Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Take a Stroll With Norwich Psychogeographic Society

Take a walk from little Wales, if it's Spring there will be Waxwings if you are lucky, and you'll know you're on the right path; try to avoid the broken glass at the bus stop, and instead take in the exposed end of a building like a tiny castle, the roof taking downward steps towards you, and when you tire of the architecture head towards the city, where the naturalists amongst you will notice fox holes, crushed catkins in the main road gutter, whilst the anthropologists will notice the Chinese students on the westbound side of the street waiting for buses, the irregular builders and landscape gardeners signs denoting Norfolk names, Gunton Bros, Jermy, Nudd and Sons, and you'll play your own surname over in your head as if suddenly it was a stranger in a city of hidden desires, where everything is smoke and mirrors in street corner pubs, where old men with watery eyes spill nuts across sticky varnish, and the ground vibrates with beer coolers and ice machines, here you'll see Black Horses, Pickwick's and Alexandra's, and hear the sound of children singing from a school house, before moving on along past railings where tiny flies dance in the autumn sunlight falling through the Horse Chestnut trees blighted by bleeding canker, the ugly B&B's with passive aggressive warnings in every room, where men arrive late at night and vanish first thing, eating their breakfast in silence, as if a single word could undo a lifetime of work, the fussy little gardens of concrete and petal, whitewashed walls battling with the dribble of English rain, and then the great cathedral, where a man will approach you as you sit and think about absence, and ask you for forty pence, his hands like coin slots, and you'll rummage in your empty pockets and an apology will sound like the loudest thing in the world, before you emerge blinking into brilliant summer light, the car windows down, reggae leaking across the grass verges, people stopping on an ugly footbridge to try and spot their house or the trajectory of the river, a green lane meandering between warehouses and parking lots, and then into the city itself, the windows where people lean out to see the Salvation Army band on Sunday morning announce themselves with brass, then realise it's winter and the snow is brown and rotting and the bulbs of the market make it seem colder, the light and breath somehow reassuring, as if cold is a state of mind that can hold you in it's brilliance, and the pigeons huddle on bank stone, caring little for grand architectural statements of wealth as their faeces splatter the spikes, and you'll find some hot chestnuts to pick at, and you'll think how warm they are, how sweet and tasty and how the dead must miss them, as they move about you unaware of you even being there.

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