Weekly Diary


I imagined the house as a crouching hunter being stalked by its prey as I went out astride a shopping list; eventually coming home as a shoal of shopping pursued by sharks. The afternoon was spent in a sherbet dip of sunshine with voices emanating from large stones cast down by the fleeing giants of a very strange man’s imagination (some say they are only half the size they used to be but I believe they are actually much larger). I knew it was time to come in when the invisible cat started to lick up the heat like milk: June was half woman and half soft drinks when my shadow strung a rope bridge between two very tall mountains. An old friend who calls himself Japanese Knotweed spoke in rhizomes as the fisherman allowed himself to get caught by the fish.



I held onto the gantry as the rocket under my feet slowly ascended into space – incidentally the space was shaped like a kitchen sink and all matter was washing up. I called my thoughts flowers and picked the brightest ones to put in a bouquet to give to June; in return she gave me a hat from which a spider monkey hand emerged – it shook the cushion shaped like a koala bear but refused to shake my own hand which was curled up by the fireplace with the dog. Outside the stomata window the green landscape breathed, to me looking like restless legs under a duvet. The Play-Doh dog jumped onto the sofa using Pegasus wings while I listened to the vernacular speech of cricket commentary emanating from an over ripe plum and June went to town carrying a pack horse.



I got out of the thermionic valve bed inside the transistor radio bedroom too early – I felt sure I had seen sounds all night but later assumed it was the cries of a person trapped in backward moving time. I noticed that the spectral figure that emerges from the laundry basket when a car snakes its way down the road had made a cross on the dressing gown universe: there are two hanging from the door which leads to the deep vacuum of the bathroom – I always wear the pink one. I went down stairs immediately after a procession of weasels and stoats, touching the plimsoll line of the hallway as the house tilted so the old man made entirely from unwanted clothes could turn it into an observatory and watch the stars – even though it was daylight and clouds were hanging still in the sky.



I had planned to paint like a sun lounger on a hot verandah all day – my ears had been growing to spaniel length in anticipation. However I found myself wearing a B movie face and leading a wagon train across the Wild East instead. Poppy had a balloon foot and was hovering under the ceiling before we went out. We got back with the hand shaking bandage of an Egyptian mummy and I then went to town with a bag of severed limbs and a shuck of corn. On my return Poppy and I had to go out again, office staplers hanging from our ears and a small piece of sea mist wrapped in a paper towel in my back pocket. We came back sitting on tea trays: mine had a map of the Isle of Wight with tourist attractions clearing demarcated and hers had the lines of a runway unearthed in the ruins of Pompeii.



I got up as early as a false dawn, going up the hill cross legged on a flying tea towel as June pushed tasting fingers into pastry. I caught the bus at the place where I had seen myself in different lights and then stopped off at an urban woodland to take photographs with my bare hand and then the sole of my flip-flop. I carried on with my journey, watching people made from electricity light up and then grow dark again before meeting the solar king in the grandiloquent shade of his bungalow. I came home with a typewriter T-shirt, allowing glove puppets to write words and watching closet vultures climb the ventriloquist dummy air currents. June wanted to go out before the Venusian weather took hold so when I got in we touched rather than talked.



I walked down the pimple lit corridor, carefully modelled on the hind leg of a long horned grasshopper, carrying what I thought was an anthropomorphic representation of the day to come – the day then insisted on getting down and walked off using the sprue from a plastic kit as a walking stick (the kit looked like a Douglas Dauntless from the Battle of Midway although I may rebuild into a half man half bird figure at prayer in a deep blue light). After a junior member of the flying crane clan had been and gone June went out dressed in souvenir tea towels and I watched over the dog like Argus in designer shades. I thought I felt the presence of a model who had appeared in an early issue of Vogue but when I looked round saw only the curtains playing strip poker in front of the naked window.



I went to town wearing donkey ears as I couldn’t find my sun hat (June jokingly said it was in the pocket of my rain coat). A compass made intersecting circles on my back as raindrops as big as buses lined up to drink by the river’s edge. I decided not to stay to count hands with combine harvesters for thumbs or feet with writhing snakes for toes; coming home instead by the shortest route – where I saw Royalists from the English Civil War shuffle down the same path as me – luckily they didn’t see me wearing my Oliver Cromwell T-shirt. By the time I had got home June had closed the door on the windmill people and was cutting shapes out of the mnemonic cloth of the day. Strangely the day stayed dry and in the test match of my mind a new batsman came to the crease.


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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