This piece is in no way a finished product. It began as a way of unpacking how I had learned to write. . . . I was trying to learn what I knew and how I said it. Now the piece has become a sort of palimpsest of memory and experience, of reading and writing, as I track back through it, recognize its pastness and its presentness for my life today. Mainly it is a process of accretion and commentary.



the walking gulls. starting up and dreaming all over again
that's very difficult to do.
put on my new second-hand green chiffon and black dress.
it has a little bolero. the bodice is chiffon (soft) and the skirt is like tapestry
(harsh), or a priest's chasuble, black patterned with little bright blue, gentian
blue, verdant green, vermilion or cadmium red flowers set in gold thread.
I am inordinately fond of it.
bed, light in the bay-window, kohlrabi clumps in the half-dug veg. patch, white
cupboard full of singular clothes none fitting me.
bed. on the floor. none more. I walk
to the record store, bouncing on my soles. none more
'per ch'io te sopra' I wanted these wordsI saw them
one third way down the right hand
page in THE PARADISE and did not have
I am not there--
Place of the dream and run-to-seed brussel-sprouts
Thread how exact a sighting of the rats lake waters
While 'the rewarded conscious self' and ego understands
Fufilment the 'unconscious can't invent' / arrange
? to signify what IS requires an act of daily phenomenonogical daring in any order
and no little crudity
STORY ?   invent a her/story   REMEMBERING ?
AND. little words, she said. long ago. what is
the point of naming things. either a name is adequate
or it is not and if it is not repeating it will not help
and if it is why repeat it


there will be no editing of this writing which is not to say there is no
censorship for the invigilator still sits. h/she has brought back the S.P.G.
you told me. undercover agents are everywhere. give me your hand to hold.
the display by the state is on these streets today your streets today our streets--
on your doorstep if there is no broken glass, no blood have they been ?


a pre-emptive strike by the invigilator.
blow-job from a new direction.
leave undone
choosing his/her words carefully.
I lie by your side. It is morning in south-east London.
I lie. By your side it is morning-moving. in. south-east London.


what makes the house quiet.
it is morning. they are at work. are you asleep?


dual sign. pointing. as.
as ? nothing, sshh, nothing about,
lurking. Ecrire ? Mais si j'écrivais "JE", qui serais-je ?
you havent the same name or city two years running laughed my friends,
keeping ahead of the debt-collectors eh ? something like that I smiled.
Plusieurs, simultanée, impure.
L'écriture isnt it the game of Truth ?
Truth isnt it whole ?
Isnt that everyone's game ?
well, maybe.

Wendy Mulford is now writing a book on Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland, 1930-1950, for Pandora Press. A collection of poems, 1980-84, will be published by Loxwood-Stoneleigh this year. The A.B.C. of Writing and Other Poems was published by Torque Editions, Southampton, England, 1985.

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