Saturday, June 25, 2016

Perpending the Referendum

Conjuncture, episode, eschaton,
At Bluebird of Chelsea, traders batten on
The workers,
Expect Bob Crow to self-certify and abstain;
And they have Moët and crab's claw,
By laissez-faire countenance outlaw
Keynesianism; And who shall take us out,
Nietzsche, or Cromwell,
O who will betray us now?
My muse from Belarus,
Professor Green in a Canada Goose
Coat is talking to the homeless refugee,
And I say:
If we have power,
Let us make right decisions!—
Let us take care of the boy of 15,
Migrated to here from Iran,
Whose father was executed, slowly
By a diabolical Hiab crane.
The epigones of Tony Benn are demonised for voting Leave,
And, thin-skinned, as blundering vindicators of Farage, they grieve.

Friday, June 03, 2016

The headmistress of my infants school in Wickford wore her hair erect in buns, bun upon bun and depending from a scaffold of outrage commensurate to Victorian vestiges. In my mind, they seemed to build whenever she was made angry, and I would make my family laugh with my impersonation of her, saying "bundle, bundle, bundle" whilst putting one fist atop another over my head. Each "b" would be pronounced more explosively as I planted my fists higher and higher in an act that resembled some kind of drawing straws sortition. 

As a five-year-old in the year of the Queen's silver jubilee, I made Mrs Goodman angry a lot. I was sent to her office frequently, once for strangling myself during playtime until I went crimson. She had been given an account of the incident by a playground monitor, but Mrs Goodman told me that I must demonstrate to her exactly what happened, and without hesitation I put my hands either side of my neck, so that my elbows pointed at her as she sat at her desk, a picture of the Queen behind her head, and I held my breath. After watching me for several seconds, my elbows wavering with accusing zeal in the vicinity of the monarch, that dutiful subject, Mrs Goodman, cried out a shrill "Stop". Top knot atop top knot, she wrested my shoes from my feet and made me stand in just my socks on a copy of the Daily Mail outside her office, a bizarre punishment, which she often used, presumably designed to humiliate and degrade.
Semi-solitary in the courtyard of our holiday cottage, I put my book down for a moment to look up at High Wheeldon. My hair is like a clown's, my oversized yellow hiking boots are like a clown's; you might visualise the paraphernalia, car collapsing around me, squirty flower. There is a woman sitting reading in the next courtyard along, the mother of the little girl my daughter has made friends with. I have spoken with her, but not very much.

A gust of wind makes the pages of my book flicker open on the table and one of my various bookmarks separates and escapes over the low partitioning stone wall between the courtyards.

Over the years, my children have prolifically written messages on small scraps of paper, or drawn pictures, and not having the heart to dispose of them, I tend to pool together all those of a period coinciding with my allegiance to a particular book, using the burgeoning wad to mark my progress.

I instantly wonder which herald has been blown over the wall, now adhering to the ankle of the woman reading quietly, entreating her to glance down. I hope it is just a drawing and not the message, which I know to be among them, left on my pillow several weeks ago (I have been reading this novel since then) by my daughter, which states "I Love You."

Lines written at the base of High Wheeldon

This evening, my fate became entangled with Samantha Morton's and thereof I was granted free admittance to a John Cooper Clarke gig in Bakewell, thanks to his manager, Phil Jones. 
Two days before, I had visited the churchyard of St. Mary Magdalene in Tanworth-in-Arden, contemplated, by the oak tree, mortality in being so close to Nick Drake's bones;
The trudge of blood, hlud, in my throat, my dog's coat, soft as days-old grate-ash, tangible only when my knuckles were pitched and then glancing-kissed by fingertips and wrist sensitive to pulver.
No one knows how I take up space, how my fate precludes their own.