top of page


Two Hours Spent Writing About Something I Have No Experience Of (2014) Fiction

You wake up sweating. Already on your feet. In a small dense pocket of jungle. In the pit of a valley caked in trees. It is too hot and cold at the same time. You find yourself. Holding a blank sheet of A4 paper. It is not white, the tone smells more blue or violet. The lumen scent glides over its linear edges, glowing, enunciating the gradiated form of light’s spectrum. The forest teems, ultraviolet, illuminating but not bright. There is no sound, other than your own breathing, which appears crass, disingenuous, here. This realisation, this naming, leads you to briefly hyperventilate, caught in a loop of self deprecation, stoked by your heaving lungs. In and Out. You try not to think about dying and relax your shoulders. Everything is more or less ok. The clothes you are wearing at this moment, are soaked, sticking to your shoulders, the top and inner of your thigh’s. Shake this off, forget about it. The anxiety is quelled and your muscles abandon the command of tension. As a direct result you see your eyes have followed suit, drifted out of focus, you let them drift, out of focus, beyond it. Again you think of your breathing, but from a different place of thought. This welcome breather eschews in the start up chime of a computer. You drop the paper which swings its way to the floor. A small black laptop sits at your feet, open, leaning back to face you and the sky. Its screen blinks from black to violet, or turquoise, somewhere in between. A small high pitch begins to glow, becomes audible, resonating in your inner ear, as the computers fan kicks in, to cool itself down. A bead of sweat drops from your nose on to the command key. An image pops onto the screen, not filling it totally, but central, as it is in portrait and the computer knows that. It is Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of sex, love and violence. In this moment, here, where you stand, or sit reading, you understand her as the Internet, think something of her offer of answers, but ask her no questions. You dedicate this strength of being, this stand off, to your childhood self, your once young mind and its eyes. In honour of its exuberance its lightness of being. In antithesis to this heroic and decisive feeling, an image appears unprompted on the screen. An animated Gif. Folding. Panicking. Endless. The image that plays out depicts faceless black clad Military, with Guns, Batons and Shields, bursting through lush green jungle – A remembered jolt of motion – A jerk when falling asleep – Over and over – A repetition that flows – as they bolt forward. A tide of men, battering a group of women and children at their feet. A fever dream of pixels, nauseous and singing, horrid, mesmerising, forever. Indigenous tribes being forced, moved, snapped, pulled and contorted from a landscape they call home, have called home, before your idea of home existed. From your relative safety you watch their’s be destroyed. is is sickening, we empathise but remain unhelpful. Can we help. How. What is the point. Will it help at all. Is my helping more about me than them. You fall into the gap where your help would be and drop to your knees. You give in to her, the Internet, as your fingers tear across the keyboard like ants. Scrolling through pages of information, ideas and opinions. You build something of a geography, mapping the conflict, adding faces to each side of a multi-sided happening, an idea, a problematic topography. The uncoagulated stream of information peaks and you fall back to the ground spent. You disagree but without speakable reason. You pick up the laptop calmly and close its lid, posting it down into the soft black of the soil, like the ship, the finger, the spade. The warm dark accepts it without resistance. You feel the pull of vertigo, the soil seduces, you want to take your bare wet hands and cleave great pieces from its dark mass. To fold them into your mouth, to swallow the miasma of life caked within, writhing, a million souls spinning in the dense soaked everything of it, seemingly black but in reality all colours at once. Your body leans on your thinking. Swallow it. Purge yourself. Look at me. Stop being. Help yourself. You reject this feeling with your all. Again you begin to breathe. The cool air pours into your lungs, flooding your bronchi, stinging the wet red of your insides. The air soaking itself in the water it finds there, seduced, pulling it back, steaming into the world around you. You feel connected, like the air is a shape, a section of which, a teat, that you are gagging on, suckling from, forever, is choking you. Its’ nature closer to your idea of water, full up like drowned lungs, moving in and out of your body. You try and relax, to focus again on the torrents of steam that billow from your lips. You think of your atoms, you realise you have assumed for a long time, that they are yours. That you own them, that they should stay with you, are obliged, the essential ones, whichever ones they might be. You can’t remember – A boss commanding their employees without recognising their names or faces – You try to disarm the negativity of this perspective and empathise with them, your atoms. The atoms that populate your form. You champion to reinstate their migratory rights, currently denied by your idea of self. This thought gains momentum, you only just pull back, from a feeling of edgeless totality, in time to recall your name, your mother, your home, your life. But the question remains. You wonder if you are sovereign, noble prince or vilified dictator – A national park that kills its people – Clean hydroelectric energy created by a damn that drowns life – You refuse the cult of what if. Pull yourself together. Distracted, a smell plies your attention, like autumn heated up, but cold in temperature, limpid and fizzing. Your attention magnifies into an undecided feeling, oscillating, almost burning your throat, almost freezing your throat, you can’t decide. Your dry tongue, your boulders, your molars rolling like magnets in your gums. For the first time you truly fear. The feeling of terror is all consuming. Briefly the gap between yourself and your inner primate is collapsed – There will be no culture here – No counting – No coping mechanism – your bowels ready themselves to evacuate surplus matter in preface to your flight. But instead you fight it and distract this fear. Seeing it in retrospect, you feel afraid of it returning, but the slope of memory and momentum of time affords a de emphasis of this fear – The distant sun fitting between fingers pinched – Your current nowness is more compelling. Or at least the future commands the most importance as a platform for the blooming of some new fear. One you have not yet experienced, Scarier, pregnant with potential. A train of thought, almost bullet like, imparts the stark party lines of your current position. I am alone. I am in a jungle. I am food. There are small things I will not recognise everywhere that can kill me and when I learn which, I will be dying. You black out. Subtle visions begin to play out, like columns of smoke in the darkness. You think of hurricanes, tornados, the bath water leaching downward, the plug singing in tongues, winded, dying. You think of Earthquakes and Tsunamis, of Hokusai’s wave folding with each new catastrophe, emblem of the most current disaster. Past things have futurity. Its foamy edges breaking, multiple like its death toll. Soon it makes little difference wether your eyes are open or closed. If you are awake or asleep. Under the darkness of your lids, you still read the middle distance. Succinctly narrated by your inner monologue, inescapable and ever present. You see what looks like a leaf, your mind bolts to name it before truly seeing it, you try and think of some thing, any thing, in your mind, without first naming it. But this proves impossible. You feel the weight of your allegiance to language, names and words, it bares heavy, despite the thousands of mother tongues already lost. Words, letters and numerals kept alive by no one. Extinct. The flow of images changes into lights of various shades of blue, indigo and purple, scattered as if in a spatial vacuum. Depending on your perspective you either travel through them or they project toward you. You see a sphere, floating, central in front of you, not one metre away. You gently speak the word sphere out loud. Sphere. It seems more fixed, more clear in your memory, a simple object to hold on to, to moor yourself in the slurry of meaning, association and understanding. This sphere, its form, helps to take with you a memory from this experience of reading. A planet to people with your thoughts. The people you remember, that did and did not matter to you. This will aid you, this aids you, to recall later this experience, when you next see the moon, the sun, the full stop. Branching forward an image of tributaries, an amazon of gaps, can be read in this page, the one from the beginning, that you again hold in your hands. Let your focus drift, to be afforded an other seeing. De-emphasising the seduction of clarity, for the viewing of the whole. The fovea bleeds into your periphery, giving way as rods and cones sing. A flood of unmediated sense data. Your eyes unfocussed read the curls and bolts hidden within the words, the letters. You try and name them. As you do. Seeing the diagonals first, as they are starkest, that deviate most definitively from the left to write strata of this text, whilst remaining mostly linear. A dog barks in the distance. Things change, something shifts inside you, a large part abandoned, falls by the way. Another part made free. You listen to it. I have seen.. more or less... of a sky buckling and limp on one side... my arms are sore... (Dog barking) I feel as though.. (lost to Dog barking) trying to communicate with me but I can’t hear it... she is a lot taller than I am... many flowers.. or rather one flower many times... your father, in a ball, sort of suspended or floating... the skin splits neatly up his spine, symmetrical, two great petals of flesh curling up and over, inside and outside, an infinitely folding moment... its very, very hard for me to talk now... yes very difficult, but not upsetting... like some thing is pushing me down into a very thin place, where words are loosing their legibility, their helpfulness, their currency... Its very hard to describe... I can see things like fruits... (Dog barking) oranges and colours, seeds, they have seeds... like giant fruit or something, or maybe I am small... I see something like a flower of the... the newer of the... of the seed of the virgin, but quietly with its purpleish colour... I see many, many images... if I concentrate on them... they move a lot... are you here? are you with me... look I had... it is... the state of content left a long time ago... I can’t see what you are... your intention, your sides... I am a very different way of looking at things... where is your face, can you see it? is it... exactly, from a different manner of looking at things... protean forms... a feeling of intensity, but physical, more like a weight... or just weight, but my thoughts are beneath it... now it is different... I am raw like light, these flowers and the man... had a light, very illuminated in the middle... petals glowing... again the shape of a dog, but it has everything on the insides, inverted... it has everything... lights and animals... of... of people, plants, everything... of many colours, like a picture, very very vivid colours or animals... to collect this, this man, his back to me, I could seem to be able to... when I really concentrate on it, pull it back out... it disappears... receded into the things around it, and if I lose it in all the things happening... I lose the image of others, but it comes back to me, this dog... the dog in the man... it is fairly difficult to maintain it, reading it but... I am still here... difficult... you can learn to work around it, pulling and things... filling the gaps... but I can’t discern what are gaps and what are not gaps... struggling to maintain my edges, my skin is better friends with the outside than in, in me... a trying feeling, or needing, feeling to go to the toilet, something... a purple light, a fold... a moth in the dark, but not moving... but its body is pulsing, heaving... I don’t know if moths breathe, it moves quite drastically, bigger and smaller... pulsating... an anemone, all fingers without bones... in a landscape, the man is either shaking or holding onto my hand... a wet granit cave... the palate of some Great thing... the man in the whale... the dog in the man... tallow candles, a pool of saliva... of cigarette buts and Ammonia... a mother goddess... being born... a shepherdess... phosphorescent... glowing face, the Yucatan Peninsula, where Central America curves down into the south and licks the sea.

bottom of page