dead calm / quicksand

The house smells of fresh bread, and tea, and cheese. My mind, so often taken on journeys of memory and recollection, is reminded of kitchens, with my mother, Sunday mornings spent actually eating rather than web surfing [not yet a concept invented for the likes of us, mind]. We would watch cartoons [not the kind now spuriously fouling up the minds of children]. Sundays would be spent expanding imaginations, walking around under cold blue skies, finding out the streets and tracks through the town…Imagination tends now to be tempered [or anchored, in the worst of days] by a social anxiety…

The house cat rests across my chest, rubbing herself against my face. Purrs of deep satisfaction, claws pressing into my chest with a suggestion of flirtation. I accept her closeness until the pressure increases to such an extent I fear for the drawing of blood. Her preferred position is spying on the birds she doesn’t techincally recognise, as a house cat, from the vantage point of my cluttered window-sill.

My handwriting has become less legible with the passing months. I have no pen or indeed pencil within easy reach. My memories are touched by the light smoke from poems never finished, ideas not communicated beyond the secret bed of writing paper. And now, it does not get beyond my fingers, these words of consideration and thought. Not for the want of wanting, if you will.

Faces, faces to talk with, to kiss…All fading into the clouds…Sinking deep…There are places to discover. I should revisit the calm of a Sunday.

everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance

A complex arrangement of argument presents itself, a gaseous form, almost aura in style. The tensions which have always existed floating and bubbling to the surface, and out, splashing the sides, and to overflow…In my hand, a heart, rotting as would an apple in a cupboard, its valves stretched, damaged and dirtied, a battered boxer’s fist. Assuming the damage was carried out for the purposes of self-harm (so to speak) the witness is unrelenting in their fierce critisicm…

But, later, there is no gaseous argument or fiery argument. It is as though I am staring at a distant light through a frosted window, the glass of which is etched with a design of lines and curves as would be seen from a child’s drawing of trees: expressionless forms and faces appear in the accidental symmetry. From the circle of light, beyond the etched trees, a wonder of clarity. For the mind is struggling, with some determination, to find fault with the current situation; the struggle is visible in the fidgeted, forensic analysis of precisely no evidence. With impeccible timing, the radio plays “All men have secrets, and here is mine…

Through the skittish drizzle of morning, that sensation of contentment, frozen with the stunned bewilderment which attaches itself to moments of Serendipity. The railway station is almost empty, but for the determined people-watcher, there will always be something to notice. She with her face framed by fake fur, an expression of boredom tinged with anticipation, or maybe concern, an undertone of regret. She actually clasps her handbag, as women are seen doing in photographs from the past, her hands are clasping, which says more than her eyes, which she hides.

The natural reaction to silence, and absence, is concern and anxiety. Which is the new word of the times. Anxious, like awkward, are words whose spelling suit their definition. Hearts which are their own definition. From the newest morning another stride through a forest, and its hidden lights, scratched leaves, and unmarked trails; the soil under which will be where I bury the damaged, rotten heart in my hands.

empty hearts and shallow laughs

In which a sustained cackle deepens and broadens. The slight and subtle killer of dreams, dressed in black (naturally), whipping the future away with a broad brush of his hands…The clown without make-up, who ran before he could walk, and now in the style of a lesser known Greek god, drags everyone behind him while he crawls…

In this thread, the knots of disappointment. They are worn bracelet-fashion, dangle, cheap but attractive, which is their curse. Intricate carving on the underside, something like a code (maybe not a spell). To decipher this would not bring forth the word of God, which should not deflate (or, indeed, disappoint).

Fate has decreed too much has been moving in the right direction. For now, the empty words and the wall of debt and the burning leaves, they all swirl and dance in invisible courtyards, ready to be shown when the light is cruelly robbed.

Choose carefully which strangers to allow through your door

And from the Second House of New Hearts, the Empty Headed Ghost Of August. He is not happy. His skin drips with no ink. The blackened eyes glitter with insolence. If something has “glimmer” could it not also have “glim” ?

And then, in real life, comes the flash of the pan. From the centre of the stars, a movement, subtle as a whisper, but with the clarity of a full moon. Whilst the footsteps of destiny clatter loud against the stubborn silence of dawn, Serendipity is whisking up the leaves, the creaking mumour of old trees lean against walls, building up the sense of voices, words, whispers forming from the bending branches…

The socilogical understanding of ‘doubt’ has some thoughts leaning on the side of childhood fears. The uncertainty of certain doubt itches and scratches against the thought patterns, if not the soul. Indeed it would appear that ‘doubt’ is only a few degrees separated from ‘guilt’, sharing almost every characteristic, even its taste. One can feel it, certainly in the quiet walks along the River, feet kicking stones, hands softly, lazily, running along leaves and twigs…Reaching out in a stretch reminiscent of paint commercials…

There are changes, within and beyond, and whilst the hope yearns for eternal profit, something in the air catches the most subtle of suggestions of ‘doubt’, and whisks up a storm. He who has the last word is always right, goes the rule. Only strangers have the get-out clause here. Only strangers can prove the rule.

Walking on Eggshells

Using the same form of intuition found usually in the elderly relative who has always known a grandchild was homosexual but didn’t say anything until a stuffed envelope was opened at their wake, I decide it is best to leave early. I open the curtains, peer, into a purple darkness, spattering rain dribbling and chiming with its ricochet rhythm, puddles jiggling with movement as though fish swarmed below.

The argument was sporadic, but stretched across the whole evening. I did consider asking if the constant period of temper was caused by a constant period, but felt this inappropriate, given the circumstances. I suggested sleeping somewhere other than our bed, to a sigh and spiel and shrug combination, so I did sleep somewhere else, cushions as pillows and quilt, agitated by the constant ticking of a clock I cannot remember purchasing.

Outside a stranger’s house, the bus corporation have erected an electronic bus stop, on which is displayed the time at which the bus will arrive late. The house chosen for the place of this new bus stop is a slab of suburban comfort, framed by gardens, trees, middle-class complacency. The woman who lives there could be divorced, I consider, who has tried to balance her preference for Scandinavian furniture with her former husband’s drab taste for mahogany, carpets, door-handles arched into grins.

Maybe not, I decide. The elderly couple who live in the house are happily married, make sandwiches, tend plants, chop tomatoes and lettuces together for salads. She likes Su Doku, he places bets on the horses by scrawling figures in the margins of newspapers. They remain together through a love of the mundane and a hatred of homosexuals.

By way of a shuddering noise, a message blips onto my mobile phone. Decisions and conclusions have been drawn. My walking on eggshells first thing in the morning disturbed dreams, but over the smokey purr of a brew, a form of compromise is proposed. The display screen of the electronic bus-stop suggests walking back home would make for a worse situation balance, but text message diplomacy suffices.

Scattering rain, cold wind, all noticed, but not for me the luxury of a shelter. The bus arrives with a drawl and sprayed water, bored. The only other passenger, driver aside, is a frothy skeleton of a cage-dancer, whose implied snobbery behind the eyes is as good a reason as ever why I have often toyed with the concept of banning homosexuality.

Championing the future without understanding of the past

Whispers of doubt clutter the train of thought. Faces in the crowd turn, ever so slightly, eyes subtle in their meaning…But it is all noticed. The language of no words.

Following from yesterday, the memory now turns to other person, who now features in my life only as a name on an orange box which appears on an instant messaging programme we never use to instantly message each other. The main issue with other person comes from me, naturally enough. The whole episode can be seen in my mind, as clear as a reconstructed crime scene, or highlights from a late-night drama with a cult following but generally low viewing figures. Analysis of the scene has been such over the months – and in the context of modern events, it really should not be subjected to much more than a cursory glance – has resulted in a sense of an external viewing, a perspective outside my own.

Other person is just one name lost in time, I must concede. “Issues” is a label thrown around these days as commonly as “fantastic” and “literally”. On this point, actually, I recall being told a story involving the mother of a friend of mine, who did not seemed concerned that her daughter was being “literally eaten alive” by bugs on a holiday abroad. Not for the first time, I digress…

With reference to more contemporary concerns, I bit my tongue when confidence on the matter ran away with me. I am more comfortable, in one way, seeing persons from the past on the fringes, filling in their thoughts and opinions, reading the situations through silence. My understanding of being Piscean, insofar as it matters at all, validates my behaviour in this regard. These are the peculiarities of my character regardless of astrology. Respecting the past, almost to an evangelical degree, but not yet able to return to writing in my diary, which rests now dust-covered under a growing detritus of newspapers, photographs, letters. Unlike the bitter old socialists, who carry themselves as walking time capsules, I have managed to marry (balance, perhaps, is more accurate) anecdotes with attitudes. This should see me through, no matter how much I have to bite my tongue.

Postcards from Nowhere

Today we will learn about Fate…

Fortune has an erratic attitude towards fairness. One would assume that, incidentally, “entirely” will throw from the dictionary “entire”, a word found now only in poems and love songs…But I digress…

Fortune has an erratic attitude towards direction, personal and ‘other’. The accidental meet, the fickle choice of coincidence, and the wandering of the heart; it is a ‘false science’, akin to thinking something strange has occurred when you meet a friend for the first time in years who you had thought about only that morning…

In the afternoon, the wandering had taken me to ‘usual haunts’. Of course Fate was designing my direction, perhaps even my thoughts, for how else would I have bumped into person. You can refer to my diary for the daily reportage. Fate was not always controlling, person had issues of their own. History has been re-written, I admit, for events now seem linear to an extent I cannot believe was the case originally.

Then, as now, was a suggested understanding that the more unusual events occurred for a reason, that there was a conclusion, a big “FIN” in the sky yet to be lowered. One day could be merely a sub-plot, lacking only a touch of the dramatic irony required in the otherwise rumbustious farce.

I could discuss person further, but not perhaps now. There are others, a growing line, an advancing army of strangers. One of these days the climax will result in either a fight or a flight. Some form of advance, on that we call all agree. The journey through the day is engraved on the underside of clouds, beyond which lies an unknown horizon. Something to do with “love”, I fear, something emotive. Thence…where? Knowing my luck, I’d suggest at from here, “what” is more appropriate…

light, and the absence of light

There are cracks in the clouds. Maybe placed there, not created. As opposed to…if you will. If you see the sky, will you witness God, from this angle?

The concepts present today include “desire” and “imprisionment”…Questions left in the air, hanging invisible, seen only through the flash of sudden light…The signs present only through mechanical means. I can only dip my flag to Fate, the one common characteristic throughout most of the processes of thought. For Fate has dripped certain suggestions, hints, through the days and weeks, be they names whispered through the currents or strange suddend mentions of concepts from the fringes…Be it coincidence or a greater design, it is acknowledged, accepted…It is subtle, almost prayer-like…

Reality must also hold heavy with me, though, optimism being so weak even of these early baby-steps into the year. The cruel twist of Fate, as a saying, is cliché, but the concept is true…

Japan

A shoelace around the arm, God in the sugar bowl…From the archives, a dusty packet of scribbles, drawn out like blood underwater, shaped into signatures. The hand can reach out but never in, hence the fading of the words, the eventual burning of all words.

Today’s word is “inexorable”. It is a knife, the hard “k” of the word “fuck”, if not necessarily the action…There has to be apology, regret, all the textbook footsteps through diplomacy. But signs are not posted for the benefit of strangers (what was it, “no sign in the desert forbidding the eating of stones”?)…

How to be Good

The loner stumbles under cream and orange, smelling of damp love, the scum of distant sex…Footsteps and footfalls…

In the immediate memory, a blur of regret. Temptation in the alcohol, subtle words and signs, subtlety which may not have existed. Lust is the crime you cannot prove…Words hang heavier over silence, fog in fashion…The kind of people who choke on guilt, however natural it may be. I return to “context is all”, which as a maxim is neither original nor my own…

Denial will shadow the journey towards new light, as much as any other concept. Serene, calming voices from the sidelines do nothing to reacquaint the brain with focus or determination. The pressing force of responsibility can be pictured as much a ghost as a black dog: as much baseball bat as disease…

Consequential acts…the hint of the rumour, the lie, the gossip…More than this, something heavier…The regret which steps in front of every kick…In reality honesty is not enough. Perfection is the aim, the sunshine beyond the storm…The answer is “focus”, the mood should be “mature”…But it is far too clear that nothing good will come from the current mindset…And this will continue…maybe forever…until the options completely dry…