5. […] taken at this time last year, by me, during Lilith Burning, a literary event I ran in Oxford with Katelan Foisy from New York’s Knickerbocker Circus […]

  6. […] poet known as Dot standing outside with a rollie. Old hands will remember Dot – he came to Lilith Burning last year and sat in the audience writing a poem that he then performed at the evening’s […]

  7. […] can find full details and numerous pictures of the day long installation Lilith Burning here. Katelan and I used photography, physical collage, both of our storytelling skills, her modelling […]

  8. […] can find full details and numerous pictures of the day long installation Lilith Burning here. Katelan and I used photography, physical collage, both of our storytelling skills, her modelling […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: