Category Archives: Verses Nature

love won’t wait (what with a war on your heels)

There are three of us altogether. My father’s first wife died of tuberculosis and left him with a son. My mother’s first husband died and left her with a son. Mother’s first husband designed airplanes and died whilst testing one. Because he wasn’t in service that particular Sunday, she never received a widower’s pension. A beauty she was, from an Alsatian village I won’t name as it’s none of your business. She also happened to be a hairdresser. Father? From Strasbourg. A hairdresser too and looking for a new wife from the trade so they could set up a business together. Someone who knew them both arranged the meeting. Father drove up from Strasbourg to take a look at her.

They got married and made me. (from Verses Nature, forthcoming)

 

Berlin photo 5 edit

Strolling through a flea market recently, I was surprised to see various stands selling old photos. Brushed hands with a fellow rummager. Sorry. Smiles. Interesting, aren’t they? Fates in a bucket, like peas…

 

Berlin fleamarket box of photos

What do you plan on doing with them? Really? Me too.

For the records: that’s where it all starts (or stops?)

When I was 18, it was time to do my military service. I had nothing against the army, so in I went. At the interview, I told them, Honestly, I said, I do want to come to the army, but, please, find something for me to do which doesn’t involve being bossed around, it does my head in. I can’t take it. I’ll be a cook, whatever. Just make sure I can be on my own with no-one lording it over me, otherwise I could end up killing him.
The dickhead who interviewed me, sergeant, captain, whatever, just laughed.
‘Who do you think you are?’ he bellowed. ‘You won’t be the first prick we’ll have brought to bow, and you certainly won’t be the last!’
You see, that’s where it starts: power, power, power, I sighed. I don’t think he quite knew what to make of my response. He was all red in the face. Me? I stayed nice and calm. And very, very polite.
‘You and your army, you think you’re capable of everything, but…’
Let him wait, let him already start to get himself all worked up all over again,
‘but… you’ll never be able to drive out what’s up here, by me,’ and I tapped my head. ‘So, ok,’
I let my fingertips touch to form a steeple. I looked him straight in the eye.
‘I’ll come to your army. I’ll follow your orders. The first who does me wrong, I’ll swallow it. The second, I’ll swallow it. I’ll be brought to bow, as you so nicely put it. But one day, one fine day, you will put a firearm into my hand. We’re in the army, after all… And once I have this firearm, I’m going to go out and kill every single one of you who has ever wronged me, and that, sergeant, will be your fault. Now, I’ve told you, haven’t I, so now I want that in writing, the fact that I told you that, for when the day comes.’
You could see the colour drain out of him like you were drinking him with a straw. He ordered me to the psychiatric department, where I was kept for five days. Did all manner of tests, they did. Then they came to the conclusion that I was a deeply honest person, but extremely dangerous, as I supported no authority over me whatsoever. That’s what’s written in my military record.

I was ordered home.

(from Verses Nature)

 

A ruthless man,
am I?

Do you like opera? I do.

One of my favourite operas is Puccini’s La Bohème. Have you seen it? I’ve seen it on three separate occasions.

The first time I saw it, when it got to the part where the heroine is killed, I was so taken into the plot that I just keeled over and fainted. Bam!

The second time I went to see it, I thought I was better prepared. I thought I’d brace myself when it got to that part. But when it did finally get to that part of the plot, don’t ask me why, I just felt myself sliding off my chair; slowly, slowly, till I crumpled to the floor. Out again!

The next time I went to see La Bohème, I thought I would be immune. I knew what was coming, and I knew when, so I considered myself to be in complete control.

My auntie’s fanny, was I. They carried me out on a stretcher.

There will, alas, be no fourth or future encounter between myself and Mr  Puccini, for I am everything but the ruthless man I am said to be…

(from The Red Room)

A single case (is not an isolated case)

Have you noticed how often women flee to a clinic when they can’t cope in their relationships? You’ll hardly ever see a man in one for the same reason and/or with the same symptoms. Says a lot, doesn’t it?
Not quite sure what to think of therapists. They call themselves scientists, but I dunno… it’s  a bit of a ladies’ science, isn’t it? They claim to name things, measure them, prove you’ve improved, cash their fat cheque and sally on home to their nice pad in the suburbs. I mean, c’mon! And then there are all these fashion illnesses, you know the type, made up of initials, acronyms and the like. Do you really believe in those, or are they just another money-maker? Can they be known to be true? And, more to the point, true to/for whom? Like; who has hysteria nowadays??
We could talk about this  – and God – till the cows come home. You can’t prove a thing unless I want to believe you. And just because you may discard my arguments, don’t mean you’ve proven they don’t exist, whichever side of the fence you’re sitting on.
Fuzzy. Very fuzzy.
In Verses Nature, there’s a character called Catherine. Marriage on the rocks. Has a nervous breakdown. His fault, this time. He’s hopeless in bed but instead of seeking out a specialist (or just a heart-to-heart with a chum), he passes the parcel. Says it’s her fault. Wanker. Weak women are one thing. Weak men? I can’t stand them.
Anyhow, Catherine’s one of these brainy, touchy types and her best friend, Mazelle, gets her into this fancy private clinic she runs called Morton House, where each room is now named after one of the House’s ancestors. Part of the therapy involves keeping a diary. Let’s have a peep:

 

§2
Get it down, they say. Get it done…

To write in 3D (or more). To make of the printed page the legitimate siblings of paintings, of dancers and symphonies, but no–

thicklipped words bemusing tongue-tied masscrawlers

In between and off my head. They say?
At least the meals are nice here

§7
Her name is Dr Schonbaum. I am to her Ingrid. We are to meet daily. She recommends at least one lunch-time walk a week and regular attendance of at least one group therapy. She says I have a very nice room. It suits me, whatever that means

§9
There is little to remind me of Him but for these ghastly sessions. Beta-Man. lol. Better (half). Whatever

§13
There is a void I seem unable to navigate. Days are not lived, simply survived. How am I going to put all of this back together again?

§15
My Loneliness is rich in the nature of its unique constellation of humanized projections that no one other than myself can appreciate. It is this world of intangibles of which I spoke.

And yet…

Sometimes I fear I will implode. I thirst for the banal, to be in the crowd, to be flesh, not mind, lapping to my fill, gleaming, heaving, satiated

§18
uncensored senses sorely red:


What is a woman when no longer desired? Who is she?

So many cobwebs we need to sweep aside.

§21
No I do not want to. I will take my meals in my room.

The rooms here have names as though they are able to accost/befriend/molest us. Her in Victoria Morton, acute dementia (not that I’d know): she keeps walking in and out of the main door and into other people’s workshops, bothering everyone. She seems fond of handles. Yesterday she crapped in the corridor. On purpose. In those horrid brushed nylon leggings of hers, you can always see the crack of her bottom. Why doesn’t anyone say anything?

§24
We know she takes advantage of us, sneaking into our rooms at night. Some are jealous. She fucks those ones first, to keep them quiet

§27
You say we do our best to block or enhance our doubt zones. I still stumble over the idea of enhancing one´s doubt zone. You’ll explain that to me?

§29
Yet another restless night…
between my legs it smells as though I have awoken from the dead. Unfucked puckered rot.

§33
‘If I do this all my life, I will have missed something. And when you realize you have missed something essential, that’s when you start thinking about age…’ (Her in Isabelle Morton).

Mazelle goes home every night and I fall asleep with her kiss on my lips. Our thoughts are so similar, yet I am the one in here!!!

I, I, I…

§36
Get it down. The loquacity of lies…

Anything trapped in a word cannot but be half lie; half construed, let me say, with a touch more clemency. I must be on my guard, not let myself be swept away by their force, for they are only words…

Heard them at it. Her next door in Yelena Morton. She doesn’t like me. I take my meals in my room. None of them like me. I’m not here to make friends with any of you.  Won’t be taking any of you with me. Not even in my thoughts

§43
Anticipation: constitutes a danger for the reflexive, critical mind since it means that conclusions have already begun to be massaged into place, which in turn renders us potentially blind to unforeseen eventualities wherein might precisely lie (some of) the answers to (some of) my questions…  Maybe I should have said this much, much earlier

Am I ready to go home?

§45
uncensored bareness in the flesh:

‘What you resist persists. That was the thought you were wearing yesterday.’  Who said?

I’m on the wrong side of the line. Don’t think for one second that I don’t see through this whole circus. I should be the one on that chair. I, I, I, I

I

I

I

§46
A clever but by no means unimpeachable theory

§58
Make up (verb): to invent, to create, to assemble. Make-up (adj): embellished, enhanced. Make up (verb): to reconcile. To RE-member??? Make-up (noun): components, elements, constituents, cosmetics

the truth and I:

§59
(……………..lisSTten ……..)

To uncover roots so carefully buried it will take more than destroyed hulls and spilled languages. It will take more than alienation shovelled like rain on stars. It will take uprooted minds stitched to concrete

§60
A single case, not an isolated case

It always turns out in a good way, here, but maybe not there

Labels. Ideological sleet. Left in a random place. Then the wall came down. Be prepared. Full colour escape.

§64
uncensored darkness in the reddish mist:


I disappear in the meaning,

in musty moors of lifeless deception

my name gets caught in my hair, latches onto my skin like a speck of dust. Brush. Blow.

Like a ribbon I cover my roots and vanish into secrets

What does perverse mean? My mind, full of open doors. Mindful of open doors. Sex and cum everywhere. My mind is not a brothel. I disappear down alleys. Down the meanings, dug up, yet unavailable to the definitive.

If only double standards had a neck to break…

The Others become a border to be constantly overcome

(from Verses Nature. Special thanks to Laura Gentile, Sophie Gitzinger and Federica Bianco.)

I’ve slept with a man (course I have)

Yeah I’ve slept with a man. Course I have. In my younger days. Was okay, but I prefer women. I’ve had threesomes and group sex. I’ve shared a girl with a mate, or my wife with a girlfriend. There were seven of us at it once. If two men are going to share a woman they’ll have to like each other not only cos of the trust but also cos there’s bound to be some form of physical contact between the two. Doesn’t mean you’re gay, though. And a woman, I reckon she’ll have to have some latent lesbian tendencies if she’ll sleep with another woman. Sometimes they say they do, and that they will, but they’re just lying. Women lie. Men lie. That’s life.

One of my wives wanted to try a threesome with another woman but I couldn’t find anyone who’d fit the bill so in the end I took her on holiday to North Africa and we paid a beautiful whore to go with the two of us. First she took us to a bar. Fair enough, we thought. But then she dragged us to another one and another one. And another one… it got to 3 in the morning and I was plastered, and my wife tired, which was probably what the crafty bitch was after anyway, so we paid her and told her to go home. She had the cheek to get greedy: what do you think this is, she shouted at the money we’d given her. I could’ve had a whole load of other clients during this time instead of wasting my time in bars with you two! Well, if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s when a person gets ungrateful. Now you listen to me, you greedy conniving bitch, you’re the one who dragged us off into all these bars so take your money and fuck off! That’s the way you have to speak to these people. Think all Europeans are sitting ducks? Think again. Well, she got the message and backed off. So I didn’t manage to arrange this thing for my wife, who is now my ex-ex-wife, but that’s another story. She might’ve had her experiences in that direction in the meantime. Or maybe she too was just lying all along.

(from Verses Nature, forthcoming)