This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Where was it, in the Strand? A display Of news items, in photographs. For some reason I noticed it. A picture of that year's intake Of Fulbright Scholars. Just arriving Or arrived. Or some of them. Were you among them? I studied it, Not too minutely, wondering Which of them I might meet. I remember that thought. Not Your face. No doubt I scanned particularly The girls. Maybe I noticed you. Maybe I weighed you up, feeling unlikely. Noted your long hair, loose waves Your Veronica Lake bang. Not what it hid. It would appear blond. And your grin. Your exaggerated American Grin for the cameras, the judges, the strangers, the frighteners. Then I forgot. Yet I remember The picture: the Fulbright Scholars. With their luggage? It seems unlikely. Could they have come as a team? I was walking Sore-footed, under hot sun, hot pavements. Was it then I bough a peach? That's as I remember. From a stall near Charing Cross Station. It was the first fresh peach I had ever tasted. I could hardly believe how delicious. At twenty-five I was dumbfounded afresh By my ignorance of the simplest things.
mere auras. your ring. For a long time Vague as mist. In that flash You saw your whole life. You ricocheted The length of your Alpha career With the fury Of a high-velocity bullet That cannot shed one foot-pound Of kinetic energy. It was a god-seeker. I managed A wisp of your hair. Ordinary jocks became gods ± Deified by your infatuation That seemed to have been designed at birth for a god. quieted. happy.The Shot Your worship needed a god. You were undeflected. Provisional. Even the cheek-scar. Your Daddy. the right witchdoctor Might have caught you in flight with his bare hands. I did not even know I had been hit. Your Daddy had been aiming you at God When his death touched the trigger. Or that you had gone clean through me ± To bury yourself at last in the heart of the god. cooling. In my position. The elect More or less died on impact ± They were too mortal to take it. your nightgown. Till your real target Hid behind me. one hand to the other. Nickel-tipped. Where you seemed to have side-swiped concrete. Godless. Tossed you. Under your hair done this way and done that way. You were gold-jacketed. Sound-barrier events along your flightpath. speculative. But inside your sob-sodden Kleenex And your Saturday night panics. it found one. Where it lacked one. solid silver. The god with the smoking gun. Behind what looked like rebounds And the cascade of cries diminuendo. They were mind-stuff. A god-finder. . your watch. Served as a rifling groove To keep you true. Trajectory perfect As through ether.
bellowing Grave of your risen father And your own corpse in it.The Minotaur The mahogany table-top you smashed Had been the broad plank top Of my mother's heirloom sideboardMapped with the scars of my whole life. That's the stuff you're keeping out of your poems!' And later. That came under the hammer. Brought you to the horned. 'Get that shoulder under your stanzas And we'll be away.' Deep in the cave of your ear The goblin snapped his fingers. . Left your children echoing Like tunnels in a labyrinth. So what had I given him? The bloody end of the skein That unravelled your marriage. considered and calmer. 'Go on. 'Marvellous!' I shouted. Left your mother a dead-end. Smash it into kindling. That high stool you swung that day Demented by my being Twenty minutes late for baby-minding.
You slewed under his neck. so far beneath you. Something in you not you did it for itself. Luck was already there. Over in a flash. That gallop Was practice. you lost your seat It was grab his neck and adore him Or free-fall. protective. Did you have a helmet? How did you cling on? Baby monkey Using your arms and legs for clinging steel. Hammocked in your body over the switchback road. and quite useless. But the propeller terrors of his front legs And the claangour of the iron shoes. but not enough. Flung yourself off and under my feet to trip me And tripped me and lay dead. your certainty That this was it. You lost your reins. You clung on. How did you hang on? You couldn't have done it. . Sam. slung under that plunging neck.Sam It was all of a piece to you That was your horse. Fallen. I can live Your incredulity. the white calm stallion. And a cyclist's shock-mask. Decided he'd had enough And started home at a gallop. That horribly hard. You lost your stirrups. Till he walked into his stable. probably near unconscious. When I jumped a fence you strangled me One giddy moment. Hugging what was left of your steerage. I can feel your bounced and dangling anguish. You saw only blur. then fell off. swift river. dragging his bicycle over him. He galloped Straight down the white line of the Barton Road. What saved you? Maybe your poems Saved themselves. An upside-down jockey with nothing Between you and the cataract of macadam.
Out of the Hotel des Deux Continents Through frame after frame.The capital Of the Occupation and old nightmare. reprisal. Under the chestnut shades of Hemingway . in a shatter of exclamations. Gertrude Stein. I was not much ravished by the view of the roofs. Collaborateurs barely out of their twenties. I read each bullet scar in the Quai stonework With an eerie familiar feeling. it seemed. And wherever Your eye lit. I had rehearsed Carefully. just those moments ± Most of my life. hatred. When you stepped. I thought. And stared at the stricken. . Henry Miller. While you Called me Aristide Bruant and wanted To draw les toits . My Paris was a post-war utility survivor. sunny exposure of pavement Beneath it. and your ecstasies ricocheted Off the walls patched and scabbed with posters ± I heard the contrabasso counterpoint In my dog-nosed pondering analysis Of café chairs where the SS mannequins Had performed their tableaux vivants So recently the coffee was still bitter As acorns. I wanted to humour you. and the waiters¶ eyes Clogged with dregs of betrayal. was American. I kept my Paris from you. over and over. Fitzgerald. For you all that Was the anecdotal aesthetic touch On Picasso¶s portrait Of Apollinaire . Every other face closed by the Camps Or the Maquis . Street after street. with its proleptic Marker for the bullet. My perspectives were veiled by what rose Like methane from the reopened Mass grave of Verdun. I was a ghostwatcher. your immaculate palette.Your Paris Your Paris. My Paris Was only just not German . of Impressionist paintings. The stink of fear still hanging in the wardrobes.
Like a guide dog. wincing To agonies. as by touch. me. scattering tears. Was a labyrinth Where you still hurtled. Those walls. What walked beside me was a flayed. Your practiced lips Translated the spasms to what you excused As your gushy burblings ± which I decoded Into a language. Your Paris Was a desk in a pension Where your letters Waited for him unopened. you expected The final fate-to-face revelation To grab your whole body. where you still hung waiting For your torturer To remember his amusement. at every corner. were your own flayed skin ± Stretched on your stone god. That chamber. utterly new to me With conjectural. albeit Pecked by the odd. Your lingo Always like an emergency burn-off To protect you from spontaneous combustion Protected you And your Paris. Roofs. your hide-out. hopelessly wrong meanings ± You gave me no hint how. historic bullet. Touched in its tints and textures. The mere dog in me. And it sealed The underground. It scorched up Every scent and sensor. Yawned and dozed and watched you calm yourself With your anaesthetic ± your drawing. One walking wound that the air Coming against kept in a fever. .The thesaurus of your cries. stray. Raggy with posters. Was a dream where you could not Wake or find the exit or The minotaur to put a blessed end To the torment. a bottle. What searching miles Did you drag your pain That were for me plain paving. a traffic bollard. It was diesel aflame To the dog in me. happy to protect you From your agitation and your stone hours. My fingers linked in yours. loyal to correct your stumblings.
A throbbing cell. The curtains -. You revelled in red. Leaned over it. Catastrophic. and more roses. Like blood lobbing from the gash. . Blood-red. And roses. dripping roses.like crisp gauze edges Of a stiffening wound. Your lips a dipped. I could touch The open vein in it. If not red. Only the bookshelves escaped into whiteness. a swathe of blood.Aztec altar -. doomed. Salvias. When you had your way finally Our room was red. And outside the window Poppies thin and wrinkle-frail As the skin on blood. that your father named you after. The carpet of blood Patterned with darkenings. Shut casket for gems. Everything you painted you painted white Then splashed it with roses. A judgement chamber. then white.Red Red was your colour. the heart's last gouts. A lavish burgandy. Your velvet long full skirt. Weeping roses. for warming the dead? Haematite to make immortal The precious heirloom bones. defeated it. But red Was what you wrapped around you. The same Raw carmine along the window-seat. deep crimson. congealments. the crusted gleam. I felt it raw -.temple. the family bones. Sheer blood-falls from ceiling to floor.ruby corduroy blood. The cushions the same. arterial. Was it blood? Was it red-ochre.
But the jewel you lost was blue.not a ghoul But electrified. thoughtful. among them. Blue was better for you. Blue was your kindly spirit -. a little blue bird. In the pit of red You hid from the bone-clinic whiteness. . Kingfisher blue silks from San Francisco Folded your pregnancy In crucible caresses.Then sometimes. a guardian. Blue was wings.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.