Blue Hyacinth

      It's a blooming and now.

January 2002

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[ December ]

[ February ]

1 January 2002

The blue hyacinth is something of a hangover from last year, from an earlier idea.

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2 January 2002

The green blades are definitely beginning to part, splay adrift from each other, showing another leaf emerging beneath.

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3 January 2002

She imagines

a cowled head
folded green
angel's wings
a purple egg
in mossy
green nest.

She takes the
giant white
egg cup
an ostrich beak
rise in time.

She loves this thing.

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4 January 2002

The boy prods his fingers down through the moss and into the compost, searching to hook out a coiled root, like a slim worm or fattened strand of hair. He knows they're all beneath ground, invisible. He wants to know, he wants to see. Why won't it all show on the surface? Why must it all be hidden, so far below? Like with women. Like with men.

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5 January 2002

      "So, where are the pictures?" she asks.
      "There aren't any, except in your head," he replied with a smile, "just text".
      "But wouldn't it be good, to be able to watch the hyacinth as it develops?"
      "Well, like I said, it's not necessarily 'about' this particular hyacinth. It's about blue hyacinth in general, the words...and maybe also the meaning....and anything else that it happens to be or suggest in the moment."
      She nods and begins curiously clicking from place to place. He stays quiet and watches her navigate around his creation for a while. Finally, he can't resist any longer and says, "Alright then, what do you think?"
      "It's strange, isn't it, being so utterly focused on one particular thing like that. After a while I start to think — yeah, that's all very well, but surely there must be more to life than blue hyacinth?"
      "Of course....I think you'll find I wrote something of the sort on October 28th."
      She scrolls down to look. He tries to grab the mouse to navigate via the date index but she holds her ground, does it her own way. She checks the entry for that date and then exclaims, "Bugger! So you did."
      "Thank you very much. I'm going to have to expurgate this conversation now. This has been family entertainment up to now."
      "Like hell it was! What was all that bulb-fondling going on in October, eh? 'All good clean fun', my arse."
      "Sometimes a bulb is just a bulb, you know," he protests.
      She laughs. "And another thing. It's all a bit self-referential, isn't it?"
      He nods. "Well, you've got me there."
      She looks at him and smiles. "I have, haven't I?"
      He takes her hands off the keyboard and gently fingers her knuckles and joints, watching her eyes to see which of his words appear to have lodged inside her head.
      He says quietly, "Seems so. But what is it that you actually want from me?"

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6 January 2002

The split offers intimations of uplift, something about the candle flame held, cupped in the centre. It might burn off the fog that still lingers outside, chart its own green waters. Shoot bedded in a pool of boiling moss instigates something almost enough, sometimes too much.

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7 January 2002

You spread: butter on toast/the good news/your wings/a little happiness/around the waist in middle age/it out for me/a cloth on the table/your waxy leaves slightly, opening out from the tip and expose to me that faint feeling of panic as I wonder whether the bloom forming inside will be pale and stunted blind from the way I've treated you.

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8 January 2002



H, what happened to H? Surely they must have repaired something else with an H in it? After all, they replaced almost every other bloody bit of the car.

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9 January 2002

You only have to look at it to know what it's going to grow up to be. But what if it disappoints?

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10 January 2002

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11 January 2002

Blue Hyacinth is back. But the inconstancy of it flitting in and out of reality disturbs. When it cannot be accessed it has effectively ceased to exist.

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12 January 2002

With your last sixpence, buy not bread but hyacinth for the soul.

Iíve always concentrated upon the purchase of daily bread and butter rather than stocking up on hyacinth and amaryllis. For all their beauty and ferocious store of energy I see such things as chancy, uncertain to bloom and hard to coax back into life once over.

Perhaps thatís a mistake. To die, never having lived in the spirit of hyacinth, might seem a waste of all that dough. Then again - can you subsist for long solely on the inspiration of bulbs, however exciting the attempt?

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13 January 2002

Four ridiculous statements found in a lake:

1. A mooring, where boats never go, declares "NO FISHING".
2. A heron sits, waits for fish with its back turned pointedly to the sign.
3. A fountain chugs water up into the air, about as elegantly as a bilge pump.
4. No blue hyacinth is there.

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14 January 2002

Six waxy fingers cup the composite.
It eyes me, peering out into the room.
At last, some pale lime progress
            into flower has been revealed.

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15 January 2002

2 a.m. At home, in bed.

Asleep. Burglar alarm goes off. Blue light annoys annoys annoys annoys into the night. Try to co-ordinate a search, with eyes, with fingers, through paper, through phone, through screen to call. Ask it off. Fails. No one wants to attend a noise a noise a noise a noise.

5 p.m. Waterloo bridge.

Plane flies. Imagine it, threaded straight through the centre of London's Eye. Ambulance takes off across the bridge. Passes before the South Bank lion. Headed into the traffic, alone. Blue bulb of light turns. Flashes and emits a noise annoys.

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16 January 2002

She walked in. She walked out. She did it repeatedly. It was what she'd done in between which was really bothering me. At first I found nothing, no trace, apart from the break-in. But then I began to find them: recorded splashed in the middle of my old-favourite tapes, the lugs still sticky where she taped them over or secreted as soundfiles here and there. I'd find them as I moved about my room or computer. She'd recited things, scribbled them down. Odd incidents I could hardly remember. She was doing me over, battering me...with more and more of the things. Just words. In the end I gave in. Well, what would you do? I could have reported it, but who'd have believed me, who'd have cared?

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17 January 2002

Each floret is shaped like a giant coffee bean. They're pale as yet but a mouldy blue is coming over them, as though spreading upwards from something harboured beneath the moss for months and months. Finally, something approximating blue hyacinth emerges.

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18 January 2002

Blue hyacinth, blue hyacinth...nope, I can safely say that I can't think of anything to write about blue hyacinth today....I just did? Jolly good...that's that job done then.

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19 January 2002

I notice the smell even before I realise that it has opened. In 24 hours the flower has pushed its way out, far too low on the stem, and the small Delft blue mouths are questing open. The compost is bone dry. I water it. The pot is a swamp. The blue hyacinth is premature...but here.

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20 January 2002

blew trumpets
dead-beat drums
sly trombone

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21 January 2002

She scents out the Blue Room and charts a course there. When she arrives the smell is over everything, staining the very seams of the place. The hyacinth itself has already been moved out into another room which is almost the same shape as this but a totally different colour.

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22 January 2002

Her reflection in the glass of the train window overlays itself momentarily on the burntout building. For seconds the brickwork facade of her skin opens up at the doorway of her mouth. The kohl-rimmed windows blink and then stare unseeing out at me. I watch her this way for a long time as she shadows cuttings and sidings. I don't think she realises what I am doing. I want to touch her dark slate bob, feel the mortar crumble away at my touch. I want to meet her and sit silently with her beneath the tall canopy of the hyacinth tree. At Clapham Junction she leaves the train but her reflection travels on for days within my dreams.

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23 January 2002

The paintwork in the coffee shop flakes and bubbles off the walls. Its colour is blue, blue hyacinth blue. A rippled print of Van Gogh's poppies grows a puddle of mould at its lower edge. She sips the chocolate. It is too rich, too dark, too real.

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24 January 2002

It's shot up now. From shy down among the leaves it's full, open above them now in bloom. The cylindrical core of the flower is the colour of par-boiled aubergine and has lost the will to support the head of florets. It flops. I prop it against the wall to disguise its embarassment. The smell goes on.

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25 January 2002

Blue flower. White pot. Blue curtains. Cream walls. Blue dress. Grey cabinet. Blue robe. White quilt. Blue couch. Cream carpet. Blue bottles. White screen. Blue screen.

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26 January 2002

In full flower it's left on the side and forgotten about. Login. Read. Type. Logout. Don't shut the box at the end of the day. Everything reduces to the purple-mottled extent of the desktop. There is no world outside. There is no world inside. The hyacinth is inside the box, and on the screen. The hyacinth is outside.

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27 January 2002

It's only just got there and already it's looking a little past its best. Days of waiting, first flush of just there and now this, a little sparse, over-reached. Gone beyond.

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28 January 2002

The lower florets begin to look a little tired, almost crunchy. It no longer seems worthy of display. It still smells of hyacinth. That doesn't go away.

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29 January 2002

A bloomlet has already fallen and nestles on the moss. The pot is placed by the side of the bed. It's in the way there. It must be stepped over every time the door needs to be opened.

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30 January 2002

She takes the fragment of blue out of her purse. She goes for notes from the machine, and then later in the day has one of them transformed into coins and food. The smudged petals remain in the corner of her keyboard throughout the day.

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31 January 2002

We have crinkled down to crepe snudges of blue with bright white nodules to hold us to the stem. We are all different. From a distance we look much the same. We're dead, boring. Once we flowered but now we're gone. We won't miss the life. We'll just retract back within our selves, pass it all back down through the dying bloom, what little there is left. We consider storing energy for a further year.

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