A cryptic note that just says “Nightjar”. Another one that just says “stairs”. Today must have been more confusing than it seemed. I had some pretty good news one way & another. But I never got over the poverty business. It seeped into my head & stayed there. “Nightjar.” “Stairs.” What was I going to do that involved the stairs? What did I have to remember about them? I had a look at them a moment ago. From one end they went up. From the other they went down. That seemed fine. Nothing to see there. Nightjar… Nightjar… Time to watch another bad film. November’s your month for bad films. The Poverty Business would make a good title.
Tag Archives: lists
Unlicensed operation on a narrow street. Inside, worn black & white linoleum floor tiles go back to a wooden counter. Furniture–mainly chromium diner stools–stacked in a corner. Some cabinets, you can’t make out what’s in those. Push your face up against the window on a dark night & a rain of silent fleamarket objects drifts down slowly through this space like the index of some unreliable past: ashtrays of all types & sizes; geranium in a terracotta pot; thousands of 45rpm records; stones off a beach; money & playing cards; the dustjackets of library novels 1956; black French knickers waist 24; cheap tickets all colours; suits, hats & shoes; bruised cricket ball, seams worn; a porcelain globe five inches diameter bearing a complex design of leaves & tendrils in delft blue; small chest of drawers, veneered; bicycle tire, gentleman’s silver cigarette case, national insurance card: all gravityless & wreathed in Christmas lights like strands of weed underwater. One night you hear Frank Sinatra behind a door to another room. Go the next night, nothing. You turn up your collar in the rain. The card in the window says open but the door is always closed. Ask around, no one remembers seeing the owner. No dust on anything. Open book, indelible pencil on a bit of string. “Sign in here.”
ock puppet sock puppet sock puppet SHINY THING sock puppet sock puppet sock puppet SHINY THING sock puppet sock puppet I want it sock puppet I want it YOU WANT THE SHINY THING sock (fuck it) sock (fuck it) fuck puppet oh shut it IF YOU UNDERSTOOD WHAT YOU WERE SAYING sock puppet sock puppet IF YOU ONLY KNEW WHAT YOU WERE SAYING sock puppet oh fuckit I want the shiny, I want the thing (you’re blocked mate you fucked it) sock pupped it sock puppet sock puppet SHINY THING sock puppet sock puppet sock puppe
The final tour round my bookshelves, which are now less extensive than many a TBR pile–
Rainer Maria Rilke
Martin Cruz Smith
Robert Louis Stevenson
Thomas de Zengotita
This is what you get when you pursue an idle notion. Still, at least I didn’t think it was a good idea for a trilogy. Next time I trim the shelves I’ll be getting rid of everything, except maybe RLS.
A call for “best fantasy” lists over at the inestimable Crooked Timber soon devolves into a Tolkien vs LeGuin wrangle. More intriguing than the usual Tolkien vs Peake; but not so interesting as, say, The Lord of the Rings vs The Journal of Albion Moonlight or The Street of Crocodiles. In fact, given that Tolkien has so many possible “opposites” –a comparison with any of which might tell us something about both the Prof & his adult toy–maybe we could have some suggestions ? I’d nominate Iris Murdoch’s The Flight from the Enchanter & Tree of Smoke, by Denis Johnson. In the one, we have a Dark Lord whose charisma is very clearly the sum of the needs of his victims–who exists solely because they need him to, & who may, anyway, actually be their rightful king; in the other, a Fellowship predicated on a disinformation operation, in which not only the Ring but the quest itself may be an invention, & in which the Orcs are convinced that they are the good guys. (That reminds me, why has no one ever compared The Lord of the Rings to Smiley’s People ? Both novels from the Cold War period, one from the beginning, one from the middle.)
Reading: Journey into Fear, Eric Ambler. Transcribing: notes made in the Radiography reception area, St Mary’s Roehampton. Wishing I’d been at: The Manchester Fiction Prize bash last Friday.
Further scandals, intellectual, linguistic & sexual, from my stripped-down shelves. Not long to go now, then we can all forget what turned out to be, like the best efforts of sf writers from time immemorial, more notion than content: the idea that should have stayed an idea.
Heinz R Pagels
I pity poor Elaine Pagels, author of sincere Gnostic histories, especially given Rant. But I would like to hear how Annie Proulx scolded VS Pritchett that night under Wyoming stars
TE Lawrence (352087 A/c Ross)
During my recent eczema of list-making I forgot Thin Air, by George E Simpson & Neal R Burger. How could that happen ? When you’re tired of military-industrial horror-science conspiracy fiction written by non-sf writers you’re tired of life. I mean that sincerely.