ON THE LAWS OF HOSPITALITY
Pixels gathered from the briers, scraped from the rocks, plucked from lower branches. Here, in the milky rubble, a few knotted dandelion bushes have taken root. Twitching to scuttle the spindle-shanked tripwire, run a stick along the wallflowers, shlosh through the plashes that gloat in the mirror above, then clamber into the chocolate house.
Prickle-stemmed and lopped off cat’s ears stipple the glaring, cloudy bank with a dark and sooty collar. Ribbons of inkburnt chip, like sovereign tattoos, float pendant. Discs of scagliola set in mineral aspic. Amputated wreaths. Orbital moulding. Midair, volant, aerial, and birdlike. The glass-like veil, caramelised and lampburnt, a parergonal mist through which hovers this toyist vision. Before a floriated scrim trick-soil a plum and pearly rampart quashes illusions of back-garden trespass. The parterre will acquire a warm patina with age. Heavily-veined acreage, waxed and buffed and upright like polished hedgerows.
The host must not harm the guest, the guest must not harm the host, and not offering in the first place is a serious affront.
A black palazzo, vacuum-sealed in polyethylene and built like a bony cake, all oxeyes and roof shingles no birdshit. Propped up in its own lagoon, a slick tar bedrock, a calamanco wellspring. The foliage makes a clack underfoot, midway between a click and a clunk. Nothing crunches.
Windows of brushed eggshell, bricks made of slag and pudding and calamine and spume. This is bitmap masonry. If you made a noise out here you’d hear it call back to you, slippery and ceramic like the curved edge of a bathtub, and crackling, not in a radio static kind of way but like sugar glass and molars. Stepping up onto the porch is like climbing a tall pile of table salt. No one comes to greet you at the door. Vacuous thrumming like a laugh trapped in a throat trapped in a jar, like it’s something alive. With every hum the branches are clicking like sticky castanets. I’m not sure if you’re welcome to burrow here - there are no signs saying otherwise. In ensemble horror movies someone always has to announce the threat.
These pendicles are gently batched, trussed and stuffed with quackgrass and parsley. Silky froth suckers onto everything sky-facing, the squall residuum. The air is claggy, like a poultice or marmalade, or a meat locker, all squelching and pulpy and cool to the touch. If you weren’t beshoed and slogging tender foot-soles you might be inclined to sink your paws into the muck.
Behold the tower of fondant. Beneath the sweating lintel build a brambly pulpit from the catchweed and the goosegrass. Peep through the spangle at the buttercream tableau. You could live deliciously. It’s impolite to lick the walls, gull up the transoms, carve your name in the lychgate, slug the flappy plastics, to melt the lumps of candlewax that buttress the gambrel with too-eager, clammy hands. House rules. When the door remains unanswered, knock again. Pluck away at strips of plasterwork. Really go to town on it. Sling them into the mousseline sky. Be careful on your toes now! You could crack your skull on the cough drop slate, get kissed all over by the brush and nettles if you fall.