blank pages (16/April/18)

the most enigmatic part of any book has to be the blank pages at the end, at the back of the book, hidden yet not, left anonymous, unused, as though waiting and still waiting, unrequited…… they seem surplus, superfluous and yet integral… a silence after sentences have been spoken, the pause, the breath to be taken, inhalation… exhalation… merging and submerging…… reflect…… balancing on the echoes of words read… from beginnings and unknowns through turns and twists that bring you here, just here, where the end is just beginning all over again… wiser… blank pages… a lithographic landscape lingers and escapes now running rife in your imagination… you can’t unread the book, only bear its consequences… blank pages aren’t to be squandered, skipped, ignored, it’s never an end until you’ve reached the end, they are an essential ingredient to the recipe…… there are more in some books than others but all nonetheless worth a moments attention… never frivolous, never wasted, never padding, instead they invite you beyond where you’ve just been, if you’re listening that is… blank pages engender curiousity for the curious, for the not-curious, well, let’s just say you haven’t looked hard enough………

© 2018 robert greig

books, Buffy and global domination (4/April/18)

by now I’m well-ensconced in my new book.. reading that is… started last week now almost half way’ish through… a new adventure… reading a book is just that, an adventure, names, new ‘faces’, characters, entire worlds, even when I’m out and about walking around not reading it it’s there, in the background, back of my mind, sort of still reading, or re-reading what’s been read, barely subconsciously sifting and sorting through the plots and turns and pondering where it’ll go next…. all the time leading a double-life, the one in front of me and the one between the pages of the book sat on the bedside table back at home patiently waiting for my return…… they can make the world outside more tolerable, knowing I always have somewhere to retreat……

… talking of retreating, I just found my mind catapulted  back to the 1990’s and realising in so many ways what a different world it was and not that long ago, the affectionately-known, or not so affectionately, pre-millenium… move over Cro-Magnon man, enter Pre-Millenium Man…… surely that deserves a signature tune that annoyingly bursts forth every time I enter a room……

… thinking back to the 90’s makes one realise how not-so long ago it was computers began their golbal domination and how, in such short a time, we’ve surrendered our souls lock, stock and sanity to them… in 1991 the world wide web went live, with the Internet a scarily and rapidly-growing dot on the horizon… the Berlin Wall had only just come down… the first ever Playstation invented a couple of years later in 1994, the same year the first ever Internet-only music track, and can you guess by who?…. Aerosmith!…… Grunge was busy gunging up the music scene with sounds akin to wading through slurry…… a huge sea-change in UK politics in 1997 when the 18-year reign of the Tories monster mash-machine finally came to a staggering end and we thought everything would change, but, you know what they say about change?… the more things change, the more they stay the same…… and poor old Ask Jeeves went the way of Betamax when Google appeared in 1998 to become, well, you know now what happens with an unchecked corporation with whims of world domination?…. they get there in the end… X-Files (1993), now lost the plot entirely; South Park (1997), the best giggle and cringe-fest; Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997), pure unrecognised genius;  Midsomer Murders (1997), still plodding after all these years… I won’t go on as most are just an embarrassment and I’ll be here forever and a day, as they say, though where this extra day comes from after forever (good name for a band, oops, there is one already) has run its course I’m surely baffled by… unless it’s like a leap year, which would be even more baffling…

… television’s never done what books can, provide this other life in your head running parallel, that no one else can see but you… and when that book’s finished just open another and whoosh!……

© 2018 robert greig

the silence of books, the strangles of crows (18/March/18)

wrapped I sit among the silence of books and the strangles of crows who perch and fly as though ghosts in reverse, themselves interlopers in the once again transformed whitescape draping the hedgerows, balanced on branches crooks, exposing once invisible webs much to the spiders dismay, layer by layer gathering flakes settle on roofs to soften the grey of the tiles of slate, dashing the panes from which peer and peruse from within wearing a Wee Willie Winkie hat, bobble and all… I must look a sight from outside but there’s no one to be seen to see, once again the weather has withered any will to venture forth into a world where footprints make the chance of any stealth impossible… this new ‘beast from the east’ is perhaps more of a mini-beast but nonetheless impressive in its subtle way, painting itself in tundra tones although rudimentary sufficient to impose a sheet of secrecy and covert hues on everything that doesn’t move, and even that which does……
… perhaps this is the Soviet response, or more accurately one man’s ego, to an increasingly frigid impassive war between two politics, while us lowly souls care little and know less and less each day of the tit-for-tat affairs of state… who will cast the first snowball?… ah, I see it’s already been thrown…… if snowballs were the weapon of choice then all would end in fits of giggles… being unable to send us too Siberia perhaps they have sent Siberia to us…… they? they?… so easy to fall into that bear trap… language helps to separate, discriminate, stand apart when used as such… them and us, with or against, the cult of the other…… farmers see all black birds as crows and all crows as crows, it makes things simpler, just point a shoot…… oh, the games people play, never saying what they mean, never meaning what they say… petulance, never a fair maiden won……
… meanwhile me and the books watch impotent and mute the twists and turns grow more twisted and tortuous…… the snow tries its best to mollify, pacify, disguise, erase the mistakes, the eyesores, the ruins, is itself both giving and unforgiving, not as cold as it appears yet as cold as it is… my books sits on their shelves shoulder to shoulder, spine to spine, despite their differences never a cross word or hidden agenda…

© 2018 robert greig

(from the House of Books annals)