I lived in Australia, once. For a long time. All the time that I was small, and a properly fat slice of being a small grown-up, too.
Now I live in England. For many years now, really, although it doesn't seem like that.
These two things are terribly important -- they're The Two Things, the stories of everything that has ever happened to me. I keep trying to make them fit together, like a magic ring trick or a tessellation of two piles of coloured tiles. But it is not like that. It is like reaching for lens flare. The things I know about England aren't the same things that I knew about in Australia and when I think of the English things, I feel like I don't know anything about Australia at all. Perhaps I really don't. Perhaps I lived there when I didn't know anything about anything. I was small.
Today I took things I'd made and tore them into pieces, tore off things I'd stuck to them, put them back together crazy-paved and squinted to see if something emerged. Shuffle, shuffle. Shuffle, shuffle, squint.
I was pretending a little because many shreds are already in focus but they scare the stuffing out of me, scare the very vowels out of the words they're made of. Look a little to the right, and the star reappears.
It rained. The bird ground oatcakes into powder with soft and causal fascination. I read poetry and squished my hands delightedly into the wonderful wet mud of its doneness, its writtenness, its words glued into place with the perfect confidence of the obsessive or what-the-fuck.
I do not like the presentation-folder bits of things.
Avocado on toast and a head full of pollen. Sleep, solitaire. Water the cranesbill, broccoli for the parrot, sign for the parcels. MacNeice like clean old handkerchiefs, a fuchsia Muldoon someone threw about a bit. Tickets to a show, ho ho. Spitter-spatter of rain, warm air, an LP for baby brother, wrap it up, brown paper, striped string, red tape, kraftwerk twice over.
All the lost interpretations, All the unconsummated consummations, All the birds that flew and left the big sky empty Come back throwing shadows on our patience
I stopped writing on my blog because I had something else to write, something else to make. I thought that writing here was cannibalising that work somehow, eating up its crucial middle while I noodled away here in the never-never. Zero sum canapés.
But it didn't work, did it. Of course it didn't. The noodle is what makes the whole thing twirl around the fork and make a mouthful. There are always more things to talk about, other things I could tell you, things that are for here and things that are for there.
But are there really? I am terrible at this. To me it seems like there is only ever one thing, one thought, one prickle-branching trajectory. No nice joints to angle your cleaver into, everything together, everything a metaphor for something else, whatever else, anything else; everything the same story, everything an allegory about the thing that you happen to be saying today. How can I be saying more than one thing? How can I be doing two things? I don't even understand what that means.