outwait outrun outwit


an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
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At dawn a thunderstorm rampaged town, rattling windows and disrupting dreams, bringer of raucous magic and savage filaments of light. Lightning struck a house in an estate beside the church, rending and sparking the rooftop with a single forked tongue, blue-tinged and heaven-sent. Oh June, you are so casually cruel.

By lunchtime the hills are blue and hazy; the tang of cut fields reigns. Summer, post-solstice, is the noisy realm of secateurs, strimmers, lawnmowers, weedkiller-sprayers, and other nature-denuding implements, zealously wielded like phalluses in a disco.

For once, though, maintenance hadn't clear-cut the green in front of the star fort. Instead, furrows of freshly mown grass border a sweeping, wild patch of buttercups and thistles and other flowering plants, a feast for bees and butterflies. Around town, there are similar wild spaces, set aside and marked as such, shaggy, starry with flowers, studded with black feathers.

This is our commons, our mutual inheritance and undivided wealth: these patches of green and pink and purple, where the line between property and not-property is fuzzy and overgrown, diminutive and vivacious. When I pass these sites on my evening walk, I say the names of birds and flowers as I spot them. My song of summer, my exulting incantation, weaves these sites together, preserving the memory of their undomesticated and egalitarian beauty.


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