Walking with Cristina on Burnt Oak High Street

Image courtesy Dan Daly

As you crossed the road, without looking,

the cars stopped.  How could they not, as aspirations float and the wind too finds its path through trees, and between bricks, it must move, must be allowed to move, apparitions which carry gaps of breath, that space which contains you is sacred to them who appreciate their visions and hopes, for a step, a movement of contained extension draws sublimity in hearts coarsen to reality.  How could it not.

How could we not understand that in high streets also we must present, especially here,  present and please – recall that grandmother who upon understanding and seeing the greyness in my eyes displayed her treasured grandson, so that I too may know that we are un-redemptively connected, freely it is given and that we share, must share.

The drivers confessed more then love, they confessed to you, their eternal dream, my dream, our dream, of living and breathing somehow freely without dimness of conformity or enslavement in gender and class vocabularies – who better than you grocer understands beauty.  You who with tomatoes and coriander daily live know that ‘character reveals beyond the will’ – that it is not enough to judge by weight alone but to smell, and taste, and sense also and even then we will not know – they understand that wind moving through trees, altering, cleansing – doing more than can be understood, explained, contained – aimed for – must also be allowed to cross roads…

‘Because I am Not Catholic’ and Other Paragraphs

The sun, I saw, setting  with its orange haze – it was past. I watched, collecting in my mind the colours that the night was to throw at me – blues, indigo tinted with orange, all kinds of blues, layered with black now – a Van Gogh night.

With these colors in the periphery but nonetheless active I sit, waiting at Café Prague.   Waiting?  For whom?  I guess I am waiting for an enigma, an imaginative sapping who I or destiny has called Sophia.

And it is my relation to this Sophia that bothers me – I wear a blue coat and yellow vest coat and on the brink of expectance I am to consider in words with ink (red) on paper, and through paper, my relation – in language – to Sophia.

Café chatter rings past my ears, and I tell them – my ears – ‘don’t pay attention, don’t pay attention’…obediently they arrive to affirm my cry and only a murmur is accepted.

That too occasionally, and with great hesitance.

Sophia’s neck remains invincible, it does not exist and I have never seen it, her eyes confess in their brown ways to have seen utopia – in her step she relates to air as a bonsai plant relates to stillness.

My nose and my hands are tortured for the calmness of her sight. They are especially frightened by her voice, which terrorizes them into pockets and sweat. In her presence all speak with a rhythm associated with wayfarism.

Because I am not Catholic I do not confess and instead have to carry pens, and paper, and engage in conversations with strangers on buses, with cats and newspaper sellers, and bottles of wine – not scared but damn fun.

Back to Sophia and the problem of her being – that she exists and has hands is true, but that she is in my dreams, and in my fragrant fantasies, in a web of my mind, and that she somehow pours through my figure nails –

This is also true – and the problem.  For whatever she is she is nonetheless to me part of my creation, and as my creation she cannot have a substantive presence in my being – I will gaze at her internally.

A painting, I alter it, and add dabs here and the problem is common and we know it well, let me turn to Cristina – who on a cold night over the phone told me to ‘see her’ (Sophia) –

I did not understand this cryptic advise, but now as I await Sophia, as I avoid the indiscretions  of smoke, and chatter, I would like her to come with her stillness and terrorizing voice, so that I may ‘see her’.