June 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

– In the window of the chicken shop on Evelyn Road it reads “1 Pc Chicken/& Chips//2 Pc Chicken/& Chips”. No prices are attached, & almost no other information is displayed – he can hardly even recall if there’s a sign. They hang in the night before the rolling-down of the shutters, abstract & bodiless as stars.

– The city encloses faces, reduces them to one more element in the panoply of the built environment. But the sheer proliferation of them, all more intensely readable than any other moment in the urban blur, reduces him sometimes to helplessness of one kind & another. Dreamy fascination, astonishment, fatigue, head-in-hand despair at the sheer opacity of faces & the unending expenditure of beauty that goes through them. Then the flash of recognition: friends (& more-than-friends) who turn out in a double-take to be no such thing. Most of all the drawn faces of women who remind him too often of his mother.

– Waiting outside the pub, he sees two women, chatting. One turns to a passing City worker: “‘Scuse me love, where’d you get that dress?” “Reiss.” “Oh, it’s a bit much for me. You got it in the sale right?” Laughter of one.

– He writes, Despair’s rhythm & that of the city. Despair never constant – dark flashes, the rhythm of interruption – but never erased. The medieval church, he remembers, regarded despair as the worst of the mortal sins – a deliberate turning away from grace. There is, it’s implied, something unnecessary, something forced about despair, a foolish effort when the sickened soul could simply fall back into the embrace of the world beyond the world. He backspaces, writes Something about cats.

a whole menagerie of owls, swivelling into flight at dusk

– “Their attitude instructs the wise

To shun all action, all surprise.

Suppose there passed a lovely face, —

Who even longs to follow it,

Must feel for ever the disgrace

Of having all but moved a bit.”


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