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An Erratic Orbit

A bipolar perspective on the 3rd planet

Category

Modernism

A Game Of Chess

“I don’t care where the pieces are.” I said.

Of course, this cannot be true. I meant to imply I don’t care where he is, as long as he doesn’t try to pin me. 

Later, he said “If you think I am some king-”

I could have stopped him there. A clumsy knight on a small board, only a monopoly property, a collection of listed buildings, front line of one battle between rich and poor, connected and disenfranchised, and inside an entire swirling life of privileges and disappointments, of failing to live up to expectations, of making it and not making it, of opening  letters to see your grades, the judgement upon you, the codes of conduct, Les regles de jeu, the crimson rising to the cheeks of the transgressor, the urgency of the moment behind the chip shop, the flat cap, the outsider looking in, the streets paved with gold, the relatively comfortable childhood home, coins in the fountain, Dickensian Christmas days, the peeling of an orange…

And beyond the window, a snowstorm.

If the desired outcome were an easier time, to keep me hence, for a little while, then wrong move. I burn brightly , too brightly some say, and my attention focuses on those who cause ripples within and around me. This is my meagre gift and curse: I feel as waves the ripples others ride. My board unbalanced, into the black water I go. Big fish, little fish swimming in the water. (Come back here man and give me my daughter). 

In the Samuel Lewis Buildings on Liverpool Road, the neatly composed Scot, each movement quietly thoughtful, her posture well aligned, “We have been engaged in navel gazing.”

Omphalos. I am not supine on the New River, the tendrils of my flower 

sleeping,  the skin of the green algae

bathing, the early evening sunlight

splashing, coins on the glass table

dancing, discarded cans of lager

rattling,  the clatter of the pieces

swimming, in my enamel coffin

growing. 

I come up for air. The bishop bobs by, mocked by the great blue sky and the deep green sea. 

“Yes, you are entirely correct. Homosexuality is not a sin.” she does not say. She hides behind her castle, welcoming, inclusive, and other decorous adjectives. Coward and dissembler.

Every action is power, every actor a metonym. I am a lighthouse. Batten down the hatches and lash yourself to the mast, we are steering hard to port.

Word of the day

Brussels, 1948.

Schrödinger awoke, feeling somewhat precarious, an unease emanating from deep within, radiating skittishly through his body, registering as a trembling of his limbs. Somehow he had become entangled with the cat. It stretched out inside him, its forelimbs and claws an elusive but real presence inside the canals of his arms. Man and feline were not harmonically resonant. A tuneless, wary, nervous wail. A caterwaul. A hell of a hangover. A katzenjammer. Just thinking of the word made him-

He stretched his body over the warm naked back and rump of his lover, who made a small noise of protest, his head over the side, reaching underneath, crossing the channel in truculent weather to meet her in England, waves meeting waves, and threw up into the bedpan.

katzenjammer: Word of the Day from Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/wordoftheday/2017/01/18

Notes on an apparatus

Please help me. I’m trapped in a cult.  It’s an amusing and horrifying experience. Will you let me tell you about it?

I am no-one and vulnerable. The lowest bug. I want to open up my wings and fly away but the cult won’t allow that to happen. I see boots. Many boots. Everyone wants to wear the boots. Marching, marching, safety in numbers, organised rows and columns, profit and prophet, up and down the Mall, up Whitehall, turning left as one great creature to salute Mickey Mouse, our glorious leader, eyes forward, forward march into Picadilly Circus. And that’s where it really gets scary.

I try to talk to people about the cult. They shrink away from me. In truth I am monstrous. In truth I am tiny. My eyes are set in purplish blotches, dark in the dark. My stare is intense. Male gaze.

I am dissent. Put on the boots. I am six foot two, a large leer of a man. I totter and weave through the columns and rows, I skittle chairs in the bar, trying to squeeze by, pushing through the mass of covered flesh and sharp bones, a breathing bony slug, chattering, two hundred fanlike attachments, chitin hard they rise from the slimy dermis, the creature bristling, then clatter against each other, clackaclack, harsh wave of annoyance, as a succession of lines descends the wooden staircase all-at-once and the mass settle, out of time.

The bell. A Pavlovian device. Does it stimulate thirst? The first bell? The second? No need to think about it. Twenty minutes and glasses please. Clinkaclink, all-at-once.

The stragglers disperse. No-one hears boots. I hear boots. Tottering, weaving. Tomorrow they take up their places. There is nothing to be frightened of. Man is a farce. And any woman who would aspire to be like us. I don’t mean the organs, the appearance, I mean the essence of the cult. The cult has no essence. Oh a powerful woman must take on the trappings, as Solomon Perel wore the garments of the Hitler Youth. Yet if women who wear the uniform would replicate Mankind, they will fail miserably. It is not that women are or must be the gentler sex. It is simply that there are many millions, all along the gender spectrum, who can threaten, use violence, rise tall, toss a grenade. But to dismantle the patriarchy? Create anew.

What is the cult? Oh yes, the cult of fear. I’m going to make a cup of tea.

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