AMBIGUOUS LANDSCAPES



1. DIFFERENT TRACKS

a list is a compact and functioning system
it is important to move around
does anyone know where I can find a map?

a list raises both questions and answers
lines of discourse
                         different tracks
neither string nor line and we are listening

an unparalleled network of well built roads
all forgotten
                  or lost completely
does anyone know where I can find a map?

the road runs across the foreground
a pathway you can walk
                                  a short diversion
the invasion changed our island completely

a field walking exercise and an aerial survey

the roads all run in straight lines
                                               regardless
neither string nor line and we are listening

myth surrounds much common understanding
land observations
                         geospatial data sources
does anyone know where I can find a map?

this previously unknown altemative route
probably passes quite close
                                      almost parallel to
a phenomenon that held an empire together

is this the right place to ask a question?
empty the wheelbarrows in the correct order
neither string nor line and we are listening






Road drawing 3 James Brooks

2. WE ARE LISTENING

listening is a magnetic and strange thing
yes we are listening
storm sounds    whale sounds    space sounds
with closed eyes we are listening

place can hold meaning
place can and does speak to us

along the frozen river
we watch    we play    we listen

and then we shall listen some more

we are listening and changing
we are listening
                       you said we did

migration and narrative
we watch    we play    we listen

and then we shall listen some more

we always try to provide a listening service
reverb and crazy delay added to your voice
the gist of a conversation or monologue

in many ways we feel like
we are ahead
                   of the curve

along the frozen river
we are listening
                       and changing

first of all we would like to thank you
for taking a few minutes to listen

listening is a magnetic and strange thing
we like to hear

tell us what you think
we are listening

and then we shall listen some more

give me pause
                     and then

shall we listen some more






Road drawing 4 James Brooks

3. AMBIGUOUS LANDSCAPES (version)
 
words peel from the pages
as we excorate the future
to find out what is going on

on the wall
fluorescent marks & paper burns
scuffs & fading stains

through the gaps in the fence
bright colours in next door's garden
another world hidden from us all

     distant vertical marks in a nameless landscape

one person standing in a field
shadows passing on the stairs   
dark silhouettes against blue ice

an image of a man we once crucified
pinned to a tree in the orchard
a ladder nearby showing the way to heaven

a messenger from hell points to the word hope

carved into the wall beside the kitchen table
in a house we long ago left behind

     distant vertical marks in a nameless landscape

walk away and the jetstream of your passing
makes the model planes hanging from the ceiling sway
steal the eggs and crack your mother's heart
 
the autopsy report says she danced by herself
around the empty room in front of the cameras
swearing she was possessed

in the blanket box something that once spoke
last spoke several years ago
is kept quiet and hidden

     distant vertical marks in a nameless landscape

the past is a toy dog we drag behind us
trying to shelter from the wind
that fans the fire on the local news

under the perfect dome of brambles
washed-up plastic and windblown bags
full colour mould and the stench of decay

after the introductory essay and portraiture
close-ups of plants we never knew could grow
and the rubbish that defines our lives






Road drawing 8 James Brooks

4. FULLY SIGNED DIVERSION ROUTES

the road runs across the foreground
a pathway you can walk
                                  parallel to
where we want to go

evidence of a past
                           we want to know
an abandoned network of decay

winding ways and popular tours
timed excursions lift the spirits

fully signed diversion routes

make ordinary journeys interesting






Road drawing 2 James Brooks

5. ON THE ROAD

out on the road
                       the transcript lies
rumour machine
                       no boundary
a theory of silence
                           body space
image and source
                         false gravity


shadows on the lawn
                              blurred by the rain
secondhand light
                         theories of noise

the transcript lies
                          cold memories
off in the distance
                           say goodbye


no evidence here
                         of a past
 

           Rupert M Loydell 2012




These texts were written for musician and artist James Brook's Land Observations project. Mute released a CD, Roman Roads IV-XI, in September. The poem 'Different Tracks' is reproduced on the Land Observations blog, and also in the forthcoming deluxe edition release.

All art work James Brooks 2012