George Manka


That Fresh Architecture

Picked before they dried: the meaty walls and iced skids.
The boats flapped up the drive. The Paddle Pop edifice.
The toilet machines and laced alcàzars. The towers
bunged under desks. The after-thought of washing-up,
a nice touch! Or, lawn rolled into your elastic. Tents
pitched over carparks, and furniture rentals
steamed with cloves and moisturisers. Apricot helmets
sponged with an arc of gargoyle chuck. A blurry
tentacle seared with consideration. A bump
on the testicle, and you shit yourself. No more pie-crusts
with your salted liquorice, then. Say goodbye
to that whip-lashing slide on serendipity.
My pear shaped
lemons and citrus-winced cheeks tingle
with a lick of peacock stock. My eyes water like Ganges
milkshakes frothing with a dog’s chocolate. It’s huge.
It requires an epidural. Tectonic plates appear. This screams
time and a budget. Neither has a monopoly on poking a stick
in a bream’s eye on the beach. A trooper’s curse enmeshes
and dissolves between two ideas. Seas sizzle at the cleaners
and down the gurgler there’s a scene. A year’s worth,
girding the debris field. The sand pimples. The feet stick out,
electroplated in caramel; anchored in pots of fretwork;
splashed across the transit lane. The salt dumps erupt.
Waiters crush their farts. Dinners fire
a porcelain of ice-cream and meringue. A frieze
moulds around the cup’s lip. The schedule’s grid ditch
fills with disposables: plastered plinths, designs raped
by boozy incentives, or bronzed booties kicking at the breeze.
“A Flutter At The Coronary”, sketched by a Delft artist. There,
leaning up against the brickwork, an enamel
daguerreotype of two lovers. A crippler slipped between
“meaningful relationship” and “dream”. A cloven jack
lying next to a flat tyre. She’s waving her arms. You stop,
intent to extract, to imbue with a musky sense, to kill
two birds with one stone. A slow drip of sapphire, a cascade
of spit down her chin. Her nose is blown in the dark. Then
a shift, a different scene, perhaps at the chemist’s, or down
at the café. “Garry’s Muffins”. She has the scones, you stick
to the selection of teas: “Big Poo’s Zinger”, or “Nappy-Time”.
But you back track. You rub your eyes, and shut them
tight. The macadam of crushed terrazzo opens out
a unique vista. A blazing back-burner of lunches. A rash
of cancellations and pot shots at meal times. Our rich
ramshackle selves. Our pet things to do. Our antediluvian
haircuts and trousers. Our long skirts dipped in a filigree
of mud. A pink fringe of sock-marks. A flock of girls waiting
down at the pool. Light-bulbs in the trees, above the surf,
on the cliffs. In the park, our toasted pine furniture sweats
its syrup. An old record dries and cracks. Cars
break out. A mattress creaks and puddles empty and flake.
Buttresses lean over their buttery churns. Body scrubs
drain into tiles. A moist arch stains the parquetry. It’s
clicked square enough. A bee motif in the rumpus room
exaggerates the lack of space. He’s not only cleaned up,
but the tea’s on the boil
. When you peel a mandarin, the air
wheezes Tangiers. A night spray alleviates the kitchen’s
asthmatic hob, and you discover an acidic finger is the antidote
to teething. The cornflake earthenware is plopped
all over the patio. A conquistador atmosphere exhales:
Brunch! A scorcher rings in the papers. A head salad
runs through Mum’s fingers. The iceberg’s green plates
litter the back lanes. Bone China lies dusted in displays.
Shuttered shops face west along the beach. An abandoned
tricycle waits in a street. Trawlers line up at the point
and fan-out into the harbour. Skiffs waddle down ramps.
A tickle of crabs insinuates a dark corner. Our feet shine
submerged in the urine-warmth of the kids’ baths.
The bay shows off its shards in a million tiny breakers
gurgling to sleep. Crushed-glass windows illuminate
ring-pull curtains. Flip-flop louvers spreadsheet the light.