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


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.

Godfrey Rust, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for details of permissions for use.