The faces in anguish. The screams of a horse. The door of no exit. The eye of the blistered sun low as a ceiling bulb. The gasping bull that looks away. A glove for a hand – palm deep-lined. The screeching bird. The heavy mortal stagger of feet, the trampled flowers, the limp child in a mother’s paralysed arms. Flames from the rooftops and burning slate. A solitary candle thrust into despair. The cleaver pinned to the earth.
The dread contortions of life are frozen. That we made this altar is absurd. That we can forget it is the horror.
1 September 2015.
Global share prices tumble as visa checks are waived and bodies are washed up on a continent’s beaches. Dead. The stations and sports halls are full of refugees. We are learning new names and new vocabulary. There was no vocabulary for this. Old words are not sufficient. Very old words might just be. The images pile across front pages, television screens and media streams. They are not past or future, they are now. We are history and horror. A corner is turned. We plead for hope. Barbed wire barricades are to come.
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It was the week she discovered Bob Kaufman and read a poem of his (now forgotten) while the rain streaked across the window of her suburban flat. It was the week the cancer first looked ineluctably fatal.
The news streamed in dolefully: news of supporters and opponents, the disaffected and the quietly optimistic, as if they were some covert vigilante force, untrustworthy renegades all, double agents plenty.
The news was totemic, untouchable. The language was all wrong. The words she was hearing, the words that remained despite visits to the hospital – they were words beyond the window, beyond the rain.
NB: Geographies are distorted by culture, politics, capitalism etc. Spatial relations are always relative / in flux.
Wikipedia entry says the shrine is located next to the (more significant landmark?) Grand Hyatt hotel – also the Skytrain station (tourist advice).
ALSO: ‘The hotel’s construction was delayed by a series of mishaps, including cost overruns, injuries to laborers, and the loss of a shipload of Italian marble intended for the building. Furthermore, the Ratchaprasong intersection had once been used to put criminals on public display.’ ?
A cloth-wrapped pipe. Worshippers. A street full of tourists. Anti-government. Blood and chaos. Hospitals overburdened.
I am looking at the sky despite the clouds. I will not miss these moments. It is just me and my eyes. I have no telescope, no binoculars. I am looking at the sky, the night sky, through a mist of light pollution, into the occluded dark, here, so late and so early, standing alone for this fleeting chance. I am gazing into the stars to see fractured pieces of rock and ice as small as grains of sand. I am waiting for them to flare, to illuminate the ghost of a speeding comet. I am waiting for the gods.
Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. Onwards. _nwards. O_wards. On_ards. Onw_rds. Onwa_ds. Onwar_s. Onward_. *nwards. O*wards. On*ards. Onw*rds. Onwa*ds. Onwar*s. Onward*. **wards. O**ards. On**rds. Onw**ds. Onwar**. ***ards. O***rds. On***ds. Onw***s. Onwa***. ****rds. O****ds. On****s. Onw****. *****ds. O*****s. On*****. ******s. O******. *******. _******. *_*****. **_****. ***_***. ****_**. *****_*. ******_. __*****. *__****. **__***. ***__**. ****__*. *****__. ___****. *___***. **___**. ***___*. ****___. ____***. *____**. **____*. ***____. _____**. *_____*. **_____. ______*. O______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______. _______.
Imbarcaziona etagiona a migraziona somo tantativo più paricopoeo viaggi attravareo ip Meditarranao. P’asropa è eogno ma non eampra sn daetino. Carta-abbozzato nai cantri di raccopta eono piano par rifsgiati: sn po’ di eabbia eoffiati pop-spe in nord Africa a dap Madio Orianta, non eopsziona, a eiaeta par paca. Notizia dap fronta è di sna copoeeapa cataetrofa. P’smanitariemo divanta arroganza nappa bocca dai potanti. Raeoio-racinziona matappica non ei farmano i dieparati. Popizia anti-eommoeea eanno ecavato nai campi a Calais. Non naeesn poeto dova andara. A pondra, eo eantito ip esono di dsapping koras carcando armonia nappa notta.
I like you. I like you because you unnerve me sometimes with your unpredictability. I like you because when I consider your unpredictability I realise that you were unswerving, straight. It was me who hadn’t seen the pattern; hadn’t quite understood. I like that you know when to stand up and when to sit down; how you’re quick to speak and quick to stop speaking – how you speak clearly. I like that everyone thinks you’re the boss because you have that air, but that you always know your place. You are never the boss. Everyone is the boss. The people.
// INCOMING/SUPPRESSED: the commander of ****’s Battalion ******** Militia, announced that scores of fighters have returned to *****, Western ****, from ****** to join the fight against the **** terrorists.“180 **** ****** are now back in **** to help the popular forces in their fight against the **** and defend the city of ****,” **-**** Press news website quoted the commander as saying on Tuesday. He underlined that most of the fighters of the Battalion are also present in some regions of ******** and ***** provinces. The ******* are planning for a major battle against the **** in *****. The **** has links with ***** intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the ****** regime. // ENDS
A giant flag draped behind the nation’s leaders. A faded flag hanging limply in an antique shop in a small town. A book of ensigns on a shelf next to tea sets and cracked crockery, medals and vinyl records and gas masks.
A woman standing proudly in front of a house. A family on the beach. An old motor car. The car of a man and woman. The house and family of a man and woman. A woman standing proudly in an old photograph in a tatty album, on a dusty shelf, forgotten beside the flags, in an antiques shop.