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Minutesí walk from the metropolisís banging core, youíll find a strikingly hushed sky-network, where narrow pathways lurch into the stratospheres from between looming but degrading slab-blocks with echoes of elegant pasts, but these lattices do not actually lurk in the dainty cove just behind the massive tumult, they are endless labyrinthine repetitions stamped onto occasional memories and thus their borderless winding energies offer inexplicable and unlimited mini-journeys to glide while still loosely glued to the frenetic interchanges of this centreís reality. Once the actual suburban mazes might have flourished there: no matter, the head-held replacements are fresher, more detailed, and probably better.

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The third, or fourth, or maybe fifth winter after I arrived in what I remember to be the complete urban expanse Ė itís likely the actual city didnít match my personal, elongated edition of it Ė I have sharp recollections of fog-built boulevards, and phantom-like but enduring faces emerging slow-motion out of the December dreariness, pale circles lit up in bizarre fragments from lots of illuminations: car lights, launderette signs, underpass strip-bulbs, and I felt pangs from my innocent self, not believing that diminished happy-time energies could be unearthed, and muddled up with regret for moments, flash-feelings, fleeting adventures that I definitely missed, even if they werenít significant, and those I was yet to miss.

*

Standing on the quiet tarmac in the shadows of the multi-storey hi-rises conurbation, a photograph plopped into my head, chiming as though it were a memory, but it canít have been, then the effect kept repeating, although not an exact replica of the first each time. Initially, the figment filled me with a fantastic glow, but that was overtaken by an unreasonable itchiness that I felt would deplete me. I scrambled from this recurring vision, once I knew that earlier variants of the same wonderland were creeping into existing ones, and their wholeness just wasnít clean enough, and since that day I became sad because the unburdened original faded, was proved brittle by heavy time, chugging steadily, and not mercifully, consuming the carefree silhouette of a former me.

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