Hush-a-baa or huzziebaw: a lullaby from the verb to huzzh. S. Pron with so strong a sibillation that it cannot properly be expressed in writing. Clips attached to the H and W enable you to fasten it around your head as with all middle-alphabet words. Select your preferred definition by pressing firmly on the hyphens: impelled by the sea-saw of its own intimate history, huzziebaw will balance between your eyebrows and take over:
mantelpiece clocks in the fragrant Dinard light tick past you like lemons on an old fruit machine: hush-a-baa.
aluminium trolleys forward and reverse in the quiet green hospice: huzziebaw
the landscape steadies and you see a young man lying with purple marks all over his thin body, a mother and sister kneeling, a man who is his lover, poised, and a photographer, crouched. We are all waiting. This is huzziebaw. And you wonder: surely the closed curtains swaying in the summer air will bring forth something; ease, a scrap of melody, a brittle word that will not simply say the pain of this last lullaby but be it, blinding us beyond the reach of the camera’s ultimate, pale cut.
PYRAMUS: O, kiss me through the hole of this vile wall!
THISBE: I kiss the wall’s hole, not your lips at all.
Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Look at the wall, the sweet and lovely wall we carry with us in public places. Even in meadows when we rest it for a second on muscular buttercups, its tinyness glimpsed from the distances of outer galaxies is not as small as the monstrous little voice I use to whisper to you through its chink. And in the streets of Glasgow where we set it down despite the looks to share afffection over lattes and Versace suits we can hear the awkward avalanche of lime and mortar evolve within its frame as we kneel down and seek out chink and speak our cherry words knit up in hair and stone. Even here on Pearblossom Highway or Garrowby Hill where you can barely see it for the Hockney colours and sentimentalists mistake it for a rainbow it is a wall that bears our mottoes of restraint. And in the Japanese storyboard of Chris and Don’s Malibu interior where even the wicker chairs are clearly gay, at ease with their own maturity, Wall balances between the pockets of our cargo pants as we meander through, fearful of prat-fall, putty on the pinewood floor. Some say Chink offers us the virtue of cubist perspective: the silk forest of your ear-lobe’s blonde still-baby hairs. Polaroided and collaged in a cakewalk of mismatching edges, our groins grow a wall. Exciting textures are described but no-one ever asks us what it weighs. Others tell us to ignore it, drape our bodies in a magnetic web of invisible embraces, a shimmering virtual cloth of Proustian complexity beyond the deconstructive powers of Peter Quince. We touch our asses heads like caps, pick up our wall and walk. True, Chink’s lynx eye offers us a precious parsimony of moments: the time the slits of our lapels smiled to fill the whole of that slim orifice, the time your pinkie stroked a whisker of my orange tawny beard, my purple-in-grain beard, my French crown-colour beard! And no-one noticed! But those who see our wall and label it know about its chink as well, the slight pucker of its lips which taste of cold chipped tile, name it only for the fuck-hole of Bully Bottom’s rude mechanicals. Everywhere we turn we find out moonshine. Smash wall! Smash the person of wall and the person of pure moonshine!
after Sandro Botticelli
If an angel… If an angel stopped. Stopped in the lane before our barn or the turreted castle and turned to embrace me — oh the hugs, oh the stopping and stopping! — I would brush aside wings and shake his hand. I would dance all the friendly angels out of their domes, their stables. Why even the seven small devils clasp crestfallen hands before heading to hell. May I turn to you then, — as the child in the manger turns from his swaddling shroud — and unfold the wings of your palms like a gamp. You remember the loosening rain? The dull, earthly weather? How we shared the braille of our lifelines, those touching gifts? Was this in our lifetime? Now, loose the arm from the shoulder, the right one, the left one, re- member the hand, cross the painting’s meridian just into the lane by the barn.
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