wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                     BREAKING THE CHAINS 22 of 61  The place where socks go    HOME      


EALING BROADWAY 1

The man who got on at Ealing

The man
        who got on at Ealing
                talks to strangers. He says 

Meaning is
        a function of a discourse situation.

                The leg of his spectacles 

is held in place with Sellotape.
        He knew a mathematician called
                Reifenberg, or was it 

Reisenberg? The name
        was lost in the tunnel's
                din; in any case 

he's dead now, poor chap,
        fell off a mountain in the Dolomites,
                but he could drop his prejudices 

instantly, like the man who got on at Ealing
        seeking a mathematical foundation
                for language, his manuscript 

sitting in a stranger's lap,
        about to drop a
                bombshell on an unsuspecting world 

before the man
        who got on at Ealing Broadway
                gets off.


A more or less factual account of an encounter observed on the Central Line in August 1982.