You CAN put lipstick on a turd

Day 58: mushrooms, 1 fried egg, 1/4 can of baked beans, half fennel; 1 and half pints of pilsner; bread with apricot jam.

You can indeed – I’ve just done it. And now my Chanel lipstick will leave a light shit fragrance on my lips each time I put it on. Eat garlic? Eat onion? Nah, that’s so old fashion. Put a shit-scented lippy. And be sure no one will ever kiss you again.

I decided to put lippy on my poo because I was thinking about these two expressions – you can’t polish a turd and to put lipstick on a pig. Today’s picture is my own interpretation of the two sayings, which, as I’m sure you know, mean that no matter how much effort you put into making something better, if it’s bad, it remains bad. But that means to assume that certain things or people are inherently bad. Naturally bad. Is that true? #shitphilosophy

Chocolate mousse

Day 57: 1 orange; 1 bacon sandwich; fusilli with pesto; 2 cheese twists; 1 pint of lager, half pint of Guinness.

Do you remember the story about poo donors? That you can donate your poo so that it can be transplanted into someone’s guts to cure them? That’s how they do it. They blend the poo with a blender and add a saline mixture. Then spray it inside through a colonoscopy or endoscopy. A friend sent me this great article by a journalist who had a really bad time until she had a poo transplant. That was the only thing that worked for her illness. And that’s common, that it works. But because pharma companies can’t make money on poo, this treatment doesn’t get enough research funding. What a shit, really. The CEOs of these companies are clearly too bitter and could really do with some sweet chocolate mousse.

New beginnings

Day 56: a bowl of porridge with honey; few pieces of broccoli; 1 cup miso soup, 1 carrot with tzatziki.

Another heart-shaped poo.

Apologies if the last posts have been a bit short, a bit boring, not very funny. I just haven’t been in the mood. Shit happens. But the fact that I’ve made another heart shaped poo can only be a good sign.

Take care of your heart and of that of other people.

Handling shit

Day 54: 1 clementine, jumbo oats porridge with blueberries and honey; half borak, half lamb wrap; some pistachios; red wine.

When I was small, I had a yellow car-shaped potty where I took all of my poos. One day mother left me there to do my thing and when she came back, I was ecstatically squeezing handfuls of my own poo. I don’t remember about this fun moment, but I bet I found my poo mesmerising. I must have thought: look at what I’ve just produced! Isn’t it amazing! The legend goes she stopped me just short from eating it.

Today I’m no longer mesmerised by my poo and I’m content with leaving it in the plastic bag. But, metaphorically speaking, there’s always some shit to handle, often because of some poor shit handling by someone else.

Handle with care. Or not.

I’ve got shit way deep into my nails. And I could have really done without it. No matter how much I wash, it stays there to bother me. The flow of water will eventually cleanse me. In the meantime, I look at my hands and curse the day I let myself be mesmerised by a turd.

PS: There’s a game which is called ‘handle the shit’, apparently. It consists of taking a bag of shit down the road, at night preferably, and then take out little pieces of shit and smearing them under people’s car door handles.

Surrogates

Day 53: half porridge bowl; half salami baguette; half a bowl of pumpkin, leak, potato soup.

I know it’s not a bag of shit, but it’s still a bag. No? Look how pretty it is in the street, in the sunshine. All there by itself, quiet, just like the bag of shit. You don’t like it? But why don’t you like it, it’s still a bag after all. Come on! Don’t be like that, praise this black leather bag. Enjoy it. What do you mean it’s not the same? You want the ‘real thing’? It’s got no character? It’s got no poo? It’s got no poo. Yeah, it’s got no poo. That’s true. But wait, it may have some inside and you don’t know. You’d be surprised by how many are full of shit! Really, many many. It’s astonishing. Ok but you still prefer bag of shit. At least you know what you’re getting. It’s shit. But you know that. It’s all there to be seen, no surprises. Fine. So you’d rather have no bag at all if you can’t have bag of shit? I understand. That’s fair enough.

Mouths

Day 52: 1 clementine, 2×5 packs of biscuits with milk, bread with peach jam; 2 fried eggs, half kohlrabi, 2 slices of rye bread, 1 steamed leak; pizza ristorante funghi; red wine.

The mouth is such a multi-use thing. It’s a great part of the human and non human body. That’s the point of entrance of the food I eat and then shit in those plastic bags which you should know very well by now. I’m not banning them, I did shit in one this morning, but I feel I need a break from bags today.

Mouths. Mouths can be used to be really good and to be really bad. To bite ears off. Bite penises off. Tell people they’re cunts. Tell people they’ve hurt you. Be silent when you should speak up. Speak when it would have been better to stay silent. Mouths say I love you, kiss, lick elbows, lick asses. Mouths seduce. Mouths reduce food to bits, spit it, chew themselves in the night. Mouths tremble just before howling and screaming out in rage and despair. Mouths laugh. Mouths laugh. Mouths laugh. Mouths laugh themselves to madness and back.

Darkness

Day 51

ˈdɑːknəs’

the partial or total absence of light.

night.

unhappiness or gloom.

wickedness or evil.

lack of spiritual or intellectual enlightenment; ignorance.

Why am I doing this, who for, what’s the use of it. Is it socially useful. Is it useful to me or anyone else really. I’m tired of this shit, I’m tired of myself and I’m tired of feeling like shit. I’m tired of taking pictures of my bags of shit. I wish they took selfies of themselves, then came to me and said ‘here, there’s the picture and here’s what you gonna write’ and then walk into the bin outside and sit there quiet, in darkness, without bothering me ever again.

The famous light at the end of the tunnel can indeed be a train coming your way. Slowly. Unexpectedly.

Staring at the ceiling

Day 50: 2 clementines; a bowl of crunchy oats milk; bacon sandwich; leftover curry with spinach and potatoes; 1 jelly sweet; pasta with broccoli.

This morning I stared at the ceiling for a very long time. From the dark hour well into light. I couldn’t sleep, but also couldn’t get out of bed. Even the sun, which generally gives me a good enough reason to get up, didn’t do it today. What do you do in these cases? I stare at the ceiling. And then go through my emails, instagram, facebook, messenger, whatsup. Once that’s done, I feel worse than before, so I go back to the ceiling – that static, certain thing which at least is covering my head. These moments are always silent. Silence is a bad beast. It has no mercy. It makes you feel. It makes you feel shit, also. Shit as in lonely af. I could have put BBC radio 4 on (unless it’s the Archers) or I could have put music on, or I could have started talking to myself out loud or into the phone recorder. But I did none of that. I just stayed there staring at the ceiling and thinking about shit. And the more I did that, the more I lost the willingness to move, let alone wake up.

How emotions come and go remains a baffling mystery to me. When you feel them, you feel them. And in that moment, there’s no way of thinking that you’re not going to feel them at some point in the future. I’ve tried telling myself that it’s only an emotion and that it will pass. But in that moment, I don’t think that way. I have no other option than feel it. Which is fine. That’s what you’re supposed to do anyway, apparently. So then what.

I managed to get out of bed and the fucking boat after lunchtime. I walked towards the high street and then I saw a church. The Church of Our Lady of Willesden, also known as the ‘Black Madonna’. I went in, there was no one. And there was silence, too. But it was a nice silence. Apparently there’s a shrine with the statue of the Black Madonna which has been the destination for pilgrims for centuries, but I couldn’t figure out where it was. So I went back on the high street, into a pretty shop of a beautiful old Brazilian woman to see if she wanted to make me a dress with some fabric I have. She said she doesn’t do that anymore and that I have a beautiful face with a well-proportioned long nose. Her small dog barked at me. Then I went into a cafe, where I worked a bit on an application. Then I went to the butchers and bought two lamb chops. The man slipped an extra chop in the bag for free and gestured to zip my mouth about it. I thanked him.

I’m telling you all these things because I guess it makes me feel like I’ve done something with my day. Also maybe to say there is kindness and adventure outside to be exchanged, but you need to find the energy to get out first.

Merda d’artista

Day 49: 2 clementines, 1 chocolate brownie, 1 apricot and almond tart; curry with spinach and potatoes, two flat breads; half avocado, half fennel and half kohlrabi, fagioli all’uccelletto, 2 slices of rye bread.

It didn’t fit inside the can – or better, it would have fitted if I pushed it in, but I didn’t want to do that, just in case the bag broke. I could have put an empty plastic bag inside the can, or even nothing, and then told you that the shit was there. You would have never known. Just like those who bought a can of Piero Manzoni’s Merda d’Artista will never know if what is inside the can is actually shit or just plaster, as some have suggested.

In 1961, Manzoni, a Milanese lefty boy from a wealthy family, filled 90 cans with what he said was 30 gr of his own shit at his dad’s cannery. Tate Modern got one. I love this work. I love how it mocks the art world, while raising questions about the commodification of art, its value, mass consumption, but also about the act of creation, the making process and its place within all this.

I think what is really great about using shit in art it is that it’s something inescapable that everyone has to deal with: we all take a shit, we all eat and we turn that into shit, we are all creators of something – even if sometimes that’s just shit! In this sense, shit breaks barriers across all classes of society. And I like that.