The dream is a jar of honey, smashed on terracotta tiles: you knew it
would slip through your fingers. Having enjoyed another sweet night
unguarded, you understand the risks you took, sharp shards of reality.
All you can do is drop the biggest chunks in the waste and sweep up the
splinters; then start again with breakfast – amnesiac kippers or porridge.
1st – The Wild Breakfast
The first thing, after putting up the tents and digging the latrine, is to
scout for a reliable safe, for your spring water and cloudberries. Map it in
an all-weather notebook. Individual ziplocks of muesli prompt murmurs,
the formula a mystery. A rock can be a little private room: do not disturb.
2nd – Breakfast in Bed
The tray is an encumbrance. Surfaces are not just up and down: they
crumple, invading the middle space between horizontal planes. Throw the
book of etiquette out of the window – except that the window can’t be
opened! You might as well be swimming in reeds or cycling in soft sand.
3rd – The Honeymoon Breakfast
The best man’s speech referred with due permission to her bump. Elderly
aunts exchanged knowing looks. Now officially she’s breakfasting on
nutrients, unexpectedly in the dining room, savouring her long afternoon
of love and happiness, proud of her crescent glow, her morning moon.
4th – The Breakfast on the Early Morning Train
A lightly poached egg scarcely wobbles on the plate, though a metronome
warns of mortality. The romantic lilt of the adventurous express! Imagine
Mongolia all around, eagle trainers waking; or Russia with its Cossacks,
mounted on the wind, suddenly noticed alongside the dining carriage.
5th – The Breakfast Meeting
Through a plate-glass panorama of skyscrapers a low sun shines on the
same old, same old neologisms. It’s turnover time, takeover time for
competitive souls. American karma, the sweetest kind, ripples through the
long day ahead. What’s it to be? Egg on a tie or ink on a letter of intent?
6th – The Alpine Breakfast
Mountains thrive on valley harvests – not just cows on the green
shoulders of white-haired giants. A little narrow-gauge egg train chugs up
from the chicken lands, dirt yards canton frontiers cross. Grains too are
brought, and fish, and foster children, hampered by lowland schools.
All six – The Breakfast on the Field of Gold
An ordinand, in a refulgent gown, serves orange juice, one hand behind
her back like a wine waiter. There’s a choice of newspapers: broadsheet,
tabloid, all of them white on white. A majestic rooster rends the silence.
Miles off, the chuck of an axe at the dark edge of the forest of fugitives.