About facing.

audio works:

Attempts at formal analysis:

[Writings based on a contemporary amateur film archive of WWII pillboxes in Kent.
The structures are revealed temporally, in similar patterns of observational behaviour, and this close reading of each building is translated into the sparser, slower temporality of language. They are objects as cadavers.]

Where is it? It is not here, and yet it is not anywhere else. Nowhere? But then nowhere is here. The cadaverous presence establishes a relation between here and nowhere. - Maurice Blanchot, The Gaze of Orpheus


The beginning is close.
Tangled vivid green foliage with weak limbs conceals a tall wall situated apart from the main structure
mirroring the entrance wall.

The tall wall swings to the right.
Ahead are the lumpen knots of trees.
Above the tendrils stretch between the narrow corridor and mask sunlight into contoured breaks.

In the same instant a fresh gap appears on the left
the width of shoulders.

Bricks flush into view gripped by mortar
and disappear as the darkness takes shape and then removes it.

There is clicking and the sound of breathing.
And the clicks are regular
and the breathing is irregular.

Inside the darkness on the right is the first cleanly incised bright light aperture facing outwards.
Light enters
It casts a dim green bouncing off the metres and metres of chlorophyll staggering around the outside.

Through a narrow interval far to the left of a brick wall bisected by a plane of leaching white mineral residue
two more apertures appear.
Obtuse, distant, all the forms lit by them form diagonally in light purple
flexing against rotational symmetry.

Upwards to the left there is a pink alcove, brief, that vanishes.

Now veer back into the slim anterior room to face the apertures as they emerge and say
One there.
One there.
One there.
One there.

As if all frames must be counted. And each one when it is counted stutters at the centre, and disappears.
It is not look through so much as looked at, to mark the border.

The walls are transparent in this way
The walls become transparent.

Finally there is a narrow slit surrounded by darkness, and it is not counted, but it is noticed
and it hangs succinctly as punctuation.

Then okay and twist roughly into the green and purple light, of the bisected wall, and the bricks ahead, at the exit, look like chromotography measures
and their edges are too soft too soft.

There is a black grill lying diagonally against the door frame
and the skim of a baying aperture with a rust-brown plate bolted beneath it

And the outside emerges with the same mottled light on the tall wall.

The shapes trodden in the middle of the room are stepped as repeats outside
facing inwards against the rough skin
mirroring the way they would have watched the landscape.

Each superficial recess is cast by the murmur of plant matter
collapsing into soil
sealing lids shut.


The structure looms on a shallow tump grasped at by two trees
always, as always, in motioned hiss
snug against the flanks.

It is late Summer.

Sunlight bleaches the breeding tips of long grasses
through which a narrow path trodden upwards
siphons footprints towards the dark mass.

The light flashes briefly, once, and the entire image turns white,
and then gently returns.

The structure is formless and shifting on the ascent.

A small opening moves into view, followed by the dark space of the door moving in from the left.

The walls are rough shale, with light spots pixellating against the cast blocks all grey -
a solid mist hanging orthagonally.

In the dark corridor ahead and to the right there is an instant jumble of colour, massed clothing, rope, filth, huddled into a shallow recess, knee high.

Round the corner there is more
and more,
and more,
heaped with a broad meniscus against the walls
and glare of the regularly spaced high set apertures.

Pull backwards.

The image whitens again, adjusts to daylight
and each facet is traced anticlockwise
and hovers for a moment against each stepped embrasure
counting silently one, two, three.
The angles shift, and the apertures are blacked against the inside as white as they were from within.

One of the trees creates a barrier, halts the course. There is a smooth arc,
then stumbling
back and forth
back and forth.

Swing right to face the fields watched
waited inside

a river

dilated prospects.


A squat black hexagon transpires out of the haze of ripe wheat beneath a flat grey sky.
There is a slow bumping spiral inwards.

Each face as it occurs seems identical

The same stepped-in apertures rotate as the texture of the walls moves into view
dotted with the flowering of mustard lichens.

Entering from the rear, the back wall is flatter, longer, holds two apertures cut cleanly either side of the door opening. For a moment there is a view straight through the shallow space and the sky from the opposite side moves inside the socket hole of the left aperture.
Any part may be connected to any other part.

They are compound eyes, ossified.

A tall blank wall adducted here as endoskeleton
is yellow clay bricks hooking round to the left.

The smooth grey cement interior walls are ridged with vertical casting lines.

The floor is flat dark mud and levelled blank.

The apertures eye height seem wider on the inside
between each the regular crease line of the vertices marks a change in angle.

To the right the yellow bricks seem to create a dividing mass across the diameter
of uncertain geometry.
To the left in eye lines out the fields form slowly
supporting a dark island of trees.

Past the second aperture there is a letterboxed slot
low down on the third wall
bevelled into nothing.
Half its faces are black.
Shifting perspective slightly, a shallow enclave forms in the viscous shadow.

The apertures and low slots reiterate in between the vertices until only the brick wall is visible.
There are two narrow vertical holes pressed into the wall and held suspended in the darkened lost shape of a metal plate.

Above the aperture on the right is a name scratched thinly.
There is pockmarking in the ridged cement
half moons
soft pinks against the grey browns.

The bulbous abdomen of a spider hangs against the blanched field
permeable borders projected by the sun at a high angle
forcing the clean tracking lines of light inside the structure.

Arresting the movement through the interior space
the brick wall gives way to the doorframe.

Without exiting turning
moving back through the space faster
reviewing the swinging ridges
a zoetrope whir
aperture lights
around the yellow bricks and grey cement
back past the apertures to the entrance side where the same shape of sunlight repeats

but for a few degrees.
The same empty landscape of blanched wheat disappears towards the grey sky with the slimmest line of trees between.

Now out, facing the yellow bricks, which skim in parallel lines. There is bright white blanching again
the lichens emerge on the breeze blocks
and there is a slow bumping spiral outwards

where the image appears as it had.


A diagonal swathe of hedgerows spills in from the left
hung with small leaved white flowers that thrust up towards overhanging trees.

The trees cast shadows over the loosely mown grass
and the structure is tucked in beneath
facing the fields beyond.

The motion towards it is unsteady
and as the branches slide upwards the dark line of the door fattens on the right
and grass is revealed thickly spilling over the roof.

The wall
held away from the entrance as a solid line is brown brick
crisp edged.

One squat slit watches.

The corner of the structure facing the tall wall is sprayed with silver lichened growth. A parallel line against the blank wall is traced with a visioned arc that peers between the wall and the door.

The wall is skirted, this time on the outside, and fills the entire field of vision.

A dip reveals ferns and long grasses leaning towards the far side, struggling into a sandy line between the wall and structure.

There is a slide back across the same brick surface
to move in between and towards the door frame.

Once more there is a wall directly inside mirroring the wall that faces it
angled around at the edges to snag entry
green with moss.

To the left a bevelled aperture gazing into daylight
hard edged and lit in brittle planes.

Moving backwards and skimming the same wall
moving towards the opposite side
towards the lip that protrudes against the dark space it conceals.

The objective is calmer now
to continue to cut spaces into dressed hexagons.
Patterned self-similarity.
The symmetry slips into duration and cannot be experienced as such
so the swinging round the edges attempts to fix things
and reconstruct the perfect geometry inside the memory.

and back to the left
and round the lip
towards two apertures
two calciferous sockets
with no flat walls in between
held apart by the crest of a corner where the sills meet
and the angles splay towards the rim.

Red bricks support the lintels beneath the concrete

the floor hangs underneath the rim of shadows cast by the apertures.

The apertures are skimmed
the first focussed and then upward towards a confluence of angles
and a dark stain.

There is a slow movement down to the small apertures and they are held too low to expose anything other than the continuation of the flat plane of the sill on the outside
and knotted plant stems beyond.

On the triangle towards an identical gap, there is one more obscured by stems clinging to the wall.

All the edges fade down to black shapes punctuated by the rotating gaps
and up against the corner of the wall
slid around and out into the bright light bricks of the door frame and emerging.

There is a tracking round to the left and backwards into darkness.

You weren’t sure whether these things, these hybrids, watched you,
but you stepped inside them, and they spoke amongst themselves.

Cusped and axial
all duration

The land became striated into terrains that were marked under the auspices of visibility. All of the land in between these floating points, falling slowly, slowly away from use.

You poked your face into the gaps in rhythms and saw yourself approach,
in the hazy rectangles crisped against the edges
stepping tentatively
feet stamping into wet strands and furrows.

Some of them were staring out to see but most shuddered in woodlands near fields
and filled up with mud and the tang of urine, and people wrote their names and dates because.

You thought about repetition
and rot
circling and encircling
clasping each mutation in form, spill and depth of field.

There can be nothing but resemblance and its signs everywhere
details steeped in rational origins
in angles.
And there was a sadness each time you couldn’t step inside, but you would ram your face as far into the slots as the edges would allow
burnishing red lines into your aging skin

waiting for your eyes to adjust.



I was continually wondering where I would end up.....marvelous!!
I really enjoyed the experience.
Last night it took me ages to fall asleep, I wish I had this then to tire myself out with. Great piece of writing x

Cressida Kocienski said...

Ha! My writing is insomniac cure, the lisping snake oil of the sleepless x


Oh Cressida, I really like it.
I'd like to hear your voice reading the words = a mesmerising combo!