Weekly Diary


June flew off to visit an Earth like planet orbiting an alternative sun: apparently it rained packets of coloured flames and candles were lit under the tap. As we talked via mobile fruit machines I said politicians would be dressed in pantomime clothing and she replied that soldiers lived only in monasteries. At this point our neighbour drew another fish from his holster and the chandelier that none of us could afford learnt to talk. I would have engaged it in conversation but I am still intent on providing my own light. June crashed landed in the garden around mid afternoon; the footprints of a European lynx running across her parachute. I came inside when I had finally learnt to balance one hat on top of another – the galling thing being that June had been doing it for ages.


June and I went to town early; both of us pulling boats in the now blue sky – mine proved hard work even though it was in full sail. After a breakfast in the Old Faithful geyser I came home (my hands inside plastic bags). June stayed in the jam doughnut middle of town all morning while I secured myself around its edges – manufacturing in my head the image of an anthropomorphic chisel being sharpened on a wheel. I had turned the wheel hundreds of times before June had finally walked home using butterfly nets for shoes. While alone I had placed coins in my own mouth and rowed mine and someone else’s imagination back and forth as the tourists of a collective consciousness sat on a canal boat sipping nectar. When I got near the mountain’s edge I thought only in echoes.


I dreamt of a monster approaching a house and I had to choose to either warn the occupants or run away; as it was only a dream I decided to run away! When I woke up I realised I was the monster. I mulled over this while I sat on the roof whittling a length of guttering down pipe into the effigy of Cassandra on the walls of Troy. From this vantage point I could see the various private spaces all the way down the street – I noticed one clothes line held only overcoats and another only underwear, which was very puzzling as they were very close neighbours. Later the man who owns all the sea shells on the river’s edge came to strip an evening dress off the stairs and talk of camouflaging an amorphous red blob in a large expanse of green. He wore a monocle but looked out of his other eye.


I had to go out again, travelling along the parting of the urban head June and I pretend to exist on (everyone knows reality is just a dream it is impossible to wake from): incidentally our house straddles a frown line. I came back before our host put his hat on and with the other shoppers still bickering among themselves like a family of pocket calculators arguing over their last sum. I slithered into my studio to watch a boa constrictor coil round a gravestone some time before the inscription could be finished. To compensate I wrote words on a remote hillside using the side of a dictionary instead of a pen. A small man, less than twelve inches tall, then translated the entire text into numbers; half of which don’t actually exist yet (although he assured me they would in time).


I got up extremely early – June was still swimming with dolphins in the desert dry bed – and let myself out of the archeological ruin front door after feeding all the animals with the early morning news (June would update them later and possibly add a traffic report). I caught the one cloud in the sky and followed it to where its rain drops hit the ground. I met the bungalow god and we talked of first and second floors – we parted when our conversation had reached the roof. When I came back June was talking to a tractor about a ploughed line. Without thinking I changed it into an egg shaped sun over a chicken coop. As usual no one noticed so I changed it again to a rain cloud over a totem pole even though it should never be allowed to rain on our ancestors.


I got up while June was still in bed drawing a plimsoll line on a surf board of sleep. She finally reached the shore and we both watched the figure in the street take off everything that didn’t actually belong to her. June then went to town to collect her armadillo coat – I went down later followed by a long line of ants. We came home as part of a silk route caravan only for June to go out again, wrapped in coloured sheets and with a clock miraculously floating over the pillow case on her head. I heard a crash when it chimed two-o-clock but she appeared sometime later completely unscathed and wearing an upright piano for a skirt. She had gone to the birth place of the mitrochondrial Eve to clean clothes not realising that I had briefly visited Armageddon to make them dirty again.


June and I got up early, jumping out of the water and landing on the springboard – which immediately took the form of a ginger bread man and popped out one of its eyes (this reputedly formed the space ship from the Forbidden Planet although personally I felt it made the first note from the opening movement of Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony). We met another Odin inside a telescope (where anyone who wears skirts has to dig holes) and we walked to the farthest spot on the horizon to have dinner. June called it a protostar but I thought it was just a large planet. We tipped the man playing the bagpipes on the return journey – this was close to the edge of our solar system immediately after it had been formed: apparently a friend of ours had known the interstellar dust cloud.


About Gerald Shepherd

Gerald Shepherd is a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, digital/multimedia artist, photographer, writer, curator and arts administrator. He has also been involved with science art, performance art, conceptual art, installations and environments (as well as peripheral creative pursuits such as garden design).
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