Meursault

October

October

October is an attempt to write consistently for a month – an attempt to challenge myself. October may give way to November, or October may close naturally with October 31st.

October may be a month but its referential frame is much wider – this body of work seeks to explore that.

October will signify my thinking born out of this month, my feelings felt during this month and how they translate into print, and images I perceive (in the loosest possible sense, mental and visual – distinction to be had) in October.

October I

Thatch roofs bow with the weight of winters passed. Lead gutters filled with copper leaves gurgle out – an ode to another era. Scythes doomed to fall silent; reeds felled, bundled and tied no more. Old weathered hands rendered superfluous.

Dilapidated farmsteads, dishevelled windmills and grain stores stripped bare vulnerable to the biting cold. Pained moaning – ice born wounds that will never close up. Falling splinters of anonymous stone swallowed whole.

October II

I can look out into the garden and still see only green. If I crane my neck and arch my back I can see the odd brown leaf lying on the purple shingle. Really my periphery is clear of burning oranges, deep crimsons, muddy browns and other more rotten shades – unbent neck, locked gaze, body rooted.

Yet, for every day that I can remember as soon as I slope off down the street I encounter, conkers, fallen leaves, and eternal damp – in short autumn, in length b-e-a-u-t-y.

Two pronged, three forked, and five fingered leaves. Bloated moss. Neglected conkers – too small or too late for those seeking them. Little rain and yet there’s a perpetual gurgling, collective run-off making for an omnipresent pulse that matches my own.

October III

Spluttering coughs, runny noses – at lunch the local pharmacies are doing a lightening trade. The tea and coffee list has been revisited at work – tastes as well as seasons have changed. Figures to watch, people to please, personas to uphold.

Walk away from home. Return home. Perpetual dawn. Perpetual dusk. 9-5 is really 7.30-6 – sun barely risen, sun already set. Half cast shadows spilling over cobbles, concrete and asphalt. Tap and drag of tired feet – zombie walk.

Dinner is in the oven, butternut-squash baked and shared between five. Books to be read under the brightest light of the day. No need to find the cold side of the pillow it’s already kissing your cheek.

 October IV

14.20: A car as inconsequential as a black Toyota Prius becomes a warhead. Another smashing of the peace – or so we expected.

14.30: Searing red headline with more details to follow. Another area in lockdown. Whispers of terror in terror.

The Natural History Museum, South Kensington. People poised and ready for what could have been.

A friend lives nearby, I reach out to her. She doesn’t reply. By the time she gets back to me the red mist has quelled – eye contact broken with the abyss. She was with Hades at the time.

Big Reds story is straight, far less sensational, yet overnight the hero image remains as a man in a forensic smock – fingertips clasping onto the coat-tails of terror.

By mid morning he is released with only the suspicion of dangerous driving hanging over his head. Yesterday was Saturday, today is Sunday, tomorrow will be Monday and  people are worried past worrying.

October V

Autumn leaves are slow burning fires lit absolutely everywhere – an elemental path along which to walk hand in hand with the incremental shortening of days.

Blazing orange gives way to smouldering brown. Smouldering brown gives way to black ash. Black ash gives way to the pale white light of winter solstice – now building can begin again.

October VI

Through the open three paned-frosted glass the post-box red doors draw my eye. After contemplating the depth of the red for a while I rake my gaze back across the churchyard.

The grass is pearled with beads of dew. Damp hems spring to mind despite the stillness of the churchyard – the time of anonymous mourners long since elapsed.

I go to turn away but the apse of the church captures my gaze. Wet sand. Bulging growth. Unsightly scar. The accumulation of pigeon shit or a botched repair? A sole bedraggled blackbird cradling itself.

At this time in September a man had been scrubbing the tombstones, memorials and obelisks. He started early, before I arrived at work. When I sidled out for lunch he was gone.

I remember the steaming water, the ash of his cigarette and his muddy blonde hair – all offset by the motion of his brush over the russet stained stone.

How does one begin to undertake such a task? How does one look past the futility of fighting lichen and moss – the stain that won’t wash off?

I don’t know, but one does…

October VII

The water sits still; many boats are moored up one after the other. Kettles whistle. A woman sits alone, half shrouded by a net curtain – a slight twist to her lips.

An old boy with white hair and rough hands wolfs down his cigarette. He wipes at the condensation on his boats windows with a blue cloth. His head ducks in close to the glass. The ash nearly meets the pane, its own subtle attempt to help things along. As he finishes up he chucks his cloth to his friend. The ash remains sitting atop its mount stoically.

Leaves and twigs ride on the slow moving water, roaches skit below these vast continents. A sign warning of restricted access to pleasure boats marks the base of one arch of the bridge. Across the road sits a pub where beyond the old city walls of Norwich suspected witches were hung and burnt alive.

I walk onto the bridge its flagged in two different patterns as well as cobbled – a mismatch tapestry of stone. Two men, one old, one haggard, mutter together on the other side. As I swing close by I can hear them discussing crack cocaine. One pulls out a pouch, the other looks unsure, they both peer inside.

I press on past rows of pretty houses, converted outbuildings and the back of a school field before emerging into the cathedral grounds. Endless limestone. Pines with fingers stretched to the floor. A women walks towards a corner with an air of ofference, palms facing outwards, arms straight – a banana skin chucked into a black bin.

October VIII

Warmer days, August rekindled out of smouldering leaves. Sun cascading down, curtains swiped open and then drawn shut – too little light, and yet too much for eyes accustomed to grey.

Daytime damp waning, no need to wipe your feet. Mass graves of mulching leaves offered a shot at redemption, reanimated they begin to flutter, like burning butterflies in mid July.

Mowers steered by the bleary eyed gnash at the freckled grass – the last cut of the year. Perhaps one more than last? Memories of insignificant events long since elapsed.

The mercury stretches its back and tips its toes – a high of 20° is achieved. In disbelief the brave quickly light BBQ’s. For them the shortness of days is a mere memory, the impracticality of which lies on another plane. Burning charcoal wisps up into the atmosphere, the toasted smell of the evening as it draws in will enriched by it.

October VIIII

Two days ago, the sky burned orange, sulphur and then grey – apocalypse now. A cosmic harpy flipping through atmospheric filters.

The craning of necks skyward,

The twitching of office blinds,

The countless images taken,

The jokes about the end.

Today the warmth is all but gone but the wind remains and old grey is back. I nip out of the office, I find it hard to focus, where does one look now?

Down. Down at the wet ground and shuffling feet.

Down. At the mushed-up paper and the destitute in doorways.

Walking home back past the cathedral. A woman crouching on the ground between two cars, a phone in the palm of her hand, a sports bag behind her – deadly still except for a single finger scrolling ad-infinitum. A modern-day sphinx.

The cathedral plane is lit up, two burning lights mounted onto two adjacent cobble fronted buildings – one light sits slightly higher than the other. A burning, pulsating hew of water particles dancing in the lamplight. The buildings are too far apart to be Victorian London, or 1900’s Prague, although they give off that illusion. Yet Dickens nor Kafka scurries past.

A limestone monolith, an unthinkable amount of time, skill, weight. Spires like spears with which to kill the gods of old. Inside a choir has started up, loud, clear, beautiful, but hidden from sight. These invisible voices affect me, a sense of knowing which cannot be relayed accompanies me on my drudged walk home.

October X

The vampiric cold nibbles away at my nape. Blood rushes out to my capillaries – rose petal skin. Fingertips soldered to my plastic phone case. Scrolling, clicking, tapping, stretching – the trappings of a modern day acrobat doomed to arthritis and wavering vision.

It is the weekend. A man sits across the aisle on a train, he pants and heaves as he declares to his lover that he has made it on time. He asks her about her lunch and they exchange goodbyes. Five minutes later he is at the bottle – screw top white, one third guzzled down.

The train punctuates the flats which conjoin Norfolk and Suffolk with a juddering purposiveness. Leaves rip by the windows like slithers of starlings. Besides me four cans of own brand larger are cracked and tossed into a bag with haste. All it takes is forty minutes. I depart, he remains – another drink in hand.

Saturday quickly turns to Sunday – an hour gained without any discernible gain. ‘Turning back the clocks’ a phrase sentenced to death, these days clocks turn back themselves – those which don’t are forgotten about. Grandfather calls out at all the wrong times in mothers hallway.

It is four days since we gained an hour and my wristwatch still isn’t up to speed. Who looks at their wrist for the time? Timepiece? Or the creation of another border between thin wrist and plaid sleeve. My desktop clock and the faltering light frame temporality well enough for me.

 

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Meursault

Wintery Reflections

The severely trimmed trees of the previous summers pruning were desperately ill equipped to deal with winters first frost. They had been carelessly lopped about in such a haphazard fashion – by poorly skilled grounds workers disinterested in any aspect of cultivation – that all many had left to counteract the piercing frost was a beard like muzzle of lichen and moss. Even into the watery winter daylight the pained moaning of all the trees – except the arctic pines and firs – could be heard reverberating in the glade.

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Meursault

Nook.

Tie up your shimmering hair

And pinch me a glistening strand,

 

Open wide those neon eyes

And cry me some mercury tears,

 

Peel back your dappled skin

And show me your heartwood bone,

 

Arch your marble spine

And bury me in the nook,

 

Speak in the tongues of torrents

And crush me with your force.

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Meursault

Storm.

The wild winds sharp fingers claw at the dully tiled roofs. A thatch house would be preferable, as there would be no piercing sounds. The only reminder of current storm would be the physical wound of the next day – damp bald patches exposing the covering below – bedraggled thatch on the grass. Unfortunately, the suburban setting does not dictate such rural niceties – roof tile, cinderblock, clay brick, asphalt and concrete are the suffocating norm.

The questions asked about the immediate consequences of this storm, due to the surrounding demographic atmosphere, are resultantly rather unwholesome – Will the ‘power’ go out? Will the ‘transmission’ be disrupted? Will the ‘connection’ drop? Will I have ‘service’? Questions asked as if ‘connection’ and ‘service’ where some wondrous wanderers who have unceasingly trudged the earth since time immemorial – another mindless addition to the aggregate of ‘this’ inauthentic life.

Another reason to stubbornly read on…

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Meursault

October 31st

It was October 31st and yet no one had called. Francis stood at his spare bedroom window and peered down into the shrouded street below. Mist formed in cones around the streetlights – cars carelessly grazed the tarmac. Francis mused over these inconsequential subtleties for a number of moments before deciding to turn in for the evening. Rumpled sheets and an LCD alarm clock waited to accompany him to sleep.

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Meursault

Reflections on the use of Language

Words are pitched around like a ball. One may throw and catch but over time the seams become unstitched. The leather or synthetic fur outer becomes weathered – the fibrous innards that betray the whole come to the fore. Just like how the words and the sentences we make become loose – no longer tightly compacted together they drape loosely around the ‘real’ phrasing that we desire to express adequately to our interlocutors. With each additional linguistic interaction this struggle for fit and form is accentuated. All we can hope for is a poor fit, a disorderly rushing forth of words none of which quite latch onto the nuances that we each perceive with such clarity.

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Meursault

Reading.

My cat paws around with a light tinkle. I cannot see him but I presume he is amused or gently stirring in his sleep. My bedroom door is closed and my mind pulses with words as they jump off the page of the book that I read. Eager to piece together the narrative from the first page I am as attentive as a hawk. Slight flickers of irritation at my sense of something missed infrequently spread out across the expanse of my skin. The pages turn crisply. The sound comforts me. I am enveloped by a distinct sense of passing, time, pages, phrases, names and far off places.

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Filàk Dupèrre, Meursault, Ossídio Gaspar, The Judge-Penitent

The Judge starts…

Couriers keep careful company with present spectres of the past,

Courteously guiding strange desires once thrown forward from fitful hearts,

Who in prayer and deep uncertainty have let sincerity divine an art,

That could deliver such a fragile promise, and reach its love at last.

 

The fitful heart and the question of ‘art’ – a precarious but hopeful longing for deliverance from eros. A lusting for unity where perhaps all that can be found is the disjoint of a fracture.

 

An intervention

The telos of eros is economically calculated fornication for the benefit of the state. To have too many pensioners is too expensive. Too expensive! “All coffins, half price, only today!” All people who don’t have kids shall be deported into fornication camps for re-education purposes. They shall be fed four pills of Viagra a day and forced to fuck from sunrise to sunset, until the last bulging dicks are covered with burning blisters and the total labour force of the country has risen 34%.

/signed/

  1. of Labour and Social Welfare.

 

All policy is good policy to get rid of the political once and for all.

I am obsessed with the questions that have not yet been asked. The type of things for which a typecast set of principles automatically fail to appreciate only later when they too have failed in the experience of a post-failed recollection of things. This is a gap we can only fail to talk about.

I am also obsessed with time. It has already taught me that I cannot count. My account of things henceforth resembles the account reserved for the previously unexplained which have now failed in the sense that they could only mean the unexplainable unexplainably. Now we have explanation, I am therefore out of time.

My politics are anti-problematic in that I have no beginning to say anything that resembles a politically addressable context of my understanding of things.

All my work is that of love – well, it must be for them, who love to explain things, or who love the explainable things at least. Me, carrying on, looks like me being in love with them, who love certain things, me loving the uncertainty that sometimes looks like the time they will again succeed in after this brief explanation.

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Filàk Dupèrre, Meursault, Ossídio Gaspar, The Judge-Penitent

Ossídio starts…

If every man of ideas is an idealist then the sum of every part is capable of situating a form to every thought that has no description apart from the emptiness it is said to be, as a thought. Undressed, addressed. A calculation may be a thought, an idea, an idealism, or a form. If a part then a part away from every part. Apart in the past. Like literalism or common sense qualifications of quality. Not in the past, but apart, there, in part. As a part of what it is, emptied to receive the historiography of its name. The demographics of name idealism. The man and the sense of his ideas, a form of writing about not-writing. To fit things in to the time it still takes.

 

Every man who is an idealist thinks that he is an idea.

Every idea that looked like a man was thought to be an idealist

Every idealist that thought he was nothing but an idea believed he was a word.

Every word that was ever spoken imprinted upon the man’s soul and looked back from the past.

Every image from the past is a nothing but from a something there.

Every man that confused himself with an idea that was a nothing but, was nevertheless an image of a something there.

Tom’s foibles are an image of something there.

 

The intersection of systems T & E an interesting proposition of which R feels at little liberty to comment upon. Although, beneath the semi-erectile haze the two systems do somewhat mingle. Despite the one sailing off from the other and the other sailing off from the one they still collide on the flip side sharing a brief reconciliatory gaze before setting off again on another monotonous tirade.

 

To have an ideal is to be an idea,

An undressed address, a continuation of success.

A manifestation of present shortcomings.

Yet, all these clarifications can only be assigned retrospectively

“What is an idea?”

-“Fuck off Socrates”

They just are and I don’t want to be

 

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And so it went..., Filàk Dupèrre, Meursault, Ossídio Gaspar, The Judge-Penitent

Meursault starts…

Welcome to the world of screaming acrylic. Worship thy warning, love thy advertisement. Assimilate every empty referent. Herald the new gospel the Janus faced gods of late capitalism have come.

 

But don’t let this patriarchal multi-faced body ruin your day. This very day that you walk arm in arm with whilst saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and can I have a pay-rise if that’s okay, ‘sir?’ No, step off of the platform in order to re-form. But into what? You can’t even speak unknowingly, let alone freely. I’m sorry – that’s another one for you. This is a terrible introduction however, you’ve been here for years – so what’s the fucking trouble?

 

“Ah yes, a troubling dread indeed,” contemplated the narrator and looked that the alarm clock. “7:55! Fuck.” Whilst looking at himself in the bathroom he exercised saying “thank you” and please” over and over again, until the last trace of this hasty dream was wiped off alongside with the horror on his face. He quickly put on his clothes and as he was taking the last glimpse of his sentimental interior, he passed through the door and evaporated into the outside world. Today was different.

 

The progress made significantly possible from the State of being to the state of being allowed beyond a Stated form of being – somewhere between being and not-being – exaggerates the context both ways and writes the story of the possible into what the possible really is. You begin with a line about something, and suddenly you have linearity already, too. You speak about a difference and this difference being somewhere not-Stated means surely a state that states itself beyond the State, as long as you draw the difference away from a Statement of all things into the Statement of All Things beyond the State into the State it really could not be after all. Your failure may already be its failure, but your success is certainly maintainable beyond the exigencies of describing its failing states, substituting mathematically a state for a capital letter, this looking like the beginning of you state-able work.

 

I had a dream in which a plastic hard hat screamed at me. It cried; “Beware the brightly coloured signification of late modern capitalism”, but before I could heed its cry I was awoken by the comforting safety of construction. A long visibility jacket came into being and told me not to let it ruin my day, but I could not comprehend it before it passed into non-being, because “Unauthorised entry into the site of Tom’s writing is forbidden!”

 

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Filàk Dupèrre, Meursault, Ossídio Gaspar, The Judge-Penitent

Filàk starts…

Nonsense à [(p v ¬p0 v ¬(p v ¬p)]. We need to get everything right. The opposite is true as well: [¬(previous sentence) à ¬(first sentence)]. “To be is to do,” but it is not necessarily the case that to do is to be. Basic stuff – hope you’re still with me. Two nauseating charlatans discuss the difficulties of being bipedal. I really hope everything is alright

All right

n/r

 

To take it away to another story is to choose another story, one begun in the same as not-it, but somehow then and therefore possibly contained in some space that is measurably and immeasurably both, going around in a circle that could then be the understanding of either. Either P or not-P, saying this or that is saying already this and that somehow without this being able to state this or that. If the people involved in the history of this story are indeed all right, it may be because they walk around, taking it in turns to be either P or not-P, and always then either P or not-P, this Person or that Person, whether this is being P or not-P. The charlatan must be the one who speaks the longest, or the one who takes the longest to speak.

 

Men who lack a fondness for bi-pedalling bi-gendered torsos often end up fetishing nonsense. But your analysis is quite correct.

He is P.

She is ~P.

She is P.

He is ~P.

When together, for moments we are both pining to be each other’s P or even each other’s ~P.

What is certain is that we are only ever one for one another.

What is certain is that love talks in nonsense in order to be.

What is certain is that Freddie chose P as a homage to his Penis.

 

P nor Q nor negation or affirmation are of no real interest to me. The interplay of signs and symbols is out of my orbit. But perhaps it cannot come into orbit. Perhaps I am misunderstanding the interwoven fabric of the text. I fail to see the letter for the meaning, the sign for the signified, and struggle to rear my head above the weave, who am I? Another drowning interplay of absent and present in every text.

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And so it went..., Filàk Dupèrre, Meursault, Ossídio Gaspar, The Judge-Penitent

And so it went starts…

Regarded she cares little for my life, it was interesting that she still felt it was okay to call me over while I was, firstly, stood with my friends; and secondly, while in an evidently heated discussion. For no quantity of money on this earth would I want to have walked over, but tonight wasn’t about want or desire, rather, it was about resolving conflicts. Her and I, unquestioningly, have had conflict in the past.

So, I exhaled, apologised to my friends – who, by the way, knew what was about to happen – and I walked over to her.

 

To have an intercourse is to have a diplomatic solution. The Treaty of Her Bed. All issues are aborted with contraception. Sex divides into three categories: Satisfying, unsatisfying, and sex for the purpose of never having to experience the former two ever again. The pretext is peace and all reasons have ceased. I can only walk over to her if I have some hope that I’ll never have to walk over to her ever again.

 

Who is the person we leave behind in order to speak to another? Probably someone we prefer not to be with, in the time being that would mean not speaking to her, but staying with us, as something of ourselves more desperate than chancing who we really could be instead. Why go in? Because it is already sex? Already some phantasy of accomplishment – pre-coitus being something more similar to the revival of the separation in post-coitus? But if we never go over to her, to them, to the stranger, or the strangeness of something still not that familiar, we would never know what it would be to leave ourselves behind. Perhaps then we are strangers to ourselves too, in between these feelings, and breathing would be the same as the struggle to breathe. In this case going over to her would mean to become the struggle of somehow already being. As strange as this might seem to be. Speaking to her would be familiarising oneself with the same strangeness of being who one is.

 

She called for me across conflicts and I came.

Sexual metaphors in politics keep me boundlessly entertained,

Entering my mind was someone else’s butt,

So my response to your crafts was smut,

And I think I just wrote a limerick to my shame.

 

A boundless map of possibility sadly all my mind can place is a mire of unrequited desire. A hopeless occasion for all, distinguished for you by a conversation which contained neither hello nor goodbye. What more could one expect than comments which highlight the increasing banality of sex.

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Meursault

Observations II

A new year and already the days draw out, although in sum they’re still usually dull. Three runners pass, each equidistant from the other. Each one trying to lap up the mud and water raised in their competitors’ footfalls like thirst-crazed dogs. I play the role of the indifferent forth in this brief tirade, of nylon garments, polyurethane soles, and perspiration. They tail off into the distance, I return to my walk. My eyes meet three angelic figures sitting on the water of the estuary to the west. Swans sheaved in white, adorned with gilded beaks through which they sift the silt, tempting death from hazardous pollutants or hidden plastics at every gulp. Gulls fly above in the grey light mocking all that they see. Anxiety washes over me despite our difference in kind. Who am I? Hesitantly, I walk on.

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