I picked a fruit from a furniture tree in the day dream world and sat down to think. I pretended to be Rome as Nero burns and played a melancholy tune for a sore body – which I am not even sure is mine. A singer on a plate sung a “let them eat cake” song as the autumn sun shone in my leper colony window (shining like a scientist at a religious convention). The music formed a ladder and I climbed upstairs to my study to study – or not study. I pinned a patch of sky to a bare wall, proclaimed the end of time, and used signs as stepping stones across the bulging hernia of a merciless river. I worked all afternoon, only stopping to continue my dream and make dinner from children’s toys. I played with my dinner as the flying saucer in my head took off from The Forbidden Planet.
I woke in a membrane of memory, a row of headless figures inside the room and their winged heads outside. My thoughts were like fires ships drifting into a sheltered harbour. I dressed in palm leaves and rung the doctor. The doctor then rung me. We discussed postponing surgery as a dark cloud floated by. I came home aboard a paper boat, a lady by the hedge waved. I subsequently sat inside a wicker man and worked as slow as the tide coming in and a blind man lifting his hat as a pretty lady walked by. I imagined there was a witch under the stairs and she gave me a flower. The Special Lady had sent her love in a paper aeroplane and I climbed a giant bean plant even though I am scared of heights. A large spider outside the window had caught a moth, I felt sorry for both.
I semi-woke with clawed hands and a clock face. I checked the time and I was late. I got later still as the morning progressed; talking to the green assassins and walking past their red victims, a garden hose in my scissor hands. I then forgot to bury my pirate treasure and had to pull on the emergency cord to stop the hoover outside the station. My imagination was a heron at the side of a shimmering lake and then a whistle went and I was wrapped in the matron’s corset of past histories. We went to dinner in the wood fissured belly of a sperm whale. Inventing a past identity for a house that burgled people. Staring people lined the narrow corridor, as I pushed through, dragging grey thoughts from a black and white world behind me. The meal was lovely and the conversation lit up the sky like colliding aeroplanes.
In an early Autumn I was late for the gym. I saw everyone standing alone on their own islands in the same sea; no one dared to swim to safety. The man in my head walks up walls but crawls across floors. With moths for eyes he flickered in front of the light and on finding an empty box he put nothing inside (a Sumerian goddess sat on the roof casting shadows that I had previously called lichen). I walked through the waterfall entrance to my oil bird cave bedroom where I read a cast down robe, the words made from feathers and the full stops from school boy eggs. I asked the wardrobe who owned the robe but it was busy talking to a bedside cabinet. With legs of spider and arms of cobweb I went into the garden, forming ciphers from the residue of a spent summer.
Spread eagled on a swirling leaf at the point the river meets the sea, the riverman longs to be a seaman and gets up with a Roman helmet on his head and Ancient Greek sandals on his feet. The monkey was still flying as I checked the time, my arms made of rubber and my feet of concrete – I wore a jumper on my legs. The man made solely from discarded matter had forgotten his lines when he crashed through the floor instead of the roof tiles. I was washing old stains from even older clothes and then shopped like a pharaoh in the pyramid convenience store. Coming home to sort through images that had fallen like leaves onto an empty space. Looking through a wall instead of a window I noticed the dog lady pounding the pavement into submission as she went up the hill – the river eventually went over the bridge.
I peeled back the picture before me and spied what was underneath. I regretted it almost immediately as it was pouring with rain which contrasted heavily with the sunshine that penetrated my consciousness as I pulled the Bronze Age burial mound covers off my hilltop bed. A blind pianist was sat in the middle of the river playing a disintegrating piano while I walked to the gym like a Spartan reject. I spent as little time as possible in the atheist cathedral, drifting down the aisle like plankton. I re-entered the house with spider eyes and looked at many different images simultaneously, merging some together to make a new reality and others to form a bridge which didn’t quite reach either side of the canyon. I worked all day, one hand like a salt cellar and the other like a pepper pot.
I put my hand in front of the sun, my fingers like lighthouses that hit the rocks on a stormy night. My eyes were telephone kiosks but that is another story – a lone musician stands on a deserted hill, no one can hear his song. I had a leisurely day inside the future dome looking through images from my immediate past. The picture thief had hidden himself in the life size replica of an urban giraffe and the Zeppelin family floated through my seaweed hair. Spiral galaxy impressions were thrown at the wall like senior bus passes – the winner takes all. There was now two people on the hill but still no one heard their song, even as a ghost army ascended one hill and descended another. The skin of a moon goddess was covered in cornflakes; and I forgot to buy any more. Memory is a trident which spears fish.
I woke in my own bed; the room had clapping wallpaper and I breathed like the rustling of sweet papers (the pianissimo before the crescendo – my head was put on backwards; I blamed my valet). I went back to the gym after a break on a saw blade in a workshop orchestra. The audience was comprised of glasses of water – one of which got smashed. A note to myself: the riders of the apocalypse were last seen entering a wild west saloon. I came home through sunlight trees and listening to bird song from within a paper bag (taking care not to pop it behind a an old man with a young dog). I whispered to Janus and he shouted back, which is what everyday existence is like. An idea came into my head like sea mist soon to be dissipated by a blazing sun.
A last walk along the sea edge, the tide wore a false moustache, I tried not to laugh (even if the air hanging seagulls did). The cliffs looked taller still, silhouetted dancers static in a Montmartre poster. I followed footprints rather than the sea, the latter coming in fast as a stampede of pygmy shrews as we walked back for one last breakfast. After another miraculous mandarin bus we climbed a hill pointing like a naughty child to the undressed sky. The sea a cipher behind an endless beach. I found the shade with spaceman echoes until the unicorn emerged – straddled by a skeleton in rusting armour – for a butter knife crossing. The flags talked as we fluttered one last time before the sea. The daylight shadows swallowed by the train. I got off first.
I had an early morning walk, using the past as a tight rope: a rabbit hopped along old railway sleepers before they were replaced by sticks of celery and the ground beneath my feet by liquorice shapes (one of which looks like a hare). In reality I wore a kangaroo hat and the railway isn’t running – I hear heavy breathing from behind a sleeping bush. I found the Hide Away still hiding and then retraced my steps as a Foreign Legionnaire; sand in my clothes with secrets no one knows. The lady and I went in search of flowers, the road zig zagging its way down the very steep hill, houses perched like poached eggs on a parapet, the map three dimensional and the past clearly visible in the present. We found the gardens and meandered to a cafe, a fountain coughing genteelly into the sky. Picture: bare feet on a blue mat.