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  • Gonçalo Lamas

(FEATURE) Gonçalo Lamas: Ten Things

A red double decker bus under a bridge with a big street light flare bouncing off the top window

In the latest Ten Things feature, season 6 spamphleteer Gonçalo Lamas reveals his favourite gems of everyday detritus, tune makers, chickpea-focused snacks, poets and architectures of opacity.

1. New Routemaster Bus

Londoners will not be surprised if I say these buses are a downgrade. They are another reminder of the magnanimous stupidity of Boris Johnson’s legacy. However, I used to ride them everyday to Holborn. So I also love them. I owe a lot of poems to that convenient footrest in one of the rear seats in the top deck.

2. Total Freedom

Once I dreamed Total Freedom was my harpsichord teacher, it was over for me. Can’t remember the first nor the last set of his I listened to but it is always an event, a duration melter. Exploding glass, Kelela lullabies, lo-fi sobs, hard kuduro. Also, a 5* hugger.

A green logo featuring four green arrows pointing inwards

3. Taiwan recycling initiative logo

This restored my faith in symbolic design. It’s like hypnotics and ecology have something to do with each other. Loops always have a way out.

4 – Hummus

When I was a kid, there was this regular school meal called ‘jardineira’ from which I would remove the chickpeas and stealthily hide them in my pocket. I would later feed them to the pigeons in the playground. I blame flat seasoning for my late discovery of hummus. Maybe it’s the chickpeas’ way of getting back at me. (TFC Camberwell 4ever.)

5. oxhy – respite unoffered

When a piece of music passes the London night bus test as exquisitely as this EP did, it is granted a place in the earworm pantheon. It is dense, sombre, moving. Total chills.

The author lies on grass in a black vest with sun glasses and light green frosted tip hair

6 – Yellowing

It was only after all the poems in ‘some times zero hours’ were written, that I learnt the beauty of wearing grass yellow on my own head. But I digress. Public greens. And yellows. That’s the thing, really.

7. Anne Boyer

Discovering Anne Boyer was like learning the branches and roots of political economy. Her keynote speech at an RCA conference circling the buzzy ‘autos’ of contemporary letters was a memorable take on this pervasive prefix, through class, gender and power.

8. Janiva Ellis

I often speak of my poetry like a painting. And Janiva Ellis is the kind of poet I aspire to be. Motion blur, temperature, masks, clowning. It’s all in there.

9. Corporate glass walls

The sliding scale of opacity is an important vector for corporate architecture. Vinyl cuts, an essential part of the grammar. Jacques Tati’s ‘Playtime’ is kind of my model for how to go on strike, everyday.

10. ‘I like scaffolding as much as the next attempt to create order’ by Caspar Heinemann

My last thing is a poem by Caspar Heinemann I once pasted on my wardrobe door. It feels epic. As though it reconfigures the body through its motions, like a potent potion. Cognition starts in the belly, digestion ends in the head.

Gonçalo's pamphlet, some times zero hours, was published in May 2022 by SPAM Press. You can pick up a copy here.

Text: Gonçalo Lamas

Images: Gonçalo Lamas/Taiwanese public domain Published: 22/6/22


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