Richard Makin reading from Dwelling

Here is video on Youtube of Richard Makin reading the following passages from the start of Chapter 2 of Dwelling:

His cut is deep like one mouth. He crouches alongside. A name is misspelled, a circuit completed. We take offence. Give back. Grant displeasure. Does it have to make contact. I conduct. I am nerves. I store up, lose nothing. All my systems function and contradict, often angular lineaments. I negotiate. He goes hogwire at the outcome. The listener sometimes lacks the motivation to protest, to sell tongue – to reset the tale in constructivist fashion. We are going to need shinpads. There’ll be reprisals. This starving and freezing won’t work with me either – I have reread the tale, the nights. Amen. Use your head when you are. I dream he is standing upon a rocky outscarp – arid terrain (the guidebook says overhanging limestone feature). He initiates the tradition: evacuate, alienate, encompass, repatriate. We’re exposed to one another. I’m leaving soon, which is a good reason to include me in the experiment. I am decoy. The objects presented include the slate pencils, the hopper-shape, the salt mineral, some vague peripherals, a few sheets of remaindered paper. What if one day I can no longer. It’s an uncertain age. Silence is my prerogative. Silence is my domain. As long as he keeps at it things are held at bay. Things are kept in check. Change tack: two men, one cage, a fight to the death. The decays. A series of attacks and parries. A dead ball situation. We’ve just taken one step back from mourning. I am beginning to emerge. I courage myself by remembering what indifference I’ve made (lots of white space). I spoke at the outset. I don’t provoke. I cannot revoke. I will not provoke by letters under my foreknowledge. No punchlines. Lots of silences. Any material addled to the edge will leave a deep depression in each face of the cube. The overall shape is diminutive of bend sinister, only half its width. Atomic life is sinking. The parry combines with the reposte.

We initially believed the thing was used for striking sparks. There simply isn’t enough data to go on. Information is ebbing. We stop. Lots of sirens. So far, all we can recollect is intricate street canals navigated by brightly-coloured barges, clumps of seaweed drifting across an oily spectrum. In the town square is a museum dedicated to those no longer here (a familiar theme we shall return to again and again), an archive of images that help you to forget: a worn face caught in the glow of a nearby star and printed onto a piece of paper – a rust chute that empties into the sea – a pyramid of pebbles balancing beside an olive grove. I hope you’re concentrating. I hope you’re connecting. I am presently paralysed. I stand upon the southernmost of twin salt-glands that flank the rivermouth.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, with able assistance I give you the past. There are waves and I am humming a tune. There are horses, plenty of horses. See, the rim of a cloud, burnt into a slice of night. I declare myself in a dumbshow. Odour and humidity are estimated equal. Among my citizens are common mutes. You can no doubt see the lights of the petrochemical plant from this very spot, across the estuary, across the darks. Limbs link and wish for something. He says we have been quietly structured. We are panopticon. Think of this in terms of an end state, entropy – unfounded rumours, nameless molecules. We cease. Some things should never come together and occupy the same space. I’m returning to my earlier notes, earlier selves, and expanding. It’s believed his motive was revenge for something that happened twenty centuries ago. He refuses to collaborate. He is misuse, plunders by ancient pistol – perhaps a substitute for corroded or corrupt. There’s a time, and we can wait. The stripping work is done with the aid of a steamblower and an axe. There’s lots of tiny white flowers pouring out of his head. The doctrine is the doctrine of the impossibility. His brain appears to be made of millet-seed. No number satisfies the diction or has the property. This is where I put all the things I reject but wish to keep. I don’t think this is particularly savage territory. I don’t think this is illusive terrain. The square root of opposition dictates itself, swaying to and fro from end to end. The melodies of different composers can be approached by subtracting the principle. Consider his erection range, his neutron object. We are modelling his magic on unspecified rites: piratic genes, albumen smog, the torn dust-cover et cetera. None of us can cope with all the biting and the scratching. That said, the fights are much like fights: inconsequential. He reuses everything – that’s his pulse – but I’m the one who is trembling anticipation. That throbbing noise from beneath the floorboards is the last utilizable vein.

from Dwelling by Richard Makin, 2011. Available from Reality Street:


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