Saturday, 3 October 2009


The red dot comes into position at the penultimate point of the swing. That is the highest point. Where it stops, marks itself, then swings back down and through. But there is no streak. I take the red point and keep it there as a marker from which to leave and return. All the rest is only the getting there. A kind of letting go.

I am lying on the grass amongst the rose bushes some of which are crumpled like a paper bag with sweets that are way too old, others which are still soft and downy, one petal layering upon another, barely touching one another, kept whole by the air and dew between. And in these the redness seems that much redder. They invite touching. There's alot of earth between the rose bushes. And it looks like it's been raked and sorted, only the finest allowed to stay. Like a sprinkling. Other people come and lie at varying angles on the grass.
It is still warm and we become light traps while we still can be. I raise my head over my prostrate body. There's a little girl piling up the pink and red petals in a heap which she tears from the flowers next to a figure which is a mound rising out of the ground covered in loose clothing, face nestling in the grass. A woman sits upright next to the child twisting this way and that way past the child and her play, looking into this and that scene.

Suddenly there is a searing sound as if the road outside were being torn in two. Smoke begins to rise over the trees that demarcate the edge of the park. Having sat bolt upright, I lie down again. Everyone else continues doing what they were doing before. That sound does not let up. It grows in intensity like an industrial process really getting involved in whatever the contact is that engines that friction. Then shutting off like a water jet suddeny ended. And then the searing re-application as it is turned back to full blast. It feels like being inside the drum of a dry-cleaning facility. Smoke continues to rise and thicken. White layer on white layer, bellowing and buffooning in on one another. Small powerful jets and blasts that make a path by parting what is already there. One thing muscling in on the other. The outline of the trees is beginning to soften and now the body itself seems to be more stretchy- invaded and prized apart. I get up by the volition of that sound alone, like an expiration of another jet blast. A dog runs into the area from the path adjoining, between the loose hedges, sniffs around, runs and leaps ahead and exits up front in the cut in the hedge where I too head. I am passing the girl with the heaped up pile of red petals. She turns wide still eyes on me. They flicker and go. A boy making a graphic rendering of the building past the rose garden, with his back to the searing noise and smoke of what is now going on, continues with his rendering but breaks off for one moment to pat the dog. The dog stops in the gap. I stop. Also pat the dog and nudge him on then make it to the road.

The operation going on outside in the road involves a yellow open deck transit van with the words CAUTION written in red on the back. White smoke is belching all around partly putting into obscurity the van. The smell is cloying, hanging off my skin and entering my nostrils. I clamp my hand over my mouth and eyes, spreading it flat and extending the fingers up into my hairline. A woman on a bike passes, disapearing for a moment then reapperaing through the other side. She wobbles, catches herself, throws out a line to any passer-by as a stabiliser where normally she might appear self-contained. That enables a smile. Round the other side of the van, the noise is relentless. Jets of high pressure as a young man in floursecent yellow vest points like a wand a red hot poker which glows and fires up as it touches like a reverse marker pen on to the yellow lines that occur at intervals all along the edge of that road. And that one by one he is blowing off, burned out; erased like a tatoo no longer of any use to the owner. I see each portion turning to liquid, then being sucked up, compulsed by the heat and evaporating. That screaching erasure is getting close to the backend exhaust pipes of the parked cars which are still in place and which he is working his way around. When the cars one by one drive off there will be broken lines that demarcate the carriage of those absent cars. The lines which right now are unreachable will show. There must be contactable engine fuel nearby that poker.
Everytime the man with the poker raises it off from the contact of the burning, melting dark tar of the road it rears up, fed by the sudden surge of oxygen up above and it is that which creates these gusts of high wind like the funnel on a hoze turned to spray. It begins actually to hurt me and I walk on with my head wrapped in my hands, bent from multiple sabotage.

The girl on the swing continues to rise and fall. I am on a bench gathered around a tree like a necklace around it`s trunk. The old man is on the tyre swing, straddling it and rocking back and forwards with the heels and then the tips of his white plimsoles tracking the tarmac lightly. He wears a cap over his grey short hair which has a green seam where the rim of the cap is turned up to reveal the inner lining which  must continue over the shape of his head. A baby in a pram watches him rocking to and fro. He is half-turned away from the girl on the swing, somehow adjacent to these two figures without taking up completely either with one or the other. There is a rotational freedom to his slant- his bucketting to and fro on and off of that tilting tire that he levels and lets go of with his body weight. He disengages, wheels the baby round and round at a fast trot sectioning off an area of swings that includes the rocking child in the red dress within that scope. Finally he brings the pram to a halt levelling it up with the tyre circle which the baby now peers through because it is at eye-level. The old man rocks the tyre back and forth and it is a mobile distorting and transforming like an
open/closed window that lets in and inhibits a portion of light becoming all the more arresting
for this negation. There's a spaciousness in the operations. The man gathers up the body of the baby, presses it casually into his shoulder then hoists himself back on to the tyre where he dozily rocks with the carbuncle of the additive child secured to his body mass and becoming part of the overall weight.
          I am far away under that tree but these intimacies are immediate. I look up into the complexity of the tree, leaves curling between the light, already dislodging and about to go. Buses circle the green, swerving the corner at the far end and building up speed out of that turn. There is a folding back and forth enabling me to stay there as I chew on the piece of liquarice that I suddenly craved for on the way down, my stomach in knots so that I could hardly walk and had to stop. The little girl gets off the swing, takes the now vacated pram and walks it around the swings to encompass the old man and the baby in her scope.

I press the buzzer. Almost immediately a woman who seems drowsy and speaks with a heavy accent comes to the door. I want to hire a space I tell her. She says that Dana is not in but her number is on the front of the door. It is quite faint, blown out by the constant light on the outside of the building. I question her on a couple of digits that at this point in time could be one thing or another, but would make all the difference to getting through. Suddenly she reconsiders, invites me in to take a leaflet. And so I enter that space that smells like burning rubber because the floor is covered from wall to wall with some kind of black plastic that is wrinkled in places and continues roughly up the side of the wall in other places. There are high voltage hallogen lights heating up an area here or there. Apart from that the feeling is dark. There is some kind of spacy music occuring from a sound system which seems to have no attack or fade but just a continuous smoky presence. Ther are some coloured bundles of knitwear here and there on the floor and a sectioned off glass unit to the back inside of which piled one on top of the other are blue inflatable balls jostling against one another with one occasionally held in levitation with maybe one surface like a cheek smashed against that glass window, deformed and made flat by the pressure of all the other pouches crowding in. The woman has an intense and sinking kind of constitution as if she is powered strongly from below in order to escape total collapse.  There is a large mole on her face that I look at more than her eyes. Through it we seem to communnicate well. As a I leave I say, "Oh there are mats as well" as I pass a pile of blue mats by the door. Someone else comes in as I go out. That is the person she was expecting when she opened the door to me.

Outside the light bites. I make it down the road walking slowly the detours and corraled off areas so that I am stepping in and out of the road between the sand and piles of cut stone where the pavement , piece by piece is being layed on a thick helping of fine sand. Water is used to cut down the sparks and dust of the stone under the rotating blade of the stone-cutter. People gather around the coralled off areas to watch, leaning on the orange plastic safety barriers, relieving some of the upper body weight. I am incredibly tired and can barely drag my feet so I stop too.

In a cafe, an old black car with gold trimming rides past. A dog hops on and off of a log in the park past the road so that one moment it is visible and then hidden. A man on a mobile phone stares through the glass of the cafe front as he speaks into the phone. Two white plastic work hats lie like rounded buckets on top of the slated wooden table outside. They turn and swivel this way and that as the wind catches them from underneath. A woman in a black gown that covers her head and most of her face walks past. A man on a bike with a bag full of offal turns at the corner, leaning far out in order to counter balance the weight of those fatted cuts of red meat and bone that he bunches together in the transparent heavy plastic sack that he holds off of the handelbar at the same time as he steers the bike with that hand. There's a boy of about fifteen whom I pass on my way out a little further down the pavement. He puts equal weight on either foot as if each foot were for the first time making a kind of contact and had no knowledge of what just took place in the one before. He seems to actually make it forward by a kind of falling or letting go of the upper body . A certian heavinness in his head and a dark and shiny mop of falling hair that is thrown out and down above the light shuffle of those even feet. The memory of that circuit of up and down is cut. There is an impossible contraction in his chest. Nevertheless he has taken to breathing through his large open-palmed hands that spread out to either side of him. People part like water hitting the rudder of a boat.

All this happens before the winds of today.

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