Missing Sebastian Horsley

Sebastian Reading Black Poppy

Sebastian Reading Black Poppy

Today as I was doing the final proofread for our newest issue, I was weighed down by re-reading my interview piece about Sebastian Horsley. He was such a warm and witty person, a Dandy personified; I just wanted to put in a few of his thoughts that I couldn’t fit in our article. Some will irritate, some will shock, but Sebastian said it like it was for him; he wasn’t afraid to be disliked, though he loved to be loved, he was a misfit – like us – and he saw that in our eyes, as much as we understood that in his.

Note: Sebastian died in June – a few days after his play, based on his book, Dandy in the Underworld opened in the West End.


Erin: “I have to say it is so refreshing to see someone live their life authentically, being true, individual; romantic and vulnerable. Fuckin brilliant I say! Fill your life with your own meaning and colours, not others.

Sebastian: That is such a beautiful sentence thank you Erin. I have tried not to be a hypocrite. I have tried not to build walls around myself. I have tried to live the truth of my life and it sometimes makes others question theirs. You see I am no different than them, I just choose to be honest about it. And you have done the same. But they call it immorality and are jealous because we dare to live whilst they have not the guts. But that is England for you.I cannot tell you how warming it is to meet kindred spirits. I choose life because I have no alternative, because I know that after death there is nothing at all. An affirmation of individual life, in itself and for itself, desirable because it is “absurd”, without final meaning or metaphysical justification. I can’t wait to receive the copies especially our one! And to see you at the play, My Love as Ever. Sx

Sebastian re a date for chat and tea: I suggest tea at  Saturday 20th say 2.00pm  Horsley Towers. 7 Meard Street.  Heterosexual tea, kinky tea, G& T, or notoriety? Although of course you know my favourite? Insincerity. Roughly when will this be published my dear so I know what to wear? Looking forward to seeing you and meeting Lisa. And being photographed by her. I like her website and am sure I can add to it with my gorgeousness, ha ha!

“Maybe I would like to get high with myself.  Still i find the allure of narcotics more exciting than sex, which is strange.”

Sebastian to friend (forwarded back to me from Seb): I just did an interview Black Poppy. How could I resist? “The Heroin Users Health & Lifestyle Magazine.” Priceless! Now isn’t that genuinely subversive in a pathetically non-subversive age? It rather be in that than any of those wanker Guardian/Observer broadsheets. Erin didn’t pay me but being on the cover is payment enough I’d say. Yes she is well. I really love her and I admire so much what they do. It is isn’t in my nature to support any cause or group but I support them with everything. Like you, I’m just so glad people like that exist. NOTHING LIKE THAT EXISTS ANYMORE APART FROM CUNTS LIKE US.

Sebastian: on Heroin

I always love the smell of heroin in the morning. Smells like … victory. SH

Everything was going to be all right. A coal fire on a stormy night, rain that could not touch me beating against the window pane. Streams made of smoke, and smoke that formed into shinning pools. Thoughts shimmering on the borders of a languorous hallucination.

Heroin is the only thing that really works, the only thing that stops you scampering around in a hamster’s wheel of unanswerable questions. Heroin is the cavalry. Heroin is the missing chair leg, made with such precision that it matched every splinter of the break. Heroin landed purring at the base of my skull, and wrapped itself darkly around my nervous system, like  a black cat curling up on its favourite cushion. It is as soft and rich as the throat of a wood pigeon, or the splash of sealing wax onto a page, or a handful of gems slipping from palm to palm.

On drugs you know you’re happy. Heroin easily makes do without people. Out of almost nothing it creates a presence. It gives the gift of life. It  imparts depth and beauty to all, drawing it together, providing atmosphere, charm and intimacy with all the palpitations of life. It creates an illusion. It creates the illusion.

Sebastian says in our interview that he couldn’t use and work – “I would like to be able to take drugs and work, but for me its a very simple exchange; it’s taken me a long time and a lot of mistakes to work it out; if I take heroin and crack that’s all I will do, I cant do anything else. If i don’t take C&H I can do anything I want – apart from that.”

Look out for one of the last Horsley interviews in BPs next issue no 14. Funny, witty and kind, he will be really, really missed.

For SH’s Images, click here

Erin O

Leave a comment


  1. Rob

     /  May 14, 2014

    “It is as soft and rich as the throat of a wood pigeon, or the splash of sealing wax onto a page, or a handful of gems slipping from palm to palm.”

    What a writer! – Very sad he is dead.

  2. Luke Patrick Dunn

     /  January 7, 2013

    I would like to know of my chances for getting on nhs heroin. I am a harm reduction specialist in Philly. My family is British and I still have a passport for there even though I’ve been living here my whole life.
    My dad lives in London and is old and dying. I’m a dope fiend. I was laid off from my job at the syringe exchange and my life is sucking.
    I am 43 and I’ve been doing dope for like 20yrs. I got locked up last week and I’m pretty rattled. I saw Erin o’mara was on maintenance. I need help. I want to visit my dad. But if I could get on that program I’d move over there. Please help.

  1. St Sebastian | Henry Hemming

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