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Is it my hey!-fevered imagination, or does Kenneth Grahame, in the following pages, anticipate Alastair Campbell et al by some 95 years?

The Mole had long wanted to make the acquaintance of the Badger. He seemed, by all accounts, to be such an important personage and, though rarely visible, to make his unseen influence felt by everybody about the place. But whenever the Mole mentioned his wish to the Water Rat he always found himself put off. "It's all right," the Rat would say. "Badger'll turn up some day or other - he's always turning up - and then I'll introduce you. The best of fellows! But you must not only take him as you find him, but when you find him."

"Couldn't you ask him here - dinner or something?" said the Mole.
"He wouldn't come," replied the Rat simply. "Badger hates Society, and invitations, and dinner, and all that sort of thing."

"Well, then, supposing we go and call on him?" suggested the Mole.
"O, I'm sure he wouldn't like that at all," said the Rat, quite alarmed. "He's so very shy, he'd be sure to be offended. I've never even ventured to call on him at his own home myself, though I know him so well. Besides, we can't. It's quite out of the question, because he lives in the very middle of the Wild Wood."

"Well, supposing he does," said the Mole. "You told me the Wild Wood was all right, you know."

"O, I know, I know, so it is," replied the Rat evasively. "But I think we won't go there just now. Not just yet. It's a long way, and he wouldn't be at home at this time of year anyhow, and he'll be coming along some day, if you'll wait quietly."

The Mole had to be content with this.

I think he captures that "evasive" / patronising Ten Downing St tone JUST so, don't you? Like, I know, I know, you want proof, but it's SUCH a long way away and these Iraqis are SO odd and the sand wouldn't be the right consistency for digging at just THIS time of year and Blixy the Badgerer didn't have the right sort of boat ANYHOW, children, and - come, come! - matron knows best! - the evidence will just "be coming along some day, if you'll wait quietly ..."

- ---- +

poem for COLLEEN

if jean jacques rousseau were alive today i
see him i think i do walking out in a leafy
conservation area ( will you look at those
geese under the bridge and oh but the lillies
there ) or maybe on a globalisation protest
lost in nervy transcendent bliss ( I do not
think, I do not reason
... ) listening to
everyone alive wants answers on his Discman as
he floats off and collapses inside her looped
life her brief sunrise sunset pontilism not
like dead bouys on a grey bedroom P-sea but
helix leaves that sparkle as they die and lift
us as they fall and greens scarlets whites her
cloud sharp sound makes me think of lost sun
days a pool its ripple our tremble and hear we
could be listening to the lost tapes of the
soundtrack to what happened when echo and
narcissus secretly got back together again
and spent an early autumn together in d…appled
early afternoon FUN andtheyhear a childs voice
from the future (theirs?) and someone lost
from a grave past but this afternoon stillness
speaks and sometimes barely more than is more
than just enough your heart on her sleeve when
you’re so giddy in a gooey silent gaze together
you don’t notice the old record is
stuck in the corner ((over the years it’s
played residents ships a goin down coil a
limnal hymn emmylou harris red dirt girl and
big star’s femme fatale)) and then i said
listen to this and she laughed as the so
familiar velvets intro veinous riff unruffled
like a butterfly in a field of poppies and i
say to you as i said to my imaginary & solemn
other i like her looped signatures colleen i
could come to love her gentle s…way with loops
because unlike all those dull boys who sound
like they are all unwinding lengths of echo-
muzik from the same secret basement tap in
berlin with her it feels rather you’re
entering a MAZE with a nouvelle alice and kid-
a en train it has a heart somehow as well as
all her lonely chattering harps like
canoodling storks and see how i didn’t use the
word sublime once there! ( and ) and like bob
dylan once said ((you can see him smile as he
says it if you listen close enough and you
should always listen close enough)) if you’ve
ever laid together with someone and felt your
bloodrush cohere into ONE HEARTBEAT then you’re
lucky cos that’s true love m’boy )( and
everyone still alive in the orphic heart of
things should hear all the heartbeats inside
colleen’s first 39 minutes 49 seconds call it
forty even fall in to her full moon collage
colleen is someone who knows how to listen in
ways everyone alive should listen come close
closer still to everyone alive wants answers
which i suspect is the sound behind eurydice’s
i . . . . . even now.

colleen · everyone alive wants answers · LEAF cd

{I.P. / 5 Messidor // a garden in northlondon}

posted by Ian 6/25/2003 12:32:00 PM

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