Have a very merry Christmas—
It’s off to bed for a few days to look after myself…
I thought the arrow was an especially nice touch!
Many thanks to the surgical team at the William Harvey Hospital…
Just a Little Background Noise 2.0
a linguistic representation of an autism
What on Earth’s
the worth of girth?
she said in bed
with Ted who said:
“It’s good but wood’s
not always like
the night we’d
start with head—
I’d like to feel
your hands instead.”
So that’s the plan
to get it working
or MC’s twerking
might get him jerking—
And without a sound
the hand was led
inside the bed
to Ted’s renowned
to get aroused
an oak provoked
Oh how to spur
Ted’s broken bacon—
“Come South my dear
and bring your mouth
it needs something
to fight fatigue.”
We could always try an EKG?
he swiftly pleads
his lead and hopes
his pope will lift—
“Commandeer my pier,
I know I’m near.”
“You think?” he said
and fed herself
as the burden
to harden was hers—
Not that I mind
if I may
like a bloke
A joke is a joke
cos this member
there must be
a new note—
I want someone
to drill me
and you can’t
even fill me!
you won’t have me stay over:
a soiree is cliché
when there’s no naughty croquet whatsoever—
So Ted sorts out
it’s not he
on the singles-night
on a weekday—
He finds something
to help her
and ride him
reviving the pipe
that denied him—
Earlier that night…
When like vampire bats,
there’s tacit catsent
circumventing other cats’
nose for a scent—
who’ve their bents made too fat,
Hell dis-management’s lent
dire rules supplemental:
cos unless you’ve not noticed
they’re all derangemental…
So it’s war for clan Bailey:
‘no fire fur first’
for engagement is lore—
before who comes out worst—
we’ll see three pick on one:
in a fight to the last paw…
The sound of discrete feet(s)
abound are coming
from somewhere(s) over there-
It’s Fritz: she sneaks around and sits;
I think sensing purring in the air.
Then a sound disturbs her.
Potts smells catburger.
thinks he’ll have her,
So by stealth on delft paws,
she beelines for the doors
between Jabber’s hind legs
and Pott’s jaws…
Sandwiched tippy-toes to mind her
she’ll be sure they’ll not find fur
to lead them;
cos they know
she’s frightened of claws.
Tri’s pounces were announcements,
she’d discredit then denounce them—
any cat who had motives
less emotive than hers.
No tit-for-tat, prattle-splat
at this or spat at that
She’ll take a look
in every nook such are
Guggie’s slink was succinct
and instinctively trying.
her cruelty ensuredly unindemnifying.
So when she offered to nobble
Fritz’s mid-thorax bobble:
an offer as kind as maligned by design.
“Fluff?” Frtiz thought ought,
not be enough—
tried to “break me—
and waved away the axe—
With revolt in her steps
you can bet that she crept
like a colt from the bolt
A prima facie evasion,
from oedemas and abrasions;
Fritz was not
in way, shape or form
Although Fritz found the chasing
at times too defacing
she was so gracefully pacey and
If I’d’ve seen her,
I would’ve timed her.
but that’s before she’d seen
and sheaningly gleaned
I managed to find time for a refresher shower shortly before the cat decided it was morning for the third time, knowing full well I’d either soon be summoned back to bed by her or unnecessarily shoved there by the brass monkeys.
You know the sort of thing— the 30 minute wake-up plunge squeezed into 90 seconds, with water that’s underdone for this time of year. I was hopping about chattering in fear of being caught short and shorter between a bout of hypothermia and an outdoors at its worst, in the chops.
We’ve had some particularly serious and chapping weather today; and it’s been miserable. Last night it was howling around the garden, in the way and of the type that used to smoke my cigarettes for me— all whilst slapping me about for good measure. Liveners they may be, but they’re insolent all the same.
It is observations such as these that really can inspire one to start looking at such things in a hurtful way, as though its infliction of injury is quite deliberate.
I can certainly imagine worse ways of looking at weather, but none quite so British or appropriately condescending as categorising it in terms of their manners.
And as such, it really would require a condescending name:
I’ll leave it to you to imagine the extent to which a bag of Atlantic wind would have on your patience; or how amused you’d be were it on someone else’s, but I assure you there really are weather equivalents to:
Obviously, I’ve allowed myself several moments to savour some of the more beastly behaviours of the uncontrollably uncultured and pondered their meteorological twins— and I must confess to much delight in doing so.
There would be something endearing about a forecast focussing on how noisy the weather was going to be; on its brashness; whether it would be rude, brazen, vulgar, impudent, discourteous, unmannerly, uncivil, cheeky, uncouth, crude, crass, gross, rustic, rough, common or churlish…
Or to what percent we ought expect a state of being or funny-business to swirl about us. How it may veer from a general gentlemanliness to being distinctly unladylike, lacking in gallantry, spine, spirit, heroism, pluck or consideration, or in a moment— being chock full of it!
It’s not what I had in mind exactly once the cat had finished her nonsense earlier, but I’ve decided there’s little virtue in describing how to make smash out of chewing gum— or spoiling how amusing applying good etiquette to shitty weather can be.
Skill without imagination is craftsmanship. Just as, imagination without skill gives us modern art. Tom Stoppard made that observation, no doubt with, The Prudence and the Pill in mind: Nothing unites the English like war. Nothing divides them like Picasso.
Modern Art, it’s true— is considered with derision by many and as absurd by most, typified by nothing better than The Turner Prize. It is greeted each year with anticipation and enthusiasm, but for all the wrong reasons. With a glint in their eyes and half-baked chuckles wrestling in their throats, our newsreaders announce the short-list and their creators’ achievements, knowing full well that that we: the unenlightened ones, will be hooting and cursing in equal portions wondering what on Earth it’s all about?
Rachel Whiteread won the award in 1993, with her creation “House”. You may remember it: a Victorian Terrace was filled with concrete then its outsides were taken away, and so astonishing was its impact, the local council waited an entire year before tearing it down.
More recently though we had my personal favourite: Simon Starling, who ingeniously turned a boat into a shed, then back into a boat. Imaginatively titled: Shedboatshed (Mobile Architecture No 2). It was supposed represent the, slowing of things down, and about trying to retard the incredible speed with which we live.
The only thing I could tell was being slowed however, was the boat’s ability to float.
But of course it did. It made perfect sense. It made as much of it as being described ‘eccentric’ did to Mr Starling— which wasn’t a great deal, in fact he took great umbrage at the description— an act I found more bewildering than his former dinghy.
There’s little wrong with ‘form’ of any kind going hand-in-hand with hand and head, but when hands and bloockls become inseparable, even indistinguishable from the bullshit and bafflement which surrounds it; perhaps it’s worth trying to take the intellectual out of the art, or better still, away from it altogether.
How about bringing a little accessibility back? How about something like:
I’d have galleries handing out different coloured gum upon entering, to be chewed; there’s a little ‘shaping’ for you right there, where it matters— on the building blocks. It’s contemporary, very pop; and like all art— not everyone’s cup of tea— so it’ll either be chewed over or not— with verbals or mandibles, it doesn’t matter…
Towards the end of the gallery I would have a canvas for the used gum and a bin for that which was not. I like the irony but none of the significance which could easily be spun— but it’s as close as I can imagine, art for art’s sake, becoming more than a spectator sport, at least indoors anyway; and the kids would love it…
It’s almost impossible not to consider the value of thoughts with the fairly steady flow of them; their rudimentary worth, relevance to our lives and the importance to the people who have them. It’s easy to see how distorted a thought can become when left to constant re-examination and how faceless victim/culprit dichotomies are given grounding by a name or a hover-card. If the last few weeks has demonstrated anything, it’s how something as simple as a pen-stroke can release the burden and stresses they invariably cause. I’ve had glimpses into how fears, confessions, pains and crises can be put right by words creating deeds by changing little parts of the world. And I shouldn’t be surprised: we write about things and repeat ourselves about things that have meaning to us.
I’ve not been able to get past this image today— whether it’s because my post is too large or small, or too plainly insignificant— it’s not that it’s even particularly serious; in fact it’s quite absurd.
But of the thousands of portraits I’ve taken, this one gets to me every now and then— mainly when I’m feeling a little conflicted about something I’ve said or haven’t said in the right way, wrong way, or anyway— It happens occasionally, so the leveller comes out: the corrosive for recursive thinking. A mental pacifier, an eraser for the clutter. Sometimes it’s a room or place: a good pace. And sometimes a picture.
It’s just, I have absolutely no idea what he is thinking; but it helps…
“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.”
Most nights I wouldn’t remember falling asleep. A curious state of affairs for such a rare occurrence, but had it been a regular household, I’m quite sure things would have been most different.
On a typical day, and I use the term lightly, I’d be up and about early so as to avoid any unpleasantness, but this particular had come and gone and it was midday before I awoke; almost three before stirring with any conviction. And I was in an horrendous mood because of it. I wouldn’t have even been able to put ‘why’ into words without sounding hyperbolic.
Upon reflection, I merely chalk it up as being one of those things childhood throws at you to give you excuses later in life for underachievement or lack of ambition.
I remember thinking it was a little warm for the time of year until noticing an orange flicker, licking the bottom of the window. I just assumed the house was on fire again and went back to sleep. This would have been fine had it not been for the sound of screaming and the smell of dead babies. Heat is one thing and tolerable to a point, but knowing where to draw lines and when to erase them is a life skill that should be treated with priority. My pen comes out with the stench of death. So I told them.
I’m all for living and let living, but when the latter means nothing of the sort and the the sanctity of life, human or otherwise is being defiled and I’m able to smell it; it makes you feel somewhat responsible, partially. It was why I’d bought them the febreze in the first place.
I didn’t get much of a response beyond the cackling, but deduced it must have been Toebag and not Hag who was responsible for the foul emanations: she’d probably slaughtered the babies she sat for and brought them home for a snack.
Toebag’s more reasonable when it comes to this sort of thing then Hag, who tends to break her victims’ spirits before desecrating their flesh. I never quite understood that at the time, but with advances in science the way they are, it’s quite possible it had something to do with the heterocyclic amines or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons released during the initial stages of absolute terror.
Needless to say I was curious, a state of affairs rarer than lack of sleep— so when I finally found the temerity I was looking for hidden under a stack of witchcraft today and my heat retardant spectacles sitting on them, I decided to investigate. Sure enough, there was Toebag, horns erect and tail swishing, breathing fire and what have you, tucking into a vegetable curry and not the twins from the previous night. That, I thought, was the luncheon of a sick and depraved animal— and I wasted little time in telling her so…
Hag was there too, slouched in a curtain of rasping flames looking fiendishly dull, so I took the opportunity to mention that I was concerned about the effect of excessive heat on my trousers but was forced away by a collective shriek that knocked my specs clean off.
It’s bad enough having to share a house with a couple of demented bat-wings who find it innately pleasurable to torture people and singe them for making reasonable inquiries about the laundry, but there’s just no need for pyrotechnics in the house. I distinctly remember being told as a child not to play with matches, and here were two up-grown blasphemers revelling in Satan’s unholy winds, hurrying me into the kitchen to make my tea before my face dissolved.
I was so on edge I even jumped at my own reflection in the patio doors after popping outside to see the rabbit who was oblivious to whole thing and Autumn was no where to be seen, obviously in fear of wasting one of the nine lives she was saving for more desperate times. Those two always gave me the impression that they’d gladly remain neutral provided their respective body weights in biscuits everyday was satisfied.
As for me, I scowled and cursed a little, which was customary even then, avoided the flaming projectiles that were aimed at me and drank my tea in peace.
I was just lying there, stewing somewhat— having had a Shanghai of a day, cat in toe by my face most of it, swinging-low. She kept me working from the cave today but anywise.
I was flicking through some menus and films thinking; but at the same time, weighing things over and over quite involuntarily— things that weigh more, the fewer of them you have.
One of them was an idea I had some time ago for a clock, that would no doubt cause its owner endless torment with the perverse manner in which it kept time. But it’s in their nature: it just so happens to be what they do— because they’re secretive. It’s also the nature of remembrance, that the only function it serves is to remind us of other things— which is why, as we grow older— we tell each other stories in the hope they will remind us of other stories.
It’s as fitting an analogy as I am prepared to make to the autistic brain today, short of explaining the mechanisms of the clock. Remembrance is not an uncomplicated process. It’s a voluntary act dependant on a series of involuntary recalls. There may be a degree of summons, but like the cat this morning, there is a powerlessness to affect what happens next.
I’m reminded of an early Latin text— one of the earliest and funniest extant, as it were— written in or around the first century, so I wasn’t around at the time to comment as to the prevalence of what it describes. The truth is, I care only to recall but bits of it, and one of them concerns a water clock in a dining room, with a trumpeter, whose only function was to announce the time, so at any time, the clocks owner would know precisely how much of his life he had lost. Make a note, because I’ll be returning to this observation another time.
In turn, I was reminded of several observations made by friends over the years: that by and large I keep my thoughts about my person, and they are at times saddened I do not, cannot or wiln’t share them. I’ve been criticised for it a number of times; my thoughts it seems, are worth more than dust or my company— and regardless of the humour involved in such comments, they always leave me bound to a curiosity I either do not or cannot explain. You could argue then, that by doing so, you make a case for saying you can measure whatever life you’ve had, you’ve lost— by the measure of whatever life you’ve failed to share.
Rough notes as they are, capsulise the multiple ironies therein: life lost incorporates everything; it’s an imperious semantic field from which, not even thought can escape. It is for all intents and purposes infinite, but yet there was once a man with a leaky pot and a trumpet attempting to measure it; to share the thought: that I don’t readily share my thoughts is awkward to validate in as far as you must do one to do the other— and in order to remember it, I had to think of other things— while lying there— stewing somewhat.
It’s funny; it can take as long as an hour to capture the essence of a moment in order to share it. It’s not something I find displeasing— it just reinforces, on a personal note— how powerful the implications are of such generosity. Most people will never work it out; because it’s not in their nature; they are unfortunately, not enough like clocks.
So the next time you ask yourself, where it was you think that you last saw your glasses and are startled by the response— be sure to take another note, that it’s time to re-examine the events leading up to it. If however the response is along the lines of, I don’t know where they are but I heard them land a moment before catching a satisfied glimmer, only to see them perched exactly where you left them.
Ask yourself this:
I prefer to think in terms of the not-so-grand essentials that work just as well. We cannot put a quart in a pint glass after all, because abstractions of such can never agree and invariably come back to the same thing: something to hope for.
Reinhold Niebuhr wrote:
“Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime. Therefore, we are saved by hope.”
Which is pretty gloomy stuff, but goes on to state that:
“Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we are saved by faith.”
Which is more or less exactly the same thing— all the while making a non-essential argument about ‘grand things’. It is however, more than likely that he’s saying— it can be no more separated from patience than from the form itself. You see, there will always be a little something along the way to chew.
Like the devil said to Noah, it’s bound to clear up.
A lack patience is the reason liquor was created; made in mind for those who wanted a hundred beers but only a small pocket to carry them in. It is the original vendible distilled— sometimes many, many times— in order to promote a little optimism in its users’ lives. There should however, be more— something that doesn’t consider one’s innards to be comestible.
The Hope Springs flavoured Waters range would be a step in the right direction, particularly for those with a more delicate sense of taste; preferring a cool and smooth beverage as opposed to something that thinks of you as food— which is why there should be a Hope-I-don’t-Bloat range of dietary snacks; or perhaps an educational device: The Hope-I-Float swimming trainer; an invaluable tool for first time paddlers.
But there should at least be something for those of us who are concerned that our child or childs will fall for the wrong ‘sort’: the I Hope they don’t Elope parental handbook, would deal with that, providing the reader with all those woes, a tender examination of possible solutions— and if all those fail; a how-to-guide composed of violent recriminatory advice entitled: Acrimony before Matrimony.
Personally, I’d prefer to see something on the lines of:
Hope on a Rope
It would be less retentive than water, with fewer calories than food; you’re less likely to get drunk and drown because you’ve forgotten your arm-bands; and no one’s father is going to shoot you. Instead, you can just lather up and rinse and drip-dry, safe in the knowledge that you need never hope you smell well, again. Or simply, wear your hope and make it real— we wear our hearts from time to time do we not?
It certainly has a better ring to it than Pope-soap.