Jack was at the Metropolitan Bar, in downtown Veracruz, shooting
pool. He set the triangle, as his opponent smashed the triangle all over
the table. A poster of a United Colours of Benetton Chinese girl was on
the wall. He contemplated his next moves, the pool table an oasis of
calm in the bustling bar. He thought on his life as his friend took his
shot. He saw each soul in each ball. Friends he was close with, who were
the guiding lights in his life, each attired in their own vibrant way.
This was Mexico, where Cowboys in colourful bandanas moved through the
streets on their Harley’s skipping the Red Light, like the Texans on the
northern border. Their US counterparts with blonde women on their backs
and arms. Hair streaming in the wind. Blonde women that saturated the
Mexico TV screens, the promise of yellow gold, communicated in adverts,
if a Mexican would care to work for it’s American counterparts. The
widescreen in the bar was showing the World Cup. He and his friends
group together to do a mini mexican wave. Giggling over the pints pulled
by the impetuous barmaid.
Jack was on Copacabana beach, walking with his crew. A pride of
lions, though more courteous than predatory. Gentlemen. Their senses
finely honed, who could sniff out a fraud in a few moments of
conversations. They had an animal instinct, a sixth sense for a good
business deal, with the lofty integrity of some Don Quixote.
The people on the beach darted this way and that way, like a pool game
freshly begun, scattering themselves over the sand.
They exchanged glances, with a telepathic smile. She had a supernatural
beauty, that mesmerized him, her eyes, pure blue. She was like a foreign
mythical creature, a mermaid. He squeezed his right hand man, Domingo,
farewell. He departed hand in hand with Penelope. She led him on. His
mind was frantic like particles in hot water, he had no thought of his
friends by now, consumed in a heat of passion. The beach was cool, it
was midnight. The stars shone brightly. He took her to his beach house
opening the door with a key with a small world attached to the key ring
he was given as a present from an old friend. They played with the
telescope that was landed on the attic floor. Pushing from one side to
another between them. The roof was transparent glass. He said to her, me
and my crew, well each of us is a like planet round the Sun. And you are
my Sunlight. We share the same sun.
He told her how he was always the heart and soul of his group, and his
friend Domingo was the brains. Even still Rodriguez was a physics major
when he graduated from Berkeley. He traveled to America, back in the
summer of ’88. Every state he visited he would find the top people in
that area. He called it the Pyramid Scheme. He would frequent the bars
in New Orleans, California, New York City. Smashing his opponents, who
broke sticks in frustration or dropped their brown beer glasses on wood
Jack made it a practice to meet with stellar characters. He had
left Penelope, who had rung him with a rude and impatient message. He
made the rules of the relationship clear from the outset. She screamed
obscenities in Spanish into her phone, pointing out he was spinning her
around like a yoyo. Her world was ruptured, though the world just kept
spinning. The beads of sweat she wiped away with her towel, mingled with
drops of rain. He had messed with her emotion. His integrity scathed
where more than money was at stake. He sighed at his miscalculated
action. The sea’s horizon he gazed on, contemplating his next moves, in
conjunction with the sun moon and stars.
Jack and Joseph #2
In an old town, ten pin bowling, his family moved away. He missed his
past with some of his family,
and in anger he would go ten pin bowling kitted out in an eightball
jacket, bowling shoes, and he smash
the skittles, the ball his resolve to break through the figures of his
past that stood tall in his memory.
Life was a game of chess, life was a maze and you had to work your way
He was tired of the same part of town he knew so well. It hadn’t changed
in years, it reminded him of his past
too much. So he moved town.
He had gone to the pictures every week.
Look out the window like watching a movie.
Chocolate cake and coffee pass road works digging the earth. Discuss
directions. Wouldn’t go that road, shoulder to the wheel. build things
brick by brick, architecture, road map.
Their words were a city, one them carried a thesaurus with them.
Discussing nuaces of things.
Jack and Joseph #3
They got to a Coffee Shop, leather seats. They look up websites on beach
huts in Hawaii. takes his laptop, swivels it round to his friend.
These guys do their business on laptops and travel brochures and writing
and Derek Walcott poetry books, Santander bank with multipocketed
Italian leather wallets.
They have shares and ISAs, use their banks for that. Yachts in Devon.
They want a wider waterfront however. that tea shop in New York.
Like a retreat, where they drink te, relax, a creative space for the
Courses on www.dailyom.com where there are New Age writers.
They visit a massive bookshop, with centuries old material and laddered
shelves. One of them has a Kindle, libraries archaic all in the palm of
They are playing chess. They talk of family, holding down the fort,
Visiting Castles around England, Camelot. Churches, bishops, Generals,
Marcus Aurelius, really.
They go to Burger King wearing those hats.
Holiday snaps. Plates done that look like scenes they had photographed
of the Amazon in Peru. China plates, a watercolour artist invited, a
Chinese man. Photos on mugs.
Greenwich observatory where the longitude and lattitude is meridian
point. Stargazers. the equater has more tropical climate. Birthcharts
done at College of Psychic studies, and aura photos at Psychic Fayre in
the Town Hall. They look at the galaxies this colour and that in books.
So they go to the observatory, to look at their signs as they talk about
their relationships, their nearest and dearest.
Jack and Joseph #4
Looking at their Grandmother’s carpet it has a design. They decide to go
Peru, for a few days, taking time off work suddenly buying a £2000
ticket per person for that day. There are other prices, £500, and £350
for a week and six months later on Expedia. that is most expedient for
and take Ayhausca. They see fractal geometries that look like the
Jack wrote a poem about his experience in Peru.
A dream of the room
Where I slept
We flew to the scene
Like an albatross
Cup of Ayahuasca
In the room of the dream
Perched on the edge
Almost losing myself
To the undercurrent
My knees were bent
Voices in my head
The dust from Pandora’s Box
Scattered to the Sea
Polish the heart
A diamond gleam.
They bring their own food to the flight. A picnic hamper, with Moet
Chandel. First Class. Guitar. And they bluetack a painting that they
bought at an antique auctioning they got on for £20. A window to the
Jack and Joseph #5
Jack is out to work, and Joseph was lounging in Jack’s apartment, he had
dual keys to.
Joseph worked on music, he added musical ideas to the protools set up
and recorded for when
Jack came back from work, they could start on their music project.
Jack had not been able to get over his relationship with Penelope, his
room had a collection of her photos,
and gifts she had sent, and a cuddly bear.
Joseph was frying up some food in the kitchen with the chef’s apron on.
The radio was playing,
he went into his room with a bag, and disposed of his photos, momentos
of gift and cuddly bear,
and took them out to the garbage. He took out the collage of photos he
had of her framed on his wall.
He ordered in some expensive mirrors to take their place, on each wall
After Jack come back from work, he saw that his room was without all the
Joseph said a robber had come in. He expressed his dismay, and somewhat
Joseph excused himself saying he left him some recording ideas on his
Jack went out to the bar, there were folks playing darts,
capturing parts of the board of life, like territories, scoring numbers
A bird outside posed in his image, but the man had a dart by his visage.
where Joseph was drinking with two bottles of
lager, he was drunk
Jack punched Joseph to the floor, as he was on those wooden stools that
And he felt and the bottles dropped with him, smashing to pieces on the
Jack went back home and the two did not speak to each other for three
Jack was upset but what had happened. He was a real stickler for the
Joseph knew Jack had to be jolted from his stupor, the haze of nostalgia
slurred his movements
he was piddling in a puddle.
The emptied room was zen in it’s minimal beauty. It still had a few of
his favourite things.
It brought him emotional release and freedom, it fit well with the
his infatuation with the past was a love of dust and old wood
of which the old frames of Penelope were made. The old frame had to go
and the frameworks,
to construct and configure a new way of being, the person he was today.
that he should build with fresh chopped wood on the daily, and work his
plan and put a spanner into the works.
”Let me spell it out” said joseph. ”You needed to get past Penelope
push the envelope out a bit, and throw those letters away” explained
You’ve made those letters that were once blue ink and white paper yellow
‘Sometimes, I hold onto stuff like it was my church, except it’s been
made brown and muddy as a river bank of memory. You kind of lose sight
of yourself and who you are, holding things so heavily in one’s heart,
the mud of heavy emotions.
‘Exactly’ quipped Joseph. ”Keep those memories golden, let go, that’s
why I threw those out. You want to keep your room neat and zen, it’s
like if your room didn’t think of the past nor do you.’
Jack sighed. ‘That’s insane, Joseph!’
Joseph fell silent. His brow furrowed which then changed to an
expression of anger.
‘Look. Don’t be a stick in the mud with all those heavy feelings. Keep
the memories golden, look at the sunrise.’
You have to keep the elements in the balance, too much old wood no good.
Pace yourself and turn a new leaf.
‘Dont worry about Penelope. She was too cerebral, Jack. People are
different. Others are mirrors or shadows or smokescreens. Her spectacles
magnified everything out of proportion and you weren’t nailed down, you
She went to the Tate, you said there was no ‘s’ in Tate. You thought it
tasteless to go and look at that grey and opaque art. Those rooms were
like levels of hells Dante wrote lyrically of. The trees outside the
place outside the place were splinterish. It was rootless. It wasn’t
cool so much as cold.
Yep. There was nothing like a hearty old oak grand and broad based roots
there, was there in that scene you describe was there?
‘Later.’ Jack had to leave.
Joseph sat in his room wondering out the window. there was a hammock in
his garden where he pondered
the movements of all things.