Shane Jesse Christmass

Cough sizzurp at sea with my body thin tightening. Sizzurping with a friend of mine on the San Giorgio Maggiore. His presence is lucky for me. No leisure to love us. My thin things tighten. A little. A toy body in nothing. Eyes grow accustomed to the sizzurp. I make the outline of my friend out. A tall phantom, a tinge of half-blue about the edge of him. Let the patients lash against pain. Don’t busy the orderlies opening and stamping letters with astonishing rapidity. At days you’d say they’re all crazy. It’s like living in Essex. This friend of mine ponders the pressing matter out of my head. You don’t go to a fistfight carrying waterworks. The colour of closed eyes. Night train to Southampton. Night train on urgent business. The friend of mine is dining with our brilliant foreign correspondent. His position’s in Laos these days. We turn a deaf ear to him. A bit of a bore. Flapping gums. A steamboat up the river to Hammersmith. It is Spring. An old woman nods in a delicate position. And yet why not? One may realise in a dim way that she’s no longer on the floor during the service. People can’t understand how Catholics pickpocket her perfectly. We are excellent friends when we meet, this friend of mine. Water just keeps falling, painting the horizon. Cowboys lined up at the bar. Their wives are not friendly. Mahogany and cages of snarling leopards and screaming parrots. Voices in dark corners of night clubs catch the talk of sexuality experiments. Delighting in the fairy-like and cotton threads that hold up the bridges in Mugembo. She helps me bathe, a drunken parody of her real self, a shrewd, calculating prude. People grow up. They’re dishonest. We’ve run out of gentle vitamins. We are trying to crumble a couple of slush-lamps. My presence translated into sound. Boom. Boom. Blip. So enormous was the sound that I had no words for it. Glass shrieks carve the brightest statues. Paint unyielding bone. A ridiculous machine thundering an unmuffled exhaust. All along the maindrag, outside the convenience store, under the freeway, the night people are alive. The time of the suction cups. Very soon the bilge begins to fill. The old imagination should be stirred by a familiar skill. Soap in the shape of  a  _______  in the soap dish.

Profile: Shane Jesse Christmass

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