Thursday, March 31, 2011

Complete Absurdity (Bullshit Bingo) ~ Rupert M Loydell

Sustainability Week only lasted three days,
as there wasn't enough stuff to do. Meanwhile,
we rewrote our degree in an afternoon
and pondered ideas of parity before considering
the real differences between our two sites.
We are only a bunch of excuses away
from chaos and contempt, unless you
take the bus. Nothing has been decided
but you have bought a pile of secondhand books
just in case there is nothing to read.
We needn't have worried about being lost
because they had put out photocopied signs,
but afterwards, wind and rain had been at work
and there appeared to be no maps, no logic
to campus layout or design. If we satisfy
the criteria, we may be eligible for subsidy.
Believe it or not we had to divvy up
the building costs and allocate the tarmac;
what a lesson in complete absurdity!
We have to start to say 'this is what
is happening here', begin to strengthen
our relationships and decide where we go
with the brand we seem to have inherited,
perhaps created by mistake. The media
need to be convinced, made to get it right;
only then we can sustain ourselves in the future
and start to live in peace. We can't go on
like this, there is nowhere to meet up,
only the barnlike structure that sometimes
serves up tea. We have always lived
in a half-way house, always had to make up
the time and fake the experience. We need
to be invisible, allow crossover and seepage,
embed ourselves in the infrastructure,
live in clusters which we have to create.
All facilities must be open to all and we must
change the way we use our time. Ambition
is reflected in the way we use the space,
how we use resources and barricade ourselves
into the small damp rooms we call our own.
There is the strangest kitchen I have ever seen
and I am slightly afraid of newer or bigger systems
but it may be reassuring to know that it seems more
and more likely that we will all become cross-fertilised
and able to traverse boundaries and disciplines.
We will have to make an effort and organise trips
to the other side. Beautiful hotels can facilitate
small meetings within a massive space, we can't
even get a decent cup of coffee. Can we own
a physical space, give ourselves an identity,
a presence in the world? Nowhere is completely
out of bounds and although I don't want to go on
about my own particular situation, we do need
a working model, need to allow more time
for dialogue and discussion like this to happen.

Rupert Loydell is Senior Lecturer in English with Creative Writing at University College Falmouth, and the editor of Stride and With magazines. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including the recent Boombox from Shearsman, and A Music Box of Snakes, co-authored with Peter Gillies, from Knives, Forks & Spoons Press. He edited From Hepworth's Garden Out: poems about painters and St. Ives for Shearsman, and Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh, an anthology of manifestos and unmanifestos, for Salt. He lives in a creekside village with his family and far too many CDs and books.

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