Stride Magazine -



Time being coiled and rippled cannot suture driftwood’s windward leanings. Nothing clearer than cellophane transmits in ambiguity. Climbed grip totters and secedes momentary intransigence. Spaces inhabited in plastic rotation, harboured familiarities. Whose motive fuse burns glare. Metaphor reduces helplessly, never other than recipient. Counted up and ejected repressive elective features. These before and after adorn the landscape.

A memory of geography tests on mellow afternoons, pavement marked with painted game grids, power lines extended to the limits of vision, sinking toward the earth as a matter of perspective. History of comebacks and sweet memories and family picnics and buggy evenings on the back porch, the odd dominant of the piece, down to intonation, down to the sparest nuance of gesture, pounding over the sidewalk, rattling the metal as they come.

Spatial construction gapes no swollen fences, returning fragments crackle alight. Evolving patterns stall and part listlessly amicable distractions. Room delimiters shaped out and pitched lacking tags and angular definers. Leaves late to bloom waver in spring gusts. Picked up tags and decoded issues break to circuitous rotations, caged bars. Repetitive loops put connections on hold and evading reach, single sharp indications waiting turn.

The noise expands, big slick pages from a magazine, completely unremarkable in the uproar of the moment. Names attached to the products are an enduring reassurance, venerated emblems of the burgeoning economy, easier to identify than the names of battlefields or dead presidents. Like an air traveller in a downdraft, the pages keep falling. Wastes a head-fake, then starts to run down the empty side street, cuts sharp and ducks, skids to his knees.

Darkness enfolds crevices seepage retracting. Lines tangle contort and release variously. Light lifts to habitable altitudes through thickets of trees. Signs of affiliation are sparse and inconclusive. Sound is constant through threads of imperceptibility. The boat on the lake exceeds time out, returning gainfully. Reverberation of wave pattern refraction is nearly unbearable, sound’s fooling barrier. Taken away bags of refuse are left emptied.

All talking in unnatural voices, failed voices, creaturely night screaks, caroming off the facing walls of the space we shared. Strata blue, yellow and green and geranium red, Maine geraniums that thrive on cool damp air, orange and cobalt and chartreuse. Landsat photos shot from space a year or two earlier, false-colour composites that revealed signs of soil erosion, geological fracture, stress and drift and industrial ravage, bit data converted to images.


Movement is a phase of attention, negotiating position, intrinsic phenomena presenting. Night retains wordless stirrings, a covering latent haze. Nocturnal dreams stir the imagination. Mock scenarios double for events in weightless, contorted space. Grasping or falling, intention’s lead compels and deceives. Subsumed under visceral attention enacted dramas sustain a depthless pull on captive sensory faculties. Episodes transact in seamless disbelief.

Drove up and down the steaming rows, making way through the world and come upon a scene that is medieval-modern, a city of high-rise garbage, the hell reek of every perishable object ever thrown together. Dispersing quickly from airports, crowded in the aisle after touchdown, standing waiting for the hatch to open, more crowds when you exit the gate, in the baggage areas and the concourse, crossover roars of echoing voices moving through.

Every cycle that proceeds sustains a particular direction. Description reduces to a natural facticity or metaphors become mixed. Paced sequences possess internal rhythmic fluctuations. Consequences occasionally occur predictably, with more or less room for surprise. That being the case was not what it meant. Inflated drift balloon and the manic unsteady surgeon tread. Several of these have had roadwork casings and now tendered release.

Not in the mood to scan a magazine, sunk in deep inertia, a rancid sweat developing, his mouth filled with the foretaste of massive inner shiftings, flicking the glove to indicate a curve. Fall quickly into the narrow end of the night, there is one set of streets I keep returning to, one dim mist of railroad rooms, and certain figures reappear, borderline ghosts. Anchored to the measure of destruction, came back the targets not destroyed.

Attention span miasma not listening and diving under the rock. Overlap patterns and specificities sifting and a searching for clues. Sound drowns and black night fizzles. Enough them down the grand, hold up loft and bow. Caught on and holding in, sound swallowed up and vividly projected, gather and splurge. Mirror effects claim their space, been here and then, chapping at the window. Whited out and made ground, appearances tackled.

Using filtering techniques to remove background texture, looking for lost information. Trying to find some pixel in the data swarm, dropped into the lower world, body suspended above the rockweed, in the soft organic murk, wind beat at the sheeting, making it shiver and pop. Whole complex of structures and gates and panels, narrative of mostly blank spaces, pebbles and seashells and soda bottles and wire mesh, glass specks crusting his hands and arms.

            © Clark Allison 2003