surrealism

Bus Stop View

They call it the Bus Stop View. Framed by two trees, that bus stop opposes the row of houses with a smug air: it knows its customers will never stop coming, never stop planting their backsides on its bench, never stop reading its sign, never stop smashing its windows. Yes, the bus stop probably adores that sort of attention. It has that snarky superiority about it.

The bus stop has a neighbour though. About ten, fifteen feet to the left, should you be staring at the stop from the opposite side of the road, there is a cylindrical structure with a domed roof and an entrance way. A black gate separates it from the rest of the world, imprisoning with it gasping trees and entangled weeds. The trees suffer near the structure, but the ground foliage thrives. Their greens are deep, nurtured, well-fed. A green of floral gluttony.

We tend to call this the Troll House.

I wonder a lot why the ground is so healthy, where the shadows lead to, and what the lichen on the Troll House sees. Could some man live there? Sleep there, brood there, bury there?

Let’s suppose he could. Let’s suppose a man lives there. He’s a strange one, if he can get over the fence. He’ll have a secret entrance, or he’ll climb over despite his size. He’ll tread the same path to the Troll House, and enter at 4 am, when the eek of the hinges won’t wake a soul, and when there’s no one in the streets to disturb.

I’ve seen a rat run across the road a few minutes’ walk away from here, so we’ll say the Troll House has a nest. They’ll be friendly to him, he’ll name them all and perhaps kill a few on occasion.

Trick-A-Me, Capo, Clyde, Dolly, A-Bounds, Parakeet, Withburg, Tress, Jericho, A-Maze, Trigger, Tripper, the other Tripper, Rain, Lock-Up, Chewer, Birch, Sill, Polo, Severin, Sing-A-Long, Dust-Mite, Jess, Henri, Autumn, Origami, Petrol, Who-Goes, Mastiff, Capricorn, Barley, Enzo, Squat and others. He’ll have recently killed, cooked and eaten A-Bounds and Autumn, two of the fattest rats. The others will swarm to him and chew the bones in the morning. Trick-A-Me will bound across the road and scavenge for her army, while their patriarch sleeps.

He’ll sleep amongst the rotten ceilings and bricks, in the tatters of a sleeping bag. It was whole when he entered for the first time, but he couldn’t stop the rodent erosion. But he gave up in time and learned to settle beneath the tatters, and one day he’ll steal something else to sleep under. He won’t snore, for fear of attention, so he’ll sleep face down.

His sinuses will be clogged forever by the conditions, and he’ll live with a constant headache. He’ll throb with the pain of it, and boil water to breathe in the heat through his tattooed nose. And his nose is large, it must be. A nose must be large to compete with the matriarchy of rats.

Eating will used to have been a constant pain for him, but now it will be easy. He will know where to look and when, and what wild plants to consume and when. He will gather money and buy the occasional commodity but will have three more concealed on his person.

Propane for the tranger. Pair of gloves. Day-old bread. Pack of sponges. Rat poison. Old shoes. Bowl and cup. Threads of a blanket. Toilet paper. Something to break.

He will not have a toilet in the Troll House. Why would he? Nature will sustain him, and nature will relieve him. But he’ll have a human shred of cleanliness somewhere. So he’ll buy paper and use it, and he’ll wash the dirt from his fingernails another paper, and he’ll rub the back of his neck with the next paper, and he’ll bury it all when it’s done.

The rats will eat the paper, or breed with it. He won’t be delighted with more mouths to gnaw at his belongings, but he will name the children. The children of Clyde, the children of Birch, the children of Origami, the children of Dolly. Dolly’s will all be albino like her. At least he will have an idea of who sired them, and he will say to himself, It must have been Rain, and he will be correct but won’t know so. The rest are brown and indistinguishable. Yet he’ll name them all, and never forget, and name them after verbs, after people he knew, after things he did, after his surroundings. One will be called Head-Room, and another will be called Mildew, and another will be called Blue-Skies.

Dolly will die shortly after, and her children will suffer quietly while he takes Dolly outside to bury her shallowly below the foliage. The children will all die too, but he won’t notice and nor will the rats. They will end up being eaten in their white fur by their cousins and 2nd cousins, their step- and half-brothers and sisters. One day he’ll find a tiny bone and he’ll not remember who it came from, but it would have come from Blue-Skies who died last in her white fur, two days after her eyes opened.

He’ll see the bone has a sharp edge and pick his teeth with it then discard it elsewhere while supping his tongue and being blind to tragedy. He’ll do that after eating bread, and before he sleeps, as he goes outside with some paper and sees the breath of the sun rising in the east and the stars disappearing with the light, and he’ll squat in shadows after preparing a hole and he’ll sigh once because he’ll remember what it’s like to be sat down while doing this.

Sleep will come shortly after. He will breathe in dust and spores, slumbering as a rat bites at his tatters while seeking material to make her children comfortable. On second thought, there are two tugging at the tatters. Lock-Up and A-Maze, arguing over the same threads and they eek and he stirs in horror because he thinks someone’s found him, someone’s found him and they’ve opened the door to the Troll House but no one has found him, the sound was the rats and he is still alone, so he breathes in solitude and puts his head down and closes his eyes again as the sun ignores him in favour of shining dazzling light off the puddle of broken glass I can see though my Bus Stop View.

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Come and Dance with Me

Come and dance with me – no?

Come and dance with me – no,

Come and dance with me,

Oh please. And don’t you reject me,

 

Come and dance with me – “yes?”

Come and dance with me – “yes,”

Come and dance with me,

Oh come and dance with me?

 

Come. Come. Come. Come – Come – Come.

Dance. Dance. Dance – Dance – Dance – Dance.

 

Come and dance with me – oh!

Come and dance with me – oh!

Come and dance with me – oh!

Come and dance with me – oh!

 

Just dance.

I’m sick of waiting for you.

If you won’t dance with me then –

Just dance, just dance, just dance, just dance.

 

Just.

Dance.

As It Moves Itself

At last, at last, at last.

I can hear Silence.

It buzzes inside my cranium

and the lack of noise is nothing short of terrifying.

It slowly shifts through me,

Robbing me of my remaining senses.

Sight. gone. Ocular windows open but

dead. Touch. Gone. The tingling of deprivation is gone too.

Taste. Gone. The roof of my mouth is empty of taste.

Smell. Gone. And my head fills with a cold

freshness. Like a wave of spiralling

hands, the deadness moves through me,

mixing into my body and killing it slowly

and I decay like a weed free from soil,

And my soul is released into an

endless black void.

Where it, I, lies softly and silently,

Humming faintly with heat and inaudible sound,

But it, I, will not be alone for long.

For I shall take others with me with my mind’s spiralling

wave-hands that move like worms through the smallest cracks in others

and up, up, into their minds where they begin to unhinge as it,

I, covers the internal oval windows in their brains,

So they, too, feel the

buzzing of

complete Silence.

 

And when their soul becomes an it,

them, my own will grasp it softly, hands touching

without sense on either of their, our, souls.

Come with me.

And be free.

At last, you can know what it is to live forever,

At last, you can feel the deistic bliss only reserved for Gods,

At last, you can be sure that there is land

beyond this senseless and tingling wall of Death.

I: Human Carriage

Always several unreal things cross my mind when I encounter empty things.
Be them… muraled bottles… or cans…
Theatres… cars… terminals…
Train carriages? Train cars?
We tend to call this type of thing a carriage. Though it is, technically, a car. Not a carriage.
But everyone calls them carriages.
Just makes it… easier. Carriages carry. Except
they don’t when they’re empty.
Do they?

That is what I mean. Unreal things – like the unrealness of the whispers of people who have sat there and who will – cross my mind when I encounter empty things. I have great desires to fill the space.
But that’s another thing, I can fill this space. In this carriage, I can fill it.
Make the collateral whispers into screams as physicalities take form.
And I can serve them their lukewarm waters, point them in the direction of the on-board shoddy bathroom.
While they wait and stew in the Human Carriage.
Because! -you see, you see!
I am the Human Carriage Maestro.
They bow by my hand, holding the unprestigious door open for them.
I guide them with a flourish of gloved fingers to their direction of seat.
And I tell them to have a pleasant trip.

I get the most gruesome duty of all though, too, which is picking up after the people. And that’s less mundane than it sounds, especially once you consider the emptiness. Because the carriage can be full but the emptiness can be more vivid than ever at that point too.
The contrast, see. So difficult to see through. It’s like a fog.
But.
But! Come and view my Human Carriage. Look at the colours if you’d like, the red
handles on the doors. I re-painted them with my own hand the other week.
And the paint’s already flaking.
Dreadful shame.
Did I just waste
my
time?

Well. That answer looks to be a stout but firm yes from the audience. The crowd. The gameshow contestant. None of which exist anyway. But. Either way.
Leave the handles here, the red will flake off on my gloves if I should touch them anymore.
God.
I’ll touch them up when I stop being depressed about how I wasted my time.
But with better paint.
Certainly, definitely, better paint.
I sigh as I walk.

Rounding the edge of the platform – or rather, going through the rusted chainlink fence to the corner and leaping off with a little shriek of enjoyment on my part – I begin to notice the breathy huddle I have come to be familiar with.
They’re mostly the same this season. About five to eight potential passengers, always huddled together like sardines. Or is it penguins that huddle?
Both perhaps. One in the ocean. The other, terra firma.
Before I make my prescence known – they’re slightly raised above where I stand, they’re on the first, second, third and fourth steps up to the platform real, whilst I am beside it near all the nettles and mulberries and goarses – I have a quick look at them all.
Mother and child, that’s two of the six I have this eve.
Then we have two men, wearing similar shirts.
But they’re standing apart from each other. Either they are strangers – probably – or they are…
Enemies?
Possibly.
Both in sort of pinkish-red plaid. I’m not sure I like it.
Who are the others, a young man – not in plaid – with sandy hair. And a girl.
Who seems to have a suspicious moustache-like thing. Dark hair.
She looks very odd. I cannot take my eyes off her lip. Her upper lip.
Very strange.
But nevertheless! These people are my people for now. All mine.
And soon they’ll be my carriage’s people.
And I’ll be their Maestro.
I do love being the Maestro.
Despite the cleaning up after them.

I know already these people have been briefed for the journey. Not too long, at least, they won’t know it is. For me, the journey seems to lengthen each time.
Or sometimes it shortens… maybe sometimes I get used to it and sometimes I am tired.
But for them it lasts no longer than half an hour to forty-five minutes. Usually.
Well. It depends how quickly they all go. Or how quickly I get around them all.
After all.
I am their Maestro.

I make myself known to the stupendous six, adding myself into their midst to bring the total headcount to seven.
If the child can be counted as a head. It’s very small.
Six months? Less? More? I’ve never been good at estimating age with babies.
Or did I call it a child?
It matters not.
I sidle up to them either way, pulling at my wrists. Where my gloves come down.
The white palms so pure.
But slightly stained with palm-sweat of the months.
Very much in my size.

I draw their gazes with a slight –ahem and by throwing my arms wide.
Six pairs of eyes on me.
I am their Maestro.
-Good evening.
-I am your Maestro for the next few hours.
I offer them a bow, very sleek and elegant. As I return their transfixed gazes slowly, I see how they all possess the same watery-looking sleep in the corners of their eyes. All breathing slowly, all calm, all with hair slightly out of place.
I smile, -Welcome to the Human Carriage. We are set to board. So. Do follow me, say I, before turning with yet more intense flourishes. I hop-skip-jump up the stairs, landing on my toes, all too happy to lead yet another group into my carriages.
It’ll be nice to take the journey again, I always think that.
Even if it does become lonely after a little while.
After about half an hour to forty-five minutes.

 

II: Human Carriage

 

V: The True Freedom – Material [Lull]

IV: The True Freedom – Care [Lull]

Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.

– Democritus

 

I’ve already secured a vault in my mind,

To slowly clear out. Without her

Permission, of course, for she would only whine.

When she notices the absence,

Of the phonograph,

Or the bedside lamp,

Or the hairpins,

Or the doorhandles,

I’ll tell her. But not before. She deserves

her shred of glory now. To live in sunshine now.

Before the perishing explanation of peace I hope to

gift her passes my lips as I tell her

where her life has gone.

She’s higher than this now.

 

She can look around, sure, look around, sure,

For everything she hasn’t got. Or she could glance

at what she has.

O, glory one,

It’s standard. Purpose. Life. Driven. All of it,

Waylaid by the struggles of material. Cast it aside.

Or, stand aside as I do it for you. And cast off your

dress. Unhook your bra. Step out of your shoes.

Your stockings too. They’re what you don’t need.

You’re purer than this.

 

And I imagine her body. Celestial. Sweat of work glimmering

like stars on that pale figuresse, I caress the sweet silk of her

dress. Before disposing of it.

A tight pucker of a belly button. The centrepiece between the

curves of her waist, flowing down, opaque, to thighs, knees, calves,

And I would fall at her feet, as the whole world should, if I wasn’t

her brother. To pollute her with my touch is toxic, thought

or practice, as I feel her shoulder in my palm.

Her eyes remain open.

And she goes to speak. But I quieten her.

Everything you need to say has been heard. Before you even move

your tongue or your teeth, everyone hears you, everyone responds.

And I respond.

 

Bite your tongue! Do not ask me. Only listen. Would any goddess,

Living or dead, require anything you say you need? Would any goddess,

Need obsessions, possessions, fodder and filler? Would any goddess,

Oppose the stripping of these things?

To purify, to nourish and exploit,

You are free of all. Your needs are moot, your possessions are forgotten.

Memory is a concept, time is unprepared, will is heightened.

Nothing you need. You need nothing.

So don’t ask me why. Bite your tongue! And raise.

 

I glance at her again. Empty eyes and the contents of tears streaming from them.

I have wronged her. But care, I do not.

This is for the best. And raise.

I promise her, I swear to her.

My goddess sibling, I swear to you.

You are higher than this. You are a form greater than the solar

system. A curse lifted from the single spoken word of God.

You are the white of snow. I swear to you, even snow is less.

And raise.

Higher than this material Earth, where your

spirit will attach itself to the clouds. You are deserving.

Let them see you. Let your hair become darker than the night sky.

Let your eyes be the sun and moon, and your sweat be the stars.

Only have yourself. Everything else is polluting.

Tumble and sleep in the empty universe and fill it

with yourself. You are purer than nothing.

So raise yourself.

 

Double Sunday

I lived through one Sunday, played football one Sunday, wore odd socks one Sunday, went out for a meal with my father and sister one Sunday, stepped into the road one Sunday, got home one Sunday, fell into a coma one Sunday.

 

I woke up out of the coma one Sunday, was greeting to a morning sun one Sunday, felt my hair was longer one Sunday, stretched my legs out of bed one Sunday, noticed I had missed three months one Sunday, sat on the edge of my hospital bed one Sunday, knew my sister’s birthday had gone past one Sunday, knew I’d missed my life one Sunday.

 

I lived through one Sunday and awoke on another.