Monday, 20 September 2010

Creation Spins Again

there was only emptiness
the sad absence
that stopped us.

forgive me

my town in Mexico

by the fountain.

I really wish you were here with me
watching movies on the sofa.

cold generates more cold
as energy does energy
heat makes heat
a transition period between wakefulness and sleep.

things I remember happening
lasts only a brief time
counterpoint. Body temperature starts to decrease and heart rate begins to slow.

I am lost. there is a fine mist. very fine mist

climbing limes.

If you awaken someone in this stage, they might report that they weren't really asleep.

I think I saw this film before. certain bits are the same as
between light sleep and a very deep sleep

five stages of grief
five stages of death

in the small things

like russian doll.

Salt marsh and mud flat.
A black car still rusts by the red broken down barn.

Electric eel shock. grabbing out at the rope.

we drank in the bar together after work
the one by the crossroads
under the beeches
by the zebra crossing.

when I walk past the iron railings by the park I remember

the birds sing without urging

in the scholar's garden.

Where they chopped down the trees new trees grow now.

I think I saw this film before red as rowan berry.

Like bamboo.

Lasts only a brief time in the small of things.

There is no air in this room. it's blinds are down.

Things I remember happening.

They love beginnings. Can't get enough.

Apples bruised. Fruits decay. Wire rusts. Forgive loss. There is a fine mist. It breaks into pixels. The scene becomes cubist. We are all depicted by little squares Yours are blue, mine are red, a transition between. Between the room. A curtain of gold. We are in the Guggenheim. It becomes automatic New York. New York Public Library.

An article on the 5 stages of grief. We take the slip road. Heading North. Something is playing on the radio.

That security guard has a photographic memory.

On 5th avenue.

In the shop windows a triptych


the blueprint of the songbird genome

So be it.

I love the way you say that.

Say it again please.


By midday it had stopped not raining. Then the animal impersonators emerged from the crowd & climbed a few steps to the stage. There was warmth to the sea & a smell of frying meat. A few police lounged near the abattoir, their tongues flickering in & out to catch passing dragonflies. Becky’s bare arms were white as oil. The animal impersonators began their act. Becky began to massage her face with nude fingers. The animal impersonators, slyly, began to terrorise the crowd. A few police smiled, hypnotising. I’d borrowed Michelangelo’s coat. Becky was slumped in the doorway, listening to the wristwatches of passers by. Nothing could distract her, not even the soft singing of her mother becoming wilder & wilder as night came on. We were at the location described in that silenced film.

It was difficult to get sufficiently clean for the animals to agree to feed us.

I asked Becky for sex. Michelangelo’s coat was punctuated by cigarette burns corresponding to the disposition of corpses expected for tomorrow’s riot. The king showed us around his palace. In each magnificent chamber dozens of humming birds fanned the air, cooling the ripped bodies of the king’s soldiers – victims of the animal impersonators. The king ordered Sarah to read from a book of jokes, & this she did in the queen's silvery voice. The queen took Michelangelo’s coat from me & lay down beneath it to die. & the animals set up a moaning which intensified becoming wilder & wilder as night turned to day.

becky said we must do sex. we left the train at vauxhall & walked a few streets to a terrace house backing on to the railway line.
i said where’s the sky gone she said under the earth, that’s where the sky has gone.
we lay on the bed & she threw a sheet over us & she said this is what you do.
i was younger than becky who was older than me.
when we were finished i said i’ll go now becky.
i don’t remember her name.
she got up from the bed, pulled on her dress & some blue woollen knee socks & left the house.
i heard the door shut then 0thing.
it was very cold in the room & then i heard tomorrow’s riot.
it was frighteningly alone.
i love you, but i’ll never see you again

The king said now you must leave my palace. But 1st you must help me bury the queen. A solemn music, darkglister with viols & sackbuts. The animals stood at the graveside, laughing & playing hopscotch. Now I am at peace said the king. Ask the citizens to hang me from a tree


In the Call Center, people are calling in droves wishing to be enrolled in the Death Stories program. This is a program in which the newly dead are given special stones in which they may record the story of the moment of their dying. The stones are then flown in by special Masonry Angels who place them in chinks of old stone walls and pathways along the countryside. I suppose there is a nice symmetry to this, a story of leaving the earth put back into the earth, but it also seems like a slight waste of time to me. There is also an issue of exactly who is handling this program. The Archives Dept says that we should send callers to the Lives Accountable Dept but Lives Accountable says that they don’t really handle moments of death. So, we end up bouncing the callers back and forth between departments as the callers grow increasingly more desperate sounding. I suppose I understand. There is only so long before they will forget the moment of death in the same way that the living soon forget the moment of birth. There is only so much time until their entire stories will be no more than a plucking of a string. But they don’t understand the importance of this either.

P’tach lanu-the gates are closing on a former life. We hear them closing through a key of many sharps and further beyond a long forgotten key of no particular name. It is the key of the songs that our mothers sang to themselves while hanging sheets on the clothes line. When we pray, we can see a glimpse of them disappearing and reappearing between the billowing white, through the black crisscross of the back garden gate.

A film flickers by. It is something about Jews dancing; a mass of black hats swirling in a green garden where a white tent flaps in the wind. Or it is something about Jews walking; women with head scarves pushing prams carefully though ghettos. Or it is Jews lifting their arms to conduct orchestras or play violins. Or it is not Jews. Or it is everybody, for everybody has at least one lifetime as a Jew.

The film burns to the edges of the frame. It is a dark tear expanding to white, then nothing. Then after this we see the ghetto empty of people and filled instead with hundreds of birds; hundreds of magpies, blackbirds and sparrows settling on the ledges of gutters and windows and making a din. Hundreds of robins, nightingales, and songbirds singing impartially and yet urgently the start of yet another creation. Hundreds of birds in the empty ghetto and along the walls are the imprints of mysterious graffiti that the Angels whispered into the brick. Here are the subtitles, right to left in a language we can’t read. Creation spins again, the film reel goes round and round, le dor va dor. A tired old man sits by the projector , dozing and dribbling into his beard. He is neither slumbering or sleeping, just dozing. As long he dozes, he will not reach out his hand and turn off the projector. May we live through at least another matinee. V’imru Amein.

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