Monday, 14 July 2008

Days in the house, days in wake. Days spent trawling through the internet for material to fund further expeditions into novels and blogs. There are those souls who appear lost in this space, that exist only for contact that seems to confirm a distance and eludes all possibility of true like or dislike. These are no longer men of letters, they post updates and reply nothing, they perpetuate hidden blogs through vanity, they snide behind avatars, they reek of endless possibility and the beautiful hope that used to accompany the opening of a letter with a foreign, handwritten address.

Time is spent waiting now, holding out for replies and watching the small, brightly coloured birds fly upside down and rest on the towering horse chestnut outside whilst in the other courtyard, the one that separates us from the road, the tree continues to grow unfeasibly tall and spindly. It is six storeys tall and one fears it might break when the songbird, who frequents these parts at dusk, lands on one of its pale boughs.

Tonight there is a small plan hatching, to visit Kreuzberg and listen to bands in the cobbled cellar and to try and avoid Warsteiner, the king of headaches. Or it perhaps it is Calvino that gives me headaches, as he torments me with his prose which flits between Blanchotian treatises on the impossibility of writing and sub-Delillo/Ishiguro post-modernity, all non-sequiturs and impossible coincidences. Sometimes I like his prose, sometimes I simply laugh and throw the spine of the book into the wall before catching it again and resuming reading.

We long for a trip to the lakes, Cara and I, long for clear air and hot sun. This can’t be the summer, by all accounts it is not as bad as England. Thoughts of home drift through the early Berlin evening and mix, unaccountably, with remembrances of last weeks visit to the gallery and entirely underwhelming encounters with Warhol, Twombly, Lichenstein. And in thinking this, I remember why I think this. Stephen Vitiello’s album Listening To Donald Judd is on the stereo, and it was Judd’s boxes and angles and reclamations of space that were the only real revelation in that art gallery, which seemed somehow empty within the ribs of its arched span. No trains depart from the converted old station any longer, and ideas are hard to come by too.