hat follows consists, I’m delighted to claim, of a thousand and one:
The last gristly bear of the norn iron prolapse, fellas. That’s what’s in steak. Peas processed, pureé on tedium high. A cure for begrudgery, porridge etc. Hardly roquette science. This is all best done when the head is loose and lively lazy. Swing low sweet escariot. Come in for the dooby. The do do. A day without danger. A fib in the head. Charles Holdefer has been in touch: while it is true that I am the harbinger of perhaps the largest stash of plastic tarp in the country (Belgium) this does not make me a concealer of dogs. I celebrate the canine. You are welcome to check the pit. Many thanks, Charles. Keep us posted. Apples are nice, aren’t they? Aren’t they? Boiled sweets’ best flavour. Just an opinion. A snail on the loathsome spine. A suite of virgins huddle disgustingly around the urinal. Nuts. Duchamp apoplectic. Checkmate in poo. Mushroom media. Medial crania. Beetle mania. Judy? Judy? Judy? Judy! La la la la la la la l’aglio. Stanlio e Ollio is a household favourite but it’s tricky—if you don’t grate the cheese finely enough and stir it in at exactingly the right moment the sauce will split. El gordo y el flaco. Harrowing memories of Korea. Oh, unhappy helicopter! I am woke at night. It isn’t easy. Navigate the limelight. Rouse the chancery. In the day I rail against progress, empaths and sensible attitudes to wealth distribution. Peace cake. Don’t mind if I do do. Oriental choo choo—enough of Stan and his bull, the chaplain is here. Be slowly, stupid. Medium session ale. Not the same. Never the same same, always the twain. Or mostly. Ding dong. Young Arenaceous Nell had never once in his life seen the sea, never mind have it fill his nostrils with its salty perfume or his head with the bellow of its heaving waters. Not once had he heard the slap of waves against a quay till that morning, long ago, when he’d watched them send a spray in high spumes over the top; still less have it toss him bodily about as he clutched the gunwale with one hand and his hat, in great peril of getting blown away by a high wind, in the other. There was the distinct possibility, at any moment, of his losing his balance entirely and of tumbling directly into the lap of one of his companions. The two adjacent, both of them ladies, had their hands to the their mouths, so aghast were they at the prospect. A hokusai mount, a red raw nipple, a raving whorl. Babylon fortress. The Qasr al-Sham. The city has grown in the days since, sprawling the Muqattam. Spillage and spoil in pieces of time. A large canton in the skeptical aisle, all over the war. The costumers are slipping. Complaint forms are always available for those who might request. Almost always. The glance of her jet black eyes was that of a gazelle, quarry of noblemen. He had seen the graceful movement of her limbs which were like flowering branches. The words that fell from her lips were the headiest musk, the coolest water and the finest wine, causing him to recite the following lines. There seems to have been some kind of misunderstanding. Write an editorial they said. It’ll be fine they said. I conceived in the last days of summer, the lazy, listless days of high heat, bare feet held over the edge of a hammock to catch the breeze, nobody thinking straight, any notion of the long view lost in the shimmer of empty, endless afternoons. Perhaps the brutalities of her own people’s past were too recent. In my defence, she had been passed through every psychfilter required of Brigade householders and no concerns had arisen. Her sense of humour had raised an eyebrow here and there but was not without precedent and appeared firmly rooted in experiential observation (for the purposes of irony), self-deprecation in the face of inadequate daily task performance and so on. We would ride out the pony hers the trap mine arenaceous at the reins sometimes her never me never mind would take the middle seat I would my excuse the hamper best place to have it on the lap cheese sandwiches and pilfered wine and she to my left or my right and he to my right or my left the silken arcs of their cooing and courting would cocoon me didn’t mind that wasn’t left out not entirely for he wasn’t always as charming as he himself believed or as clever not quite the dashing scapegrace he thought himself and when she thought him stupid when one of his little cupids missed its mark her lips would tighten to suppress the smile that would shine instead from her eye when she winked at me. Herr Benjamin Bourbaki begs of the Noble Burgers of Einpferd that they ready themselves for a Magnificent Revelation on The Wahrberg. Time & date to be announced with perhaps as little as some hours notice but almost certainly in June. And now she was the storm. And now, for just a moment, Clara again. And now a bird over the pear tree. Her eye closed and she was Clara, opened and she was the bird. Closed, Clara. Open, the storm. Closed—now she was someone called Lita. Open—she was Dembe. And now she was Sharazad. And now, the bird again. Now Clara, now not. Sharazad. Lita. Clara. And Rolf’s arm was tight, and began to lift her and there was still the smell of burning, despite the wet and the wind. Someone screamed. And someone else. And no, she wouldn’t die. She would live. Because they needed her. The boys for the stories. Lia. Because Mila was so utterly dependent on her, and was waiting for her. Holdefer’s been leaving notes: da do do do da da da da. You’re not helping, Charles. There appears to have been some kind of mistake.