Prose by David Hanlon
(Including lyrics from Portishead’s ‘Strangers’)
My sea-bed: unkempt blankets, throws weave into one another: kelp strips, one
bunched up in a ball, the seaweeds’ gas-filled bladders, I gaze out my bedroom
window overlooking the night-darkened, ice-still street.
Even in places of quietude I wrestle to find order.
I count: seven glowing orb street lamps, three parked sports cars, each with slight
variations in colour and size but all illuminated robin-chest red under
the streetlight glare, five pairs of star-bright headlights approaching, in succession, speed-
steady, shopping items hushed along a store market conveyor belt.
Listening to Portishead’s Strangers and the nicotine head-rush of smoking tobacco, I look
to my right and notice the word ‘PEBBLE’, it is written on a cardboard box that my new
laptop speakers arrived in, it is the name of the brand of the speakers, I hadn’t known
until this moment.
I notice how high up the box is placed, elevated on top of a sea stack pile of carrier
bags and old posters, stuffed in the gap between my wardrobe and my bedroom wall: scuffed woodchip wallpaper, a lightly seasoned pebble beach, uncluttered, eyes trail the distance between each one.
I rethink my desire for a stone-body, shape it into a pebble: a pebble that can be skimmed
across an ocean, that can clatter against its counterparts, a speaker that can produce sound:
Did you realise no one can see inside your view?
David Hanlon is from Cardiff, Wales, and currently living in Bristol, England.You can find his work online in Honey & Lime Lit, Dirty Paws Poetry Review, Into The Void & Barren Magazine, among others. You can follow him on twitter @DavidHanlon13