Dramatis Architecti

I walk to the building. I enter. I pass Dimitri leaving, who frowns at me half-seen,

and step onto light, sown into dusk across the dark room, and rounded jabber

clattering from the silk walls. To the desk, enveloped by mannequins; but no badge

this time, just a wave to the cloakroom and I’m back to the beginning to start with


Dimitri, who is galleried next to Lawrence, hard in the studio light with every pore and

pock frozen to a pond. I turn and Lawrence is standing by me, and we talk thus of

dreams. Then she arrives, chair of regions, and is polite and says we’ve met, but

I miss her name; and we talk on. My words wander, her eyes leave; she


manoeuvres from me, a shoulder turned.


I drift.


These icons are flattered in their church, each saint pierced by shadow light,

etched monochrome over life’s lifeless prose.


Look. All are all talking.


I meet Penny, the tone of her face so different from her in mounted drama, but she

doesn’t remember me, so I place myself and stand intelligent before the winds

of conversion, with Andrew, who runs the school at Chelsea, partner to Karen:

she, too, who is shot and hung. I work around John because he would make me feel



small, talking whilst he looks at himself, his face worn cloth as he stares at the lens

through dense, grey hair. And suddenly I am stabbed by these cocktail

conversations, a stick for each name, poking deep in my pocket, and run

anonymous to the coats. As I go, I see her whose name I missed, sitting with a man


and his son, so I plant my card, smile and leave, and the next day call Lawrence,

who tells me it is Clara, and I am ashamed because she was on the invitation, bright

and powerful, and I email her with a link to my webpage, where I am bleached in

sunlight, my screwed eyes watering,


James, for that is who I am.