Something hidden in the woods.
From the sand. From the swiping of palms on commuter runs. From the tossed-off free-sheets. From the grinding trucks on dirt tracks. From the furnace hulls and eyes and mouths of salt. From the white hunchbacked desks. From the discounted cocktails and vapid pavements. From the tortuous late-night news-talk. From the canvas cells with torn copies of Les Trois Mousquetaires. From the idling security and high wire fences. From the shell-shocked and the white shell beaches. From the atomised to the atomised. From the blood histories and the sorrowful tomorrows, here, now.
Please help us.
Can you see it? asked James. Corrina was squinting into the May sunlight.
It was somewhere over there but I can’t make it out exactly.
But the cottage was around here?
Here? Somewhere over there, near the horizon, past the trees, where it’s all blue with the distance and haze.
We could drive around the lake, James suggested, placing an arm round her shoulder. She shook her head:
We’d get lost. I just can’t remember. I can’t remember the room even. Or him. What he really did. I was so young. We drove off. I promised to forget. It’s just…
A broad-brimmed black felt hat lies on the tracks below the bridge that crosses the railway line on Shoreditch High Street.
They sip sweet creamy coffee, shuffle and talk of failed interviews and jobs that didn’t work out.
A man by the Tube shouts ‘Freedom out!’ or perhaps ‘Free Time Out!’
They add a pre-meeting meeting to the diary, tapping fitfully while taking a call.
A line of immigration enforcement vans passes by as they hesitate at the wet kerb.
Restless regions shift like cumulonimbus across the horizon. We are heading for a low. A black hat rests on rails.
On the bookshop’s basement computer
A deleted message relates
That Thomas Piketty has sold out.
The email from the book’s printer
Suggests a second run is required –
But the price of paper shows a long upward trend.
Customers leave empty-handed.
Along the city’s cigarette streets
Workers stroke their palms
And bud their ears in silent contemplation
Of Thomas Piketty selling out.
As the fast commuter train stalls
Where a fallen branch blocks the rails
The labouring academic closes
Her old copy of New Left Review
In which Thomas Piketty plugs his book
That all across the land has sold out.
07:20 is the time he leaves the house, pulls on his coat, blows a kiss, says goodbye, gets embraced, steps onto the concrete, breathes the air, checks his pockets, flicks his hair, buttons his coat, checks his phone, walks down the street for the last time.
07:20 is the time she closes the door, waits until he finally disappears, and holds her gaze, never wanting to turn her back, however long it takes for him to return, knowing that he won’t, but that if she only believed harder, she could change the fates that the judges decreed. How she cries.
Christ but there’s too many flags about, he said, sittin back down and slidin three pints across the table. Too much wavin from balconies, fly-pasts and old codgers grumblin bout the way they suffered. Christ, I mean. He sniffed.
Look at you man, the guy’s friend said, sweepin his fringe from his eyes. I mean your jeans, that shirt. Out of touch.
Oh don’t start.
I’m not startin. It’s just, you know, you’re old. Everyone’s lovin all that these days. Nostalgia. Fashion.
Yeah, why not? You’re suppin ale, everyone’s eatin cupcakes.
Tory fuckin cupcakes?
They both laughed.