February 3, 2011
- A train, specifically the Trans-Siberian Railway or the First Great Western service from London Paddington to Land’s End
- The top of Rutherford College, UKC
- The top of Darwin Tower, UKC
- In someone’s bag
- A cottage in the middle of a forest clearing, close to a river
- A lighthouse
- British Columbia, Vancouver
- The Peak District
March 31, 2009
… to open my eyes again, start working and get up; to do this.
And when I dream, I dream about water and boats, my boat that moves and horror: moorings snapping — casts us away at dangerous angles, parasitic shellfish whose little arms squirm about inside their calcium casings, live worms that will feed under my skin if I let them.
Nightmares interrupted, sometimes forgotten so that I don’t have to suffer them and other times remembered, leaving me with a conundrum: why Shakespeare’s complete works? Such delicate sheets with tips laced in silver, their broad bodies bound firm in hard, blue cloth.
The days fold under each other, the week closing up in my palm, a fan printed with the reminders of non-achievements, static appointments, traces of waiting and wanting and … those moments where I felt happy, moments that I reflect on later and see that yes, I was happy but still not part of it. Perhaps that is the happiest I’ll ever be.
Resume, continue, play on… I pick up the thread and twist it tight into a sheer line hanging as a cobweb through the dirty light of an early morning, into the garden maze, into a blackness hedged with dark green; how do you find yourself in the middle of that grey heart?
If it’s the only thing I do today, I have to get up. I want to share my labyrinth with you.
February 14, 2009
You’re this indistinct image, a sort of gloss covering the surface of everything I see around me. Nothing is left untouched by the possibility of your presence. You’re a phantom that leaves strands of your hair on my pillow, an empty glass left with the faint print of your lips around its edge. The unrecognisable yet on the tip-of-my-tongue smell that I can barely remember from somewhere, a place that I’m yet to be. You’re there.
It’s hard to think of you.
You’re not an object, you’re not anything at all; only a gathering of thoughts and feelings and sensations that stir about in me, remaining wordless and formless until I take the time to push aside the things that get in the way of having you.
I sit down to think about you, to write you and I find myself getting nowhere; the only time when you’re really there is when I’m half asleep and trying to ignore the empty side of my bed, and what I think is the edge of a pillow pushing warmly against my back, becomes you; your shoulder curled into me, your chin resting just behind my neck.
You’re gone when I wake in the morning; I stay in bed trying to keep hold of the warmth you’ve tucked under the pillows, small bits of paper folded in two and quietly trace the outlines of where your hands have been before letting you go and getting up.
It’s still impossible to concentrate on any of this, to bring your far enough into my mind to reach out and touch you; you’re not concrete, not visible or physical. You’re indescribable and effortless, a series of corridors that wind about in all directions and mislead me, leave others unconvinced because half of your lights are blown out and they can’t see you.
I twist my fingers around themselves, squeeze them into the shapes of my distraction and flex the joints further than they’re supposed to be flexed and settle into work. You walk up behind me, silent and rest your arms about me.
I spend hours struggling, trying to overcome the disappointment of your absence and when I finally reach a stage where I can move to achieve something in my day, you turn up unannounced and rob me of any ability I had to form ideas and words and images and sentences and all the things that resemble a working mind; you strip me of my drive and make me abandon all convention, expectation and conformity. You make me leave the strain behind.
So don’t stop. Keep distracting me from the things I’m supposed to be doing because you’re not here yet and there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever arrive and I don’t want to go through any part of my life knowing that I’ve never felt you beside me. Pull the book from my hand and make me look at you, make me pay attention. Drag me from myself because there is nothing else that anyone can say about me, there are no more insults that can make me doubt you.
You’re still keeping back from me as I write this to you, waiting until I’m drowsy so that you can lay beside me and whisper into my ear, fragments of dreams that play out how we first meet and how for once, I am not the bravado I pretend to be. For you, I am shy and this is what you show me of myself; the things that only you know. I’m on the verge of screaming for you.
Don’t ever stop haunting me.