The Man Who Would Be Decimated

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(Original image by Caroline Tarré, 2010)

A man dressed in a hospital gown shuffles down the pavement of a dusty, litter-strewn side street, somewhere near Euston Road. He is pale and drawn out, a layer of perspiration covering his skin. His sunken eyes are lined with an interminable tiredness. Passersby merely register his odd appearance, before carrying on past him; in other parts of the world they might ask if he’s okay, and if he needs help, but the spectre of London dissuades such action – lest he be dangerous or, worse, weird. But the man isn’t interested in help, or pity, or in fact any such attention: he hopes to continue this journey unnoticed, untracked, alone. Continue reading

Cambridge (or not)

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(The following was written in a process-collaboration with Anna Brownsted and unclaimed creatures, for Fade into View.) (Image by Daniel Enchev, 2014)


#1

Waiting. There are some places that give themselves better to waiting than others. And they aren’t always obvious. The waiting room in a surgery? The row upon row of back to back airport seating, in a shiny glass laden warehouse? An overgrown, purpose-deserted playground, whose slide and swing sit like hasty imports to transform a brick garden into a place of play. Weeds encroach on every corner and crevice, advancing their sovereignty at a calculated pace, biding its time like a Venus fly trap awaiting a catch.

This brick garden-come-playground-come-wild-kingdom is waiting, too, like you might…or I did.

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Unexpected Arrival

5604838604_677b04ee41_z(The following was written in a process-collaboration with Anna Brownsted and unclaimed creatures) (Image by nelio filipe, 2011)


Actual arrival: Before me/unknown

A man has been pacing since – no probably before – I arrived. He’s on the phone. Or at least I presume he is. I’ve grown to distrust the obvious: not even the phone against his ear, those agitated gestures with his one free arm, and the movement of his lips, are enough to convince me absolutely.

I need evidence.

“Look for evidence,” they said.

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This is the place – Two

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(The following was written in a process-collaboration with Anna Brownsted and unclaimed creatures, for The Fictional Woods) (Image by MaZzuk, 2007)


This is the Place/This is the Space

2 June 2014: 17:36

Tucked out of the way in the corner, you’re passive here. Observant. Expectation is a stranger to you, and you’ve no need to make their acquaintance. Other spaces, other rooms, tend to suggest or down right insist upon the relationship you should have with them, but not here. Fastidious in its shape, structure, integrity, it is indifferent to you and any designs you might have on it. Even if you were to lavish the walls, the floor and the ceiling with an other-worldly aesthetic it would resolutely remain, solid, stoic, silent.

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This is the place – One

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(The following was written in a process-collaboration with Anna Brownsted and unclaimed creatures, for The Fictional Woods) (Image by John Fraissinet, 2012)


This is the Place/This is the Space

27th May 2014; 12.07pm

Isn’t it funny how a space is rarely occupied but merely skirted? As if you don’t want to impinge on the space too much, and politely let it ‘be’ space that is not yours, or anybody else’s for that matter. The table tops and benches apologise for their presence; tucked tightly up against the raised skirting board, but infrequent, economic. Wooden benches face into the wall to avert the sitting gaze that might otherwise be directed toward the centre of this transient space; images, pictures, art, bribing you to turn to the wall like a naughty child in a corner.

Transience. You dwell on this word a moment. Passing through: ephemeral; impermanent and fragile.

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Dear F. E.

Dear F.E.,

I’m struggling. For some time now I have been trying to write the perfect story; a story that couldn’t fail to stir emotions within even the most resolutely Simon Cowell of characters. However, I appear to be unable to rouse the muse, whence my modern masterpiece may flow. And it is not for lack of ideas; for lack of characters, conflicts, places, worlds, words, and other such narrative paraphernalia.

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Dear Daniela

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Dear Daniela,

Some months ago I wrote a letter to you. I haven’t written a letter for years, but felt compelled to. Perhaps it was a reflex action in the wake of That Thing That Shall Not Be Named Or Given Credibility But That Happened And That, In Not Giving It Credibility, We Merely Strengthen Its Insidious Resolve. In any case, I wrote, I saved, I thought about sending, I stopped, I reconsidered, I forgot, I remembered, I re-read, forgot some more, and now here I am, Palimpsestuous.

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The Inevitable Heat Death of Daniela Ashe

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At 11.48am on a mildly warm and breezy late spring morning in Bath, a young man is tidying away chairs and tables in a large marquee, the evidence of the previous evening’s nuptials strewn haphazardly over the muslin carpet. His languid and arrhythmic movements betray signs of the night’s events, yet with the lingering impression of an accepting, almost satisfied, smile. Continue reading

The Inevitable Heat Death of Daniela Ashe (Draft v1)

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[Original image by Wolfgang Staudt]

[An elaboration and continuation of It all started with]

At 9.48am on a mildly warm and breezy late spring morning in Bath, a young man is tidying chairs and tables away in a large marquee, the evidence of the previous evening’s nuptials strewn haphazardly over the muslin carpet. His languid and arrhythmic movements betray signs of the night’s events, yet with the lingering impression of an accepting, almost satisfied, smile. Continue reading

The Archivist

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[Original image by Aftab Uzzaman]

[A variation and continuation ofBefore I went to bed’ and another pieceThe Archivist]

Appearances were no longer of concern to me. Instead I’d decided I was taking a break from the world; from the parade self-indulgence that had suddenly become so glaringly obvious, yet to which I wished to return with every atom in my body. But it was too late: that boat had sailed, with a broken compass, an incomplete map and a blinkered captain. Continue reading

Before I went to bed

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Original image: http://imgur.com/gallery/7d1Q74x

Before I went to bed, my mother gave me some small bites of food. I felt like a disabled animal being nursed back to health, but I didn’t care. Appearances were no longer of concern to me, much less for the benefit of my mother. In fact, I’d been ‘holding it together’ for so long – in that crudely normal way – that I thought I owed her the honesty. Continue reading