24 March 2012

Train

In the recesses of the city pigeons cast their shadows like spells.

Liquid ball of orange sun spreads the sky light pink and wild as fuscias. Reflects off tower block windows. Someone opens one and there is a great flash, reverberating like an earthquake, like an echo - a neighbourhood mystery.

Girl with mean scraped back hair reads her Kindle. She has bright orange earplugs stuffed in her ears. The only colour in her humourless outfit. Black undermined by neon. She doesn't want to hear anyone breathe. I imagine her weighing her food out before cooking it. She will warn her children against potatoes. Hopefully they will be fat and shiny to spite her.

The Bussey Building houses hundreds of secrets, half visible through smashed windows. Red light bulbs, cork boards, evangelists and artists inside. Oh come all ye faithful. Believers in line, shade, god and hell.

Train moves on. Sun sets. Soft light. Same Ikea cutlery holder on every single kitchen windowsill. Stations now the homes of businesses not people. Transparent bin liners distorting with waste. Allotments spread patchwork-like over sudden hills. Tiny scrap of space but deep as can be.

23 March 2012

Punctuation

'The reason it's worth standing up for punctuation is not that it's an arbitrary system of notation known only to an over-sensitive elite who have attacks of vapours when they see it misapplied. The reason to stand up for punctuation is that without it there is no reliable way of communicating meaning. Punctuation herds words together, keeps others apart. Punctuation directs you how to read, in the way musical notation directs a musician how to play.'

from Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Trusse