On his sharp walk to the station - noticing the clean air and unruffled calm as he made big strides - the usual emblems of something he wasn’t even part of, of something that was as much a created shared past as it was founded in reality, those insignia, whether blossoming or hidden, threatened to turn calmness into chaos because they were proof of unfinished business – histories of the not forgotten, or moments of time that couldn’t be buried under demolished buildings, and washed away under the melting winter snow.
EG: great gatherings when the sun shone and scorched head-tops and whitewashed the grass, or the aftermath of terrible tribal eruptions, illustrated by smoking trainer shops, broken plastic and reams of police tape. They all linger in the atmosphere and in the street names. Jebb Avenue. Elm Park. Blenheim Gardens. Effra Road. Brixton Water Lane. Acre Lane. Rushcroft Square. Dispatches from a deadly past. No matter what he thought about this land there were bits of it so inherent that they were immovable. Ingrained. Like a caked-on cloak, he felt it all scratch, and the sensation was immeasurable but always there – abrasive but reassuring.
The sirens seemed omnipresent, on FM on the local airwaves and solid even among all the other chatter. But in intermittence, other cries were audible too, such as the death-bound or ambiguous howls or slighter, whispered laments that lightly cackled through the air. Struggles lost as snippets, locked in time and disfigured but just about readable as a trace, no matter how minute. Echoes of now-defunct pirate radio stations: just flickers of them, isolated warmness. Unreachable lands that teetered right on the edge of sight and sound. Peripheral energies. And beyond these otherworld pleas there were many other undercurrents all jostling for space.
© Copyright 2016 John Maher