The news on Abbey Road

London. Another day of clouds and drizzle punctuated by a few moments of sunshine—an event so rare that it feels like a cosmic event when the light shifts and the world briefly brightens as if the gods are smiling down upon us. A high of 53 degrees and the sun goes down at 5:28pm. England ended most of its pandemic rules today, and Russia is claiming territory in Ukraine. The moon is in its final quarter.

My mind is fragmented this morning, flicking around our little flat by the train tracks, batting at threads but unable to grab hold of anything. “You can say anything about everything,” said C. as we studied the pompous text on the wall of an art gallery, where a blotch of paint was apparently renegotiating the past with the future and forcing us to confront our problems. You can say anything about everything—this might be a proverb for the 21st century. We’re living in murky times, and nobody’s keeping score of what makes sense anymore, which is both frightening and liberating.

Yesterday I tracked down a copy of John Berger’s Confabulations, needing to read something sane from someone who could render fragments into something beautiful. I like everything about this little book. The simplicity. The straightforwardness. Even the large typeface. “True translation demands a return to the pre-verbal,” Berger writes. “What has prompted me to write over the years is the hunch that something needs to be told and that, if I don’t try to tell it, it risks not being told. I picture myself not so much a consequential, professional writer, as a stop-gap man.”

And somewhere off to the left, I can hear Georges Perec: “Question your teaspoons.”

Oval – Polygon Med Pak

The Corners of the Mouth | Bubble Core Records, 1997
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