Monday, November 15, 2010

{the tree of smoke} ~ Steven Fowler

As they stand before the lunchtime lecture the people really

are half interested. They assume the shirted speaker is a

support act, and act accordingly. They do not realise they are

in rhetorical danger. They aren’t in this case, but ignorance of

language is no excuse. He is speaking about mating, he too

glows when he sees a simple, hard nosed man feeding his tiny

infant child but still we should not be too easily persuaded.

This is not the lived reality of children. A man should not

have children too young, he says, not when his own

childhood has only just fallen. Let him be just a man for a

time, and not a father. His speech is progressive; it has been

an unusually malleable few days. Not at all a representative

weekend. This will have consequences for me. Behind him a

flag unfurls, a small bull gores the air, trying to shake the glass

jar tied by a string around its neck. The jar is as big as its head

and is filled with brine. From the lid of the jar an eel’s peely

head emerges, jaws puckered.

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