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the title goes here Emily Howard, Mark Cobley & Simon Howard

The Red Ceilings Press MMX [rcp 4] http://redceilings.blogspot.com

the title goes here Emily Howard, Mark Cobley & Simon Howard

with guest contributors Sarah Ahmad, Richard Barrett, Stephen Emmerson & Harry Godwin Edited by Simon Howard

All text here was first published as part one of Plus-que-Parfait http://plusqueparfaitblogspotcom.blogspot.com/

the title goes here.   Plus-que-Parfait part 1 “Quadruped. Gramnivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth.” Thus (and much more) Bitzer. Charles Dickens, Hard Times ‘the title goes here’ was first published at the blog Plus-que-Parfait, between February & April 2010: three writers would collaborate, writing simultaneously & in a darkness surrounding each other’s contribution, for a weekly deadline of 400 or so words. With no narrative in advance, no cast of characters, no decided upon locations. Displacement, drift. A realistic text, then. Watched that space .... Two of the writers know one another well in a non-writing world. One of the writers only knows the other two from a writing world. Patterns emerged: proper names began to interact with other proper names & to do things with & to other proper names & other nameless creatures (some with names). People got killed. Balloons fell in love with volcanos. The eighteenth century came & went & is about to return. Everyone visited Düsseldorf, no one visited Düsseldorf, someone sang Schumann, & Dr No One was a terrorist. & still was. Some names loved other names. Some names do not love other names back. & ‘guest’ contributors arrived, as did some ghosts: but who or what is or was a ghost, or will be? What is ‘the title goes here’ about? – what’s the story? I’d say the story is terror: terrors of the past, terror at the past. & the more than present – the hallucinatorily present – Terror(s) of the State of Exception that lives in A past as The future. But I’ve no way of knowing, of course.

Simon Howard          

Voices in wallpaper

Featuring Stephen Emmerson

* Keep off the back trike pustule face/ I’m Kevin Large SS BITCH lightning collard disco brick schizo 7 boy in nappies & I aint never seen you pinkle whick the butcher in the pink stick/ psuedomatic harbinger of hallucinatory pig wings in the swill-tard slop shucket gutter-faced sky balloon that burst that week old roid in ye ass/ you arse/ claterback woe betider simulation games in the guffpocket make weekender face arrangers meek starved dogs legs like/ antipathetic windscreen smear John Doe Toe glass shine mean reflection/ Wernickes Area transcript delted deleter(ed)/ utterence/ spooltape/ misogynist gland/ bipartisan quasiillusion/ fierce teeth/

* endoscope blues/ nonproprietary TM for the whisky age/ give me heavens gate yadyna in bus glass/ terrific heat a blasphemy law says so in the intro/ is that the one with Matt Damon & Wahtsisface? Thats deconstruction for beggars I’ll have you now know no I want you to deunderstand/ STOP/ LISTEN to myaeiouriad voices in wallpaper threatening to make flies cameras kiss your face back on/ statistical anomaly norm/ it is I sais it be’s/ rubberstamped office paper electricalhead baby pram explosions cutting through chaff o’life no oxytocin now m’dear in true act of smithereening / juslike telly/ EH?

* Mitochondrial/ Oh thats sooo 2002/ get a life man/ I’M IAN BEALE AND I’VE CHANGED/ get back in your box and eat your fingers missy/ end of the bottle barley water face with apple skin teeth dont let me stop you ruin your life even if it is white noise in unknowable space its nothing to do with me I dont even know you/ do I?/ captain irrelevant lost his batteries again/ there have to be procedures in place/ arent we supposed to be structured?/ you twist its metal wings til the sky falls off/ swans explode in your head/ * so thats all you can manage? just spilling away at the seams like you always do: blind candles in your night feet are the eyes in everything and ‘that’ everything has a place for us/ be still/ magnetic/ hundreds of us staring through the glisten of lips

forgot to speak in the thick of it because of that dirty wind dubbing us across time forgot we were static not music anymore simply twirling us round on its little finger where I can hear you ending and you have gone too far I can hardly see you (feedback) through the speaker or: Veronika buttoned her coat it was blue they were blue. The house was so c old & all the doctors were asleep. velvety said otto, & he sings her the letter. She’ll read it later. He turns on the electric heater, it gives off a stink like chess pieces neologising. They believed in gave credence to a city made out of the skulls of dartboards. veronika looks at the plan of the conference centre. There is the financier there is the academic there is the doctor there is the police. abstractedly

,otto dresses in veronika’S discarded clothes. they become abstract, Ideal clothes. he’ll kiss her, soon, & she’ll metamorphose into dearth. her jaw was hurting. it was bruised. the financier said, take my family but let me & my luxury car go. Otto & Veronika obey the diktat of The State. & in the twentieth century marie-antoinette ascends mt. vesuvius. a parrot in a balloon shits on her, clouds drip analgesics. the parrot’s claws are halogen lamps. veronika unbuttons her coat it was skin they were flesh. the house is full of chess pieces, sighing. feel me howls ott, & she’ll sing it later. the city is made of the lungs & hearts of the poor. out marie-antoinette is innocent. she has cut herself shaving. suffrage. saffron. is identical parade. orange jumpsuit. in the 20th marie Veronika whispers The State. skulls neologising cold luxury, take the lungs out of the velvety abstract. a stink like finance – orange jumpclaws. otto & century, a balloon in a parrot full of geese. becoming vesuvius, the academic dresses in RIPPED analgesics. bruised kiss, ELECTRIC. marie-antoinette is innocent buttoned her coat abstractedly obey plan metamorphose into lamps then things get complicated .otto’s flight was delayed .veronika’s mother called from düsseldorf to say she’d be home in an hour ,drew a diagram on the palm of his right hand .hot after midday in bishop’s park ,seraphic ankles .inside the house there’s a sad feeling in our stomachs .the furniture is gone ,water from the tap, mouths to the tap She donates herself to Marie-Antoinette. Nothing has been rescued. Ideal desolation, Marie-Antoinette peals Bella’s eyelid back & jabs a tuning fork into the hurdy-gurdy’s belly. I’ll say goodnight. &? that’s all. Goodnight.

It is night, so that’s OK. Though it appears like it is now. But it won’t be when it was. or: i don’t suppose place matters. What we do here or there is no of no consequence. It could be anywhere. As is Berlin. But we are in New York. Well not quite. But that can be discussed during the taxi ride. look. bougainvillea. see how they use old olive oil tins as flower tubs. the colour here suits you. I love your new dress. I am under the weather I must admit. I am not myself. The invitation to go shooting was to great a call to ignore. But I did. To save you from meeting the future husband. His shoes were awful. I mean really bad.. and he stammered like a machine gun attack. So I drank. Vodka. More Vodka. Vodka. And the Japanese beat me till I drank whisky and then the Americans arrived and I was saved. So I ate burger with relish. But ignored the others. I am the one who talks sense. When we went to the cinema I thought it odd. How the random thought, the murder, the blue/emerald dress meant nothing. I remember smoking a cigarette at the doorstep of the hotel. I saw bits of green growing pushing up between the slabs. Somehow it made sense. The plane would arrive on time. You would be well. The green building’s reputation would be saved. The food would be fine. The river was graceful.

The water lily was noted down in the the noteworthy lily book. We went away happy and even laughed at the conservative planting at the cross. They could have used fern in a much more forceable fashion. But hey, we are on our hols. But when you sat at the board wearing “magnetic pole” nail polish. I gathered like a fishermans net, the outhouse, the autobahn, the night at Innnsbruck and then saw New York on a budget (poor times, and for what?) Then it was obvious. The train has left. They have dug up the line. I am the only. We are not going to get a decent breakfast. The day has become cyan, magenta, yellow, black. 4 colour print on poor paper stock. So the smell of summer in the bedroom this evening is like baked bread. Our skin, the oil you use, sheep, back home in the Peaks, the bed had been slept in by Marilyn The Monroe. When she had been sleeping with him. And in the kitchen you sing. Sing like you needed those new shoes or Rennecke huffs loudly with her mouth full of pins. I once again apologize for being late and making us both rush. “No worries”, she tells me which means “no worries, I will get you later”. I’m feeling like a prisoner of war with my arms outstretched for such a long time, but it probably hasn’t been so long. We are in the moment before the moment-we are next in line. It’s the best place in the universe if physical pain did not insist on ticking off the minutes. Tick tock. I spy a doll eye looking out from under the sewing table. This is typical Rennecke to treat her dolls in the same manner as a fickle, feral child. How does she maintain such patience for little stitches? A stitch in time saves nine. I have heard in certain quarters that Rennecke has acted the terrorist. Then again, they say the same of me. And I can’t remember if it’s true. I remember strange, iridescent tulips sitting in

the hotel vase and I remember a rolled up note inside the yellow one. I remember stowing the note in my hem. But after that I don’t know. A stitch in the mind is kind. Veronika, Veronika, skinny mistress with the surgical scars, I would like to kiss you. Reports are that you have gone far afield, that you are some strange sort of battlefield nurse in secret warehouse labs. Sometimes I think I see hospital tents there, on the courthouse lawn, gleaming in the night like moth wings. Morning time, in this life is lucky. I have my piano, I have jam. I have vases filled with regular tulips. Two lips sank ships, Veronika’s mouth tasted like tobacco and envy. She used to sketch me, order me naked and cross legged with a fruit bowl on my lap. I quivered and waited for her appraisal. She was so much surer of herself than I would ever be and yet she was envious of me and my abundant coat of flesh. Joe sometimes came over, his fake caterpillar moustache quivering over his lip as he chewed his bread. The three of us made love one night in the most horrible of hotels where we each bought an hour and so that gave us three for the whole occasion. It was over in ten minutes really at the moment Joe and I began to kiss and Veronika started pacing like an enraged duchess. I sent Joe out to bring us back falafels but even this didn’t calm her. We went outside to the square and fed the falafel to the rats. “You chose a man over me and now you owe me”, she told me. But I don’t know if this resulted in the note in the hem that only a seamstress could find. Rennecke huffs. She’s such a stitch. *

Du Rhinocerot

Featuring Richard Barrett

Each time he was seen The strange man It was with his circle He had moved the circle from the plane of the ideal Into the world Where buses were late And teenagers asked directions to Tib Street No mere circular shaped object for he The strange man Always folded his arms across his circle Never dreaming to roll it Or kick it along the street with his foot Each new thing he encountered Would be bent in an effort to make it fit the circle Which was how the strange man understood history And the letter ‘O’ … It is glorious I don’t want to go running and jumping though In all that gloriousness Ah ***cough, cough, cough***

I am ill I shall stay here / Feigning illness Continuing to pretend to be ill To avoid the glory of that weather Out there So as to be able to remain indoors These glorious holidays Reading this book It is an interesting book ‌ And he will wake up and he will think about the mistakes he has made He will know that there have been many He will wonder what is wrong with him that he seems to keep making the same mistakes again and again He would like to kick the letters Kick them far. Kick them to the feet of a teammate The ineffectiveness of the letters at conveying anything that is really important will, at some point in the future, make him very angry He will recognise the feeling as being one he has felt before And he will be angry at having done nothing those previous times He will write letters down and they will make words which will be linked to other words which will make sentences and those sentences will store ideas

And he will do nothing this time either Remembering that kiss Thinking that it could have happened yesterday ... ... the blonde detective agency ablaze at th’arc of lightnings veronika says “starfish nor legions” joe cuts his ribbons short eyelashes long together live they an island northsouthwesteast dusk as an oxygen cylinder over warehouses & pubs kids will kick a football about & burrow me alien workings graded husk derive from simultaneous lovers freaking out Over Time. speak to Veronika confOerence cttallingo. Hgorgeousélène left Düsseldorf & the sickly antelope evening rush & sets her clock by wash of perfume ss ettling down from Mount Olympos. hi you hie biting into a cake tanned legs sorrowingly. i’m never going to be free From pain, escapology. silent cinema enzymes talkative eyes. rancid flames. the kind of mouth that brings failure up its throat anna mendelssohn a poem of objects that live by magic a.m. le charme discret de la bourgeoisie by then i wasnt seeing things i was inside them its got a silver inside & guts remove stretch halfway round the glob e i didnt love anything more it crazes with extraneous mauve curlicues whipping round circlets braids of applehair

curfew. Theyll disappear. beauty. sharpening somnolence the family carries its desired desire in green bags deep down green in deep green & the dogs snore ottosgottawounddeepdown h e b l i s t e r shrugs off his pretty ankles. veronika holds them for him & then gets curious ugh they are crawled over with crawling lice she puts ice on them he shoots dice the clocks on the wall flutter & breakup stealthily she puts his pretty ankles into her mouth & shes naked & he closes the curtains & she says dont & in full view of the building work on the roof across from their room they go to sleep an illusion of worlds ordnance fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu ry how neat the arithmetic of capitalist exploitation crush me i dont dare leave the house for fear of fear ill never be painfree The song is an example of a parastrophic structure//enharmonic leopards drinking soup at marble tables with velvet spoons>terroristism. veronika & susan make love. its it is a wonderful evening. the sky is imaginary yes but its is there & they look out at it from their cathedral. they make love susan holds veronikas veronika’s ugly ankles they are awash with birdsong. reverently she returns them to veronika. the police ambulance crashes from the bridge into psychogeography. if anywhere there to be cease ...

... the interconnectedness of all things. The interconnectedness of café and train. The symmetry of sandwich meats. I am sick of trying to be happy. Eventually the train will take me to the city, an inelegant bee hive and one that is on its way out. Actually I am not unhappy but am trying to be bitter in print. I would just like to be interesting, that’s all. I am happy because I am doing nothing and I don’t like to admit it. I am doing nothing and nobody is even filming it. I just like sitting and having waiters bring me sandwiches and tea. The only problem is I would like an endless supply brought. I have to make do with such a small amount; snacks the size of playing cards brought in sad little boxes. They go so quickly despite my careful nibbling. The problem is that I would like to be in this point in time for a long time and I have to keep reordering in order to start the clock again. The waiters start to look at me with wary looks. But I am interested in staying here, in the moment before the train comes for as long as I can, perhaps permanently. Of course the train does keep coming and that is a violent disruption with the way they shout the hours down. But I am not fooled. The train goes down a straight line and then disappears in single point perspective. This means we don’t really know what happens at all. We don’t know if they’ve really come or gone, visually speaking. Then again, there is noise to tell us and the tiny tremors in the metal of the tables. These are things that signify come and go. What I really need is to be on the train itself and then I need another train to pull up so that it is no longer apparent or necessary to know which train is moving when. I need this in the same way that I need to confuse which window belongs to which set of passengers and to confuse which reflection belongs to which window. Let me correct myself -I don’t need to confuse these things. .I need to be in that moment when the confusion ends. The trumpet shall sound…in a minute. The only issue, of course, is that I’m pregnant. There would appear to be an undeniable progression happening there as my body gains more and more periphery. I see this as no reason to abandon my plan. The trumpet shall sound and the waiter shall bring me jam incorruptible. And the beehive corruptible shall blow up! And we shall be changed. Whee!

the man in the street with a plank the house with the very tall aerial the aeroplane coming into land across the sky it’s very very tired for it’s flown a long way today these things make me think of you. where you might be who you are talking to. we see your lips slip across your teeth you smile say yes and laugh. it will be spring. over your shoulder the buds filling with green in another week it will all burst open. the lighter nights will help and the women all stroked her hair and cried over her not like us who also live on islands your eyebrows graceful as herons coming in a strange equation. I am on the aeroplane coming to visit all the other voices were in his head. a gentle discourse. one of babbling polluted brooks a brilliant orange that frothed about the caught branch. he knew you would wear the acrobat outfit at the airport complete with Quetzalcoatl necklace and matching Joan of Arc wig he only knew you and that

the game of chess is played between two people. one person uses the light pieces, and the other person uses the dark pieces. light moves first, and then each player takes a turn moving. the Knight is the only piece that can jump over other pieces. all other pieces can only move along unblocked lines. The tide has gone out. I am sad for no reason. I think I miss Dßsseldorf the most. The music and the moving lights. In the damp dank wood yellow daffodils grow some are just beautiful for the light or scent others for a feeling of youth or sadness I love hang gliding over those fields in a way it tries to capture movement in an image it sounds like a xylophone and then doesn’t She has an alibi. It is 1804 and her grandfather is born one of twins.His brother will die before his fifth birthday. John Wedgwood founds The Royal Horticultural Society. German astronomer K. L. Harding discovers the asteroid Juno. Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka is born Spain declares war on Britain. Simply remove the enemy piece from the board and put your own piece in its place. We are still on the terrace.The Tour is not yet over. Good night love. look I blow the candle out. You will sing again before long. No I don’t have an umbrella.


Featuring Sarah Ahmad

on a table I am not Rennecke, Otto, The Cousin or Joe. This has been settled. It is obvious. I don’t have the temperament, the orchard or the boat. I am however a bucolic painting. brass. the scent of velvet. an open fire. leather. carpet fibres. the taking of a pulse. orchids. automatic doors. a solitary person smoking outside. It is raining. It could be October. The way you swept your hair back and glanced like an express train. [bell boy] bridge, rummy, canasta, old maid, brag, whist, snap they played them all intoxicated it seems they were when entering the lift nice shoes. nice people. no tip. It seems I am no longer here that I am in Iceland that it will become a hot day. not that the axe falls in the wood we pass on the hills they graze sheep the vineyards are fertile with the dreams of children Do you remember the question we asked each other as lovers? It tastes of liquorice of large rhododendron of overgrown path the dawn is all plum product placement a diagram of the heart in the big black handbag in a rainy place on the cast iron table there will be no more time allowed.

quick & unquick nuclear nightingale otto purchase serenity remove from satchel other satchels asymmetrical grit the jetty a quiet place to be Drunkard raise a bottle to lips & dive into swirling black sun rewind rain arrive nuclear nightingales screaming serenity Otto satchels other satchel driving the white whirling rain remember is remembering remembering cover her throat to mouth & eating stale breads Monotony of the situation. hovels blown away in vast, motionless, rainstorms. a soft drink driving nails into my stomach. vera inverts nonsense languages. repression. ocarina specialist. She did as she was told, we all di[e]d, the bandage smells bad. a few universes, grazes of dull gold & buttercup fire. cool night instinctual vanguard putting her hair up, A few lamps yet lit & Mr Jansenism in tears at loss of his motorbike they’ll all be ghosts when the festival commences. no use allowing for any margins, or errors. hélène’s task will be to recover a method of depicting folk music of the region – 1921 – in vocal mime, echoless echoles echole echol echo ech ec e

scarring the surfaces of magnificent flowers of goodness. Is in thrall to the scents of honeysuckle & bee shit that bloodied fingernails give out thru afternoon it they we you love Making. masking. musking, sighings from the wallpaper. can you scythe honeys from where i’ m adrift? ishmael said you go last. so i stepped through the screen into a room which brought me no memory. rerererererererererere turning. rennecke has so many lovely handkerchiefs: Pearls of revenant rain in perfumes sunning. zxlËPr they exchangings attaché cases of. took time - some - before their eyes adjust brilliance/artifice sunlight to subfusc nature strip -lighting carpark. the explosions could happens in replay sounds plucked in & nowhere. She’s so pretty says her friend. They don’t look as if they could harm. that’s an interesting bracelet. i stole it from you. can i sigh scythes adroit? it’s a small theatre, song carries well. now they’d locked the doors. no way oiutn. they photograph well, the world has been adjusted like that for them with the surfaces scars & petals as they dance & eat cigarettes. everyone who isn’t them wants to be them. & now they are dead, that’s how everyone else experiences them. she’s eating an ice cream, her sister laughs because there’s a blotch of ice cream on their enemy veronika’s nose. her brother sulks. he wanted to be the killer, the condemned.

Grey is a colour A grey moment required to distinguish between black and white. It’s nothing but bitter disappointment dividing the eye and the foot. Ears are not involved. Perpetual shrieking of the kindred has made them poke their insides with a toothpick. Vociferously seeing. Just an eye. Denying the sinister foot sufficient room as it tries to alter a crooked scenario. Impatiently stalling the occurrence of a badly molded future. It’s grey. Still sacrificing the colour of ashes with Heterochromia and an ambiguous limp. It’s a matter of opinion. All the signs are there. The air grovels, damping the knees of the fog. Repeatedly sensing an obscure thought. Stirring the element of surprise, vacant and empty drops of murk overflow the deaf hole. “To death! And beyond a stream of light!”, as vacant and as empty. Standing there in vain, channelling an idle spirit. Implementing a sigh of relief. Not just a moan but a slippery dance step. Sorting it out, consciously staring into a pair of brotherly hues. A last-minute petition. Ears are restful, never permitted to change for the reason of being an invalid act. Creeping up on a blank leg, sipping a bare-footed drink, it’s easy to ignore the blinding opacity of sight and lucid desires.

She liked the childless lifetimes. But sometimes it was necessary to raise him rather than marry him and she liked those lifetimes too. And sometimes he caught on and became her so she could be a man for a time. This was enjoyable because then she could be a full out cad and he would remain devoted and shimmering while washing stockings and waiting for her return. The trouble is that they kept returning to the same points in time, the same hanging gardens of pre deluge decadence. It was all lie-ins and long breakfasts in beautiful places and in beautiful clothes-not a bad job at all, but the price of oblivion is naturally oblivion. They liked to think of themselves as decoys whose bizarre behavior provided the distraction to turn the gaze away enough for revolution to occur. In truth nobody ever paid attention to them. My stockings have a nice hole in them caused by all the excellent friction on the headboard. I will wear them to the theatre tonight. I’ll ask Rennecke to sew them up if I think it won’t hurt her feelings too much. I’ll bring her a tin of butterscotch candies as a consolation. The wrappers can serve as little flags in a dolly labor rally. She only pretends to be mad really. She’s our Madam DeFarge. If you imagine these things in life from which you are required to rush away quickly-dying friends and relatives, perfectly good jobs and marriages, houses, children and land that you weren’t quite finished cultivating. In each, the rip and tear of new absence is followed by the perennial convulsions of the body’s memory as it clutches needlessly to certain smells, sounds and gradations of light. The body will limp through all newer and more pleasant sensations until it has broken them down and molded them to its own defaults. Then those sensations will, at last, become comfortably mixed with the memory convulsions until all is quite bearable again. Now imagine this repeatedly over many lifetimes-the body shuddering out its memories with a stubborn ill logic I like the jam at this hotel. It tastes like butterscotch, like lovemaking. I will tell you this. I did not want you killed. I never imagined you killed. Your fear of the surgeon in his gown of courthouse green did you in. You died before the first cut. all merely your own madness. Finstre schwartze Riesenfalte töteten der Sonne Glanz

Notes on the back of a programme. Strangely like a Baltic port. Inert compound of saltpetre. Raymond takes to the stage in artificial fabric. A single spark can still explode. There are no fellow Scandinavians in the hotel. The hairy one, he’s automatically included. The resentment of an ambassador with nothing to lose is somehow allowed to become a dagger. The man cut in half has a female title. The blue girl stands up to sing sings “truth does not exist there, they don’t care, why don’t they care?” I don’t have the answer. Tell me you can see him.

Tulips sink Ships

it is an anagram. nothing more. the road goes no further. we have neither arrived or started. The river is crimson in its haste. Names have been forgotten. They are no longer needed all conversation is photograph or sketch and for emphasis aquatint, paracetamol moustache. roller coaster. coney island. It is almost spring. Pass through and leave no trace being watched for so long. the tide comes in goes out. You are 50% over the Atlantic this is the furthest we have been separated. we haven’t played chess for hours hands are turning to chalk ammonites tulip behind the sunglasses you are thinking of Clun and the ruined castle. “The town which is the smallest town in Shropshire and is smaller than many villages in the county. It is also the only town in Shropshire never to have had a railway line or station.� The Passion Play has begun. Explicate. Body of christ amongst the bracken there is a thing between us thin razor like the sweep of the beach against the town front the wind drying out the skin. we are not watching the sun set. It does not believe in ghost.

They came to the hotel as an excuse. The hotel garden had a life sized chessboard cut into the grass. She wore a white dress in Edwardian style and he wore a black one. Each sported a parasol of the opposite color as they spent their afternoons dancing a gigue from opposite corners of the board. By early evening after meeting in the middle a minimum of eighteen times, they did a mutual swoon and collapse on the grass. He would then commence to sneeze a minimum of 38 times while she covered her face with her hat and listened. Then he presented her with the same wedding band and asked her again to marry him. “There is grass on your skirt”, she told him, and kissed him very tenderly. They were already married and had been for several lifetimes. Sometimes there was a child and she taught the child, male or female much about butterflies and the art of sewing a sleeve to a gown. It is a pleasure to marry over and over again especially when you get to be Gustav and Alma Mahler. Proclamation: We don’t particularly like your Mistress this time. She is daft and has ruined our best lipstick by somehow getting toast crumbs inside the tube. Whereas she has a ruined our best lipstick Whereas nobody, as of yet, has cleaned up the corners of toast from this morning. Whereas this passage is tricky and it irritates us We have turned you into a parrot. Ha! (Rennecke doesn’t really tell anyone about the doll collection but she had been found out several times, late nights at the theatre, drunkenly assembling them for a labor rally or having doll weddings) The tulips have begun to bloom, the ones from the bulbs purchased at the Schiphol. They are emitting a strange iridescence. It is oddly pleasing.

PS. Your Mistress is too skinny and has surgical scars from keeping time with that jackal of a surgeon. Then, on the days when they had a child, they watched him play on the chessboard while doing their balancing exercises on the perimeter. He wondered aloud if they shouldn’t live in an actual house with tulips in the garden. “Tulips sink ships”, she told him and kissed him. Hotels were better for the quicker departures. your eyes were animals in winter appear as totem-animals. But animals nonetheless. Which means, they are not symbols, or pure allegories, not slaves of signification, but animals still, with all their animal qualities. and your fingerprints were waltz, candelabra, backstroke a clock. a gilded clock. Blessed the hand that giveth Then it happens. Absolute silence. Complete nothing. People are frozen. For one second. Then for another. The equilibrium of the candelabra. Is pungent. Disgraceful countryside. I haven’t studied Latin for years but I think it says “there are too many people in my life” It is only in retrospect we understand these things. 2 Down And the hunt chases around the vase leaping over fences running past woods they use their crops and the hounds bay. (4,7) 14 Across Crew arrange with King way to get on board (9) When we entered the church we knew there was something special which was confirmed by the anglo-saxon grave in the crypt We discussed a duel but lunch made us forget the difference. The lobster was ok.

You wrote on a postcard showing a liner. I smoked a cigarette on the terrace. The first cigarette I ever smoked in the deserted village in the red hills Across the pond, he has floated a paper boat to me. It only says “Hello” trees bend in towards james. lisette remembers a song inside her throats, more or less scientifically. there is a particular hardness to the child’s gaze. some trees bend away from james, he is conscious that this is arcadian only in reality. lisette forgets ever knowing the song. robert looks at her, knows how beautiful she would look to someone else. nearby there’s a zoo. it’s as if we can hear the animals crying themselves to sleep, clara says, but she doesn’t believe what she says. the child is asleep. the situation is reversed. james throws himself at lisette’s lip & misses. i’m late, says The Cousin, who performs operations in a room lit by a single unshaded bulb. state sponsored terror. Now let’s conceptualise the situation. It is happening in an always delayed future that is, logically, perpetually The Past (see bibliography). All news channels report looting; better to starve or freeze or drown than to loot. Hot in its songs. takes a step closer colourless eyes blink once & once only. was that God ? housing estate. units. DESPAIR

So they got ready for the dance & the world was scented with pine & amber-flask powders. Taxis lined up to receive the wounded animals. Take them to the emergency hospital episode 1000 said the killer, rubbing her knees with champagne. They are eating zoo animals, says a distraught soldier to his mother. She smiles through him, he’s with her in the park eating nectarines: a picnic.!? Her outline is protean, yet unmoving. Her insides are displayed behind bullet-proof glass. the bullet-proof glass shatters. Found text. Dead labor is resuscitated and passed on into the value of the new commodity by living labor David Harvey a companion to Marx’s capital, p. 129. the next year was pale blue. that’s a colour suits veronika, she silks her f l e s h with it. her eyes float away upon warm breezes. each island is more beautiful than the last, although they are identical. sleep all day & at night drink soup through a straw. iridescences, pinions of mauves & greens & a snowy grey. it gets so late in the afternoons. whoever is a stranger lies on the bed, the sheets soaked with sugar. a dark blue, neither black nor phosphorous. all that ”time“ the ceiling has stalked patient third from the door away from the window. says it believes the sea is closing in. on. eradication. kiss kiss. kiss

The Pattern of 立

you don’t see for looking. your eyes are black saucers that have never known the day. your handsome tail is all wild stripes. you jump from dresser to bed ten times ten. you clap your cymbals in your little harlequin suit. you become this in moonlight, der nächtig todeskranker mond. moonlight does not become you. you are observed, caught in diorama behind green glass passageway - your natural habitat. how many more until there are none of us? here is a prayer. i am a lovely woman with a lovely voice. i like tulips, jams and jellies, mornings to myself. my hands will form the minor chords without prior thought. music has become like walking - like stepping out into the english hills, one two and three. there is silver in the air and thank god, i have been trained to extract it. i have been trained to recognize the colour of sound. i love the colours of the sounds in the hills. i love them as i love myself but that’s only because i am not fully here. i love him as i love schumann as i love a boiled egg for breakfast. anything else? oh yes, i like fabrics of a medium density and long skirts that brush my ankles. amen first you sit at the piano and then you look and frown. there are tulips on the piano it is may. the tulips remind you of paula modersohn becker who reminds you of the little boats that they sail in ponds in the garden of the louvre. there are blackberry stains on the page; these turn out to tone rows. one by one, you travel your fingers across as instructed by the blackberry stains. the composer had toast with jam that morning but it tasted like the moonsick night. i think of sailing paper boats, sending wishes across the pond to a waiting recipient or an invitation to breakfast. der wein, der man mit augen trinkt. revolutions are made in moonlight, in hotels. i have followed the men, graceless in my pierrot suit, across cities and states while speaking many half learned languages. i have burned my babies in the fire repeatedly but that was only for entertainment purposes. the more feral i became, the bigger the applause. i have marched with guns across a dusty stage singing ta ra ta ra. and yet, nothing is like the terror of this:

the dance was just beginning; or, the dance had just begun, some people singing, others dancing, a man with what looked like a violin but was an accordion, a woman with what looked like an accordion but was a violin. the children, who were dressed for church, began to sob. otto thought it a scene from his own childhood. otto kept making mistakes. the sheets were clammy, they’d not been changed since the last guest or guests had checked out. who cares though? it’s a dull night, there’s no weather – it’s not hot, not cold, i’ve a ½ bottle in a carrier bag. someone isn’t standing in the shadows, the shadows are standing in them. there’s a dead bee on the bedside table except it’s a bedside lamp except it gives off a buzzing noise which reminds me of a dead bee when it wasn’t dead. i get terrors in pulses, something like having a glove stuffed in my mouth. it’s sexual arousal, i presuppose. i hate her like i hate myself says the television. ok, i get that. i doubt she thinks any differently. i can’t spell your name however many times you say it. there’s a new clarity, there are 7800000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 new stars in the bedside lake. i push a paper boat out surface on it upon. it comes back with a warrant for the man with close cropped hair’s arrest. he’s wearing an old army coat, a trench coat, he hasn’t got a wooden leg or two wooden legs, he’s not an amputee. they’ll catch him. he’s the man with cropped hair of my dreams. i’m wearing a silk blouse & high-heeled boots. the camera shuts off, i can stop being an appearance. people think i’m joking: duh – i’m not. i demand the revolution. now. & blood. lots of it. on pavements. in the gutters. in lustrous flowers, exploding from balconies. across railway lines, splashing railway platforms. i want heads on spikes, i want torsos hanging from lampposts. i wanted to kiss the mouth, but i kissed the forehead. i sat in dark for hours, they didn’t seem like minutes or seconds. the lamp buzzes, the television isn’t there, the lamp buzzes though it’s off, the television is off though it’s on. the bed is near me, but i’ve lost the art of movement. i can sing, but only to the dancers. & they love the violin & accordion music. it’s like bartók or the velvet underground’s pale blue eyes. it’s like nono’s a floresta é jovem e cheja de vida. it’s nothing like dichterliebe, though it is dichterliebe. and so on

and part two was no different. it faced north by north west in to the wind that never ceases and so on. from above the pine trees made the pattern of 立 when the tears came they came like sisters come to comfort the men retired for billiards when the child was born. look out of the window now across this rude farmyard towards the barn remember the sensation of straw the heat of the sun and the dust dance between. i think you said then that darkness was an eye defect that morning would be eternal in venice. i used to believe the reviews. i learnt by rote the scrapbook i adored the polar bear trench coat when the train finally arrived, we had changed our minds. it was pointless. we might as well stay another week. the moon was in the wrong part of the sky to make reckless journeys for the sake of a diamond and one not yet discovered. city of cranes & fish i have learned to document you in shorthand your every move is now mapped i have all you whispers here as you meet in doorways empty bars between the notes of a long unplayed music that when you closed your eyes in the street and frowned said reminded you of mother


He will look on me with love and has looked on me with love. I jump the wall and run through the park of snow. This in my new shoes. Look at the beautiful way the meadows bend into the telephone call, you wore the dress of rare butterfly fabric. Rennecke huffs loudly as she is trying to pin the sleeve Butterflies are Hera’s spies. thought nothing of the truck driving by until the half chewed apple core came no one loved the taste of potato soup more than Otto. it was. And the costumes smell like this and also like ghost. Not a fake hesitation, not the kind that is meant to demonstrate a change of thought. except we missed the ferry and had to stay the night. Sometimes you know what’s happened before it’s going to happen. I enjoy watching history programmes as if they weren’t. Each time a red car passes he’ll sew another button on. Soon he has more buttons on his coat than he can shake a weathervane at! polaroids each one taken a few minutes after the other in them she’s drying her hair sat on the edge of the bed she’s wearing a grey dress but with a cob alt sash she’s painted the toenails of her left foot lamb blood red then the ’phone calls stop Another truth: I collect overcoats. & other people write poems about Gudrun Ensslin or lust after writing poems about her. When I was a child I didn’t want to be an astronaut. I wanted to be run over by a car “uöclopvrrrrrrrrrrrrrrio”etc. According to this argument, then, mimesis in the older sense of the word requires that the speaker’s identity merge with that of his role as speaker, just as the identities of those who are spoken to and spoken about must merge with their respective roles. [Gregory Nagy Poetry as performance Homer and beyond page 97]. the

scentedness of her back, in the time between night and not-night, doth provoke desires, phantomisationism. an odour, not an aroma, of existent non-existence. Great uniform, majesty. Whoever knows the whereabouts of should contact. all calls will be treated upmost confidentiality dna. I don’t expect to see a mathematician on stilts in the refrigeration unit. Therefore I am disappointed. I write poems about Gudrun Ensslin. As a child I will be run over by a car. No one to meet us at the station, and no taxi. The fields shone, dully, with the light of rotting apples at past midday. Where are they? I know wha“t they said.”. Something’s gone wrong. Josephine eats her apple prim & prudent. She gets naked, it’s like a fire-trail planet whooshing a Krazy Kat sandstorm. looking for adventure? Says get into the car, blindfolds the traitor, the informer. Josephine chucks the apple core away. It convulses into a corner & that’s where it can memorialise its geometry. The hotel didn’t have a restaurant. So we started walking. It was a pleasant enough day, though kind of like you’re on tranquilisers & your legs have a death all their own. & you were thirsty. The house had been neglected for years, The restaurant won’t have a hotel. gypsy moth sleeves, apples, the end, joe , veronica, rennecke, otto um mitternacht in monat mai, every row of memory forms a retrograde. And there is nothing to make of it really, just try to memorize the pitches as they are. and then wake up every morning and sit down dutifully at the piano and discover them shifted and recomposed. they will never, ever sound the same. on the piano are tulips that remind me of paula modersohn-becker for some reason. veronicka used to sketch me at the breakfast table, she would boil an egg first and sit there full of love and scrutiny. what happened to the nice boy with the moustache who used to talk about art?

what happened to everyone? at night I watch the courthouse, green as a dream of gotham. there are glass passageways. I see people walk them late at night. what would they be doing there at 2 am or 3 am? there is a parking garage at the bottom twisted like a sinister mouth. all night into day I see black cars enter them. I look and watch um mitternacht. You don’t see for looking, my mother used to tell me. I love that song..shall I share it? Later perhaps? But certain lines can not be contained. Die Liebe aufgegangen. We walk the frozen land. Why are we here? It is too cold to sit outside. Synchronised swimming is out of the question. We descend into monochromatic dress, don’t bother to have our shoes polished. The champagne is toxic, false, unclean, it gives us stigmata. We wander the snow hills like wounded foxes. Letters are left unwritten, messages unanswered, you grow a second throat. One that curses and blasphemes. I buy you a lovely necklace. I love Veronika and Joe and yes I agree nothing sensible. I loved your body when I first saw you and more than that I want to make you happy and smile at me but I am not myself. Look there is nothing to see. Me, you, they, them; open sesame the doors will fly open

No one has claimed responsibility

we like New York, well bits of it. You like the old parts I like the shiny things. When you practice. I sit on the broken sofa smoke cigarettes, watch people walk across the street. The problem with Queens is there are no Motte & Bailey castles or interesting earthworks. The clouds are often sullen. At the restaurant we discussed Japan and horror films. We agreed it best to make our own costumes in future. Of all the places I think we miss D端sseldorf the most. Beneath the table our feet touched. The building is wholly artificial. Als alle Knospen sprangen x. I love you. The way you take roundabouts. We will know in future when we stand and watch the waterfall leap at the fountain at Linderhof Palace. it will not be snowing in the Moorish Kiosk or on the Peacock Throne my love. Look here is a photograph of you in the alligator wedge shoes

“Ludwig came here for contemplation every year on Good Friday. For this day he wanted a flowering meadow. If there was no such meadow because there was still snow lying, the garden director had to plant one in his head” See I told you to avoid the sexy voice in the grotto. It echoes. Being 50 is a shock to the throat. vipers and gaudy cravats when all the buds are bursting open Extracts from the guide book of 1976 A glass candelabra with 108 candles. Two console tables of Meissen porcelain (which was the king’s favorite china) The northern part is characterized by a cascade of thirty marble steps. The bottom end of the cascade is formed by the Neptune fountain and on top of it there is a Music Pavilion. The centre of the western parterre is formed by basin with the gilt figure of “Fama”. In the west there is a pavilion with the bust of Louis XIV. In front of it you see a fountain with the gilt sculpture “Amor with dolphins”. The garden is decorated with four majolica vases. The water parterre in front of the castle is dominated by a large basin with the gilt fountain group “Flora and puttos”. The fountain itself is nearly 25 meters high. It was here you fell ill. She checked the driver’s mirror. Wasn’t being followed, didn’t expect to be followed. But you never know, you might get mistaken for someone else, life can be monotonous. He left somewhere sometime. She couldn’t find the music she wanted on the radio. Around 9.17 am no one sneezed. That night he took a sleeping pill, for no reason. Düsseldorf remains where it was: no closer to Peckham, no further from Pyongyang at 11.30 am August 29 1993. The air’s cooler, though it remains a hot &

sticky day, police on the streets. They gave us that evil look which says you are our property. I guessed it was all about time . Listens to somewhere August 27 1976, going on outside, where somewhere August 26 1977 was. got darker got less dark sun came up sun didn’t go down she unbandages her wrist the spider’s still there / whispering her name . But the courthouse is the polar ice cap-how could I have known? I had a dream that Otto and I were camping underneath a glacier in an old fashioned gypsy caravan. We were sat by an iconic looking fire as would represent gypsy in a production of an opera about gypsies. The funny thing about the dream is that we weren’t actual people but an etching of people. This is the moment I long for, to have it finally be the end and to have him there. I miss him so. All writing, all music and all art is only expression of that which we miss. And when I see him in the third row, is he really there? In the dream, we were not people but an etching of people as he is an etching in my mind’s eye. Soon when Rennecke is finished pinning, I will go out in gypsy sleeves and sing and stare into red lightbulbs and fluttering cellophane and that will be the fire. And Otto will be in the third row but I won’t know if he is an etching or flesh. At night I watch the courthouse. The portcullis is a fine thing. One we both approve of almost as much as sash windows. When we settle down, it is agreed we will have, a) an orchard, b) a portcullis, c) sash windows, d) air conditioning, e) silence at meal times f) undisturbed chess, g) fine cheeses and wine. More will come to us shortly. All in all we like a quiet life.

When we travel I always admire your luggage. Red patent alligator is so refreshing at an airport. Marks you out as someone who knows a thing about quality luggage.

Passing the Quiet Word

Featuring Harry Godwin

I found Josephine in Candleford. She said -The weather was sweeter, that day, in the episode with the radical-dress run-away wife, just before michaelmas. goose conkers -ain’t life a chesnut. Tenacity is one thing but there are plenty things in the world - I have several lined up like on my oak-panelled ikea bureau: a velvet flannelette, sent me by Paul; a flint, of course from Eastwood’s collection of rare rocks & mountain artefacts. -Do you know any arty facts? Susie quietly asked, -I’m only asking. I didn’t like to reply. I could recount a story about a Mondrian, told me by a Dutch poet. It hung on the wall of a collector. His friends didn’t understand; they replaced the painting with a fake. He never mentioned it. They discussed the painting during dinner. He said he had gone off it. It could never have impressed Susie. Instead I smiled and -Sure. Subtle glances lines primary: colours / instincts / resources.co.uk We bumped into each other occasionally; michaelmas, the market. I babysat for her one year. She never lost her eyes ‘til she did, one day and even then she still had it. -I’d like to look at that Mondrian now, she whispered as she passed me at the cheese stall. Then in the rain we stood. The soaked earth when the helicopter came turning leaves

fettuccine farfalle fusilli ruote. we survived the Bremner Pass. That night you wore your xylophone nightdress I almost choked on the staircase. We both agreed the breakfast was poor. It put us off playing tennis. Some events from 1546 The Spanish conquer the Yucatan. Peace is declared between England and France. Trinity College, Cambridge and Christ Church, Oxford are founded by Henry VIII of England. Katharina von Bora flees to Magdeburg. Veronika was in the wings of love and jealousy but it is a false ending because it appears they haven’t yet started. It was all a punch & judy show to some the ones who had education those who could read the signs they who knew these things. Otto went grey over night that week. How they laughed at the supermarket over the names of coffee. I’m seven feet tall and seven now. Father is getting concerned

because I haven’t been to confession for such a long time. Possibly years. I blame it on the windmill fire. The scarcity of wheat. we watched the two men in the field. maybe they are discussing tractors. otto doesn’t love veronika, he loves how her songs remind him of silent cinema. veronika intends a sculptural attitude towards otto; she refers him to taxonomic processes. otto can’t retrieve the password. he stumbles with a door key, his legs gone from above him. veronika runs ahead of herself; there is something in today’s news which recalls to otto’s minds next century’s gang warfare. this is the hard part. they take him out to the orchard behind the factory & punch him 199 times in the belly. he keeps laughing, they implore him to stop but he doesn’t. he intuited many blows ago he is a construction: of satin corsets, failed nation states, of IMF rescue packages, transcripts of glossolalias. they continue begging him to kiss them. VERONIKA IS WEARY. HER TEA HAS GONE COLD, HER TEARS HAVE GONE GOLD. next day’s a day where the sky dripped heavy across the fields that moaned [the] past seen from a railway carriage. couldn’t get the rhyme out of its head. i’m going to tell you something i’ve told you before. I stood beside the Thames & tore your letter into fragrancies & ribbons of toxic sky. then i let myself fall. But these are musings of a hack muse, if I am to be honest. I am stupidly proud of my love affairs, stupidly proud of having sung g minor as if I had invented it. The truth is that we are at the end of so much and will be until the fade complete. I think of that opera singer who ended up in the castle in Scotland singing to the bats in the rafters. Why didn’t I ever think of that? But where was there to go? I’ve never had money. My ambition was to have my own witches’ cottage and I had it. I had an apartment at the edge of the Park, candlesticks and shells everywhere. All elements accounted for. But I gave it up having dreamed about the polar ice cap melting right there. The last place on earth- I don’t have

that kind of courage to huddle around the last Sterno can and paper up the windows. And after all, things were falling out of the sky. It felt as if this might be the last place. So I moved to my Eastern German style digs with the green glow of the Courthouse behind me cloud . ancient stone. casino. We walk the mile long beach.

1871, she was outside a poem last week

om mani padme hum. There’s something glamorous in my inability to read these words, or so I think. It’s like the time Anne-Marie checked out of a hotel somewhere leaving her sunglasses behind. Shortly afterwards came a series of phantom kidnappings somewhere else. How do you kidnap a phantom? I don’t know, how do you kidnap a phantom? When they found Josephine she was living rough, discoursing with angels. I like it here. I like the days when the sea is uneasy & eagles blow in on the blast & bite out my eyes. I keep replacement eyes in this cabinet made by Harry Godwin. OK, don’t be so unhappy. Look at the beautiful way the meadows bend into the telephone call, make that sighing noise. The noise she used to make when she burnt the backs of her hands with cigarettes. I’ve got a postcard Otto sent me last year. “Hello,” he says, “how you doing?” “I’ve not thought of you for years.” “Who are you?” But that’s why aesthetics has its part to play in the War on Terror. Watch your back & don’t ever look back. They may be statues, but they ooze 100% genuine blood. The tour is drawing to its conclusion. We dawdle over obituaries discuss who died whilst eating kedgeree. When the total eclipse came we were drinking champagne on the balcony. You wore the dress of rare butterfly fabric. Tomorrow is Wednesday & the menu might change so you make a hair appointment and we must leave.

In the harbour the yachts turn with the tide. We haven’t bought any presents or sent postcards. The press wanted to speak to you. I feigned an epileptic fit. You shouted at the waiter who made the sign of the cross it was almost checkmate. Everywhere is closed we can not get what we want. Battleship grey skies the footprints in the hall they all add up. I notice your handbag the mystery of birth the red dress the fog of war Titanic Queen Mary docking in New York the photograph of a child. This is not the road to the ferry but Oberammergau. I still remember you smiling over the dinner table in candle light It is spring so we discussed books, listened to music

yoga, origami we painted our nails pearlescent and the singing was fabulous. fine. coral like then your graceful bow. My hand comes up to the bridge of my nose with the thought of Mahler, Veronika and moths. Rennecke huffs loudly as she is trying to pin the sleeve. They are butterfly sleeves. Veronika sent a dead butterfly to Joe’s wife in a pearly envelope – such lovely paper. I have to hand it to her for subtlety. Butterflies are Hera’s spies. I was never subtle. I met Joe in the café outside the opera house every morning while his wife was home suffering and pointedly ordered divorce pastries. He was amused. He has always loved attention. I remember talking about the story of Paris and the Apple with Susan. She said, “ you’re an Aphrodite so watch out”. And it’s true. I like parties and pastries and lying around. And men love me, I can’t help this. I remember walking Heinrich Heine Allee im wunderschönen Monat Mai thinking about Joe, thinking about Otto, thinking about potatoes but mostly Joe. I thought nothing of the truck driving by until the half chewed apple core came flying out of the half open window of the passenger’s side hitting me clean in the forehead. Have to hand it to Hera for her subtlety.

The Ghost Hotel (Room no. not Known)

He will look on me with love and has looked on me with love. He does look - but the present terrifies me as if I am sight singing a piece of music. To do so successfully means to have no grasp on whether there is success, to be unable to perceive the shapes as they are forming across my eyes. I like the past; it trails by nicely with its established paramecium like wiggles, just like the songs I’ve sung. I remember the concert with Veronika where I sang the Mahler and I had one of those blackouts in the middle-no idea of what was coming next. One of those where the body becomes a moonwalker feeling for anything the feet can recognize- well known to performers and the brain damaged. Really, there is no problem-what is the matter really with floating in space? not crossing the road at the zebra crossing but behind the bus the one that goes to you aunts I dodge the puddle in my new patent shoes I know you are waiting by the fireplace with martini. Today is the anniversary of something important not that is why we are meeting. I notice the girl in red shoes the fine flowers in the lobby. When we leave the rain will have turned to snow and we will adjust our coats a man will offer us a free newspaper on which the cover shows us the remains of a train crash. But I panic, having lost the notes of the code that will reopen the door to the spaceship. Then, I noticed a g minor chord jumbled in a heap in the corner of my eye jump up to reassemble itself and my mouth

opened with quite beautiful sound. Veronika was in the wings, in a bronze gown, looking on with love and jealousy. She had yet to break my nose. The room is full of birdsong. I am not sure how we arrived. Our fingerprints were taken our eyes photographs That day yours were pearls you wore the red brick wall. Mine were tanks and mine fields. I wore torn tweed. We counted boats in the harbour. The harbour the romans made in roman times. Then we went to dine on take away octopus picked our teeth clean with little brittle sticks watching boys throw stones at the windows and the planes came in flying low so we decided to stay and explore the amphitheatre but it couldn’t be found. i’ll soon get bored with iconography that’s why he burnt down his niece’s cottage nostalgia eats away at me & earlier she’ll look at the sun for three hours in silence & then says it’s a fish i don’t know its name or there was something shimmers about living in that high-rise which tore [Idea] anne-marie’s dress the next time i met otto i’ll hit him he staggers but didn’t fall to the ground some infants watched the whole thing I guess they’ll be playing truant from school i often play truant from school

& then she hadn’t eaten (before doing his gardening). I went shopping this morning; I had already done the laundry. I had already left (when you called). We wanted to talk to you because we didn’t see you yesterday. If you had asked me, I would have answered. We would have gone if we had known. So the impressive flower arrangements, the carefully contrived bees were ignored by the guests. None of whom came by tram. I found your beautiful pearl shoes in the dark pot of strangers. When you left in the morning I mowed the south lawn singing songs of tiaras removes her dress then throws it over the back of the mirror & i sniff at the fabric until she’ll return & beyond yes if i had the contour for it i’d wear her dress he has difficulty sleeping a bare light bulb, also her resemblance to saskia i got bored at school, that’s why i go there i’m six years old & six feet tall so we waltzed through the park, nothing distracted us, not a thought of silk manufacturing, nothing except the motoric joylessness of the waltz & its silence cuts her left index finger opening a tin of peaches in syrup no? we heart berlin


Veronika arrived in a metropolis, labelled the metropolis, which was how she knew it was time to burn future maps. some part-docile, partelongated animals snoozed in doorwayed shadows. Joe could not make up his mind: were there intensities of goldenrod & mechanised butterflies in 0.75 of novellas of the 1850s, or was the toyshop a front organisation for terroristic translated texts of the new empiricism? just as she was about to lose them, Joe found Veronika’s beautiful pearl shoes. no one loved the taste of potato soup more than Otto. it was Susan’s job to document graffito-ised bus shelters. “Stop fluttering about” Rennecke is telling me. Her mouth is full of pins. I like it when her mouth is full of pins. I like her implications of moth like behavior on my part because this is theater and moths are the first ladies of theater. And everything is dry here, years of water spilled and dried up leaving that smell that tells you once there was water and after that cigarette smoke. And the costumes smell like this and also like ghost, like traces of ghost sweat. Step out in ghost sweat and flutter against lights that slow time. then of course it all comes back 16 magpies in a tree miles and miles of graveyard the misty country lane random cumulus clouds talk old oaks and as morning paints its lips you promise me you will keep safe in the summer when the swallows never came I see you looking out of the window near the railway station I wonder what you see by the red post box

by the chemists over the humped back bridge it isn’t straight forward there are no warnings and the pregnant woman sits in the cafe then we are gone like taxis, I’ve just told Rennecke: “I’ve never been to Düsseldorf.” she always believes a word I say, but now she certainly trusts me. there’s something horrifying about the light dripping down from the Düsseldorf sky this middle morning; it’s so speculatively usual, amnesia of all revolutionary discourse. & my left arm hurts. I don’t think it will ever recover, it’s been like this for so long. I can’t stop wondering if Otto shoplifts potatoes – I’ve eaten some toast, but that’s not the answer. a dead bird floats through the un-pearly sky reciting an alphabet and it’s night again, kind of. Soon I will be there and it will be limited space and I will walk to the dotted edge of that space. I will know in an instant when I’ve gone beyond and I will hesitate in a real hesitation. Not a fake hesitation, not the kind that is meant to demonstrate a change of thought. A real misreading of the internal compass and they will see it and know it. And I will think, this morning I was eating toast and it was just as awkard. I don’t know what they see or what they don’t. Otto looks on me with love. What for? He will be there third row or so. We came here and stayed. But nothing more is known or remembered. Glazed ceramic. Polished table top. Ash tray. Then in the dream you cry out so I stroke your back. Soon it will be morning and we can drive to the ferry and leave. We played chess beneath the deafening seagulls blown in from the coast.

And in your eyes a hint of the irish potato famine. Grey stone walls. Suitcase. In the hotel the room was full of perfume. When the rain came and we wept and walked through the gardens under the cypress tree full of hungers.

Biographies Emily Howard Emily Howard was born in Palo Alto, California and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York where she works as a singer and stage director. Performing credits include appearances in venues such as Carnegie Hall, New York City Center and The Metropolitan Opera. Her writing has appeared frequently on The Red Ceilings. She was recently commissioned by American composer Michael Rose to write the libretto for his opera Ugetsu, an opera currently in development with the support of American Opera Projects in Brooklyn New York. Mark Cobley Mark was born in Cheshire, lives in Derbyshire and works in Manchester. His work has appeared in various e-zines and magazines, most recently in Great Works, Parameter, and in translation, at Soylesi Poetry Magazine (Turkey). His chapbook The Flaming Man was published by The Arthur Shilling Press in 2010. His second chapbook sequence, 40°43’4”N 73°59’39”W, is forthcoming from Knives, Forks & Spoons Press. He edits http://redceilings.blogspot.com/ blog and posts things on his own blog, The Blue Ceilings, from time to time. Simon Howard Simon Howard was born in Fulham in 1960 & educated at University College London. He lived for a time in the Czech Republic; he now lives outside London but near its most famous river. He has published poems in Great Works, The Red Ceilings, Spine Writers, & Venereal Kittens & his chapbook Zooaxeimplode is from The Arthur Shilling Press. He has poems fortchcoming from Shadowtrain, Blackbox Manifold, & FREAKLUNG, & a book – Numbers – from The Knives Forks and Spoons Press. His blog is http://walkingintheceiling.blogspot.com/ Sarah Ahmad Sarah was born in India and lives in Pakistan where she works as a photographer. Her work has appeared in various e-zines and magazines. Her chapbooks are Chaotic Disillusion (Calliope Nerve Media), Lurking Exposure (Chippens Press), Unfulfilled Doubts (Artistically Declined Press) My Bipolar head is epic fail (Red Ceilings Press) and I was born, forced to see. Not dead yet. (cc&d Scars Publications, 2010) . She blogs at http://scribblingpoetry.blogspot.com

Richard Barrett Richard Barrett lives and works in Salford. In 2009 a selection of his work featured in The Other Room 09/10 anthology and a chapbook collection, Pig Fervour, was published by The Arthur Shilling Press. He has a second chapbook collection, Semi Detached, forthcoming from YT Communication. His first full length collection, Sidings, is forthcoming from White Leaf Press. He is a co-organizer of the Manchester based performance series Counting Backwards. Stephen Emmerson Stephen has recently appeared in Great Works, nthposition, Jacket, and SPINE. He also run a monthly poetry night in Leeds called LETTERBOMB Publications include the broadsides: Villains from Silent Films, Cocaine/ Codeine, Mad Songs & Ayers, and the Cleaves anthology. He also has collections/chapbooks - X (The Arthur Shilling Press 2009), Chimera (Erbacce Press 2010) and Attack of the Gas Powered Angels (Knives Forks and Spoons Press) Harry Godwin Harry Godwin is a Devon based poet. His work appears on onedit, streetcake, The Red Ceilings, Intercapillary/space and Spine. His chapbook The Benholm Potato Growers was published in 2009. He runs The Arthur Shilling Press, Cleaves Journal and The Small Press Catalogue blog. He blogs at Celery Lanes

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a text by Emily Howard, Mark Cobley & Simon Howard. The first part of Plus-que-Parfait

the title goes here  

a text by Emily Howard, Mark Cobley & Simon Howard. The first part of Plus-que-Parfait