Thursday, April 24, 2014

waste not, want not

I pass back and forth through a small sheaf of concertinaed printer paper. First I ease off the edges - the long ribbons full of holes that were once deemed necessary to guide the paper through the printer. Now my roller welcomes one sheet at a time - although on most days the lines are a little skewed, but that suits my writing. I hold the bunched edges in my hand and note a fleeting thought - if we had a gerbil or a child they might have fun with these cast-offs.

Then I separate each sheet from the one before it and the one that follows. A swaying rhythm builds in me as I go. And I think of how we're still working our way through the stationary supplies that my father liberated from his eighties office job. A brown-jacket with a cardboard box under one arm - topped with the name of the woman in charge of such supplies. At least he never came home with her under his arm.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

the fingerprints of raindrops

the place where
we touch - feeling
every gust of wind

A month before their wedding day, they break up. And I can't help blaming the weather.

We are changing. Evolving. Into squinting beasts. Half-hunched and stiff of limb. One day they will look back and say, that was where it all started.

The boom of another fallen wheelie bin. Ripped up and torn, the sound of car horns and a siren.

We make hourly trade-offs - moving away from the warmer, quieter, safer core of our home. To the edges. The windows. Our rain lashed fringes. Only two sheets of glass between us and this weather. The pain. We move there because we seek even remnants of light. To read by. To write by. To be by.

this wind
now snatching the last
scraps of daylight

Friday, January 17, 2014

paved with gold

I’ve just started a new notebook – for the foreseeable future I will be bound within Leuchtturm’s Anthracite covers.  I hope the properties of the mineral seep into my writing.  I’d like it to become more compact but with a high lustre.  Starting a new notebook always makes me look back to the first thing I wrote in the last one.  My preoccupations last June were roughly as follows.

There are some holiday snaps I’m better off not seeing.  Hong Kong pet shops or restaurants included.  The fact that I can’t tell adds to the problem.  Fish in all colours, all sizes hanging in rows in plastic bags.  My eye can’t help but be delighted by the unintentional magic of it all.  But my head bursts and my heart’s flow drips to the floor.  These fish are like our ideas, our dreams – each held somewhere too small.  Too little water, too little air – no wonder they won’t survive.