I’ve named the cow you gave me Cow. Thank you for giving her to me; I love her very much, and you all the more for being so generous.
I’m just writing to let you know how Cow’s getting on.
Cow’s favourite place is on my bedside table, by the squat mushroom-like lamp, which glows very softly. She has the best view of the room from there.
That’s not Cow’s only favourite place. She likes the field with the little gorse bushes down by crag. She also likes the marshes, which make her hooves wet and slippery. And then there’s the little rock, which is good for sitting on and looking at the world, as if one were looking into a mirror.
But her favourite place is the bedside table (she turned around when I wasn’t looking and now she’s looking at me).
Cow may be silent a lot of the time but she’s a very good listener. And she will always reply, even if it’s only by returning your stare without asking any questions.
Of course, I wasn’t just writing to let you know how Cow was getting on. I was writing to let you know how I was getting on too. And to let you know I will always reply.
Are you optimistic?
Do you feel good about the future?
When you fall asleep, do you smile?
I’m an emerging artist – have been for a couple of years now, cough-cough – and when I’m not trekking up Mount Everest in stilettos, I’m cycling on a bike with no wheels. And when I’m not doing that, I’m emptying the sea with a bucket.
I’ve just read a very succinct, nail-on-the-head article by Matt Trueman about how funding cuts are hobbling the progression of emerging artists and it’s a great way of feeling your heart sink through your gut like a bomb dropping through the gaping doors of a Lancaster bomber, its fleshy payload splattering all over concrete reality: KABOOM, motherfuckers.
Are you pessimistic?
Does the future make you quail?
When you fall asleep, what is it you dream of?
Do you dream?
Hush now: everything will be alright. This post ends with a gentle, understanding smile; a soft caress of the hand and a sideways, conspiratorial glance at the wings (because there’s always something in the wings).
In the café a very charming and effusive old man in a lopsided suit with a mop of wiry salt & pepper hair and a beard like a tatty broom asks if he can sit next to a quiet-and-not-unwelcoming-but-not-very-chatty-either older woman. I think he is a musician who plays staccato notes on the saxophone, interrupted by passages of mournful eloquence. I think she is someone who runs a centre for alternative therapies. He is always having to break down walls and she is always building them up again. She will repel the musician in the same way rubber repels rainwater. He will slide off her, a quivering droplet running down the side of her coat, and splash on the floor of the café.
Ahhhhhh: he’s closing his eyes and feeling the smooth, cool floor beneath his back, inhaling deeply while she reads her paper, drinks her coffee and forgets that she even ordered a falafel panini.
Oh wait, no, she has remembered the panini; she’s taking a bite out of it. The crispy dough makes a loud noise while the un-constituted musician mouths the words to Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty. Alternative-therapy-woman reconsiders the puddle man as she readjusts her snowflake cardigan. She thinks he used to look a little bit like the Green Man, if the Green Man were an urbane hipster senior professor-type with a laptop. That was before he splashed against her silence. The warmth in her eyes doesn’t produce any miracles. He is still a puddle of water on the floor – but the sun is now shining through the window, and pretty soon both of them will have gone.
On a thick slice of tarmac toast
And I was the jam
It was a hot date with a car door
Dazed and damaged, passersby
Smacked their lips and cleaned me up
There are about a thousand Tits In Space in here
Big soft smoky globes
And you don’t like spitting (you tell me this later)
But I think you’ve been smoking
I think you are smoking
So I sip your cigarette-saliva
Nip your jugular
And stroke you in the corner
Is this a good spot?
Have we found a good spot?
This is a good spot