i was walking either to work or away from work, i passed a woman and a little girl. the child was blank eyed and propped against an eatery making weird tuneless, music and the woman was sorting through her bags and looked somewhat disgruntled.

W: why are you yodeling portia (-?)

LG: _*_**_**_*_

W (no change in expression): i didn’t ask you to yodel louder i asked you why you are yodeling

i can’t guarantee that the name of the little girl was portia i may have invented that bit i’m not sure the music stopped; it followed me a short distance

pa-pa-pa-pa-palimpsest pal

The shock of recognising that monstrous slime and headlessness had frozen us into mute, motionless statues, and it is only through later conversations that we have learned of the complete identity of our thoughts at that moment. It seemed aeons that we stood there, but actually it could not have been more than ten or fifteen seconds. That hateful, pallid mist curled forward as if veritably driven by some remoter advancing bulkā€”and then came a sound which upset much of what we had just decided, and in so doing broke the spell and enabled us to run like mad past squawking, confused penguins over our former trail back to the city, along ice-sunken megalithic corridors to the great open circle, and up that archaic spiral ramp in a frenzied automatic plunge for the sane outer air and light of day.

‘At The Mountains of Madness’ H. P. Lovecraft.

I’ve been rereading Lovecraft during a bout of lurgy. I was coming to the end of ‘Ghosts of my Past’ by Mark Fisher – a brilliant book, sharp and insightful and deeply compassionate – but the incessant analysis was too much for my virus addled brain. I needed something silly.

You have to love the ‘grotesque’ penguins stood around squawking.

Both writers, it occurred to me, have a similar approach to English – at times – for very different reasons. Language is treated as though language can be manhandled into conjuring. Maybe it’s poetic.over


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