Disappear from the Word

A commemorative reading for Lee Harwood, the Red Roaster Cafe, Brighton, Thursday 24 September 2015. This is my contribution:

Disappear from the Word:

76 sentences for Lee

As your eyes are blue he wrote. He wrote that. You move me he wrote and the thought of you. And the thought and he put the thought into words. I imitate you. That’s what he wrote he wrote the words. A long time ago. The words that remain. Four or five words or more there were more words. He wore a blue shirt. Four or five plain shirts some blue freshly laundered hung on a rail. He was at a distance he apologised this is too depressing he said. Later he was talking about music he was talking. He put a CD of rembetika music into the machine and laughing as he did so pressed the button. There was a blizzard. He is at some distance. I want to disappear from the word that’s what he said. No he didn’t that’s what somebody else said. Somebody said it in the street. Or they said it online. And the distance is nothing. What street was that? You have to imagine it. He was quite overcome with emotion he was quite an emotional man. The rain falling you could be driving a car now. You could be but the sun shines brightly now on the West Hill a glass of chilled white wine with friends there is nothing better he said. There is nothing better. Nothing better with friends. Here is a story he told. The gunman was in the street outside the post office. This is the beginning of a story. He was at a low ebb at that time that’s what he said. The ebb was low the gunman entered. The gunman entered the post office this is a true story. He worked behind the post office counter. He had been reprimanded for spending too much time helping customers. That wasn’t the point. The man held the gun he made a demand maybe in a loud voice maybe quiet we don’t know what he said. We just don’t know. He looked at the man. So shoot me he said. He didn’t care any more. Shoot me go on fucking shoot me. Fucking shoot me then. Go on. The gunman was confused. The gunman ran out of the post office. This is a true story. Maybe. The gunman fled. This is a true story. Or so we are led to believe. The story wasn’t over these are the words of the story. It’s only a story. He related the story with great gusto. The story continued for some time after that it was only a story it was the words of a story these are the words of the story so there we are. There we were. We were there at last. Where we were was there. Or thereabouts. That’s the word around here. And the word is out. The word is out he disappeared. He disappeared into the word. Wanting a word. Wanting a word to have words. The word became the words. We had words. We have words. We have the words. These are the words of a story. He disappeared. We have the words. We have the words now. We have the words we have them now. They are what we have we have them now.


  1. What could be a better tribute than fine, sharp writing like this.


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