The world at our side is receding:
It tugs at our eyes
for what is gone.
And still blind, we follow
for a while
Let strange greys pull at the sockets
(the soul rolling heavy behind)
—don’t look back.
But sometimes our eyes flock in angels.
And flooded, the grey grows
And all our eyes have rolled back--
And so we all lay
Sprouting earth and white posies out of casts.
And, silent, we let it all
A silent and fluttering “and”.
I remember how happy we were digging the beach.
We positioned our spades at first vertically; they slanted off like rain forgetting how to scrape straight as the hole deepened.
Sounds like spring rain or roses, a clattering pine branch against our window the rain the slanting rain boring into your eyes.
Made you look like you were crying.
When we had a good pile we’d cup our fingers at opposite sides of it scraping scraping through until we joined, damply twining and scratching, in the centre.
Missed often ended up staring blankly over the top as the curve of our elbows pulled us through.
Eventually pink dark-edged nails would emerge in opposition and reach for air, gasping little blind moles.
Five or six tunnels later we would get cocky, pull up too sharp.
Arm outlined reaching up round through the sand back on itself: a collapse.
The shape closed abandoned sticks flexible with sea and looped round twice a flag a useless ornament.
We come back later. The stick washed away an indentation remains.
Q: Do you move out of the way of people in the street or do they move out of your way?
The ‘surrealist question game’, a close relative of Exquisite Corpse, was first played by the Paris-based Surrealists in the 1920s. It operates by divorcing the two terms of questions such as we conventionally understand them: each player writes a question on a piece of scrap paper, folds it over, swaps it for another from the common pile, and writes down an answer without having read the question. The combinations are then read aloud in a circle.
The game hinders the standard teleology of question asking (I have a goal and I angle my question or successive questions so as to get there), and makes irrelevant any attempt to give the answer a direction. Ultimately, the players ask and respond at, not to. The concept of authorship itself is removed (which often alleviates the stress of ‘making it a good one’): each couplet swaps the primacy of happenstance for that of individual volition.