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--- And-a --- Talk to me will you?

She will not answer whatever you say, she’s stubborn like that. Sometimes she’s derisive when you try to talk to her. “How’s it going?” you’ll say, or “Good day today?” or just a “Hi there!” and you could swear she sighs and that her catheter-bag pings a little, flickering a dismissive wave. Someone should change that bag, actually. I would but I’m busy. Very busy. Let's have a quick listen though, for form's sake. Lub-dub. Lub-dub. Lub-dub. Good beats.


--- 1 --- Turn over your papers

Death is a needle looking for thread. Pablo Neruda said that; he was a poet. I’m not a poet. I failed the exams. If someone is pretty sick, you can easily kill them with a little water. Fluid balance can be a see-saw. Fix the kidneys and the heart fails. Fix the heart and the kidneys fail. It’s a tightrope and you are the clown. You are the child hiding the thread.


--- and-a --- Losing the thread

Your ears are full of water. Everything seems far away, muffled, distorted. You can’t make any sense of it. And then suddenly she’ll say something and it’s like your ears pop and the water pours out and you’re surprised how clearly you can hear. So her lips are saying “I think… I think I’m going to marry him” and your lips are saying “You think you think you’re going to marry him?” And she’s saying. “Don’t. Deadbeat.” And now : “Look, I just need to get my head straight.” And you’re thinking - no you don’t. Fix the head and everything fails maybe. But whatever her lips say, her eyes say different, which is why she tries to hide them. Messages are beaming out at the walls, at the floor, at her shoes, into space. Maybe some alien civilisation somewhere is tuning into them, sifting through all the frequencies, the emotions and who knows what they’ll find in the junk. Fragments of songs from other times and places and languages hidden in the harmonics. There’s a place in the mountains a long way from here where newly-wed couples sing ancient courting duets :


--- 2 --- It’s all in the eyes

He says : I am the falcon
and you are the fieldmouse.
She says : You are the falcon,
but I am the falconer
who unhoods you -
I raise my eyes
and you take flight.


  --- and-a --- When the spirit reaches the throat

 The problem with pubs near hospitals is you’re always distracted by ambulances roaring past with their sirens. I don’t know who stole that gorgeous word and twisted it, giving it a strange new meaning. I can see what they meant though. Sometimes a warning sound, a sound which tell us to get away and get safe doesn’t have that effect. It’s irresistible. We rush towards it, mesmerised. When I hear a siren or see an ambulance blue-lit and floored I can’t help but wonder who’s in it and who’s at the other end, waiting. I like to say : “Good luck boys.” If I’m with a girl I might add : “and girls.”

As the clouds rumble outside I remember I’ve not remembered my umbrella. I’ll be walking back in the rain, soaked and swaying. Never mind, that’s why we’re here isn’t it, to forget things and to forget that we’ve forgotten and at least my umbrella will be dry and warm. Here’s the beer and the wine and here are the spirits and I’m thirsty as salt. We open our throats like storm drains and outside, the heavens open.


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