RIP-TV / guestbook



Virginia Woolf (b. Adeline Virginia Stephen)
B. 1.25.1882 London / D. 3.28.1941 River Ouse, Sussex
Suicide / Drowning

2.12.02 - BLOOMSBURY / The streets and squares of Bloomsbury at dusk gleam under their varnish of booklore.

The velvet sky hovers, attentive to smudges.

Aluminum, concrete and glass—time opens like a flower their unsuitability, in combination, to permanent settlement. Take the hulk down the road, all gray slabs of petal marked with innumerable and runic water stains; all rag-tag balconies, where plywood shore-ups bristle like stamens. A brown-edged block—the latest of the bunch the swiftest to signal a steady deliquescence and a destiny. . .to crumble.

Dazzling lights (from a clamped-down day care center, it emerges) guide my steps in a park-wise hypotenuse to the former Foundling Hospital's front door. Its surmounting portrait bust of Thomas Corham (b. 1751), first in foundlings, is flanked by carved roundels—Rorschach blots of weather damage through which two infant trios force their faces.

The narrowest brick lanes of Bloomsbury at dusk—I seek them out. At dead ends I pause and look up between eaves into the past, into booklore.

St. George's Garden. Blackbirds and a frolicking white dog. Gravestones lean against the walls. The names they once served are long-since digested; now the stones themselves starve, thin and brutalized as beach shale.

Another turn, a few more right-angled gyrations. The sky moves indoors, but leaves its vestments behind on the ground.

Reaching 46 Gordon Square I have a view straight into the curtainless parlor of soda machine, coffee urns, chip bags, and white-green fluorescence; a woman reading at a table. Some parched moth of bright booklore I think, seeking revival in the flame—and receiving humanitarian aid, Bloomsbury-style.

Fish and chips with a fried sardine—I prefer to seal my arrival with the grounding savor of lard, the crunch of tiny tail fins.