Changing - photo by Ben Faga
The Jagged Rocks Below

The Story of Canary and Wharf

45 minute walking tour, performed for Art Licks Weekend 2016 as part of Houserules' Guided Tours
“Many a prospector has run aground on the Wharf. The aircraft warning light that blinks lighthouse-like at the summit of One Canada Square, still Canary Wharf’s tallest building, is a Siren’s call for investors, luring them onto the jagged rocks below.”

Can we stop rhapsodizing about the myth of progress? We’ll be surveying the story of Canary and Wharf, tracking their journey through time in a world that has long lost its Songbird guardian.

Drawing on the Odyssey, the morphing of a royal kennel into a financial centre and the movement of water, the jagged rocks below is an ode to the “still waters, rusting cranes and silence” of a long-discarded neighbourhood history.

We'll be using environmental surveys, historical rumours and dreams to develop a literal myth about the characters Canary and Wharf, who will be roaming the cityspace of heights. The tour will follow water lines, climb sheer glass cliffsides and traverse flourescent-lit shopping caverns.

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From a lofty height I
   find myself below the ground
   in transit
     through through tunnels
     who who are the brides?
who found themselves stopping…
        by the window…
        and making...
        their reflection...
        line up with the dresses
     on the mannequins

And with these hours I find
   myself rarely awake
but I took a break to fall in love
and plan to take another
my planner is meeting me here
   to try a sample
   of the special day
   and hope my body suits



   the underground entrance
   to my office is just
   around the corner.
   I can sometimes see
   the sun through glass
   sweet sunlight
   and the carpets
   and the monitors

And under these fluorescent bulbs
I think I’m happy with the fit

Thirty seven days from now
these sequins will instead reflect
       the sun