[Object World] [1 - 50]

Object World is a collection of poetic-prose fragments - snapshots of existence - or what the writer Dorothy Wordsworth called ‘pen pictures’. There is no intended allegory  - metaphor - or symbolism.


A black hardback notebook is lying open on the desk in the study. Written in pencil on one of the pages is the poem - ‘Things exist. There is also the non-existence of things.’


Objects present at the moment include - a postcard of the World’s tallest building - a can of beer - a pen that has just run out of ink - and in the background is the sound of an electric fan.


The window is open - and the breeze is strong enough to move the door on the opposite side of the room - the door moving slowly back and forth. On the table is a plate with a half-eaten bagel - an apple core - and an empty glass reflecting the light of the sun. On the floor is a small travel bag with dirty underwear to be washed by hand - and next to the bag is a large black plastic sack with jeans - t-shirts - and hoodies - that all need to be taken to the launderette.


There are loud reverberations coming from a construction site  near by - the sound of a pile-driver pounding into the ground making sub-sonic mechanical beats. The noise of the machinery is being reflected back by a glass-covered office block on the other side of the sqaure - but with a half-second delay. At the same time loud low-frequency sounds are coming from the speakers in the living room - with the sound-waves moving things in the apartment. Cups are rattling on the draining board in the kitchen - and a glass has fallen from a table onto the floor.


At the end of the hallway is a small room - no bigger than a cupboard - and with just enough room to fit a single-size mattress.  On the mattress is a pile of sheets - blankets - and a black canvas shoulder bag.  A bare lightbulb is hanging from the ceiling - and taped to the wall is an Ordnance Survey map of Snowdonia.  Along the wall on the other side of the room is a shelf with a box of Kleenex - a pair of sun glasses - a packet of ginger biscuits - a white porcelain dish with a cone of Japanese green tea incense - and a Penguin paperback copy of Plato’s The Last Days of Socrates.


The room is a mess - with underwear - t-shirts - clean and dirty socks - scattered on the chairs and couch - and across the bed. There are drawers half open with clothes spilling out. Books have been left on the floor so they can’t fall any further - and on the table is a piece of cake going stale on a paper plate.  Someone had trodden on a tube of face cream that had been left on the floor - and the cream has now spread all over the carpet.


In the morning - the light from the sun castes shadows of the window blinds onto the white tiles of the kitchen wall.  And at night the sun is replaced by the sodium yellow of streetlights.   There is a calendar on the wall - just above the white-enamelled electric cooker.  The 12th March has been circled in red felt-tip - which is Jack Kerouac’s birthday. 


Everyone is at work - and so the house is empty.  In the garden are two chairs against the back wall.  One is made of pink plastic with black metal legs.  The colour of the plastic has faded - discoloured by the light of the sun.  The other is a black metal folding chair - dented - scratched - and rusty.  It is a hot sunny day - and there is a mouse sitting in the shade of one of the chairs.


The car is full of rubbish - with the floor covered in plastic water bottles - empty beer cans - take-out food containers - and a copy of William Gibson’s Burning Chrome - that has been torn in half - leaving only the front part with the cover and the first three stories. On the back seat is a pile of clothes - and a large plastic sack of paper and cardboard to be recycled. Stuffed between the two front seats is an empty crumpled box of Kleenex - along with a Dominoes’ pizza box giving off a smell of stale food. In the glovebox is a half-eaten packet of peanut butter biscuits - a packet of black currant throat pastilles - and a collection of used tissues - some with blood. Hanging from the rearview mirror is a pine air freshener - which was once green - but now with faded colour and smell.


The bookcase in the living room had been moved from one side of the room to the other - and had left an indentation of its base on the carpet.  There was also a patch of black mould on the wall that had been behind the bookcase - the mould originally hidden from view.  The wall has now been painted - covering the patch of mould - and the indentation on the carpet has faded.


A heap of wet towels - all of different colours - is lying on the bathroom floor.  There is the smell of perfume and soap - and there are still traces of bubble-bath in the tub.  The air is humid -  and the mirror above the hand-basin is covered in condensation.  A track of wet footprints leads down the hall - and into the bedroom.


There is no-one in the living room - even though the television is on - but with the sound turned down. The film showing on the TV is The Trial by Orson Welles. There are sounds coming from the kitchen - of noodles and vegetables being stir-fried in a wok - then the hiss of a can of beer being opened.


There was a sudden gust of wind - and a shirt is blown from the clothes-line onto a wooden fence.  Then the clothes line was blown down completely - with all the washing scattered around in the garden.  The kitchen window is open - and music from a radio can be heard.


Stuffed down the side of the sofa - and partially hidden by a pile of cushions - is a worn dog-eared paperback biography of Jackson Pollack. There are also pieces of Lego - a child’s sock - a hair brush - a pizza crust - and bits of orange peel. On the paint splattered coffee table is a bottle of budget brand blended whisky - a half-filled glass - a book of matches with its cover missing - a dried starfish - a large roll of Sellotape - a glass heart-shaped ashtray filled with cigarette ends - a medium size plain framed canvas - a dis-used jam jar with paint brushes - and a wooden box filled with tubes of paint - although only one of the colours will be used.


There are two power sockets in the bedroom.  Coming from one  - is an extension cable with a four sockets that runs the whole length of the room - with a television - a table lamp - a fan heater - and a reel-to-reel tape recorder. The tape recorder is playing background t noises of the forest - including the sounds of the wind blowing through oak and beech trees - along with the occasional birdsong.  The second power socket is hanging from the wall - with its bare wires showing - and so needs to be repaired.


Equivalent VIII by Carl Andre consists of a double layer of one-hundred-and-twenty industrial firebricks that have been laid out in a rectangle on the gallery floor. Even though the bricks look the same - there are slight variations in colour - and so each brick is different.  There is a chair in one of the corners of the gallery for the museum guard - and under her chair is an empty bottle of orange juice.


All that is left in the apartment is an old  television in the living room -  and In the hall are three black plastic trash bags full of old clothes. The screen of the television is covered in dust - and is sitting on a dirty and stained carpet surrounded by its cable. In one of the corners of the kitchen is a spray-can of cockroach killer.


The clubhouse bedroom has four folding beds. Three of the beds have neat piles of sheets and blankets - and the third has been unfolded and is now in use - with a sleeping bag on top of the bed - and under the bed is a large backpack - a pair of muddy hiking boots - and a pair of black Chinese slippers. Over by the wall with the door is a small square table with two chairs. Hanging over the back of one of the chairs is a wet swimsuit and a beach towel. On the table is a bottle of spring water - a loaf of sliced brown bread - a packet of Cheddar cheese - a small individual cherry pie in an aluminium tray - and a brown paper bag with half a dozen apples.


There is only one coat hook in the staff room of the bar - with coats - jackets - scarfs - and hats - all hanging in a mess.  The last jacket to be hung up has fallen to the floor.  The only furniture is  two black metal chairs - and two up-turned plastic beer crates. One of the crates is being used as a makeshift table - and the other has an ashtray - an electric kettle - a box of jasmine teabags - and a jar of instant coffee.  Over in the corner is a Marshall practice amp and speaker - and next to it on the floor is a Mackie sixteen channel mixer.


Someone had just had a nose bleed - and there are bunches of bloodied tissues in the wastebasket under the desk. Also in the wastebasket are three empty beer cans - an empty plastic tray from with the remains of a Greek salad - and a damaged USB cable with its plastic shielding burnt at one end. On the desk is a computer with continuous lines of code scrolling down the screen. Also on the desktop is an a half-full plastic bottle of spring water - an old Sony Walkman - and connected to the Walkman is a bare five inch speaker that had been removed from its casing. The music coming form the speaker is The Hand that Feeds by Nine Inch Nails. Hanging over the back of the chair in front of the desk is an old army jacket - all worn and faded green. There is a bleach stain on the left sleeve - and on the front of the jacket is a hole from a cigarette burn. On the floor opposite the desk are two single mattresses - with one stacked on top of the the other. Instead of sheets and blankets there is a rolled up sleeping bag.


It is a freezing cold night. In the background the distant sound of traffic - then the barking of a guard dog. There is a bench in the  children’s playground - and next to the bench is a rubbish bin full of empty beer cans - plastic bottles - and old newspapers. The scene is bathed in the sodium yellow of a streetlamp. There is the sound of a rat scurrying around looking for food - and an electric hum coming from a nearby transformer.


There is something wrong with the television - perhaps a broken circuit  - as the image is going from colour to black and white.  On the floor by the TV is a copy of Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums. The book has become warped from being left out in the rain - and is no longer readable.


Everyone has either gone home or gone to bed - and the living room is now deserted. On the floor and coffee table are the remnants of a small party - with empty beer cans and wine bottles scattered on the floor - and on the coffee table is a large yellow plastic bowl that had contained avocado dip - a white porcelain bowl with peanuts - two empty jars of salsa - and three empty packets of tortilla chips. Also on the table are a dozen polaroid colour photos showing images of Southend - with people sitting in deckchairs on the beach - people swimming in the sea - and children playing with beach balls.


Next to the unmade bed is an old plastic chair being used as a bedside table - with an alarm clock - a Ventolin inhaler - a bottle of water - and a copy of the complete short stories of Franz Kafka.  Under the chair is a portable television - and next to the TV is a red telephone. The cord from the telephone is not plugged into the socket on the wall - and so remains silent.


It had been snowing all night - then the sky cleared - and the light of the moon was being reflected by the snow into the living room. There is also the light of an L E D on the control panel for an electric heater - a blue light of an external hard-drive - and the occasional blinking red light of the smoke detector in the ceiling.


On the bedroom floor of the rented cottage are two sleeping bags - two small travel bags - and two rucksacks. The garden of the cottage is full of apple trees - and the smell of apple blossom is coming through the open windows. The only food in the kitchen is a jar of peanut butter - a small packet of cheddar cheese - a loaf of whole grain bread - a packet of Jacobs Cream Crackers - and two cans of vegetable curry. It is enough for tonight’s dinner - and for breakfast tomorrow morning.


On the wall of the studio is a battery-powered analogue clock, that shows eleven-fifteen. Below the clock is a small desk with just enough room for a computer - monitor - keyboard - a lamp - and a small electric fan.  The light from the lamp is casting shadows of the fan onto the wall - and the fan is blowing papers from the desk onto the floor.


The wind was blowing - and was rattling the door of the garage.   On the opposite side of the street - a snow-swirl had formed - turning in the streetlight.


Daylight was coming through the window of the gallery - and projected the shadow of the window frame onto the grey painted concrete floor. Also on the floor is a tube ticket that had been accidentally dropped by a visiter to the gallery earlier in the day. Hanging on the walls is a series of photographs of the Mojave desert by the artist Mark Ruwedel - that includes images of abandoned and dilapidated shacks and ranch houses.  During the day the shadow of the window slowly moved across the floor with the movement of the sun - and ended at sunset.


Scattered in the garden is a collection of children’s toys and playthings - including a small plastic tricycle and a round inflatable paddling pool filled with water. On the surface of the water is a multi-coloured plastic ball - which is going around in circles as it is being blown by the wind.


There is a row of recycling containers in the station car-park.  In a blue container for paper there are sheets of cardboard poking out from under the lid.  A homeless woman saw the cardboard - and will use it as a bed for the night.


It is a Friday afternoon - and there is an elderly couple sitting at a table in the pub.  The man is suffering from Parkinson’s disease -  his body shaking - hands - arms - legs - his head - everything in constant movement and tremor.  His wife is holding a pint glass to his lips so that he can drink his beer.


The old single-room stone cottage becomes occupied during the holidays - but is now empty of people. On the wooden table is an old oil lamp - a box of candles -  and a box of candles - which is the only source of light as the cottage does not have electricity. There are two army cots for sleeping - each with a rolled up sleeping bag - and there is a canvas rucksack on the floor. Food - in preparation for the next visit - is stored in a cupboard on the wall - with cans of beans - spaghetti hoops - ravioli - tomato soup - a pack of dried spaghetti - a jar of crunchy peanut butter - and four packets of wheat crackers.  In a smaller cupboard - also on the wall - is a box of pencils - a glass jar with brushes - and a box of watercolours.


Stacked in one of the corners of the garden is a pile of rubbish covered in a sheet of grey tarpaulin - and had been left by the previous occupants of the house.  It includes a hand mirror - three cardboard  boxes of books - an electric fan - a roll of linoleum - four glass ashtrays - empty flowerpots - a clock - pillows - two bags of clothes - towels - and crockery.


The supermarket has an underground parking space - where people can park their cars while they go shopping.  There is also an area where people can wait for a taxi. In the background is the low hum of extractor fans - and the metallic rattle of shopping trolleys.


The apartment is painted white - and completely bare - without furniture or objects.  There is a crack in the wall of the living room that leads from one of the corners of the room down the the edge of a nearby window.


It had been a hot spring day - and it is still warm enough in the evening to keep the windows open. There are the sounds of the docks -  with the noise of cranes - trains - the metal clang of cargo containers being moved - and the warning sounds of lorries - a continual background ambience of industrial activity.


Under the bed is a pair of old green high-heel shoes.  The rubber at the tip of the heels has been worn away - and there are the beginnings of holes in the soles of each of the shoes.  On the bedside table is a glass of water - a box of aspirin - and a pair of gold earrings. 


In the middle of the floor of the living room is a Mexican rug  surrounded by bare wooden floor boards.  There are no shelves or bookcases - and so books are stacked in piles on the floor - and a collection of 5inch and 12inch records are in rows leaning against one of the walls.  Next to the records - and also on the floor - is a stereo set-up with a record player - an amplifier - and two speakers.  Leaning against another wall are three black guitar cases - with one containing a Fender Stratocaster -  next to one of the cases is a custom built Fender Jazz bass propped up in the corner.  On the floor next to the bass guitar is a Marshall amplifier and speaker combo - and a collection of guitar pedals - including a fuzz box - delay - and distortion. Next to the pedals is a plastic box with a bunch of cables and jack leads.  Propped up In another corner of the room is a Gibson acoustic guitar.  Also on the floor is an aluminium flight case that is being used for bits and pieces - including a notebook - an assortment of guitar strings - a tuning fork - a chrome zippo lighter - a packet of Indian sandlewood  incense - a large black Maglite torch - guitar picks - a book of guitar tabs - a bottle of jasmine oil - a copy of Some Los Angeles Apartments by Ed Ruscha - a sketchpad - and an old wooden box with coloured crayons and pencils.  For seating there are cushions scattered around the floor - all of different materials and colours - and for lighting there are bowls and saucers with candles.

 The bedroom is sparsely furnished - with a Japanese futon lying on a Navajo rug - and a zafu cushion for meditation.  Next to the zafu is a small white porcelain bowl containing an incense burner - and next to the bowl is a box of Japanese green tea incense.    Clothing is stored in a suitcase - with underwear - socks - and t-shirts.  Next to the suitcase is a metal clothes rack with a faded Levi jacket - two pairs of Levi jeans - a black leather biker jacket - a faded grey hooded sweatshirt - and half a dozen cheap cotton dresses.  On the shelf at the bottom of the clothes rack is a pair of brown leather hiking boots covered in dirt - a pair of Converse - a pair of black 1460 Dr. Martens boots - and a pair of unworn black high-heel shoes.
On the wall opposite the window are two large posters.  One is a print of Jackson Pollack’s Six Blue Poles - and the other is a poster for an exhibition of Eva Hesse at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.  On the floor beneath the posters is a backpack used for hiking in the mountains and desert.  Hidden inside the backpack is a bag of grass.  Next to the rucksack is a small travel bag - with the note - ‘Take to the Good Will store’ - and inside the bag is a new pair of black leather jeans and a white silk blouse - both still with their store tags.

In the kitchen is a small square wooden table painted white - and two white metal folding chairs. Under the table are three clear plastic one-gallon containers of spring water.   The cooker is broken - and no longer working.  For cooking there is a portable two-ring electric hotplate sitting on one of the kitchen surfaces.  And on one of the rings is a medium-size stainless steel cooking pot.  In the cupboard under the sink is a small plastic bowl being used to catch dripping water from a leaking waste pipe.  There is also a plastic spray bottle with multi-surface cleaner - a packet of Scotchbrite pot scourers - a spray can of mosquito killer - and a bottle of disinfectant.  There is a collection of cupboards on the walls of the kitchen.  In one of the cupboards is a five pound sack of brown rice - and a pack of white rice for sushi.  The next cupboard contains a mix of dry and canned food - including Mason jars with sunflower seeds - pumpkin seeds -  sesame seeds - raisins - dried figs - and dates.  There is also a bottle of sesame oil - a box of whole wheat crackers - three cans of vegetable soup - and two jars of crunchy peanut butter.  Taped to the door of another cupboard is a red Chinese good luck decoration - and inside is a selection of asian food - with packs of Japanese and Chinese noodles - a bottle of Japanese tamari soy sauce - a bottle of Japanese rice vinegar - a small glass jar with nori flakes -  a box with packets of instant miso soup - and a tin with loose Japanese sencha green tea.  The fourth cupboard has Mexican food - with three cans of refried beans - two jars of salsa - a packet of tortilla chips - a pack of tortilla mix - and a bottle of Jose Cuervo gold tequila.  The last cupboard is filled with Chinese tableware - including a white Chinese porcelain teapot - and a selection of white Chinese bowls and tea cups - all with the same traditional rice pattern.  On the kitchen counter is a fresh loaf of whole wheat bread wrapped in a brown paper bag.  There is also two Mason jars.  One filled with bamboo chopsticks - and the other with a kitchen knife - a pair of bamboo cooking chopsticks - a strainer - and a bamboo spatula.  Next to the jars is a collection of Chinese cooking implements - with a bamboo steamer - a wok with a wooden handle - and a steel cleaver.  The icebox contains fresh fruit and vegetables - with a dozen oranges - pak choi - choy sum - Chinese cabbage - half a dozen avocado pears - three large sweet potatoes - and a bunch of green onions.    There are also two packs of tofu - an opened jar of Mexican chilli paste - and five bottles of Corona.  On the door of the fridge is a picture magnet of Mark Rothko’s painting Untitled (Black on Gray) - and also patches of rust and peeling enamel.  On the wall above the icebox is a picture calendar with an image of the High Sierras.  The calendar is two years out-of-date.

The medicine cabinet in the bathroom is almost bare - and contains only a box of Tampax - a plastic bottle of sun lotion - and a jar of Nivea face cream.  Above the handbasin is a shelf with a bar of Jasmin soap - a plastic bottle of shampoo - a jar of Tiger Balm - and an old white enamel mug with a toothbrush and a tube of aloe toothpaste.  By the side of the toilet seat is a plastic brush - a large economy size plastic bottle of bathroom cleaner - and two rolls of white toilet paper.

Parked inside the garage is a 1968 black Ford Mustang. It is covered in dust from a recent trip to the Mojave desert - and there are branches of sagebrush stuck under the fenders.  On the passenger seat is a sun bleached skull of a big horn sheep.  In the trunk are two sleeping bags - a half-full one gallon container of spring water - a butane burner and a canister of gas  - a cardboard box with food and cooking utensils - including two cans of refried beans - a can of vegetable soup - two packets of whole wheat crackers— an iron frying pan - a small stainless steel cooking pot - two army kidney mugs - a bunch of disposable Japanese chopsticks tied with string - and a bag of empty food packets and beer cans that need to go to the trash.


Set out on a plate for lunch are two hardboiled eggs - three slices of Swiss cheese - two pieces of Ryvita  - and a tomato that has just been harvested from a grow-bag that’s out on the balcony of the dining room. 


It is been a warm night - and all is on the bed wis a green blanket.  On the bedside table is an empty bottle of mineral water - an unopened bottle of sleeping pills - and a small white plate with a half-eaten slice of  ginger cake. On the floor under the bed is a pair of ladies’ red Chinese slippers.


On the wall of the bedroom are three reproduction prints of work by Japers Johns - and consist of Between the Clock and the Bed - Map - and Coat Hanger.  There is no wardrobe or cupboard in the room - and so clothes are kept in a large military-style black nylon hold-all - and in plastic bags scattered around. Lying on the bed is a black hooded sweatshirt covered in white cat hair.


On the chair next to the bed is a glass of water with pieces of lemon - a paperback copy of Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein - and a Ventolin inhaler. There is also an empty vacuum pack of Ibuprofen - with the last tablet having been taken last night.


There are three Chinese pancake rolls left in the refrigerator. The other three had been eaten for yesterday’s lunch. Also in the refrigerator is a brown paper bag with organic mushrooms - half a lettuce - a tub of humus - two tomatoes - and jar of homemade marmalade that had been given as a Christmas gift.


There wasn’t a spare vase - and so the newly purchased daffodils are now standing in a white porcelain milk jug on the kitchen table.  Also on the tabletop is the February edition of the Times Literary Supplement - an ashtray with a half-smoked hand-rolled cigarette -  a picture postcard of Vanesa Bell’s Abstract Painting from 1914 -  and a pair of light brown nylon stockings that need to be darned.


The sound of traffic can be heard through the open window. The room is warm because the central hearting is on.  There is a clothes rack in front to the radiator - with shirts - blouses -  and underwear - hung to dry.


Seated on the couch is a row of cuddly toy animals - including three teddy bears - a black cat - a ginger cat - and a grey squirrel. Next the couch is a small wooden table - with a stainless-steel coffee pot with a black plastic handle - an empty brown beer bottle - an empty green beer bottle - an empty packet of cheese and onion crisps - and a collection of paperbacks - including The Tragic Sense of Life by Miguel de Unamuno - The Stranger by Albert Camus - Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard - and The Silent Transformations by Francois Jullien.  On top of the pile of books is a pocket edition of the score for Anton Webern’s Five Pieces for Orchestra Opus 10. The music coming from the radio is the second movement adagio of Franz Schubert’s String Quintet in C major.


Sitting in the the corner of the living room is a small square white table with two white chairs.  On the table is a laptop - with the power lead going into a socket on the wall. In the middle of the wall is a large window - and on the window-sill are three black plastic flower pots with white hyacinths.


In the middle of the room is an old wooden chair - and on the chair is a square-shaped painting - four feet by four feet - which consists of three concentric grey squares - from light to dark.  Opposite the chair with the painting are two rusted folding black metal chairs - and on the floor in front fo the chairs are two empty beer bottles - and an ashtray filled with cigarette ends. On the seat of one of the chairs is a copy of this week’s Radio Times. Under the other chair is a plate with the remains of a ham sandwich - and a lined quarto-size notebook. The windows of the room are closed - and so the noise of the traffic from the street outside is barely audible.


On the living room table is a glass vase with a bunch of daffodils  - a small ruled notebook with three remaining pages - a paperback copy of selected short stories by Virginia Woolf - with a bookmark inserted onto the first page of In the Orchard - and a copy of Franz Kafka’s short stories. - with the third page of The Burrow having been dog eared. Also on the table is a white porcelain tea pot - a white tea mug - a jar of peanut butter - and a white dinner plate with two thick slices of brown bread - six dried figs - and an apple that has been cut up into slices.

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