By Hari Reed, University of East Anglia   

Prior Meltings

  1. Next day Alexandru conjured up himself from sea-rim green. He conjured road, as we all do, in time. I walked behind, blended in to trace his spines, melted into path and paved all myself over. Gently rock hard; melting finger-first like tallow candles, lazy snake boughs sliding ice but shatterless. Two puckered pupils, spaceless blackstones. He knew he was the road that art had moved and paved and paced. Paint yourself as the only possible this in all of context.
  1. Part-way through this introduction I begin to ask your questions: Unu, are those who buy concrete for personal use the most stable? Două, are those who buy envelopes for personal use the most hopeful? I do not wish to situate myself against a backdrop here for fear it is a greenscreen. Swallow or be swallowed, prieten. Then there are my questions. If one melts into the ether, what is a melting? Can I melt into significance, melt in the mouth of significance, melt into being? I do have examples, but you won’t take them seriously and I haven’t yet defrosted. My hands are numb and can barely communicate.
  1. Learning is a melting, a bearing of the weight of the invisible. This makes it harder to calculate weight although machinery can help. If the weight of emptiness exceeds the weight of knowledge, knowing this will not en-lighten. I never promised not to be gratuitous; I never make gratuitous promises.
  1. Your border home yesterday gated lent me its eyes and its discontinuity. I shuffle the knowledge up slow like a cargoship tacking its art to the wood walls to dry out the wording and flower press lust. I should have known that to scrabble for respect was self-effacing. When I face myself you take the mirror space.
  1. Unu, I sometimes imagine myself grounded in sustained correspondence. Două, buying is contaminated hope. Ask anyone. I have a limited supply and it is contaminated. Exact measurements are yet to be made, but what worse byway to begin? Zece din zece, prieten.
  1. You said ‘I only loved you in the first world’ I said walls in language can and maybe must be full of spiders. I dreamed my skin as sponge inside which spider’s eyes were sprouting, snug in enclaves. Pregnant hungry. I can’t bear to say this slow enough so you will never know. ‘Also enough has already been said.’
  1. You’re too scared to fall and by fall I mean tomorrow. I have reached the sad conclusion I will not disclose to do with sex and power. Yes you know it. This is nothing, nothing else. If I lose I want it to be far from home. Black sea facts will freeze my melting memory but facts are hardly porous, hardly sponge. Science eats itself leaving nothing but an = which of course is a digestive system. Topit; Alexandru, if it mattered.
  1. Transient pastfaces sicken and gone, are replaced with less dream. What are days with these days in mind? What do you crave but the slice between people and real people? Tell me of your accent; tell me of my accident. I’m guilty, I confess. Dripping with envelopes you slick on the languages. I never left you melting at the border. Your net worth will sink when you slip through the net. This is borderline out of control. I’m not a politician although, as I say, I am numb. Ghosts melt through borderlines. Ghosts melt through hosts. Truthless, they seep through my core. Where the hell is my core? One last thing you’ll need shoes.


Hari Reed worked in Calais as an English teacher for six months before the demolition of the camp. She is now writing a PhD on volunteer organisations’ use of social media and of the creative arts in the ‘Jungle’ camp. She is investigating the impact these representations of refugees are having on humanitarian language as a whole. Hari is also campaigning for legal routes to the UK for unaccompanied child refugees.

Featured Image: Burj el-Barajneh camp’s density is not only visible on a horizontal level, but on a vertical one as well, which compensates for the saturation of the horizontal plane. (c) Samar Maqusi, 2014.

1 comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s