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   h a p p y    h o u r

--- G I L E S   G O O D L A N D

We explained slowly a word from a language 
we could not be sure existed, 
made from twigs and bailer-twine.
So go into the rain, its adjectives 
will refresh you, but the lightning 
is made of imperatives.
Do not go there.

These things we tell each other are the kind of lies that taken together make up an important precondition for regular arrival at work; start with the one about the person ending where the skin does.

Each morning, I know a routine called the laying on of clothes while the words let me sing a few notes of a song called the music of the containments, in which we are only jealous of other people because their skin contains a different space.

We eat breakfast with a sense of foreboding matched by the snarl of morning traffic. There’s always someone up before you, busy adding extra yards to the bar at the crematorium, to open in time for you know who and his funeral. A happy hour all to himself.

In one room the clock was interleaving seconds with silence, in another the colour was measured in television hours. Sometimes the front door opens onto a lane to the land of the dead.

In this film, we’re all trying to help god understand something as blindingly obvious as sunlight. We’ve had to crawl through so many windows to get here, each one was a day. All this time the violins had been working away, but it was important we should not have been aware of them.

© crossconnect, inc 1995-2006 |
published in association with the |
university of pennsylvania's kelly writers house |