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The Crab Shack - a summer poem by Roger Zogolovitch

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Inspired by a fine post-PechaKucha meal of crab meat and wine, Solidspace creative director Roger Zogolovitch muses on the pleasures of being beside the seaside

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside
Down at the Crab Shack
Especially at lunch time
Eating my favourite – crab with everything 
Where life gets shifted back to analogue
Where we eat analogue and we talk analogue

We plot and theorise
We leave behind the fast-moving and clipped worlds of emails,
    agendas and focused presentations
We take time out
We dream our dreams away and refresh our brains
And, of course, indulge in a little food and good conversation

We are transported to a place of memory
To a place without rules
To those structures that defy the planning process
Made by chance
Perched perilously on the seashore
Made by a combination of rescue and transformation

Where materials are as found and selected by eye
The palette of planner-acceptable stuff has managed,
    miraculously, to have been washed out to sea
We arrive at the door, no booking
We just hope they will be open and a table free

We sit in anticipation as we watch and smell the aroma
    of the boiling bisque
We gaze at the mountains of crabs, the pots of mussels
We await our linguine served with just the right combination
    of crab, pasta and chilli flakes

The paper tablecloth, rough bread and tumblers with Rosé
    all arrive together
We anticipate the food to come
We settle into debate in the good company of opposites
All difficult people
Discussing the very nature of city, place and complexity

We savour the ‘as found’, the sculptural, the textural, the sinuous versus
The digital, the imposed, the ordered and the marshalled.
We are told, that the world is better for being regulated, controlled,
    made exclusive, defined and polished,
We just don’t believe it

Illustration by Martina Paukova. www.martinapaukova.com

In the crab shack the alternative view is positively encouraged.
Just a little bit anarchic,
We set only one rule, that our conversation should be interesting,
    and views conflict.
No customer focus, just crab like, moving sideways,
    staring from those beady eyes.

Sideways movement is really an art, it has much to teach us.
It offers an alternate vision
It shifts us away from the middle ground,
It lets our minds go free, slipping from side to side, circling,
    considering alternatives, finding space for doubt

We turn the object around,
We shift it around
We twist our own point of view.
We seek something distinctly pleasing from under that stone,
    having a good old explore.
It’s more of a ‘hey presto’, rather than a leap of imagination.

It’s the sideways glance.
Suddenly we can become inspired by the object, the site,
    the opportunity from a new direction.
The crab shack is the place to come to recall the pleasure
    of analogue. To be analogue after all is to be human.

The crab shack contains our collective memory of object
It’s an emotional place having that patina of life and charm of the lived.
It’s our chance of letting go of our minds. 
Daydreaming, getting lost, and losing track of time.

We are seeing and touching old timber, driftwood,
Handling those familiar crab picks and crackers,
We are surrounded by found objects presented in random order.
The crab shack is in all of us, take a ticket and buy yourself some time.

Indulge in fantasy, in sideways thinking, in shape and texture.
Witness light flashing off the sea,
Indulge in the pleasure of just being
No compromise necessary
Deliciously served
Allow yourself to fall for the mysteries of the sideways mind.

Illustration by Martina Paukova. www.martinapaukova.com

We suddenly become convinced
We ask why not make our life like this
As we call for that all-important third bottle
This is real life
As we watch the sunset dropping slowly and the light softening
    in those last yellow rays

We want to dispel, to avoid those endless meetings
Where project managers pick over milestones and deadlines
We are beginning to hate those familiar two words ‘customer-focused’
We don’t want our experiences pre-defined or forward flagged

We want to stay around, to sketch, to think
To draw, to design
To get back to the pleasure of line
Of mark-making, with pencil on trace
We need to believe in what we do
We need to believe in the crab shack

Come, come, you call
This is nothing but dream time,
This is pure indulgence 
Wake up, you have the business to build
Contacts to make
Networks to build
Deadlines to meet 
You need focus, focus and more focus

You sweat a little
You stare across the found objects
The mounds of crabs
The next bottle of wine beckons
The waitress beckons
You recall that great line from American Hustle
Such choices as you have are fucked-up, poisonous choices

You are tempted to change your life and follow your instinct
Even for an hour
To stay in the Crab Shack
To drift, to shift, and to splash about
That’s why
I do like to be beside the seaside.

Roger Zogolovitch, 2014



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