dorothy doldrumatic

31Mar10

Sometimes leaving things unfinished is a good thing. It’s like not checking your lotto ticket.

I’ve just decided, just in the last 24 hours, that one of the best things about realising you’ll probably never monetise (sorry, I hate that word… occupational hazard… and I don’t even know if it’s a real word) the thing you like doing best is that you’re free to do whatever the hell you like with it.

You can give it all up on the internet or torch it. Or stick it in letterboxes. It’s not like your house is riding on it. You can cut it up and stick it on screens. (For example.)

Another thing I was thinking about today: undoing damage. How we’re resilient, springy creatures at heart. How we grow our chopped off tails back, and get on with things.

I was trying to define damage to myself. There are the one-off, incidental/accidental things. Acts of capital G god. Cyclones and lightning. Fires. Carpark prangs.

Then there’s the damage that’s harder to undo. The sort of damage we do to ourselves over time. The kind we make excuses for or learn how to give the blind-eye treatment.

I need to pack bags now. I was looking through some files and found dorothy. I don’t think I will ever finish her, and I don’t really want to. She morphs and changes. She looks back on herself.  She has lost her tail many times. She assumes many voices, and then disappears on a whim into the ether.

I lost the original to dorothy when bastard Photoshop files blew up my laptop in 2001. Fortunately I had one print-out, which I had gifted (and have since reclaimed). I am only halfway through typing her back up again, all 60 or so scattered pages of her.

It dawned on me today that, even though I may never finish her, I can probably share pieces – glimpses – of her. Just because I can. Because whether I do or whether I don’t is kind of a pointless argument I conduct only with myself.

Dorothy dreamgirl ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^i

I have worn all songs thin i

Have worn all manner

of skins i

have known

more mouths

than a Victorian soup kitchen &

an ancient harmonica

i am an iridescent terminus OPEN 24 HOURS

daily trafficking the familiar cargo

of strange skins & old songs

i am somebody’s lovechild

walking thin       air

climbing ladder bones                 the rungs forever snapping

into muddled turrets of arms

                                                & scissor fingers

i am all wishbones &

hospital corners

i am your childhood ukulele

i am

The same old song/        the paper skin

Grown cold

From touching

i am miss kid     i am mrs skin

i am a HARMLESS OCCUPATION

who am i?*                                                                    one day

                                                                                    this liquid body

                                                                                    will snow

                                                                                    with birds

i love you like a green umbrella

a rolling pin

a morning frost

a faded photograph

 

let her go

MIND THE GAP

                                                                                    STOP    (don’t stop)

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

 

as a child they told me not to touch strange things

We were in the city that day

I remember a wall white with pigeon shit marvellous as a fresco

At a street corner           a scarecrow man           with antique eyes           gave me flecked marbles out of nowhere

I thought he was a disciple          i thought he had given me heaven           at the corner of queen st

 

& down near the water where the DIRTY MEN loiter         harbouring manila parcels of strangeness

                                                                                    Holding sweetsmoke cigarettes

In engine-greased fingers

 

She took the cup of my hands & held it open

She took the three glass eggs      the twisted hearts of blue

 

She threw the marbles into the sea

She said i mustn’t touch them                  you don’t know where they’ve been

 

They rippled like angel dumbwaiters        fallen down from a stepladder in the sky

Smooth in the lining of silt

At the bottom of the world

 

We were off to the circus            it might have been my birthday   that day

 

The airborne women      faked wings       above an elasticated world of safety nets

The airborne women defied gravity                     for clean money

The airborne women

                                    Made me wonder

                                                            If three glass eggs

                                                                                    Could hatch

____________________________________________________________________under water_____

 

 

Dorothy Angel Archipelago

There are angels everywhere     sometimes you can feel them brush you like moths           drawn

To the dimming light of the world

 

Do you have wings         are they della robia blue

Do you have wings         are they wax or chalk or invisible skin      this is what Dorothy says

To the byzantine angels

I was unanchored then   i had plastic sandals       i slipped in & out of countries like a bandit

Mermaid

& no one saw me

Although i sometimes let them touch my scales                 (i weighed up the options)

If they had kind eyes

 

They were gentle with my wrong skin      i took their number & pulses

They were gentle men

They kept my fingerprints on their furniture for years        although they never realised

 

Do you have an anaesthetic now do you have a cure        a dog stole my sandal on a faraway island

She made her wrists pretty with glass when i told her       i didn’t know it would happen like that

I never meant for it to happen     like that

-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

 

Arpeggio & archipelago   tide & tune in & out & in & out of my dreams

I begin & end in a dream all my dreams end with dreams it seems it’s seamless     stitching

Waves into a fracturing aorta      i keep a cellophane box a periodic table of the elements

An antique horoscope 

 ~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.

 

I saw her picture in THE GUARDIAN        i saw her           on a blue island with funny beetles

She waited for me on a park bench          until the sun closed up shop like a sandcastle

She caught the n0. 9       parroting another language         to get a 100 drachma ticket        

 

The night before we had talked about guardian angels      under a corrugated iron awning

There were voices out there       in the black sea              in the delirious night

She said            maybe there are sirens

(i never figured it out      maybe she was right      maybe

They were calling           those voices

After all)

 

& in that delirious night   the stars doggypaddled   through our OUZO eyes

That night          the night before

 

 *_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_

 

Dorothy desiderata

 

  1. EVITER LA ROUTINE
  2. PRENEZ DE LA DISTANCE VIS-A-VIS DU QUOTIDIENNE
  3. ACCEPTER LES CHOSES SIMPLEMENT      AU LIEU DE VOUS REBELLER
  4. SUR LE PLAN SENTIMENTAL       RIVILEGIEZ L’AMITIE/LES RAPPORTS INTELLECTUALS
  5. NE CEDEZ NI A LA PASSION NI AUX EMPORTEMENTS DU COEUR
  6. CHOISISSEZ L’AUTONOMIE

 

Dance like no one is watching you

Work like you haven’t been paid yet

Love like you’ve never been hurt

Walk                 like an Egyptian

Tune in             to the channel    islands

Go placidly        amidst the buoys                                                                        & the fish

paste

 

 

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