This is a real place
As far as I am concerned.

WS Graham

Folly I

A man had a locket. It was locked.
He broke the lock. There was a clock inside.
He broke the clock. Took out its spring.
It was April. He was young.
But he wished he had never met Bridget.
That he had never been given the locket.

Folly II

Bridget liked walking on the sand in bare feet.
Bridget liked singing old Scottish ballads.
Bridget was desirable but slightly distracted.
Bridget's mother met her father in a pub called The Ship's Locker.
Bridget's father was Icelandic.
Bridget got her looks from his Inuit eyes.
Bridget's grandfather on her mother's side was a Russian Seaman from Murmansk.
Bridget's grandfather was her grandmother's second husband.
Someone had a Russian stepfather.
Someone married a local girl and had a son.
Someone's son constructed this folly.
Bridget was someone's son's half-cousin.

Folly III

The analyst said "child" and the client said "death".
The analyst said "tomb" and the mourner said "locket".
The analyst said "necklace" and the seaman said "chain".
The analyst said "ball" and the child said "play".
The analyst said "game" and the poet said "folly".
The analyst said "tomb" and the mourner said "folly".
The analyst said "ruin" and the client said "empty", thinking the analyst had said "room".
The analyst looked surreptitiously at his watch and uncrossed his legs and recrossed them.
He said "enough" and the man said "folly".

Folly IV

Doric Columns
Mosaic (a hunting scene)
Lattice brickwork
Granite lintels
Tiffany style stained glass
Strawberry Gothic parapets
A Brunelleschi dome

Folly V

The womb is a circle that needs to be brought under the dominion of the line.
A controlled set of tangents is sent to circle round.
In a constant state of aversion, the lines avoid the subject at the centre.
Geometry cannot hope to give birth to the thing-that-cannot-be-mentioned in the middle.
The abstract reason of straight lines is no match for a curved wall of blood.

But suppose for a minute there is a gruesome twist.
Suppose the thing (that cannot be mentioned) is already dead.
Suppose the folly of the enterprise is a man's attempt to bring it back to life.
As if a womb had the architecture of a pyramid or henge.
Certain geometries of stone or strut that have unnatural effect.
No, a man cannot really want his strange edifice to work.
Failure is designed-in by the straight lines.
If he really wanted, he would conceive the machinery he was lacking.
Then the apotropaic influence of folly would be swallowed by something truly psychotic.

Folly VI

He rows across the loch.
Bridget sits facing him.
The water is a shaking mirror.
He pulls the boat ashore.

Bracken cradles the hull,
hazel makes a bower,
the sky is a sheet of blue
and the stern of the empty boat flinches
when the water gently lifts it.

He falls asleep in her arms.
Her toes fidget in the moss.
She sings softly to herself.
Half out of sleep he whispers, "Bridget?"
as if he thought she was going.

He didn't know he was creating a ghost.
His breath in her mouth.
His message.
April. In June she's lost it.
His breath like wet ferns tramped down.

Pushing the boat out onto the loch.
Bridget sits facing him.
Bridget is young.
The child inside him dies.
Behind him is all that is to come.
The rower faces the wake.
This is the rower's folly.
Messages hide the child.

Folly VII

Climbing through a hole in a rock.
Walking three times widdershins round a well.
Marking out the moon's position on a sundial.
Drawing a circle in the sand with a driftwood stick.
Having one ride on the waltzers that is paid for and one that isn't.
Thinking that in six steps everyone is related.
Watching the washing machine on spin.
Returning to the point of departure by travelling in a straight line.
Digging out foundations with a spade.

Folly VIII

You follow a spiral on the floor until it stops under the apex of the dome.
The stretched light of sunset from the west window is reddened by stained glass.
It picks out a brass hatch over a hollowed core of serpentine.
Maybe you should lift the hatch?
You find a socket like the barrel of a gun.
Out of this you ease an artillery shell aimed at the belly of the sky.
The end screws off the shell and inside you find a little silver locket.
You might think to open it?
You see it was once a watch. But the face has been taken off.
The mechanism is encrusted with tiny scabs of dried blood.
There is also a shiny needle in there. PUT IT BACK. PUT IT BACK.
You don't want to go to the heart of my folly.