hanging gardens

Yesterday I went to have my photo taken. Something I don't like to do, but this had been organised for me after I failed - for a variety of reasons that I won't go into - to arrange it for myself. It went ok I think, who knows, the photographer was gentle & kind &, in conversation, interesting; his wife & daughters too. While we were sitting having coffee afterwards I saw great splotches of yellow hovering before my eyes & felt unsure as to what was happening: perceptual distortions? neurological problems? my liver? This was in a part of Glebe where I lived for several years back in the early 1980s, in fact, you could see my old building out the window of the terrace house where TC & his family live. I walked around there afterwards. The flat I lived in appeared to be empty. The building was rather decayed, the years had not been kind to it & I wondered what the rental on #1 might be now? Not that I'd want to live there again. There used to be a couple of beaut gum trees in the garden alongside of the block that the landlords had cut down one day because their roots were getting into the pipes & causing plumbing catastrophes in the building ... I won't go there either, suffice to say, I will never forget, no matter how hard I try, what I saw bubbling up one day in the bathroom. Later I planted a jacaranda & a banana there, also, there were ginger flowers & one year sun flowers too. All that's gone, some kind of weed-tree has taken over the whole strip, with weed-grass growing beneath them. There's a wide concrete area outside the balcony of #1, the roof of the car garages underneath & in the far corner of that expanse I put an odd kind of pot made out of a tyre & who knows what else. Painted yellow. In the soil within were planted succulents of various kinds, non-specific, aloes & such like, cuttings of which I'd retrieved from various places round about. They had proliferated. Gone wild. Spread across the concrete and over the lip to hang down above & past the garage doors. I must not have looked at this quiet corner of Glebe, up behind the Kauri Hotel, for twenty years, yet in my mind it had kept on existing as an ideal, the way things do: a great spreading jacaranda letting fall its purples, colonies of banana palms, with their hands of yellow & black fruit, the scent of ginger flowers ... strange how the succulents, that I'd never thought of from that day to this, at the same time denied and fulfilled this vision of a hanging garden.

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