Monday, May 16, 2005

Stand with your arms raised like Christ on the cross. Keep still. Close your eyes. Try to imagine the birth of Christ. Think of the smells and the sighs, people bustling in, animal breath in the air. Try to imagine Christ’s first howling. Try to imagine what it must have been like to hear the Lord crying and Mary helpless and suffocated, waiting for Joseph to get in from the all-night Union meeting (imagine the ruddiness already appearing at the edges of his face).

Stay like this for 1 minute. Do not open your eyes. If someone questions your behaviour then simply ignore them: for these times they cannot exist in anything other than imagination.

You can count the seconds as you go but it’s better to try and learn time. This takes practice but will be worth it in the end. Trust me. Practice at predicting how long 1 minute, 10 minutes and 5 minutes are.

When you are done look around. While you are looking, try out as many facial expressions as you can; move your face from very happy through to very sad. Do this for no more than 50 seconds and then move on.

Time for the next song: John Cale – Heartbreak Hotel.

Keep walking for the duration of the song. This time, count every second in your head. Try to picture an animal for every second. Try to be clear which animal corresponds with each number. Clearly visualise what the animal looks like. When you are sure you have run out of animals switch to vegetables and then fruit.

There should be no unaccompanied number.

As soon as the song finishes stop walking. Dead. Spin around and mouth a silent scream. Try to imagine that howling all over again but make no sound.

Take out your pen and look around you for a suitable writing surface; a door, a window, the pavement, a wall. It doesn’t matter. Choose the place where you feel the least damage will be done.

Write this poem as neatly as you can. It should not be written for others so use only your normal writing. If your sprawl is intelligible only to you then so be it.

It’s called Candy and it’s by a friend of mine called Birch.


Watch the badgers,
Mother used to say,
They never let go.
Cause wedges of sound,
That make children cry
And suck the marrow from your bones.

Watch the geese,
Said my Father,
Since the spit’ll take yer home
To drown your sorrows
Split hairs,
And break the enzymes from your food

Watch the pigs
My brother used to say,
Since the boars out east
Will wreck your legs,
Leave hairs on the pillow
And won’t take the stabbing’s lightly

Mind your mouth,
Our Granny used to say,
There’s nothing worse than language
That could fill a trough.
We’ll soap your mouth and brush your eyes
So shittin’ well pass the soap.

There is no reason why the poem needs to be in this format. The words are not sacred; no words are.

Birch doesn’t like to think of himself as linear even though he’s straight as a die.


At 7:28 PM, Blogger Jules said...

you smell good.

At 12:04 AM, Blogger Kempernorton said...

thankyou. i do. But it's not always been this way.


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