THE AIR is constantly filled with water. The whole world is a beaded doorway. The whole
world is swarming with jellyfish tentacles. I can’t eat metaphors so I guess I will sit in all
this beautiful opulence and starve. I miss the hair shirt of a hug.I miss doing things for
someone who will never know. As each drop reminds me, little is bigger than you think.
This is my old bath water, my belly laugh, my belief in choice, my love. “You don’t have a
heart son, you have a hearth.” “What’s a hearth dad?” “daddy.” “What’s a hearth daddy?”
“The semicircle of stone in front of the fire, the warm bit.” “Oh…thanks dad.”I carve
lacerations into granite, smear celebrations on to cave walls. draw rings and spirals on the
cover of a world atlas, making my mark. Mary and I sit in the kitchen. My eyes flirt with the
titles of recipe books and the print on the front of a bag of flour.Some of the letters get stuck
in my head like a subconscious ransom note cut out of benign stories. The letters congeal,
coagulate and clarify. To maKe the colOUr of MarY’s skiN you’ll need every TYPE of
cereal baked With sugar in the cupbOard, lASHings of fresh milk, a large tablespoon oF
honey, a glASS bowl and a Silver Spoon.But who is she? Why is she so beautiful and
in my father’s house? She’s lilting around the kitchen when she suddenly catches her
elbow on something unfunny. An alien silver point is protruding from behind a cupboard.
Two big dropsof blood fall to the blue plastic floor. I rush to the tiny toothless smile on the
skin with a wet cloth and dab it quickly. Then I about-turn. “What the fuck is back there?” I
say like any caring anger should.I post my thin arm behind the swirling wood and find that it
is touching a hard cylinder wrapped in fluffy swaddling clothes. My fingers sigh into
the cotton, the atoms like duvets. I lift the object out and make it naked at the same time as I
reveal a green harpoon gun and its deft cargo: a deadly bolt. I guess it was my dad’s.
“Gravity lifts us to the ground son.” “That’s not relevant dad.” “Just a profundity.” “Get a lot of
whales in the country do you?” says Mary, licking her wounds. The house is filling with the
rapture of a million wet fingers.Into the confusion comes a tyrannical, bilious sound. The
noise of a constipated trumpet. A hunting horn. The ground whispers to my feet that
orseshoes and paws are thumping through the porous orchard. Around the house flood a
pack of foxhounds. Their barks ricochet of the windows. Everything is all of a sudden.Temporary pants of the dogs mist the windowpanes, Mary’s sharp intakes of breath cool
the air with icy shock whilst her cheeks flush with incendiary exhilaration. Three huntsmen
in crimson, scarlet, red, blood coats with high leather boots and low brimmed hats enter
into the swelling vista. One of them tips his peak at me. I gesture to the door.I open my front door and find myself eye to eye with some stirrups. “I am dreadfully sorry
about this, Master Pollock. It’s just that the fox has gone into your orchard, I know your father
wouldn’t mind, is he home?” “He’s dead.” The man’s face appears neck to his
horse’s muscular black neck. The tendons around his eyes and mouth crease into crows-
feet. I realize I am brandishing a harpoon at his face.His pickled happiness virgins. “Oh, I
am sorry. We’ll leave.” “Ok.” I close the door to reveal Mary with one hand cupping her
laughter and one cupping her elbow.The horn bleats again and the ranks of coats, dappled
and velveteen, exit the wafting branches of the trees. As one dog is leaving he gets caught
in a low branch, the figs jump on its head; but I don’t see. The glass on either side of the
door is frosted and distorted like a frozen pond punctuated with fat rain. Just as that thought
splashes into my head the front door knocks again. depth charges go off near my
submerged head making my Adam’s apple bop in the wavelets.I see through the artic
glass: a stationary police car. Mary takes the harpoon off me and runs upstairs. I twist the
brass sphere and let the world have me. I glance down at a lizard-like woman wearing a
police uniform as a coathanger would. A smile spreads through her wrinkles: a pair of old
curtains being drawn back. Her hair is the ghost of straw, her skin the barren field, her eyes,
lost marbles found in the reaping. Not quite what I was expecting. Fuck expectations.How
can so many multitudes hope to resolve in one another without contradiction? How can so
small a vessel hope to contain all this? Boiling, brimming, boiling, thinning. The lasthound
makes out on its four legged way, the rain snapping at its heels; but is it water or dust
doing the snapping? I can see myself in the offi cer’s eyes. “Trust is all we have son, and
trust was once dust. So fine… dust.”I feel the figs rotting on the branch,fermenting, chewing
themselves like empty stomachs. And I so seldom have anything to say. They say.Figs, Figures and Figureheads continues next weekARCHIVE: 3rd week MT 2005