A Speech in Granary Square
by Aidan Andrew Dun
Freestyle and speeches – arts to be acquired – but here’s the approximate text of what was said at the opening of London’s fab new square in Kings Cross Central a while ago, spring 2012 to be more exact…
Greeetz in Kings Cross Central, peeps. Aidan AD here, aka Voice of Kings
Ladies and G’s, I didn’t come down here today intending to recite long
poems so don’t go stampeding for the exits just coz there’s a poet on
the mic. But I am gonna talk about (impersonating Gandalf)
psychogeography! (Now that’s got you worried!)
But don’t worry, peeps, the psychogeography of Kings Cross is so simple.
High places and fire-hills surround this ancient zone of London. I’m
talking about Primrose Hill and Barrow Hill beside it, Parliament Hill
to the north, St Michael’s Mount of Highgate in the north-east, and
under the sunrise Merlin’s Penton of Pentonville. These were significant
beacons of power in the faith of pre-Christian times.
And guess what? A long time ago The Old River of Wells flowed through
Kings Cross, aka the Fleet. Healing waters once upon a time; the sacred
river of England. But of course she’s still there, 20-foot under
Ladies and G’s, the good gets better and that’s a fact. Because the
oldest church in the western hemisphere, I’ll repeat that, the oldest
church in the western hemisphere, the `Head and Mother of all Christian
Churches’ still stands where she has always stood in Kings Cross, beside
the holy river. Course I’m talking about: Pancras Old Church.
Now William Blake knew all this and much more. That’s why he wrote: `And
did those feet in ancient times…’ D’ya get me? Blake knew the
psychogeography of Kings Cross backwards. That’s why he said:
`The fields from Islington to Marybone,
to Primrose Hill and St John’s Wood
were builded over with pillars of gold
and there Jerusalem’s pillars stood’
Then out of the blue comes Arthur Rimbaud, poet, psychogeographer,
teenage prophet, the guy who put modern poetry on the map, the dude who
invented literary surrealism at the age of nineteen then washed his
hands of ambition. Like Blake, Rimbaud knew Kings Cross because he spent
his great year of wonders here (in 1873) writing his Season in Hell and
Illuminations. Arthur Rimbaud called this place `the miraculous valley
And that’s exactly my point, Ladies and G’s.
The arrival of the University of the Arts in Granary Square means that
predictions about Kings Cross Central are coming true. Predictions which
promise that one day we will see a small image of a new world, a city of
the arts here at the heart of future London. In my wildest dreams I call
this zone The Brill, Intelligent Playground, Vale Royal.
So, to conclude with a more personal narrative. A month ago in Pancras
church I married an angel on this earth. And two weeks after marrying my
dream-woman Lucie I heard that my little verse about the angels of Kings
Cross had been installed in Granary Square just over there… Go check
it out, peeps, among those trees just over there! What a wedding
But I nearly never made this gig tonight, Ladies and G’s, because long
ago I barely survived two blocks away in the derelict houses of Somers
Town. Could I have imagined way back then – down on the floor of the
squats – that in 2012 I’d be standing here to give y’all a poem set in
Kings Cross, dense with angels and histories,
there are cities beneath your pavements,
cities behind your skies. Let me see!
Big up & increase the peace! Let’s have it large in Kings Cross Central!
Straight ahead with interesting curves! We dance therefore we exist! God
bless all you royal souls! JAH bless Kings Cross! Have a great night!