Imagine somewhere somebody is comp…

Imagine somewhere somebody is comp…letely off their rock…eting against or finishing your sent… us a lovely bunch of roses for Valentine’s Da…ily update…nighttime is when I work…ing on anatomization? i don’t know what you mean…average of white males under…40℃ & climbing…the stairs to see if little Adam…& Eve ate of the Tree of… knowledge is what makes us…men | gay men live next door to…U.S. tourists are a major demographic that we must…aim your complaints at more productive ventures…into the heart of the Amazon…sells everything you could ever want…to see the Terracotta Warriors before I die…& go to heaven in a… nutshell you can’t make ends meet by rubbing 2 sticks…together we’ll make a go of thattvam as…sisted living is the worst thing that could happen to me…diocre texts fill our book…case by case it was me…asles all over the skint | not a penny to my…name is Duke & i like to be…forever young…’s theory of the Quaternary & Synchroni…city life is not the life for me…andering prolix is just showing off with a Thes…saw us | I’m absolutely sure of it I met his…tory repeats itself over…& out…side it is raining cats & dog…eared home…work till you drop…a rope down into the well…over weight…a minute I’m not finished with…out you I’d be only half com…plex equations written on glass…es are buy 1 get another free…dom is not to be taken for grant…money | which you should put into a bank acc…eptable | it simply isn’t ac…a-dem-ic | if it isn’t ac-a-dem-ic then what is it…making me s…miles & miles of nothing but farmland…ed gentry still have an influence in politic…all prisoners should be given the same right…or left | come on…tologically speaking we’re in…terface to face…book is affecting every…body-image is so import…& ex…port & a selection of cheeses on special occassi…on & off…shore bank accounts should be made ill…ness is a mis…fortune smiles on the b…raving mad he was…p! | kill it I hate them they’re evil even mor…gage rates are through the roof…tiles blown off by the wind…ow where our kitty cat Bella sits watching the world go by…standers watched as the building came falling…over picking yourself back up that’s…market brands on sale for one…2 buckle my shoe | 3…4 knock…a door run…time… Eros & Psyche……atric wards are full…time job go…d knows how many miles per hour into deep…meditati…on & off…enders from young ages…ago you said something about lice…ence plates can be turned into ac-ro-nym…phomania is not the study of mythical women from Greece…lightning go Grease light…me another ciggie chuck…them in the cellar where he lost his marb…ella where we sunned our……time has come to realize not everything makes sense in life…

Sam & Deli

Sam & Deli meet at the entrance to their university | Sam arrives early every day to chain smoke roll-ups | trying to beat his previous record of 7 in the space of 15 minutes. It is winter. The threat of snow builds in blue cumulus | beautiful perm-like renderings.

Sam: “Deli | how’s it goin’?”
Deli: “I’m alright Sammy | how about yourself?”
Sam: “Can’t complain. Bit knackered. Got lashed last night at The Scholar. You read the poem?”
Deli: “You mean Pale Fire?”
Sam: “Yeah! It was well easy | finished it proper quick. Odd that we had to read a poem for our contemporary fiction class though | come to think of it.”
Deli: “Can’t think why eh?”
Sam: “Na. & y’know i can’t be arsed with reading forewords  & introduction crap & forrrrrrget (he swivels his head round the r) about notes at the back of the book. That’s why I picked fiction. I like to form my own ideas. That Kinbote whatsizname? Sounds like a robo-wizard or summat. Sod that! Couldn’t find any other poems by that John Shade | bit old fashioned for me | bit full of himself | but good nonetheless. & i don’t usually like poetry. It’s a bit pretentious.”
Deli: “Ah yes the magic word of the retarded ‘good’. Maybe you can affix a ‘really’ on the front of that & reeeallllyyy (she says sarcastically) do the genius of Nabokov justice. “Old-ie world-ie” “ro-bo wiz-ard” “can’t be arsed with fore-words & notes at the back?” (She says this in a thick dull tone trapping the air round her palatine raphe | breathily punching outward with each syllable in hyperbolic mockery of him.)”
Sam: “Huh! Why?”
Deli: “You realize don’t you that Pale Fire is a novel. Kinbote’s foreword / introduction & the glossary are fictional. They tell a story. It is an experimental narrative device | it urges the reader to investigate & speaks volumes about the deranged protagonist Charles Kinbote.”
Sam: “Oh…shit. Egg on my face. I thought Kinbote was some critic or summat.”
Deli: “Y’know | since you shaved yer ‘ead | i think you got a lot thicker | y’Jack o’Spades.
Let me get a look at you (she grabs him by the chin) yes! Your jaw is actually looking a little slacker & your gait more Neanderthal-like. I recommend you grow your hair back Sam | keep that meaty processor of yours insulated.”
Sam: “Bloody hell Deli a butterfly at this time of year. Crazy that is. Global warming’s doin’ that. Nature’s all in a mix up.”
Deli: “It’s not just nature.”

It starts to snow.

Thinking out loud on the subject of tourism & authenticity & the problems in their relationship

Thinking out loud on the subject of tourism & authenticity & the problems in their relationship

To experience authenticity, it should be more difficult than this. More than a taxi ride, cable car, which takes you for a modest price to the summit & thereabouts. & thereabouts, you can purchase all you require to fill your back pack & your belly. Here at the shelter, before the ascent up Yeongsil to Witsaeoreum, you can eat wild roots, ginkgo nuts, ferns & rice, foraged from the surrounding forests & prepared, sizzling in black clay pots. You can eat rice cake & oranges. You can buy a broad hat to block the sun, a handkerchief for mopping sweat. Extra pairs of legs. Chocolate bars & coffee. omija or citron tea with a healthy bitterness to sting the tongue alive.
These are not authentic things in themselves. They are an amalgam, guaranteeing a volume of tourists to an authentic environment, equipped with myth, religion & local produce.
You don’t even need to clean your own boots when you get home, no need to dirty a sponge, there is an air pressurized machine, which cranks & whirs angrily, frightens the crows into bewildering caws. It is as they’re trying to fend off a threat. The machine blasts the scum off your soles.

Tourism vitiates quality. Yeongsil shelter isn’t so bad, i’m more flummoxed by ease; which i am beginning to understand as a stumbling block for authenticity. Elsewhere isn’t so fortunate. To maintain authenticity is time consuming. Time is money. Less time spent = more money made. Volumes of the product should be kept to a minimum, like winking in a blizzard.

A mist falls like rags of lace over the temple. Cools the packed pines. Tourists feels their skin again, as if it were a slab of white marble. They forgot the feeling of horripilation. They welcome the old sensations of the skin that summer forgets for them. The statues of Siddartha & Dangun gasp as if they took a gulp of carbonated water. There should be a traffic of mountain streams, pristine & audacious running beneath the small bridge leading to the temple & bifurcating throughout the forest. i can feel the afterthoughts of its energies in the light wind. The rain has been unsatisfactory this summer.

Stone lanterns with peaked roofs have space enough for a single candle. Capaciously they guide monks through the trunk of night. A shrine beside the temple smokes incense, erodes gifts of chocolate & fizzy drinks, as if the heavens developed a sweet tooth. The monk went to eat soup & catch up on Kakao Talk. There are families wearing the same clothes, a Siberian tiger on the adverse & reverse of their t-shirts. They make brief surveys of what’s on offer. Father’s with hands behind their backs & a brisk pace though their steps are shored by their height. Mother’s with purses full of tissues & small vials of perfume. Children with the scent of sugar in their mouth & red stains on their clothes. They seem disinterested, but it’s more likely the next place on their bucket list is lodged in their mind. i can’t grudge them time’s footfalls. There are countless steps to take up the mountain where the 500 Generals bang granite fists on the sky, to make their grief heard over growling motorbikes & families giggling at photographs of themselves, fastened in mid-air.

The crows bark in registers that remind me of gesticulations from a pulpit. Wings aren’t the best tool for annunciating, like using Claude Chappe’s semaphore on the radio. You need fingers for such emphasis. One crow i saw whispered in the ears of another, unlike the irritating flies & mosquitoes who zip in mine. Somewhere a circumference is made from one crow whispering to another, a clear center, except the boundaries, though felt to be somewhere, are of uncertain demarcation— greater progress is expected. Things were off to a good start for not knowing.

The cloud drifts away. The summit ridge jollies into a modern blue. Everyone is the same. Their scale is similar to a platoon of ants. Slowed by altitude. Met by a wind that never makes it down. Seeing them i think of Jacob ’s ladder & wish them the best of luck. The striated façade of a cliff beside them, a reminder of our stature. Dead trees. Medicinal flowers. Rocks & dry grass.

Teenagers follow parents to the temple next to the car park. They look up at the eaves hand painted with lotus in teak, red, blue & orange. Hand crafted by master builders who study for years, who carried fallen pines from somewhere deep in the forest. Treated them to a new incarnation. Objects arranged into adoration like 2 chopsticks that fell into the shape of a rood. Even the window shutters carved into a diamond lattice the sad browed bend of the roof is of no interest to them— its gable shelter for small birds, ignored. After impersonating crows they check their cell phones & never resurface. i don’t blame them, but i want to. What is this lump of wood to them? They can’t use it for shelter, it inspires no aesthetic climax, its interior & exterior is without LED or halogen fixtures. The temple doesn’t flash unless the wind extinguishes & reignites a candle in the same breath. This is a remote place & they have no gauge on the distances of solitude. They are yet to abstract the dimensions of peace.

The crows signal each other with a spectrum of caws. They speculate on our commotions.
Time’s urgency is lost in the pull of so much umbrage, in so many dried sticks of the dead carpeting the ground. Branches that if brushes were attached at their tips would paint master pieces with a little encouragement by the wind.

Only our presence brings time here. Geology has its own. & tries to ignore our vested interests. Goes around us. Will always take the long way round.

But i’m only here for the difference in degrees.

My haibun ‘Nan’s Funeral’ published at contemporaryhaibunonline dot com

The Contemporary Haibun Online is a fine journal that i’ve been reading a few months now, & have been learning a lot about haibun from, as it contains essays on haibun in addition to a well picked selection of haibun. So i was pleased to have something selected to be published there, thanks to the editors Bob Lucky & Ray Rasmussen. Nan’s Funeral can be read here.

flower boy

i was a flower boy once. this is a memory haibun.

 

flower boy

i finished school at 16 & wished to educate my sensitivities, so took a part time job on a flower stall in small town Burntwood— nothing place, where everybody knows each other’s name & cars passing through are slowed only by Pedestrianization. i endured the cold enjoyed the warm. the smell of freesia & lilies filled the days of my nose. chrysanthemum & gypsum taught me how to hear & see. lilies & rose taught me death & love. i met my first girlfriend— bat shit crazy (scientific term: bipolar disorder & OCD) a painter who canvased her socially anxious demons, couched in the amygdala, whilst listening to Guns n’ Roses very loud. we took Sunday walks around Chase Water reservoir, but couldn’t chase those demons into the speechless brown of the water— i would mock Axl Rose & she talked about his massive dick & how it was his illness that made him beat Erin Everly: you’ll never understand she explained.
i smoked joints at lunch time with the butcher who sorted my weed out for me each weekend & told me stories about girls & i made histories to make myself more familiar, like how i got with this one girl, right…— lied about my age, i was 18 to everyone.
learned the radiator good of tea— i didn’t know my Milarepa then. became adult with puppy fat. tested the waters of responsibility. took a few quid out the change purse for sandwiches, tea cakes & hot chocolate, when my belly gabbed: i was paid below minimum wage, reasonable justification; & the boss never counted the coppers & silver, i interpreted that as ripe picking.

young, i wanted everything
that was back then, now…
no… i’m not that boy.