Atlas #2

Because I enjoyed making my first atlas so much I decided to make a second one.  This one slightly bigger, as demonstrated here with a biro.  The book is small, the biro is far away.

Thanks to Zan for the snazzy material which I used to cover the book.  Is snazzy a real word or some kind of strange ninetiesism?  Anyway.


If it hadn’t been for the socks I wouldn’t have bought the trousers.  And if I hadn’t bought the trousers I wouldn’t have bought the coat or the sunglasses.  So, really, it all started with the trousers because I wasn’t sure about them but once I had gone ahead and bought them there was no going back.  I should admit now – the trousers cost me one hundred and ten pounds.

Oh, but once you’re wearing a pair of socks which cost ten pounds, and your feet are feeling spoilt like a billionaire’s houseboat guest couched in sunbeams, you begin to appreciate what you get for one hundred and ten pounds of trouser.  And the colour of those trousers…

I saw them across the shop and I’m pretty sure that they saw me straight back.  They were resplendent red corduroys, I was a scruff in my usual attire, out of my depth.  I shouldn’t have been in the shop but I had wandered in once, unaware, and now visited occasionally, treating it like some kind of art gallery.  Looking at and not touching the clothes.

Before I knew what was happening I found myself standing right in front of the trousers.  I had no recollection of crossing the room.  I ran my finger down their perfect corduroy lines, I looked with my eyes but I also touched with my grubby fingers.  I sniffed them with my nose and when I picked them up I listened to the sound they made.  They were red but not a bright red – a kind of russetty, burgundy colour, a fine claret couched in sunbeams on a billionaire’s houseboat of my own imagining.

I wore them home, being unable to contain my excitement.  Both my head and my wallet felt dizzy, giddy and light.  One hundred and ten pounds, I calculated, was only four or five weeks of food.  The trousers felt soft against my legs which now shone red – a magnetic beauty such that I could only tell that they were my legs because they were attached to my feet.

A few weeks later I followed up my first purchase with a new coat and a new pair of sunglasses.  These subsequent purchases were made out of deference to the trousers because really I could not expect them to find happiness whilst accompanying my usual careless fashions.  But I stopped short of buying new footwear – there is no joy in pristine shoes.  I carried on with my usual bash-about shoes because I find that shoes are at their best when the leather is lived in like a second skin and the sole is rough and flattened like a hammered-down sentence.

In my new clothes I hid away for a spell, dressing secretly in my expensive socks, coat, sunglasses and, of course, trousers and then posing for the mirror.  It was the height of summer and I cocooned myself in perfect tailoring because I knew that being outside could not possibly be as good as this.  I played the radio continuously for ten weeks, letting it bring the outside world in.

It was early autumn when I strode out in my sartorial grace, just as the leaves were beginning to fall and litter the ground like crisp-roasted squashes and pumpkins.  Everywhere were people in their gardens, on their hands and knees in their best bash-about gardening clothes, picking chillies.  The chillies were something else – bright oranges, reds running into greens, bells and whistles, perfect yellows like tiny melons.  As though all the plants were Christmas-lit months early.  Through all this I moved, resplendent in my trousers, feeling like a ghost in the heavy autumn sun, like a billionaire on his houseboat couched in sunbeams.

Feeling like however heavy-footed I stepped, I would not touch the earth.

4×4 Adventure Lizard

She is wearing an impish green coat,
the collar turned up around her neck.

After several minutes I realise that we
are both staring at the lizard’s knees.

He clutches the branch with his tiny
feet and hands, leans back cockily.

“I’m a doctor,” she says, not to me
I realise.  “It’s definitely weird.”

Who knows what is happening at the
other end of the telephone line.

The lizard’s knees are slim like a
witch’s cat and pointy like a witch’s hat.

Tiny Atlas

This morning I decided to make a tiny atlas because atlases in general are too large and too sensibly put together.

I butchered up the maps from the back of an old diary and stitched them together in what I thought was a better order.  In the pictures it looks more pink than it actually looks in real life.

Here I have taken a picture of it next to a shoe to give you some idea of its true size.  That is one massive shoe!

A History Of Rain

[Light as feathers and heavy as death, rain falls on the world and on my body and soul as I run down modern streets in my yoga coat.  The coat was cut from an old sleeping bag and is perfect for adopting yoga poses – for sushi rolling, origami folding, etcetera as well.  The water is tumbling from a broken sky which opens wounds and heals again regularly, over and over forever and once it is done the ground looks up and asks how it is and the sky replies, “I still feel a little bit fragile but I’ll be alright.”  And the sky is mended with the sun and with thick, turgid unbreakable clouds… and this pattern has happened for millions of years.  I shelter under a tree and under my umbrella, in my yoga coat.  I know exactly how I feel about this rain and I wonder how people have felt about this rain forever, how did they feel about this rain four hundred years ago, what about five thousand years ago, what about twenty thousand years ago.  Were the raindrops the same size, did those history people mind?  What about the future?  Will rain even exist or will we all live under glass domes where it never rains and nothing ever happens and what will this mean for the chemicals in our bodies that govern our happiness and our sadness and the pleasant melancholy of watching a day’s rain from inside?]