Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Ugly Aunti

Some years ago I contributed to an art student publication called 'Ugly Aunti'. I never found out where the name came from, or if it had any deeper meaning beyond the possibility of insulting all of our Aunties.

I think I wrote something for an issue of this zine that never got made (or maybe it did and I just never saw it). I was trying to find this never-published piece of text in the never-made issue on Sunday, when I came across a couple of pieces that had made it into earlier issues of the zine.

I thought perhaps they had something to them (if some of you might reasonably think that what they have is nothing more than debt to Borges) - so I'm putting them here on the blog.

The first of them was for the issue entitled 'Dad'.



Eachan's father was a horse. Sometimes language would escape Eachan. Other times he found himself running, uphill and against the wind, the world full of scent and absent of artifice. He would reach the crest and stand, chest heaving, forgetting entirely his name, his home and his duties; and at the same time remembering exactly who he was, where he belonged and what he was put there to do.

The horse's father was a diamond. He was so hard he left hoofprints even on rock. In the mating season and the disputes that went with it, both stallions and mares were astonished by his heritage.

The diamond's father was a bomb. When the diamond was displayed in collections, visitors stepped around it tensely, cautiously, as if they feared their tiniest movement might trigger an alarm.

The bomb's father was a key. The bomb was used to open a door.

The key's father was a piece of silk. The locks slipped over themselves like tongues.

The silk's father was a grain of pollen. In November one year a sensitive girl had worn it to a prestigious ball, and found her eyes and nostrils streaming as they did in June.

The pollen's father was a lead weight. The bee who gathered it flew in encumbered zigzags to its hive.

The weight's father was a crooked coin. It could not be relied upon to give a true measure.

The coin's father was a secret. It was passed covertly from one gambler to another, and more than once slipped clumsily into hands the wrong side of the table.

The secret's father was Eachan. Some things are beyond our reason.

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