5min pressing a day (#748)

#748

Doris had the prescription
from Dr Todd
from the university clinic
rolled up
in a pocket
full
of rolled-up pieces of paper

Walking
to the library
takes eight minutes

Seventeen minutes
in the weekends

If she is with Natasha
one hour
and thirty four minutes

You can be sure
that she will stop
and check on the health
and happiness
of every plant along the way
Doris thinks
laughing loudly
which echoes off the
hallowed walls
of the faculty of Fine Arts

A family of pigeons flap
off

Anything that is about to flower
detains her

As does anything that is in flower

Or anything that has sadly
passed
flowering

These
Natasha finds the hardest

She cannot just walk past them

Then there are those
that never flower

Never have and never will

Doris laughs again

The gardener looks her way

You should have been
a librarian
like Mrs Grooby

She says
to the gardener
under her breath

She pokes her tongue out

What are you doing with those
books
says Mrs Carruthers

Rounding the corner

I suppose she found them
says Mrs Cunningham
ignoring Doris

They make a great decoration
for an empty room

And are good for holding your music down

Excellent for holding the door
open

And
if you put them under your pillow
you will become clever

I’ve been to see Dr Todd

What did she say
Doris?

Unrolling her little piece of paper

Noise in the power supply

I think that’s what it says
it’s hard to read

Is that bad?

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5min pressing a day (#747)

#747

Imagine that…
she scratches
with her quill pen

She has run out
of empty pages
instead adding her notes
in the unwanted spaces
between paragraphs

Imagine that…
she begins again

The tip of the quill
gets caught on a
small inkblot
spreading
from the previous

Song

I would imagine it
to be
a black
tear

What a strange thought
she shudders a quiet
shudder

A black tear
what sort of creature
would have black tears
she shakes herself

Some things are best
not contemplated

A black tear

She actually wants
to write
a letter
to Mr Shams the cat

If there was enough
free
space
on the page

Dear Mr Shams
I hope
that you are happy
I dreamed
that you were once again
unsuccessful
in your bit
to be
top-cat
If I were you
I would choose
happiness
The mall is a strange place
people come here
to hide
from the sun
There is a shop for
cats
here
Mrs Kim got lost
in a lolly shop
She might be
happy here
I don’t know
Last night
after a day of wandering
around
the mall
I slept under a clear sky
with my bicycle
and Mrs Kims parasol
The stars were gathered together
in tight clusters
Mrs Kims kimono
is silk
and slightly frayed
in the corner
maybe she will find a new one here

She seals the letter
with a kiss

Then thinking of something

Opens the letter
and adds

Originally
we were going to call you
Shansli

Shansli the cat

I don’t think I’ve ever told you that

Noticing
that
she
has
drawn
a
tiny
fish
in
the
margin

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5min pressing a day (#746)

#746

Mrs Kim
was last seen
in the crowd
shuffling
forwards

Natasha notes in
Melissa Grommits notebook

Adding
that most crowds seem to shuffle
forwards

They never bound
hop nor gambol

They seem to have a
thick
viscosity

Crowds never
pirouette

She writes
in long flourishes

If anyone shuffles
too fast
than they might trip
and fall
and get squashed
by the rest of the crowd

Natasha then begins to think
of momentum
and inertia

It is a logical extension
she thinks

Momentum
and
inertia

Crowds are a great protection
she thinks

You must protect yourself
from momentum
and inertia

Which is difficult
when in a crowd

Then she thinks
that it will be replacing
old momentum and inertia
with a new kind
of momentum and inertia

If Mrs Kim was last seen
in a crowd

If Mrs Kim
is lost in a crowd

Then logic
says
that she might
be found
in a crowd

She thinks
finding the
train of thought
that seemed to escape her

Isn’t that a strange thing

She thinks

It is logical

I should be a scientist

But I am
she reminds herself

She looks at the crowd
but doesn’t see
any gaps
pauses

I wonder if
the crowd
accepts newcomers

Imagining herself
boring through the side
of the crowd

Jumping into the crowd
from up in the gallery

Will they catch me
she would say to herself
as she jumps

Or ringing the bell
of her bicycle
as she boisterously
rides towards the crowd
causing it to part

Mrs Kim would step
out from the crowd
and take her place
seating herself at the rear of the bicycle

Re-united
at last

With her parasol

Mrs Kim would say
how glad she is
to be back

She thought
she would meet many
people
in the crowd

Only to find herself
surrounded
by the same few people

I didn’t realise
how lonely it would be

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5min pressing a day (#745)

#745

Finding dinosaurs
was a bit unexpected

Only a skeleton remains
of their life
Natasha thought

It always brings her
a touch of sadness

Things that were alive
and that aren’t alive any more

Like empty containers
that cannot tell their story

We will have to imagine it all
she says to herself

That is what we archaeologists do

Stranger still
was finding an old
telephone box

Mr Forbes used to talk about them
all the time

They were wonderous things
you would hold something like
a banana
against your head
and talk

Natasha loved
this bit

Your words would travel
along a
thin piece of wire
and speak to
your friends
at the other end

I will try it

Thinks Natasha

Closing her eyes
and speaking
to the banana
thing

I would s
like to speak to
Doris
and Stella
and Gordje
and Marina

There is a telephone
by the photocopier
at the library

She would speak to Stella
asking her about
her cuts and bruises

And if she has broken anything
interesting recently

And Doris
about her studies
and her manners

And if her family
have come down from the mountains
to visit her

And Marina
about her job
at Space Labs

And whether Dick Morris
has been cured
of his condition

Just as she was about to address
Gordje
Natasha
was sure
that she saw
Mrs Kim

Passing by
in a big crowd
of tourists

Dressed in white

Come and gone
in a moment

She would ask
in a whisper
how Gordje von Strom was

There would be a
long
pause

And he would say that he was fine
she would swallow
and so would he

And he would say he was fine
again

And they would talk
not really
knowing what they were talking about

After a while he would say
that Mrs Broadhead is here
behind a pile of books

On how the mind functions

Mrs Broadhead would come over

Natasha would tell her about the mall
how big it is
and about the art gallery
and the flower shop
and the window
and the sand dunes

And Mrs Kims parasol

And how she had lost Mrs Kim
in the lolly shop
just when she was almost
cured

Mrs Broadhead suddenly asked
are you bored
Natasha

It is terrible here
should I leave?

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5min pressing a day #744)

(#744)

After quite some time
of looking for Mrs Kim

Natasha began
wondering

Perhaps Mrs Kim
isn’t lost
at all

Perhaps she doesn’t want
to be found

I thought that we had
become
friends

Almost

Perhaps Mrs Kim
has defected

Changed her allegiance
to become part
of this shopping mall

Natasha passes an open door
leading to an art
gallery

Everything here is
twice
as big
as it needs to be

She thinks

Paintings pressed uncomfortably
against the architecture

Squeezing
her eyes

Making
her
feel
small
like
an
ant

She finds it
difficult
to breathe

There is a painting that looks
exactly
like the window

That she seems
to frequently pass

The window that she found
open
with Mrs Kims parasol
leaning
against the wall

The sand in the painting
does not move

Like real sand

The light dances
when she looks away

There is another painting
of flowers
smiling

There are no real flowers in the mall

Not even at the flower shop

Now here is a strange thing

She says to herself

The gallery
guard seems to be looking
at her

There is a painting
that seems to have a
Mrs Kim
hiding in it

Leaning for a closer look
the guard coughs
politely
sternly

Staring
at a line on the ground

Mrs Kim is at a wedding party
in the centre of the painting
in a white dress

With her customary
parasol

If Doris were here

She would say
Mrs Kim
is running away

From you

She would say it
in the
loudest
and rudest
possible way

You could drop
your dreams
and leaky fantasies

And go home

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5min pressing a day (#743)

#743

In a day
of wandering
she seemed to not pass
the same scene
twice

Except for the window
which she passed
on numerous occasions

She remembers
at some time in the day
finding a shop for
cats

In a mall as large as this
you might expect
that they would have a shop
for cats

The mall
she is sure
is as large as
her home
planet

If her memory
is correct

She seems to frequently pass
the window

The one where she found
Mrs Kims parasol

Sometime in the afternoon
she found
by accident
the entrance
again

Her bicycle was still parked
in the carpark

No trees had grown
or come over
to offer shade

As she saw the sun
beating
the bicycle
she became concerned

Surely it would
melt
the handgrips

And the seat

And cause the tyres
to explode

Carefully positioning Mrs Kims parasol
to keep the sun
off
the seat

Tied
with a piece of dotted ribbon

She had seen men
by the gate
when she had been looking out of the window

Natasha had found
that looking
out of the window

Was the most interesting thing
at the mall

She would look out the window
imagineing
Mrs Kim
jumping
and flying

Her kimono spread
like a kite

As she soared

Flying

To emancipation

Normally
Mrs Kim
liked jumping
into water

In
her
imagination

Landing with a big splash

The sand hills
are a bit
like water
thought Natasha

She had gazed on them
like waves
moving around the desert

Tying a bow
holding the parasol
to the bike

She realised that the men
in the carpark
were pushing the sandhills back

And that Mrs Kim
wasn’t flying around

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5min pressing a day (#742)

#742

Natasha cannot understand
why
Mrs Kim
would want to get lost

In a lolly shop

Why would she want
to get lost
in a lolly shop?

She asks herself

Reiteratively

She could starve
to death
in there

She thinks to herself
seated below the
plastic pine tree
painted to look like it is
covered in snow

It looked quite refreshing
after an afternoon
of riding
through the sand
in a hot desert

She once had a discussion
with Doris
who had on one occasion
lost
her mother
at the railway station

I looked in the
Dunkin’ Donut shop

She wasn’t there

Doris didn’t know
where else to look

Natasha notices
that there is no Dunkin’ Donut shop
within sight

There might be one
out of range
of her vision

If you don’t know
you can never
be sure

She says to herself

Responding to her own question

People do anyway

There is a flower shop
somewhere almost out
on the horizon
and a book shop too

Doris would go to the donut shop
for sure

Stella would go
to the pharmacy
if lost

Looking for a cure
for her condition

Clumsiness
isn’t fun

Unless you have a good sense
of humour

Gordje von Strom
said
that he was like a
sea sponge
that changed itself
to resemble the surrounding
environment

Doris said
a lizard

He would be very hard to find

You would have to look
very hard
in the hope that you might see
his faint outline
against the background

I would go to the bookshop
thought Natasha

Of course

If I can’t find my way
back to my own world

I would surely find a new one
there

I would blend into whatever story
looked
most fun

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