Sunday, 17 February 2019




Somewhere you have never been. A meadow near to it, and the balmy stench. Summer pollen like snow, polder of the afterglow, and you are flooded with joy in the pasture, connected to, and the motion of the swaying grass feeling your heart in your chest taking in the beauty as it scans back the meadow, connected to but not always, you going there and walking in the lapping breeze. Joyous light of late afternoon; not surprised by it swift birds swoop as if dropped and catch back onto the warm rise the ground sends up to the air connected and swirl into the brilliance, fully defiant and as with the air the crickets somewhere you have never been are staring in a way that you have never stared with all five of their eyes in fixed points connected to the optic globes of brain gazing in love at the femur with its coarse hairs each a dapple of complex hooks you have never felt as this in the meadow is a mantis, not the ideal, but may as well be as it perched by the kiss of a flower you long and lift up, connected as you were then to a primal longing for peace shattered.

It is a scarlet day in a place you’ve never been with your eyes closed with another layer of brick and then another then some boards and plaster then the hauntings of a place filled up with the echoes of people who are coming, who is this, standing outside of it making up the pastoral imagining shaking your head sadly, you refuse to use the word “it”, you shake your head and nod your head. You go to work and nod you go home and shake, you sometimes shake in silence or sometimes cry out past the field and into the mechanic room where there is a pipe touched by a woman and it is always the woman who goes to care for you. Madly nodding your head. And the pipe unblocks and comes into you. You and many others, actually the same pipe, always the same room with the woman you shake when you go home, where it is different, a different layer. The woman at work you think of and don’t think of because she moves around in your eyes and the eyes of the whole unit according to where she needs to be at work and at home she is always moving just beyond the point at seeing, which is annoying. Blast that away and out in the meadow in the deep dream state you pollen the horizon, I am, we, you, the whole of the world walking alone in your thirties through the meadow gently congratulating yourself a distant figure slightly annoying, but okay, not at all the worst, and when this beauty flies into the eyes you are younger again and again shedding away all that pollen from the windscreen where the spores fly off to the meadows and arable fields, so tired that you’d like to die,  which I mustn’t do, you once told me, held you head into the field’s near the copse the babble of water distronic toxaemia. To before, now and after, straining in the light of the wall, light of the late day, magnificent birds fling up sick when the tube of another kind of engine, one to take things out of my stomach is unblocked and attached this happy trail of a burning myth extinct and then fixed to a word: The meadow scratch you out of the window a long lawn miles down to a fountain whose noise stretched through the silent air you imagine it floats up to you. The possibilities have pared down, which is nice, and in the meadow, for a quiet life, the tube flaps gently in the West wind (at last) and the woman, who must have been the woman in the room who was irritating your view of an empty distance is gone, so surely unblocking this tube can’t be so hard you mutter into the still and balmy air as you begin to fiddle with the nozzle, the breeze being light enough that the tube rocks only very slightly from side to side, yet still it’s not as simple as it might have been. Still though, nice day for it, 101 things a boy can do. Mr. Sergeant? Are you awake? There’s a visitor to see you. The tube swings around to look up. Just birds. Flocks of patients and a sticky smell. It is pollen. I’ll do it! And true to form the nozzle swings up to the energy the hand put there but this time the blockage moves about thirty feet back down the tube and not into you which is where you imagine that it ought to be, that’s how it works surely, or else how would it? The primrose shines out.

That, you explained, is Papilio machaon, whilst that, you see it? It’s similar, but that is Iphiclides podalirius, do you see? A few paces on. Ah! On the search for the elusive Nymphalis antiopa. Never seen at all, the Mourning Cloak, you call back. There is nobody behind you.  Then a tap on the shoulder, that I am fearful of. Wie gehts? I am mixing a strange colour for you, filled with glue and wool. Still undulating your grim mouth near the tube the nurse yawns and falls out of character, looks at a photograph of you labouring at the nozzle whilst blood falls luridly out of you and allows herself to laugh, once, very quietly. A British nurse laughs with you, not at you, you say using the nozzle as a puppet mouth, snarling at everything; stage one emphysema. But you go into the museum and look around a bit. Grim for the elated stylus. A tap on the shoulder, this time narrowly. And you turn around to see the figure drift off into the noise. Is it a secret? When do you think you will head here?

Things that could have been yours; a tangible derelict stance on poppies, unbreakable oath, on the feelings of officers, the distant tattoo, and why this corrupt image: The meadow? Too much to easily promise, surely,
and as the district softly agrees to itself the Meadow becomes a station in prayer,
an oath to the silos, abandoned slag, the unlistening feeling, protecting the hobbies of the meadow. You can’t just start working and expect everybody else
to follow, to turn to them and snarl at having started not having
you for guidance. You can’t just expect love you have to earn it, snarling back at the indolent precarious day by night workers pretending not to be tired or in grief but for the £3.70 you are promised and in fact you can’t be in love not at the moment, anything you amount to must have a strategy, like getting out of being forever beholden to loss. 


As you become awake your arm goes over your body to check your nozzle. The button on the side of it lights the display. A message says “As this is near your limit, please ensure you have enough money available to cover payments”, which is why you fear the nozzle. The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £3.70 per hour. We had been in a fair and stable phase. When you were younger you worked in an extrusion plant. Things have changed. Things that are normal now, being underpaid, not being paid, being paid according to the perceived quality of your work, qualitative payments; for example, to be awarded with your £3.70 an hour you need to work as though you’re being paid £8.21 an hour, and when you start acting like £8.21 an hour I’ll start treating you like £8.21 an hour, that is except for the £8.21 an hour, which may come later. You dreamed of becoming a musician, and spent a great deal of time working away from work, and people would tell you what it was. Now drenched in the teaming meadow. You’re moved into the home. You said you’d always want your dignity, which was dependent on the non dignity of the people in the home. Every morning a music and movement session, based on Tom Kitwood, about endorphins. Never me, you say. Have you done enough to be paid.

Every fucking morning they come in and hold onto people’s hands. You can’t read. Something is making you not able to do it. You can only watch.
One day I will get up and dance, the nozzle glares but the tube itself glares. You yourself glare into the hands you hold singing a song from the forties that you were never in with a care worker who has the same thing in common, never having been in the forties, still the two of you awkwardly singing a lost song whose theme is against loss both beholden to only loss, excruciatingly long, and within it a quiet dignity called loss, real loss, the kind that abstract loss can’t know. Hopeless loss without conditions. Radical hopeless loss without the condition to move, no clause, just there; forever at the mouth of the nozzle glaring out at the Mourning Cloak in the meadow who sits maddeningly still, nozzles filling up their dark wings with your blood.