Sunday, 17 June 2012

Bus notes 6

The boys at the back are laughing
as if their laughter
ought to be heard.
They make it sound like pretending.
       Phone music scratches
       the people done in
       by a waged day.
There’s some showy book in my hands;
these eyes slip on the spilt words
to fall almost to sleep.
       Everything is knackered
       with it so close 
and the stated heat.
Tomorrow, couldn’t you just
not go in?


  1. i ask everyday. i hate how i ignore myself.

  2. You and me both, Gamefaced. This working business is wrong.

  3. The laughing/laughter/scratches/wagéd/knackered/stated series of internal rhymes and near rhymes picks away at the rusted keyhole of the fatigued and irritated brain to open up a map of the exhaustion that comes with repetitious meaningless work. One feels one is right there on the bus, annoyed, silent, getting on with it. Maybe not much longer, though. Reminded that nobody is ever there on the bus because they want to be, always because they have to be.

    WB I love this series because it turns dreary boredom into a meditative compositional space, thus attacking an unhappy system of arrangements from the rear, as it were -- where it's vulnerable.

    "They make it sound like pretending." That's the key. Nobody's really deceiving anybody any more. Nobody's giving up trying quite yet though.

  4. Other small sound echoes here continue to enhance the central feeling over further reads -- sleep/heat and esp. pretending/done in/not go in -- that last tired triad really a condensed version of the whole slow long ride... of a life.

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  6. In part, the patterning, the repetition, is a way of doing time; Vladimir and his ape sketching out the bars of the cage.

    Thanks for drawing out some of those internal rhymes, TC (I wasn't conscious of all of them but I'm damn glad they're there). The music of this series is very important to me.

    That question at the end, and the last three words in particular: there wasn't any other way of closing this. As one who knows what this work does to us, G went straight to it. What does each of us do with that bad debt? We keep giving the same answer the morning after. The rhyme we never chose.

  7. Being conscious of them would probably be a sure way of chasing them off, like the spirits of the night. Unconscious and instinctive are the sources whence those patterns arise. Many are called to seek them out, few chosen, and those usually by accident, sometimes even to their detriment. Still there it is and no use arguing. One might even call oneself fortunate to have the pattern making skill. After all the contemporary pantheon is largely tone deaf due to its tin ear.

    About the ending, I say such to myself quite a bit now, though not about going in to the job (those days are over), but about simply getting on with things. That includes the bus of course. Everything one needs is impossibly far off, especially the last things.