By Andy Brown

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By Andy Brown

It was chiefly a matter of feeling. Friends filled with the ease of forgetfulness rotated noises in their ears. But the langour & softness of the blood was a kind of sleep safely delivering opinions to the world with the sterile stroke that comes from the daily routine of nerve centres in the brain. Nostalgia is ruined when we think. The idea of going back fades an undesirable dream but measures the changes over our lives & what did we care so long as we got better? Years are the brief oblivion the secret incendiarism that living ferments. In our own time we need the stimulus of what is past but are more interested in our own headaches with an adult's fascination for toys as if warm blood bestowed immortality. We lie at the water's edge awaiting our turn on the pyre while old men dispense folk medicine solving the problem with nicknames & the little things we learn. The problem is straightforward -- we are all others & cannot even distinguish yes from no. Eventually they say a miracle occurs -- the doors re-open & the new road winds back to the old city. People said trees wouldn't grow here but look blossom & it was true! as far as we could see the crude walls were covered at last in blooms of avalanche.


Walking in circles

Words alone are the last echo from the chaos of the beginning. Parades of people who are sentenced punctuate along their unending progression. Some walk patiently in circles others sprawl in knots of laughter (things modern people wear) the floodlit public hopelessly divided masks over mouths & noses in case we accidentally breathe & although in theory the complex system might leak we go round & round the closed circuit like the previous day taking extraordinary forms. Sometimes life is only visible after we have gone -- like certain insects & hermaphrodite gods it propagates itself all by itself in its own image.


Needs catch at what is living & growing. Proliferating tissues fill the imagination. The past seems safer because of the oblivion that overtakes mistrustful of the power of gravity -- the unseen but prophesied abyss. Life we can easily imagine. Personality leaps before our eyes & after its creator's death fatality seems to hang plunging its hands into a swarm of bees.

A great day

This excellent suggestion is joy to the soul already speaking like a ghost when he slipped on the muck of existence. Galileo Newton Nietzsche smartened up the walls -- a triumvirate of ducks. He sat beneath them binding his volume on dreams. Freedom from them only hinted what it was he'd miss. Finally he cut the intervals but life was episodic. Every tune hummed it to him. In disbelief he scanned the things to come. . . . . the takings limbo obsession with his body parts &c... Would autumn that year be a terminal black or red ice-blue? It seemed to be singing softly of the old man's death .

A portrait of one of your friends

But the art had been outstripped by fact. He was more successful in propaganda a prophet without honour collapsed. He believed. He strove. Nature & reputation just happened to be passengers returning from what he knew. The man who had patented 'Happiness' found it used everywhere without his permission discovering late that to act in a similar way was an echo of an old & careless manner. Years passed after these discussions in the middle of the ocean. He should have stuck with 'peace of mind' but he began a claim of fruitless originality rarely achieved in a lifetime. The more that history brought this partner of the unhappy the more it revealed the great ambition of his life that elementary but significant discovery -- streams of stumbling silence wrapped in centuries... a gyroscope of judgement swelling in the mouth.

The children's games

Moving from snapshot to motion picture a moment sees someone guard their time. The desire to land is understandable. . . years have gates through which the blurred edges & open shapes of living things adapt to the process of healing from the moment they get up in the morning until the moment they get up in the morning writing out the details of anxious silence with ritual annotations & imitations that steal the day receiving our shuffles & cries. Living there & lying awake the answers sleep & the city collapses meaning the miracle of outer surfaces is crushed even more powerfully. Afterwards it disappears & this is the force that turns it into the mystery one thousand or more books locked up. We follow the silent chapters & translate the main qualities of the emotion into a name -- the prologue to posessing an unalterable shape. A temporary animal might recognise the difference with dreamy detachment merely by shape & arrangement & alone succeed where home habits let us relentlessly examine a piece of wo- a fragment of a word & we shall see it all again later life upon life as these apparent tracks lead us back to the main road.

Peter Pan in the metropolis

I stand on the plateau behind the low desire asking them to watch & describe each thing I do. When the signal comes I lift up with my right hand a little revolving wheel & coloured disk & make it run & change its colour & all the time I keep the little instrument at the height of my head turning my eyes eagerly towards it. While this is going on with left hand take a razor from the pocket then two lemons partly cut my watch & lay it on the table on a silver cigarette box with cigarette out a loudish click & put back in before the closing signal. Several of the hundred see nothing I'm doing with my left hand -- razor lemons watch & cigarettes simply don't exist for them.

Exploring the islands 1

Try a sanatorium & fish out a mechanism a meaning -- its stripes will razor & caterwaul. Voices ascend the slippery shore this tomb in the seaweed's fetters. We need only praise the starfish for constancy. Silence adorns these islands with fugitive joys in albums & cornfields. The waking fish are snagged from a tide carving papery neaps & colonise the olive dullness wallowing where Hosannas once pulsed. The wave shadows. The thirst persists. We leap along lost boulevards of trees.

Exploring the islands 2

& the yielding dead of this fuschia wonderland fan into their helical derivations. Believers in the churchyard butcher this wishing for fulfillment. A tear a wound & a rabble muffle the bedridden blossom. The doh-re-mi of dying frays between gargoyles twinned to the wind. Staring. Numberless. Life's emigrants extend their filaments. The basements grunt below the spluttering flues. Bothered by concessions & by tokens we haul forgotten litanies to our lips.

Andy Brown is a primary school teacher in Exeter, U.K.