The 'I' of Motion
The ‘I’ of Motion
This is a city of occasional art, of old steel, or hills like sleeping dogs curled around one another. It is also the city of sometimes airborne poetry. High above a street night time lit by neon blue, there are words attached to the side of a University building.
The words together huddle together into the shape of a poem, like people at a rainy bus-stop.
The words are a gift to the city from Andrew Motion.
Yesterday an ‘I’ fell down.
It is a capital ‘I’, and made from a metal I do not know about.
It fell head first, but you wouldn’t have known it, as it tumbled and somersaulted itself through the air.
Perhaps as it was falling, it felt like a meteorite.
Cascading through the air it seemed smaller than when it had been part of the word on the wall. It certainly fell like a very heavy ‘I’.
It might have struck an unfortunate student halfway between learning and not learning.
It might have struck a member of staff smoking a cigarette and thinking about a member of staff they are silently in love with.
It might have struck a passer-by, someone huddled in tight to the leviathan shadow of the building, attempting to press themselves out of reach of rain.
It might have struck one of the pigeon community who made this city home many years ago. It would have made quite a mess of a pigeon.
It didn’t strike any of these people or pigeons.
It did strike me as unusual.
Generally in my life there has been no incidents of letters raining down from above. Had there been, I would have collected them and spent a lazy Sunday meandering my way through spelling. Possibly a little light anagramming.
Now the ‘I’ is sunk halfway into wet, muddy winter grass like a shy tombstone.
Or a small, inconsequential sign to nowhere. It catches the sun in the morning. Under the delicate folds of night, it is rinsed blue in the neon wash.
This is how it happened, when ‘I’ fell down.