Archive for the ‘Prose’ Category


24 October, 2007

She flips through the book. It’s black, leatherbound, and has one of those horrendously practical ribbons that attaches onto the spine and resides between the place where you’re up to and the place that’s next to come. She pauses, tries again…
    Should reside in the place you’re up to.
Alas, the ribbon hangs loose, on the outside of the journal.

Each page is a moment – she’d write poetry when she felt, and leave blank pages when she felt strongly. When she was in the mood in which this cold, Wednesday night would find her, she would ruffle the pages once more.

pg. 46,… dated 4th January 2003. A cut-and-paste notion of fear. Three simple words, taken from a song.
        I’m i’m lost…

dead in the middle of the page. It’s enough to rouse every nerve in her body – she remembers, with perfect clarity, his last five syllables, and they speak to her again through the lump in her throat and the dull ache somewhere in her chest, and slowly, each word forces its way into her– “this can – not work…

She breathes, sharply, and flips forward. Her words tell her of a day in the city, and her handwriting reminds her of the pure joy it brought:
            “Liquid moments of sun and concrete,
            and the grinds of life in song…

and she grimaces at her ‘poetry’. A wrysmile, for it was a day filled with truth, and music, and her best friend.

She sees a note, at the bottom of the page, and remembers the night and the blue pen that made it.

It directs her to page 1:
And it’s just made from four lines: three go into the 3/4 marking at the top, left hand corner of the page, and the other is the first of a song:
        “I could tell you the wildest of tales…”
with stress markings loosely dotted above. There’s an arrow, pointing to page 6:
        “of my friend the giant and…
            – she remembers pausing here – “travelling sales…
and the note “• violin, cello.

She flips forward, and absorbs every moment – she reads her words, her handwriting, the odd glued-in train or movie ticket and finally reaches the place-where-she’s-up-to, the place-that’s-next-to-come.
She places the book on the table, and comes back, grinning, five or so minutes later with two dozen strips of red ribbon. She ties them carefully, each by each onto the spine, smiling: always smiling.

When she is finished, Julia pauses, and thinks. She knows what comes next. She opens the book to page 1. She places a ribbon along its length. Page 6. Another ribbon. Page 10, 11, page 19 and 23 and 25, 26 and 27, – that’d been a busy week – and pages 31, 34, 36, 37, 40, 43, 45, 49, 50, 52, 56, 59, 62, 63, 65, 66… and reaches a blank page. She takes a pen – it’s black, it’s ink, and it’s just as good for drawing as it is for writing – and transcribes:
        “and every story I have told
                is part of me —- .

The full stop is resolute.
She takes her last red ribbon, marks page 67 and closes the book. Julia places it back on its shelf, and leaves the room, smiling.


The Trick

1 October, 2007

“The trick,” she whispered to me, “is to shut your eyes, shut them tight, and open them only when it’s so dark that you can’t see properly anyway.”

“The trick,” he whispered to me, “is to open your eyes just as the sandstorm hits. What do you mean? You can hear it if you listen hard enough. Shhhh!”
and suddenly, my world is ochres and dustgrain.