Issue #6

[excerpt from field notes]

the tyranny of the Harvest

'salting down'

the winter revelling season

white sausage, black sausage, chicklings

'You have to do something with the blood, for example'

'the aboriginal past'

Jupiter flourished

A christian respectability

A Hammer to the Pagans

The patron saint of soldiers

It is arguable

sufficient congruence            fireworks

it was the Romans, the Romans, imitate them


brown corduroy jacket, brown brown shirt, green cravat

glasses off for talking

                        one button undone, low beard, green

perhaps even cognate

                        cravat hiding

a festal provenance

a tiny virus

deny the ancient roots

a problem → popular propensity to dismiss

writing down

      bringing animals down



the month of bloodletting

difficult to feed pilgrims in Rome

serve to delimit


The link to the dead is interesting

And now we are in BC

giant snails and marine mussels

a tonne of meat

isotropic examination of boar's teeth

human remains were brought to the feast, perhaps to

attend it

the one I am thinking of is in Madagascar

compelling inspiration

at best tenuous, but it is tempting to propose

a feast of meat eating

for the rich people to give meat to the poor

seen from a telescope on Mars

Although Rome is not the same as Yorkshire

A number of reasons:

our modern conceptions of time

festive drift

Easter and May                              I've not worked this out in

things get separated                        words

all but one has disappeared                  the appropriation of time

we do do Halloween                           → the usefulness of the

                                               feast in stopping time

£190 for the pleasure of attending                        → sacred time

'none of the others exist in our lives'            the tweedle-dum

                                                and tweedle-dee

What is the purpose?                              of any civilisation

wisdom has it

social cohesion

                              any nation that is good at

                              myths is also good at prophecy

before that fear

going into the darkness

could you keep warm and dry?

the feast and the fast


[excerpt from field notes]


The Black

Ancient video in NATCECT

spilling beer down face

Obviously very constructed

People avoiding camera

Wearing best clothes


With the two looking at each other and

Where are the young?

Incredibly wide lapels

Green flashes

All together ladies and gentlemen

Obviously constructed

ruler tapping on the table

Only more obvious

Shots of drinking

Unless they had 3-4 cameras, not possible...

Men dancing

Smoke and fire.

Almost a narrator in the master of ceremonies

Odd shoes?

The dance of the men, women,

Calling time at the bar

Didn't see anyone buying a drink.

God Save the Queen?



Fast forward to the flashing                        Weds 4th june

Old style braces,

Stationary shots → the performer, very slow moving.

Interview – attention on where, history...

Lurcher dogs – knowledge                        Animals

They got such a sensitive nose                  Marxist

They never make a sound                              Context

Cut to photos of

It's no good shooting at it with a catapult

Dancing dolls, hey int that like – a bit o'dancing

J tearing up the notepaper, camera film paper

"Come to order ladies and Gentlemen together please"

It's daytime.

Where are the young?

If you know you're going to be filmed you wear your

best clothing.

My mind

The difference between black and white...

Many of whom were fine step dancers.

The green incessance: like an archive headache.

Gypsy has... gypsied up

Jeans and trainers – younger man at the bar

Sick fiddle slowly dying

Blare of the trumpets. It's representation again…

Visual mode – is he quite tangible

There's something compulsive about...

...a female fiddler folker

There's 3 pairs of jeans in the pub

Only one camera

Since the 17th c consistently you know

I don't like folk music, I like rock n roll

It's her, it's her playing fiddle, the narrator,

                                    the narrator.

Many young musicians miss the feel.

I've got a headache

No such problems.                  ceramics

The traditionally made, Farmhouse Biscuits Ltd. Cottage

Crunch on the table – 200g – (71oz) e are all done

The Broom dance

Even the Chairman

You didn't see those rambunctious songs, no God Save

the Queen...

The Green Flash diminishes and will soon disappear

All the Good Company is similarly thanked...

I forget whether I'm filling in the blanks


[excerpt from field notes]

2 pullitzer prizes

      since fiction allows a space

as it is written

an urge to publicise his personal dilemmas

transcends all conflict

            the essential core of human


her hair is incredible – long-black

deep black, curly and falling, so much of it,

-hiding (the wife has been having feelings of

discontentment)                        A wide, vampire

Through setting fires in the trees

      she fantasises about her life, wife

...covered with millions of hairs

"...coughing and choking"

And a silver watch

It is hard to be human

excruded? excluded? There is definition for humanity

other than, different from...

Big feet as well

      My mind is full of awful

guilt and shame – ego and superego

      real humanity yeh?

to feel in a precise way towards her husband

      -Dignity, this black giantess can mouth ethical

not listening, not crediting

"If we eat ah extra chocolate bar?"

There is precise order of being

      a narrow definition of what it is to

be human

                        ...However we're on Homer.

refuse to recognise your responsibility.

      apologies for my English

A Persian giantess, you sex-racist

Christ, we're in the Koran with Moses.

Lord, she is an energy

Taking full responsibility → as a human you are


Redeem it and accept punishment                        real humanity                                                virtual humanity

dreadlocks looking through the door window

Nietzsche is extremely harmful

one horrible unit                  let the worms be free!

man became the horrible unit            Burn the plantation

      This is mental, but not, nature is

also the tent worms, → naturals

          tape                  fantasies you'll discuss with shame

D has a question

      → and a good one

      → 'a master of hiding'

he was a homosexual, and he did hide that

for a long time

Her voice changes when she's talking.

'You can apply any theme to time and place'

Four raven-headed women in this room

I was not referring to something dark or


'natural humanity'

You're something, you have to pretend


[reworking of these texts with a fragment of Freud as structure. Analogous to an imagining of the proposed work]


      In the room where the first sessions took place there was a large grandfather clock opposite the patient, who lay on a divan with his head turned away from me. I was struck by the fact that, from time to time, he would turn his face towards me, look at me in a very friendly way, as if to placate me, and then turn his gaze away from me towards the clock.

            -–     Sigmund Freud, p.237 The 'Wolfman' and other cases, trans. by Louise Adey Huish (London: Penguin, 2002)


The wife on the divan, salting down, clutching mug holding inch of foam, swept by green light and sounded by the clock, ticking and flashing at once, together. The long black hair hangs heavy and thickens over her shoulders and chest, falls into strands and clumps, then softly drifts into boar's teeth, threads disappearing through drilled holes. Sigmund, perhaps even cognate, fluttering his eyes, looking at her, looking at him, squinting, muttering, both of them waking from meditation or trance, as if the session's flow had hypnotised until an initiatory sign occurred, a signal that marked the feast. She drains the foam from her mug, careful to allow a drop to dribble from her steady mouth and fall down her long cheek into the hair and its perfectly tangled arrangement of teeth.

Sigmund animates, he raises his arms, hails her, names her 'Some wide creature from the aboriginal past!'

'Oh S., this is mental!' She laughs, and then catches herself, raises a hand from underneath, 'apologies for my English.'

The clock continues, mirrors and matches the stripe of green.

'I've got a headache.'


'As a human you are fragile, but what is your purpose?' he mimes the making of a note.

'You know I've not worked this out in words.'

'But you're something,' he wets his lips, 'you have to pretend. What?'

She purrs, like a sex-racist, 'The fantasies you'll discuss with shame.'

The lines are spoken with a slow                  

certainty that contains a schizophrenic             As with the scene,

anticipation, an excitement that betrays             as with the script.

the awareness of their inevitable effect.

'This is how you should think,' says Sigmund, nodding at her big feet and her odd shoes, at one and then the other.

'I have an urge to publicise your personal dilemmas,' admits the wife, reclining further, smiling out from under her wonderful hair.

'But you refuse to recognise your responsibility for them.'

'And if I redeem it and accept punishment?'

'Lord, she is an energy,' he tics, almost to himself, fearful perhaps, of prophecy.

In a stroke, like a ruler tapping on the table, we re-orientate, see Sigmund, in brown corduroy jacket with incredibly wide, laughable lapels, each adorned with giant snails and marine mussels. Blue denim below his waist, three pairs, giving his legs and crotch a tight tumescence. A grotto dedicated to Nature.

'I find the link to the dead is... interesting. I admit that.'

'The teeth?' she asks.

'The teeth, the tonnes of meat.'

'Where's the meat?' She asks innocently, and then feels her body stiffen involuntarily as she raises the mug, attempting another drop of foam.

'Would you like some more?'

'You know they've called last orders.'

'Who? Where?'

'Downstairs, they must be dancing now. The dancing must begin.'

'They dance?'

'The winter revelling season.'

'But not,' he says, 'if we eat ah extra chocolate bar? Since fiction allows a space I mean.'

'Or farmhouse biscuits.'

'Cottage crunch!'

The furniture is too small, or they are too big, nothing is in proportion. It's obvious.

'A trick of the light?'

No - it's meant to be this way, the attention to detail betrays a perfectionism from persons unknown, past people, grips and fiddlers, their preparations exhibiting an anxiety that this scene must come to order. It is a necessary concern, mirrored by the certainty that all will happen as it always does, with a tyranny, year by year, every year, as film before the camera, as the winter does the festival.

'As it is written, it must work, it must do.' He underlines that with his finger.

'£190,' she says, reaching down, 'for the pleasure of attending,' gesturing to an imaginary collection plate underneath the divan, 'for bringing the animals down.' Then, muttered like an afterthought, 'and I don't like folk music.'

'There's a popular propensity to dismiss it.'

Of the two, the wife is the better actor. Sigmund is awkward, too warm, and then too cold, nervous like a man in line, unsure of precedence.

'They say that human remains were brought to the feast.' A good line wasted.

Her eyes close, 'My mind is full of awful prizes.'

'It's a master of hiding,' he says, looking up, 'one horrible unit, a Lurcher after sausages.'

She raises the back of her hand to her mouth and feigns amusement, 'Well it's difficult to feed the pilgrims.'

Sigmund smiles, and complements her openly, 'Your hair is incredible. One compelling inspiration.'

She holds a tooth out towards the clock, lifting strands wound around each other, complementing and contrasting, yet fixed and linear, limited at one end by the scalp, and the other by the tooth. There's no give and take; no one is listening.

'No one is listening.'

'It has worked? Has it worked?'

'The dance of the men, the women.'

'They'll be dancing! The broom dance!'

'It's her, it's her playing fiddle.'

'No rambunctious songs.'

'Things get separated.'

She smiles, looks at him, then at the clock, then back at him. The teeth sway, the whole picture swims in rhythm.

'The worms?'            'Dignity.'                  'Natural.'

            'Festal.'                  'Precise.'                  'Cravat.'

'Butchered.'            'Dreadlocks.'            'Moses.'

            'Tweedle-dum—'            'Drift.'                  'Myths.'

'Tweedle-dee!'            'Question.'                  'Mars.'

            'Congruence.'            'Chicklings.'            'Core.'

Sigmund breaks, takes in a long stream of breadth, through his nose, then stalls, plays with his glasses, 'I forget whether I'm filling in the blanks here.' He feels discontentment, disillusion, says, 'You can apply any theory to time and space.'

Divan, teeth, her, him, all lit in flickering, tinkering green.

He looks to the clock, but the wife looks at him, murmuring low, comforting, cajoling almost, urging, 'It will soon disappear.'

'None of the others exist in our lives. You know that.'

'They never make a sound.'


Matthew Cheeseman

May 2008

Matthew Cheeseman is an anthropologist and experimental writer. He collates field notes and makes them into art. He converts social and academic life into literary experiment. And as good readers of Burger, we like that.