Monday, 14 March 2011

revisiting old haunts...

Because I've been revisiting the old home (blog) from many years ago I thought I'd link an example of what I was talking about by remixes. Of course, with Hidden Tracks we were running with the whole music analogy already, but it's an appropriate term. Take some of the component elements and create something new, but with some of the flavour of the old track, the original piece of writing.

It's something you do on creative writing/ literature courses too, write a 'response' to an author's work. I once wrote a companion piece to Poe's Raven, told from the point of view of Lenore's shade, among other things.

So my old writing partner wrote a little slice of uncomfortableness called A Children's Poem...

Gangly Men get everywhere...
Curtain rails, cat's entrails,
Even in balls of rotten old hair.
Push in tight,
No need for the light,
Just sit and stare,
With a pale second sight.
Wrapped up small,
No shadow at all...
Gangly Men unfurl in the walls.

It works, I think, with a sense of the unheimlich (usually loosely (inadequately) translated as the 'uncanny'). Dee doesn't publish so much these days. But you can find his words here, when he does.

And here (originally published here) is my twist, Xero's insomnia remiX:

Only sheer necessity compels these paled people from their doors. Outside, they move too quickly, glancing always about themselves, stricken with fear's awkward puppetry. And when the light slides from the rooftops, they slink indoors. They lock themselves firmly within and anyone that steps outdoors after dark doesn't step inside again; but some slice of the night in their skin might.

Even the wind barely dares to blow here, timidly herding dry rubbish down streets empty of all but the fearful hush of anticipation. Then suddenly scattering and skittering away into cracks and corners as it comes all against a presence unexpected: the puppeteer's patron.

It seems a man, but in this place where men are afraid, he walks alone, calmly and comfortably. He wears his scuffed sable suit with ease, although it hangs a little loose from his long thin frame. He could carry a cane, and carry it well, yet he keeps company with nothing but his clothes and the clustering shadows.

If you weren't cramped in your bed with cold fear, you could watch him walk by; you could watch him trail his talon-like fingers teasingly along the walls, see the shadows of lost men curl about his touch and unfurl in his wake.

Which was, if you like, my idea of a more concrete gangly man. There is (I hope) a little of the feel of Dee's original in there, if it is also, obviously, something quite different.

Actually... copy/pasting that here I can feel the editing itch in my fingers... the desire to tweak and shift the piece. I wonder if editing is something like evolution. There is no 'perfect' goal, there is just progress, adapting for suitability, being as right as you can be for that moment...

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