Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Unwavering Sound of Invisible Things


Warm feet and socks, sweaty brow, half-opened soft mouth, dummy hanging on for dear life. Pale light glistens on slabbers, above and below. The trembling dummy falls. Pali! Pali! Not yet, poor dear. Have faith: a lie long known to be true. Where's nanny? God knows you love her for the right reasons. Your daddy's a strange one. Let him cast the first stone.

Forget time and listen for sound, faint or loud. A bin is moving rubbish, speckling and confident like orange tea in a swimming pool. Does no one hear it? Not the sleeper, the cow's milktaker. A small sharp cry, a change in position. Not yet awake, nor any intention of doing so. Lying still upon the knee.

First cause, second cause, third cause . . . Pali! Pali! Not yet. Have faith. The tide is out. Will it come back? She scratches her head though still asleep, muffled and huddled. Silence no longer hidden by a pillow, a blanket, a healthy appetite for a doze. Flaxen hair, rosy cheeks, pumping heart, still rhythms. Still in life, still in death. A soft sigh, wipe of the eye, change in position. Fourth cause, fifth cause, sixth cause . . . Pali! Pali! Forget time, listen to the unwavering sound of invisible things.

Warm milk and bobo aids sleep upon the knee. Change of position, the sleeper oblivious, possibly dreaming. The young body centre stage. The old body stretched out, mouth open, transformed. Upon the knee, the cow's milktaker. Warm feet and socks, sweaty brow, half-opened soft mouth, dummy hanging on for dear life. Where's nanny? A jailer bound to a prisoner. Has it crossed her mind?

Feet swing from a warm bed. Flushed face, mouth dripping, eyes blank. Restless steps on stairs, faint then still. Wide-eyed. A funereal cry. Face bereft of a groan, a giggle. Fluster flanks the unwavering sound of invisible things. The cow's milktaker murmurs strange, sleepy sounds. The old body is stretched out, mouth open, cut off from the world. Where's nanny? Forget time, lie still upon the knee. The chill night will come soon enough.

*
Reflection:  Similar to love and friendship, health is fragile and complex. One can protect, but not influence the outcome.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Sex Appeal of Victorian Furniture


This afternoon I dropped off to sleep on the living room floor while absorbed in writing an enlightening entry in my diary. I'm damned if I can remember what it was. I believe it may have constituted throwing photographs of my wife on the fire. An activity, I confess, which makes me smile with great pleasure and satisfaction. My wife (unknown to me) was pacing to and fro, closely watching, her soul in torment, flinging her arms in the air, madly chanting, 'People with lively minds! Little tin gods, each and every one!'

I woke up in the presence of something that wasn't there when I fell asleep. I couldn't touch my left leg below the knee. In fact, I couldn't see it. I'm heavily encased in a partition wall constructed while I slept. Suddenly my life has become absurdly difficult. I need to use the bathroom and the culprit of this inextricable deed (my soon to be ex-wife) has vanished from the house like a comet on some passionate adventure with a femme fatale. The only things my wife and I had in common were sharing the same mistress and a predilection for sitting in farmhouse kitchens sniffing the feral scent of stray cats.

In the semidarkness of the living room I hear imagined sounds and see imagined sights. Try as I may to hold my water, I can not any longer. The only consolation is that my 'little' indiscretion is not exposed to public gaze. Anyway, I've been shocked into taking stock of my life and making a fresh start. First, I require to get out from under this wall, find a change of clothing and get a cab to the heady life of town. I've no desire to become immortal, nor empty of desire or sin. Not yet, anyway.

*
My cousin, Charles Wanda Medull, has a natural distrust of the past, houses and possessions. He always seems to have something concealed: usually his wallet. All his life he has longed for risk, destitution and to understand the sex appeal of Victorian furniture. 

Charles is entangled in a tormenting love affair with a chicken leg. I advised Charles that he can never love a chicken leg absolutely. Nor can he leave his world for the chicken leg's world, especially in the midst of the current "horse meat scandal" in Europe. His disastrous inability to heed my warning played right into the hands of the authorities. 

Last month, Charles (who lives inside a pantomime horse) was arrested for impersonating a chicken. His honeyed protestations made him appear a sadder, sillier and smaller figure. An image not dissimilar to that of a hen.

C.W. writes to me from his prison cell but makes no mention of his love affair with the chicken leg. His letters, however, are layered with wit, elegance, intelligence, just a little bitterness, and a smidgen of horseradish cream sauce.

*
Reflections: It is well we cannot foresee the future. This distance and alienation keeps our hearts and minds an impotent distance from formidable defeat and despair. As we take delight in beautiful experiences, and passionate adventures, life with its motive force can deal blows of all shapes and sizes.

My seven-year-old granddaughter, Aimee, has been hospitalised with a viral infection. It is heartbreaking to see Aimee in such distress. She is slowly regaining her spirit and cult for funny, 'brilliant' things. Her humour remains infectious. For that I am thankful.

Aimee will change in value as time passes like all interesting people do.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Illusionary World of the Professional Politician (PP)


'He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.'
George Bernard Shaw

Imagine that a group of friends or lovers or, heaven forbid, relatives arrive at your home unannounced. Do you welcome them with a lie, or tell the truth? "Frankly, I'm tired and exhausted, and each and every one of you love and hate yourselves, and each other, with equal veracity. You dishonour and threaten the rest of society with your insincerity, cynicism, virtuous morality and false judgments."

Mind you, I could be talking about professional politicians (PPs). They do tend to speak unnaturally, and make fools of themselves with their endless meaningless speeches and rabbit-hole opinions, which I find imperceptible, and avoid at all cost. Their eternal scrambling for status, one-upmanship and hierarchy comes at the cost of gaining an enlarged sallow or salmon coloured face. Furthermore, they grow capacious emotional armpits which can, if permitted, shower each living creature within a hundred metres with dark tepid perspiration: 'water' and 'excreta' to you and me.

When PPs are not being driven to God-knows-where (in a vehicle with tinted windows which gives the 'deluded occupant' time to practice the art of the sudden teardrop) I have, on occasion, seen the odd PP dreamily flying past on a bicycle. When it happens, however, as one is seated at the bedside of an ailing relative one tends to feel distressed, even shocked, at the state of democratic socialism. It means cracks are starting to show. And growing bigger by the day, I might add. And by night, for all I know.

I condemn and absolve no one. You see - well, I hope you see - most PPs (when not engaged in fiddling their expenses, strolling on Clapham Common looking for badgers in the middle of the night, wearing gimp masks to house parties, junketeering at public expense, head-butting fellow PPs, conducting 'drunken brawls' over interns) are transfixed by human torment: usually their own. Don't be surprised if the following attributes remind you of some people who 'spend their time' in government departments or the legal professions ... in short, within the dazzling diversity of delicate society.

Do you believe no person exists in this world as talented as you? Have you an insatiable desire for praise and recognition? Have you an irresistible urge to judge others? Can you notice a person's one weakness and forget their many strengths? Do you enjoy rushing your opponents: putting them under pressure to affect their judgment? Are you devoted to endless meetings? Television and radio interviews? Press conferences and photo ops? Have you perpetrated or sanctioned: intimidation, bribery, burglary, oppressive surveillance, kidnapping, interrogation, torture, severe hunger or starvation, death threats, assassinations, killing or murder? Does your blinkered ideological cocktail contain a litany of nonsensical beliefs? Are you prone to verbosity when you are alone? Are you unable to resist the temptation to flatter? to gossip? to pontificate? to browbeat? to upstage others? to lie under oath? Are you ...? Is your life a fraud?

An intriguing, but manageable list, you'll agree. Whether the election laws are democratic or undemocratic you may have the attributes required of a professional politician. A day may come, however, when you are unable to stand the 'meat grinder' no longer: the lies; the jibes; the false accusations; the feigned smiles and handshakes; the doctored speeches.

Unfortunately, a day may come when you may open yourself to 'substantiated' accusations. The abrupt leap from academic achievements, political and diplomatic successes, to a hoarse shout from behind prison bars may seem austere, but apt.

Some professional politicians believe they are above the law. They're wrong. This comforting illusion which they create, and in which they exist, can vanish as swift as it has begun.


(2013)

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Dead Sea & The Story of a Shipwrecked Carrot


The woman approaching me looks barely thirty. Her beauty shows no sign of vulnerability. Indeed, her persona of radiance and happiness exudes a bold piercing intelligence. I decide to play along. She is tremendously elegant and dressed in a grey melange trouser suit.

'Have you heard about the Dead Sea?' she enquires, gently stroking her auburn hair which softly drops to a fringe on to her forehead and sparkling brown eyes. 

'Heard about it, I went to the funeral.'

The sales representative smiles, half closing her eyes. She starts to talk about nail care and produces a Dead Sea Nail Buffer. When she asks me to hold out my left hand I willingly comply. As she holds my left wrist and concentrates on my thumb nail we talk and laugh. I study how she moves, smiles and converses to capture another buyer for 'that perfect nail care collection.'

'How does that feel?' she asks.

'I have entered a painless and distant land. My thumb nail feels and looks healthier. As for the rest of my body ... Well, I believe that's best kept secret.'

She produces a second product from the collection. A body lotion.

'This is Ocean Mist.'

'Atlantic or Pacific?'

'Are you a comedian?'

I leave the shopping mall more invigorated and cheerful than when I entered. Did I buy anything? No. And, yes, my left thumb nail looks quite appealing. It even glows in the dark.

*
This morning I finished my script for a film called The Story of a Shipwrecked Carrot. I plan to shoot the film next spring inside a french-horn which speaks fourteen languages. Like many hyperpolyglots the french-horn is male and left handed. Despairingly, the french-horn can't speak French without sounding like a wheezy car engine.

If I can't raise the money to shoot the film I'll be forced to 'kill it' by other means. If only Van Gogh were still around with his razor. I could arrange an argument between Van Gogh and 'the script', and let the quarrel take its mortal course. What will I tell the vegetables if the project is put on hold? My own money would run out in a week. The film is about fidelity, infidelity and Soupe à l'Oignon. The relationships of the vegetables are a major part of the story. In fact, a lascivious carrot has a leading role.

I'll come straight to the point. The lascivious carrot has an appetite for vegetables of all kinds. The swollen-headed carrot enjoys getting drunk, dancing the cancan and delights in attracting the attention of female vegetables. A certain cast member, Chanterelle Mushroom, will drive the carrot to distraction. No one in their 'right mind' could resist Chanterelle's frilly trumpet shape and uninhibited sensuality. 

I'm composing a letter to Chanterelle of sentimental nature. However, efforts to portray myself as witty, lucid and intelligent only serve to expose my irrefutable faults. Principally, that my writing is dull and turgid, and of uncertain tone. This similarity to my film script would only worry an artist born with genuine talent.

 *
Reflection:  Today I painted four houses (exteriors & interiors) and put up some wallpaper. The owners' don't know yet.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year in 2012/13


With gratitude I wish to thank those people who visit this site. Sometimes I write in a sketchy abstract form, which I do not profess to understand myself. My hands may tremble as I write and type, but they are innocent. As innocent as my most mysterious thoughts.

I wish you, and your families, a life that evokes admiration and emotion in each person you meet. And that your days are rich in beauty, vigor, and filled with delightful moments of astonishment. Moments that linger in the memory, make you happy, and glad to be alive. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cardboard British Police Plan Strike


Cardboard British Police have announced their forces may go on strike during the Christmas and New Year period. Pulp Carton, a Cardboard British Police spokesman, said: "Cardboard police are forced to work 24/7 with no pay or allowances for unsocial or irregular hours. It doesn't help that the government said that savings must be made through the disposal and recycling of over 85% of cardboard police officers, cardboard police motorbikes, cardboard police cars, cardboard police dogs and cardboard Police Stations in the next financial year [2013/2014]. 

"It's disgraceful that Cardboard police do not qualify for paid leave, training, promotion, a pension, public holidays, maternity leave, maternity pay, parental leave, or statutory sick pay. Unbelievably, they are not entitled to rest or toilet breaks. Even during the winter cardboard police cars and motorbikes are not provided with anti-freeze, windshield washer fluid, petrol, or 'tangible' lights and indicators."

Attempts were made to ballot Cardboard Police on whether they want to strike for full industrial rights and equality. However, given that 'Cardboard Officers' are unable to see, to read, to write, to talk, to listen, to remember, to experience emotions, to identify activities involving bullying, dishonesty, deception and criminal activity, or engage in intelligent receptivity, is causing great distress and tension for their families, friends and supporters.

Talks are currently taking place between the Cardboard British Police Federation, cardboard union officials and cardboard government officials ahead of strike action planned to start on Monday, December 24, 2012. It's believed that one major sticking point is that cardboard police officers do not have powers of arrest.

A recent public opinion survey has confirmed that the public find 'cardboard' police officers more approachable than 'real' police officers.

*
This afternoon I sent an email to a dear friend in Oxford, England.

I've fallen in love again. This time with a human being. She's beauty personified, wealthy, and fluent in German. I know what you're thinking? I can't speak German. But I'm besotted! I know! I know! Even when the sun shines at its brightest, the rain runs down her face, and her voice is sometimes lofty. I've made an appointment with a doctor to diagnose her condition. However, believe me, she is like no other. She's teaching me to 'Goose-Step' to 'Achy Breaky Heart'. I know this may sound simply-minded, however, every time I mention Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit she gets hot under the collar. Any ideas?

Reflections: I feel a sense of sadness and despair for those who surmise the need to look down on others through an injudicious sense of superiority. Some workplaces are populated with so many bullies, pimps and thieves it's hard to breathe air that has clean hands and a clear conscience.  

Don't be surprised if a figure of authority turns out to be more crooked and immoral than anyone he, or she, condemns. They may deny the charge and display a double face. Suffice to say, someday they will be held to account for their violation of the truth and fundamental ethical principles. Preferably while on their own and drinking a bottle of handwash in a nice smelly room. Watching porn and tweeting and then stumbling to their bed to weep.