on the stade

10am, heat resonates from the deteriorating sandstone cliffs. Everything is already suspended in light. Water into haze. Haze into sky. Sky into light. All one preservative substance. Crowds of schoolchildren scour the beach like gulls, restless, permanent, unassuaged, shouting and grunting, throwing shingle at one another for something to do. There’s a faint smell. Fish, salt, perfume, fried food: for a moment it seems like a language, with a shifting, impermanent sytax: but when you listen it has nothing to say, & all that counts–again!–is to be here. You are the only description of what there is. The only language here is the use you make of these events.

About these ads

4 Comments

Filed under landscape

4 responses to “on the stade

  1. mirst

    Jeez, this is the kind of prose you can actually eat off of. On par with De Lillo, plus some additional magic. Is this taken from something bigger?

  2. uzwi

    Hi mirst, thanx, glad you enjoyed it. It’s a note I took yesterday morning in Hastings. I cleaned the punctuation up a bit & dropped one rather poor image. It may well turn up in a story I’m working on at the moment; or the next book. But it’s already reminding me of a similar note–made in a different seaside town–which ended up in Climbers; so it might not.

  3. Andy McDuffie

    Beautiful piece. I was down there too, actually.
    I’ve been meaning to drop a comment here since last summer saying how pleasant it was to have met you in person (Chris P brought you around for a cuppa last August, if you recall). Next time you’re in town, feel free to knock!

  4. uzwi

    Nice to hear from you again, Andy. I’ll do that!