Far Away Trains Passing By – Ulrich Schnauss


Far Away Trains Passing By. I’m not sure I heard any of those trains, but I’m certain I heard the diesel engine of a relatively nearby one. You can always be sure of how close a train must have passed because it had to follow the railway track. Of course, it’s always possible that there was no train at all, perhaps you mistook some other machine for a train, such as a wood chipper?

Molfsee. A figure or perhaps some object comes from the distance, possibly a train. It follows one of many lines that disappear into the perspective projection of the 3D space. It then leaves again, guaranteed to return. And all this time it is surrounded by an ether, a maelstrom of black fluid full of the colours of darkness.

Nothing Happens in June. It is true. Nothing does happen in June except, of course, for June, which must therefore be nothing. Something generally happens in May and anything can happen in July, but nothing happens in June.

As If You’ve Never Been Away. As if! You have always been here, even when you were away, you were still here, and when you eventually do leave, you won’t go away.

A Million Miles Away. In a little under an hour you will have travelled a million miles relative to the Sun fixed amongst the firmament of the stars. You can’t perceive this, but this song should confirm to you that you are indeed a million miles away from your self of a little under an hour ago. S/he was well worth being I’m sure.

Crazy For You. Mostly, I’m insane for my own sake, or at most because others have driven me inside myself. So it is an immense honour that I should be crazy for you; you are a non-me person causing my grip on reality to weaken. Well done, you deserve it! But in all demented honesty, it isn’t really you that drove me crazy, but my love for you. You see, I’ve only just met you, but I built a strange loop in mind that represents you and it is that that is lovely; I truly love that strange loop. So my insanity is really a self-recursion that was triggered by our brief meeting, Melanie.

Wherever you are. Well I don’t know where you are now, I’m not entirely sure where my strange loop of you exists, except that it is in my mind somewhere, and mostly probably in my brain.

I see black and white images. I see old, disused buildings with arched roofs made from corrugated iron. There are large holes in the roofs and all the windows are broken and the buildings are partially dismantled – not demolished – but distmantled, partially. One large building has something to do with Ammonium Sulphate and Ammoniacal Liquor, whatever that is, I just don’t know. There’s a giant retort house here and an even larger one down the hill, though only the bottom of it is downhill, the top of it is higher than where we are on the hill and as there is nothing to go up here, it must be upnothing.

It is of course an old chemical works, now very old and disused. The landscape is so desolate in black and white and I’m in the future looking back and loving it. I’ve never seen it, but there it is, so vivid and tantalisingly difficult for me to see.

There was an old paper mill, now long gone too, with mill ponds, reservoirs, weirs, pipes and lades. An old cottage and a 1960s car – a Hillman Imp probably – are near the mill. An old man walks across a bridge. He is very old and remembers the mill in better times, he remembers the railway. He remembers sitting having lunch one fine, uneventful June day, looking down over the river, talkiing to his long lost friends.

It was a filthy dead river when he was a young man, but now he is dead and his state of filth of cleanliness is wholly irrelevant. The river is quite clean and alive and it remembers him and the mill, though there is nothing left of the river that he knew, at least not here; it is now dispersed in the oceans and in the skies and probably in every body of water on the Earth. Wherever you are.


2 Responses to “Far Away Trains Passing By – Ulrich Schnauss”

  1. davidonius Says:

    That was soulfull dood – smooth. Only today I was thinking of 1987 and wishing I was there again. Now you’ve made me wonder if I was ever there or perhaps I still am? Great disjointed narrative….batman, sorry couldn’t help it.

  2. gantrix Says:

    Lordy. I’m not even sure how to respond to that piece. I probably should increase my consumption rate of scotch (right now I mean. specifically. Not generally.). But perhaps I already did?

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