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Sunday, July 31, 2005

rites of the child.

There are only two countries in the world that did not sign the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, according to the BBC World Service. For those of you find the wording too dry try this.

the not very long good bye

you talked a lot. i thought you were funny. you could have been anything you wanted to be.

i stopped at the traffic lights. i saw you walking to the junction. you were going in the wrong direction. i looked away before i thought you had seen me. the lights changed, i squeezed the throttle, we parted. now i'll never see you again.

these things that are pleasing you will hurt you sometime.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

c'est le reve

the dream.

it was a national day parade. i knew it to be so because there were fireworks in the daytime (the logic can't be explained in waking hours). we had coffee with mutual friends. you had a hotel room overlooking the parade and pyrotechnics. your husband was busy with his schoolkids at the parade, he would only be free later. crowds everywhere. when coffee was over, you said you were going back to the room, to while away time before he got back late. the mutual friends melted away. i offered to stay with you, to keep you company. perhaps i had been playful during the coffee already.

we stood at the lift lobby. we pressed the button. i was joking with you about something. i put my arm around you. there was more talk. i kissed you. you didn't stop me. i think you kissed me back.

we were in the lift, i tried to casually press the buttons for the high floor so the lift wouldn't stop and this moment wouldn't have to end, then it wasn't a lift it was a storeroom, then it wasn't a storeroom it was a hotel room, then it was a lift again and that continued. i alternated between anxiousness over the buttons, being seen, and wondering why the door to the room was ajar.

i tried to put my hand up your skirt or down your pants. you screamed then, and i thought to myself, shit the spell is broken, the moment over. it must have been a spell that let me kiss you. you said to me, there are some things that are only for a husband. i thought that was that, the moment was over. instead you kissed me. apparently there are some other things that i can share with husbands.

you felt tiny in my embrace. i cradled you almost, arms wrapped around you tight. finally while i was kissing your neck i couldn't help but wonder why the door was ajar, and there was a person sitting on a bed with red sheets right in front of it.

i turned to look, and i woke. it was a shivering sweaty wakening .

it was just a dream. why can't i look at you the same.

Monday, July 25, 2005

symbol of a deeper sickness

a film the title of which i cannot remember.

It starts with

ext. evening. a road with a sandy patch. a barn and some other buildings visible in the background.

a station wagon comes onscreen, stops and dies. a man comes out of it, looks exasperated.

ext. evening.
the man makes a phone call from a pay phone. He says he is stuck. The voice on the other end is not happy. Goddamnit, he says, do you think i want to be stuck in this hicktown backwater? there's no mechanic till the morning because everything's closed!

ext. night.
the man walks towards the barn. faint light and music can be heard coming from it. tentatively he opens the door and goes in.

the light and music come up. There is a full fledged country town party going on, with a band playing the banjo, fiddle, harmonica, spoons and washboard. the man circulates, is welcomed with a drink even though he is a stranger. he makes his way to the band. he is captivated by the fiddler, a lovely young woman and the camera makes her even more so. she looks at him, right at him, he thinks she is playing to him with her eyes.

later he tries to talk to her. she brushes him off, maybe because he is a city boy. towards the end of the night though, she has trouble with the old man of the band, he's far too drunk. she's trying to drag him home, the man offers his assistance, and eventually she relents.

ext. night.
he always gets like this when we have a big party, she says as they drag his comatose body across the road to their house. they get him in through the door with difficulty. That's his room over there, she says. they put him in it, snoring.

Thanks, she says. You're not so bad. Do you want a drink? The man agrees. they have a drink. You're not so bad either, he says. they make small talk. suddenly they kiss. he presses her up against a wall or doorway, he is telling her how beautiful she is.

They are lying on the sofa, curled up together. he says, come with me. She says, sure, but what about the old man? Don't worry, he says. I'll handle him.

Even later on that night or early on in the morning the grizzly old man wakes and stumbles over to the kitchen. The two of them are there, sitting at the table, maybe breakfast things are scattered there. They are holding hands on the table top, both hands.

What the hell is this? says the old man. behind him, framed by the side of the doorway, is a shotgun.

Well, says the man. I- er- am in love with, your daughter. Smiling.

She ain't my daughter, says the old man, raising his voice. She's ma wife.

ext. same lighting conditions as in first shot. a road with a sandy patch and a station wagon on it.
the man comes onscreen, gets into the car. it starts, chugs, and then the lights come on and it drives off.

a rendition.

They aren't good friends, but they choose the same place to hide and smoke in school. Over time they have built up a grudging acceptance of each other even though they aren't in the same circles. Eventually they break the silence by talking about the thing all boys think about, fucking. They compare some vague generalisations, but eventually get down to details.

G. is always talking to E about how to fuck and what he did with Kelly, how he moved her legs or grabbed her ass. E hasn't had much luck, just some basic fumbling, and is in awe and sometimes disbelief at the sometimes rough and othertimes greedy sex he has in bed with Kelly. He wonders how he gets so much action.

You make her sound like a slut, E says.
Aw, hell, she just loves it, G replies.

After a particularly graphic smoke break description of last night's sweaty rutting that has both of them about to burst, E can't take it anymore. Either he's hot shit in junior high, or a bluffer with a great imagination.

Goddamnit how the hell do you manage to sneak into your girlfriend's room every night? E half shouts.

Shit, she isn't my girlfriend, he says. She's my sister.

Monday, July 18, 2005


the hidden place.

when i say quiet time, i mean cleaning my hard to reach places time.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Time = Cause . Listen and Read.

Sit still, calm your heart. Imagine: imagine night time. Imagine inky blackness speckled with stars. Imagine a road. Also night air, light and transparent. Imagine rolling along this empty road, unnaturally cold in a place which is never cold. Look up at the sky, forgetting the rest of the world exists to look at the giant suns so far away as to be sequins. See those whole worlds that are not your world hanging suspended in nothing, while you feel the air turning colder as you roll faster.

i feel the chill. if i let my hands go now, will i fall faster?

Once upon a time i was in love. I wouldn't say she loved me back but we got by, after a fashion. (she couldn't love me back, there were too many others). But I loved her all out of measure. She was horrid, but beautiful. She was many things to many people, but she was all things to me, very nearly. In her I sought refuge, I sought understanding, I sought pockets of myself I hardly knew existed. Every day was something new and undiscovered. Every day in a place I might have passed a hundred times I found a whole new facet or country. In the haze of sleep or fever of eager gazing at her, I smelled the promise of a hundred million more surprises.

But as always time runs on, and passes by as thoughtlessly as I do the unflickering streetlight near the bus stop. On graduation day there was rain, and I was uncharacteristically equipped with an umbrella. I knew it before I felt it. Good bye was not even a word or thought or handshake. My souvenirs were all stolen.

I used to daydream of a london at war with itself. I imagined a man so overwhelmed with what he saw everyday that when he came home he sank himself in a painstakingly kettle heated bath to forget and aid his metamorphosis into something human. In what passed for life he was not human, he had to change to become so.

So perhaps my dream is real. Sickening disaster addicts that we were, perhaps we would have longed for the chance to prove our resilience, would have ran down the street to help (it was down my street, it was near my house, it was where i did my mundane grocery shopping). Or who am I kidding, we are all different now, I am nothing like I was when I loved her. I am stuck wondering where you all are now: where are you astronaut, where are you geographer - i never got to say i was sorry, i never got to tell you that you were right, that i miss you - where are you solicitor, programmer, dopesmoker, scientist? Crewmen? I never got to tell you that I envied you your girlfriend, lusted after your sister, that you saved my life, that you gave me a home. Are you lying in a makeshift bed somewhere bleeding, tended to by a younger version of me? Are you wandering aimlessly about, unable to remember your own name or where you live? Is your charred body entwined with twisted metal in the dark of the tunnels which yesterday were your lifeline but today your grave? Tonight I put my hand to my mouth in thought or exclamation, and I smell the smell of those old days, still stale and surprisingly unchanged.

And yet though I want to feel sorry for you as well as them I can't. Our affair is over but I paid attention to what you did since then. You called this upon yourself, you asked for all this to happen. You sent those boys and girls and sons and daughters to die in the desert, and now they will die at home too.

london is a desert where friends lie dying and others lie about dying. I'll hold you close like a sack of explosives with a sizzling fuse.

Monday, July 04, 2005

120 hour party people

is there a line that i could write, that's sad enough to make you cry?

i can't remember the last time i had a good night's sleep. it seems so long ago.

the most important party i ever went to

driving for miles and miles. tiredness like a heartache. drinking glass after glass after glass. dark rooms. padded hotel corridors. retching convulsively onto the pavement and into the bushes. laughing maniacally at the slightest thing. lighting cigarettes at the wrong end. a haze of smoke clouding judgement. stumbling into disconnected lifts, sticking out an arm to search for something to hold on to. we can make it, just a little further. scribbling notes with a nail polished hand. where's my skirt! loud explosions. the decadent feel of plastic.

We held on to each other for balance, trying to tug ourselves back home. But really we were holding on to each other for support.

you look shattered, she said. can people see right through me?