He was always plagued by line-endings. This was why he didn't lift his pencil off the paper, but kept on and on, writing more and more slowly. And his writing got smaller. When words stopped forming, he let the line go and it drew him after it, as it drew petals, the scroll of an ear, a foetus like a conch-shell. At the same time, the line annotated all these in tiny script, written backwards to bewilder him. Still he was running as the line left the page and spiralled over walls to doodle staircases, camels, a banyan tree...then off down corridors, ambulatories, even cannons and aeroplanes. But all he had ever wanted to do was make a lion: it walked towards the king as if to attack, then opened its mouth. And it was filled with lilies.
The Ivy Hides the Fig-Ripe Duchess
Seren Books, 2011
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