Memories of Michael Jackson (Excerpt from a Longer work)

29 June 2009

 I was black. I was a child star in a band with my brothers. We lived in America. My father beat me. I remember we had to practise dance routines. At first we played in clubs then we were on television. I did not have a normal childhood. People liked me. Later when I grew up I made some albums that people liked a lot, especially Thriller and another one, the name of which I have forgotten. I did a dance called moonwalking. My video for Thriller was a big thing on MTV – a television station that showed short films to go wtih pop music. I was a crossover act – I appealed to rock and dance music, I also bridged the racial divide. My favourite friends were a chimpanzee called Bubbles and an old actress called Elizabeth Taylor. I had a place to live called Neverland. I shared my bed with young boys. Sometimes I had legal disputes and negative publicity about that. I had a fun fair in the grounds of my house. I bought all the Beatles songs. I lost all my money. I had plastic surgery many times. I had a skin condition that takes away the pigment from black skin. People said I looked like a freak. I bought the bones of the Elephant Man. I was isolated from the world. I had three children and I tried to keep their faces hidden from the cameras. I died of some sort of heart attack because I was using too many drugs in crazy combinations.


Smell of Elzabeth Taylor. Feel of the palm of Bubbles. Tunnel of Love. Own face reflected in an Oscar? Sound of young boy recovered from cancer breathing in a bed next to me. Paparazzi flashes in front of my eyes. As a kid – sleeping on the couch in dressing room, couch covered in peacock feathers and dropped sequins. The sound of other humans screaming, heard from 30 feet below, passing thru concrete to the dressing room, or to the long concrete tunnel that leads up to the stadium stage. The texture of Zombie make up. Sunglasses. Looking at pictures of myself on TV from years ago and not knowing who that is, not able to get inside that person. Dance moves – I move only once and they all flow back through me.