These Text & Image pieces were originally published in Facebook
I gathered and bunched ranktoad, dogbottom lily, worts, cowberry and fuchsias. I bound and wrapped them loosely and laid them to the side with my day clothes so that they would not crush each other or cross-pollinate in such a way that hybrids could arise. At the yoga class we did the downcast dog, the pulling person and the sea eagle after which I learned that Michael will come to your house with his reasonable hair services. Will he take his clippings with him? I wondered. While I did not want them myself I did not want them to be taken away somewhere.
It was when I realised that my wondering if my use of the larger breadboard would upset the smaller breadboard was a sign that I should get out that I did. Sometimes I walk with my head up and sometimes it is down. But it’s not that I was looking out for anything or that I was near any grocers or kerbed refuse from Tesco or similar. No. I can’t remember where it was but perhaps it was a particular kind of thought that made me look down but anyway on this occasion it was a whole cucumber as if it had dropped from a tree of them. Except that it was wrapped in plastic. I must confess I found that rather special as if it had been in a flight attendant’s hand moments earlier before they slipped in the galley when about to pep a bun and whoosh out it went and down. Unskied. I know that I have a small following that I am anxious to please. It would be a shame if they thought He makes shit up.
1.1 Their world was the same as ours in every respect but then I discovered that Cliff Richard and The Shadows (formed in 1958), well known to successive generations in our country, were known there as Cliff Richard and The Shadders. I said “Don’t you mean The Shadows?” and they said “What’s that?” and I said “It’s Cliff Richard and The Shadows” and they said “That’s not even a word.” I said “So what does Shadders mean then?” They said “It just sounds good – it doesn’t have to mean anything. It’s just a pop name.” When I said so what do you call it when there’s a light behind something and it throws a dark shape on the ground before the thing? They said “Like an outline? We call it an outline.” I realised that not everything has to have a special name and different cultures would evolve their own decisions on such matters.
1.2 But what of the failing of the light when outlines may seem to teem? What of the places where lowlifes tangle? The passages having insufficient lamps? The dapples in a copse? The certitude that is beyond a tiny amount of a doubt? Are these things lost? The falling of glooms, the gardens stifled in shrubs, the fleeting disdain of those sensing disdain, their sense of the shower beneath the show, an elusive out of the corner of the eye like the fox at dusk, the amateur shot straight into the light when the camera shuts down and your friend is silhouetted, the faux pas that is ignored by the group but casts nevertheless a cloud over proceedings, all the hints, the feints, the fainting, the vapours? If they are not named how can they be of life, Hank? Jet? Bruce? Tony? Anyone?
Spent the weekend working on Bonkers, my clown. Anxious to get back in the saddle. Got in touch with Gwen, my costumier. “These trousers should be about right,” she said. They were ill-tailored and flecked with what looked like soup and mud. “They will stand for my shame. Fantastic, Gwen!” I said. She reached for the upper garment. “This is dreampop trancepolitics,” she said, running her hand over the many many fabrics and their startling rents. “I cannot wait to start wisecracking and capering,” I told her.
Ply Father is the magazine from the fertile lands dealing with joinery and it is attracting attention along with the other coming magazine Farr Number. They are coming out of areas out near Ipswich. The Ply Father place is in tousled grass and set back from the road. Peter, the person at the place, said “Yes, it is multi-layered like strong working woods.” And then over to Farr Number which is a movable feast insofar as it caters to groups of people who move around the country and maybe do not visit the city frequently. Susan who is one of the organisers says that “The people expect the issues to be readily available and we are proud to do that.”
Thank you Dear Friends for your kind greetings on my Birthday – they put a spring in my step so I decided to go out and correct some lingering imbalances. ‘Hello Mrs Carter I said to her at her door I just want to let you know that you were the inspiration for what might have struck you, had you read it, as an ill considered depiction of certain of your qualities that you may have found quite unlike you and if this is the case then please hold me in low esteem such as like with an old rag in the street or a part of a shoe or a desolate place of toppled oil drums She interrupted ‘Mrs Carter moved I’m afraid to another house a while ago leaving no forwarding address Fucking hell I said couldn’t you have mentioned that at the off? You didn’t give me a chance she said.’
Dawn so I too got out of bed. I was walking along a street of homes. I knocked on some doors because of curiosity. A guy said ‘Is that Armed Police! Armed Police!’ I said ‘No. I’m not shouting that.’ He said ‘Where’s the man who stands to the side with the big door ram as you run in?’ I said ‘No, Peter. It’s not that. Look – I’m already in! We don’t need that.’ He said ‘This is, I suppose, an average home for this street.’ I said ‘Well, you know, you always have that curiosity, don’t you?’ Peter said ‘I don’t, actually.’ I said ‘I meant “you” as in “people generally.”’ ‘Okay, good then,’ Peter said ‘I suppose I’ll be back to bed then.’ I sat down on the settee and rested for a while. Peter, I think he said.
I really shouldn’t be doing this. No-one will believe me. I know that what people like is that they know where they are. In this letter Dear David I so like how you sometimes put vegetables in like you did a few days ago with celery on the Facebook. Well thank you Susan but I also like a bit of variety which is why Today’s Picture is problematic because people will think I’ve run out of ideas but the truth is it was just there at least a mile away from the celery a few days ago. I’m not one of these people who think Wow Two Celeries in 10 days Am I Connecting with Something Bigger? I’m really not. But if you had seen two celeries don’t you think you would want to tell people?
1.1 To take my mind off things I thought I would go to see the Archers Hello Dan his forearms and face were sunbeaten. Hello David he said warmly How is the writing for performance going? Well, I can’t say it’s busy Dan. What about your crops in the ground Dan, tell me about them I’d love that. Well the wheat is largely drilled to keep them warm by now Dan replied. Yes of course I said Yes. And how is Doris? I’m afraid she passed away in 1980 David Dan said. I knew that but it’s a shame I said. I used to listen with my mother you know Dan, way back. Was Doris alive then Dan asked? Oh yes, very much so. Dan nodded quietly.
1.2 Yo Piglet! I cried. Dan was affable enough but his memory seemed imperfect. I asked him to direct me to the Hundred Acre Wood, thinking that might take my mind off him. It was a three day journey by dray and cart along holloways drawn by farm animals. So, Piglet, I said to the fretful creature between the great trees scarcely sliced by light. Do you see Pooh much? He hung his head. We’ve kind of got out of touch he said. But is he still living in a tree or whatever? I don’t know, Christopher Robin, he said hesitantly. For fuck’s sake, Piglet! I’m not fucking Christopher Robin – he died in 1996! Oh. Oh. Okay. He shuffled back to the shadows to the damp sticks the fallen fruit.
1.3 Dan Archer of The Archers said Right Piglet if I’m to have you in full mud then we’d best have that jerkin off. It’s not a jerkin it’s a body said the mournful and reclusive small animal. My goodness Dan said in his warming voice And what is that can I ask he enquired. It’s a one piece garment came back The Piglet It’s very practical. Well you’d better slip it off now you’ll be comfy enough in your new home. I’ve always worn it Dan, this plaintively. That’s because of your retiringness said the wise countryman who had in fact died some time ago. There will be many warm swine of like mind in the facility Dan continued. You can catch up there. It feels rash The Piglet ventured. To stay in this place of dull silence and ragged moss would be rasher was Dan Archer’s rejoinder. Please don’t use that word Dan begged the little thing.
Then he said, a propos of nothing, out of the blue, I know where she takes walks on her own sometimes. I went over there never thinking for a moment and there she was. No bodyguards nothing. Smoking. Looking at the horse. So I said by way of an icebreaker We don’t see you round these parts often and she said Well yeah I’m exempt from human experience and I said Wow how do you get that? She said I don’t know really you kind of realise you are. Is that all the time can you turn it on and off, I enquired. She said I have no means of telling. I said Okay, thank you Ma’am.
It was dark in the park early and rain started to come in. There were people around pleased to get out despite that. I thought I could sense a kerfuffle. Over by one side along some paths I saw the body of an enormous horse. I mean practically as big as two cars. There were families looking at it with children and their dogs. I realised that some of them had small electric saws, Makita, Bosch etc. On the whole it was a respectful feeling. From time to time an individual would step forward and start their saw and saw off the leg or the head of the horse. I said Will you eat it? They said That’s the idea. We’ve got tarpaulin.
On my walk I’m writing to the bus app people Why the fuck does your fucking app tell me 11 minutes so I’m walking up the hill and the bus goes right past 2 minutes later what fucking use is this to me? You know. It’s not like this particular bus is common it’s fucking rare like miss one and you could write a fucking sonnet before the next one. About 40 years ago I’m walking along and there’s Eva Marie Saint who played Edie in ‘On the Waterfront’ (1954) with Marlon Brando on the other side of the street and I smile politely and she smiles. That was what it was like. This picture says it all.
I did some things but then it was half past 11 in the morning so I fell asleep. I wrote some short films about 5 or 6 but they were in my head not written down. It would be good to monetise them but I know they are not commercial. I mean really short like forty seconds max. I went for a walk and on the ground I saw some celery. About half a stick. Not a bunch but as if cut from a bush. I should have photographed it but it was dusk. The picture is alright but it is not dusk.
This leaf that I found on the ground has got the pox. I’m going to put it on my nature table. I would like to go to Paris. Not to get the pox don’t be silly it’s just what I would like. You know after you have a beer do you put the cap in with the bottle because if they melt the glass it wouldn’t melt the cap so you wonder.