I’m in a Rochdale of the past with Kojak. We walk up misty, enclosed lanes. I enter a hostel. I’m sleeping in the floor with others, men separated from families. I’m in the smoking area. I’m given tokens for tea and food, and a guidebook covered in green slime, that I scrape off to read the rules. It reads like some kind of Christian workhouse from the Dickensian era. One of the beards in charge asks the guy next to me his profession. He lists many things. Armed forces reservist, engineer, translator. Everyone here is talented and skilled in some way, just not valued by society as human beings. The hostel is a train carriage. We move. A young man sets up a telescope, with whisker like feelers extending from it. I ask what he hopes to see. The sky is overcast. He explains he has a lowlight sight for viewing the wildlife.
I stand by him at the window. We are in Victoria. It begins to rain. Red rain. I’ve never seen it before. Someone puts a white shoe out of the window to dye it red. The train stops. We collect and sort a variety of small Crustacea and snails that fell in the rain. Later, we will trade them.
A blind girl is on the train. I talk to her and pet her young Alsatian guide dog. They want to take it away from her, effectively taking away her sight again.
John Inman is texting a woman. I explain that meeting face to face is better. He disagrees. He says something. He actually said ‘tube’ but I heard ‘Jew’. I thought he was being racist. Our next stop is delivering Bhangra to Stockport.
I reminisce about playing in a Bhangra band. It never happened.
At this stop, a very posh woman gets on. Most others have left. Her youngest daughter refuses to get on. At the last minute, her older daughter jumps on with two dogs, a spaniel and a Doberman. The woman despairs at her daughter being left behind. The dogs run all over the place, and the Doberman leaps from the train to be with the young girl.
By the tracks, people walk who have just left the train. A woman declares two Native American women her Crazy Horse wives. A young white guy, dressed in white, speaks in Cherokee. He’s learned so much from the diversity of people that he met on the journey. He is wiser and kinder. Less quick to judge.
Zombies. I hole up with friends at their grandparents place. I think it’s fairly secure. They take a look around. We discuss security. I look round, and there’s a small man lay on the carpet. I ask where he came from. Who he is. I threaten him with a knife. He won’t answer. I threaten to blind him, to cut his balls off. Still no answer. I cut into his cheek. Saliva and blood stream out, onto the carpet. We don’t know who he is. We throw him from a window, and hear a splash as he lands in a large, cold puddle. He is ok. I clean my knife in the kitchen. I wonder if this whole thing is to test my ethics, my commitment to non violence. I ask my friends again where he came from. We search the place properly. We find a grandparent in bed, alive, though my friends are convinced they are dead. We discover a large security guard, I point out how bad at his job he must be to miss the tiny man. There are whole areas they missed on their first search. We argue about opening windows.
I’m at a roadside. A friend from school is annoying me from his car while I try to read a paper. I cross the road to get away. In a car park opposite, he gives me a battered leaflet from some cult. He thinks I believe some impossible things, and therefore will believe this.
A man who is a scarecrow. On his head a Dionysian wreath. I see a montage of him meeting a wife, and starting his own cult. They all wear a wreath of red berries on their heads.
A journey to a station. Many ups and downs, unnecessary twists and turns. A small window I can’t seem to fit through. I’m wearing brown and yellow. It’s symbolic of something.
Walking through a shopping centre reclaimed by the desert. Literally deserted. My friends tell me their grandfather died. A woman walks ahead of us in a fur coat. I ask if she’s seen any zombies. She says they don’t exist. I realise that she’s correct.
I sit at a table while I wait for the train, inside a huge, thin white paper bag. I see the small man approaching. He has huge scissors. I apologise to him. He hugs me and tells me that it’s ok. He couldn’t speak because of pressure in his cheek, that I released by cutting him. He does crafts now. He shows me where people drop their keys. He claims them, and re sculpts them, and uses them to get money. I hug him again, and leave to begin the next part of my journey.
I’m in Prague. Visiting a Count who lives in a castle. We head into town. I expect a horse and carriage, but he tells me that only Americans have those here. We walk, and I avoid the begging, street theatre zombies that try to intercept me. I jog past them. Past a local shop selling brightly coloured bottles of toiletries, with scaffolding outside.
I’m in a restaurant with the Count and his family. We wait to be served. The Count is restless and bossy. He orders me to serve them. There’s a mechanical token machine I don’t know how to use. We need the tokens for food. I break the machine. The Count is angry.
I run home. Back to an old ladies house in staying in. I feel I’m being chased. I’m paranoid. I get there, and it’s burned out. Nothing left. Just the memory of the old woman.
I talk to a friend next door. She has a Klingon zombie in her cellar. A Christmas badger happily gambols across the furniture.
like side street change
colour medicine ball lessons.
There’s a people-birds aware.
happy to The sun
Some leaves again,
A Lonely and Great teaching
Old, it looks a little ceramic and warm
spiritually pleased as before.
starting to friends singing,
Join in. Today.
Be washed out.
Candles. Too bright.
I want not the skulls outside,
the leaves I am kicking just want a project.
It is working today.
Ball at the piggy,
Outside of feeling
And wave sad, colour on.
I am Upstairs, sometimes balance is a teaching space.
Too hollow, Inside
He’s to happy pass.