.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


Sunday, August 28, 2005

the lion in winter

a lion!

or a funnel

i think of him as radar cat

just for now

[hey radarcat you left your price tag on]

Friday, August 26, 2005


after the ceremony we sat in the canteen, sipping the watered down soda and tea from the plastic cups furry with repeated scratches. other people went off to town and important places to celebrate, but we sat in the same old canteen as we had been eating all our dire lunches in for the past few years. mother and father didn't seem to mind, and i guess it was all the same to us. after all where could we go, what else would we do besides wait for the bus and go to the interchange take the other bus and go home. it didn't feel different now that i'd never have to eat there again unwillingly, but still the canteen didn't feel the same. we weren't unhappy there, though we said nothing more or less, and though we couldn't say we were happy.

i kept an extra programme for you, mother said.
thanks, i said.
it's got your name in it do you want to see it? she said.
yes, i said. she handed it to me. i took it. it had my name in it. we went back to sipping our tea and soda.

a moment and a momentous occasion share letters and root morphemes and are also a world apart. i wonder why.

a moment does not become momentous because of the pomp and the ritual and the dress that you wear, it is only momentous because of what it means and what happens in your head. the blasts of confetti and fireworks and choirs of singing ring empty inside me on new years day.
but does that mean that sitting in the crummy little canteen i knew so well that i was sick of it yesterday (but which mother and father had never seen before) everything was indeed momentous?

we're going to get up, wait for the bus, take it to the interchange, take the other bus, and walk home, for the last time.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

a reminder

note to self: do not juggle razor blades any more.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Godard's Handgun

we stopped the car about midway up the hill. she took the high-powered rifle, the mat and the binoculars with the stand from the boot, and we carried these things up the rest of the way. on the top looking over the steep drop of the opposite face we lay the mat down and surveyed the area. a leafy valley, mostly rocky underfoot in the open spaces where the stream showed through. a bare patch near the bend of the stream, walkable from the road that passed by on the slope above. it was more than a kilometre away. it was a narrow pass.

why did we put the meet here? i asked. it has two hiding places, she said. looking more carefully now, i could see them with a little difficulty.

are those our guys in there? i said. no, she said, theirs.

aren't our boys walking into a trap? yes, she said. you don't seem bothered, i said. i'm not.

there was a long pause. we both watched, i through the binoculars, she through the rifle scope.

okay i'll bite, i said, why aren't you worried? she sighed, like you would to a troublesome child: they think we're amateurs. we chose the spot. they agreed. they are going to double cross us. they think we don't know the hiding places.

can you hit them from here with that? i asked. shhh, she snapped.

Mark Griffin, in Dali's Handgun, states that 'the perfect gun is a beautiful chimera', is 'not in the habit of saluting the dead', is 'a door someone opened'. That gun 'writes sad and ardent love letters', and 'crouches to intercept shadows'. I think of his first lines most: the perfect gun is not visible; the perfect gun exists in the savage state.

the german car rolled up even earlier than expected, too early for the meeting time. when the round friendly shape of the french car showed up, conventionally it would have been impossible to escape the trap. but our boys did not stop, instead took out the goods and carried on as if doing business. i watched the shapes up on the hill, crawling towards the hiding places, i watched the green branches of the valley sway in the wind.

the shots that were supposed to come from the hiding places never came of course when everything went sour, though lots of others did down by the stream. the distant firecracker noises made me feel weird. afterwards there were a lot of dead bodies. but in this place, no one cares about dead bodies. we watched through the binoculars and the scope.

we rolled up the mat and got ready to move off. i asked her, could you really have hit anything with that rifle at such a long way off?

no, she said. then why did you bring it? i asked.

i did not bring it to shoot any of them, she said. i brought it in case i needed to shoot you.

Did Godard get it right? Is the world orderly or disorderly? I think he was saying it is like a madness, absurd and seemingly cosmically planned. Maybe the plans we discern, like a heist or a doublecross, only serve to show how absurd and unplanned everything really is in contrast. We try to design our lives and paths and arrange our selves, but when we steal cars on a whim and jump randomly from one adventure to another, that is when we are most in tune with reality.

all your reflected images

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Roll Deep

Roll Deep Crew is still in the UK top 20. Holy Shit. Is this signalling the mainstreaming of grime?

camel dreams

me and my camel, we get along fine, we like walking, we like roaming. We travel a lot. Many days find us treading paths and following rivers, picking lines across the stony desert.

Many days also find us sitting on hills or under sparsely shady trees, sipping a little water, waiting, watching the distance. I can see something in the middle distance. I count things. I write them in my little book. I like watching the heat rise in waves off the barren ground, the mirages shimmering like water. It makes me think of home and freedom.

At night we cook a little stew to feed ourselves, though my camel doesn't eat much. I dig a hole for my fire. I try not to look at the fire too much too, it ruins my night vision. After cooking I put the fire out quickly. We huddle together for warmth, I lean back on her hump and feel the slow breathing or a creature more important to me than myself. I count the distant lights, and sometimes I fall asleep.

There are storms here, and we both hate it when that happens. We hunker down, braced against the wind, and I add extra layers to shield myself. The sand gets everywhere though, in my shirt, in my shoes. Sometimes we have to walk through the storms, and that is very trying. I don't just cover my face, I put on my goggles and tighten my straps, and trudge on through the blasts of sand, reins in my hand, leading my reluctant camel. Sometimes we ride, actually camels can see pretty well in storms, their long eyelashes help apparently. I have to confess I don't really know, because I never look into her eyes during a storm. I should find out really, because I've been thinking of getting her a pair of goggles of her own but if she doesn't need them I wouldn't want to insult her.

Out here you should never be too far away from your camel, and so I am always close by. A sun around which I orbit, whether scribbling notes in my little book perched on a sand dune or a rock, or stretched out beside her. If I go to a watering hole or uproot a bulb plant for water, I always keep within sight and come back briskly to her. We've covered miles and miles and miles together, sometimes you'll see us stopping at crossroads, while I get down, raise my goggles and examine the ground. At other times we might stop near the crest of a hill, and I dismount and scramble to peek over the top, looking into the oasis on the other side.

We range up and down this land, my camel and I, and the click swish of metal buckles and leather straps as we saddle up is the heartening sound of movement. We are alone but not truly lonely, though I am the only one who talks. She never says much but to spit or fart, and not often at that. I haven't grown tired of the endless rangings, everyday more ground to cover and things to count and jot down, and as for her, well I guess she was made to travel.

We get along fine, my camel and I, but sometimes, waking from a disgruntled sleep and reaching out to ascertain where I am or if I still exist, I wish she was alive to say something to me.