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Photo by Dominik Rešek on Unsplash

A. Travel Mug.

In the future, there will be a coffee mug. Rocket boosters will stop somewhere between space and earth for a cup of this. Isaac Asimov will buy a pair thinking it will make the ideal vessel through which to grow test tube pups. (Rain has come to Edinburgh at the moment I’m writing this. Pedestrians half jog for cover. A slightly older gentleman squints with slow scorn at the rain and crosses the road towards Lakeland.)

B. Colorful Socks.

But the future is now. The slide-projector-at-a-concert London Mayfair lives somewhere between your arse and your toes. The slimmest of genuine isles of choice for male fashion. One can pull the sock up the leg, over the hips, up over the shoulders, over the head, over the tree, over the bird near the top of the tree, over the clouds, over a passing plane, over the moon and back again. Perhaps with a hole or two.

C. Tesco’s Self-Checkout.

Oh, “unexpected item in the bagging area,” I must break out a canvas and oils and paint thee. Let the looks of the impatient pass you by. Let the light bring out your features instead. Let me caress into pictorial being the saucer for disgorged change that makes me think of where one might spit at a dentist’s office.

D. Edinburgh After The Rain.

Ash yellow churched-up windows — even when there are no churches for blocks and blocks and blocks.

E. A Song By Jacques Dutronc.

Funky arm swing to serve as a dance break instead of a laugh break in Laugh-In. The almost chicken dance that seems inherent in the song, the kind of backing track you’d imagine playing during C’était un Rendez-vous.

And what are we to make of a cactus as a unifying metaphor? A bit of proto-Pixies joy? Or do we avoid the question altogether and talk about the demand of presence in a marketplace that demands your presence? The complaint and the consideration of the complaint, as per Alex Balk and an idea I once sent his way? Do we sit back and wonder about the moment when the internet goes from not being a place to ‘being a place,’ as UCL have touched on here? Or do we simply shout, “Cactus?

F. Parking Lots.

From beneath a parking lot: Aristotle’s Lyceum. From beneath a parking lot: Richard III. And what else are parking lots hiding? Mirror images of cars with wheels pointing up? A certain way in which the wind blows? The JFK Park near the Kennedy School used to be a parking lot for busses in the ‘60′s, but what if it was a particularly nice parking lot? Does the park as it stand today at all obscure the Cambridge equivalent of St. Paul’s Cathedral?

G. Rainbow Dog.

The dog nibbles. The teeth scrape the wall. Has he had a similar experience before? Will he pick the rainbow up off the wall and ask, ‘Whose rainbow is this?’ (And then whose billygoat, as is the expected wont, and where would all those billygoats come from, anyway? (And why do we assume that they’d come?)) Will he bite through the musical staff of colors sketched across the wall? Will he hear a crunch of notes when he does? And what would happen if we took that image — of something loosely resembling a musical staff — and did our best to literalize its likeness and potential usefulness for a week or more?

H. Liverpool Scarf.

You will never walk alone, it says in red and green.


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