From the In Between

Between worlds, Avia came. Somehow, she slipped in. I have been thinking of the place she inhabits for some time now. Months have passed me by. There is a city sketch, a complex weave, and she is one part of this. There are others somewhere in the cloth, but they have yet to show. I put my head down thinking of time and space and place and what it all could be, here, there; I was woken suddenly, later in the broken light. Avia whispered her name.

The morning before, it was someone else to have infiltrated that space: that breach between the comfortable density and the alertness of the possibility of being hunted. There, some man I didn’t know, someone who assumed a minor greatness of the written world, took a book of mine. With disregard for what that book had seen, for who had touched it, loved it, for the words of delicate love traced inside the cover, the man pushed flat the spine and etched his own inscription there. It woke me suddenly: I couldn’t recover the book as it was before him — untouched since love, tarnished now and forever on.

This gap, this in between, has long since been an attractor of the conscious realm. This is not without its irony: such conscious agitation of the mind about the space between worlds where conscious agitation cannot be. The more we think of it, perhaps, the farther we push it away. Yet, nevertheless, here I am in contemplation of the shape of the shapeless, the breadth and depth of the amorphous, the texture of the inside of something I cannot ever reach, here, now, as I can write or as I can think it.

There are gaps in between sleep states, within and in between woken meditations, in between our woken autotelic states. There are gaps within the automatic functions that we fall through. Within all these, we may find the slight embodiment of words or ideas we laboured through; the deeply buried reaction that we never knew to be there, to conspire to catch us off-guard; the sensation on the skin, half-remembered, half-conjured; the name of someone sought amongst a city, half-formed, half-lit.

I drive, I wash, I stand and watch the day. There is a soporific softness to the urgency of the road, the stacking restlessness of the diary, the gathering darknesses of othernesses that could be done; they’re all attended to by the robot core — ticking, processing, clanking quietly deep down beneath. I drive, I wash, I stand and watch the day. I fall between the cracks of worlds.

This, at least, is how this thinking, writing, conscious agitation of the mind presumes it. I can’t tell for sure because I’m not there, for sure, between the cracks, in the gaps, between worlds. I know I surface with words, though sometimes slight; with reactions I didn’t know were there; with sensations whose memories still play upon the skin; with the names and hints of those entrenched in some half-lit, half-formed city.

Avia stretches out her arms, as I think her now. She’s already receded far and deep down. The shadows of this some place I have been thinking of swallow her, for now. She’s fey on the temple, on the pillow, perhaps. One man broke a book: he defiled the tracings of words and love there. He is the blemish of some underworld of this some other world. Both are in between, somewhere I can’t see for sure here: so I think.
 
 

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City: Partial Study in Self and Mass

Cities are a fascination. They have mass to write about. They have their own gravities. There’s too much and everything all around and I can’t fix my place and space within it all. Cities are endless. They spiral in and fall on top of themselves. It is the swill, the vortex, the conflagration of air. Where do all these people come from? Where do all these people go? Perhaps they exist just in these spaces as I pass them by.

Cities are greasy great hubs of flesh and stone, metal, mesh and the technology of the times. They feed on chemical electrical interaction, on digital densities of us. They suck us dry. We can’t help but move. It is the urban jet stream to manipulate us on and round and through the open doors and moistened tunnels, along the garish lightways. Nothing stops because nothing can. There is centrifugal force that spins us in and deeper down, somehow.

Cities have a filthy grace. They have love the shape of pride of place, but coloured by fingers stained with secrets, stroking stringiness into hair. Cities whisper with a flavoured breath: all the fancy trinkets you need are yours here. Everything shines, but only now because you let it shine. Cities wrap you in their wings. You let your whole be overwhelmed by sound and light and heat because there is nothing else you can do here. Cities breathe around you. You breathe them in.

Cities are deeper than you can ever know. Whispers weigh and forces pull at edges, and the spin a city’s in and the stream that twists and stretches round in invisible convolutions, the everything this is, spirals in depths above, below, through and in between. It’s all a blur, it’s all a stir. It has every speed at once. Even the rows of buses, waiting, are waiting in the swill of time and darkness; even the slightest gaps between the metal tubes of trains are laden with the squeezing of the air; even the masonry presses insistencies on the glass and steel of structures close and closer by. Everything has weight and mass.

Cities are galaxies of infinite gravities pulling inwards, outwards, downwards, mindwards, timewards. Even the sounds exert their presences on all around: an ambulance screeches in a long-pained wail around the Escher-engraved scratched streets; trains lumber in sudden imposition on iron girders up above; there is an endless drain of metal blood around the channels of the tarmac floors of arteries and veins. The city sucks at the balancing ear with its sudden exclamations and with its constant siren songs in streams and streams.

Cities are a fascination. An aeroplane hangs in the air, and I watch it as I trundle into the mausoleum of the station. The aeroplane just hangs, and gravity is arranged in other ways. I am disgorged and swallowed. There is weight and mass here; there is too much and everything. I let it all fall over me: it’s all I can do. The urban jet stream picks me up and takes me on and on. I am fed upon, pressed deeper down and in. There is a blur, and even the stillnesses appear to move. They aren’t stillnesses at all. I am breathed upon and I allow the city to tug at my balance and my sleeve.

Cities are deeper still than I have words for here.