fox space

~ An editorial note: two things come together. The increasing dormancy of stormy petrel, and a galling realisation, in the face of Eduardo’s call for blogger’s notebooks (see the PB for details): not only have I hardly written any poetry recently, but I haven’t even got any notebook-jottings I could offer as evidence of thought. So begins an experiment in online notebooking. Who knows if it will sustain. ~

walking through suburban London at night, you see many foxes. Where do they live?

I assume in the little areas of dead land – the spaces between; undeveloped plots, railway cuttings, the irregular bits left unowned and unwalked. Under garden sheds.

so they become a symbol for interstitiality in all its forms.


human lives in the interstices: the semi-visible lives of Rwandan, Somalian communities in London. Little churches with extravagant-sounding names (between a greengrocer and a post-office? something banal). The sudden appearance of hundreds of Koreans in Trafalgar Sq. when they beat Italy (Spain? both?) in the World Cup.

The mentally ill?

tip of the iceberg

Linguistic fox-space? The elusive, the marginal – thieves’ cant, cockney rhyming slang.

Poems as foxes – operating in the spaces between obvious. Or operating from the margins to make use of the public spaces of language when people’s attention is elsewhere.

Picking up the immigrant theme – possible intersection with the idea of buddleia (exotic, colourful, hardy, naturalised) as a flower to represent London: using the unused spaces, the building lots, railway arches, walls.

Is the nocturnalness interesting?

Is it interesting that foxes are more visible in the city than the country?

Peregrines nesting on the Dome.

I suppose rats are interstitial, too, but they live in sewers and things, which is a rather different relationship to the people around them. Still, a thought.

Reminds me of another theme I’ve considered before: specialism vs. generalism in wildlife. We tend to admire the specialists – the cheetah, the hummingbird, the arctic tern – as some kind of peak of evolution/aesthetics. But we are generalists. The adaptable species – the rats, the pigeons, the sparrows – are our natural kin. Sort of.