Adapted from Intermittent Voices by Jenny Allan

this mosaic

“maybe you remember the sacrifice one-sunset threw
like the last party, half-broken from lack of use, lethargically
sealing daybreak into afternoon, and do you remember how you
tried to be proud

it was the way your hand wrapped around anything left falling
which I vaguely recognised

in a roundabout way, sense made since reach within

passing underneath all thinking

coming to, while the others went on; everything had been clothed
in trivia, whole chunks of phenomena were brought to bear

and little by little, since you may not remember, this mosaic
disassembled over time”

“moving around between humour and confession, but
also making a gradual entry into a silent culture,
maybe...why not.. those days so used to trying, so
used to imitating, can this be all there is to it?
what had taken place in the grooved mania was
anything but, then at other times any pillow, any
familiar vacancy shaken to emptiness, blinds talk

inventing sighs that take their leave from
an upright life”


“then you noticed a bringing back, consistent with the
postponement of finally – double-decker opponents blew bubbles
at each other’s smokescreens”

“attacked by a suggestion of everything, cool
reconstruction of the impossible, a mix-up that
broke down your persistence – is that why you
often did not laugh at the comedy of it all? but
opened a compartment, blew smoke into it and
called it a lung”

“you said exceptional things can happen, and that whatever fell
was on the whole more chaotic than those handmade sincerities…
little by li…

making up dates for days unwritten, as some sort of need that
lines paper and limits eople to one p each”

“twenty-four hours, a red rag”

“you said: when I go into a dark room there is a man lecturing
incredible colours on priorities

such times did sink the long night
it’s not easy to talk about”


“right now, looking at the ground, distance was the first thing to go,

“snatch, snatch,
a heightened handshake”

“rolling so far, yet a great intimacy told hinges on barter”

“disorder gradually stores unanswered necessities –
under an unmade bed, a replica of sleep”

“smile, name, ask,”

“hinges resist with such virtuosity the painful patterns – you
sketched on a scrap of paper some natural condition, it looked
like we could invent initiative or at least a mock-up, practically all
the rest of the world was based on mirrors, that is what you said,
there was a faddishness to the way you faced first things, almost
as if the word first was itself pure whimsy”

“attached to mania that paints disorder
witness-coloured, bystander tinted – disarray dyed
by observation is said to tie thought down”

“snatch, snatch, grab”

“with strings attributed to together, words fasten
more than is necessary to give, the allotted
granting of what is not always agreed”

“the ground from a distance, was that something we could be sure
of? the slightest whiff of a guarantee convinced even the greats, I
had heard you describe slips in right now, they sounded like


“getting straight back to splitting the attempt, you do not
stand complete, but elucidate distance from really not so far
away -
– if I can describe you to you, it is only in this way, word for word”

“there is no escape from thirst or suspicion of

“intertwining the inside-out of a (written) life, leaving the
street unexplored and the one time sacrifice, exceptional
through it may have been…”

“returning to water - pages, as long as concerns,
give ceremony new meaning

of course, otherness only lasts until why

having to go, involves a true cross over,
outstretched though communication is, there is no
scene of accident”

“… amazed from all sides, no great revelation could go this
swimmingly without a

scratch of the head

with a start to all starts
with an out of reach commentary

still your handling of a performance explained side’s side of the

the word first

“on the last night,
I heard myself say: “the scene is where we fool ourselves taming
clouds, running the gauntlet of iridescence”

yet when bathed in immediacy, the original source received; this
was little known or accounted for, both she and you redirected
the fleet as a result of being one and the same”

“the brief was “twenty-four hours, a red rag”
no bull”

“still your commentary handled a performance of doubtful antics
like a blend of strange and fantastic manners, which in the
explaining, lost all sense of impersonation and, as if on a tour of
duty, you recruited my side of the story

flushing was your only defence in the dredging of adopted
distributions; trafficking the allotted details only harbours
colossal stances of irrelevance

this day breaks with reckoning”

“in totting up artificiality she came to the
conclusion behind all conclusions, and there,
chipping away at vocabulary, in the pick and
choose surroundings that make up idea, ran
concurrent themes of taking part and taking apart,
it was not then known whether fortune shone with
the flow or against”

Intermittent Voices

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