If I had but one wish. If I had but two wishes. If I had but a dream that these occupiers were successful, the images would be composed of gates opening to the wind. Shedding iron for all to see, all to take. All to create and wonder, and create for all to take. There would be men laying in thought and oblivion, tired of excess and bearing the overabundance of tranquility, tired of perfection of the spirit and sounds of joy. A man's woman would be somewhere swinging a feather through the air, as if it were a broom. Swinging for all to see, as jaybirds traveled on the backs of coyotes, and this woman with the traveling feather called her friends to dance until morning, until trees felled themselves. Until trees were harvested from the steel forges of endless city streets to the sky. Until the morning was but another day and not the same. Until the smell of eggs and toast and butter and fresh berries appeared from the trials of some ghost and there was forever more a joyous young child skipping back and forth between the sink and water pump and the table full of bread. Gooseberry jam and teas of alder bushes ripened and never unlasting. Men dangle from scaffolding, inhaling sparks and cawing off at the traffic below like crows. Rubbish fires burn at every corner, not to keep the ghosts at bay but to remind one of the warmth of a fires need.
In this world the women are remarkable in their tolerance, forgiving in their toil. Fish and bear meat appear from their breasts. Cooking is easy, with bras of cast iron, and in the other hand a bottle of flax oil. The women sleep beneath the streets and rise from wooden shutters, jury-rigged overtop of where a manhole once formed. Two-timing as roof and bedspread these shutters fold in and out of street stone. The streets overwhelmed by flesh, edible and pure and waiting. The streets moving and bearing movement, and the sounds of trampling shoes over feet. There is the smell of youthfulness and acceptance and becoming. There is the smell of the man never cleaned now clean. This man whom we see through this smell, clean and waiting, reads his newspaper in the gutter while women take turns scrubbing his backside with broomheads. Chewing on a bone and without some dog to fight over the cleanliness and abundance, the man reads his headlines barely distinguishable through filth. In the streets there is soup and a man staring into this soup as though it were an epiphany, but a stupid epiphany, one which causes doubt and happiness. And from the newspaper headlines wiped over the gutter man's ass there ripen strawberries and venison. Only in this land of excess and lack of shit. Only in this land of everything and nothing. In this land where the dead come to life. Where finally dreams are realized, and the waiting appears as mould under drying tents of hay. Where disaster is some untold break from the toil of bleak happiness. There grows from the shadows a harvest of construction and recycling of the human soul.
Bark is accumulated out of the spanning precipice of buildings. Birch, beech and pine. Struck for fire, bent into structures. The lifeblood of the movement of humans appears as a disaster, or death of a materials shining day. The buildings rock and sway and give birth to some other tranquility of movement and trembling. Sounds, creaking immobility, and the smell of an open fire. A boy sits crafting an ox from a pine tree. Trunk and boughs. A man sits sharpening his scythe. He pulls eggs from the asses of chickens and hens. And he wonders what this tool shall provide for in coming days. Amidst yellow cabs and caravans there will be a gathering and harvest of hay. Women will walk by, towards where their desks appear in memories, reaching for phones, and touching their hips not reaching for phones. Hay will fall from their asses and hair. As their heels click and squander the images around them, hay will appear from the yellow exhausts and from under manholes and tombs of the unexplored. There is a fire falling and tumbling. And there is a hum and a ha. And somewhere in a box a woman picks a toothbrush from the floor. She casts it through the hole in the roof of her home. The toothbrush too becomes hay and falls toward the unexplored depths of eye level. Here there is a whistle, and there there is a song, and everywhere the gentle sounds of overgrown grasses falling and dancing. The pine forged ox stands on three legs, with matchstick feathers on his back from the wittling, and a trunk for a fourth leg. His creator is loving in detail and feeds the ox hay as he scrapes away at the forming wood. Scrapes away in forming the fourth leg. The ox chews away, and grinds as he chews, and a man along the outskirts of this forming of wood kicks away at a tree, cursing to the spreading pine beetles. Cursing the falling needles, the sky, and that which falls from the sky.
If territory is traded for territory there is a man standing apart, adrift even, flailing away in silence. Arms transcending distance and walking towards the known tranquility of safety. If there is a known tranquility it is here, because this is where I am. And here there remains some gumption of the fusing of suits and celebratory attitudes. Here there are businessmen and other businessmen, and men who stare and turn and look at the businessmen. Here there are asses spawning from windows, and shit falls to the heads below, covered and discarded through mirrors and the feeling of distance and suitable darkness. The walkers in their business suits grin and bear the reality of a sky falling and not falling. Like a clown too proud to be drunk anymore, and too tired of children not to be drunk anymore. And tomorrow the tents will stand and walk and listen, until they arrive at the trade buildings. And there they will hear the whispers of moans that remind us of days gone by. Doubtful in persistence, and yet unending in their groans, the digital traders edge. Persuaded by some vengeful nuisance, towards erring and swirring that is acceptable and proud for traders of want and need. Backwards against the pitfalls of memory. If there is whirring there is happiness and if there is burring there can only be more happiness. All because one cannot be too careful.
A birch broom drops from an unoccupied park. A park once occupied, but lost due to a lack of proximity within conditions of progress and movement. A park peaceful and waiting for the traffic of feet and unoccupied legs. A park waiting in memory of what has been lost. Traveling by taxi and transit and taking on the appearance of some future aircab, our birch broom is tolerated, if not avoided and forgotten, so that it may become a hero. Down 5th Avenue, past the whores dressed as models, and past the shops and windows containing men staring in their business suits. Beard growers and can farmers shake their recycled money, throw their waste at the birch broom so as to cheer him on. Alongst the occupiers, walking off somewhere, old birchie sweeps and clears and degrades the sounds of empty trading. Aside whirring and burring he proposes chirping and scraping. Birchie double times and serves up some squirrel stew. Folks line up and peer out of their box homes, wondering over the smell of stew and soup and what is shared. Next to birchie a woman rises from her pot and proposes an occupation of Underground Station 12. Her clothes are ragged, even new, and smell of soup spice and her well travelled dog. Her little brother Mortimer grabs his cat by the whiskers and hops on its back. A kick to the hip and they're off. Around the cat's neck clatters a bell, tied from spruce root and swaying away as cheap silver will sway. The wooden ox takes up the back of the forming crowd. Four feet and all he steps from side to side and charges west, then eastwards for a bit. And this action gathers the crowd together, a little tighter, a little warmer. The ox grunts in pleasure and stomps out three tin cans to use as shoes. Birchie dances beside him, sweeping and singing.
What is the use
Of a broom on the moon?
What is the use
Of a broom in June?
Night and day
Boil the broom
Dance with the broom
Eat the broom
Answer to the broom
A broom is useless to an ox
A broom is fearful to the fox
Sparrows perch on the broom
Rats scurry from the broom
It's not the sweeping that matters
It's the room torn a tatters.
And to this the occupiers dance and sing. And swing their hips away into Station 12. At Station 12 there is no one. There are a few businessmen, ties loosened, having their shoes shined by small apes. Monkeys perhaps. Robots maybe. The businessmen sit in their boxer shorts, waving their pants off to the side, for drying and entertainment. They drink brandy, and chew on mouldy cheese. The monkeys spin roadsigns, buffing away at the hightower stepping shoes. Mortimer and his cat charge in and kick away at the walls. The bell rattling and swinging off windowpanes. Mortimer reaches in for a candybar at one of the underground shop stalls. He leaves a clump of cat fur as payment. They take off to the lower depths of the station, and cling clang rattle bing bang goes the bell on the cat's neck. And cling clang rattle bing bang goes Mortimer ringing and rattling off the walls, shop doors and steel advert casings. Mortimer dismounts his feline and begins ratcheting through a turnstile. He keeps turning it and jamming bean cans into the quarter slots for a little musical taste. And to announce the arrival of occupation. The crowd towers in solemnly. Above objective conditions there is placed a sticker reading 'Occupy New York'. Aside objective conditions appear the lines of a sticker which read 'occupynewyork.net'. With this affect of objective conditions it appears that objective conditions have changed. So the woman and her birch broom propose a shifting of scenery. Another occupation. The wooden ox with three tin cans for shoes stomps and grunts, and the crowd wanders and meanders into proper formation. Calling to them is the sweet smell of squirrel stew. In celebration the woman activist falls back into her pot for a rest. She sleeps and snores and adds taste to the squirrel stew. Her dog watches and scratches and sleeps away in waiting.
As his sister sleeps Mortimer goes off to gather doughnuts from a local shop. He lays them before the fire and begins tearing off pieces, discarding those too colourful and placing the respectable pieces in his Dutch oven. He stirs in random seeds and grasses that he finds aside him. Meanwhile his cat is off taking the discarded doughnut pieces and laying them out before squirrels for purchase. The squirrels offer a few types of nuts and other things in return, but nothing more. Back and forth. Back and forth. Item for item. The cat would scurry towards a place of rest when finished each time, towards Mortimer on three paws hopping and scuttling, holding her bell with her fourth paw so as not to alarm Mortimer to some communist plot. The squirrels appear as reluctant traders, as their comrades had been cured and marinated within tactile distance. They however had no choice in the matter of developing conditions, and welcomed with open arms their new brothers.
Like magic, there are drums and puppets and the screams of atmospheric chatter. There is confetti and paper mâché guitars. There is awakening. There are masks of past presidents and costumes of future presidents. There is lack of sleep. And everywhere the reflecting and shining of objective conditions. Unsanitary phenomena and women standing naked around open fires dancing. Taxi cabs and steel boxes peer towards the madness, not so much in thought and wonder, nor envy, but in that indiscernible quality of closeness and familiarity. A moment of closure in the acceptance of passing images. And there is dancing. In the middle of it all and in the outskirts. Wood ox sleeps in a tree, and little Mortimer sleeps away by his cat, ringing the bell now and again to make sure he is alive and resting. Their rest is undisturbed by the passing of metal and time. When Mortimer awakens he sets away to carving. It is unsure at first what his project entails. It is unsure and then quite certain as a suit of armour appears from chunks of spruce and pine. Mortimer puts on his suit and stands in the center of it all. In the center of all that appears and is occupied. Proud and with his cat rubbing up against the shins of this new creation.
Terrible dreams are given refuge. Pop stars forgotten and given life, and jobs are quit to travel and so boost economy. Numbers are credited and taxed and entered into the register of organising freedom. T-shirts made, tents purchased and printed with names. Are there s'mores or the other conveniences of camping? If I am to participate in this occupation I want the convenience of knowing the potential of success and viability of future convenience. I always need something to chew on. Is there electricity to plug in my laptop or play video games? I always need something falling to the sky, to wrestle with, and though I have this falling of bones now, I could always do with more. If only there were a trade center for my individual uniqueness. And what of my friends? I demand my convenience of their received convenience and need. Occupy a town, a country, a million countries or at least some foreign land. Occupy a wall with facebook and spraypaint. Occupy a cemetary, and the coffins filled with useless bodies. Give the useless bones life through making them occupy. Shake dust into coffee cups and serve off to construction workers so as to occupy the sky. Onwards and upwards four legged critters and communists! If there were only a digital connection to every bare moment. Every moment stripped of its context and given some Goethe hyper-reality. Infamy and immortality all wrapped up in patience and noble politeness. Return to sleep, and skimming books, and ringing bells.
And in sleep where the politeness disappears, or appears to disappear or is given the appearance of appearing to disappear, then we know we have our birch broom to fall back on. He keeps us clean as we toss and turn. He keeps us from fidgeting and swatting at mosquitoes. Birchie will even pray against the rain gods for us, swinging away at the sky, climbing ash trees and making them sway. When we wake we can sweep cigarette butts under the tents, protect those who have remained within the production of organisation through the night, dancing around the feet of cops as though we were midgets with fishing poles. The policemen swing away at us but we are too small. Our red dresses and aprons a trick to the eye, scandalous and dropping bread crumbs all over their boots. It is there that we know what has been achieved. There where we have been given the key to the city. Boots and red dresses and clean streets. And bread crumbs left over here and there.
The women tire of dancing around the men in uniform, and return to the beds of the occupying men. They lift up the legs of the men and add spruce boughs to the bedding, and for each limb lifting and gently setting down. The women scrub away at the men as the men sleep and scratch away at their backsides. The men sleep all the more soundly as the broomheads caress skin soiled as if coal. One of the women, dressed as an American gypsy, drops her broomhead. She is somewhere between the age of 21 and 46. You could guess that she grew up in the Midwest, or in Eastern Canada. Her hair a tangle, feather dangling from her ear, hair not quite straight and almost in dreadlock. By her side a shepherd dog underfed and well loved. She begins to sweep up her dogs fur, by hand, without separating cigarette butts or bits of newspaper. She begins to organize the rubbish. Tin cans, planks of rotting wood, stones and windshields. The occupiers adjust to her position and begin to remove their shoelaces. With laces for cordage the gypsy positions her construct around the largest and oldest and most withered tree in the park. Its trunk provokes memories of a young child and a hunchbacked old man. Like the man children always stare at in imagination, the man crawling home from work and reading through his spectacles, book almost on the ground. With tires and bark and tin, the structure goes up effortlessly. All held together with shoelaces, and fur protruding like old man's beard. A man lays watching, chewing bones of squirrels and pigeons, marveling over the construct. He thinks to himself “This is it. I've had a good day." A magpie rests atop the structure, where a bell should be, crooked and standing as a makeshift belltower should be.
The men rise from their spruce beds and proceed to the belltower, each with a wooden bowl and stew in hand. One man proposes a name for this beautiful construct. “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," he says. Another man says, “Why don't we call it 1917?" The American gypsy wonders at this, and before she can speak a man standing backwards and wearing springs from a car for a shirt goes off. Looking at the squirrels and construction workers in the distance he says, “but then so why not 1642, if 1848 has not quite seen change since? And then perhaps another fine day was had in 1233, where things were beautiful and sad and not quite the same, but tolerable. And some day before that there was 49 BC where the meanderings of a man did not quite so appear different from the first census and the last census, and even the birth of Christ." Yes, he thought to himself, that is right and yet no one will listen. The people watched him pacing, and so forgot him all the quicker. They had continued conversing through the watching, and spoke over the man's rambling. Yet their words were not so different, but a communal effort and circle of tone automated away from the hierarchy of a lone man. And then time traveled on and on and backward until minutes were counted in days and turnouts of the clock. And then there was a man who stood and wondered of doves and traps set by some falling of snow by some oak bushes. And men wondered where the women had walked backwards before gathering of hay and there was something smiling and blaming and righteous and bearable.
The surrounding tents, content and tired of their occupiers organizing all of conditions, decide to take up an activist objective themselves. They decide to outdo the street walks, or the occupation of Station 12 even. They consent to occupy the adjacent building. The tallest, widest and therefore wealthiest and most important building in the city. The tents transform, ascending the side of the skyscraper. A collectivity of poles and PVC becomes a collectivity of canvas, maple saplings, spruce boughs and birch bark. There stems a promenade out of the 83rd floor. Brick and stone with an ever so slight bit of mortar. It is a short jut out of the skyscraper and the building created is something of a yurt, a wigwam, a tent and a kulaks home. It is a collectivity so as not to offend or appropriate culture.
Another excrescence appears on the 112th floor. It seems the men will not be outdone. The women below gather the materials and send the organised material up the building through pullys and levers crafted out of iron and spruce twigs. Bits of timber and poles and crossways boards. There are shingles and boxes with strategically placed square holes. The men assemble the assemblages quickly, and without sweat or furrowed brow. They can scarcely keep up with the organised efficiency of the women below. The women reading instruction booklets to each other as they work away. Above, the men sing with their hands, two doors swing open and a bale of hay falls out. The doors slam shut and the structure sways and falters and shakes. Again the doors open and two twin bales fall to the earth below. A man's tent is consumed by the first falling chaos of creation, baled hay thumping on the streetside. The man tears newspaper from his ass and pants and begins to construct a new tent. He grabs windshield wipers and tires, newspaper boxes and rose bushes. He figures that with the rosebushes the women will appear at his tent twice a day to scrub him down with broomheads. He climbs from his yurt naked, scattering pettles to the wind. Ass and all, clean as a chimneyman on Monday, waiting to roll around in shit. His tent goes up in minutes, like any rosebush wigwam.
The gypsy American and her dog have been steadily increasing the belltower structure. With car engines and windshields and old newspapers the pair build something of a lean-to A-frame, or an outhouse styled entryway. There are church benches and bibles welded together with sand and muck. There are baskets and doors and ragged clothing. There is dog fur and spruce boughs holding it all together. A rotund man, no more than 4'3" ascends from a manhole shutter to street level and to the occupation of sight. He is holding hands with a woman much taller and thinner than he. He hands her a broomhead and sends her away with a bow. He is dressed in an old tuxedo, worn and patched over by denim and tin. He yawns and marvels in wonder over this new structure in the park. With the raise of a finger he darts carelessly and clumsily, then climbing over the bark and tires and windshields he ascends the structure. Like a penguin climbing ice, he stumbles, takes a pull of doghair rope and falls back smacking his chin. Shakes his stumbles off, over and over and he cannot fall but to move forward. Cursing the gypsy woman below for not helping him, this man forgetting his youth, forgetting his collective ethic, kicks and shouts and moans and sorrows. Without a thought, his purpose returns to him. He pulls himself up the recycled dirt and rope into the hair of the tree and its organised towering presence. At the top of the tower he beats the tin patches from his coatjacket against the windshields and roof metals. He even waddles back and forth like a bell. Clik-a-clak. Clik-a-clak. He rings and he waits. He figures seven or eight minutes should be enough waiting. The men below and above in the world need to hear the happy ringing and domestication of time. And so rings his pockets and tin patches ever so often. And for this a lineup appears and waits to enter the belltower. The first man, after awaiting the finalisation of construction for some time, exits the entryhouse chambers, scratching his head and pacing. He sits, turns over three times, kicks the dirt off his shoes. He walks over to a woman making stew and takes her knife. He wanders over to a birch sapling and cuts and notches at it. Then he takes the notches and fragments of wood over to a spruce giant. A giant conifer split up the middle and bulging at the trunk, hardened and traumatised through bearing conditions and time and the great weight of life. The man jabs the sticks of birch into the trunk of the spruce. He stands back. Nothing happens. He forces the plank twig further into the tree. Nothing happens. He pulls out the twig and wipes the resin onto a tire. He tries entering the twig within a new condition in the spruce trunk. He decides patience is the key to overcoming the insurmountable. And so kicks the tree five times, with a little less force each time, as his toe rattles through his rubber shoes.
He sits all night watching. And as the sun rises, he builds a fire surrounding the tree. He kicks at the tree and roots and sends hot coals flying and bouncing off the great bulge in the spruce trunk, he sets himself down and cries and drives his hands that would be better as hammers into the ground. It is then that liquid begins to flow from the great spruce. Women scatter from all directions to the tree, gathering the spruce resin turned into sap. The women gather with wooden cups and as the spruce wine flows over they fill their rubber shoes with promises of contentment. They drink as they fill, and plug up holes in their rubber shoes with their mouths. They offer a drink to the cat and the bell and the wood ox. The cat plays with her drink. The bell rattles and dances over the sap. The ox bathes in his sap, reminded of a sweet coating of dutch oil. Any excess is offered to the occupied tree tower, the belltower with gypsy priestess and the man-ringer with no bell. And the priestess and man-ringer throw sap wine towards one another in merriment. The man-bellringer clangs away at his tin patches so as to organize happiness and its never ending. The old, stern oak towers and sways and appears youthful and wise. Throughout the city a great rumbling could be felt and off in the distance jays took flight. The wise birds began to cast nets over rivers. Trout and bass willingly jumped into the nets, so as to offer themselves to the occupiers. Herring bypassed the nets, and appeared without foresight hanging in front of the occupier tents and belltowers. Women clapped the herring to the ground in joyousness and content abandon.
Where there's a tree
There is me
And where there's sap
There is glee.
And charitable folk
If you come in good timing
You'll stay for the dining.
The occupiers and revelers sing and drink away. There is sap until tomorrow and then beyond. A young boy, 28 or 30 years old, tumbles out of the belltower shithouse-like structure. With a fishing pole he casts away and catches a woman's bonnet. He casts away again, sending glass and coin from the walls of buildings. On the third cast he strikes steel and from it pulls a herringbone shaped fragment of iron. He casts into the same building and fells some bark from the wall. On the third cast after the second cast he pulls bread dough and tosses it to a nearby dog. He thinks to himself that there is no need for starvation or thin, loveless dogs. Why not organize a dog free from want and desire and need? He hands off his fishing rod to a woman, who casts away, forging iron out of steel, pulling bark where needed. He sits by the woman fisher and sketches a chalk outline of a dog. He begins to assemble his creation from accumulated iron and birch bark from the fished buildings. Dogs made of birchbark and iron emerge victorious in the light of the world. They are clumsy and without ordered movement at first. They creak and almost fall apart, as the birch and iron limbs move and split. The dogs bypass any search for food, and wheeling hay bales with a stick in their mouths take to creating a pyramid. They wheel away at the hay bales like the poor child's game with old tires. And they mouth and paw the bales into formation. The wooden ox sees this effort of beast and man, so straps hay bales over his shoulders and ascends the hay structure, building and preening as he goes. He creates this home, this tower, as if it were a promenade toward great light and hope. Loving, as if it were a large bed. Powerful as a future humanity.
There is a constancy of revelers lining up outside the belltower. Mortimer sits carving little note sized scraps from his wooden armour and hands them off to the revelers and waiters of soulful existence. He does this so as to create spirit and a fast moving line of reveling, and to keep up with the necessity of change. WIthout this the belltower would lose its tradition and excise. One man leaves the belltower entryway crying and cursing the ground. He begins to gather newspaper and tires. He gnaws away at the tires to create workable pieces. Dips the rubber into mud-puddles and combines the working tire pieces with newspaper. Once finished he dresses himself in the creation, it is nothing less than a business suit, or tuxedo, or leisure suit. Cumberbun of classified sections, and historic headlines for cuff links. There is material everywhere, from burning and abandoned cars, and storefronts with sleeping immigrant cashiers tossing newspapers and canned-goods from windows. The occupier entrepreneur is able to assemble suits quickly and without hardship from accumulating and recycling these abandoned goods. He is still crying as he labours, but it appears as the crying of solitude and happiness. A lineup forms in front of his gutter workshop, and occupiers begin paying in advance for their future wears. They toss into a wooden cup birdseed, and scavenged nuts stolen from squirrels, hubcaps and tire irons, golf clubs and pistols and knives. Whatever can be recycled as payment.
Alongst the belltower pilgrimage a woman mimes away a famous opera. She is skinny and pale and so lacks the power of an operatic performer. But she is beautiful in silent effort. And the men waiting in line applaud her through looking away. One man leaves the belltower outhouse kneeling and slapping himself on the ass. He kisses stones and places them on his head to see if there is some balance. All of the stones fall back to the ground. A woman darts from the belltower tearing her clothes away into freedom, and she falls lovingly into an extinguished fire pit, stirring up ashes and enlivening the long forgotten embers. She paints herself head to toe in black and kisses every man who approaches. The wood ox, shortly resting, is awakened as the woman drunk in her own beauty falls over to sleep beside him. An elderly, crouched man exits the belltower and sits down in the entryway, he lays his cane across his lap and sets in to wittling. For each member in line for the belltower-shithouse he whittles a card from his cane. He carves a box in the slip of wood and whispers into the ears of his fellow occupiers. At this point most of the occupiers refuse themselves entry into the belltower and proceed to participate in the creative tasks of other occupiers. One woman begins to strip the rubber shoes from her comrades and with pine resin and woodchips she creates raised heels for the tiremade footwear.
The wood-iron dogs pull trails of tin cans and string behind them, clicking and clacking into the camp, their joints creaking with production value. Mortimer sits carving little leaf sized notes from his armour and hands them off to women. The women run off with each note and perform some task. There is a woman ploughing away at the soil, waiting for its growth in movement and toil. She plants little fragments of tin in row after row and another woman waters away at the rows of planted tin. The wood ox takes over the effort of ploughing and goes over the same rows time and time again. The first woman proceeds to rebury each piece of tin as it is tilled away from its home in the growing soil. Wood ox rests by gathering hay into bales and carrying them up the tower to the tents and yurts which adorn the steel structure.
All along the wood ox has worked, resting an hour for every seven hours of effort. Resting by baling hay and creating this structure of occupation and the occupied. It is a house and a passageway, and a moment in time towards tomorrow. It is somehow a culture and the everyday sweeping and scraping of domesticity, and it is even the natural movement of human waiting. The ox now has hay bales scattered in height close to the adjacent 112th floor. Twin towers, one of the strength of steel, one of the sweet surrender of dried grasses. His efforts are producing organisation. But now something appears from the 168th floor of the steel structure. There are cables and beams and woodchips sewn together through care and hope. There are birdcages and magpies sitting atop the cages. There are rugs of bear hide, and iron totem pole columns. There is a door made of birchbark, squares 4' by 4'. The door takes a long time to open. Old men, who look as boys, dressed as organ monkeys, with old German war helmets, and riding bicycles, disassemble the frames of the door one by one. The squares of bark appear to be as heavy as cast iron, and the men, tiny in the distance and in reality, are all chipping in with each fragment of the door, as though it were composed of the most delicate crystal. Some hour and a half passes before the door is opened, disassembled. And the men all appear as giants now, waving their tiny hands towards the depths below. Their helmets falling over their eyes. The men would have fallen to their deaths below if not for some collectivity and the warmth of human creation and labour. A bear appears behind the men, nosing at some structure. There are leaves and grasses rolling and tumbling towards the building's entrance below. Materialisation of the wind waiting for what is above, some structure that cannot be determined through its shape and movement, a bear nosing about in thought. There is some intricate assemblance of poles, young saplings straight as any aluminum, shining and rattling. The roof, or the top of the indiscernible structure, is composed of maple sticks designed to resemble a circle of wild animals. The indiscernible assemblage is clearly a house, or tent of some kind. There are bears holding hands and ducks praying in the roof image. And there are cats playing cards with dogs. And there are so many sticks organized in a way that any imagined animal is possible. The great circle of life is protected by a glass roof. And this house in the shape of a yurt falls to the occupied world below. There are sparrows and falcons that fly, circling, below the grass homes. The glass roof falls delicately as if the wings of these great birds protect it from any harm. There is a shining yellow light, and a rumbling of gravity which draws the eye of every man wearing tin. All of the women are too busy gathering spruce rope and wine, and quite satisfied in their not wearing tin patched wears. They gather every bit of liquid and fire to surround the new home falling toward their great depths.
As the glass roofed yurt lands, all watched over by the care of great wings, the women begin to throw fire and wine at the structure. They tie down the leaf walls in every direction, and feed the spruce rope a concoction of flame and red juices so as to welcome the relief of the structure into a fine life of celebration and yearning. As soon as they are done with one structure, another falls next to them. The women scuttling and hurrying towards their construction. The importance they show to the world in the curving of their faces while carrying out these tasks is unmistakeable. As the women run out of spruce cordage they cut off their gypsy locks to tie down the glass roofs and leaf walls. They corral men into the yurts with broomheads, whipping the men over the asses they had once cleaned and scraped. One man kept running from the women, and would melt tire rubber into paint. He would ascribe the yurts a number, est. 1956., est. 1953., est 13 B.C. The yurts, scarred and beautiful with their names, resembled a timelessness of an aged woman baking bread, she too busy to sit down for supper herself, always preparing for others. The yurts with their established numbers would then chip in tying down and accommodating the new yurts. One youthful yurt named 1968 would strip the leaves from the walls of the falling homes, and replace them with wildflowers. Sometimes he would leave the newly established yurts without walls and merely condemn a building with a sweet scent. The wood ox wondered at this, and from afar played a game of throwing tires at tin cans. He thought to himself and despaired over the endearing, unorganized youthfulness. He thought that wildflowers would make a nice bed. He thought that for walls the flowers were pretentious, and so left his game for memories of labour and the need of creation.
With the last yurts tied down, named and organized, it began to rain. The wood-iron dogs scattered into the yurts, away from the damp sky. The rain clanged off the steel structures above and seemed to accumulate more heavily over their community of tents and yurts. The rain came down with lightning and unending pounding. Mortimer sat carving bits of armour for the other men to wear, urging each man who passed to wage war on downpour. The rain drenched and waled off the hay structure. With such weight stealing the creative energy of the tower a collapse was inevitable. Wood ox gathered some of the women and together they set to lighting fires in each room and road of the structure. Little by little they would keep the structure warm with light and dryness. And as the fires began to dance and settle, the hay building became the brightest structure in the sky. Its shining eye reached for miles, to the city limits, and beyond to other cities.
It rained for days. The belltower priestess sat in longing and wonderment over the images before her. The man-ringer set to waddling and ringing away with tin patched pants against the rain. Rust spots showing on his slow thighs. The dogs would not step outside of the yurts, and took to shivering in prayer. Wood ox tended the fires and kept his towering structure prepared for occupation. Mortimer stood by the fire and carved out wooden notes from his suit of armour, to give to any new arrivals who were certain to appear after the end of the rain. Birchie sat drying by the fire, waiting for reveling and cleaning, and maybe even a bit more singing.
To the tune of the tin can man-ringer the occupiers gathered their hope and their hymns. They gathered any dream and image of the dry and warm future. They gathered their limbs together with their voices and prayed through the worth of celebration. They prayed together in a time of solace and loneliness and waiting.
Dear god there is rain
And in this I feel
Dear god my home is damp
And before you I kneel.
Dear god this cannot be
For in this home
And in this wake
I go without day's meal.
For you god
This dream must be
For you god
The sun I must see.
Shine on this glen
I pray to you amen.
A solemn and lonely chant for a community so used to celebration and the forget of crisis or disaster. The drone cast its way up the towers heights and fell back to earth. The dogs came out of the yurts as the echo of chants scared them into movement. Tin and beans sprouted from the gardens. Women threw their broomheads to the sun. Wood ox charged to his structure with hay bales. Mortimer tugged and pulled alongst with his cat, organising hay bales or portions of bales when they tired. In the newly formed sun there were occupiers arriving from other towns and cities, drenched by rain but now warming and welcomed. Men in wooden armour greeted these pilgrims to a land of city's harvest. Honoured by this great addition of human souls and the effort around him, wood ox began to carry two bales of hay at a time up the grass mountain structure. He was now leaving ornaments in each nook of the strawhill castle, so that this new structure of a created and dreamed city would be adorned with the most beautiful and useful of memories. Tin cans with pebbles tied around the edges, tin cans with spruce resin candles, and tin cans rattling and chiming in the wind would show off his countless paths up the straw hill. This production of health and home was not for wood ox, these paths were a sign of the adornment of humanity, the great undertaking of occupying the magical spaces of earth. By the day more people were descending into the city. By the day more men were corralled into yurts by women with broomhead daggers. By the day their community grew larger and approached a totality. Ox toiled as a gift for each man, for each walking suit of wooden armour, a gift of reflection for the loving approach to the world these men and women below shared in their organisation. Their confused and wandering tip-taps over the city's constructed and growing soil contained a hope and desire rarely thought of in recent memory. Days could move forward now, in observance without cruelty.
Here, in the light of morning and the connection of humans to what is forged and sealed into some future movement of humans, the towers unite. Hay meeting steel, and colliding into a uniform archway. Something of a forgiveness in what towers over the daily wanderings of the beings below. The women all gather the men together to wonder at this feat. There are haybales and steel gurders connected together like twin trees and lovers. A silhouette of the wooden ox can be seen within the great light of the hay building. He works carefully and quickly, and seems to be welcoming those who have not arrived. He labours his way through the skyscraper, digging tunnels and new passageways, leaving bales of hay behind him for new homes and warmth. He gathers any materials he can find. Anything discarded and unworking is fused into ornament. A material of memory and sightly exuberance for the arriving urban homesteaders, those who will occupy the dens and homes of his creation. He carries these goods, building chairs out of lightbulbs and stair railings. Organising beds out of straw and willow trees and discarded iron. He paints with charred rubber, away from the greyness of concrete and elevators and cubicles. In wastebaskets and folds of recycled paper he leaves milk, grain and wild rice.
Wood ox smiles and grimaces as he moves his tin shoes and thighs. Through all of the labouring his wooden joints have fallen into seizure and rot. His tin shoes now tearing away from his powerful limbs. As it becomes difficult for him to walk, he crawls, pulls himself forward with two hooves, and organises happiness out of discarded material. He descends the last staircase into the entryway of enduring stone, determined to continue the hauling of hay into the tower. The human occupiers are waiting in organised production, standing alongst the assembly of baled foundations. They help him adorn his chiselled back with the greatness of hay. He is crawling off hoof and pulling himself forward through the strength of his one tin shoe. He is now grey and without luster. Rotting, wood no longer tender with the smell of freshly cut youthfulness. Wood ox smiles to the floor before him. He pulls himself forward with the sound of scraping tin. A woman organises wildflowers in front of him. The crowd of occupiers appear as grey stone monuments, pale and reflecting the material of a city's awakening. With the knotting of tearing wood, the ox trudges and falls amidst a rising cloud of dust. The floor exposed around him as something mighty, in stone and bits of rusting tin. He falls half on the bed of wildflowers. Stretched and decaying, split limbs reaching out towards some iron column before them.
Here a woman stands denying what she has seen, flowers stolen from her hand into loss and mourning. The occupiers fall to their knees in silence and pitiful adoration. Contemplating the foundation of the room, the grey stone and dullness without end, their eyes surround the fallen organisation of death. The wood-iron dogs howl at the door with the scraping of limbs. Their ears held back in the dread of hope. There is no movement in decay, the wood of the ox's body sits still and silent, and appears determined to remain with humans forever. The hay bale falls away from the ox, untying itself, unequipped to endure the loss of its master. The bale unfurls as if rotting into wind, and a small black fragment of ore shines in bleakness. A woman looks down in shame and surprise, then veers away for something less constraining and heartwarming. The occupiers stand away from their silence and without looking at one another, all wander off somewhere. Birchie scrapes away meekly. The American gypsy exits with the dogs in an organised column, a whining trail following. The man-ringer holding down the tin on his thighs, out of respect, waddles away. Mortimer's cat approaches the ox, slowly, kindly. She removes her tiny collared bell and places it around his neck and ear. As she walks away the bell falls to the floor and rings, as if it were the last tick of a clock. Mortimer ponders over all of this, sitting and breathing it in. Catching the eye of his cat he winks and then looks down to the ground to say a little prayer. Slowly he gets to his feet, and ambling towards the fallen ox he removes his wooden suit. He sets himself along the fallen beast, removes the remaining tin shoe from its hoof and begins wittling away at a new suit of armour.