alive, alive-o


i live, with my lover, in a sea-shell upon a distant shore.

we can hear the sea sing all day as it slams onto the shore and breaks – casting echoes like magic spells around the bay. we feel its song resonate and reverberate around and through the pink and unholy curves of our shell’s cathedral vaults and brittle ceiling.

‘Kathryn… come here, my love…’

i feel its pearlesque floor silky smooth beneath my feet as i walk, barefoot, towards my love. the ozone air wafts through its iridescent corridors and toys with my hair and soft fabric of my pale indigo dress. my lover stands with his arm outstretched to me. he stands there, bare of foot and chest. his hair is noticeably longer than it was yesterday and the tips are indigo. his beard is indigo and long enough for me to curl up and fall asleep in, like i have done countless times. he looks good. his denims are indigo and hug his slender frame. i take his hand and he wraps me up in his arms. we hold each other close, swaying to music only he and i can hear. the dance floor is pearly pink and shining. the twinkle of sand particles catch the morning sunlight and scatter patterns of light around inside. our very own private disco in the diamond dust. we defy gravity, spiraling into its hollow core. the canon of our laughter swells and fills the chambers of this hollow shell that we call home and it is the most beautiful noise. he presses me against the wall. urgent. the walls of the shell feel as warm and smooth as the skin on my lover’s back. i love mornings like this.

we walk to the frayed edge where land meets the sea. the sea bears many gifts and fruits of the ocean… today we have an abundance of giant green olives – many of them conveniently pitted and halved. i watch as one of the many giant olives drift ashore. we climb inside and sail out to sea, headed for the distant horizon – to Neighborland’s Grand Market.

Neighborland: a former landfill site, made of reclaimed rice-cakes, stray socks and discarded McDonald’s happy meal toys is home to a population of almost 5000. every Sunday people come from near and far; by air, by land or sea; on foot or gryphon, to peruse the market stalls and haggle with stall holders. there is much bartering or swapping – a goat for poem; a kiss for a bottle of wine; a loaf of bread for a new pair of boots.

we moor our olive at the Lesser Western Pier and head straight for the Neighborland Bar where we order some cocktails. the Barman looks like my brother from Earth, Stewart Munro McDonald. he even has the same sense of humour. i ask the Barman his name. he tells me his name is Arty. the Bar is quiet. there are only the two of us and an albino troll seated near the entrance to the mens’ toilets. he looks a little worse for wear and is muttering to himself. Arty picks up his guitar and begins to play some Faron Young.

“God, my brother would LOVE this place…” i say to my love. we finish our drinks and leave. we have some poems to trade today.

it’s a busy place, patrolled by giant wasps, there is very little crime in Neighborland.

the Market is a colourful, lively hive of activity. we stop at the Hookah pipe corner and swop a poem for some bloodberry elixir.   this is headier than cinnamon, more sour than black cherry and more potent than a vintage port. this will be a sweet delight for us when we return home to the cool comfort of our shell.

music… we hear music…  a strange and haunting sound and decide to follow it… we meander through the crowds of drunks and queers, the jokers and clowns, through the limbo dancers and jazzers, down by the whores selling fake gold and prawns, through the spice trail to a little blue tent at the farthest corner of the Market place. the sound is louder now.  it sounds like nothing we have heard… we enter the tent.

inside the cool darkness of the tent, we let our eyes adjust to the dim shimmer of phosphorescent glowworms, weaving all across the floor. we take off our red shoes and walk, carefully, across the floor to speak with the stall owner. he is a rotund man with a large mop of black curly hair. He is seated, cross-legged, on the floor playing a vintage Electrolux vacuum cleaner. he seems lost in his ‘music’. we take a seat next to him and hold hands as we listen to him play.  sensing our presence, he stops playing, opens his eyes, and says “if you have come to sell me those red shoes, i am not interested…” we laugh. he introduces himself as “Keef”. i offer him nine poems for the Hoover. reluctantly, after much deliberation, he accepts – on the promise that we take good care of it and make music with it. he offers us something to eat “a snake-flavoured cookie, perhaps…. or a juicy glow-worm…?” he says, giddy like a child with a secret…. “and i have some botanical tea.  it’s the best in town…?”

the tea was a strange brew – of bamboo, garlic and fermented panda poo, served with  a splash of (organic) tiger milk.  Keef holds up a large ewer, full of the bubbling and foul-smelling ‘tea’, and laughs maniacally as we leave the tent.

as we walk away, i hear him, shuffling around inside his tent, slurping down his strange brew and his booming voice reading one of my poems aloud – only it is punctuated with giggles as he picks up glow-worms and eats them “alive alive-o…”

we leave the Market with no more poems in our hearts to sell.

back at the Lesser Western Pier, we clambour back on board our giant green olive and i row back across the sea, to our shell home, while my lover sings Faron Young songs…

words / dream recollection (c) Kat McDonald 2015

– they do say that we should make note of our dreams as soon as we can upon wakening…  as soon as one foot hits the floor, all dreams are lost…


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