Tag Archives: ennui

The Writer Writes

If everything that I write

is everything that I am,

then all the words I’ve written

is all of me;

Words are my flesh,

and stories my breath;

I walk in dreams,

I have been to the mountain top

and have come back down;

And if those words

are all that I’ll ever be,

then those words suffice;

it is written,

it is done,

it is ineluctable,

it is immutable;

I have breathed stories,

and my words became

flesh.

Of Games & Candles

Time is etched like memories

on the membrane some

call fate and others chance;

none there are now to

gainsay the swinging pendulum

that swung so far

yet never returned at the

unstruck hour on the

unremarkable day that

slipped quietly away and

lost itself somewhere in the mist;

others say that carousels have

stopped running rings around the moon;

and when the moment comes that we’ve been waiting for

we’ll discover that in truth he left us far too soon.

 

 

Heckler & Koch

It’s gonna be a Heckler & Koch morning,

but i don’t know that yet as I get up at 4.30 a.m.

to use the toilet;

The hall light’s on and I notice the front door’s open,

wide open but I need the toilet first;

Minutes later appropriately attired I almost somnambulate

toward the wide open front door and the faces –

flecks of colour- in black black black camouflage;

It’s a Heckler & Koch morning alright,

Their voices instruct me to come out,

there they are strapped onto body armour,

their Heckler & Kochs:

who am I, who lives there,how many flats ?

I make it casual even conversational given the situation,

getting up and ready for work,

they say I should get back to my flat,

I do;

Time doesn’t flow,not much really,

I’m getting my breakfast ready,

they knock diplomatically on my flat door;

I cajole one of them to come in –

the rest of the squad is jackbooting

up to the other flats and I’m chatting and

giving what useful info I can ;

The scenario continues for about half an hour,

I hear them smashing the door to the empty flat next to mine:

It’s a Heckler & Koch morning in downtown Wakefield,

and I’ve had my breakfast and I depart for

my Heckler & Koch day at my Heckler & Koch job ,

the main entrance door to these 5 pokey apartments –

pied-a-terres-but without any metropolitan pretensions-

remains wide open until I close it respectfully behind me

and step out into the Heckler & Koch morning.

 

Author’s Footnote:

At around 4.30 a.m. Monday 26 November a heavily armed Police SWAT unit showed up at the address where I live; it turned out they had the wrong address.

 

The Saint,A Stranger Among Men

The Saint, A Stranger Among Men
A previous age, perhaps less materialistic than our present one would have recognised and
acknowledged his otherness. His air of inner spirituality which others say he carried with him
and wore as lightly as the finest cape about his shoulders. Shoulders that others imagined
might have sprouted angelic wings. Eccentric, a flaneur with a quietly assertive insouciance
he wafted along the boulevards with transcendent equanimity. Then on a day of no particular
significance, at least none that I could apprehend at the time nor afterward, I actually
encountered him at one of the more popular Cafes, this figure of some Left bank
intellectual /philosophical speculation /admiration/veneration. This itinerant dispenser of
wisdom and insight.
The Saint with the shabby overcoat and hangdog expression asked me if I could spare him a
few reminiscences. I replied that the change in my pockets changes with the changing tide,
though I could offer him some reflections instead. The Stranger sat back in his chair
ordered himself another absinthe and began whistling some nameless tune while he waited
for his drink to arrive.
” If all our pain and sorrow only came on the morrow would we set the alarm late or not at
all? taking the chance that vicissitudes had all somehow passed us by while we were fast
asleep.”
This I realised immediately was the aphoristic balm which the Saint dispensed with
customary generosity to those he presumed were in need of immediate spiritual relief of some
kind; which in his own inimitable view included just about everybody. Though not all at the
same time.
” And were we to store all our tears shed in our lives, how big would the bottle have to be?
Could we claim back some pennies if we returned it empty? ” I was inwardly responding with
something akin to mild annoyance, outwardly with a beatific smile bordering on rictus when,
the Saint glanced askance at his watch where time had stopped years ago.
He wondered aloud where the waiter might’ve got to with his drink? “ If we don’t feel the
suffering of others, how will we know if we have blood in our veins? ” thereupon the Saint
got up, bid me adieu and was gone.
Some time after he’d left I saw in the mirror that there was no longer a reflection there
of me.

Writer in Exile

Dexter Stevenson
lime green ascot
and redundant cigarette holder,
never shook Hemingway’s hand;
never came to write the
great American novel,
never realised the fecund
potential of his literary dreams,
instead he was anthologised
in limited circulation magazines
from Baffin Island to Crete;
After the War,
a solitary screenplay was
optioned but never produced,
he had known the people
who had known the people
on the lot at R.K.O.;
They had Joseph Cotten
or was it Van Heflin,
test for the part
of George Meredith,
dissolute foreign correspondent
contemplating suicide,
John Huston was interested in
directing but made,
” Treasure of the Sierra Madre ” instead;
Dexter Stevenson’s prolonged sojourn
at the Hotel Nacional caused
much embarrassment in later years
for the proprietor and guest alike;
the raison d’etre for the hospitality
had since passed away into legend,
no-one now remembers Stevenson’s
deserted clifftop assignation with
that victim of the pill-bottle
her infamous golden locks
her winsome ” pooh pooh pah dooh ”
something he didn’t get away from;
Here deep in the labyrinth,
D.S. finally got away
from himself.

The Putt

Eye,

ball,

eye,ball

eyeball;

these last 3 feet

on the par 4 18th,

this putt for birdie,

this putt for the championship;

464 yards,

1,392 feet

traversed with inimitable ease

leaving just these last 3;

back to the practice putt,

stroke,stroke,

swish,swish,

the hole’s diameter expands

then contracts

yet all remains the same;

breath,

posture;

breath,

aim-point;

pressure,

breathe,

breathe,

eyeball,

breathe,

eye,ball,

eye,

ball,

breathe;

play..

Intermezzo

Voices on a phonograph

flutter across a deserted apartment,

their cadences lose themselves

among the zig – zag alleyways

on whose rooves silhouettes are painted

by passing airships on

bright timeless summer days;

In a nearby park

the oompah band plays

snatches of some Strauss melody

enthralling lunchtime crowds

attired in their finest holiday fashions;

And in the apartment

where someone used to be,

only a discarded telegram remains,

and with that emptiness inside me

I get up and leave;

leaving just the mirror

and the silence.

Ciudad desierta ( Deserted City )

Mythic streets evaporate at dawn,

leaving only complacent memory

to recall imperfectly those scraps

and oddities of ephemera that

defy rational explanation;

a pristine franked letter posted

in Huddersfield 1841;several ornate

glass marbles that were a birthday

present to some Rhineland princeling;

the signature of Thomas Alva Edison

on a page awkwardly torn from a

Hotel register omitting its name,

the building itself demolished long ago;

a skeletal frame of a Penny Farthing

half buried amid the inconsequential

detritus of the communal refuse tip;

a yellowing poster of a once well known

brand of cough syrup,the discernible lines

of a now defunct city tram route;

And somewhere,the presence of an

inveterate aesthete and poet of civic

renown struggling to evoke a nostalgia

amongst those who had not read Borges

nor knew of his blindness.

Stalker

He saw you there,

there in the magazine

there on stage

there on the screen;

pristine,immaculate

in black

in white,

you filled his eyes

sparkled and dazzled them;

Pristine,immaculate

your form,

your shape

so casually,lazily

represented as if

painted by Michaelangelo

in an Age of beauty and mystery;

Pristine,

immaculate

he sees you now

leaving your fancy apartment

on the Boulevard Saint Michel,

you are alone,

you are pristine,

you are immaculate;

he reaches for

the syringe

and

steps out to meet you..

Summer ’68

We wrote our own history

in an illegible script

with broken pencils

borrowed from empty classrooms;

We lit our fuses

with spent matches

discarded by all our yesterdays;

We sat and contemplated

the gathering gloom,

dark and heavy as velvet

shrouding the sun

that once shone on our

marching charging afternoons

along boulevards that we filled

with their peculiar fragrance

of tear gas and petrol.

 

Footnote:-

It’s 50 years since ” Street Fighting Man ” was recorded by the Rolling Stones during the portentous summer of 1968.