the autogeography of a no/body

Dec 5


Sixpence, sixpence, the faeries used to bring them, silver for enamel, somewhere they've built a castle of teeth. You can't cross my palm, or my path, for black cats are soooooooooo last year and, in any event, there's no such thing, always a few hairs of sprightly white to destroy the illusion.

I flick through my singles looking for a particular record, I need to hear how the 'sands of corrupted joy pour forth their perfume as the hangman whistles a happy tune'. How did I never learn to make words, emotions and sex scan properly when I had such beautiful music.

Past Seven Year Bitch, Backstabber Baby, Kitten Boy, some old Two Tone (how I long for black and white). I find Cars No. 6: car draws up, engine switched off, door slammed; car reversing (3-point turn); trying to put car into gear; door slams, engine starts, car departs (look right there, mundane poetry); car driving past; driving car from roadway into garage; car horn. I think I might listen to it, to anything that's not this throbbing, give me the machinic over the organic any day of the week, except Tuesdays.

I come across Conflict, 'The Serenade is Dead', in a womanly way, genitalia appropriately hidden by the twin pillars of attraction and power, crossed, uncrossed, crossed. Lordee, ankles are everything, especially to the feet. If I was an amputee, I'd insist on being called Stumpy. I should insist on more, or less, or more or less. Hands waited down by these useless words, the A-Z of irrelevancy shoved into biodegradable shopping bags, I used to have a rucksack, my mother used to have a purse …

… Navy blue leather, small enough to fit in the palm of her cupped hand. I preferred it when her hand was cupped rather than stretched out flat, although now I realise that, in thirty five years, I never looked at her palm lines, or her face properly, or who she was. Every Christmas, every time one of my teeth fell out, the purse was retrieved, unzipped, and a single silver sixpence removed. Old money for old traditions. She hasn't made me a Christmas cake or a Christmas pudding in four years.

Car draws up, engine switched off, door slammed.