Saturday, 27 March 2010

9. Album

on a table

I am not Rennecke, Otto, The Cousin or Joe.
This has been settled. It is obvious.
I don't have the temperament, the orchard or the boat. I am however

a bucolic painting. brass. the scent of velvet. an open fire. leather. carpet fibres.
the taking of a pulse. orchids. automatic doors. a solitary person smoking outside. It is raining. It could be October.

The way you swept your hair back and glanced like an express train.

[bell boy]

bridge, rummy, canasta, old maid, brag, whist, snap they played them all
intoxicated it seems they were when entering the lift nice shoes. nice people. no tip.

It seems I am no longer here that I am in Iceland that it will become a hot day.

not that the axe falls in the wood we pass
on the hills they graze sheep
the vineyards are fertile
with the dreams of children

Do you remember the question we asked each other as lovers?

It tastes of liquorice of large rhododendron of overgrown path

the dawn is all plum product placement
a diagram of the heart in the big black handbag
in a rainy place on the cast iron table

there will be no more time allowed.

quick & unquick nuclear
nightingale otto purchase
serenity remove from satchel
other satchels asymmetrical

grit the jetty a quiet place to be

Drunkard raise a bottle to lips & dive

into swirling black sun


rain arrive nuclear nightingales

screaming serenity

Otto satchels other satchel driving the
white whirling rain
remember is remembering remembering cover her throat to mouth

& eating stale breads

Monotony of the situation. hovels blown away in vast, motionless, rainstorms. a soft drink driving nails into my stomach. vera inverts nonsense languages. repression. ocarina specialist. She did as she was told, we all di[e]d, the bandage smells bad.

a few universes, grazes of dull gold & buttercup fire.
cool night instinctual vanguard

putting her hair up, A few lamps yet lit & Mr Jansenism in tears at loss of his motorbike

they’ll all be ghosts when the festival
commences. no use allowing for any margins,
or errors. hélène’s task will be to recover
a method of depicting folk music
of the region – 1921 –
in vocal mime,
echoless echoles echole echol echo ech ec e

scarring the surfaces of magnificent flowers of goodness. Is in thrall to the scents of honeysuckle & bee shit that bloodied fingernails give out

thru afternoon it they we you love

Making. masking. musking, sighings from the
wallpaper. can you scythe honeys from where i’
m adrift?

ishmael said you go last. so i stepped through the screen into a room which brought me no

memory. rerererererererererere
turning. rennecke has so many lovely handkerchiefs: Pearls of revenant rain in perfumes sunning. zxlËPr

they exchangings attaché cases of. took time - some - before their eyes adjust brilliance/artifice sunlight to subfusc nature strip

-lighting carpark. the explosions could happens in replay sounds plucked

in & nowhere.

She’s so pretty says her friend. They don’t look as if they could harm.

that’s an interesting bracelet. i stole it from you. can i sigh scythes adroit? it’s a small theatre, song carries well. now they’d locked the doors. no way

they photograph well, the world has been adjusted like that for them with the surfaces scars & petals as they dance & eat cigarettes. everyone who isn’t them wants to be them. & now they are dead, that’s how everyone else experiences them. she’s eating an ice cream, her sister laughs because there’s a blotch of ice cream on their enemy veronika’s nose. her brother sulks. he wanted to be the killer, the condemned.

Grey is a colour

A grey moment required to distinguish between black and white. It's nothing but bitter disappointment dividing the eye and the foot. Ears are not involved. Perpetual shrieking of the kindred has made them poke their insides with a toothpick.

Vociferously seeing.
Just an eye. Denying the sinister foot sufficient room as it tries to alter a crooked scenario.

Impatiently stalling the occurrence of a badly molded future. It's grey. Still sacrificing the colour of ashes with Heterochromia and an ambiguous limp. It's a matter of opinion. All the signs are there. The air grovels, damping the knees of the fog. Repeatedly sensing an obscure thought.

Stirring the element of surprise, vacant and empty drops of murk overflow the deaf hole.

"To death! And beyond a stream of light!", as vacant and as empty. Standing there in vain, channelling an idle spirit. Implementing a sigh of relief. Not just a moan but a slippery dance step. Sorting it out, consciously staring into a pair of brotherly hues.

A last-minute petition. Ears are restful, never permitted to change for the reason of being an invalid act. Creeping up on a blank leg, sipping a bare-footed drink, it's easy to ignore the blinding opacity of sight and lucid desires.

She liked the childless lifetimes. But sometimes it was necessary to raise him rather than marry him and she liked those lifetimes too. And sometimes he caught on and became her so she could be a man for a time. This was enjoyable because then she could be a full out cad and he would remain devoted and shimmering while washing stockings and waiting for her return.

The trouble is that they kept returning to the same points in time, the same hanging gardens of pre deluge decadence. It was all lie-ins and long breakfasts in beautiful places and in beautiful clothes-not a bad job at all, but the price of oblivion is naturally oblivion. They liked to think of themselves as decoys whose bizarre behavior provided the distraction to turn the gaze away enough for revolution to occur. In truth nobody ever paid attention to them.

My stockings have a nice hole in them caused by all the excellent friction on the headboard. I will wear them to the theatre tonight. I’ll ask Rennecke to sew them up if I think it won’t hurt her feelings too much. I’ll bring her a tin of butterscotch candies as a consolation. The wrappers can serve as little flags in a dolly labor rally. She only pretends to be mad really. She’s our Madam DeFarge.

If you imagine these things in life from which you are required to rush away quickly-dying friends and relatives, perfectly good jobs and marriages, houses, children and land that you weren’t quite finished cultivating. In each, the rip and tear of new absence is followed by the perennial convulsions of the body’s memory as it clutches needlessly to certain smells, sounds and gradations of light. The body will limp through all newer and more pleasant sensations until it has broken them down and molded them to its own defaults. Then those sensations will, at last, become comfortably mixed with the memory convulsions until all is quite bearable again.

Now imagine this repeatedly over many lifetimes-the body shuddering out its memories with a stubborn ill logic

I like the jam at this hotel. It tastes like butterscotch, like lovemaking.

I will tell you this. I did not want you killed. I never imagined you killed. Your fear of the surgeon in his gown of courthouse green did you in. You died before the first cut. all merely your own madness. Finstre schwartze Riesenfalte töteten der Sonne Glanz

Notes on the back of a programme.

Strangely like a Baltic port.

Inert compound of saltpetre.

Raymond takes to the stage in artificial fabric.

A single spark can still explode.

There are no fellow Scandinavians in the hotel.

The hairy one, he’s automatically included.

The resentment of an ambassador with nothing to lose

is somehow allowed to become a dagger.

The man cut in half has a female title.

The blue girl stands up to sing

sings “truth does not exist there,

they don’t care, why don’t they care?”

I don’t have the answer.

Tell me you can see him.

The voice of Sarah Ahmad can be heard in this text, & here

Friday, 19 March 2010

8. Tulips sink Ships

it is an anagram. nothing more. the road goes no further.
we have neither arrived or started. The river is crimson in its haste.
Names have been forgotten. They are no longer needed
all conversation is photograph or sketch and for emphasis aquatint, paracetamol
moustache. roller coaster. coney island. It is almost spring.

Pass through and leave no trace

being watched for so long.

the tide comes in goes out. You are 50% over the Atlantic
this is the furthest we have been separated.
we haven’t played chess for hours
hands are turning to chalk

behind the sunglasses you are thinking of
Clun and the ruined castle.

"The town which is the smallest town in Shropshire and is smaller than many villages in the county. It is also the only town in Shropshire never to have had a railway line or station."

The Passion Play has begun.


Body of christ amongst the bracken

there is a thing between us

thin razor like
the sweep of the beach against the town front

the wind drying out the skin.

we are not watching the sun set.

It does not believe in ghost.

They came to the hotel as an excuse. The hotel garden had a life sized chessboard cut into the grass. She wore a white dress in Edwardian style and he wore a black one. Each sported a parasol of the opposite color as they spent their afternoons dancing a gigue from opposite corners of the board. By early evening after meeting in the middle a minimum of eighteen times, they did a mutual swoon and collapse on the grass. He would then commence to sneeze a minimum of 38 times while she covered her face with her hat and listened. Then he presented her with the same wedding band and asked her again to marry him.

“There is grass on your skirt”, she told him, and kissed him very tenderly.

They were already married and had been for several lifetimes.

Sometimes there was a child and she taught the child, male or female much about butterflies and the art of sewing a sleeve to a gown.

It is a pleasure to marry over and over again especially when you get to be Gustav and Alma Mahler.

Proclamation: We don’t particularly like your Mistress this time. She is daft and has ruined our best lipstick by somehow getting toast crumbs inside the tube.

Whereas she has a ruined our best lipstick

Whereas nobody, as of yet, has cleaned up the corners of toast from this morning.

Whereas this passage is tricky and it irritates us

We have turned you into a parrot. Ha!

(Rennecke doesn’t really tell anyone about the doll collection but she had been found out several times, late nights at the theatre, drunkenly assembling them for a labor rally or having doll weddings)

The tulips have begun to bloom, the ones from the bulbs purchased at the Schiphol. They are emitting a strange iridescence. It is oddly pleasing.

PS. Your Mistress is too skinny and has surgical scars from keeping time with that jackal of a surgeon.

Then, on the days when they had a child, they watched him play on the chessboard while doing their balancing exercises on the perimeter. He wondered aloud if they shouldn’t live in an actual house with tulips in the garden. “Tulips sink ships”, she told him and kissed him. Hotels were better for the quicker departures.

your eyes were animals in winter appear as totem-animals. But animals nonetheless. Which means, they are not symbols, or pure allegories, not slaves of signification, but animals still, with all their animal qualities. and your fingerprints were waltz, candelabra, backstroke

a clock. a gilded clock. Blessed the hand that giveth
Then it happens. Absolute silence. Complete nothing.
People are frozen. For one second. Then for another.
The equilibrium of the candelabra.
Is pungent. Disgraceful countryside.

I haven’t studied Latin for years

but I think it says

“there are too many people in my life”

It is only in retrospect we understand these things.

2 Down
And the hunt chases around the vase leaping over fences running past woods they use their crops and the hounds bay. (4,7)

14 Across
Crew arrange with King way to get on board (9)

When we entered the church we knew there was something special
which was confirmed by the anglo-saxon grave in the crypt

We discussed a duel but lunch made us forget the difference.

The lobster was ok.

You wrote on a postcard showing a liner.
I smoked a cigarette on the terrace.

The first cigarette I ever smoked

in the deserted village in the red hills

Across the pond, he has floated a paper boat to me. It only says “Hello”

trees bend in towards james.
lisette remembers a song inside her throats, more or less scientifically.
there is a particular hardness to the child’s gaze.
some trees bend away from james, he is conscious that this is arcadian only in reality.
lisette forgets ever knowing the song.
robert looks at her, knows how beautiful she would look to someone else.
nearby there’s a zoo.
it’s as if we can hear the animals crying themselves to sleep, clara says, but she doesn’t believe what she says.
the child is asleep.
the situation is reversed.
james throws himself at lisette’s lip & misses.
i’m late, says The Cousin, who performs operations in a room lit by a single unshaded bulb.
state sponsored terror.

Now let’s conceptualise the situation. It is happening in an always delayed future that is, logically, perpetually The Past (see bibliography). All news channels report looting; better to starve or freeze or drown than to loot. Hot in its songs.

takes a step closer
colourless eyes blink
once & once only.
was that God
? housing estate.

So they got ready for the dance & the world was scented with pine & amber-flask powders. Taxis lined up to receive the wounded animals. Take them to the emergency hospital episode 1000 said the killer, rubbing her knees with champagne. They are eating zoo animals, says a distraught soldier to his mother. She smiles through him, he’s with her in the park eating nectarines: a picnic.!? Her outline is protean, yet unmoving. Her insides are displayed behind bullet-proof glass. the bullet-proof glass shatters. Found text. Dead labor is resuscitated and passed on into the value of the new commodity by living labor David Harvey a companion to Marx’s capital, p. 129.

the next year was pale blue.
that’s a colour suits veronika, she silks her f l e s h with it.
her eyes float away upon warm breezes.
each island is more beautiful than the last, although they are identical.
sleep all day & at night drink soup through a straw.
iridescences, pinions of mauves & greens & a snowy grey.
it gets so late in the afternoons.
whoever is a stranger lies on the bed, the sheets soaked with sugar.
a dark blue, neither black nor phosphorous.
all that ”time“ the ceiling has stalked patient third from the door away from the window.
says it believes the sea is closing in.
kiss kiss.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

7. The Pattern of Ω

You don't see for looking. Your eyes are black saucers that have never known the day. Your handsome tail is all wild stripes. You jump from dresser to bed ten times ten. You clap your cymbals in your little harlequin suit. You become this in moonlight, der nächtig todeskranker Mond. Moonlight does not become you. You are observed, caught in diorama behind green glass passageway - your natural habitat. How many more until there are none of us?

Here is a prayer. I am a lovely woman with a lovely voice. I like tulips, jams and jellies, mornings to myself. My hands will form the minor chords without prior thought. Music has become like walking - like stepping out into the English hills, one two and three. There is silver in the air and thank God, I have been trained to extract it. I have been trained to recognize the colour of sound. I love the colours of the sounds in the hills. I love them as I love myself but that's only because I am not fully here. I love him as I love Schumann as I love a boiled egg for breakfast. Anything else? Oh yes, I like fabrics of a medium density and long skirts that brush my ankles. Amen

First you sit at the piano and then you look and frown. There are tulips on the piano It is May. The tulips remind you of Paula Modersohn Becker who reminds you of the little boats that they sail in ponds in the garden of the Louvre. There are blackberry stains on the page; these turn out to tone rows. One by one, you travel your fingers across as instructed by the blackberry stains. The composer had toast with jam that morning but it tasted like the moonsick night. I think of sailing paper boats, sending wishes across the pond to a waiting recipient or an invitation to breakfast.

Der Wein, der Man mit Augen trinkt. Revolutions are made in moonlight, in hotels. I have followed the men, graceless in my Pierrot suit, across cities and states while speaking many half learned languages. I have burned my babies in the fire repeatedly but that was only for entertainment purposes. The more feral I became, the bigger the applause. I have marched with guns across a dusty stage singing ta ra ta ra. And yet, nothing is like the terror of this:

The dance was just beginning; or, the dance had just begun, some people singing, others dancing, a man with what looked like a violin but was an accordion, a woman with what looked like an accordion but was a violin. The children, who were dressed for church, began to sob. Otto thought it a scene from his own childhood. Otto kept making mistakes. The sheets were clammy, they’d not been changed since the last guest or guests had checked out. Who cares though? It’s a dull night, there’s no weather – it’s not hot, not cold, I’ve a ½ bottle in a carrier bag. Someone isn’t standing in the shadows, the shadows are standing in them. There’s a dead bee on the bedside table except it’s a bedside lamp except it gives off a buzzing noise which reminds me of a dead bee when it wasn’t dead. I get terrors in pulses, something like having a glove stuffed in my mouth. It’s sexual arousal, I presuppose. I hate her like I hate myself says the television. OK, I get that. I doubt she thinks any differently.

I can’t spell your name however many times you say it. There’s a new clarity, there are 78000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 new stars in the bedside lake. I push a paper boat out surface on it upon. It comes back with a warrant for the man with close cropped hair’s arrest. He’s wearing an old army coat, a trench coat, he hasn’t got a wooden leg or two wooden legs, he’s not an amputee. They’ll catch him. He’s the man with cropped hair of my dreams. I’m wearing a silk blouse & high-heeled boots. The camera shuts off, I can stop being an appearance. People think I’m joking: duh – I’m not. I demand The Revolution. Now. & blood. Lots of it. On pavements. In the gutters. In lustrous flowers, exploding from balconies. Across railway lines, splashing railway platforms. I want heads on spikes, I want torsos hanging from lampposts.

I wanted to kiss the mouth, but I kissed the forehead. I sat in dark for hours, they didn’t seem like minutes or seconds. The lamp buzzes, the television isn’t there, the lamp buzzes though it’s off, the television is off though it’s on. The bed is near me, but I’ve lost the art of movement. I can sing, but only to the dancers. & they love the violin & accordion music. It’s like Bartók or the Velvet Underground’s Pale Blue Eyes. It’s like Nono’s A floresta é jovem e cheja de vida. It’s nothing like Dichterliebe, though it is Dichterliebe. And so on

and part two was no different. It faced North by North West in to the wind that never ceases

and so on. From above the pine trees made the pattern of Ω

when the tears came they came like sisters come to comfort

the men retired for billiards when the child was born.

Look out of the window now across this rude farmyard towards the barn
remember the sensation of straw
the heat of the sun and the dust dance between. I think you said then that darkness was an eye defect
that morning would be eternal in Venice. I used to believe the reviews. I learnt by rote the scrapbook
I adored the polar bear trench coat

When the train finally arrived, we had changed our minds.
It was pointless. we might as well stay another week.
The moon was in the wrong part of the sky to make reckless journeys

for the sake of a diamond
and one not yet discovered.

City of Cranes & Fish
I have learned to document you in shorthand
your every move is now mapped
I have all you whispers here as you meet
in doorways empty bars
between the notes of a long unplayed music that when

you closed your eyes in the street and frowned
said reminded you of mother

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

6. Contraindications

He will look on me with love and has looked on me with love.
I jump the wall and run through the park of snow. This in my new shoes.

Look at the beautiful way the meadows bend into the telephone call,
you wore the dress of rare butterfly fabric.

Rennecke huffs loudly as she is trying to pin the sleeve

Butterflies are Hera’s spies.
thought nothing of the truck driving by until the half chewed apple core came

no one loved the taste of potato soup more than Otto. it was.
And the costumes smell like this and also like ghost.

Not a fake hesitation, not the kind that is meant to demonstrate a change of thought.

except we missed the ferry and had to stay the night.

Sometimes you know what’s happened before it’s going to happen. I enjoy watching history programmes as if they weren’t. Each time a red car passes he’ll sew another button on. Soon he has more buttons on his coat than he can shake a weathervane at!

polaroids each one taken a few
minutes after the other in them she’s
drying her hair sat on the edge of the bed
she’s wearing a grey dress but with a cob
alt sash she’s painted the toenails of her
left foot lamb blood red then the ’phone calls stop

Another truth: I collect overcoats. & other people write poems about Gudrun Ensslin or lust after writing poems about her. When I was a child I didn’t want to be an astronaut. I wanted to be run over by a car “uöclopvrrrrrrrrrrrrrrio”etc. According to this argument, then, mimesis in the older sense of the word requires that the speaker’s identity merge with that of his role as speaker, just as the identities of those who are spoken to and spoken about must merge with their respective roles. [Gregory Nagy Poetry as performance Homer and beyond page 97]. the
scentedness of her back, in the time between night and not-night, doth provoke desires, phantomisationism.

an odour, not an aroma,

of existent non-existence. Great uniform, majesty.

Whoever knows the whereabouts of should contact. all calls will be treated upmost confidentiality dna. I don’t expect to see a mathematician on stilts in the refrigeration unit. Therefore I am disappointed. I write poems about Gudrun Ensslin. As a child I will be run over by a car. No one to meet us at the station, and no taxi. The fields shone, dully, with the light of rotting apples at past midday. Where are they? I know wha“t they said.”. Something’s gone wrong.Josephine eats her apple prim & prudent.
She gets naked, it’s like a fire-trail planet whooshing a Krazy Kat sandstorm. looking for adventure?
Says get into the car, blindfolds the traitor, the informer.
Josephine chucks the apple core away. It convulses into a corner & that’s where it can memorialise its geometry. The hotel didn’t have a restaurant. So we started walking. It was a pleasant enough day, though kind of like you’re on tranquilisers & your legs have a death all their own. & you were thirsty. The house had been neglected for years, The restaurant won't have a hotel.

gypsy moth sleeves, apples, the end, joe , veronica, rennecke, otto um mitternacht in monat mai, every row of memory forms a retrograde. And there is nothing to make of it really, just try to memorize the pitches as they are. and then wake up every morning and sit down dutifully at the piano and discover them shifted and recomposed.

they will never, ever sound the same.

on the piano are tulips that remind me of paula modersohn-becker for some reason. veronicka used to sketch me at the breakfast table, she would boil an egg first and sit there full of love and scrutiny. what happened to the nice boy with the moustache who used to talk about art?

what happened to everyone? at night I watch the courthouse, green as a dream of gotham. there are glass passageways. I see people walk them late at night. what would they be doing there at 2 am or 3 am? there is a parking garage at the bottom twisted like a sinister mouth. all night into day I see black cars enter them. I look and watch um mitternacht.

You don’t see for looking, my mother used to tell me.

I love that song..shall I share it? Later perhaps?
But certain lines can not be contained.

Die Liebe aufgegangen.

We walk the frozen land. Why are we here? It is too cold to sit outside. Synchronised swimming is out of the question. We descend into monochromatic dress, don’t bother to have our shoes polished. The champagne is toxic, false, unclean, it gives us stigmata. We wander the snow hills like wounded foxes. Letters are left unwritten, messages unanswered, you grow a second throat. One that curses and blasphemes. I buy you a lovely necklace.

I love Veronika and Joe and yes I agree nothing sensible.
I loved your body when I first saw you and more than that
I want to make you happy and smile at me but I am not myself. Look there is nothing to see.

Me, you, they, them; open sesame the doors will fly open

Friday, 5 March 2010

5. No one has claimed responsibility

we like New York,

well bits of it.

You like the old parts
I like the shiny things.

When you practice. I sit on the broken sofa

smoke cigarettes, watch people walk across the street.

The problem with Queens is there are no

Motte & Bailey castles

or interesting earthworks.
The clouds are often sullen.
At the restaurant
we discussed Japan and horror films.

We agreed it best to make our own costumes in future.

Of all the places
I think we miss Düsseldorf the most.

Beneath the table our feet touched.

The building is wholly artificial.

Als alle Knospen sprangen

x. I love you. The way you take roundabouts.

We will know in future
when we stand and watch the waterfall leap
at the fountain at Linderhof Palace. it will not be snowing

in the Moorish Kiosk or on the Peacock Throne my love. Look here is a photograph of you in the alligator wedge shoes

“Ludwig came here for contemplation every year on Good Friday. For this day he wanted a flowering meadow. If there was no such meadow because there was still snow lying, the garden director had to plant one in his head”

See I told you to avoid the sexy voice in the grotto. It echoes.

Being 50 is a shock to the throat. vipers and gaudy cravats

when all the buds are bursting open

Extracts from the guide book of 1976

A glass candelabra with 108 candles.
Two console tables of Meissen porcelain (which was the king’s favorite china)

The northern part is characterized by a cascade of thirty marble steps. The bottom end of the cascade is formed by the Neptune fountain and on top of it there is a Music Pavilion.

The centre of the western parterre is formed by basin with the gilt figure of “Fama”. In the west there is a pavilion with the bust of Louis XIV. In front of it you see a fountain with the gilt sculpture “Amor with dolphins”. The garden is decorated with four majolica vases.

The water parterre in front of the castle is dominated by a large basin with the gilt fountain group “Flora and puttos”. The fountain itself is nearly 25 meters high.

It was here you fell ill.

She checked the driver’s mirror. Wasn’t being followed, didn’t expect to be followed. But you never know, you might get mistaken for someone else, life can be monotonous. He left somewhere sometime. She couldn’t find the music she wanted on the radio. Around 9.17 am no one sneezed.

That night he took a sleeping pill, for no reason. Düsseldorf remains where it was: no closer to Peckham, no further from Pyongyang at 11.30 am August 29 1993. The air’s cooler, though it remains a hot & sticky day, police on the streets. They gave us that evil look which says you are our property. I guessed it was
all about
. Listens to somewhere August 27 1976, going on outside, where somewhere August 26 1977 was.

got darker
got less dark
sun came up
sun didn’t go down
she unbandages her wrist
the spider’s still there / whispering her name

But the courthouse is the polar ice cap-how could I have known?
I had a dream that Otto and I were camping underneath a glacier in an old fashioned gypsy caravan.
We were sat by an iconic looking fire as would represent gypsy in a production of an opera about gypsies.
The funny thing about the dream is that we weren’t actual people but an etching of people.

This is the moment I long for, to have it finally be the end and to have him there. I miss him so. All writing, all music and all art is only expression of that which we miss. And when I see him in the third row, is he really there? In the dream, we were not people but an etching of people as he is an etching in my mind’s eye. Soon when Rennecke is finished pinning, I will go out in gypsy sleeves and sing and stare into red lightbulbs and fluttering cellophane and that will be the fire. And Otto will be in the third row but I won’t know if he is an etching or flesh.

At night I watch the courthouse.

The portcullis is a fine thing. One we both approve of almost as much as sash windows. When we settle down, it is agreed we will have, a) an orchard, b) a portcullis, c) sash windows, d) air conditioning, e) silence at meal times f) undisturbed chess, g) fine cheeses and wine. More will come to us shortly. All in all we like a quiet life.

When we travel I always admire your luggage. Red patent alligator is so refreshing at an airport. Marks you out as someone who knows a thing about quality luggage.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

4. Passing the Quiet Word

I found Josephine in Candleford.
She said
-The weather was sweeter, that day,
in the episode with the radical-dress run-away
wife, just before michaelmas.
-ain’t life a chesnut.

Tenacity is one thing but there are plenty things in the world - I have several lined up like on my oak-panelled ikea bureau: a velvet flannelette, sent me by Paul; a flint, of course from Eastwood’s

collection of rare rocks & mountain artefacts.

-Do you know any arty facts? Susie quietly asked, -I’m only asking.
I didn’t like to reply. I could recount a story about a Mondrian, told me by a Dutch poet. It hung on the wall of a collector. His friends didn’t understand; they replaced the painting with a fake. He never mentioned it. They discussed the painting during dinner. He said he had gone off it. It could never have impressed Susie. Instead I smiled and -Sure.

Subtle glances


primary: colours / instincts /

We bumped into each other occasionally; michaelmas, the market. I babysat for her one year. She never lost her eyes

‘til she did, one day
and even then she still had it.

-I’d like to look at that Mondrian now, she whispered as she passed me at the cheese stall.

Then in the rain we stood.
The soaked earth
when the helicopter came
turning leaves


we survived the Bremner Pass.

That night you wore your xylophone nightdress

I almost choked on the staircase.

We both agreed the breakfast was poor.

It put us off playing tennis.

Some events from 1546

The Spanish conquer the Yucatan.
Peace is declared between England and France.
Trinity College, Cambridge and Christ Church, Oxford are founded by Henry VIII of England.
Katharina von Bora flees to Magdeburg.

Veronika was in the wings
of love and jealousy

but it is a false ending because it appears they haven’t yet started.

It was all a punch & judy show to some
the ones who had education
those who could read the signs
they who knew these things.

Otto went grey over night that week.

How they laughed at the supermarket
over the names of coffee.

I’m seven feet tall and seven now.

Father is getting concerned

because I haven’t been to confession for such a long time. Possibly years.

I blame it on the windmill fire. The scarcity of wheat.

we watched the two men in the field.

maybe they are discussing tractors.

otto doesn’t love veronika, he loves how her songs remind him of silent cinema. veronika intends a sculptural attitude towards otto; she refers him to taxonomic processes. otto can’t retrieve the password. he stumbles with a door key, his legs gone from above him. veronika runs ahead of herself; there is something in today’s news which recalls to otto’s minds next century’s gang warfare.

this is the hard part. they take him out to the orchard behind the factory & punch him 199 times in the belly. he keeps laughing, they implore him to stop but he doesn’t. he intuited many blows ago he is a construction: of satin corsets, failed nation states, of IMF rescue packages, transcripts of glossolalias. they continue begging him to kiss them.


next day’s a day where the sky dripped heavy across the fields that moaned [the] past seen from a railway carriage. couldn’t get the rhyme out of its head. i’m going to tell you something i’ve told you before. I stood beside the Thames & tore your letter into fragrancies & ribbons of toxic sky. then i let myself fall.

But these are musings of a hack muse, if I am to be honest. I am stupidly proud of my love affairs, stupidly proud of having sung g minor as if I had invented it. The truth is that we are at the end of so much and will be until the fade complete. I think of that opera singer who ended up in the castle in Scotland singing to the bats in the rafters. Why didn’t I ever think of that? But where was there to go? I’ve never had money. My ambition was to have my own witches’ cottage and I had it. I had an apartment at the edge of the Park, candlesticks and shells everywhere. All elements accounted for. But I gave it up having dreamed about the polar ice cap melting right there. The last place on earth- I don’t have that kind of courage to huddle around the last Sterno can and paper up the windows. And after all, things were falling out of the sky. It felt as if this might be the last place.
So I moved to my Eastern German style digs with the green glow of the Courthouse behind me

cloud . ancient stone. casino.

We walk the mile long beach.

The voice of Harry Godwin can be heard within this text, as it can here