Dust Girl

July 12, 2009

Maybe it’s the summer, maybe not, but lately I find myself spending more and more time out and about. It’s all very civilized mind.

For instance:

Yesterday I bought some long stemmed, blue wine glasses. Two different sets and a matching salt seller. I proudly took these cultured buys to the Slug and Lettuce, where, the shops all having closed, I drank a very civilized cup of tea with my lovely friend, the lovely Ola.

Amelie, her 3 month old baby sat on the table and chewed a menu.

Serge, Ola’s dad, occasionally held her up so she could have a go at walking.

There was also a bike riding clarinet player, called Jenny, who I hadn’t met before.

Later, my friend Jo happened by, and after the others had left with Amelie (exhausted from her table walking exploits) me and Jo went for pizza at the Criterion.

Whilst there we met up with Nick and Saskia, a man who used to work with the Kray brothers and a few others (3 women, 2 men) down from London for a wedding – corset – fitting – session.

We stayed till closing then pootled off to the Firebug, where one of these women stood with me in the rainy beer garden and told me that for living, she watched dust.

It is impossible to know where ideas for poems – or for that matter anything creative – will come from, but I have decided these long summer nights can only be good for waiting them out.

So, below is some of what blew in on the rain last night; wine glasses and salt seller, still wrapped up and waiting to be taken home. Poetry aside, I think I might do evenings like these more often.

Dust Girl.

She watches dust:
this woman in a tie died top
from underneath a miroscope
she tells me while she sips a coke
she keeps an eye
on things too small to find
without machines:
particles like quantum scenes
someone must
she watches dust
the levels in the air,
while we stand
beside some stairs
inside the night
and drink our drinks.

She tells a ship it’s got to dowse
the coal it’s dumped –
hose it off to cut the dust.
She samples heaps
upon the beach
she writes to them
their PM10’s
they’ve got to go –
their SX3’s, toxicities
they’ve got to leave
no trace behind –
sometimes stations have to find
another home.

She has the time
to sit and stare
she is aware
where others aren’t:
the elderly
their tiny arms
their shallow chests
it’s hurts them more
then you’d expect.

She keeps an eye
she keeps things clean
she watches dust
from 8 till 3
she says more things
we cannot see,
then things we can:

Like dust or love:
like dust in breeze.

It helps to know
that she can see.

Her eyes are dark
her hands are pale
they have no marks
from dust or shale.

We listen to the rain
fall against a plastic sheet.

We go inside.
She talks to someone else.


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