John Constable
Playwright & poet


On 23rd November 1996, the writer John Constable had an acid-fuelled vision of The Goose, the spirit of a medieval sex worker, licensed by the church yet buried in the unconsecrated Crossbones Graveyard. Working with John's shamanic 'Crow' persona, she revealed her secret history in a form of automatic writing, an apocalyptic poem which grew into 'The Southwark Mysteries'. In the 23 years since that night, John Crow has worked with The Goose on a unique act of Urban Magic. During this time, Crossbones has been transformed from a derelict industrial site to a world-famous shrine and memorial garden.

At Breaking Convention 2015, a packed room was held spellbound by John's first telling of the tale: 'Acid Mediumship: Goose and Crow'. This year he looks at how that single LSD trip revealed the spiritual forms that have shaped the physical manifestation of the Crossbones shrine and garden of remembrance. He charts the Halloween rituals, the Vigils for the Outcast, the Invisible Garden and how the Goose and Crow magic uses a kind of repatterning to alter the fabric of reality.

The talk is illustrated by a slideshow depicting the transformation of Crossbones. It climaxes with a live performance of 'The Book of the Goose', the first of the visionary 'books' of 'The Southwark Mysteries', as revealed by The Goose to John Crow.

John Constable aka John Crow

John Constable is a playwright, poet and performer, also known as John Crow the urban shaman of Crossbones. His plays include 'Tulip Futures', the stage adaptation of 'Gormenghast', and his solo shows 'I Was An Alien Sex God' and 'Spare' (inspired by the life and work of Austin Osman Spare). His best-known work, 'The Southwark Mysteries', was performed in Shakespeare's Globe and Southwark Cathedral. In his John Crow persona he conducts 'The Halloween of Crossbones' and the vigils held on the 23rd of every month at south London's Crossbones Graveyard. John has performed his poetry in theatres, clubs and festivals world-wide (‘Like Shakespeare on acid!’ - Time Out) - and is a regular house-act in the Underground Piano Bar at the Glastonbury Festival. His 'Sha-Manic Plays', 'The Southwark Mysteries', and 'Gormenghast' are published by Oberon Books, and 'Spark In The Dark', a selection of his poetry, by Thin Man Press. His work also features in the 'Urban Shamanism' anthology published by Outsider Poets. His songs appear on several 'Hawklords' albums.