The heterogenous is ... resolutely placed outside the reach of scientific knowledge, which by defintion is only applicable to homogenous elements. Above all, heterology is opposed to any homogenous representation of the world, in other words, to any philosophical system. The goal of such representations is always the deprivation of our universe's sources of excitation and the development of a servile human species, fit only for the fabrication, rational consumption, and conservation of products.
Cave systems - tunnels, pathways, hollows and hovels - allow secrets to be kept. Broken cliffs afford shelter in their crevices, arches, ravines and cut-aways. Mats of grass, fescue, and lichen spread across distressed limestone. Lizards scuttle over beds of thyme and rock rose. There are unconfirmed reports of swifts nesting in the cliffs. Jackdaws drive out choughs. Linnets and yellowhammers weave through windshorn shrub. Kingfishers make their way down tributaries; ring ouzels fly inland. Snow buntings on Three Cliffs in late October. The hunt of fox and vole. A natural slit in the cliff face, walled off, occupied by smugglers. Relics of the Pleistocene era, trapped beneath earth and rock, petrified: cave bear, hyena, ox, bison, woolly rhinoceras, mammoth and reindeer. Also, carved bones, fragments of pottery, weapons. Hard winds full of ice and sleet. Sea plantation and rock samphire seek out sea-spray. Flowers stretch for the sun. Sharp bursts of thrift and squill. Rock plants of sub-aerial scree. Limestone cliffs rise into Atlantic gales. Crowned by a navigational beacon, the plateau curves down from its summit. Life hums, sings and simmers on the exposed tidal channel. Brittle stars lose arms among the rolling pebbles. Starfish stranded on the high shore after storms. Hermit crabs scuttle among the wrack. Gulls pick their way through smashed sea shells and disembowelled shore crabs. The sky near Burryholms blackened with birds. A mass of whirling starlings. Cliff and dune weeds flourish in the turbulence of wind speed and wave action. Ice-crusts form in shallow waters. Carrion crows scour the shoreline and scratch at unexploded bombshells. A cliff walk promenade with concrete shelters, cracked and warped. A wartime artillery observation post that punctuates the North point. Quicksands everywhere. An Atlantic seal, stranded at the cove. Exhausted auks blown inshore by winter gales. Lassoo cells catch prey in the sea rush zone. The milky latex of sea spurge. Clotted seaweed: red algae, oarweed, kelp. Fragments of razor and mussel. Sea drift and scattered artefacts: lobster cages, rubber gloves, plastic bottles, knotted rope and tupperware. Tides provide broken biros, cigarette filters, plastic straws, gull feathers. A crab corpse covered in sandflies. Scatter of delicate urchin exoskeletons. Clandestine mission creep of limpets. Hyrbid swarm of parasites and scavengers. The crackle, spit and splutter of rock pools, tide receding. Refracted roar of RAF jets across the horizon. Monkfish thrown back overboard and washed ashore. Winter whistle of oystercatchers spinning through the howl and hiss of wind and rain. Cormorants perched on the balcony and lantern balustrade of the last cast-iron lighthouse in Wales. Piles of cockelshells. Stranded false killer whales. Sawbills and scoter tackle rip-tides and currents. Seals swirl through a strong swell. Pintail arrive from breeding grounds in the Baltic. Whole rafts on the wind in dance. Airborne raptor, dropping, arcing, cutting, ascending. Looking back through debris on the high tide line.
A school of dolphins play off-shore mid-june. A ghost-grey basking shark glides through gloomy water. Blue lobsters and red crabs scuttle across the sea-bed. Hoverflies, bluebottles, and wasps swarm in with summer. Also: droneflies, bees and greenbottles; small coppers and orange tip butterflies; red admirals skimming the sea surface. Groups of free range ponies wander along cliff-tops. Bracken, bramble, gorse and rushes web over moors, invade meadows. Bared soil knotted with delicate flower-trails melts into wheat and barley fields and corn crops. Trace of stream and ditch absorbed by rock. Pasture reverts to scrubland, overrun by gorse, hawthorn and rose. Tussocks of moor-grass and rushes and mossy mounds. Store cattle, wild horse and branded sheep. A stoat atop a telegraph pole. A mob of ravens. Velvety blankets of rare grass and smooth lids of algea. Cuckoo flower and silver weed. Freshwater swamps, ravenous bogs. Sandhills sprinkled with birch spinneys and willow slacks. Oscillation of wind-combed dunes. Rusted barbed wire and bonfire remains like sacrifical residue. Arid sandy slopes. Dry dune meadow. Misty skyline. A medieval sea wall colonised by thistles. A village lost inside dense woodland. A house that was a hotel. An abandoned quarry. Barrows, dolmens, menhirs and castles. A calamitous Norman stronghold on a cliff: the castle that is haunted and cursed, and its story. Lost links and folds of time eclipsed by flora, wood and sand. Crumbling walls, leafy lanes, coils of road and hedgerow. Farmland that ends at a cliff face. Caravan sites, villages and hamlets. Bare paths and car parks. Land Rovers, Range Rovers, a bottlegreen Jaguar, a red Alfa Romeo. Summer pudding, strawberries and bucket, spade and net. White sails, anchored yachts, fishing trawlers, and a handsome ferry. A tidal island, a sweep of sand, a range of dunes. Expanse of mudflats and estuary. Wooded cliffs on the North shore merge into coal fields and hills. Across a stile, down a muddy path, between gorse and nettle, dancing past adders and grass snakes. Very smooth pebbles; a brook full of ferns. Cut drainage channel and a sluice gate. A sheltered bridge quite high above a stream. A small church hidden in woodland by the side of a bleak and open bay full of jetskis, speedboats and windsurfers. Light showers and dewfall. Transparent slats of sunlight through crowding cloud. The escape of dappled spots. These turn to shafts. These turn to bursts. Then sheets. Still until the incoming tide laps your toes, a gull perched on ragged rocks. Sun drips and collapses like a sodden pudding. There's a music of
thrushes cracking snail shells open on tarmac paths and discarded bottles. There's the art and order of erosion and accretion, for example, the succesion and balance of deconstructional and constructional waves, dragging and depositing material, i.e. pebbles and boulders, wearing down the angles, displacing and replacing, with no total loss or gain of material. But there is also the sea eating away at limestone shelves, and its random appetite and unpredictable attack. There is also the crenellations this creates; the refuge, nests and hideaways. Sedimentation and colonisation. This is the living space betwixt creation and waste; of birth, death, folklore, legend, tragedy and shipwreck, holiday and labour, migration and passage: behold.
Not surprisingly, there are a number of legends associated with the monument, the most popular being that the capstone was once a pebble flung away by King Arthur, who found it in his shoe while walking in Llanelli. The stone is also claimed to have been split by a blow from Excalibur, Arthur's sword (or according to a later variation, by St David to prove it was not sacred), and that on Midsummer Eve the stone goes down to the Burry stream, to drink.
Excerpt from Historic Gower
Homage to a Pirelli Calendar (1974)
Kindling expired with a crackle on the sand. You discarded your sandals
and cut a toe. The blood was the same colour as your lips and nail
varnish. Which was a bit ridiculous!
Catfish spine; crabs legs; murmaid's purse. Sifting fine shells and
other oceanic matter through fingers: a lot of life to toss away and toy
with. I wanted to say something to unknot the tension in your clenched
tendons, but failed to.
A vizard over your eyes and bracelets wrapped around your slender,
tanned wrists: crimson gauze and dusk and other excellent effects.
Climbing over rocks studded with barnacles; leaving blood trails, bits
of sole, broken heal.
I swam in subzero tempratures. Passenger jets flew overhead. Contempt
kept my pulse steady. I am nasty enough to record this. The style is
admirable, I assure you.
You looked fantastic over breakfast: wet hair tossed over bare
shoulders; buttery fingers clutching a china coffee cup; lipstick-smears
beneath hollow, khol-colour eye sockets. You picked up your high heels,
tossed into a corner at 2 AM, and left, leaving a mess of crumbs and
cream, and a very stained table cloth.
I wanted, actually, to write something to make your toes curl with
delight and disgust. A billet doux, packed with detail, and written in
cold blood. I wanted to keep a promise for once. Or even think of one.
Tried to recall some horrendous censure or atrocity. So.
Sat down with a packet of Consulate in a bid to smoke less, and South
Eastern Australian Merlot, in an attempt to drink less (although I'm
informed that Australian wine is fine: like I'd even notice in the
middle of this nervous, vicious binge) and I came up with nothing but a
fast flash of F_____, with blood between her legs and hounds howling
over hills; the last train pulling out of the station, a pathetic
attempt at telepathy, and a big sign that read
oh, it flickered. In a hammock, sunlight pulsing through tall trees,
spat out pine cones, feathers, porcupine spines. A lot of spittle on the
grass and dirt and moss and a sizzling headache splitting wine, spirits
and menthol cigarettes with white filters, through delicate bone and
synapse, response and tremour. Do you remember? We had a day of hell
together. "Quixotic, so called," you said, to spark swear words and
produce mature bruises, purple and sceptic. You flimsy, sour foxlet.
It had been good, otherwise. Until, that is, something or other, like a
dream: in a desert, with shabby Egyptian vultures circling our skulls,
resplendant under radioactive waves, wisps of hair still attached. On
the horizon we saw a billboard dictator touch the sky with his index
finger; we spat Sufi slang like rugged gold-smelters. It got a bit
bawdy. We failed to communicate from then on. Your fine white complexion
went quiet which just about put a full stop
on it. The Russians sent their best baladines. We danced without relish
or discretion and then let each other go. A fine thing to do. Such
slovenly bullies! We went from wanton kindness to malice, indiscretion,
misfortune; the modes and intrigues of the day. But, in equal measure,
we would, indeed, have it no other way.